Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Net-Culture Shock- independence

Net-Culture Shock- independence

On Jan 6th I have been in Mexico for 6 months now. I feel like half a year is a good time to reflect on what I have learned and how much I still have to learn. The main topics of my growth have involved being pregnant, food, children, and interaction with people, Spanish, and dealing with business. I don’t like each post to get to long so that people can read only on topics of interest to them so each of these topics will be discussed in different posts.
I realize as I’m writing these posts on Culture shock that the biggest shock to my system really didn’t have a lot to do with the culture here but more with my circumstance, and personality. As you may know from reading some of my firsts posts before moving to Mexico I was on my own. But really even before that I was always an independent thinker. I wasn’t quite a bra burner as a youth, but close enough. I wanted to be different and did what I could to achieve that. I also refused to ever “need” a person to help me to survive. I was raised with the belief that although you can love someone you should never be in a position where if they were gone you’d be up a creek with out a paddle. So this had a lot to do with me striving to continue my education and move up the nursing career ladder. (Not the nursing parts just the moving up part.)
The first year of my marriage to my husband I was in the upper hand of all things. I never meant to be, and by then I had realized the biblical truth of letting the man be the man of the house hold. This was not an easy realization for me by the way and lucky for my husband I found my bearings in the bible before I meet him. But I had worked so hard to be independent of others that by the time I was married it was inherent. My husband would come home from work for example and I would have rearranged all the furniture on my own, or hung up a new shelf ext. (Im actually still bad about this.) I was also making the larger income and everything was in my name at this point. The last 6 months or so before my husbands voluntary departure date we had actually even decided for him not to work but to stay home and take care of things there and to take care of me. I was pregnant and this was nice to have dinner ready when I came home from work.
Then there was the 2 years of raising our daughter alone and doing house and all by myself. I went in head strong and determined aside from the occasional depression. I did have a lot of physical and emotional support around me the first year. But as most times happens those people slowly faded off. In the end there were about 2 or 3 people who still came around to help or just hang out. So there I was with my 1 ½ year old, my new home, my new car, my management position at work and my husband still in Mexico. I shopped alone, I ate alone, I watched movies alone, I read alone, I slept alone. (Oh sorry I did have the company of my daughter who couldn’t even speak to me yet.) I was definitely independent and didn’t like it one bit. I hated knowing that I could do it if I had to. I didn’t want to. The “American Dream” sucks when you have to live it independently.
So I gave it all up to move to Mexico with my husband. That was a long story to get to the point of this blog, sorry. I get a little mellow dramatic sometimes I know. 
Yeah no longer a lone, I sleep in the same bed as him, I read with him, we get to watch movies together, I have help in the grocery store and to hall the groceries in.
But…. Yes there is always a but… Now I’m never alone! Yikes who would have thought that this would be a problem. I can’t go to the store alone, I can’t drive at all, I can’t go to the park alone, I’m scared to even take a walk alone. Little miss independent has lost her independents completely. This was a cause for many late night cries and discussions with my husband. He completely understood and was so good with me about it. He would try to think of things that I could do while he was at work. One thing that helped so much in those first scary few months was just to go on walks. Now depending on where you are in Mexico I’m not sure this would be a good idea. But here in the town we live in it is so safe. I was still scared and felt like everyone was staring at me for so long, but I took me and Alana out almost everyday just to practice some independence. It was so helpful although when I would pass by people I still craved conversation but at least I was out and doing something of my own will. These walks became routine and we got to know our surrounding area. Eventually about 3 months after getting her we got a vehicle that was safe enough for me to drive and Alana and I would go on drives to check out the town or to find parks (that were free so we wouldn’t have to interact with anyone) Slowly one by one things would come up where I would be forced to interact with people when my husband was not around and if I kept myself calm then these thing usually went well. I know now that this has been the hardest part of this whole ordeal for me. I’m slowly gaining back some of the independence I lost and am glad that I will for now not have to gain it all back. I pray that I never will. I don’t ever want to be without my husband, sometimes now I wonder how I ever did it without him. It’s so nice to have the extra hands and set of patience with Alana, groceries, ext. Although now I can at least go to the store with out him and make it home, or go to the park with Alana, or go to his families’ house. Yes I even drove to the town that’s about 20 min away a week or so ago and hung out with his family all day without him. Man that felt nice. I’m smiling now after writing this to know how much more comfortable I am now. I think I also need to add that I did get pregnant like the day I got here so I got to experience all of this with pregnant hormones rushing through my body. I tell you what if I’m gonna do something, I’m gonna do it right. 
This may not be something that everyone who moves to Mexico will go through but if you’re the typical American women and you don’t know a lick of Spanish then grab your boot straps and hold on tight. But in the end it gets better as every week goes by. I’m sure in even the next few months I will be looking back to see that I have made great strides. I’m so excited about the year ahead of me.


  1. welcome to mexico. i've been here about six months as well, for the same reasons. i wish you and your family the best of luck.

  2. Hey nice to meet you I just checked out your page and Im excited to have meet you.

  3. Hi Amanda,
    I was in your shoes almost exactly two years ago. I went to Mexico in 2005 so my husband could get his papers and I got pregnant the month I arrived. We lived in Mexico for two years and during that time our son was born there. What an adventure! My pregnancy was a little scary with bad advice from several doctors (including one who said he wouldn't let my husband in the room with me during labor, among other reasons because he said it would make my husband impotent - really!) but ended up being great. I finally found a doctor who I LOVED.
    I can relate to much of what you're experiencing! It's hard, but it's a choice we have to make to keep our family together. Crazy. I had a blog during my immigration journey but unfortunately due to some crazies out there in the internets who were harassing me, I took it offline.
    Keep up the good writing!

  4. Thanks rooster, so far no crazies on here but if so hopefully I can block them before they cause to much trouble. Im mostly just trying to get the word out to people who dont understand how messed up things can be with immigration.