Hikari's Story

Antonio GomezIn the summer of 2011 my Japanese wife and my two daughters moved from Tokyo to live together with me in the Canary Islands in Spain.

The youngest of the family, Hana, was only 3 years old at the time and didn't really notice the change that much. In just a few months she was fluent in Spanish and had become the most popular girl in her class. My wife liked some things about our new place and missed other things from Japan and from living in a big cosmopolitan city. But Hikari, my eldest daughter, took the worst part. She was 8 years old, had many friends in Japan, and didn't speak Spanish at all. It was a real culture shock for her and she found the educational system so different that she didn't want to go to school.

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I Heard Him Today

Sue LachmanThat's right, I heard him today! I thought I always listened and heard what my husband said, in fact I was always the one listening and he rarely listened to me, or so I thought.

My husband commutes to the UK once a month for work and spends the week rushing around seeing clients and of course buying the odd one or two things we still feel we can't do without here in Israel. The end result is that by the time he takes the underground to the airport and flies back home, he is fairly exhausted.

In the meantime, I on the other hand have spent the time running around the children, getting up extra early to ensure there is enough time for one person to do what two normally does and the same at the other end of the day. This of course is apart from me traveling to see a client or Skyping or phoning people.

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Clear Mind Conversations: "Mikey"

Mandy SprayMikey was fed up, in fact he was really upset and annoyed and felt like the world was against him. Mikey is 23, has a learning disability and works at a sheltered employment place growing and selling plants and vegetables; he loves his job, most of the time...

He was at work and had just fallen out with one of his best friends, he wasn't sure how the argument had started but he sure knew how it had ended! He'd had a strop, thrown his tools on the ground, shouted and sworn at his friend and anyone else who was around and stormed off to be on his own.

Mikey knew this was serious. It had happened before and the staff were really annoyed with him and threatening to tell his parents and stop him from going on the trip to a garden centre later in the week.

Mikey was in a thought storm; adrenaline was pumping, his mind was racing with thoughts of how unfair life was, he wanted to cry.

Ann, one of the staff went to join Mikey and took with her a cup of coffee; white with one sugar – just how he liked it. She'd made herself one as well.

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A Thought Away

Oana VaideanuNine months ago I decided to separate from my boyfriend. We have been almost five years together and he was family. Though for some strange reason I decided to let him go. Now I can't see the reasons anymore... I remember vaguely that it was related to him not wanting to have children or marry or maybe it was because he didn't earn enough money? I don't know... It was a lot of negative thinking back then. And also the thrill of meeting someone new! Yes! That amount of adrenaline and unknown secrets...I met my actual husband and with the glasses that I had back then he seemed to be everything I wished for. Oau! Was I not lucky! Everything happened very fast... separation, me remaining alone with my son and struggling to manage job, household, private life. Being managing director at a company, travelling and working a lot didn't make things very easy; I was so missing the support of my ex-partner and his parents.

Then my new partner moved over (he is from another country) and everything which should look better looked worse!!! He was moody and not sociable and instead of getting help I had to give some more help. We discussed what we thought went wrong and it looked even more wrong. We married because he couldn't else prolong his visa or was it also for another reason?

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Resting in the Eye of the Storm

Arlene FlemingEarlier this year, my husband whom I’ve been with for over thirty years, had a health scare. Whilst waiting for tests and test results there was six weeks of angst, fear and sadness. It was incredibly hard to function in the family, and at work. My thoughts were a constant whirlwind of emotions, blowing up a tsunami of overwhelming feelings that I felt out of control of.

My husband sadly died, the funeral was about to take place; I'd picked the outfit and chosen the last song to see him on his way. The house was in the process of being sold to pay for my three daughters' future university needs, and I was left the lonely grieving widow contemplating giving up her job to pay full attention to the children to make up for their loss. I could not bear the smell of fresh coffee because I associated it with him so strongly and would weep at any song that reminded me of him.

These reactions would seem fairly common within the grieving process, apart that is, for the fact, that my husband was alive, sitting across from me eating his dinner, smiling, happily listening to his music and making his coffee. I think it would be fair to state that I was a proper head case!

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