There are many emotions I feel about uprooting my life and moving to Mexico.  One of those is fear.

I fear violence.

It is not something I want to fear—I feel foolish for letting it get to me.  Statistically, where I am moving is safer than where I am now.  Yet where I am is what I know, and I have lived here safely for nearly 25 years.  The whispers and the shouts about violence across the border make the blood rush through my veins as paranoia grips my heart—like I felt when I was a child and feared the basement.  Both fears so illogical and only escapable through time and experience.

I fear problems with my in-laws.

Not everyone in my husband’s family is good.  His father—thought not in my husband’s life—has done unspeakably evil things in his life.  Rather than leaving him to rot in the misery he has built for himself, my husband’s sister has been trying to bring him back around the family, preaching forgiveness.  At times I feel paralyzed at the thought of his being anywhere near me—a blend of fear and rage.

The youngest sister of my husband and her boyfriend frequently steal from Suegra, despite the boyfriend having much more money than they do.  He has forced them to take out loans at the bank for him and has assaulted Suegra.  I do not trust him to not see me as something else he can steal to get rich.  He is filth.

I fear illness.

I have yet to be sick while in Mexico, despite eating street food every night and not caring one bit about the gloveless hands of my cooks.  Illness, however, is inevitable in one’s life.  I have this vision of being laid up in a hospital bed, unable to contact my husband, and walled off from my doctors by language.

I fear becoming homesick.

Another inevitable part of my life.  In the United States, I have felt “homesick” for Mexico ever since my last trip.  I have only spent a total of 6 weeks in the country, but I fell in love.  Plus, my love, my husband, is there.  If I can feel this way for a place that has barely been a part of me, what will I feel for my life-long home?

I fear being a failure as a teacher.

My cooperating teacher, my principal, and my supervisor had little to no criticism during my student teaching; still, I fear being an utter failure when I step out on my own.  At my student teaching site, our lessons were mostly planned for us, so all I needed to do was modify and give it my own twist.  Now I will be planning it all on my own, which is intimidating.

All this fear is simply one of the many emotions coursing through me at the moment.

I think I might explode.


6 responses »

  1. Greenga,
    I feel if I were in your same situation I would be having the same “fears.” They all seem understandable to me. I know the violence in Mexico is real but I have a feeling that the media here really blows it out of the water! Correct me if I’m wrong, but you guys will be living separately from your suegras and in-laws, right? If so, that may cut down on a lot of drama.

    I know its easy for me to say…. but think of it as a romantic adventure! I can’t begin to imagine how scary it is, but I bet you will be embarking on an unforgettable journey and will grow in so many ways. How awesome you are blogging this all so you can return and read your previous post a year or years from now. I’d love to know your outlook then.

    Have you ever read “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway” by Susan Jeffers? This is an awesome book. It has helped me face some fears I otherwise probably would’ve ran from. If you haven’t read it, you should check it out.

    You know you’ve got people rooting for you here. Your “Sal” loves you and you seem like a very intelligent lady. I’m sure if you come across any problems, you’ll be able to handle them.

    • Yes, we will be living about 45 min to an hour away from the in-laws. None of them have vehicles (aside from the little sister’s boyfriend), so they aren’t likely to just show up at the door.

      I do think that the media goes overboard when reporting on the violence–especially in that they tend to paint the whole country with their brush rather than just the areas where the violence is occurring. The only report of drug related violence I have found for the area in which I will be living was that the bodies of some small street gang members were found in a mine. I think that was about a year ago and I am not sure how long the bodies had been there anyhow. I know I really have no more to fear than where I am now, it is just that it is difficult to react to perceived threats with pure logic.

      I constantly alternate between looking at it with fear and looking at it with a sense of adventure. I wish I could just leave tomorrow so I could get settled and be done with it all.

      I’ll have to check out that book. Thank you for the recommendation.

  2. Wow! I do feel for you. I remember back when I was right where you are. Oh, btw, thanks for posting on my blog. I hadn’t come across your blog before, so it is nice to find another “mexpat”. Or, in your case, soon to be mexpat.

    Anyway, I totally can relate to your fears. Everything seems to be different. But, as you will find out, over time, everything that is different soon becomes your new “normal”.

    I like the other commentor’s comment of how you can look back on your blog to see how you change your outlook. It is true. I have been down here for 3 years now and at the time I thought it was the end of the world. But now, it is OK. Things are fine. Everything has worked out. And you are right. The media only focuses on things that are negative.

    I’m not familiar with other parts of Mexico, but in my small town we don’t have many issues with violence. And when you do hear of something it usually stays within the people that are in the wrong crowds (mafia or what have you..)

    What helped me feel more “at home” here was to get my house to feel like a home. I know everyone is different. But, if you feel like you might be the same, make sure to bring things that will let you transform your house into a home. There is nothing like sitting in your own house and not feeling at home.

    I wish you luck with everything and hope the transistion is an easy one for you. It seems you have come in contact with lots of Mexpats, but if you have any questions, feel free to contact me. I am by no means an expert but am more than willing to try to help.


    Best of luck!

    • Thank you for coming and reading my blog! I haven’t been doing this all that long, and new readers excite me.

      I am really big on my space (whatever it may be at any given time) being welcoming and visually pleasing. I do not need fancy things, just something that aesthetically soothes me and allows me to feel more at home. I can’t bring too much as I am traveling by plane, but I have different ideas on how to decorate for cheap that I plan to work with once there. Right now I am wishing I had been craftier throughout my life: I cannot sew, knit, or anything. It would be nice if I could at least sew enough to make some throw pillows.

      Thank you for the well wishes. It is good to know I have so many knowledgeable people to reach out to.

  3. I can definetly relate to some of these fears. The illnes I am getting over because I am actually sick to my stomach as I am writing this. I thank God that I do not have a problem with my in-laws we are actually living with them and it works out pretty well. Lastly I can say I have not been home sick for the U.S. yet but while away I was definetly home sick for Mexico.

    • I imagine that my potential homesickness for the US will not be very bad, just for the fact that I can easily access most of what I would miss via technology: chatting on Skype to see my family, various websites to see the few TV shows I still care about, and most of the food I like I can make substitute versions.

      I hope you feel better soon. Being “stomach sick” is the worst. I think I would take just about any other type of virus over one that makes me nauseous.

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