Coping with Personal Issues
You came on aliya by yourself?
Congratulations on a brave and exciting step!
However, when the initial glow wears off, you might find social adjustments and unexpected hurdles tougher than you imagined . Many olim have periods when they wonder whether they made the right decision.
Pouring your heart out, untangling your doubts and building new strengths and successes can be easier with a therapist who speaks your language and knows the culture that you left and the one in which you are creating your future.
Couples’ and Families’ Issues
During the first years following aliya, families need to adjust and adapt. Life in Israel doesn’t always match the expectations and dreams of each member of the family.
Children, especially teen-agers, may feel that their parents forced them to immigrate to a strange country, leaving behind dear friends and relatives.
Sometimes, spouses who worked together as a great team while planning and making arrangements for aliya, can be disappointed after they arrive. Husbands and wives don’t always adjust at the same rate, and might have thoughts or feelings like :
“He’s so excited about his new job, and puts in so much overtime! He expects me to share his enthusiasm. We decided that I’d look for work after the kids adjust. In the meantime, I’m coping with the kids’ complaints, a strange banking system, a flukey internet provider, Kupat Holim procedures, etc. He doesn’t want to hear about it.”
“My wife is SOOO elated about everything! She came with a good command of Hebrew, and everything is going smoothly for her – so smoothly that she doesn’t even “get” how hard things are for the rest of the family. Once, she actually said to me: ‘If you would really try, your Hebrew would improve much faster. You have an attitude problem, not a language problem.’ That was so unfair!”
Having your own parents — the kids’ grandparents — far away can be an additional hardship. Perhaps you did not expect to miss them so much — as a shoulder to cry on, as welcome babysitters, and as the people you would love to spend Jewish holidays with.
It’s great for your parents and siblings to see your kids’ first steps or Purim costumes on Whatsapp, but – OUCH! – it’s just not the same.