I like the USA, don’t get me wrong, but I found living there hard.
I’m originally from the UK, yet I hardly lived there, instead, I’ve lived all over Europe, a few cities in the USA, and now, Southeast Asia.
I didn’t really want to move to the US in the first place. My now ex-wife, my 2 kids, and I were living the dream life in the South of France. It couldn’t have been better until the great financial crisis hit. Banks almost shut, money dried up and property couldn’t be sold or even rented out.
I’d heavily invested in the property market by buying and refurbishing 2 sizable villas. Considerable financing was required, resulting in hefty mortgage payments.
That was all no problem when times were good, until it changed, and it all blew up in my face.
Long story short, I had to sell, and lost quite a lot of potential profit — had I not had to sell at the time, I would have made a killing by now.
My wife, being American, wanted to move back to the US to start working again.
Being the good and understanding husband, I agreed, and off we went. That was probably the worst decision of my life, as it went from bad in Europe to much worse in the USA.
My brothers and friends warned me back then, saying, “You know your wife is going to divorce you once she’s in the US with the kids, right?”
I was oblivious to this possibility because I thought that after 14 years, we had a loving and trusting relationship.
However, I had gotten up to quite a few antics in my time in France. Those ranged from totaling a couple of cars while drunk, ending up in the drunk tank, and often coming home in the early hours after drinking and clubbing with friends.
My ex-wife didn’t tell me, but I know now she’d told others she’d had enough.
Back to the future in the USA
There I was, suddenly stuck in a boring city in the US, where I didn’t want to be, without work.
My work and life history have been colorful, so I’m not much of an employable type. Whereas I have a ton of experience, it’s difficult to find a suitable job if you’ve been self-employed your whole life.
My wife distanced herself from the family, immersing herself fully in her training and work. We didn’t see her much.
I was stuck paying the expenses, which were high, and without an income that starts to hurt.
Anxiety and depression slowly crept into my mind; things weren’t good.
The scariest experience I’ve ever had didn’t help. Out of nowhere, a guy swerved into a parking spot I was reversing into at a grocery store. He almost caused an accident. I got out of the car to complain (not aggressively), to which he pulled his pistol on me and told me to get lost if I didn’t want trouble.
That was my first run-in with a gun owner and the threatened gun violence.
The next move to hell & divorce
The final straw came when my wife got a new job in a godforsaken little town in the North East. The weather sucked, the people were grumpy and unhelpful, and there were no decent restaurants and nothing to do.
That’s when I felt like putting a bullet in my head. My god I thought, you’ve had such a great life, and now you’re trapped in this dump.
The decline took on the speed of white-water rapids, and before I knew it, one fine Monday morning, the bailiff paid me a visit to deliver the divorce filing proceedings.
No warning, it just smacked me right in the face.
Then came the divorce proceedings itself. Oh my, now that in my book was the biggest clown show I’ve ever seen. Talk about a Kangaroo court. The judge didn’t like me. He steamrolled me whenever I put up a fight. It was hopeless.
They finally forced me to agree to a shady under-the-table type deal the two lawyers hashed out with the judge, so I could even get to see my kids.
It stunk. I had no choice if I wanted to see my kids again.
The final straw in the USA
If you think that was bad, it gets worse.
Once all was said and done, with our ridiculous custody schedule handed down by the judge, the fun and games began.
Now someone was trying to frame me.
On two occasions, late at night, the cops showed up banging on my door. The kids were sleeping. The police had received an anonymous call that I was drinking and driving the kids around, plus taking drugs. None of it was true.
After a tense 30-minute stand-off with 2 big cops carrying guns standing 3 feet away from me in my living room, they finally left.
The same thing happened 2 weeks later. This time, the kids weren’t with me. I didn’t manage to convince them I’d done nothing wrong, and they demanded to look around for drugs or arrest me and take me in.
So, they went and snooped around for 10 minutes, found nothing, and finally left.
You can imagine that by now I’m thinking my safety or even life may be in danger.
The next day, I talked to my kids, and told them what happened (again), and I was leaving for a break overseas. They agreed with me. They were noticeably shaken, too.
America wasn’t kind to me. Living there became a nightmare. I had to take action to protect my mental health and start to live a fear-free life once again.
Staying under the conditions I was stuck in would have landed me in jail for no reason. Somehow it would have happened.
I’ve been back to visit several times. When I look around and see the aggression surrounding me in simple daily life situations, it scared me. Be that with the cops, or regular people being nasty to each other.
I needed to find peace of mind and a calm place to re-invent myself and start a happy life again. I left and did just that.