Is there a good solution to this (sorry it is a bit long)?


I moved from the United States to teach at a Christian private school in Indonesia about 3 years ago. Since then I have experienced very heavy depression near constantly. At first I thought it was just culture shock and I would get over it. My first year, my headmaster was very emotionally abusive and destroyed my self concept. He had me thinking that I was mentally unstable and a danger to myself simply because I was depressed and lonely and wrote poems about it. I was sent to an Indonesian therapist and it made matters worse. Psychology is still very much in the past here and the Islamic culture frowns on therapy.

I moved to a different school out in the mountains thinking it would help and my second year was slightly better if not still extremely difficult. The other foreigners here are in families and spend most time to themselves. I work near 12 hours days every week day. I still could breath a bit better and thought things would improve.

Now Im on my third year and it is the last in my contract. Im currently seriously dating another American from here and I feel the same if not worse then I did my first year. I still feel so foreign and the culture is so opposite me (very superficial and extroverted while I am introverted and intrapersonal). My job keeps dumping more and more work on me without giving me any raise or extra work time. My girlfriend works at a different school and absolutely loves it here and I feel so incredibly guilty because I want to leave so bad and she wants to follow. I was planning on proposing to her in a few months but now Im very scared that I will just make her unhappy by taking her away from here.

My question is, is there a good solution to this? I cannot find a therapist here and Im so tired of dumping on my girlfriend. She is a happy person who is normally very positive and I feel like Im just bringing her down. She loves talking to me everyday but all I do its mope and be upset. I hate what I am but I cant quit. If I leave my job I get forced out of the country and I have to pay back the school my years salary (ugly contract). I long to return to university and work on my PhD in Theology but I want to make sure Im not just running from my problems. I understand if no one can help with this.

Category: Tags: asked August 26, 2015

2 Answers

It sounds like you are very unhappy there and the best thing for you would be to leave. I don't know the laws there or anything regarding your contract, but maybe after this last year is up then you can leave and go back to school like you want. You should definitely talk to your girlfriend and see if that is something she is willing to do, or if she absolutely wants to stay. You could even leave yourself and go back to school while she remains there and get your degree in theology and then you two can decide what happens from there, even though I realize it's not ideal.

I just think it's important for you to get away from a place that is causing you to be so depressed as soon as you can, especially since you can't get any professional help. You should talk to your girlfriend and let her know how serious this is for you. It sounds like right now, you both want different things and neither of you should have to live with something you don't want and makes you miserable for the sake of another person. If you discuss it, you can find a way around it where neither of you has to be unhappy. You can't make another person happy if you're not happy yourself. Right now, you need to do what's best for you so you can get through this depression.
I don't know how was your mental health before moving there, you make it sound that you had problems only after moving, but I guess if you need a therapist, it's good to be around some.
I think you can be honest with your girlfriend and tell her your needs regarding moving back, and let her decide what to do; if she follows you, she can still change idea about it if you go back and things don't improve.