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Moving Away To Try To Start Over?

Discussion in 'Discussion' started by Grace11, Jan 26, 2011.

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  1. Grace11

    Grace11 Active Member

    Has anyone done this? I'm considering a move to another state....closer to family....I don't think I can solve anything by "running away," but I'd like a clean slate - or clean-ish....? I have lost my ambition, sense of well being, confidence, positive attitude, professional reputation, etc., etc. I feel like I have nothing here but pain, except for my very wonderful friends who have been so good to me through this. I'm so confused almost all the time. I will "know" what to do one day, and question everything the next. Could moving away help me get back to me? Any thoughts or stories/experiences would be great.
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  3. kers

    kers I'm a VIP

    I've made several big moves, ostensibly for education purposes, but there was a reason I chose to do my schooling so far away, you know? And every time, I found John Kabat-Zinn's book to be true: "Wherever you go, there you are." When I stopped moving, and sat down, dug in my heels, and faced what was going on inside of me, then I made progress.

    That said, I still fantasize about moving. Especially when things get hard. I've begun to wonder, though, if that's not something I will do *when* I feel more at peace, instead of hoping the move will *make* me feel at peace.

    I think it comes down to what you are leaving, and why, and what the new destination can offer. Being closer to family might provide you with more support. Maybe starting over is the kind of opportunity you need right now. Ask yourself how much it feels like you'd be running *to* something, and how much it feels you'd be running *away* from something.
    curiouser and catjudo like this.
  4. intothelight

    intothelight Just Being Me

    I live in the same place where the trauma has taken place and is still taking place. I know I need to get out of here to feel safe and to actually start to work on recovery. No one can begin to recover until they feel safe and secure enough to do so.

    Grace, the main question you need to ask yourself is "Why do I want to move?". If you need this to get better than it is definitely a step in the right direction.

    BloomInWinter likes this.
  5. Darkness Shines

    Darkness Shines Well-Known Member

    It's true that you can't escape your feelings by moving away from them--take it from someone who's moved plenty far enough to know. [​IMG] But at the same time there's a lot to be said for moving to a place where you're not constantly reminded of all the bad things and can think a little more clearly. I think I would die if I had to live in the American South again. Everything there reminds me, the smell of the air, the nature of the weather, the trees and vines, the architecture, the way people talk, the music they play in businesses, everything. It's horrible, and just completely overwhelming. And there's definitely a level of peace I can feel in London which I can't feel even in the northern United States. London is just so wonderfully foreign. There are so, so many fewer triggers here. And I'm a little (OK, maybe a lot) obsessed with the accents here. [​IMG]

    So moving won't solve all your problems, but I believe it really can help.
    Hashi, intothelight and BloomInWinter like this.
  6. BloomInWinter

    BloomInWinter Learning to live single and free
    Premium Member

    *ahem...showing my age here* but as someone who spent MANY years running fruitlessly from my trauma only to have it catch up to me once I stopped...if I could do it all again, I'd have faced this down in my 20's where I was. Because once it does catch up with ALL catches up with you at once.

    In 12 Step programs, we call moving away from problems the 'geographical Cure'...and to be sure, that whole 'learning to be' in a new place, new culture, etc. is a great diversion from our problems.'s the thing that I didn't get until now. I take my coping/survival/avoidance skills (or lack thereof) with me. Unless and until those get/got fixed, I kept facing/creating new traumas and the coping skills would be just as ineffective as they always were.

    With the caveat that it's ok to do whatever works best to make us safest...and that safety and moving out of unsafe conditions is the beginning of recovery and absolutely vital to making hope's also ok to stay if it is safe to do so.

    I'm not running anymore. My kids deserve to see their Mom face down her problems where they are, learn to make my new skills work with the existing problems in my life...and finally do the major BEAT DOWN of these 'adult child' life skills that once saved me, but now are a huge liability in my life.

    It's rare that Darkness and I are not in complete agreement. ((((((((Darkness))))))))))...and the 20 and 30 yr. old me would have answered exactly as she has. The 40 + yr. old me who is now dealing with the wreckage of those unhealed traumas...AND trying to be a Mommy at the same time...wishes the 40 yr. old me had told me this.

    Then again, I wouldn't have listened, heh.
    Muzikluvr and windwoman like this.
  7. hope918

    hope918 New Member

    Hi, I know that this mighte not be helpful but I have been facing PTSD on my own for four years and I'm only 19 about to turn 20. I have come a long way from where I was, but I feel I have come as far as I can without being able to be away from as many triggers to worry about.

    I feel I'm as over from it as I can be. When ever I'm on vacation or far away from home which is very close to where I was raped by a current "friend" while in high school. This happening shortly after my father passing away didn't help that I was already suppressing dealing with that.

    This of course put everything over the edge it pretty much felt like my life was shut down and I was going through the motions and watching my life go by. I'm currently in college, I dreamed of going to an out of state school but ended up sticking close to home even tho I didn't want to at the time. I only chose to stay this close for cost reasons. I feel way happier vs how I felt living at home. But I still feel too many triggers are too close.

    I have faced the trama I feel, but I can't feel I should suffer my whole life feeling unable to have a normal relationship with anyone including friends and family. I fear making the situation worse by bring it to peoples attention, which if I felt move on from should be fine. But if someone were to ask me about the situation I would probably go into a Anxiety panic mode. I feel the only way I have felt as happy as I used to be is when I have been away from where I live currently.

    I'm not wanting to run from my problems but I don't see how I can grow to live a fulfilling life otherwise. This friend told every one that we were dating and ext., it was bullying/abusive emotionally not physically. I also feel I can't get professional help or talk to friends since I isolated my self for a while that my friends I had at the time I either to talk to, I'm not close to, or were friends with whom I fell victim to.

    So I really feel I can't trust nor want to drag the worry of my family since they would just want me to see a dr, which I had already did about grieving which I felt only made it worse. I am able to see how far I've come but feel, I will forever be limited from my past if I don't move.

    The situation become too intertwined with my friends that had been my friend a shorter amount of time. I have moved around alot between schools any whey when I was younger, which didn't really help not having a support system. I now living on my own find it hard to see why I should try to rebuild what seems like a waste of my life. I'm not saying that I'm Depressed I'm just trying to be realistic. I can only go through so many negative experiences.

    I have experienced too many experiences for a life time where I'm living now. I feel so happy and in-tune with my true "non repairing life" self when I'm far from "home" I always feel depressed when I'm returning back to reality. I feel I deserved and need to move on from being a victim and just have a clean slate.

    Yes, I would tell close friends and hopefully whom ever I would hopefully marry some day or date. But I fear being question of my sexuality and already have been. Also since roomers travel fast. Tho I never have said I am or said anything that I had felt this to bringing me any happiness. I think that instead of everyone thinking I'm not straight it's probably about half due to lingering roomer. I will admit I was caught off guard considering the timing so mayby I gave off signals?

    But I don't remember most of what happend. I'm pretty sure I had been roofed. I feel that I'm fine with people who are lgbt of course, but I feel very limited in happiness in life if I'm going to be forever haunted by my past.

    I have also had to deal with very serious physical conditions and growing up in a childhood to see a suffering parent dying and a sibling whom was a bullies and also had a few in school's past. I know this is in the past but if I'm not able to freely date anyone I'm attracted to how wouldn't you suffer?

    I have also disconnected from my past friends to the extent and some family that they are practically strangers. Since I felt so stressed that I couldn't handle the pains and pressures of feeling able to do schoolwork and remain able to have to deal with the never ending battle. I know my situation is complicated, I would just like to know if planing to move either far to another us state or even out of country.

    I am very independent since I had to be, so I know I would be fine with that. I'd assume making friend could be hard but if I feel how I do when every I've been away from home I don't even consider that to be a large issue :). When I was that going through such a bad time the only thing that kept me going to be able to complete high school and give up hope on life was that I could escape for and after college.

    I feel looking back I know it wasn't a good idea but was better then considering Suicide or dropping out. I feel I have faced all I can rearing what I have been able to with friends and family, but I don't feel its a health environment for me to be able to live a fulfilling happy life. Since it seems when ever everything is going well I either have flashbacks from triggers which are lot around. I feel that I can and do recover from them vs how I use to be. But I can't see how it's worth fighting to live somewhere I only have negative memories.

    I know a lot of others have it worse then I do, I just am seeking some support, advice, or anything I've never before have felt able to seek help/advise. But since moving is a big chance I felt this what a good choice. I would go seek help if I ever felt suicidal, but due to past experience with grief counseling only making me feel worse. I don't think that's the right way to help me. I had wanted to move somewhere warm, but honestly I feel I would be happier living anywhere else then here. I know that should bad since I grew up here and is very sad but I can't keep moping about the past I would like to have a happy fulfilling life by moving on.

    The out of state places, Cali, Colorado, Arizona, Florida (but only non southern feel parts). For countries, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, Australia, Europe. Pretty much anywhere that is realistic and a decent place to live I just need a clean slate to feel ok and move on fully with life.

    Sorry again if this is too unrelated to your orginal post it has helped me feel hopeful in moving being a good step for me to fully as much as I can move on. Thanks for posting! I also am having problems with becoming close to new friends due to feeling so unsafe (panic anxiety) about the past when asked about friends from high school is very difficult. I feel I'm ok telling my story but I honestly don't think most would understand and become frightened that im some crazy person.

    <Edited by KP the nut>
  8. gizmo

    gizmo Follow a rainbow trail.
    Premium Member


    I stayed in the place I was traumatized for 25 years. It was really bad. The last year I had moved far away. I am not in the place where the people and the triggers are. I am starting over at 57. I wish I had moved years ago. I tried to stick it out and face and deal with things there.

    You said you had good friends here. Are they your support system. Because I think you would miss them.Many people here said good things. I liked what they said about running to vs running away. I ran away. I still am haunted by what happened to me, but it is nice not having to deal withthe crazymaking and the drama. My reputation was destroyed and I used to live in a small town. Here no one knows me. I don't have the drama and I love that about this place. I don't have the triggers that caused so much pain.

    Are you close to your family? Are they understanding and supportive?

    If your family is wonderful it could be a wonderful thing to live closer to them. I moved closer to my daughter and I love it. I have the grandchildren over more and I see them more. My life is alot better off since I moved. But like I said I was running away. Well I hope this helps and doesn't hurt. Take what you like and toss the rest.
  9. AngelaMarie

    AngelaMarie One moment at a time is the best I can do!
    Premium Member

    I moved over 25 times in my life. I even moved to Europe. It helped me for a short period of time when things were new, but when it all settled down I still had the same problems. I can't move anymore now because I am disabled and with little money. It's kind of been a blessing for me because I have to deal with my issues now.

    Every situation is different and whatever you decide I wish you luck.
    Loloma and gizmo like this.
  10. hope918

    hope918 New Member

    Thank you for your responses :), it's really helping me feel less alone. I have recently had my past come back to haunt me now at college... I knew there was a good chance of this since it's close to home. But I'm glad I came to a safe place to talk about it :).

    Thank you gizmo for your response, your situation feels very similar. I did have good close friends but I isolated myself too long as my way of coping at the time. So I don't really have a good support system, my family hasn't been very strong since my father passed away I feel very almost grown apart from them. I know that is somewhat my fault but they have had enough struggles to battle then worry about my problem that can't be changed, as it is my mother has had enough to handle. I don't want to add to her worries. My sisters aren't close to me, so I've learned to be very independent and strong when I need to be.

    I really feel I should just move since my suspicions of triggers were correct in this case of word traveling behind my back and people having an opinion of who they think I am without ever meeting or talking to me... I was originally thinking about doing this seriously after college. But now I feel like how I felt in high school is returning... I am wondering if I should move out of state or if that's far enough? Or country? I honestly don't care where as long as it's safe and I can live happily without this never ending nightmare following me. I know I will still feel some triggers once in a great while, but remaining here I honestly don't think I would be able to remain keeping my sanity. I've been through enough in my life, I would just like a place I don't have to feel on edge all the time. My schoolwork is also becoming severely impacted...

    Thank you for the support/responses, please let me know if you think out of state would be far enough I would like to be able to settle some where new and be able to feel safe and in control for at least 4-6 years would feel like paradise.

    AngelaMarie I feel what your saying I had thought of that when I originally was very seriously considering this, but I feel I've faced as much of it as I'm able to but I can't continue to move on from it if its followed me to college... and if anything this feels 100% worse since I'm choosing to be here vs high school where I did have to remain where I was. What part of Europe did you move to? I know you don't sound like long term it's done much besides at first, but I feel I'd rather try then fail then never try at all. If I was able to feel safe and away from triggers I would be very content with just that, to have a chance to move on with my life.

    Thanks again for you support/feedback/and advice it's been extremely helpful and getting me through my new current situation...
  11. gizmo

    gizmo Follow a rainbow trail.
    Premium Member

    You sure have alot to sort through and face and deal with. Just know wherever you go you will have the memories. It is better to try and make it better for yourself. I wish you the best. The memories are hitting me hard today. I am doing the best I can with the information that I currently have.

    I hope you fnd a good place to start over at. I am glad you are independent and strong. This will come in handy for you. You sound as if you have had it with the backbiting and backstabbing, I hate that my reputation was destroyed by gossipping people.

    Living in a small community isn't good when there is so much gossip and rumors and false accusations. You didn't go into too much detail but it is very triggering to live in that kind of environment, I miss what was familiar about my house. I live in a mobile home park. It has rules and we didn't have to deal with that before.

    The neighbors are good and I have a couple of good friends. I like living so close to my daughter and grandaughters. I will have one of them this weekend and I am looking forward to it.

    I do not know how far away you should move. That is going to be up to you. It doesn't sound like you are close with your family. If you move close to them I wish you the very best. Well don't know if this helped or not. I hope it helped. Take good care of yourself and be well.
    Junebug likes this.
  12. brat17

    brat17 I'm a VIP

    Grace, I havent a good response. There are many good ones posted. Like you, I also want to move away. I feel like it would help. I am not a runner. I am one to face it down. I try to weigh the pro's and cons, and mine is not just the trauma, although that is part of it.

    If I can sell my house, I would not want to buy in this depressing area. I also have SAD and this is the gloomiest part of the country. Professionally, I only want part time work, and there is none here. The trauma is here and since I have isolated myself, I have limited contact with friends. Also, the people that I have been closest with all have left because of this being the crappiest area. Its a great place to raise children. Other than that-not much to offer. Honestly, its a very safe place, except for the police dept. They are abusive and corrupt. I use to be able to walk at night with no fear.
  13. Lionheart777

    Lionheart777 Healing Warrior
    Premium Member

    Hi Grace,

    Last year, I moved from an apartment complex in a city of over 1/4 million people to a house in a town of about 30,000 and It has made a world of difference to me because it has reduced my stress levels. Part of this is due to the smaller population, but it is also due to having a "clean slate."

    I am usually the first one to state that there is no geographical cure for most problems, but it can be a big help to relocate if you choose the right environment for yourself. (I am fortunate enough to enjoy a big yard and patio deck where I can have some privacy/quiet time, as well as a place to hang out with family and friends).:tup:

    I adopted a kitten too, which is something I could not have in the apartment complex. Also, about a month or so before we moved away, a man was shot across the street from our apt. in a drug deal gone wrong.:confused:
    Who needs that going on right next door? Certainly not me!!!! :whistling:

    Anyway, I think it can be helpful to have a peaceful living environment, esp. one that is not constantly triggering us, but to get "back to ourselves" can be done just about anywhere we are at the time and it isn't dependent on where we live, (imho).:)

    Hope this is somehow helpful for you,
    best of luck,
    Junebug and KP the nut like this.
  14. jibber

    jibber Member

    Moving is kind of my coping mechanism. Even before the PTSD, starting over was my safety blanket. At 19 I had ended my first serious relationship and dropped out of university and had no idea what I was doing with my life, so I moved to new zealand for 8 months, then went traveling in SE asia. When I returned I went back to school, did a 2 year diploma, then got freaked out because I was entering into a dying industry with no jobs and ended up moving to Turkey. After nearly two years there I went travelling around the middle east, and that's where I was attacked. I thought I was completely fine at first. I even started a relationship with a guy in Israel and planned to move there to live with him. When that ended I was a wreck, so I moved back with my parents for a month to sort things out. Even then my PTSD symptoms had not really started.

    A very good friend of mine was moving to another province, and asked if I wanted to come with her, I said yes and started all over again in the city I'm living in now. Days after we moved into our house my PSTD symptoms started in full. Those first two months were horrible. But, slowly, I started to be able to function again. I told my roommate what I was experiencing, and that helped me to get out of bed regularly. Once that happened, I found a job and started to build my life back up. Then I started at university, and was lucky enough to meet a really great group of people. I now have a fairly large group of friends. I have a few friends that feel like family. I like my job, I love what I'm studying, and I feel happy that I've really built a life for myself here and that I feel like it's my home. Of course I still struggle and have weeks on end where I can't get out of bed, but for me, every time I've started over, it's been a really positive experience where I've grown a huge amount.

    Having said that, it is not easy. For me, it kind of is because I've developed a routine for starting over. I moved around A LOT as a kid, and so from a very early age I got into the habit of meeting people, making new friends, getting into a routine with new activities. I'm 25 and I've completely started over in a new place nine times now (most of those were moving to a different continent), and aside from the most recent move, I didn't have any real emotional baggage to take with me (not compared to now anyways). I don't know if I'm explaining this at all, but I think what I'm trying to say is that starting new is just a skill that you can learn like anything else. I've had a lot of practice, so I think it's relatively easy for me. But, even aside from the PTSD, this has been the hardest move for me because it's the first time that I've truly settled down somewhere. I'm going to university and starting on an actual long-term career path (something that always terrified me before). I've got more ties here and I've set down more roots here than I ever have, so for me, this move was not about running, it was about finally facing my fears of committing to something and actually seeing how something turns out rather than keeping the option open to bail at the first sign of trouble.

    Like kers said, you have to look at what you're running away from, and look at what you're running to. I found that starting over here allowed me to actually feel emotions from my attack. It wasn't until I was here that I started feeling, and while that lead to feeling my PTSD, I feel fairly certain that if I had kept on suppressing it like I had been doing, it would be even worse than it is. Starting over also allowed me to find focus again on what I really want. I actually have a career plan now! It is also fairly liberating to be able to get away from what people knew of you before hand. Very, very few people here know of my attack, and only two know that I have PTSD. It allows me to feel like once I get my symptoms fully under control (which I'm hoping is possible), I'll have a life here that isn't connected to my PTSD or my trauma. But, there's no way in hell that I could have done this without the support of my friend that I moved here with. She was one of my closest friends, and recognized right away, before I even did, that something was seriously wrong. I hope you have someone to support you now, and that you can stay in touch if you decide to move.
  15. Jen93

    Jen93 I'm a VIP

    For me, I don't think that moving away really solved my problems, but I think it made it better than if I had stayed where I was. When I was twelve, I moved to England. You can imagine how mad I was having to leave my friends- not good. Anyway I was upset, negative, a loner in England. My trauma happened there, and I moved back to Canada at 14 and made friends here. I had three wonderful years of ignorance- trauma was forgotten, I felt that I was missing something, I felt numb.

    When I discovered my trauma at 17, I was relieved. Everyone here is so supportive, and I don't doubt for a second that if I had still been in England and the school I was traumatized in- let's just say that EVERYONE would be absolutely disgusted. I can hear them now, "It happened 5 years ago. Get over it. We witnessed the same thing, why aren't we freaking out? You're being dramatic. It's just an excuse to get out of the class. She's just looking for attention. Just be more positive. Stop complaining. Yeah, we were there, we don't need you to tell us what happened over and over again. Why are you getting so upset over what we did or said now? We never did that." There's probably more they would say, but that's all I can think of right now.

    Even now, just my parents talking of going back there for a trip is terrifying. It's the thought of seeing their faces or hearing their voice- just walking down the street, or if I were eating at a restaurant and one of the people who I knew just happened to be eating there- I wouldn't be able to cope.

    It didn't solve all my problems to move away, but knowing with confidence that in all likelihood I will never see them again, and I'm now with friends who care and I'm more myself than I was then- that's helped me a lot. If you're moving just to run away from your problems, that's not really a good thing. If you have a stable job, good family and friends nearby who can help you if you happen to meet your abusers- they can truly do wonders for grounding- speaking in a calm voice telling you you're okay, holding your hand, etc. then it's probably best to utilize the support rather than move to run away from your abuser, and lose the support you already have.
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