Archive

Posts Tagged ‘debriefing’

Missionary conversations: part 5

February 11, 2010 Leave a comment

Final post on a discussion with missionaries that have returned from the mission field and are experiencing Re-entry Grief

J: What they [home community] quite likely recognize is loss of role, but not the loss of relationships [in host country]. Changed relationships in the home country may be experienced with family members, the community or within the mission organization, but are not acknowledged.

H: How they [family] see me? I have no idea but . . . I don’t think any differently to how they used to think. . . . You know families hold memories more than reality, I think.

A: it may be . . . “what a relief that you’re back and you’ll feel relieved and you know, this is your home and your family’s here you know, thank goodness everything’s rosy for you now.” So I think there’s probably not . . . quite understanding of that loss.

G: It’s [re-entry] just something that everybody goes through so they [the mission community] just expect you to adjust I think. . . . Yeah, I think in a way they kind of expected you to go through those feelings, … but, it wasn’t as if anybody offered to even listen.

G: I feel put up on a pedestal. . . . And so when people ask how are you going, they’re already thinking in a mind set that says you’re doing all right because you’re missionaries (laughter).

B: No, for many of them, like when you think about grief, . . . they think that meant loss of a person. . . . I don’t think they’ve really got an understanding of how, how the change in situation can cause grief or loss.

Finally, the way the re-entering missionary grieves and their expression of grief is not supported by their community.

N: There are very few people to express it [grief] to. . . . The missionary society tended to professionalize it.

From “Back Home: a qualitative study exploring re-entering cross-cultural missionary aid workers’ loss and grief” Published in Omega 59:1 2008-2009

Missionary conversations: part 4

February 9, 2010 Leave a comment

photo by gerard laurenceau

Some common grief phenomena experienced by missionaries upon re-entry to their home country

S: . . . so I guess the sense of loss is kind of different to say when we leave Australia. When we left Australia . . . to go overseas because we knew that we would see basically everybody again when got back, but leaving [host country] to come back home, then (pause) really it’s a probably won’t see you again sort of goodbye, . . . I guess that sense of loss in some sense is more acute for me.

J: I heard one other missionary on home leave . . . who felt like a dried up raisin. . . . And I thought that was very, very good—lost juice. You were all there but just dried up.

C: . . . there’s, there’s a real sense of not really belonging, whereas in the place where we worked we had very close friends of many years.

H: . . . you know I get really, excuse the French, but I get pissed off that people are so stupid here [in Australia] and so short-sighted.

A: I think…buying a house and setting up a house sometimes has been a bit overwhelming in seeking to make the right choice

N: [I have] basic struggles with nuts and bolts of getting around and to help the children settle better.

F: . . . just sitting on the verandah and ignoring all the mess inside . . . and the feeling that we were home . . . and the feeling of well-being that that gave me.

From “Back Home: a qualitative study exploring re-entering cross-cultural missionary aid workers’ loss and grief” Published in Omega 59:1 2008-2009

Missionary conversations: part 2

January 31, 2010 Leave a comment

More conversations with missionaries regarding the losses incurred on their return to their home country.

Vicious loss cycles—Vicious loss cycles occurred when the primary re-entry losses led to secondary losses which aggravated the primary losses and were associated with a breakdown of balance in the participants’ lives.

N: . . . as we focus on the situation of settling back in we have countless decisions to make in a relatively short period of time. . . so that in itself is very wearing and means that isolation and lack . . . of people to confide in makes all those decisions more difficult.

F: And it [illness on re-entry] was partly due to ongoing stresses when we came home added to all the other things, which I really haven’t had time to process.

For N, multiple re-entry losses, including lack of support, led to multiple decisions with loss of energy which aggravated the initial losses and resulted in an imbalance between the demands and his ability to respond. For F, multiple re-entry losses led to lack of balance in her time to process these losses which had negative physical, mental and spiritual changes which then led to further loss.

From “Back Home: a qualitative study exploring re-entering cross-cultural missionary aid workers’ loss and grief” Published in Omega 59:1 2008-2009

Missionary conversations: part 1

January 28, 2010 Leave a comment

Listen to some missionaries talk about social losses they experienced when they returned to their home country for home assignment (furlough)

N: I found very much coming back to Australia there, there really isn’t the social network that we fit into at all … We’re in transition from being people who were supported within the church organization and in a very special way and now have ceased our official and formal arrangement with our, our sending organization, there really are very big gaps in the group of people that we have around us, the group of people that we knew for instance. We have people that were very much our friends many years ago and for a whole range of reasons are, are much more distant. . . . There’s an overwhelming sense of isolation.

T: They [the community] just think it was a great experience and a great adventure. So, yeah I find that a bit hard, it’s sometimes quite hard to explain it to people. . . . ’Cos they just don’t quite get it and you don’t want . . . to put people down and make them feel silly for how they perceive it, so . . . they’re right, in that I guess it was a great experience and adventure, but that wasn’t all that it was.

B: The people who we were relating to are now someone different, who thinks differently, and operates differently and . . . and that’s taken a bit of getting used to.

G: . . . it’s [role change] going to take a while longer to work out, you know; whether they’ll [the organization] (pause) . . . feel like I can be of any use for anything. I don’t know.

From “Back Home: a qualitative study exploring re-entering cross-cultural missionary aid workers’ loss and grief” Published in Omega 59:1 2008-2009

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 358 other followers