Missionary conversations: part 2
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