Thank you reading this letter. After reading your replies to my previous letters, my problems became easier to deal with, and I can't thank you enough for all the help you provided. You're great!
As months passed since I last wrote to you, my O.C.D. symptoms diminished, and I feel ever closer to being cured. My obsession with cleanliness disappeared, as well as my fears of religion, which allowed me to freely assume that I am agnostic. My interest in a male partner vanished completely, and I lost all interest in males. I don't know whether it was a phase, or my O.C.D., though it matters little. To cut a long story short, things are much better now, thanks to your help.
But unfortunately, they are not perfect. As my O.C.D. symptoms became less and less frequent, my colleagues started to mock me more and more. They are aware of my condition (it became obvious when my condition was worse), but they still laugh at me, as well as my teachers and people on general, and it became impossible to put up with.
It can't say it didn't affect me. I think I grew to become a misanthrope. In the future, I plan to move to another country. Both because I want to and because I feel like I need to turn over a new leaf. And here lies the problem.
I am a nationalist, in the good sense of the word, of course. And while I'd rather see my country flourish, it lies in ruins. The economy is bad, unemployment is rising, and I can't live anymore. Not in here.
But I want to do the best I can in the new country I call home. I want to contribute to society to obtain a new citizenship, and to be able to feel like a nationalist in my new country.
My question is the following: Can I become a nationalist in a new country, in a new place that I'll call home? If so, what do you call that? Is there a specific definition for an immigrant who becomes a nationalist and loves his new-found home?
Thank you for your time.
C-Ratchet (age 20)
* * *
Thank you for telling me about your progress with OCD; I’m glad you’re doing better. Remember that, just because the symptoms are getting better, you should stay on top of this to make sure that you don’t regress back to where you were originally.
I am puzzled as to why people would start mocking you more and more as your OCD lessened. What are they mocking you about? It isn’t clear in your letter, but let’s move on to your interest in emigrating to another country.
The first point I must make is that moving is not a solution to escaping people you don’t like, and if you are, indeed, a misanthrope, you will certainly not escape that problem unless you live in a cave or in the wilderness all by yourself. Barring that, you will find that people are people, wherever you may go. Could it be that you are simply more aware of them mocking you because you are not preoccupied with your OCD symptoms and, hence, able to observe others’ behavior more? The question also becomes: are they really mocking you or are you taking offense to some perceived slights on their part? It is difficult for me to say without being more informed of the circumstances.
Let’s say, however, that you simply wish to make a new start. Why another country? Why not just another region of this country? America is quite diverse, and you will find that living in the Midwest is very culturally different from living in Southern California, which is different from living in New England, which is very different from living in Louisiana or Hawaii or Alaska, and so forth. Perhaps you don’t need to go to such an extreme as becoming an expat and could find happiness by discovering a region of the country you aver to love so well that is more suited to your sensibilities.
Barring all that, and asserting that all Americans are inconsiderate ass-wipes who will mock you wherever you go and there is no region of the country where you can escape such abuse, let’s talk emigration.
Is it possible to become a patriot and nationalist of your new country? Certainly! People immigrating to America have done so for centuries, and it works in reverse, too. Depending on which country you go to, you will have to explore their legal processes in becoming a citizen. Also, don’t forget the possibility of holding a dual citizenship in your old and new countries. I would very much recommend this, because you can never know what might happen, and it would be wise to leave your options open and be able to return to the U.S. should the need arise.
Keep in mind the culture shock effect, too. Depending on your tolerance for such, and your skills in learning languages, this will determine whether you might prefer moving to an Anglo-type country like Canada or Australia versus something more extreme, like the Czech Republic or Botswana. Such a drastic move takes a lot of preparation. Research the laws and customs of the country you plan to move to and you will adapt better.
Papabear recommends, still, that before you take such a drastic leap in your life you should reconsider and explore your options right here in the U.S. I am reminded of a dear friend of mine who became very disgruntled with the United States and decided to move to Norway with her husband. While some things were better (she broke an ankle slipping on the ice—because Norway is an ice rink 12 months a year—and it was quickly repaired by the efficient medical system there at no expense to her, thank you very much), but other things were much worse. She found that she and her husband were treated very poorly by some people there and that the living expenses were so high that they could barely get by, so it didn’t work out very well. She's now living in Arizona.
While moving to a new area can, indeed, be a fresh start, do so for the right reasons. Yogi and I moved from Michigan to California to be closer to our parents, because the economy was better, because the weather is MUCH better, and because the community here in the Coachella Valley is accepting of gay couples. Those are good reasons. Other good reasons would be to leave because you are seeking political asylum or you are being oppressed for your religion, which is why so many came to this country. In other words, because people are trying to kill or imprison you, which I don’t think is happening in your case :-P
A bad reason is to move away because you are trying to run away from your problems that lie within. That is, problems that may stem from you more than the environment you are in. If people are taunting you, perhaps instead of running away you should stick up for yourself and prove your mockers that they are wrong. If they are attacking you because of a physical or psychological handicap, for example, you may have reason to consult an attorney and take legal action. You are 20 years old; old enough to assert yourself and tell people like that to (pardon my French) fuck off.
If what upsets you is the current economic and political situation in the United States, maybe instead of running away from it you could become part of the solution by becoming politically active in your community and trying to help your country. That’s something patriots do, doncha know. When Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and the other Founding Fathers got pissed about the situation in the Colonies, they combined the two strategies above, first telling King George, "To be sure, Your Highness, the flaccid organ betwixt your noble legs should thus fit cozily within your anal region," and then, instead of leaving, they carried political activism to extremes.
You ask what do you call someone who moves to another country and adopts that place as his or her home. You can call that person a nationalist or patriot, just as you would here in America. Or you could call that person someone who is trying to hide from life. Which are you?
Think about it.
12/9/2013 06:46:55 pm
Thank you for answering my letter, Papabear!
12/10/2013 01:50:40 am
Hmm, okay, good example of the importance of details in a letter. Many people from Europe have, of course, immigrated to the United States, or to another Anglo country like England, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, etc., for reasons like those you state. Again, as I said, it's a good idea to research the country you are planning to move to. You already have a good command of English, so no problems there. Some countries have tougher immigration laws than others, so that might influence your decision. Finally, to restate, you can certainly become very patriotic and loyal to your adoptive home. Let me know how it goes!
12/10/2013 04:27:44 pm
You're right, I should have given you more details in the letter I sent. 'Mea culpa'. But your advice was very useful and enjoyable to read nonetheless. So once again, thank you.
12/23/2013 08:44:18 am
I'm really disappointed by the Amero-centric attitude in your advice column, Papa Bear. In many letters you automatically assume the writer lives in the USA, or you make reference to American laws and such in your answers.
12/23/2013 08:51:20 am
Well, Jon, if the writer does not specify his or her country of origin, I can only guess, and the majority of those writing are in the U.S. Also, I am familiar with U.S. law, not laws in European countries. I can only do what I can. When someone points out something to the contrary, then I am happy to re-address the issue and correct anything that needs correcting. Can you honestly blame me for having an American perspective when I am an American? Honestly.
12/23/2013 11:24:33 am
Honestly, yes. Honestly. Furries are worldwide, the Internet is worldwide, over 95% of the world's population is outside the US. If the writer doesn't specify their location, you could at least mention something like "I don't know if you're in the USA, but" if the writer doesn't specify that, and go ahead and give your USA-based advice.
12/23/2013 01:13:31 pm
@Jon: Yes, furries are worldwide, but 95% are not outside the US. Most are in the US, followed by Europe. It would also be rather tedious to preface my remarks with a comment about location. However, there is an easier way to do this, and that would be to add a field to the form people submit when writing to me. Thanks for the idea, and Happy Holidays.
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