Am I really a PW? I am only doing what wives and mothers back home are doing? If I am not “out there” working, I’m not really worthy to be called a PW. I’m a failure if I can’t learn the language well. A “real” PW wouldn’t be crying over bugs in the rice, mildew in my shoes, and having to cut my own hair.
These are distortions we have all heard in our heads from time to time. They are usually triggered by a bad day or a long series of bad days. They are the ones that bubble up from some ache deep inside and are blown all out of proportion the longer we think about them. They are a slippery slope to depression.
Some of these were the very reason Peter’s Wife was first started. Twenty years ago PWs coming from nearby countries to renew their visas would stop by and visit or stay with us for a few days. The husbands would visit with my husband in the living room. They would excitedly tell of all the wonderful results for their work. Their wives, on the other hand, would be with me in the kitchen crying because they hadn’t been able to learn the language, home schooling was not going well and the ants were taking over their kitchen. Peter’s Wife began as a way to connect these women with others in similar situations. It helps so much to know we are not alone.