Posted by / Category Politics /

I am not drowning! Promise! Copyright by Muriel Jacques

Some things cross borders. They simply never change. Denial falls into such a category. It transcends nationalities, genders and social positions. Come on, let’s admit it: we are all in denial in some form or shape. Right now, the French government is in complete denial when they say that there is no such thing as a tax exile issue in my home country. They should have a look at the Eurostar arrival terminal to understand what is going on. All French who qualify for a British passport are actually getting it.
So, tell me, why is it so easy to see what is wrong with someone else and not what is wrong with yourself? I don’t get it. I remember the mum of an anorexic daughter. She hadn’t realised that the girl was throwing up on purpose at every possible opportunity and kept saying that her daughter had a sensitive stomach. When some clinically depressed members of my family tell me that I look burnt-out, I feel like yelling at them that they should sort out their own issues before taking care of mine. But I don’t.  What is the point of getting angry anyway? If they don’t want to face their own demons, why should I spend some time and energy trying to enlighten them when, clearly, they don’t want to know. It would be cruel, wouldn’t it? And they wouldn’t listen -I have tried to have a chat with the mum in question and she brushed off my concerns, so there you go.
That said, if there were such a thing as a denial’s barometer, I believe that France would top up the charts. Being patronised by my French friends remains quite an experience. I keep being asked when I am coming back. Because clearly, according to them, life outside of France can not be bearable. My roots are French, are they not? Someone will also have to explain to me why people have this obsession of roots and origins. Don’t get me wrong, it is nice to know where you are coming from, but I live in the present. Onwards and upwards, as they say. I had a stark reminder of this the other day when I bumped, on the street, into the guy who was sitting next to me at my Engineering university. We chatted a bit and he explained that he was only in London for a year. It is some sort of rite of passage in the French establishment, in order to be able to say that you have worked abroad. He looked horrified when I told him that I was living here for good. I have given him my business card but he won’t call back, I am sure. How can I leave France for good! Maybe he thought I was hitting on him (NOT the case).
Anyway, don’t you think that we just need denial to make our life easier? Right now, I am having a sizeable piece of brownie. I deserve it, I went to bikram. Am I in denial too?

Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London
  • Denial? I don’t understand – there is nothing to deny, surely….

    • Absolutely nothing. All clear on my side too!

  • I’ve finally learned that one cannot change the world – it just doesn’t want to know. I expect we are all in denial about something. I’m sure I am, but I can’t remember what for the moment. Oh the joys of having a terrible memory. 🙂

    I can’t believe that the French govt believes there is no tax exile problem. The newspapers are full of it – celebrities and sports people buggering off out of France to go and live in Belgium or Switzerland or, heaven forbid, the UK.

    • They are in denial. I read an article about Fleur Pellerin saying that there is no such thing as tax exile issues in France. That said, France has always had a thing for pushing some people out of their country: Protestants, Huguenots, Rich people…I hadn’t realised until recently how big the French diaspora was!

  • What a polar opposite to the Filipino perspective on living abroad. Those of us who have managed to carve a decent, permanent life outside of the 7,000+ Philippine islands are viewed as, and indeed are, quite privileged, given the economic hardship back home.

    But there is an amazing similarity to the viewpoint that Catholics take toward those who have “left the fold,” however. There is no church outside of the Catholic Church, according to practitioners of that faith. Everyone else is sheep gone astray.

    • That’s a good point. France is also, to an extend, a Catholic country. If you go, well, you have betrayed your country. I suppose that some things never change.
      I was wondering how it felt to go back to your home country if everybody there sees you as privileged…Must be quite something!