Someone Explain To Me How To Survive A Small Town

I just recently got married to a wonderful man and relocated to a small town where he grew up.  I am from a big city and have always enjoyed the diversity of the city.  I have a nice house and stability.  I have been extremely depressed here lately because of the atmosphere of this small *** town.  My husband and I were the talk of the time when I first moved here.  Seems like everyone knew so much about us without any interaction.  Apparantly, the god fearing folk were upset that we moved in together before we got married.  When I walk on the streets it is almost a ghost town and there is virturally no traffic.  Last night we went to an early dinner and no one was in the restaurant.  The bartender was on a emergeny run so I could not order a drink.  The only two stores here are two dollar stores. I took a hip-hop class and the instructor thought it was a gossip session.   I have 2 college degrees and cannot find a job even as a cashier. Customer service here is non existant and I oftten go into stores and find noone around.   I can go to the dollar store and find out all the gossip of the town in a matter of minutes.  Seems like thinking outside the box is a hard concept here.  Went to the library to use the computer and could only stay on for 30 minutes.  Even though all computers were open I was told the policy for extended time is for me to ask ahead of time and I could not get back on the computer.   Got into a tiff with the lady at the licence bureau because she was adjusting my hair for the photo ( who does that?)  All businesses shut down at 8pm.  There is no place to go for salsa or country dancing.  TEll ME what do these people do?? 

As you can hear, I am having a tough time coping with this town.  I really jumped the gun when I thought things here would be easy.  Anyone have any words of advice or encouragement.  I seemed to be angry at the lack of open mindness and if it were not for the internet, I would feel completely lost. 

Thanks for letting me vent

cindy0215 cindy0215
120 Responses Apr 10, 2010

A lot of small towns, small towns out in Kansas or Missouri are like that too. If you are an outsider, you are not OK. People are wary of you. They want to know all about you but don't want to interact. They'll stare at you but won't talk to you. You'll see whispering, pointing, overhearing comments about you. You may even get straight verbal rudeness right to your face, but you'll have a very hard time making even one friend. The further away from a big town or city, the further away from a major highway (towns on a major highway are a lot more used to seeing different people passing through), the more off the beaten path, the worse it's gonna be. Seeing a stranger come onto thier turf is not something they're easy with. If you're not a born and raised local, you're not gonna be one of them. If you're just straight coming into their town, not one person there knowing you at all, you're really asking for trouble. Even if you have a friend or family member there but you're not from there, you still won't fit in. The less known you are by the locals, the worse. If you're not from a small town, you'll end up being happier staying within the vicinity of a city.


Iam in the same boat I am trying to sell my house it's tough little rural areas have been dying for 50 years. If you have a chance to sell get out is fast as you can. I hate the bs drama people judge they condemned they don't forgive. Little towns are hell.

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i know how you feel. I moved to a town where my partner is from.
we just celebrated our 30 year anniversary. She and I don't have any friends down here. My name is Terry I am in recovery from alcohol and drugs and was kicked out of 2 clubs for alcohol and other substance abuse once for a year. The other one for the as long as i live.

Move back to the city if you can. It will never get better. I have been trapped in a small town for 22 years and still hate it and feel like I am dying a death every day I continue to live here!

Instead on focusing on the negatives and things beyond your control, you could:
1) focus on your hobbies such as gardening, painting etc.
2) start a small business, something the village needs such as good coffee and wifi, a place to chill.
3) Get to know the towns history.
4) have and raise children.
5) volunteer to teach a certain skill at the local school or church.
6) invite the locals over for coffee and join in on the gossip. But dont be a gossip monger yourself, be a gossip archive.

There are many blessings that a small town can offer. Keep an upbeat attitidue, be socially outgoing. You might surprise yourself ;-)

1. Did that before small town and do it now, can't focus on hobbies all the time and they don't talk back

2. Don't have the money or time work take up time

3. Did that over 2 years so because it is a small town not much history

4. Wife can't not have children and to expensive to adopt. We looked at trouble kids but again with my job can't really do that. We keep looking at this option but not working

5. Volunteer at local museum but friendships stop there.

Here is the main problem. I have done it and people do not show up. Offer to meet at my home or a coffee shop and nothing. When I mean nothing I mean like a few and they don't stay for long.
In my small town I am the interloper. The main reason is because I am not members of the/a church
Do not have small kids. If I am not one of these 2 groups I do not fit in. Do not get me wrong everybody is polite and cordial just it ends there. We have tried everything suggested on this site or others and nothing. Now I am sure, maybe on the other side of town there might be a neighbor I would get along with but not my current location.
I understand being friends with people that have small children like you, they have similar experiences and can have play dates etc
The religious ones('again this does not apply to all just ones I have encountered) I do not want to be a fake friend with them.'if I were to join the church would never be friend them as they will leave you as soon as you leave the church. Such a fake friend.

And that brings me back to small town. Do not have similar interest like church, guns, children so no friends.
I thank everyone offering suggestions, makes me feel like I have friends a bit and give me something to do.

I think the best way to cope with this situation is just to be ourself. They have their own mindset and there's no way we can change them and we can't let them make us feel uncomfortable or depressed. I think if we don't give any response on their behaviour, they can't do anything to us.

lol you can`t move to a small town without being bored as hell if you`re from somewhere where the population is actually over 30 000+

Leave. You`ll never adjust. People live and die there, or move somewhere like Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver etc. by the time they graduate high school and never look back.

I hear exactly what you are saying... And I was born and raised in a small prairie town. It was no different for me even though our family has been there for many generations. I thought moving to Vancouver would set me on a path with broad minded people and give a chance to be my honest self. Boy was I wrong. A big city is no different than a tiny town and coffee cliques are just as cruel in an urban setting. The truth is that whatever you are looking for must be your own creation. It sounds impossible but if you are happy doing what you need to do others will start flocking to you. Stay strong you are not alone.

Hi I live in a small town here in NB Canada called Tracadie. It's mostly French speaking. I moved here with my husband. The people here really hate English speaking people and the last time I had a job here I was a manager at a video store. It's closed now.The only reason i got hired there was because the owner was english. It's been three years since I had worked. And its been 15 years since I moved here from Montreal. And I can't wait to finish this house so I can sell it, because it's so depressing here! I cry far to often here! No friends. No work no family. I'm moving to Vancouver. Tracadie is like living HELL. People are so unfriendly and racist. That's why a lot of people like me are leaving this **** hole. The Acadians who live here are filled with hatred and want to be a separatist society Like Quebec! And I speak french, they just hate my English accent! Thanks for listening I feel somewhat better now that I vented!

Don't even try to change the way they are, you're just going to end up ******* them off. I would just go talk to your husband because there's really nothing else to do. They aren't going to change, if you try to adress the situation by talking to them about it, they are just going to get all defensive. I get annoyed with it too. I guess it's just a whole other way of life for them ( idk why though because I couldn't stand to be like them). Just talk to your husband, hopefully things will work out. I hope I helped

My best advice to you is get out if you can. Have lived as a stranger in a small southern town for past 25 years. Born and raised in Jersey City, N.J., worked in NYC for years before marrying. Have lived in this southern state for 40 years, but this town is beyond belief. Trust me when I tell you it will not change for the better. Small town, small minds. They reject change & diversity, "TELL ME, what do these people do??" THEY LIVE TO GOSSIP about others. It's truly unbelievable, GET OUT IF YOU CAN.

Yes get out. I'm going on 8 years. I'm from the west and the Honeymoon of the quaintness was over in about 18 months when I realized people in small towns will never let you in and they are very hypocritical. It's a loosing battle and you will just get more depressed. The idea of the movies showing these quiet towns with porch swings is just that a movie and this is like being in Groundhog Day. Boring and they will never change.

P.S.S. and does my HUSBAND GIVE A F#*K HOW I FEEL? *** NO! *** He's usually at the pub getting drunk and has turned into "Luke" from "The Thorn Birds"!

Hi cindy
I've been reading this and some of the other responses and I too am in the same position. I live in a small town in New Zealand, although when I say small I'm talking about 400 people. I've been here over ten years and I have 1 friend. I've known most of the other women my age for ten years, our kids all went through play groups together, but they have never let me into their clique. What frustrates me most is that I've seen other new people come to town and they have been included immediately. What it comes down to here is this: beer and wine, rugby, farming, not working and the mine (biggest source of jobs here) and the biggest thing is if you've been born and raised here, or married into one of those families. Heres my problem: I don't binge drink, I hardly drink at all, my son doesn't play rugby he's a hiphop dancer (big no no in this town) I own and manage a poultry farm by myself (husband works in the nearest city) which isn't sheep or cattle so doesn't count, I have worked full time since being here, originally as an Registered Nurse, and my husband and I both come from kilometres away. picking up the kids from school is awful, I chat to a lot of the parents who then go off with all the others for coffee without inviting me, and when I do ask to come I sound pathetic and sad. I also don't have time to have coffee and finish at 3am completely drunk. I've lived here for ten years and nothing has changed. I'd just like to be invited out for a coffee with a group of people and not be so damn lonely!!!

I am also in small town Nz. If it makes you feel any better, I am stuck in Gore! I hate it here so much. It has been 1.5 years now and I still have no real friends or anything to do. My youngest is at kindy now so I sit day after day surfing the internet. II have two degrees that are useless here and I can't even get checkout work that fits with school times. I really didn't want to move here but my husband didn't care what I said and quit his job so we had no choice but to go. I hate that I was such a doormat and let my husband bully me into shifting. I knew that I hated this town as we lived here after uni and moved because it was unfriendly and boring as hell. Did I mention the winter that lasts for about 8 months of the year? I want to go home to my family. In an ideal world, the kids and I would go home and start again but in reality my husband wouldn't let me take them and it would be devastating for them. I feel like I have a 14 year jail sentence.

For what is worth, it is just not a thing of small towns, I've lived in Berlin , and people behave just like your little villagers, of course the size of the city allows you to just swap to some other group for some time, but still at the end it is the same stupid isolation if you don't belong to their uptight/hipster group/culture (of course Germany is a whole different story, it is basically a big villlage (mentality) all over). Still better than the place i am now, also not small (about 600.000 people), but absolutely nothing to do, work, fun, culture... if there is something more depressing than a small town is a big small town surrounded by hundreds of miles of woods and desert...

Small towns are horrible. I grew up in a big city and stupidly followed my husband to a tiny town in Alberta. A few years later we moved to another small town in BC. Then we moved to a large city. After we split up, I moved to yet another small town in BC -- you'd think I'd learn but I was running from an abusive man.

I have had my life threatened, been attacked socially, and at every level been disrespected -- nobody will hire me, because the old timers hire each other's family members.

If you ask me, maybe there is too much inbreeding in small towns....bush hogs, all !

Honestly, if I were you, I would leave. It will not get any better. Ever. A part of you will die if you stay, and the longer you stay, the deader your spirit will be. I am 60.... good luck.

Hi there

I see this posts is more than 4years old.

Woah! Hehe!

How has your "small town" lives been so far?

I am form South Africa and here the small towns have even less.

I moved from one of the biggest cities in SA to a small town 140km from hometown.

I am almost 1 year here and managed to find my place and to fit in.

I also could not find a job and the other ladies disliked me, the men had hormone problems, people were unfriendly etc.

I worked my butt off to change the situation so that it works for me.
I started to be friendly even when the others treat me differently. I started to make my own income through the cut throat property business with my dad. I joined the gym and made friends there.

Now there are people that treats me differently because they judge me differently and know I am kind and loyal person.

Now I don't have to walk from shop to shop to ask for a job, because we struggle, but survives on the business.

YES I still miss the city and always will. That is were I grew up and will always be proud of that.

I guess you just have to be thankful for what you have and work with what you have.

If I could move back to the city, trust me I would, but my fiancee is a medical doctor and wants to open a practice in the small town. He hates the city and the traffic. I love him and have to give up on my happiness and learn to be happy in another way. That is what you do when you love, you compensate.

He respects that I want to start a local personal training business, that when I want I can go and visit the city with my friends and family there.

I am just grateful because it could have been worse.

Because of my mind change I feel a lot less depressed, made friends, thankful for every opportunity in the property business and will be soon the owner of a smart small town business and also the wife of a decent, loyal and kind man who saves lives.

Hope you girls are surviving!

love xox

Wow! This is so my life...6 years ago i got married to my husband which again was from a small town & i moved there. I went from a city with over half a million ppl to a small town of 6000 in arkansas. Its been 6 years & im still literaly going insane and feeling like im loosing my quality of life! What everyone has said is so true! The town is so run down & trashy! The houses and buildings are literally falling down. The people here have no motivation to better themselves. Half of them live off the government. When u go out in public everyone is in their pjs ratty hair & camo. Theres like a mcds & somic and thats it! Other than a few roach infested "cafes". Even walmart is a 30 min drive! And to any decent stores like target-2 hours. What everyone said about feeling like a outsider is SO true! They all act like im weird. I cant find a job making even half what i made back home. Their idea of fun is sittin outside in the yard gossiping and eating junk or "ridin around town" its got to where my husband & i fight all the time over it and of course hes fine & thinks things are completely normal. I even got sick of it so much i left for a couple months and went back to the city & stayed with fam thinking he would move like he always says he will. That didnt happen. I went back thinking maybe i should give it another chance & try to have a different attitude but it hasnt! HELP! I feel like its destroying me as a person but i hate to loose my husband but he wont budge!! I literally feel like its the town from Hell!! I cant understand why anyone would want to live in this dumpy place?!

hi cindy... how r u? i can better understand your pain as we are sailing the same a gal from a big city of India and got my master degree from London and got married to a vry and orthodox town of India, believe me this cultural shock is killing me everyday and i can feel that now i am prone to depression. i have a kid so , some how i keep myself busy bt with each passing day my hope is getting faint to migrate from this fu**in place.. so my suggestion is to convince your partner to move from this place.

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Hello. I feel for everyone on this post. I moved to a small town 4 years ago with this idea and hope that it would be an opportunity for my children to get away from a large city school, have close friends, enjoy and play athletics more, and be happy. Whoa was I wrong. It has been nightmare. I've come to the unfortunate realization that if you weren't born and raised here or are a "relative," you will never fit in. Trust me, I've tried. You are prejudged, even though you've never been given the time of day. They look at you like you have the plague. NEVER say hi or smile. And the whispering...oh the whispering. I want to say to the ignorant people chatting, "I'm sitting right here and I'm a real person with real feelings." I get terrible anxiety when I know there is a school function. The kids at school are cruel. Only the kids whose parents are friends get invited to play or are invited anywhere. And unfortunately they are stuck with the same kids all through school, unlike a bigger school. At least by time middle/high school hits, you get some fresh meat incorporated from different elementary schools. The coaching is horrendous. From the beginning, the coaches pick their favorites and it's their child and their friends' children. Has nothing to do with talent or for the pure fact that they are children and are all playing to learn. Oh and don't try to volunteer to coach or get involved with PTO, they have secret meetings that you never are allowed to know about. It's quite sickening. No outsiders allowed. They don't want anyone trying to rock the boat and change up the control they have in this town. They run the show. How dare I have an opinion. I'm struggling living here. Talk about depression and unhappiness. It's starting to take away from the wife and mother I want to be. It doesn't bother my husband, but he could care less what anyone thinks. He doesn't understand why I'm so affected by people. Maybe it's a man thing?? I wish I was built that way. I just don't understand people.

Hi - I just recently moved back to the small town I grew up in Northern CA. I moved from Los Angeles with my small son because I'm going through a divorce. I thought it would be an easy transition because my family is here, old classmate are here - but I too am dealing with much of what has been written here. What I'm learning is that if I can make it here - I can make it ANYWHERE. Forget that saying for NYC - you can make it in a city because there is so much opportunity, there is so much distraction for good - and for bad. What I just realized after my 5th month of being in the boonies - ok so there are 17K people here, it's not LA, it's not MIAMI and it's not SF. It's the sticks. I digress. I learned that it's up to me to decide my fate. I can be open and I can use this time that lacks excitement, culture, current movies, great restaurants, good friends, nice shopping, concerts, the beach, etc., to discover myself and make great things happen. It is lonely - even with family here. I can't related to my old friends. I feel isolated from the exciting life I was living surrounded by great energy. Now - I have to BE the life I want. Kind of like what Ghandi said - BE the Change you want to see. So - I decided - I'm going to not be bothered anymore that I'm different from most people here who never left our town and have small ideas. I'm going to smile, get a coffee when my son is at school, read magazines that keep me connected to a more exciting world, really focus on developing myself - my hobbies, my rainy day bucket list - I made bread for the first time on my 46th birthday this January. I didn't have much else to do, but I can now cross that off my list and it did make delicious toast! I make myself regularly connect with old friends by phone. I have an idea for a business that I can run in this small town, that will take me out into the world I miss. Who knows if it will be successful, but it is inspiring me to reach out to find old co-workers on LinkedIN who can help with information I know they know - research, connect, dream. All you need is ONE friend - they are out there. I finally found a girl half my age who is simply someone to talk to here outside my family. I'm being open .... and I know my attitude is the most important thing. Oh - and I do drive 1 hour with my son to the closest town with a Target, Trader Joes and Nordstroms. Zappos and Amazon have become VERY important aids to keep things I can't find in my town of Walmart and Kohl's shopping. Anyway - I was so grateful to find all of these comments today. Because it is NOT easy trying to find where you belong in a small town once you've lived in an action packed city. But, I do think it's the perfect opportunity to learn more about yourself, make yourself stronger (Up yours HATERS) and plan getaway Saturdays to the closest cultural centers you can find in a city near you once a month. Hope. Believe. Dig into your own old dreams and see what can happen. <3

I was a GOOD friend to a woman for 17 years, husband died and after a proper period of time she threw me away like I was nothing more than a bag of garbage. Loved her as though she was my sister, watched her children grow, helped her with last child like he was my own grandson. Live 1500 miles away from my home. Horrible living in small town, get away from here as often as I can.

I wish that I could get the $&@# away from where I live. Everything you have written in your post is how I feel on a near daily basis. I agree with everything you say in terms of finding one's own happiness, but I have to admit that at the end of the day, I still feel alone and depressed.

I am so glad I read your post. It makes me feel better to know there are others out there who feel the way that I do.

lol, I hear you. MISERY LIKES COMPANY. I also feel a little better knowing I'm not alone out here. :)

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Oh my gosh thats awful! Im suffering from the harsh reality of moving to small town myself. Its been awful. I haven't read any other responses. I hope things have improved for you.

Sounds like we need to form a support group.

Great Idea. rofl

I totally understand. My daughter and I moved to a small town in Iowa from Los about culture shock! We moved after my parents retired back to their old hometown and I thought I'd try it out for high school for my daughter. My grandparents lived here my whole life and we visited for a week or so in the summer while I grew up, but living here is a whole different story! NOTHING and I MEAN there is nothing to do here either. Half the places are closed on Sundays, nothing is open 24 hours, except the gas station and the little store attached to it, even Denny's or Perkins aren't open 24 hours or the fast food places! Most places are closed by 5pm or 6, except the bars which are the only places people go to 'hang out'. These aren't even clubs or nice bars like you could find in a big city, these are just dives. Every female has one of 3 hair styles, no one dresses up except the little old ladies, I have yet to see anyone wear a suit for work. Most are farmers, but still, sometimes you'd think they'd dress up for a wedding or funeral, not just better jeans and cleaner work boots. The movie theater doesn't show matinees during the can't get a RX filled until after 11am on Sundays and that's if you go to Hy-Vee or Walmart, the regular little drug stores aren't even open on Sundays and they ALL close at 5pm! The weather here sucks, the kids in the school are nasty, really mean. The school system is way below par...I finally have done home school with my daughter so she'll actually learn something. You have to drive 2 hours in any direction to actually get some place for something to do or find a restaurant to eat in. NO culture, one sad 'museum', tons of bars and hotels and fast food. Everyone here is white and racists.......I'm white, but I like a variety of people and languages, these people have no ambition. There aren't any jobs, even if you have the skills....they pick people they know, unless you want to work at a factory and do hard labor. There are NO positives to this move. I'm just saving up to get out of here. We have no real friends, no one does anything here anyway. Who thought I'd be spending my vacations going back to CA, lol. Oh, and the weather is BAD! Snow for like 5 months, two good days and then HOT and HUMID w/mosqutios the rest of the time. You pay for A/C and heat, something I didn't have to do in West L.A. I'm so sad :(

WOW, you use the exact same words I have used for years: CULTURE SHOCK
Says it all. The weird part is that it never gets better, or easier to accept. It always remains a CULTURE SHOCK.

I am in the same boat as all of you! I am so glad I saw this post I had been looking for some advice as well in living in a small town. I have lived in 57 places and this is the smallest town less than 700. I was downsized out of my professional job 2 yrs ago and a friend retired here and offered to let me live with her while I get back on my feet. I could only find a part-time job in a store here and it has been HELL! The people are small minded, backstabbing, gossiping and two-faced. This is in WV so they are ALL related to each other like the old saying, but it is SO true! I have tried to befriend them and show interest in them and they turn around and try and make trouble for me at work. The latest example was I left a note of a list of items we were out of in the store and that lead to my boss bring me in saying several of the staff were upset saying "Does she think we are stupid?". I mean where did that come from. It was a simple list of items we were out of, and the boss told me to leave here notes on such things. But I am the one pulled in on the carpet for making them feel stupid! I have HAD IT! I am so filled with anger all the time now and no matter what I do to try and make friends with the locals all I get is Bull Sh_t! I am blamed for their low self esteem, I mean good grief. Besides who goes to the boss saying someone makes them feel stupid? This town is a mixture of locals and artist and well educated retiree's who retired here. I get along well with the artist and the retiree's. But the locals I do not fit in and I hate it. They are so small minded and petty. I just am trying to work and find a way out of here! I know from other small towns I have lived in YOU NEVER FIT IN! Nor do I really want to fit in with folks like this, I have really tried, but I give up! I read on my breaks and I am ridiculed for that as well. God forbid someone is interested in expanding their minds. None of these folks have gone to college and have basic educations. They have a paper here of all the arrest photos of all the people arrested in WV. What amazes me is that in this town of less than 700 they all know a ton of folks in that paper. I mean I have lived in 57 places other countries and I don't know a single person in jail! But here they know tons. It is like living in the hood. The more I have thought about it the more I think I don't want to be friends with people of this caliber! I love variety and people form all walks of life and this is just crazy! I am struggling to find a way to survive long enough for me to move somewhere else. It is about 150 miles from DC and I am trying to head back to the DC area. I only pray that this new year I will find work closer and in a larger city so I can get out of this mess. I give up trying to fit in here! It is very hard on my emotions and spirit living in such a hateful place! Besides the small minds there is a HUGE problem with hard core drug usage and alcohol abuse. They buy 5th and 1/2 gals every single day. They are all poor and spend all their money on booze. These are not things I want in my life anyway.

I feel for all of you in the same boat! I guess we have to work on ourselves to feel better about who we are and know that we are not the problem these folks from small towns just have small minds and that is their problem. There is nothing wrong with us they just can't look past their own freaking noses and that is their loss! I am just going to concentrate on making myself spiritually happy and find a way to get out of this place of non-sense! LOL

I moved from a large city in the south to the mid west (Dover, Ohio) to be exact. I f***** hate it. I love my husband and moved here to be be closer to him. We were doing a commuter marriage (he travels a lot for work) and he settled on ohio for the foreseeable I came here to be with him. To be with my husband. I can take it anymore. There is no culture, no sense of community, I have to drive 2hours just participate in things that make me feel like myself. I'm wasting away. Not to mention I'm the only person of color in a 100 mile radius it seems. Which is even more isolating. I am black my husband is white...(tada!) even more isolating. I love him, but
Depressed and it's effecting our marriage. Glad to know that I'm just not going crazy. I was down playing my feelings and have been trying to grit it out. I can't any more. Even if he relocated for his job it would still be to a small town smh

I moved from a large city in the south to Dover,Ohio. I f**** hate it! Not to mention I'm the only person of color for MILES which is also very isolating. I'm so depressed. I love my husband but after 3 months I realize I can't do it. I'm just not my best self here.

I feel for you. I grew up in a small town, moved away, and then moved back after my divorce so my child could be around family. It's also in the Deep South too so everyone here is highly religious (judgemental).
I also have a job that puts me in the public eye, and I hate it. I hate living in a fishbowl. I have a great job, but I really just want to run away from here.

Look how long winded and narcissistic you are! Sorry not enough people are around to hear you all talk about yourselves... LOL maybe you all can"think outside the box.. Besides shopping to entertain yourselves.. Hobbies?

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I know how you feel. My husband and I hit a rocky patch last December. After a year of working things through he decided that he wanted to go back to his hometown where his mother is. I couldn't understand why but he said he just had to go home and still no explanation. He even went as far as to tell me I could go with him if I wanted to and we've been married 21 yrs. So I really had no choice. I wasn't working so I couldn't say just leave so we packed up and moved from Houston to Arkansas. Right culture shock overload! At first I thought okay a chance to start over but then I realized we had been down this road before 20 yrs prior. When we moved back we had the same issue it was hard to find work. We had limited funds and we're running out took my husband 3 weeks to land a job through a temporary service and I still have not found a job. I have a ton of office experience but it still does not matter ever interview i have been on is temporary work and the highest pay is $10 an hr at the most. I have been so depressed like never before. I usually put others ahead of me and everything still works out. But this time I think it is time to jump ship and say the h*** with everyone! I don't know what to do at this point I do care for my husband and love him but this is a big sacrifice I don't think I can follow throw on.

Has this gotten any better for you? I just moved to a small town and I read your message. I completely related to you. I've only been living here for 3 months and prior to that I was commuting for a year and a half before I actually moved to Flagstaff, Az. I feel no connection here and feel very depressed. Thankfully my family and friends are only 3 hours away. I moved here for my fiancé which has a great job and loves small towns. I seeking ways to make this my home and I was relieved to read that other people struggle to connect in a small town. Thank you for posting and also letting me vent.

I wish I had advice to offer to improve the situation, but all I can offer is to work on a plan for a way out. I grew up in a small town and had a torturous experience. I wasn't from the town and even after 12 years was still an outsider. I was teased, tormented, and ridiculed from the time I moved there in the second grade through my senior year of high school. As soon as I turned 18, I left for college and never looked back. I spent the next 17 years living in a mid-sized city and enjoyed everything it had to offer. I came to realize there was nothing intrinsically wrong with me and grew into a socially confident person.

In 2013 my husband received a job opportunity that meant a move to a small town just 30 miles outside of our city. The caveat was that we had to live in the small town- looking back this should have been a red flag. He had also grown up in a small town and had a positive experience. He assured me not all small towns are the same. I also thought that since this town was close to a larger city it wouldn't be as insulated and unwelcoming as the town where I grew up which was in the middle of nowhere.

I was wrong. I may as well have moved back to the horrible place where I grew up. We have lived here for 16 months and have not received one invitation for any type of social interaction. Everyone that lives here is from here or a neighboring small town. If they went to college, they went to the very small private school 10 minutes away where they all knew each other. I have come to realize that if you didn't grow up in a small town and have most of your family still living there it is very difficult to break in and understand their social norms. My husband's positive experience in his hometown is likely due to the fact that his family had always lived there and thus he was seen as an insider by default.

In a small town you either belong or you don't. Occasionally, you may be allowed in via marriage, or through a professional affiliation (I have seen some doctors and teachers who were originally outsiders eventually gain acceptance). Sports are another possible point of entry. High school sports are the center of the small town social scene. You or child must be absolutely exceptional to be able to get playing time as an outsider, but if you are able to break in, acceptance follows. Unfortunately, my talents (and my daughter's) lay elsewhere.

Personally, I am so lonely here I am not sure how much more I can take. I have a wonderful career that allows me to work from home, but this means I also have no opportunity for interaction with colleagues on a daily basis. My husband has work meetings/events at least three to four evenings a week. So, it is just me and my daughter most of the time. The old feelings of self-doubt and defensiveness are creeping back in and I hate the person I have become (or reverted back to).

It is my daughter's well being that concerns me the most. As an only child, I know how important it is for her to have opportunities for social interaction and play with other children. But all of the kids here have known each other their entire lives, as have their parents, and don't have room for anyone new in their world. Every day when I ask her who she played with at recess and she responds "no one" it breaks my heart. She was enrolled in an exceptional Montessori program back in the city and I actually continued to drive her there last year after we had moved because it was such a great experience for her. She had all kinds of friends and was invited on play dates. I don't want my daughter to feel the same kind of social isolation and low self esteem I felt as a child. My worst fear is that my daughter will have the same kind of horrible school experience I am still trying to get over nearly 20 years later.

I escaped once and will find a way to escape again soon. I now know that the town where I grew up was not the exception, but the rule when it comes to small towns.

Glad I found these postings.
All is the same for me. I am 59. Husband retired, empty nest syndrome, and moved to the sticks/hick town in Wyoming. There is absolutely nothing here!! Cousin and her husband that were supposed to move with us baled on me, so I am all alone . I feel myself growing dumber every day. The newspaper is a total joke. I cry every day. So, I told my husband of 30 years we need to sell and move back. At any rate, I told him I'm leaving at the latest in Sept 2015, with or without him. Good luck to all of you

Hi! I think we have a lot in common. I recently moved to a small town in Wyoming too. My husband got a job he couldn't resist. We came from a large city in Alabama. I'm a social person and left all my friends, relatives and my first grand baby (born in Dec.) I do have a few new friends....wives of husband's coworkers. I've been told it takes at least a year to get adjusted. Would love to communicate with you more!

It's good to know that I'm not the only one who is dealing with the small town hostility. I do not live in the town, but I work there. When I first took the job, the people were so nice and sweet and they all kept asking when my fiancee and I were going to move to town. At first I was all for it, then after working there for about two months, the true colors came out. The gossip and rumors that get started in that town are far worse than anything I have ever witnessed, even in school. They are flat out rude, hurtful, and hateful. The population is decreasing to the point where a school is closing and the whole town whines and wonders why. They go on about how they need to bring more people to the town but then turn around and say the local businesses shouldn't hire anyone that aren't "local". There are people who have lived there for 20 years and are still considered outsiders. Overall, I'm so glad I did not decide to move there. I love my job in that town, but I am so glad to see that town in my rear view mirror at the end of the day. Wishing you luck on getting out of there!

I am from a medium sized city, lived in a large city and am now living in population less than 1000. If you aren't from here forget it, forget you and you pretty much don't belong. My husband is from here and loves it. He works 2 blocks from our home, where as I drove 30 minutes to and from
Work in a town not much bigger.
I cannot stand it here. I yearn for people, conversations that aren't gossip and things to do. I am a mother or a 2 year old and 10 month old and I want them to have life experiences and they sure as heck won't get them here. I have no friends here and i go to work for adult conversations and I am not sure how much more I can take.

So what do you do to cope? i am so bored, I just go to bed at 8:30. I drove through cold and blowing snow just to have lunch a half an hour away with a co-worker and to go to a decent grocery store.

Hello! My name is Lindsay and I work for a Television Production company. We are openly casting for a TV show about this! Looking for someone (family, individual or a couple) moving from a big city to a small town. If you are in the process of moving I would LOVE to talk to you!! Please email me at -- Thank you!

I just moved back to Dallas (my hometown) from a tiny town in Minnesota. Moved there in April 2009, I came back because the family was impossible to deal with! I realized that I was living in the Twilight Zone. If you're a woman and reading this... Don't try to adjust! I actually lived in 4 different towns trying to find happiness in the state, every time I let people in my life through hard efforts, I was disrespected and taken for granted! You cannot change anyone but yourself... Sometimes it's best to accept this and move on. If you're a guy reading this, follow your family, your partner, your wife, your girlfriend, your children, and/or your dog, you will be a better man because you did!! Good luck to y'all, I'm finally living! Again!

You poor thing :( I'm just upset because I moved to Ardmore from dfw and this place seems so microscopic I'm seriously getting depressed. We have a mortgage and I pull in almost half our income so it's not like we can just pick up and leave. I have to drive an hour and a half in any direction just to find decent shopping. The towns that are an hour and a half away are the ones I would have formerly complained about not having anything and would have went to Dallas. Talk about a reality check. All we have is walmart and there's so much white trash here it's depressing. I want to leave so bad.

Wow, it's amazing to me just how many people are in the same 'small town' boat that I am (so to speak). I've only read a few posts, but they sound exactly like my story.. moved from the city to the hick small town for my husband that's lived here all his life; haven't made any 'real' friends or 'real' connections and we've been here over 3 years now.. trying to be sociable in fitness classes and church services, but so far, nothing. Quite honestly it's just nice to vent and realize that there are other people thinking the exact same thing! Thanks for listening! :)

I moved to a small town looking to escape from a job where I was being overworked and majorly underappreciated. I moved knowing only one other person here, and with all of my co-workers are married it’s hard to do any socializing. I feel so lonely at times and miss my family so much, that I have considered going back to that other job just to be closed to my family and civilization. I have only been at this job for a month and it feels like ages. I don’t know what to do, because I don’t want to seem unprofessional either. I am also concerned because I have dealt with depression before. I don’t want the lack of friends to make fall back to that. I just wouldn’t be able to deal with it alone.

I am also in a really backwards area--not only are they all vicious gossips but people will give you that "southern charm" while they stab you in the back. Give me some brutal northern honesty over fake sweetness any day. My husband grew up here but I am counting the days till I have been at my job for a reasonable amount of time---and then I am gone. I love him, but we met in the city and I never knew it would be like this or I wouldn't have come.

I am in the same boat..

I grew up, for the most part, in a small town. I never felt like I fit in. I yearned for travel, and did so whenever I could. If it meant simply driving 30 minutes in a direction that would give me a skyline that had more than 2 buildings in it, or a 5 mile stretch with no manure stench in the air, I would take it. My family couldn't understand why I didn't yearn for the Little House on the Prairie days like they did. My mother made the first leap years before me, and caught hell for it. I followed, and after careful planning and making connections, I took 2 years and moved to London to do humanitarian work. I always wanted to see London, and the work was a passion of mine. I don't have any kids, and the work visas are tough to come by as an American. It was the best 2 years of my life. There wasn't a day that I didn't absolutely love being immersed in the vast, albeit expensive, routine which was city life. Now every chance I get I am in the city. I was literally threatened by my uncle that If I ever tried to leave again, that he would come looking for me. My friend has a good job waiting for me in Salt Lake City; I visit him in December to get the feel of things. If I don't move soon, I am seriously afraid for my mental health lol. This place is a depression pit.

As I read your story I had to wonder whether I had stumbled upon something I had written and forgot about. It sounds like your town is even smaller than mine. I don't hear gossip, I usually get the cold shoulder as an outspoken proponent of open government. I don't really have any advice. I will say that I don't think it is you and you're not alone. I have demanded that we move. I 've been told we will move within two years. But when you start using the internet for painless ways to 'go' it's probably not a good sign. My method of choice, so far, has been 'death by hibachi.' I don't think I will make it two years. I think it might be the end of my relationship too. Sorry if this isn't helping. If you do find an answer or a way to make it work please come back and share it. Best.

I grew up in a town of a little ovr 600 people then when I turned 21 I moved away to a town of a little over 5000 people now I have been hear for almost 10 years next year it will be 10 years. the only friend I did have in town is ded and this town is verrry clicky. I have not been a citty person though and like the small town attmisfear but I am also a single guy in my 30's who has not had a gf since highschool and I can't seem to find any one in my town to date or have a ltr with. I would move since I don't work and that is nothing keeping me hear but I am not shure where iw ould go. it just sucks living in sutch a small town. add to that the fact that I am blind and don't really get out mutch and it just plan sucks. I really don't know if I want to spend another deckade hear since there is just nothing for me hear.

Dear person stuck in a small town. At least they are willing to share gossip. as sad as it seems it is better than the following. We are stuck in a small ny town where wife swapping, and bizarre switcher/wicken is the norm. No one offends the townies as they may be related. shanti irish. They make up the valley gossip. I was supposedly dead several times. Gay is the way here and they are hateful we are a monotonous couple. They led daughter astray into the arms of school old sexual deviant officials and underage sex rings. they threatened me and my animals. I have dead animals and gunshot holes in my barn. The old sherif was invested- and no matter what the call was about- vandalism, rape calls to ems went unanswered. In short we are stuck here farm will not sell as all agents for real estate are involved.
If you are able to leave- do so now!

Sounds like my small town here..feral parents who swear and drink lots of Alchol, smoke drink infrint of their kids..many backstabbers...same school sexual deviant too who get away with it. I hate this place husband refuses to move..stuck until kids are adults

IT is culture shock. I have found good and bad things about the experience. I just don't know what/how to do to adjust. It helps knowing others can relate

Feel your pain. If you can, get out and live your life while you are still young. People move all the time. NOTHING IS WRITTEN IN STONE. If you are not happy it won't get better. After four years in small town no mans land finally convinced my husband to move back to the city life that I love. I am a senior citizen age 68. IF YOU DIDN' GROW UP IN ONE small towns just drain your life and make you feel hopeless.

You have to be the one to make the effort. Find something you can tolerate (perhaps you will come to enjoy) doing and seek companionship of a similar mindset. For me it was the repurpose and gardening crowd. I did not fit with the hunting/fishing or church bubble crowds even though I am spiritual and do love the outdoors. I went to local flea markets, shopped local yard sales and asked for help at the hardware store on making a "raised" bed. Got the juices flowing. I too miss the culture of a University town with restaurants, theaters and something other than HS Football for a sport-but I must make do and "bloom where I have been planted". Get creative. Peace and quiet and no crime are worth some sacrifices.

If it is any consolation, I think that there is something worse: being single in a small town. I am single, I live in a small town and all the people of my age (40) are married with children. So, I have no friends to go out (there is no place to go out either). The couples never invite me to go with them. So, my life is work, home and loneliness. I cannot leave the town because my work is here. I have tried to be friendly and be a people person but they are not interested at all in having a friendship with me. They have their "perfect" lives with their husbands. Anyone in the same situation?

Yes, I commiserate. I live in a small town, I'm single AND I'm a single parent (of a biracial child). Needless to say, there's not too many people in my peer group.

I'm pretty sure they are just not up to or inclusive of new people. They really make no effort to disclude anyone, it's just they are doing what they have been doing for 20 yrs and what their "daddy" did. No one thinks of inviting the new person. They are set in their ways and ideas and "foreign" is uncomfortable. We have to be the ones to put them at ease and make the extra effort. I hate that part too, because it does involve the risk of rejection and one does have to tread carefully, because you can't offend the natives and it is easy to do so without realizing it or intending it, just because we are not acclimated to the culture.

Yes and it sucks...I'm 31. according to everyone I'm supposed to be married and lots of kids. I recently moved back to my home town in ND (honestly 47 ppl) from living in mpls for 12 years everyone judges everyone, we have the hatfields and mccoys crap going on here, ppl are so juvenile here and have no clue what the real world outside this box is like. The tinyest things turn into huge drama for weeks. I just have to shake my head and laugh sometimes. wow. I try to stay as neutral as possible here with ppl...I'm not into the blame game and hate drama. howe

OMG, this is my life right now. I used to live in Washington D.C. Now I live in the middle-of-nowhere Louisiana to work for a Fortune 100 company to build up my career. Life is just so boring here and everyone has the same boring mindset. I don't like fishing or hunting. I want to go back to the city where there is a multicultural society and things are constantly moving. I literally need this to keep myself from getting depressed - call it chaos if you will.

I fell like I'll be ok, but it is an adjustment period. Phew

I grew up in a small town of about 600 people all of my life....and then when I turned 18 I went off to college to a school of 30,000. I was shocked to learn how backward my little town was, how racist people were everywhere and that was acceptable, how creative mines were considered rebellious minds and how vicious people could be to each other. Yet....all those same people went to church on Sunday and proclaimed to be good Christian folks. I'm so glad I had that experience because otherwise I would have thought that growing up in this type of town was like you read about in a book with the corner market, everyone being neighborly and how safe my kids would be...I may have moved to a small town with my family. Thank goodness I found the rest of the world and my own life. My mother takes it very personally that I don't think growing up in that town was wonderful and perfect. She chooses to see it one way because she needs to. I never want kids to have creativity squashed and I never want my kids to see racism the way I saw it ( acceptable and normal). Stay true to who you are in this little town and you may be okay. If you struggle with that you need to move on into the world you love!

Run. Trust me, you will stagnate and die unhappy there. Get out while you still can.

No can do, I am stuck as a caregiver for my DAD who has Alzheimer's, so til one of us dies...we are both right here :)

Omg!!! I found my people...I have been living in Missouri for almost 4 years. I hate it! There's nothing to do. I can't make friends...actually that's a lie I've made friends but quit talking to them because they were all two faced and all anyone wants to do is talk about people. They are all ultra conservative ultra religious or they are trashy criminals. Most of the women don't work and the main goal is marriage and baby making. My friends back home and I discussed careers, education, art, sex, etc. There was no judging. Also if you're not from here they treat you like crap. They should appreciate new people this town only has like 5 last names. I want to go home, but I love my job!!!

I sorta felt like that in the 1st small town I lived in, but I adjusted. The trouble is I made mistakes there (took me years of *** kissing to rectify) that I do not want to make here. I have to try and be more "delicate" this go round. But Delicate is not my nature and sarcasm is my native tongue and they tempt me to use it I am struggling but I got to give it a "good what for" (are you familiar with THAT term :) ) ?

Finding these postings may have saved me! I moved from south Florida to south central Kentucky a year ago and I am having a tough time. I have no friends, I couldn't find a job so I'm going back to school online to get a degree I can use anywhere. I'm the person who always tries to look at the bright side of things and create inspiration when there is none around me. Well, I have just about exhausted my resources for creating happiness. Cultural diversity is virtually non-existent here, and my "open to all possibilities city girl mind" does not fit in. I crave mental stimulation and meaningful, enlightening conversation. I have even tried to look at this as the ultimate personal challenge to find out exactly what I am made of, but I'm tired of trying to be happy and content. I had to go to town (if you can really call it a town) to run errands this morning and I cried all the way home because I'm so miserable and out of place. 'm 40 years old and this was supposed to be a great time for me. My husband retired from the sheriff's department in Florida and his dream was to buy some land in the country, build his own home, and enjoy the peace and quiet. He's enjoying life while I'm withering away.

Being a business owner in a small town is the worst!!! People act like You owe them something... they don't want to work... they don't appreciate all the work that you do bringing a service to them that they previously lacked... and every other week there are rumors floating that you are going out of business... They may get just what they gossip about, though, because after 2.5 years we just can't handle being the 'ugly step-child' any longer! They will all eat themselves inside out!!! Give me Los Angeles ANYDAY!

sister, totally get where you coming from. Truth be told, you will go nuts without the life you like. Every person deserves to live the way he/she wants. What is the use of living when you can't even relate to anybody near you.
My opinion: please find yourself some get-away to the city for the weekends and eventually ask your husband to JUST understand you and move back to the city.

It's a duty thing for my parents..My husband is really great about the whole thing for the MOST part-he has his days, but he IS from a small town originally and "gets it". One of the problems I have is I miss him..& the life WE had. We are pretty much involuntarily separated due to this deal. He is at our home "on the river" and taking care of the hobby farm. I am on the road between the two, but Mom is needing more and more help and my income has been cut by 3/4 so I can't afford to travel and keep up the added expenses like I could when I was working in the city. IT's just culture shock. I do feel better seeing I am not alone in the process. There seem to be several of us

All I can tell you is..... Start talking to your husband about moving! My husband is from a small town and I almost moved there, thank God for his GRACE that I couldn't find a house. Our marriage would never have made it living in that god forsaken microscopic town. If you don't do things the way they do it or have your own opinion on things you're seen as uppity or proud!!!

I moved from a big city to a small town almost two years ago and am in a similar boat. I am 28 years old and moved when I was 26. This place is fine as long as you have the same lifepath as everyone else but if you are in any way different you are screwed. Its extremely unusual that I am still single and I get lots of question as to why. Most people here get married their senior year of high school when they turn 18 or shortly after. I want to move to a big city again but it will be years before I will be able to thanks to my financial situation. Plus, I have family here fighting me every step of the way. Nonetheless, I feel like I should be living it up somewhere cool at my age rather than being stuck in this boring, sleepy town.

Yep at your age I would run, but now I have to do the duty deal and stay. Go Travel while you can, cause you may be in my boat one day and we do owe Mom/Dad for whatever good we get to experience in life. One thing about being broke is you can start broke..anywhere

Refreshing. After three years of living in a small town, I woke up this morning at 4am wondering.. "Can I do this anymore? How far behind the times am I? Am I still living in 2010 when it's 2014?"... Yeah, it's scary. I lived my entire life in a huge city, where cultural events were plentiful, diversity, the arts, theatre, lectures, symphony, orchestra.. on and on... I'm in my late 20's now, 29 to be exact. I moved to southwestern Colorado for the outdoor lifestyle you could say, and to trade in the city life for nature.. Yeah, the good comes with the bad I now see. I chose a smallish-medium sized town because of the affordability. I had been traveling out here ever summer since I was 17, so finally I made the big move at 25.

Since the, I've experienced nothing short of 99% rude attitudes, clueless people who seem to have no outside perspective outside of gossiping and hating on one another, and little to nothing to take part in culturally. There is an 'elite' group, in Telluride, however this supposedly 'enlightened' group of people are as snooty/gossipy as it comes. There is no where in between here. It's either join the rich elite's club who think they're better than every one else, or continue to rot with the cultureless small townies. HELP!!!

And so this morning I randomly googled "support for moving to small towns", and this popped up. It does seem encouraging to know many other people are going through this... Some one, friend my on Skype! I need city people to relate to on this one..

Which town are you in southwestern colorado? Is it Grand Junction by any chance?

I live in Grand Junction, do you?

I used to about 2 years ago, not anymore, now I'm in seattle. But I loved Grand Junction. It was a great town, nice people and I hada great job.

It does fell good to know "it's not just me" but then it's sad to find out it's the same all over. I do think it will get better as we learn how to adjust. I do love the "no crime", the weather is great, no traffic jams, the food is EXCELLENT, and I love the fact that I can feel safe enough to get in the truck with a stranger if I have car trouble..I love the animals and stuff, but I have lost my ability to spell, do simple math and speak without the use of double negatives..Trade offs :)

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I know this post is old but some of the replies are still new. I also moved out to a small town for love. The smallest population I've ever lived in was a suburb of 270k people. I was living in one of the most populated urban cities with 2.72 million people in the city. Now I'm in a town of 24,000 and having complete culture shock every day.I'm a tech freak and you can't find a tech magazine ANYWHERE here and the only electronics store is Target & Walmart. I'm also a gluten-free vegan and my options for foods are so slim and twice the price of anywhere else I've ever lived. I am fashionable and keep myself well groomed, and everyone here dresses like bums. I'm also an atheist in a town with 30 churches that are all super nice while the houses around them are old and falling apart. I don't like any of the people either. I like my boyfriend and his kid and our dog, 3 cats and 5 fish. People here look at me like I'm a strange alien. I'm used to having lots of guy friends too and the guys here are too scared to even look me in the eye or mumble a word to me. Women hit on me a lot here, which is weird. I mean, I'm bi so I don't care, but I don't want to make friends with people who want to take me away from my boyfriend, you know? Everyone goes to church or drinks. It's near impossible to get a job here because everyone is competing for minimum wage jobs that I'm way overqualified for. Luckily, there's at least a community college here where I'm going to go back to school and get a tech degree, but the technology they are using is WAY out of date. I'm hoping that'll change soon.Reading this post and all the replies has really helped. I feel so isolated here in this small town (24k is tiny to me). I mean, I like that 5:00 traffic doesn't exist, but I don't like not having options for anything. Medical care sucks, no support groups, no anything really... It's just such a limited way of life and everything I am used to is gone. If I want civilization I have to drive 1.5hrs away. I guess I'm struggling to adjust more than I want to admit.

At least you have a Target and a Wal-Mart, we have to travel 35 miles for Walmart and about 50 for Target lol. I am struggling more than I want to admit too. But I am not yet defeated..still hopeful. I did it once BF, perhaps I got one more adjustment in me

Thanks for sharing. I too am in a small town that sounds similar to yours. It's amazing to me the group think that dominates here. It's like the creative types are not only not welcomed here, they are cast out! My attitude is, fine, you don't want me here and my talent, I'm GONE! This place doesn't deserve to have people here who question things, who believe in progress, and who believe in acceptance and inclusivity. Not if they don't welcome them, why would you try to change a place that isn't asking for change? They elect politicians that are in a never-ending ******* contest to see who can be the most cruel to society's minorities. Everything is either white or black here, culturally. There are no 'others' -- they get alienated and isolated and eventually either leave or kill themselves slowly OR conform and pretend to be like everyone else, and then eventually all that **** gets internalized and everyone really does think and act the same. EFF that. I'm still going to call a spade a spade, still going to think freely and still going to be creative and inclusive. I know, however, that this strategy will only work if I leave here within a year or so (I'm close to that now thank god). Stay here long enough, and I'd be forced to either accept the values of people here or somehow change them, which is a burden no visitor should have to bear. Small towns are ok in theory I'm sure, but in practice this is a living hell hole for anyone who may be considered an 'other' --- ethnic minorities, political minorities (e.g. leftists such as myself), religious minorities, gays/transgenders, interracial daters, etc. Note that in the vast majority of big cities, these groups are not really 'minorities' --- as there is no religous majority in NYC, there is no racial majority in NYC, gays everywhere, etc. Only when you come to a small town do you realize how different-in-a-bad-way you are, instead of your differences being welcomed and appreciated like in a big city. I don't believe all small towns are the same, but any small town in North Florida or in the South is bound to have many of these characteristics. Those who stay without questioning or living anywhere else ever will never understand--- they don't know what they don't know. Like Plato's Allegory of the Cave. Life is too short to live somewhere where your true self is not appreciated or welcomed. I say move somewhere open-minded asap.

You're not alone! I too come from a small town although the one you mentioned sounds worse. Always wanted to move to the big city and when i did it felt so right! Like i was at home. The convenience of everything available at your doorstep , the great customer service, the driven people you meet, the lights, the high energy levels around that scream out LIFE!
However I've had to move back to this small town for family and the only reason i'm here is because of them, they need me right now and i'm more than happy to be here for them but i don't want to be this frustrated me. I have no life otherwise - forget work, forget having a social life because more than half the people here are small minded and you can't even relate to them!
What i decided to do is to start spending time with myself, there has to be a way so i started reading a lot of books, watched documentaries, started painting, started exploring the outdoors, started cooking all kinds of dishes, basically start developing hobbies and learn things which you have otherwise never had time for in the cities. Youtube can teach you a lot of things too, you can even learn a new language online!
You might actually learn a few things about yourself in this time and explore things about yourself that you never knew existed. The key is to stay occupied.
Wish you best of luck my friend.

It will be okay :)
I grew up in the smallest of towns...I think my favorite one so far has only 200 people.

The Best thing about small towns is that once you make friends..they will be your friends no matter what and forever.
I personally enjoy simple. My life has always been simple..I wake up..go to work..get home. .fish..horses..anything you can imagine and with quiet you really can reflect and get to know yourself better....don't worry about gossip....that's their issue they will have to one day deal with.

But I know how you feel..see I recently moved to a huge city and I feel lost and alone and out of place...people think I'm out of place just as people see you as being out of place. . I honestly think the feeling for both of us is just the change..just the change.

But you are definitely right about not being open minded...I don't think I could ever really be open minded..not about a lot of things. And I think cities scare me like small towns scare you....Both for the feeling of being alone... you may find that weird...I heard it's weird haha..but true.

You will adapt I promise and really you have your husband and he's your best friend too so smile and be happy :) even a fake smile will turn into a real one.

As for prestige or class or one will care...what makes them happy is being comfortable and the acceptance they will always have. You will make will meet nice people....and you just may learn to love your new life . And don't worry about everyone finding out everything about me when i say that they may laugh at you but really they don't care..everyone is friends with everyone and soon enough when you need them they will be there for you though out anything :)

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Thank Heavens I am not alone. I'm praying that I can move back to civilization soon!
Everything you guys are talking about is true for me too. There are days that I don't think that I can take it but somehow time goes on. People here do not like the fact that I comb my hair and wear clean clothes. I am from a small Southern town but do not remember it being like this crazy place. This place makes me embarrassed to be from the Southern United States. I think the worst part is the Bible belt philosophy. I am a spiritual person but don't like to be preached to every waking hour. I have met some of the most crooked, horrible people in the whole world here and they sit on the front row of a church. I think it is crazy the way people follow these crooks like sheep and believe their crocodile tears. It is horrible to see how people ruin others lives and laugh about it. I too stay inside my house like a prisoner because I cannot stand being around anyone here.

A highly low ranked university (I am embarresed to join any community arts groups). Walmarts full of obese uncultured people, there are no sidewalks, a library not updated since 1972, local news station ( the female news reporters wear neon green with pearls, streets and resturants are usually empty, Downtown consists of, 3 blocks ( With only one side of the 3 blocks inhabited), buffets, pickleball, potguts, Yoga instructors (Who only know "Downward Dog), a country town with no country or southern culture (Except for the "Cracker Barrel), Getto/Country Bumpkins (Who only interested in their backward and antiquated Christian theologies, low income garage sales, only one nice grocery store (Only old people Shop there), subdivisions, only mini-bus public transportation (Toothless and 3 kid female passengers/people who look like mutants), buffalo wings, ***** malls, people who are nosey, sexist, racist, women who think jogging pants with Victoria Secret on the ***, black roots/ dirty greys/no black women with natural hair (Only thin greasy perms), clubs/bars that are disgusting, No health resturants, empty public parks, every resturant has bad chinese food, no museums of interests, all summer festivals revolve around elephant ears and bad beading, a farmers market ( usually no customer or only the elderly,
empty movie theaters....Trust me, the list continues. My fiance' transferred here for better pay and I attend university online. My fiance' can't leave his job yet, because of fear of losing his benifits and not having found a better job. I hate it here! I am from a large city and used to riding public transportation). I have no friends. I just stay in the house with my little cat. Some times I cry because I feel that my life has just stopped. I am afraid of being doomed. My fiance' says that, in order to "Get a life", I may have to lower my standards. I don't want to become complacent in this place. I don't want to change who I am! To other people out there....You are not alone, many people are experiencing it too. I feel like i'm on "Green Acres". I am looking into joining an online: Band, book clubs. ^_^ Don't give up. Try to be creative or start your own groups or events. Ciao!!!

I just feel so much better reading these experiences. I know I'm not alone now.

I hear you I hate my town, too. I was not born here, so everyone hates me. If you didn't grow up here, you get treated like crap and talked about. People are always nasty and rude to me because they figure I don't matter anyway. I am college educated, work, own a home, and try to do what I'm supposed to. But it doesn't make any difference. I'm not from here, so I'm trash. I've had people I don't even know make up things about me. I'm tired of how we don't even get a chance we are judged even though I don't really know what we have ever done that's so bad. I am trying to get my husband talked into moving anywhere else, preferably either a bigger town where people aren't up in my business, or out in the country. I hate it here. I feel so unwelcome. Now that the kids are out of the house and we sold our business what do we have left here. Nothing. I hope you were able to move somewhere else that you get treated better. No one deserves this. It is like a slow death, every day a piece of your soul dies. I will never, ever live in a place like this again. Everyone looks down their nose at us, like they are better. All they want to do is sit in the bar drinking, smoke crack, and sleep around. It's boring, depressing, and like you are in jail. So I feel you.

I hear you shellbelle. My family and I are going through the same thing. We moved to this rural, mountainous area for the peace and quiet of country life. It has been a nightmare from the start. I hate it here, not the area and it's beautiful surroundings, but the small minded mentality of the people in this community. Churches about one every mile that are filled to the hilt every Sunday, but yet these same people are the most hypocritical, hatefilled, lying, manipulating users that ever walked this earth. Gossip? If these people can't find out anything about you, they have no problem making things up. We have found out more about our lives and our activities from the gossip going around then we ever knew we did, and of course all untrue. The attitude of the people who are looking down on you, is not a reflection of you or what you may or may not have done, it's the mentality of these people who have no desire to better themselves or their lives and are threatened and envious of someone who has. I have found that the people in the community where I live have no desire to better themselves or their community. They prefer to live off the system. Drunk driving, drug use, underage drinking, you name it, is rampant in this community and nothing, absolutely nothing is done about it. If you want a job here, you had better know someone, because you won't get hired otherwise. What jobs are around are minimum wage and that's it. I'm not bothered that the people in this community aren't welcoming to us. After having a few talks with some of these people, I don't want to associate with them, what bothers me and is very disturbing is that these people have such sorry lives that they have nothing better to do then to cause stress, drama and conflict for people they don't know with their lies and their actions and have no problem with it. I'm not into drugs or drinking and I don't give my young adult children or their friends alcohol or prescription drugs, we have valid drivers licenses and our cars are insured. We work, pay our bills and support ourselves and not spread gossip because we are just to busy living our lives, so it only makes sense we don't fit in this community. We are everything they are not. :) Thanks for letting me vent

Wanna hear a Really ignorant small town story? They cyberstalked and then consequently rapped and tried to traffic an innocent women.. and when they could Not Succeed in doing that .. They Started a rumor and then falsely reported that she and her family were Child Abusers. And from that, then they stalked her from state to state across the country over the course of two decades.. And Still maintained their indignant innocence and continually defended and subtly accused and threw around unfounded, unsubstantiated allegations and rumors to this day about this .. emotionally exhausted and battered poor women.. That's Surviving a Crazy Small Town for ya people. Word, peace out!
oh and support hand guns for women and personal protection everybody - it's your right!.

I too feel the frustrations and helplessness you are experiencing. I moved from Vancouver, BC Canada to a 1000-population town in rural Saskatchewan (prairies). I fell in love with a farmer and moved for him. Now, 3 years later, I feel like I'm going crazy. Everything from the way they pronounce their words, to the cutting gossipy bs they engage in, to the devout religious crap they push... It's insane. I have always embraced cultural differences and given space to people who think differently than me. But now? I could fill this town with fire... The expectations they place on you are ridiculous. I bought my vehicle from a dealership in the city (not the one in my town) and they won't even put air in my tires now. They call me a "traitor". But everything here is jacked up!! I paid $25 for a broom at our hardware store because I'm supposed to support local business. **** that!!! Vaseline-d and bent over, no thanks!!!

The grocery store is impossible, everyone comments and says shy about the food you're buying. I can't get stamps or a bottle of pop without getting stink eyed from the old hillbillies having coffee in the back room of the convenience store. I listen to my co worker sit on the phone all day and talk **** about her "friends". Everyone here drives the same vehicles, dresses the same, ugh!! God forbid you stand out, they won't shut up about you.

My biggest peeve is the lack of desire to grow with everyone. All these women are doing is looking to get married and pregnant. No one wants an education (I have a degree) and everyone is so satisfied just burying their head in the sand and having 4 kids. It's like going back in time. I know how you feel and I can't stand it either!!

Bah ha ha, I googled I hate small towns and this pops up. l am also in rural Saskatchewan now. Sometimes I contemplate running my car into the church on a Sunday morning.

Love your screen name. Lol. What part of Saskatchewan are you in?

This made my day bahahaha! I hate the small so called "Bible belt" town we live in!

Oh lordy I so understand. I live in the country beside a village of 800. I so want to move to the city 45 mins away. I have 6 grown children married and gone and now my husband works 4 provinces away and comes back home only 4x a year BUT this is his family home and here I am stuck in Deliverance taking care of some other woman's house that has never been mine. I have no money as well. All my money was spent on our children and their children and my husbands money is his. It is so far away to travel for work to the nearest city and I wouldn't mind the travel except the winter snow driving I am a little concerned about. I am 60 and in a terrible position. When my husband comes home he makes me the brunt of his cruel jokes in front of our children They have told me that if I leave him they will be upset with me because they based their marriages on ours. I spent most of our marriage after the children grew up and left home working every weekend and holidays so I didn't have to be around his drunk weekends. Everyone loves him and thinks he is so kind and caring because he puts on a different face in front of people so they don't know.

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I have been living in a small townoutside Louisville, KY for 14 tears and loathe it. I grew up outside of Philadelphia. My husband is from this state and his parents moved to be closer to us so I am stuck. I don't think small town people are simple minded I just think they can be self-absorbed at times. We have just recently started attending a new chruch and everyone says hello during meet and greet but no one actually "talks" to us. We're not from this town. I have even taught in the school system and if you are not from here you never really feel like you fit in. I guess I am seen as a bit too bold and serious. If I had my way I would be living by the ocean or in a really big city like Philly or better yet, New York. SoHo would do! I just keep hanging in there. I have found that I just keep to myself and watch what I say. Everyone knows everyone you know! What I wouldn't do to meet someone that doesn't already know 20% of the people I know. Very restless and just praying through it.

I have read a number of responses of people about living in small towns. Its been fun to read because I thought I was the only one who was having a miserable time.

I left my hometown in the middle of Nebraska when I graduated from high school and went to college. Once you get a college degree there are no jobs that you would like to do in the small town because now you have your four year degree. I got married to my girlfriend and we headed to Omaha. It was a great place to be.

I did go into sales and was very good at meeting people and enjoying the larger city. It took a little bit to get used to it, but there were always so many fun things to do. I met my new neighbors all the time and became friends with them on a regular basis. The other nice thing is in the larger town there are so many things to do. I had season tickets to basketball, went to baseball and played golf with others. Life was a joy. I did get divorced, but did date because it was fairly easy to find a lady that wanted to.

I did enjoy staying in Omaha because I had a major medical issue and the Dr.'s were much better in the large town -vs- going and living in my small town. Well, after twenty years I finally had my surgery and could no longer work. No kids, no wife and needed someone to watch over me. I had to move back home. I have been here two years now. It is horrible.

I know many people I went to high school with and was friends with them during school, but they don't want anything to do with me. Maybe because I have no kids, not married or because I am disabled. Basically I have stayed to be close to parents. When they die, I am leaving. I hate small towns. I live here now and have no friends. I sit in my apartment by myself all day and that is pathetic. Wish me luck on moving and getting over my loneliness. Thanks

I'm 25 years old, a woman, who lives in a small town in Sweden in 5 moths now with my husband. Before that I lived in Stockholm, the capital city of Sweden, abroad, and also after I moved here I lived abroad for three months then moved back here. This is definitly one of the hardest things I have ever been through in my life, I tried so hard and for a long time to manage living here and even to like living here, but I absoutly HATE it here. I regognize myself what some of you here has written aboute. I feel like a complete total Alien here, like I have nothing in common with the people here, that my life has COMPLETLY changed and I am totally completly absolutly depressed angry sad suicidal frustraded tired bored alone becausse of this. I had mental problems Beforefor sure, but sins I moved here I feel like I have even more completly becomed insane. Sweden in a western country so it's a lot better here then in many other countries in the World, BUT it's a small country with few people especially here in the country side of Sweden. I have school here untill next Summer, I don't want to drop of school (that will obvously make my life worse) I also had to sign a agreement to live in the apartment me and my husband lives in now to stay live here untill next summer. wich means I am stuck here and have to stay here untill next summer, wich is a toatal NIGHTMARE. me and my husband looked a lot and for a long time for our own apartment to live in a long time that diden't cost to much in Stockholm, it's very hard to find that there not only for us for everyone. We where running out of Money time and patience and coulden't find anything there, so finally we diden't have Another choise then too look outside of the capital city, so we found a cheep big apartment kind of near to the centrum here that we will have for a long time and where we will live alone. It's obviosly important with security and safety in life and to survive so we moved here. I know that I had to do it, so I understand that I did but it's one of the WORST most horrible terrible things I have ever done in my entire life I regret it so much I wish so badly that I had found any other solution. The remaining months I have to stay here will continue to be HORRIBLE but I somehow have to find ways to survive it so I next summer can move back to my Lovely city Stockholm, I'm born there and lived there most of my life, ore Another big city abroad. It feels like the only thing keeping me alive and not breaking down too much to even be able to handle school and those nessesary things is the hope belive Dream (and knowledge? I can't know for sure but I HAVE to move so I'll dare to say that I will) that I will move away from here in 7 months, even do those months will feel like 7 years. And at least I have my husband so I'm not completly alone, I could hang out with my neighboure and like Three of my classmates but I really can't. I really tried but those people are very mentally ill ore/and that we have nothing in common and are too different from each other, there is no one else for me to be with sins there is so few people here, almost nowhere to meet people and most people just want to be with people they allready know ore to be alone, the only few other ones are so mentally ill that I can't be with them. So I will rather be alone here and spend time with my husband here then to be with those people. Living abroad for Three months sins I moved here helped A LOT lot lot it was so so SO much fun and just AMAZING in SO many way's! And that I've been visiting Stockholm during some weekends (I don't know exactly how many times) sins I moved here have helped and made me VERY happy a lot LOT lot to! Let me know id any of you are around my age and in a simillar situatuion especially if you diden't know ANYONE in the small town Before you moved there from the big city. I would really REALLY like to talk to someone I can REALTE too, I REALLY need that.

Why can't all of US just create our own small town! God, I am utterly, hopelessly miserable. I dream, yes, like at night when I'm sleeping, dream of living in a city, like where I'm from. Any city. Vegas? Seattle? Whatever. I HATE this tiny town of rubes in Northern Colorado. Hey! Hey everyone, did you know that Fort Collins has the most college educated per capita than ANY other town in the whole galaxy? Just ask ANY Fort Collins resident over 40, they'll be glad to tell you all about it! Here's a little math: It's a small town with a big college. So of course, most of the people that work at the college are (stay with me here) COLLEGE EDUCATED. I just hate it. Don't pee on my leg and tell me it's raining. It's a small nowhereville hole with feedlots and corn fields. And, yes, a college, from which the truly enlightened will graduate and move from. And BTW, Fort Collins, you're not THAT far away from Greeley, so get over yourself.

I have a rather whacky lifestyle, at least according to the norm here. I have no children, nor do I want them, I actually want to invest in myself rather than living out my failed dreams through my child and I am happy to do independent activities most of the time. GASP! HORRORS! Grab a torch, villagers! The song "small town" by JC Mellencamp says it best "I can be myself in a small town and people let me be just who I wanna be" but he left out the rest that goes, "as long as I'm born here and just like everyone else". The women, oh the women. Backstabbing fake two faced judgmental breeders whose only living aspiration is to be at their pre-baby weight. And the ones who are supposedly progressive, here's a little info; The Olive Garden is NOT real Italian, an amethist necklace does NOT make you a white witch, Joanie Wilson's dance factory is NOT Alvin Ailey, and if you try to discuss any supposed mutual interests, the self righteous small town entitlement always comes through and we always end up back at the same subject: Your kids.

I'm mad as hell and I'm not gonna take it anymore! OK, I am, because I love my husband, and he has a job he won't leave. But I still hate Northern Colorado. Thanks for all your posts here people, I am relieved to know I'm not alone!

Haha I ran away from Fort Collins to a much much smaller town up in the mountains! And it's like I have the black plague here, NO one will hang out with me.

Oh baby, try living near Centennial Wy! Jeez, the women dress like men, you say one thing to them and the next thing you know it blows into something more terrible than what you said. They are aggressive and catty. They fight in the parking lot of the bars - which is the only social activity - and they can they DRINK! No one will hang out with me either. I actually have the AUDACITY to wear make up and perfume! Skirts! Sandals! The men can be nice but the older ones are sexist. They all sleep with each other. A saying in town is "If you can't be first you could be next!" GRROSS!!!! My boyfriends exes are crappy towards me - even the one nighters! Can you imagine that you sleep with some chick nine years ago because you're drunk and she gives your new lady ****? If one of my one nighters gave him crap they would get a drink spilled on them - it's psycho. Get over it. That is the advantage of a big city. EXES are EXES! You don't see them anymore. You move on. These psycho women have caused arguments by butting into our life. Now I stay away and we get along so much better.

He can't leave because his work is here and it is a highly specialized field.
He just says "This is why I acquired an import."

I've lived in almost every big city in the US. Chicago, San Fran, DC, New Orleans, LA, and England. You don't **** with me. I'll tell these ugly small minded mountain chicks to F*** right off. It may cause some friction between the town and him but, TOO BAD. If I can't leave because of his job - he can adapt to his "friends" not liking me. And he has learned there is a difference between friends and acquaintances. Friends support your relationship. Acquaintances turn their back on you.

The friends he has made here that have lasted 25 years are really nice. And they are nice to me but their wives won't even make eye contact with me.

So I have taken to cooking exotic dishes, painting, I will be getting on line classes very soon and starting a career at home. I was a respected professional now the only job I could get was eight dollars an hour and 30 miles away. I will continue to keep to myself.

Small towns suck.

The only saving grace - we live 15 miles from any town. No Neighbors. I don't go see them and they don't come to see me. I am happy with that. I only go to Laramie for groceries and after twice going to a pub without him - I only go with him and they mostly keep their fly attracting mouths shut when he's around.

I feel your pain. I live in Cut Bank, Montana. But I was born and raised in San Francisco. I traveled much of the world, only two continents I haven't been to are Europe and Antarctica. I came here to help my mom and grandma finally move out of this hell hole. It started ok, people remembered me from when I was young and here for a couple years. (I am 31 now). My wife and I made friends, but in retrospect, it was the worse decision we had ever made. The first couple we made friends with seemed cool at first. In fact, one of them hooked me and my wife up with jobs at Pizza Hut. On my wife's birthday, their house burned down. So we open our doors to them. The couple had two awesome kids, age 6 and 1 1/2. We had a daughter who was 6 months younger at the time. (I say had, because now we have two daughters.) I thought things were going well, but apparently they weren't. After paying to get their car fixed (It was useful, being that we still don't have our own car) and changing most of our daily routines to attempt to be as accommodating as possible, as is our way, they left and began spreading rumors, causing me to lose my job. My wife still works at pizza hut, but they only give her 10 hours/week. We made new friends, and then they began spreading more dangerous rumors. They have the entire town believing I am an international crack smuggling car stealing pimp! It got to the point where the police attempted to actually raid our apartment! And all this started about a month after my mother passed away (she died in december, and it all started in january). Just yesterday, I was standing in the shade of our neighbors RV smoking a cigarette, though where we were standing was in OUR driveway. They tried telling us we had to leave, and even threatened physical violence if we don't get out of our own driveway. Then THEY call the cops, and presented with everything, the cops gave ME a citation. They said I was throwing my cigarette butts on the ground around the RV. Even showing the officer that I roll my own cigarettes, and the butts on the ground were clearly Marlboro. We cannot get more work, no one will rent us a bigger place, which we desperately need, and we are basically confined to our house. Walking anywhere elicits evil looks. Admittedly, we do have 3 friends we truly trust. One I have known since I was 16, and the other 2 are Natives (we live right near a reservation). I have yet to figure out how to get out of this messed up situation, but I do know that my whole life I have never been so depressed, oppressed, disrespected, violated, or hated. Even the fact that I am Buddhist has come under scrutiny. People actually call me a devil worshiper! As if Buddhists do anything even remotely close to devil worship! I have needed to vent this for quite a while, and I thank you for listening...

Oh jeeze, tell me about it. I've lived in a Small Town all my life... which is actually only fourteen years. But still! Luckily my town happens to be a bit bigger than where you live. We have one Grocery Store, and a few small businesses down town. (An Amish Furniture store, Two small restaurants, a Chiropractor, and a Crafts store. Then some miscellaneous areas. Lol) Most people in our town go to work in larger cities around us. One thing I can certainly relate to you about is the Gossip. Everyone seems to know everything about every other person at any given time. Then again I live in Minnesota. Us Minnesotans seems to be gossipy ^^'. I find my town rather boring for most of the year. All we have is Western days which is like the fair but only lasts for three days. (I play in the marching band for it, Yay!~) Add that to the fact that I really have no friends. (60-70 kids per grade in School. Not many choices for friends really.) I spend most of my time inside on the computer or practicing my instruments or artistic ability. I guess Small Towns aren't that bad. They allow you to spend more time on bettering yourself I guess. :/ Can't wait to get out of this place though.~

I have had a real hell like the one you described. In fact I am moving back to Northern VA from Pennslytucky. The sad part is my husband & myself were born and rasied here. We moved to Norhtern VA after college and moved back to our home town after 21 years of being away. (Big Mistake) The people treat us like we have a desease because we actually moved away and had some life experiences. I say small towns breed small minds and am very thankful my husband & myself got out of here when were young to know how the real world operates. Small towns have peopl worry way too much about other people's lives instead of living their own.

I was born and raised in a small town in northwestern British Columbia, Canada. I married my high school sweetheart who came from a large family there and spent the first 40 years of my life there, so I think I have a fairly informed opinion of life in small towns. Small town life is NOT idealistic or wholesome or wonderful. It's not just bad for people who move there from a city, the experience can be just as bad for someone who has lived in that town that entire life if you are a person who has their own mind, likes to experience new things and someone who doesn't thrive on gossip. I truly believe that small town life brings out the worst in people and if you're a good person, especially one that is intelligent, your life in a small town will be a living nightmare. I never fit in and I could never figure out what was wrong with me, I'm intelligent, I tried to expand my knowledge by doing distance education university courses, I refused to gossip or be part of a clique. Those are all big mistakes if you want to fit in a small town. My marriage ended not because of any big scandal, but just because my husband and I grew apart and I stayed living in the small town because I thought it was in the best interest of my children to have them live close to their father and their extended family. The 7 years that followed were the loneliest and unhappiest of my life. I was now the 'divorced single woman' in town and I was suddenly a supposed threat to all of the married women who had nothing better to do, women I had known for 40 years. I couldn't even say Hello to men I had known my entire life without someone getting mad and a story starting about a supposed affair I was having. In the 7 years that followed I wasn't invited to a single social gathering. I quickly found out that people in a small town are exactly like a flock of chickens and as soon as you're missing a couple of feathers they'll all peck at you incessantly. They thrive on gossip, they don't care about the truth, they only care about adopting whichever mindset will keep them part of the popular cliques. They love to think they 'know' you, but no one will ever ask you questions because they really don't want to know the truth...malicious stories are much more fun for them. There is no escape in a small town, it's like being in a prison.

Small town life is suffocating in more ways than one. It's suffocates your mind, it suffocates your sense of excitement and adventure, it suffocates your creativity, it suffocates your hopes and dreams, it suffocates your soul.

8 years ago I moved to a very large city and BLOOMED!!. Suddenly I was surrounded by people who were embracing their individuality instead of hiding who they were just to be part of the status quo. I was surrounded by people who supported and embraced change and new ideas. I was surrounded by people who had no idea who I was. No gossip. No malicious rumors. No people commenting on my buying different groceries than I had the week before... ( yes, that's part of small town life. NEVER buy different groceries than you normally do because it will raise the red flags for all of the town gossips.)

City life is rich and vibrant, interesting and exciting while small town life is exactly the same day after day, year after year. City people are friendly and accepting. Small town people are cold and judgmental.

Six months ago I was offered a job position that was just too good to pass up. It was in a small, remote town on an island. I took the job even though my gut instinct was telling me not to. But then one small town shouldn't turn me off of all small towns, right? I moved in to a neighborhood in a very small town where most people had lived their entire lives. I tried very hard to keep an open mind and look at the place I had moved to as a new experience and not as another small town. I smiled at and tried to start conversations with people in the grocery store... I was met with cold silence. I waved to my neighbors and called hello's over the fence....more cold silence. When I had moved to the city 8 years ago I hadn't even unpacked the moving van and two of the people who lived in the area had already stopped to offer help and to welcome me to the neighborhood. In the small town I had just moved to I unloaded an entire moving van by myself while my new neighbors walked by and not a single one offered an ounce of help. I moved to this new town three weeks before Christmas, I worked for a large employer in the town and I had hoped that this combined with the fact that it was the Christmas season would make it so I would get invitations that would help me meet people. I didn't get a single invitation. I spent Christmas entirely alone, even though I told every person I encountered that I had just moved there, my family was far away and I didn't know a soul. Not one person offered a hand in neighborly friendship. Within a month I was feeling like I had moved back to the small town that had taken me 40 years to escape from. I slid in to a horrible black depression and started feeling suicidal, desperate and very trapped. One day I woke up and knew if I didn't escape then I never would because it truly felt like my life was over. That day I gave away every single thing I owned to a charity, got in my vehicle, left and never looked back. I spent a month with family recovering and then moved back to the big city. Walking through the busy city streets, sitting in funky coffee shops and just savoring the rich fabric of the amazing, beautiful patchwork quilt that city life is has healed my soul....again. I'll never live in a small town again.

Small town life is a toxic cesspool that brings out the worst of people's natures. People need sensory stimulation and new experiences to keep growing. Small town life is all about stiffling growth, it leaves a person stagnant and makes their souls and the good parts of their nature die.

You said it just right. I keep praying and wishing that my husband will open up and try living in the city. I am glad that you found your happiness again.

Dear MissingBoston,

I truly hope that your husband will open up and try living in the city too. I honestly feel so bad for you. Your description in a previous post of saying you feeling like you're in captivity is one I understand so well. I truly believe that being a small town person is an ingrained part of who a person is and has nothing to do with where they are born or raised. I was born and raised in the very same small town that I always despised. Some of us are born as city people and some of us are born as small town people and it's doesn't seem to matter where we got our start. I lived in a small town for 40 years, but I was never a small town person.

This is the first website I've ever posted a personal response on and I don't know the protocol for responses to other people on the internet. MissingBoston, if you need a friend who really understand I'm just a mouse click away. I used to think the friendly, empathetic part of me was the 'small town person' in me...isn't that a horrible joke? ( I always wondered why people in the small towns I've been exposed to weren't as friendly as me until I realized the only place small towns are full of friendly people is in country songs.) Since moving to one of the biggest cities in Canada I've learned that the friendly part of me is actually the city person that's always been a huge part of my soul even though I didn't get to meet that person until I was in my 40's. .

Please know that although we've never met you have a friend who completely understands. I spent four decades in a small town and there's probably not a scenario that I haven't been through and can't sympathize and empathize with. I'm here anytime you need to vent or want validation for how you feel.

Sending you big city friendship.

Thank you :)

Thank you. I love hearing your stories. I find it quite inspirational. Your inspired source of hope, could not have come at a better time. I was so close to giving up. But now, having read all the shared stories here I feel vindicated. I will stop beating myself up. I am genuinely not the problem, the small town intolerance of anything 'other' is. Thank you. :)

Everything you said is so accurate. I would express myself by using better words, but I just moved from a small town after being stuck there for ten years, and cannot speak normally yet. The small town stiffled my abilityto express myself well, after not having any meaningful or intelligent interaction for so many years.

This is so true!'

Hi! Sorry, I'm so curious which small town did you live in? I currently live in Vancouver with my boyfriend (maybe future husband) and we are considering a move up north to take jobs that offer way more money and benefits. After reading all of these stories, I keep thinking that maybe it's just because they are in the states. I know that sounds biased but I've visited at least ten different states and Americans in general seem to have different views than Canadians (I think that's normal). Anyhow, I'd love to know which small town you lived in. I've always lived in Vancouver and am not sure how well I will adapt to a small town. It seems like a great idea but after reading your post I'm so hesistant.

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I was born and raised in Boston living in a small town of Bethel Vermont. My husband was born and raised here so me, being the daring one, I come to this small town and feel like I am in captivity. There are people here who think they know me better then myself. They fabricate stories that in which at times I laugh because, I quite shy. Other times I cry because if the ludicrousity. I have spoken to my husband of this but he is partially blind to what is going on. We have three children who were born and raised here so it's harder to move away and my husband wants to live out his glory days. Inside, I am dying. I feel like people are constantly watching me but will never speak to me. They are waiting for me to pack my bags and leave as if it were that simple. It is fear of the unknown. Here, your rank is about your last name, how much money you have. Every other "hero" only volunteers to hide the skeletons in their closet. Ignorance is bliss, at least fit these people.

My partneralso grew up in a small town, and he doesn't.see it as well either, although he is just starting to get it now, now that we've moved away from it! Just remember that even if no one else you know gets it, there's still truth to what you're saying. And we get it! :) Sending you hope!

Well I live in a small town and all I can say is there really is nothing to do. I can't stand my town, although I'm only 16, I feel like I should have been born somewhere else. I am so different from all the other kids around here and my parents don't buy me anything even though they are extremely well off. All my friends have boats, dirtbikes, snowmobiles, and other fun things. But nope, not me. Even though both my parents work full time, and they leave their banking in information on the computer so I know thy have money. (214,789 saved up in various accounts with little to no debt) I ask for things but they just tell me, all my friends are spoiled. So what, am I the only non spoiled kid in the whole ******* town? Anyways that's what people more or less do in small towns, and do drugs, lots and lots of drugs.

Cindy, I wish i could offer you advice.......but the problem with my advice is that it would further discourage you. I have done some pretty great things considering living in a small town as it wasn't always this way. I made some bad choices growing up and at the current time am paying for some of those decisions. I wouldn't take them back because then I wouldn't be me but the thing about the small town is I will always live them because here no second chances are offered. You are either in and welcome or you drug down and made miserable by all those more miserable. Small towns are stuck in their ways, they are made up a different cliques where like minded people laugh at each other and gather at a local watering hole because aside from drinking the pain away what else is there to look forward too. Its the only place in America where you can be hated by someone without ever speaking to them somehow. Its a place where the coolest people, the most looked up too individuals are usually the most useless. People flock around these type of people because it offers them some sort of excitement from the reality of this boring lifestyle. Anything that offers change or spontaneity, whether good or bad, is an exciting risk worth taking. People don't meet and make their decision of you, their decision is made of you based on rumor of folklore that has been passed around long before the first handshake or conversation. Perception is 99% of reality and In the small town you can see and live that truth every day. I hear of people that dislike, or that have told my gf that I did such and such or why are you dating someone like him he did this and that. Mind you this coming from a person whom I don't know, never met, and now don't want to. Scratch off one more from the list of new people I will never meet here. Talk about new people, I guess I desire to meet new people and that almost never happens here. Nothing ever happens here . If you want to be social or see people the only place to go is a bar and the music is too loud to talk anyhow, so ive tried that only to figure out why bother. Its the same people, pounding shots trying to figure out who they can get drunk and try to take home. Then you sit at home a prisoner and stare at the wall and wonder if this is all that there is?? You start to go crazy, literally, like solitary confinement in prison and you dream that there really must be something wrong with you because nobody likes you. Then you watch terrible people that are obviously (no offense) worse people in character, morals, success and every other measurable attribute living the great life, tons of friends, the life of the party, and you can only wonder why?? I still haven't figured it out yet. The reason is because there is no figuring it out, its the small town sickness. Ill tell you what, Im getting a cure in the form of getting the Hell out of here.

I desire to be around positive influential people with bright ideas, and dreams and I have yet to find any here in my town. I often wonder why I cant leave and its probably because these people beat you up so that you don't even know if you can. I don't do anything to anyone, i spend the majority of my life catering to anyone, and try to brighten everyone day and I get **** on in the process. You cant win I feel as the game is rigged. I guess now I am just rambling but the thought of speaking to someone who can validate this feeling is welcoming by nature. I apologize if this isn't helpful but I guess if I were you I would just tell your husband that you need to go. Happiness is worth everything, is it not. Life is too short to live unhappy and that's advice I need to learn to take. Anyone who can pass judgement through the grapevine is no friend of mine, and I don't want to be around people like that. If these people had half a clue, they would know to make there own determination, they wouldn't trust hearsay, so that fact alone tells me enough. As the smart ones are the ones on here trying to understand why this is and solve it. That is because we care too, and we care in general. The loose cannons run the show in the small town unfortunately..........because the followers rule by numbers, not by intelligence or character.

PS also from UPSTATE NY,

I live in a small Upstate NY "city." Insular, cliqueish, backwards, etc. Moved here from a large Western metro. Adjustment has been non-existent. Planning, trying to move, but it's been difficult and frustrating to say the least. And, I'm not 20 something. How many more new start-ups can I go through? I guess for me it's the frustration at my self for moving here. You make a bad decision and have to pay for it in more ways than one.

I am 38 and live in a Fairfield, Idaho. I am not married and have no children. I feel like I have moved to a very isolated small mined and fearful people. I do not have a car and am living with parents b/c I am Chronically Ill. My advice to you is to talk your husband into moving before you have kids. Maybe to a little bigger town. I have no way out of my life and well I feel more depressed than i have ever felt in my life. There is so much, time to think about how you were more happy where you use to be than where you are now. I told my mo how I felt and she told me to spot being a child and be grateful for what I have. I really cannot talk to her about how I really feel any more. I never really could. Everyone has their own space of misery and distrust.

<p>omg, I know you wrote this two years ago, are you still living in the same town? I moved to a small town and I feel the exact same way. People are so weird and when I vent to my husband he says yes, its weird, but its not a big deal. We are both from the city, but he can just get along with everyone. Everyone gossips about the dumbest things. What I hate the most is when you go to the grocery stores here and people will ring you up and comment on all your purchases. WHO THE HELL DOES THAT? Yesterday I bought a pack of mushrooms and the lady asked me if I was going to stuff them and I was just like oh, no and smiled polietely. She then proceded to ask me again and then a third time. I have a university degree as well and I don't want to sound like I'm better than people, but sadly, you do almost feel as if you are. There is no other way to describe the feeling of being around people that make you feel completely outside your comfort zone. I am sorry for you and my husband and I are hoping to move this year or early next year. Thank God!!!!!</p>

Try to find things to do by yourself that you enjoy.If you use the library,you might love books.You seem very well educated.EP and other groups will help.Can you get a computer at home?

I almost can't believe your stories because I have always thought that America and Canada as part of the western capitalist world are progressive even when it comes to small towns. I live in a small municipality in Bosnia and Hezegovina,the Balkans. It seems that the situation in my town is much better. my advice would be to find a few online friends and be in everyday touch with your family via skype. As to the towners, don't expect anything from them nor expect to have a social life there like they almost don't exist and you will not be disappointed. they shouldn't be important to you if they are so mean and judgemental.
Wishing you all best in life!

Thank you for understanding. Yes, that is what the U.S. media (and small towns, for that matter) would have you believe: that everyone is sooo progressive here. But, if you'll notice, the people who tend to be violently nationalistic about their country the most are often small towns ("I bleed red, white, and blue!" and all that stuff). And while there is NOTHING wrong with being proud and grateful to live in your country (I am, BELIEVE me), using it as a way to discriminate against people that aren't like you (and even believing that all people in your country are like you in the first place!) is just wrong. It's nice to have you see that our country isn't ALL like the media portrays it. Some parts are, but some parts, of course, are really, really, not. Can you LEGALLY be who you are anywhere in the U.S.? Sure. But that doesn't mean you're going to have an easy time doing it. And when the whole town doesn't accept you, it can feel like the whole WORLD doesn't accept you. Thanks for listening.

For 25 years I followed my husband wherever he needed to go, even though I wasn't wild about it. The last place we lived turned out to be wonderful - Boise, Idaho - even though it was definitely a surprise. Now we have had to move again, back to France where he is from, and I just can't stand it. I'm in a decent sized town, but it's impossible to get to know french people who have been here all their life and have family, etc., and the expats who are here are just too weird. The average age isn't that high, but they act older than my parents who are in their 80's, they are cubby and secretive and just plain weird. There is no non-profit to volunteer with, because that kind of thing just doesn't exist in France.

I'm just thinking - how much do I owe this man? This is just one move too much, and I think it's my turn to decide. I have to leave him because he's in a depressed state because of various business problems, but really, how long to I have to worry about him when I am getting more and more depressed?

I am soon to (possibly) become an expat too after following my husbands career around for years - I'm very worried...

I truly believe that the situation is hopeless. Move away until all the place is cleansed of this inbred bunch of idiots. They are too stupid to realize that their behaviour has contributed to the utter decline of the rural way of life. Thankfully their children have no jobs to go to so no future exists here anymore. I have no sympathy for them whatsoever and I only wish I had the money to keep buying up all their properties just to give them the finger of sorts. I detest where I live too - backwater eastern Canada....only my garden keeps me here and I too realized that my husband really did not relate so he has been no help and I find myself drifting away from him too. I feel trapped, sad and lonely.

I am so ready to leave Montana! I relate to so many of these posts. I moved to a small town so my kids (we had just divorced) would be able to see both parents equally and thought I was doing the "right" thing for them. Yikes! From day one, my daughter and I have been ostracized and were told "people don't like you" for no apparent reason. I've lived here 12 long years and I'm headed back to Denver, Colorado with my daughter as she is ready to leave as well. I have been depressed as I have felt alone and isolated. I am remarried but as someone else stated, there is no one who can "fix" the experience of people treating you badly for no reason or saying awful things about you that have no semblance of truth. There are people who have literally made stories up about me and my family and I have had absolutely no contact with them. My first month, the librarian told me she heard I had a new boyfriend who drove a blue fence had blown down and it was a repairman. When I asked here where she heard it, she said from my neighbor who worked with her it was already making the rounds. I've done my time and would NOT ever, ever move to a small town. Someone suggested finding a tribe of like minded people but there a long long way from here. That's why we're atta here!

Haha. I laugh at how dumb people are sometimes. The repairman= your boyfriend. On what planet? Misinformation is one things, but when the people who have that misinformation cannot be convinced otherwise, is when you have a problem. Story of my life for the last 10 years (just moved!!!). I hope you and your daughter are around better people now! Screw that small town.

Reading all of these posts are so therapeutic for me! My situation is a bit different, as I am living in the same Indiana small town in which I grew up. I was popular, good at sports, and did well enough in school. I dated a really great guy whom everyone loved and loves still. But, for some reason I couldn't wait to go to college and experience everything. I loved college and during the summers I got a job in New York as a nanny. So much fun and so many experiences! However, things at home were not good. My father was an alcoholic and my brother committed suicide at age 25. So, after college I met and married a man who would follow me back to my small town so that I could be closer to my grieving parents. We were married for 13 years and then divorced. A long and interesting story follows that, but this is a small town blog. Three years later I married my high school sweetheart. We are happy, but I feel so alone here. I know the entire town and the so called "elite" class. I feel so judged by everyone because I do not have the same beliefs or interests that they do. I can see through so many of their "values" and "good intentions". If you are not a publicly outspoken god loving person, who posts prayers about EVERYTHING on Facebook, then there is something wrong with you. If you do not gossip about the **** that people post about, then there is something wrong with you. I do not have close friends because it seems that their opinions about all people and all situations are negative and preconceived. The same people have and will continue to run the town and the schools. It is a nice enough small town, and they try to some extent to make it diverse, but it is always the same group of people patting themselves on the back while doing so. I just wish I had a friend here who could relate.

Haha ! We live in the same town! I moved to my "own personal deliverance" in 2011 because me husband got a job here. Since I was a logistics manager for a very successful biotech firm, I thought I would have no problem finding a job here. I bet you can guess how that went. Finally, I did manage to get a minimum wage position at a school as a teachers aide. I do love the kids, so it's a bright spot in my life here. The "culture" sucks. It's like a soul sucking black hole. I only have one friend here-Thank God I found her, she keeps me sane. My husband and I are totally isolated. The crazy part is he grew up in the area... In a town 7 miles away, but he may as well come from Mars for all the people here care. I think he hates it more than I do. He has a good job with the forest service and wants to stay with them. Putting in a transfer takes time, so we have resigned ourselves to be stuck here for a while. There is a bright side to all of this. We explore hobbies and embrace our creativity. I don't think we had time for this when we lived in a larger town. Since I'm in a rural area, I got into gardening and raising rabbits and chickens-it's something I would have never done otherwise. I try to focus on that stuff to generate a sense of pleasure and satisfaction. I can create a retreat from all the knuckle dragging nonsense that gets proliferated here. Lots of folks just stare and gossip but I ignore it and pretend they don't exist. I know this is temporary. Sometimes I feel sorry for them because they are ignorant and narrow and they have no idea what they are missing in life. I think this must be how early humans pitied the last Neanderthals.

A lot of girls here moved for love. I'm the same, and the problem with coming from a wonderful big city with so many opportunities around every corner, shows to see, people to meet and projects to take on... Is that no man, no matter how awesome can keep being worth giving all that up. Of course in the beginning you move for the most romantic and wonderful of reasons full of that big city can-do attitude that you can make it work no matter what.That's great in the honeymoon period but it gets hard quick. Months I have been unhappy here in this small town in Cornwall and realised that I'm stuck. I love him too much to leave him but I'm losing my mind here, and when augments pop up there is a devastating loneliness washes over you, that comes from being in a town where you haven't got anyone to talk to or anywhere to go. You start scrutinising how he treats you because you're expecting him to somehow provide the happiness you moved all this way for, which is unfair on him. You cant expect him to entertain, inspire, delight and move you as much as all the comedy clubs, west end shows, bands, museums, seminars, weekend courses, restaurants and cafe's of London or Sydney. He isn't even aware that he somehow accepted this unspoken responsibility, and why should he? It was your decision to move here and you came willingly.I have no answers, I found myself stupidly picking holes in our relationship when I was bottoming out - perhaps subconsciously I saw a break from him was a solution, and an escape from the problem. But there is nothing fundamentally wrong with our relationship and he loves me to bits.It was/is wrong of me to judge him for how badly he's handling my constantly being down from being in this depressing f-fing town. He told me once 'oh stop being miserable, your getting me down now', and 'try to smile more sweety'... It made me angry because it seemed uncaring until I realised that its just as hard for him, he wants the girl he fell in love with back... the problem is she was like that because she was constantly mentally stimulated, around friends, she had a career and met exciting people most weeks to help her get there which made her excited about life, she worked with other creative people so she didn't rely on you for all her conversation so she didn't get upset if you didn't want to hear about her sc<x>ript again and she could tell you about her day because you weren't there for most of it.I don't have an answer, but where you live changes you. Living with a miserable homesick mess changes you, so you end up with two different people than the couple who fell crazy in love because their differences made life so interesting. I'm hoping that going away for a couple months might reset me but I'm terrified that Ill fall back into this downer I'm on as soon as I'm back because the problem is the same.If any of this rings true for you, you're not alone x

I honestly broke down and cried my eyes out reading your response. It's like you put exactly everything going on in my life, in my head, in my heart into words. I have no friends here to talk about any of this with and the people I do meet also only want to gossip.. So I turned to the internet.. hoping to find something out there that sounds even slightly comparable to my situation and reassure my self that I'm not selfish or crazy. Although I haven't found a solution to my problem, at least I know I'm not alone in having these feelings.

Its not wrong of you!!! My partner (small town dude) got upset when I didn't want to hang out with his ex girlfriend and him (he was still infatuated with her). I just didn't feel comfortable and he couldn't understand why, and got so angry for it. That's what everyone does here. They not only hang out with every ex (not in a "we're still friends" way) but set them up with their best friends, those two get married and then we all have to sit around and talk about when the exes were together and having sex with each other! Sorry, not my thing!

As others said, this is my story told by someone else, and it consoles me a little to see I am not the only one in this situation. It breaks my heart to think of the future, but if I don't change something I will go mad.

I had to wonder if I wrote this. We moved to a very small town about 6 months ago. I have a Bachelor's degree and couldn't find a job so I am working in a job that I have come to loathe. It didn't really take long, I think about a week. We have no friends. We did find a great church though, that is a positive. We are working on meeting people there but it takes time and I get that. The bad thing for me is that we came here for my husband's job and I don't regret that decision. But I am miserable. He isn't the happiest I have ever seen him but he is more of an optimist than me. I am a realist and I just see it getting worse. I feel like I am bringing him down. I spent the entire last evening crying about how much I don't fit in here and how much I hate my job and how miserable I am. The thing is, that is not ME. I am the "you choose your own happiness level" person. I'm trying, I really am but I am failing. Our kids are doing better than me and I'm afraid that my unhappiness will ultimately affect them in a negative way. The ladies I work with are "nice". They really are but the majority of them have only lived here. They all have a shared history of at least knowing all the same people. Things they do at work make me feel very singled out and not a part of the team. Despite the fact that I work just as hard as they do I am made to feel like I am less of a person and my opinion, knowledge, etc does not matter. I have actually heard this, no kidding. I'm done. I love my husband and kids and can't wait to get home to them each day. However, I'm beginning to think that they dread it. I'm working on changing jobs to a place where the people don't actually live here. They just come here for their jobs. I used to not understand why they commuted over an hour each way, now I do. It is a truly beautiful place. But right now, that is just not enough. I will say, I am glad I am not alone. At least I don't feel crazy now.

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My spirit is shattered! I feel everything I am and was is in ruins. I pray that I can have a positive outlook, as I know I am the only person responsible for my happiness but it is only achieved for a short while. I am married and in love with a wonderful man and we have a beautiful one year old daughter together. My husband has a son from a previous marraige that we get to have in the summers. My family lives 12 hours away and they mean the world to me. I can not imagine living this far away and not being able to be an aunt to my nephews... be their for my parents as they age... be a friend to my brother... and share life with people who believe in me and make me believe in myself. Here, in this small little town, my in-laws and others find a blemish and push and push until they are satisfied with the misery you are in. At home, someone sees a blemish and they build you up so you can overcome it. I do not want this for my daughter, to live in this simple-minded draught. I feel like it would be selfish of me to move when my step-son is with us in the summers...but my family said he could be wherever we are at. I also am having a hard time convincing my husband to move as he was born and raised here. HELP!!!!

You can do it! Something it helps finding the place (actual apartment, etc.) you want to move in to first instead if broching the general idea of moving away first. I did that with my boyfriend and it was successful! We needed to move apartments and I found one an hour away (not small town) and had us check it out. Sometimes seeing the actual location makes it less scary for them than just talking about the general idea. My boyfriend was on the phone with the cable company on our way here and was giving them our zipcode. He didn't know it so when he asked me and I told him, he shouted, "Nine ONE three???? Nine ONE?!!!" in absolute disbelief and abject terror. He had never even heard or known anyone who had a zip code that didn't start with nine THREE. So when he heard nine ONE , etc., he lost it. Yes, I know, not his most attractive quality, but this is how deep this fear of not being in your small town goes. When a friend asked him where we moved to after he mentioned it on Facebook, the friend replied in absolute disbelief, "THOUSAND OAKS????!!" as if it were on another planet. Its one hour away from where we were. It's even the same area code (which small town people have a hard time getting over too- different area codes). It's not a huge city by any means, it's a suburb that is surrounded by 7 or so other suburbs that all kind of blend together but are large enough to have their own stuff. It's about an hour or so away from Los Angeles and even closer to the very outskirts of LA (the valley) that have a diverse populations. So while where we are living now is homogeneous in most ways, everyone is used to people of different races, cultures, etc., and is not shocked by the outside world, because we are a part of it. Yet, he couldn't even handle that. I totally feel you.

I feel your pain because I have a similar situation.