I just found out today that I am a Third Culture Kid.
My passport country is America, but I spent a lot of time in Germany and Austria during important developmental stages. While I was there I had some trouble relating to other kids, at least at first, but I always comforted myself by saying “It’s okay, it’s because I’m American. I just have a different culture but when I eventually go back it’ll be all okay again.”
Eventually we moved back to America, and I was equal parts sad and excited. I was glad to be going back to my home country, but I’d had amazing experiences in Europe and had met some fantastic people as well. However, I was still expecting to come back to the States and integrate back into society like I had never left.
This was not the case, however. It was such a rude shock to return, only to find that time in Europe had changed me so much that I no longer felt a part of either culture. It took years for me to make real friends that I felt comfortable around, and even now I still sometimes feel alienated and unable to relate to those around me on a fundamental level.
I’d always assumed that it was just me, that I was the one messed up, and I’d been carrying this around with me for years. Finally today I broke down and explained this thing that had been bothering me for six years. She asked if I knew what a Third Culture Kid was, so I looked it up.
Finding out that I wasn’t alone in this, like I thought I was for half a dozen years affected me so much that I burst into tears.I’m not alone, I’m not the only one, and I’m so glad I’ve found this blog. Thank you so much.