As I described the familiar patterns - clinging onto people and places in anxious anticipation of impending separation or departure, feeling terrified by what lies ahead, leaving abruptly without looking back and feeling my spirits soar as I do, realizing that I often feel most confident and whole when I am alone and unstretched by the emotional effort of relating deeply to others - my sister said, “You know, those are classic symptoms of third culture kids.” She has been telling me about the TCK concept for years. Finally, I have started to listen. My experiences match those of many fellow TCKs who grew up moving from place to place, country to country, culture to culture, trying to assimilate here, fit in there, find ourselves somewhere in between. I am not alone in feeling most at home when I know that another journey to another country awaits me soon despite the ineivtable dread that surfaces prior to the trip. I am not alone in my aloneness yet still I cling to the joys and comforts of solitude.
Are you an adult TCK too? Have you found ways to manage or overcome the lifelong sense of dis-ease?