Dear Ruth, I’m still searching for my “home”…
I am a 29 year old TCK and am still searching for my ‘home’, mostly
by traveling as far away from everyone I know whenever I get the
chance. I feel very isolated in most places simply because I don’t
end up in areas where there are TCKs to relate to. Although my
parents are becoming more aware of TCK issues, they still do not
understand the grief that was involved in our lifestyle for myself
or my brother and this has lead to many issues that we still cannot
resolve in our lives. For my brother it is breaking off
communication in a form of rejection that is not
intentional but subconscious to pay back my parents for a time he
felt they abandoned him. For me it is moving as often as possible
to the next place that will finally make me feel whole, but it
never does and I am
finding it harder and harder to make meaningful connections in my
These are my questions:
1. What is the best way for TCKs to go about trying to make deeper
connections with the people around them when they find themselves
in situations where they are the only TCK?
2. How can a TCK come to terms with grief that has not been
resolved after many years when they don’t have a support system
around to help them deal with that grief in a safe way?
Thanks for the questions. They reflect so many of our stories.
To begin, let me say that it’s great you realize the behavior patterns you see in yourself and your brother are reflections of deeper realities in your life.
This is a huge and positive headstart – to not blame the circumstances you’re in per se for your reactions.
Once we recognize, as you have, that although our circumstances may change but our responses do not, we can begin to look for the choices we can make within our circumstances to bring about the changes we long for.
That’s why I love your questions because what I really believe you are asking is, “When I am not feeling my needs for relationship are met and I don’t know what to do with my grief, what other choices besides running away do I have to try to meet these needs?”
What a perfect place to begin.
Although it may seem to some that you are asking about two separate things – a lack of connection and unresolved grief – my sense is you already know they are connected.
For many TCKs, the pain of losing so many relationships in their lives results in a certain guarding in future relationships. Consciously we long for the very intimacy we unconsciously run away from for fear of one more loss.
It’s a rather amazing paradox, isn’t it?
In Part 2, I will make a couple of points on the issue of “How do I find relationships that are meaningful?”, such as the emotional “distance” we put between the people we love, before we move on to talk about grief and how the two are related.
Looking forward to helping you.
Ruth Van Reken
P.S: Please reply to this post and let me know what you think.
Part 1 – “Dear Ruth, I’m still searching for my “home”…”
Part 2 – “How do I Find Relationships That Are Meaningful?”
Part 3 – “Why Unresolved Grief Affect Your Relationships… And
What To Do About It”
Part 4 – “The #1 Most Common Myth About TCK And Relationships”
Part 5 – “How to Relate to Non-TCKs”