Temporary friends (& places): the hardest thing about being a TCK.

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I was on Facebook yesterday and saw an old friend of mine mentioned in a post by a common friend. I clicked on her profile and noticed she had…deleted me.

The next hour was spent trying to go through Facebook profiles of old friends and the outcome was similar, a few had simply deleted me.

We’re now (sadly) in an age where deleting someone on Facebook could be considered an “impactful” move. Especially when these guys are on the other side of the world, it’s not like we’ll have a high chance of seeing each other again.

Also, if I may add, these were not just “friends”. We had been best friends at some point.

I wondered what I did wrong but it didn’t take me long to figure it out. It seems that I have developed this pattern of making friends, getting really close to them and then, gradually stray away from them.

Some people can’t tolerate

not being talked to for weeks or months.

Some people don’t get why you suddenly shut off for a month.

Some needs a constant contact, some kind of reassurance. They need to know they matter. It gets excessive, or that’s at least how I perceive it. The current few people that are really close to me have understood that I can go radio silent for months, yet it doesn’t mean I don’t care about them.

I need that time

and that feeling of freedom.

I hate feeling like I’m tied to a friend,

that I have to entertain them and be in contact with them constantly. Even if we’re not in the same country. Then again, that might just be personal.

In high school, I had two best friends. We’ve gone through so much, the three of us. Today, one is in Canada, the other in Australia and I’m, well, back to where we all met… Singapore! (They both are fellow TCKs).

We often had jokes about how we can go on, not exchange a word for over a year, yet when we reconnect, it’s the same.

One thing I’ve failed to understand is that this perception of “friendship” isn’t friendship to a lot of people.

It’s hard for someone to get it. It doesn’t just stand to being a TCK or not, it can also just be a question of character. However, I’m pretty sure my TCK experience has contributed to building that perception of friendship for myself and the urge to be able to breakaway whenever I need to.

It also ties in with the constant urge to move, start over. New life, new job, new house, new friends, new me. I’m scared of getting used to a place and calling it home. The thought of spending my entire life in a single places scares me, so much.

It’s seems to all tie to commitment. This issue with committing to people and places. It could be a result of having lost people and a sense of belonging when moving to a new country or even city but regardless, I think it only made me stronger.

Some better founded thoughts can be read here: http://tckresearcher.net/Cottrell%20ATCK%20commitment.pdf

There was actually some research done about commitment, life choices and all that jazz…. Enjoy 😉

Don’t forget to leave your thoughts below, would love to hear from you!

Author: thethirdculturekidproject

Founded by 2 TCKs, the TCK Project aims to bring together TCKs and share our stories. " Many losses are often not acknowledged even by their own parents, and the main problem is unspoken, unrecognized, shunted aside." Through our story sharing, we want to speak of this main problem and cope together. If you're in Singapore, email us!

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