New Delhi, Weather from Weather Underground

Thursday, February 25, 2010

that temporary feeling

Since we relocated to Minnesota, I have felt that this is a temporary stop for the family. I know, I know what you are thinking.....yes, we have been in six locations in sixteen years. What isn't temporary, right? In all the other locations it started feeling like our home soon after we moved in. I started the "nesting" thing, got involved in the community, etc. This time I haven't felt like doing that. Part of it, I am sure, is that we are renting. We can't hang things on the walls, plant flowers, or make any changes. I know that one way or another we will be moving in a year. This temporary or being in transit feeling is odd. Many days I feel as if I am on the outside looking into my life. Not when I am at home with Dan and the girls but in the other aspects of day to day life where I could get involved.

When we lived in China, I quickly made some wonderful friends. Because we lived in a foreign country where everything is new and sometimes challenging, we learned to really rely on one another. It was like being dropped into an instant family. The move back to the US was a little of a letdown. I missed my "China family" and the excitement of living in a foreign country. I didn't really experience much culture shock when moving to China.
[From Wikipedia...Culture Schock refers to the anxiety and feeling (of surprise, disorientation, uncertainty, confusion, etc.) felt when people have to operate within a different and unknown culture such as one may encounter in a foreign country. It grows out of the difficulties in assimilating the new culture, causing difficulty in knowing what is appropriate and what is not. This is often combined with a dislike for or even disgust with certain aspects of the new culture.]

The feeling of loss when we moved back was a complete surprise. It even took me some time to realize why I was feeling down. Of course, the jet lag and searching for a church, schools, and a place to live didn't help either. I was actually very happy wen I read about "reverse culture shock." It is good to know that what I went through is actually very normal.
[Also, from Wikipedia.....Reverse Culture Shock may take place--returning to one's home culture after growing accustomed to a new one can produce the same effects as culture shock. This results from the psychosomatic and psychological consequences of the readjustment process to the primary culture. The affected person often finds this more surprising and difficult to deal with that the original culture shock.]

I hope this doesn't come across as being anti-America. That is not at all how I feel. I am glad to be in the US and love where we are living right now. It is just a step in the process of moving around. I am not sitting around boo-hooing or sleeping all day. I decided to share because I was glad to know I wasn't the only one who went through this and maybe someone else will be too.


  1. These are really well articulated thoughts, Gwen ... and from everything I've read about repatriation, completely normal! I've really enjoyed reading Homeward Bound: A Spouses Guide to Repatriation by Robin Pascoe. You might find it helpful as well!

  2. Can you shoot me an email to let me know your email .... mine is gemgem76 @ gmail. com

    ~ Naomi

  3. G: totally understandable on so many levels! I LOVE LOVE LOVE reading your posts and feel reconnected to you even though we haven't actually talked. Miss you much. You are in my heart. Wish you lived in my development and we could watch the girls play while we chat. xoxooxxo