Christmas 2007 - Bahrain

Bahrain, a land of plenty and sadly I sit here sit felling like I have nothing. Reflecting over my last few weeks experiences in the US, Mumbai, Bangalore and Bahrain I realize that I have a problem.

Last night, as I lay in bed, I could hear the prayers from many different mosques. All the magnificent proclamations seemed to blend into a loud sound. At times I could recognize a word, but on the whole it sounded like noise. I realize that this seems similar situation in my life. I have had many voices of expectations laid over my life. Some such have been being a “Hebron kid” mixed with the expectations of “an air force kid” mixed with the expectations of a “missionary kid” mixed with my own parents expectations. To make things even more complex, my experience in the US has added four more layers of expectations as “Indian” a “Christian” the boyfriend of a Hispanic and more recently, back in India, as an America. I consider my self to be associated with all these groups but sadly never seem to be a part of any. This rich background makes me a unique person while inside it tears me up - a perpetual feeling of disconnect and no sense of belonging. To make things harder for me, I have no real place I can call home. The friends that constitute my childhood/sense of belonging are all over the world and connecting with them (although they all share this experience) is tough.

I know there are many methods of dealing with this - some healthy and some more damaging. I know my method of coping has been the latter. My approach has been that of caution. I prefer to enter any situation (people) as an observer to try to understand the “group culture” that I am trying to associate myself with. My method is to try gauge what the expectations are of the group. I know that given enough time I can connect/adapt with anyone in the group and win peoples hearts over. The problem is, most people only are willing to give a friendship one chance. Sadly, my caution can be perceived as being surly or snobbish.

Here I sit on the crossroads. I know what the answers is to define myself identity more clearly. Defining myself seems like a catch 22. As me becomes more clearer I disassociate myself with parts of myself - loosing my identity.

aksh aksh
22-25, M
7 Responses Dec 17, 2007

I felt like I was losing my identity too... I still find it hard identifying myself

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Hey aksh, I completely relate to what you're saying. Too much disruption (during childhood) with not enough support does this to a person. It is not you, it is the experience that you were put through. <br />
Take care.

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omg i can totally identify with all of this. aksh, we seriously need to talk - if you're still on EP. you too, miyon!

Hi, my name is Miyon. I am a third culture kid and missionary kid. I really feel the pain that you went through- feeling disconnected from people around you and not having a full sense of belonging. This must be truly challenging. I remember struggling with this for so long I felt so much pain inside and tried to cope with loneliness that can be damaging to myself. I wondered how long this was going to last. I wondered what was wrong with me. Why I could not have a normal life and fit in just fine. My friends seemed to be doing fine and when I tried to explain to them what I was going through they thought I was overreacting. I would shut myself down on some friends because I was so afraid that they may judge me not to mention how I was afraid to get hurt. I still struggle with letting people in because I am afraid of losing them. I have had such a highly mobile lifestyle and no friendships seem permanent that it is so difficult to let others know me in depth.

With all that background, I would stay confused. It is no wonder you are having a hard time identifying permanently. There are so many la<x>yers to who you are and what you've been, and what you've had to be to adapt. <br />
You would have to at some point wonder is it really me or something that I have adopted from somewhere else?<br />
So how will you define yourself?