Further and further from home

Is it normal to feel more and more cut off from the country you started in? Does this happen to everyone who lives abroad?

More and more I feel that my interactions with people, with friends, still living in the US are just impossible; more and more I feel like we don’t share even basic foundations, not even premises for discussion any more. And then I don’t know if I would have grown away from these particular people in any case, if it’s me, them, or France. After all, I haven’t seen some of them in over 20 years, and I’ve since abandoned an entire career path, happily married, and gained a huge amount of self-confidence: moving to France is hardly the only major change I’ve made since college.

But it’s always there, now, this sense that I can’t communicate, and it makes me feel lonely. Deeply, profoundly lonely.

And I feel more and more that these people, these former friends, that they hate me, too; that they use me as a stand-in for France and that they hate us both. No matter what I say, what opinion I express, I get, well, France isn’t so great, you know, or in France they do this wrong, or the US has a better system than France for this. What is that? When did I become responsible for 65 million people in a country where I don’t even have the right to vote? And you, how would YOU feel if I laid every Rush Limbaugh quote, every drone strike, every SCOTUS decision at your door? If you tried to take part in a discussion and I said, oh yeah, well, your country manufactured evidence of weapons of mass destruction in order to wage a war of aggression in a foreign country, so your opinion doesn’t count, and by the way also fuck you?

I’m guessing you wouldn’t like it.


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