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.