When coming “home” hurts

I took a break from blogging because I didn’t understand my own emotions. And since I couldn’t explain them to myself, I didn’t want to open up about them others.

I’ve been going through re-entry culture shock.

I had no idea it would be this tough.

I thought returning to the States would be like coming home, although I knew I would miss where we lived for seven years in Central Asia.

Instead, I have more resonated more deeply with the idea of being a stranger in a strange land.

There are expectations all around me. People look at me: I look like an American woman. In fact, I am one. And then they expect me to act like one.

But sometimes it feels like I forgot how to do that.

We have been in the middle of the Christmas season, something I have not experienced in the States for six years.

I have never experienced it as a mom.

Our schedule started to get frenetic after Thanksgiving. It felt like it was driving toward some sort of awful, meltdown crescendo. And then it hit me: This heightening would not end until Christmas.


I remember walking through a Wal-Mart Supercenter when we first arrived in the U.S. last January. I was overwhelmed. My husband took a look at my eyes, and then gently took me by the hand.

“I think that’s about enough for today… Time to go.”

Like I’m Tom Hanks on Cast Away and I can’t handle simple things like electricity.

Which is sort of funny, until you are Tom Hanks!

Sometimes I want to tell those around me (who are usually quite kind, I might add),

“Yes, I sound like an American. Look like an American. … Even act like an American at times … But please be patient with me, because inside I feel different. And I’m still trying to figure all this out.”

I’ve found myself thinking of our first six months overseas.

Did I cry a lot? Did it feel this overwhelming?

If I’m honest I know that it did. Which gives me hope that God will get me through this season, just like He did before.

In the meantime, just pass me the tissues. 🙂


2 thoughts on “When coming “home” hurts

    1. It’s amazing how much can change in a relatively short time. I feel like I’m doing better every day. Thanks for posting.

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