In his book Third Culture Kids David Pollock writes what some of these hidden losses are,All of us experience losses in our life. A lot of the losses are hidden
and we almost don’t notice them. I think that people who are not TCKs
go through these things as well. Refugees go through this.
Loss of their world. With every plane ride a TCK a whole world can ‘die’. They don’t have time to mourn because the place they are going to is exciting and they don’t have time to be sad for the friends, familiar places, home, pets etc that they left behind.
Loss of status. With that plane ride comes a loss of status. They often don’t know who they are and are not recognised in the new place for who they are or what they can contribute.
Loss of lifestyle .. sports, familiar shops, school driver etc etc All the patterns of daily life are gone
Loss of possessions These don’t refer only to possessions of the monetary value but the loss of things connecting them to their past. Favourite toys, bikes etc are sold because of the move.
Loss of relationships Not only do people come and go but many have disrupted relationships to loved ones, parents, grandparents etc
Loss of role model especially kids who grew up in boarding school who missed out onÂ having a father as a role model
Loss of system identity Many grow up in organisational structures and once they are adult they lose the sense of belonging to that group.
Loss of the past that wasn’t. Some feel a deep grief over what they see as irretrievable losses of their childhood. Some regret that they had to return to their home country when their parents did, they wanted to stay in the host country.
Loss of the past that was. While some grieve for experiences they missed, others grieve for the past no longer available to them.
I think its important that we recognise and acknowledge our losses. Children in general are often told,well, it could be worse orÂ ”at least you still had this..”. This causes a child (or even adult) to pull back and to stop talking about their feelings and losses.