I am a Diplobrat, my father was with the State Dept for 30 years and I have literally lived all over the world and moving every 3 years. I have no roots, I avoid getting close to people because it involves loss. I have said good-bye to more people than I care to count. This has resulted in me not being able to have and hold onto best friends. I get itchy feet to move every 3 years and have dragged my poor husband (who is a 26 year retired Air Force vet). The most recent move was four years ago when I told my husband that we needed to move from Georgia where he retired from to Utah so I could be near my 14 grandchildren, five of which are in Utah, the others are spread from California to North Carolina. I was born in California. Just writing this to you, I am bawling. I had an amazing past! The best past any child growing up could have! My father was transferred to Beirut, Lebanon in 1965 taking all of us (4 children and my mom) with him. I got to travel to Egypt and ride a camel around the pyramids and the Sphynx, Italy, France, Germany, and many more countries. I got to experience being evacuated from the Arab-Israeli war in 1967, only to come back afterwards to seeing so many refugees in the streets that were homeless. I was 13 years old at that time. I have learned about cultures, religions, compassion, hope, fear, and how to miss a dad that was home one week out of the month. What I didn’t learn about was how to plan for a future. My parents always lived in the present, never teaching any of us kids about money, planning, relationships, etc. This is why all my siblings, including myself have had multiple divorces and all of them except me have had substance abuse issues. I am the strongest of the bunch. I have always looked for the positive in life and how to further myself. But I have come to realize everything I have done i.e. 3 Master’s degrees (nursing, MBA, MHA) all the moving around, all the reckless spending I have done (I just paid off $40,000 in debt not related to school, still owe $220,000 in student loans) all boils down to buffering to relieve myself of the pain of having no roots. I don’t know where I’m from, where I belong, I don’t have high school reunions, besties. My life are my children and husband who are amazing. As a single mom I raised a son who is an orthopedic surgeon, a daughter who is the senior counsel for the California Dept of Managed Care, and another son who is a MBA project manager for a medical device company. My youngest is a 33 year survivor of leukemia diagnosed at 3 years and is now 36 who is handicapped but the happiest person ever. I DID THIS BY MYSELF! So why am I so empty inside? After 3 years living in Utah I found myself frustrated and lonely bordering on depression because my son in Utah would never call. My kids and I were a tribe growing up, we were the 4 musketeers. I have now been married for 20 years, so yes, I do have a great and supportive husband. One day in Utah I decided that I was the only one hurting that my son never called or came to visit grandma. I realized that I had to cut the cord. I was the only one hurting, my kids were doing fine without mom there all the time. Which is a good thing. I told my husband one more move, this time to Florida so I can be near the beach where I want to be and that when my kids want mom in their lives, I’ll be there for them. I learned that living next to my kids isn’t all that… I live in Palm Coast, FL with my husband now and loving it. But I still avoid contact with people, I don’t want to lose anyone anymore.
This is also my niche. I am hear to coach the Military Brats, Diplobrats and the Third Culture Kids on how to get over not having roots. Not knowing where then belong. But first I need to self-coach myself so I can know how to help the many many people in my situation with their lives. It’s only the kids, all our parents have roots. My parents were born and raised in Evanston, Wyoming, they have childhood friends, when to the same school… I don’t have this. Help!