Wow, how about that, finding this thread just today where I realized (well, better say thought about it again more deeply) that I somehow have lost my identity.. if I ever had one...
I'm German, was born there, but then due to my father's work from his company (VW) we moved & lived around the world, Brazil, Japan, and inbetween always back to Germany for 3-4 years (in each place)...
Of my now 33 years I've lived maybe 10 in total in Germany, the rest all over the world.
By the time I met my husband (US Navy) in Portugal and got married, I felt more like a 'multi cultural' person [I didn't know of that term TCK and will have to read up on that!] and not really German anymore.
Our daughter was born in Portugal and due to my parents living in Portugal as well at that time, she was raised bilingual. Unfortunately, once we moved back to the US (she was 2.5 at that time), I stopped more and more talking German to her as by that time I didn't even feel being German myself and kind of had that 'oh well, why bother' attitude..
I had no contact to any German speaking people, lost contact to my parents due to other reasons.. and basically gave up on being German. (Not to mention, I really didn't want to be the 'outsider', speaking to my kids in German, nobody else understanding me and giving me 'funny looks'. I hate creating attention and wanted to blend in as much as possible..
I always joked with my husband that I would give up my passport in a heartbeat..
Last year, shortly after we arrived here in Italy (our duty station for the next 2 years at least) we traveled to Germany and while many things felt like 'coming home', most of it felt 'weird' and I felt literally like a foreigner!..
I think in English, dream in English, read all of my books in English and live my daily life in English..
Lately I've wondered though, if I might have 'given up' on feeling & being German because it always looked as if we'll retire in the US, the kids growing up in the US!? Did I maybe just try to avoid feeling anything I might only miss?? (The constant back & forth from other countries to Germany and back while growing up [especially being a teenager!] have left a 'mark' on me somehow for sure..)
My husband only understands a few words and never really encouraged me speaking German to our kids once we came to the US, so I kinda just 'surrendered' to that as well...
Interestingly though, over the past year, my husband claimed that he would love to retire in GERMANY!.. And I honestly don't know how to feel about it!.. I loved living in the US and can see me living somewhere in a nice natural area in PA (where DH is from), living the American dream!.. And then there is the other side where I'm thinking that I could just as well also live somewhere in the southern part of Germany!.. I'm am very torn and only thankful that we don't have to make a decision now!..
I'm currently on my way of working on many of other issues I'm dealing with since many years and I'm thinking about starting to talk to the kids in German again. As a matter of fact I already started and it is as if there's a complete different person coming out of me when I speak my mother tongue!.. Very interesting for me to discover and I truly think I'm on my own personal journey to discover who I really am!..
Oops.. sorry for the long story!!!
I'm just very happy this thread was started and find it very interesting to see how many of us are out there, feeling like this!