Monday, July 30, 2012


The human mind can only handle so much before a breakdown occurs.  Whenever something devastating happens, my mind shuts off the outside world to wrap itself in a cocoon of misery.  I experience some of the classic symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder; feeling emotionally numb, trouble concentrating, avoiding activities I once enjoyed, and difficulty maintaining relationships.  I suppose that what I was experiencing wasn’t severe enough to be called PTSD, so I was diagnosed with Major Depression, Dysthymia, and GeneralizedAnxiety Disorder.  My first experience was after Alberto’s voluntary departure in October of 2008, and my second round started on Wednesday, July 18th.

I was destroyed, reduced to a pile of fragmented shards by the email informing me of the denial from USICS.  Joelle sent me home, though she wanted to call someone to come get me instead.  She only saw the tattered facade left behind by emotions run amok; she couldn’t see the core of steel, the resolve that was keeping me upright when all I wanted to do was crumble into pieces on the floor.  I left because it was easier to do so, and because I needed Ashley.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Decision 2012

So much for getting some sleep...  Here's a better rundown of the events of the day:

At 3pm today I received an email from the constituent services representative of Senator Franken’s office, Diana that the USCIS had notified them that a notice was mailed today.  USCIS did not let Diana know what the notice said.  I managed to get myself excited at the potential meaning of the notice.   I forwarded the email to Graciela and she responded that she was on pins and needles waiting to see what it would say.  I was floating on cloud nine thinking about all the good things that notice could say.

At 4:30pm I received the email regarding the new case status and saw that a decision had been made on the I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status).  I’ll let you read for yourselves…


Today was the day my hope for a quick end to our suffering was smashed to pieces.  The I-485 and I-601 we filed back in February were denied in a particularly heinous fashion.  I understand it is their ‘policy’ to approve or deny people on a whim, but using 1 sentence to address a 739 page waiver packet was only slightly more subtle  than giving us the middle finger.  Our packet was a handcrafted masterpiece, their denial was a 14 page cut and paste hack job.  I mean there were several places where the quotation marks didn’t agree and there was a different in font size throughout the document.  They did not even reference one single piece of the I-601 waiver in their denial; I highly doubt they actually read any of it.  Looking at the table of contents isn’t the same thing as having read the damned thing.

Lance thinks the interviewer has never seen an I-601 waiver before, but even that doesn’t excuse such a poorly made and rationalized decision.  Graciela was horrified by denial in itself, how could they possible justify such an appalling decision?  Gather round friends and neighbors and let me explain something to you: immigration is an arm of the government that is not well trained, has no concrete set of rules, and no one appears to be looking over their shoulder.  They have the power to detain and deport people at will, and have been known to ‘accidently’ deport American Citizens when it suits them.  You know that ‘line’ that our spouses were supposed to get in?  It only exists in the narrow minds of the anti-immigration political candidates.  Have they ever looked at the processing times for the different applications?

If the petitioner isn’t a US Citizen, you will be waiting between 1 to 2 years for the initial visa appointment.

I pretty upset so I think I should just go to bed.


Friday, July 13, 2012


I woke up late, which just sucked because I needed to wash my hair.  I forgot to put my work clothes in the dryer last night, and just about everything I had was in the washer.  So I dried one outfit while I shower, and when I got dressed, the zipper on my pants broke.  The little tab thingy just came off!  No big deal right?  Wrong – this is the one pair of pants that had to sew a lingerie hook to attach the zipper since it will not stay up!  I threw another pair of pants in the dryer, and when to see if I had something else I could wear.  I decided to wear my dress with leggings, but wait a second, where is the camisole that I need to wear under it?  Luckily the pants were dry enough to wear by this time but I couldn’t find a clean work shirt.  I grabbed one from the hamper and went to get Ashley out of bed.

Ashley is not a morning person, just like her Mamí.  I forced her out of bed and made her get dressed.  She sat at the kitchen table with a peanut butter sandwich for breakfast while I made her lunch.  Typically she eats breakfast at preschool, but I was running horribly late.  I couldn’t seem find her shoes anywhere and as soon as they were pulled out from under the couch she needed to go potty.  I had about 1 foot out the door when I remembered she needed a towel and swimsuit for sprinkler day.  I finally got her to school only to discover I forgot her water bottle and so I went all the way home to get it.  I got home and checked every single cabinet plus the dishwasher, but it was nowhere to be found.  I filled up one of mine and brought it back to school for her.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Empty Words and Broken Dreams

I hate waiting.  I don’t want to hear about how patient, strong, and wonderful I am.  I don’t want to hear how brave I am to do this all on my own.  I don’t want to hear any of these empty words that praise me for staying alive in this God awful situation.

So you think I’m patient?  I’m sure if you went through my posts you could find multiple examples of the times I’ve flipped the fuck out because I surpassed my maximum tolerance for stress, or the death-grip I have on my emotions snapped like an overstretched elastic band.  Honestly it doesn’t take much anymore.  I’m sure Lance has many stories he could relate, but even he hasn’t seen or heard everything.  I’m too internal of a person to tell one person every single thing I think or feel.  Alberto is the only person that I never hid myself from.

I’m strong because I have no choice.  What good would it do to fold myself into a ball and weep copiously for what has been lost?  Who, in my situation, has the time to be weak and what kind of mother would I be to Ashley if she couldn’t count on her Mamí to always be there?  Alberto needs me to be strong when in the past he was always my rock.  I am desperately trying to hold myself together.  I’m trying to cover the hole in my bleeding heart that may never heal.  Should I let those bitter tears run down my cheeks whenever someone I know gets engaged, married, pregnant, their dream job, a degree, or even just goes to the movies with their loved ones?  Being weak wouldn’t change a single damn thing about this nightmare I live in.  No amount of tears or begging on my knees would ever bring my husband home to us, and the cost would be my self-respect.  I will not allow the government to take my family away from me just because my husband wasn’t born on this side of an arbitrary line in the dirt.