Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Wager

     For those who do not understand the truth behind my desire to succeed in our marriage being complete in the USA and instead of being rather adventurous and tearing into life in the heart of Mexico, side by side riding off into the sunset as the happy couple, let me explain just a small minute aspect of why and maybe the reality of why this part of my story is not talked much about by me.

      This above all is certainly not about the fact that Julian and Leah are not Hispanic however I took them into Mexico to learn close to nothing throughout their elementary education years… oh, except that of their comparison to America and what they knew to be missing was huge. That in fact is not meant to knock the Mexican school system, but as a foreigner with no ability to speak to the educational staff in their own language… there is no hope of the PTA assimilation on my part as a mother of two small children who too did not know the language. Their big advantage that was noted by the school system, was that the school gave my kids somewhat of a gifted status, because eventually over time they were both completely bilingual, mother tongue of two languages, dreaming in each - self taught. Forget math and history… who has need for that when the basic opportunity to get a great job knowing English somewhat causes the educational staff to overlook what your child is lacking – especially when they, as opposed to the forty-five other students in the humid overcrowded and under equipped classroom, were not native. No, despite Julian and Leah’s education with a certain possibility of never receiving proper status to live in this Mexican country, and possibly not finishing the 12 years of regular free education in the USA due to lack of money and lack of the comparable social security number (CURP) that is given to residents; yes, the futures of my kids, although dramatic in the dynamics of, are not enough to necessitate the need for the waiver. We could still go back to live in Mexico despite these odds and hope for the best.

        Upon examination of my first marriage, that came of it my children Rachel and Thomas, it seems as though it is a basic divorce situation. Two people looking to be married just to be married and a total lack of respect and love within the attitudes of both of us towards the other. Not uncommon at all in society. Personality wise, I was brought up to make an adventure out of life where he was brought up to control the dreams and funnel them into a small container that he kept in his back pocket. Trusting his wishes for my signature due to supposed technicalities of insurance purposes, I signed my life away a month after separation to him, my house, everything in it, and our children… of course figuring that it was not as serious as the paper read, but that surely he would never just cut me out… papers were only for insurance purposes… Nope! That was the end of my motherhood. Why? - Because I was abusive, on drugs, or drunk? No. Was I a whore or deemed crazy? No. I was not any of these things. I was a mother with a very good job who took her daughter to the library once a week and cuddled at naptime on the couch while the 99th time of Fox and the Hound was playing on the TV. I was a mother that got up to nurse her baby son that she delivered at 9.3 pounds after forty-five minutes labor, every hour during the night in a rocking chair and then went to work at five in the morning. I was that mother who stock piled food and bathroom supplies so much that he did not even have to buy soap a full year and a half after I was gone. I was also a mom who took the kids with me initially and he ended up with them by means of a simple signature. A man who drank his way through the first two years of our relationship enough to require cold buckets of water to be thrown on him to no avail. The man that I drove to work every day for the first 4 years of our relationship because his license was revoked was suddenly the boss and I was without any claims all because of a signature. Still, in my pursuit for an annulment from the Church, I will be claiming full responsibilty because of my personal misunderstanding of the meaning of marriage before I made the commitment in a Catholic sense. In other words, I took the vow without being seriously commited for life. I did it only for my year old daughter. I hold the blame for my own decision to start something that I could not finish, but not the blame for the entirety of our relationship... I gave it all and it was just too much take, in my mind.

    Now this is still not the issue of why I feel the need to explain my waiver desires, as if that needed some type of explanation, but I will proceed regardless to finish the point.

     This has nothing to do with who was right or wrong or big or strong, it is simply an explanation of my emotional state following my loss of my children due to ignorance both on my part for taking a signature so lightly and his part for not acknowledging my importance as a mother in their lives. Ignorance very simply put can destroy people. My visitations were limited to exactly twenty-four hours every two weeks. It was his desire to drop them off at six on Friday evening, and for me to have them back by six on Saturday evening. For years I worked as a substitute mail-carrier, even though I worked six days a week, I was without benefits of the full time. For the first few years of this arrangement I had to basically find a babysitter. I usually had a lot of trouble lining someone up to take their Saturday and donate it to this project. After some time passed, I became a full time mail-carrier and had Saturdays off. He lined up the total Saturday afternoon to be filled with a 3-4 hour day at the soccer fields. Now I was glad that they were in soccer, but that was supposed to be our time… control issues… and he never ever gave me any time extra – even when begged for.

    When they were still pretty small, I would pull up to the house to drop them off, and the kids and I would just hold each other out front of the house in the car. My son was a toddler and my daughter was a bit older…She was five, then six, then seven…. I missed it all! Once when she was around five, we sat there crying talking about how we would think about each other till next time in two weeks, and he came out to the car really mad, and grabbed her out, taunting me “waa waa waa you big baby” “aaawwhhhh I feel so bad for you booo hooo loser” My daughter was there. That is the kind of relationship I had to endure with him if I was to have my small slice of their lives, all verbal abuse. I have never been able to see a report card or school project, nothing. My gifts that I bought for them were quickly removed from their sight. I was not allowed to be a mom. Not to mention the undeserved public humiliation with that wonderful two and a half newspaper article, describing his fatherhood being perfect with no mention that they had a mother… he gloated, “ya like that?” As if it was a game. He stole my children from me. I was suicidal for years following.

     My second husband was abusive and we moved far away when they were nine and six years old, yet another blow to my children. Our relationship remained strong over the phone, which they were old enough to do this now. Before when we lived in the same town, I would call very often but he would never let me talk, "They're busy."- Click.... and they never knew the difference… but as they aged, they became wise to the little things like phone calls. We visited once or twice a year. Then I was put into the abuse shelter and the system and was not supposed to leave until the court case was completed. I found great opportunity in my new job… then I met Ricardo.

      I consistently bugged Ricardo, my new found love, to move to Pennsylvania with me. I needed to go back. The kids were getting older and it was my opportunity to try to get more visits. Now that I was away from the abuse with two years of counseling to strengthen me, I wanted my relationship with my kids back. Ricardo made me strong and content with life. I dreamed of the fairy tale. He didn’t appreciate that pressure when he missed his own family so much. He left for Mexico assuming that I was dead set on going to Pennsylvania with or without him, because that is what I told him. Pressure tactics are not always the best option.

    I can remember as if it were yesterday, the call I made to the kids from Florida. They thought I was coming back to Pennsylvania, finally… I said, “I am going to Mexico, I need to know what it is like there at least to tell the baby where his father came from,” as I was newly found pregnant. “I promise I will not stay. I promise. I will be back. I just want to know what to tell the baby about his father.” I was figuring Ricardo would come back with me. I was figuring he would satisfy his need for his family as he missed them so much that he broke down crying upon reuniting with them (our mutual friend who took him told me later). It was how things would work out in my imagination. We would come back together. I had no idea that there was even such a thing as papers to apply for. So naïve I was. I figured it was a simple basic formality that could be worked out somewhat like any application for anything that we do here in America. Nope. I left everything I owned behind, drove off in my loaded mini-van for a three day drive to the center of Mexico, pregnant with two kids in the back - knowing under ten words of Spanish.

     Over the years with the traveling back and forth on tourist visas because our attempt to get our permanent residency status there became impossible, we of course spent time during many of those transitions in Pennsylvania with my kids. Every time I would see them they were taller, or had braces, or boobs, or casts or stories… growing up between visits and changing naturally like the way the landscape does when left unmanaged. One day they are little babies and the next they are pulling up in a car. Sadly, I was only physically part of that change in small amounts, all visits. The entirety of my relationship with my two first born revolved around this visit and next visit.

      This is where it starts to sound familiar to my marriage to Ricardo and all that we have been able to offer our growing babies: this visit and next visit.
      So you see, my need is not to appease the crowd, or to conform to what the bandwagon is doing, or to avoid simply giving in to supposed natural causes of marriage to a Mexican and label myself tough girl for surviving the adventure. Nope. I am in need of a waiver for my husband to live in Pennsylvania with me, simply because I am very tired. I am very tired of visits. I am very tired of having to say goodbye and having my heart ripped out.
       I only wish that I could somehow describe listening to my daughter sob so much that she lost her breath in my father’s car on the way to the airport at four in the morning a few years ago. We got in line with all of our bags and we had to snap out of it so that we could go our separate ways….

...Just like we did when we she was five… my son the brave smiling soul teared up as he handed Eliott over to me after carrying him to the gate, and away we go....

      A part of life to watch your babies fly from the nest is naturally painful for a mother. Soon they are out of their father’s control and can make their own decisions in life.
     This is only where my turn begins.

     That is, provided I pursue the waiver to be here…

      You see, this is more than an unwillingness to let go of aged children, it is exhaling after a long time coming.

       It is more than a not so simple process of a waiver so that 'Ricardo the Mexican,' my beloved husband, can come to live in Pennsylvania with his waiting family. Maybe to Ricardo and maybe to the kids it is; but for me it is untying the concrete block from my leg and swimming to the top of the water and getting my life back after all of these years.

If you cannot understand that, be glad. Do not try to connect with this.

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