If anything positive came out of this ordeal with the ankle monitor is a lot of self discovery and a lot of new clothes. I realized I am not built for long suffering and martyrdom. There are some people that enjoy victimization, I am sorry to say it but is true. Everyone has one of them in their lives, the coworker/friend/cousin/ex/aunt whatever that enjoys the role and wears it well. They like the attention their sad situation, whatever it may be, gives them. I see is a milder form of Munchausen by proxy Syndrome. Some people like it; I know it because there are several people like that in my circle of acquaintances. I respect their choice to live their life like that but I can’t live mine the same way.
Some people might have milked the monitor for all its worth. I wanted the monitor gone and my life back. I wanted to go back to normal. I didn’t have the patience for it. I could imagine myself gnawing my foot off like some feral creature and getting rid of it. I emailed my lawyer constantly, asking him for other avenues we could take that would allow me to remove the bracelet, I gave him hypothetical’s where my monitor would simply fall off without my knowledge, and sent him web articles of people like me who had sued the contractor the INS was using for the monitoring for harassment.
None of it made a difference I was still tethered to that thing and nothing I did would make a difference. That was the problem, I needed to do something about it, I needed to feel like I was somewhat in control of the situation, I needed to feel useful and like I was making strides towards resolution. That wasn’t the case; there wasn’t anything I could do, nothing I could fix, no steps I could take. That, more than anything, was driving me crazy. My fate was in the hands of people who didn’t give a damn about me and didn’t feel my sense of urgency because they weren’t the ones walking around, working out, showering, having sex with an ankle bracelet banging around.
I kept thinking about the promise I had made to myself not to allow another year to go by. This year on April 28, 2012 would be my ten year anniversary in the country and I had promised myself that if everything wasn’t solved by then I would just leave. If things are this hard then maybe they aren’t meant to be. Dear Husband and I had a list of places we would go. Vancouver seemed the most ideal since they are super liberal there (my kind of peeps) and it looked like a gorgeous city and it was close enough to the US that I could still see my sister and brother and mom. I could imagine my mom driving with my brother and sister all the way to the US/Canada border where we would embrace each other, both with our feet in the respective countries, without crossing over, then turn around and go back to our new lives without seeing each other for another year or so.
I felt that I had already betrayed myself by allowing them to put an ankle monitor on me, I couldn’t betray myself even further by breaking that promise. I don’t break promises I make others, why should I break a promise I made to myself? I tried to think of all that leaving would entail, as grim as everything looked I felt like something I had to do. I researched Vancouver to see if they had a ban of pit bulls since Zoey would be going with us, of course. New Zealand (Dear Husband’s choice of country to flee to) had to be taken off of the list because they have a ban on them. Shame on you Kiwis
DH understood. I don’t know if he was placating me or not, but he seemed willing to leave all he knew behind and go with me. I wasn’t equally willing to uproot him and take him away from all his loved ones, he seemed to see it as an adventure and I felt like I had ruined his life.
I was in my bedroom reading historical romances and waiting for my scheduled visit from ISAP agent one Friday when my lawyer called. “I have good news” he said. “They agreed to reopen your case; by the end of the year if everything keeps going like this you should have your green card”
“At the end of the year?” I repeated numbly. I imagined myself wearing that thing for the rest of the year and I just couldn’t handle it. “Are you out of your mind? I can’t wear this thing for a whole year! I refuse to walk around like a criminal with this fucking thing for a whole fucking year!!” I pretty much screamed at him. “It won’t be a whole year with the monitor” He said calmly, as if speaking to an unruly child. “I will be sending you the letter from the decision to reopen your case, you can take it with you to the ISAP place, and they should take you off the monitor. This is going to take a while; I need to petition the judge for a dismissal of the deportation order, the prosecutor may choose not to agree with it. Remember you have no right to be here, they don’t owe you anything”
He kept talking to me, mentioning another client who that very morning had gotten her petition to reopen her case denied, we had the exact same case and yet mine went well and hers didn’t. I was one of the lucky ones. I could barely hear him over the roaring in my ears.
“They don’t owe you anything” Kept repeating over and over again in my head. I had forgotten that, I had forgotten that I didn’t belong here, that I wasn’t part of this country, that it wasn’t really home, it wasn’t us, it was them and me. I had gotten so used to thinking I was meant to be here, my husband is here, my family is here, my life is here. If I can’t be here, where else would I be? I lived in Colombia for three years of my life, in Venezuela for seventeen and in the U.S. for the last ten. Where exactly is home? I am a combination of these three countries, they’ve made me who I am and it was a slap to be reminded that no matter how much I love this country and how these past ten years have changed me and turned me into this person that doesn’t mean the country feels the same way for me.
Unrequited love is a bitch.