Tuesday, September 2, 2014

My Vacation in Exile: A letter to the naysayers

I started this post over two months ago and never published it. I was upset after the comments I was hearing and needed to vent. So many blog posts get written on a vent and never published. We need to get the words out on the proverbial paper and then we calm down, gather our thoughts, and realize it isn't really necessary. Except I keep coming back to this. This judgement by my own peers and I'm tired of being made to feel like my experiences aren't good enough for someone else. I don't care what you think or how you feel about my life but I'm going to publish this blog post and then I'm going to clean up the list of people whom I call friends.

Why do people always insist on trying to judge me and put me down and make light of my experiences? I will probably go my whole life being judged by someone by what they see on the outside and I'm here to tell you that I don't give a shit!! I gave up everything I owned to move my family to Mexico to keep my family together and now you had the audacity to say that my 6 months in Mexico was more of a vacation than exile?? Is there a secret criteria to be considered an exiled spouse? Maybe my husband should have been drug out of my home in handcuffs in front of my sobbing children to qualify? Should I donate my disability benefits to the next person who has less than I because I don't deserve it after serving my country for 10 years? To be in exile is an emotional state of mind, not an economic qualifier.

Stop being a bitter nasty person because someone else might have something more than you do. Look in the mirror and try to smile at the person staring back at you. I don't care how sad and unhappy and miserable your life is, you are the only one who can control whether you see the glass as half empty or half full. I'm alive and by God, that glass is half full and I'm going to fill it up!

When I decided that I loved my husband more than I loved my country, I was truly living the American dream. I owned a three bedroom two bath home with solar panels, radiant flooring heating, EARTH certified eco-friendly home, three cars, two dogs that I shared with my two beautiful daughters and the love of my life. I had an awesome job working for the state, took at least one big family vacation a year, and I was happy. The thing missing from my life was the most important though, the thing we call freedom. The freedom to go anywhere in the world in the company of my husband. The freedom to allow my husband to drive us everywhere because even though he had a valid drivers license, any traffic stop has the potential to turn into an immigration hold. The freedom to visit my in-laws two or three times a year with my husband. How many spouses have never even been to their wife or husband's home country before deportation?? The freedom to leave my US Citizen children in their father's care for any extended period of time? How many USC children are taken into custody and separated from loved ones when their parent is taken into custody? My children will never know what it's like to be taken into police custody until they are old enough to make their own mistakes in the future but they will decide that, it will not be due to an overzealous law enforcement agency that chooses to operate under federal policy on a state level.

My family is whole again and we are all together again on US soil. Does my journey stop here? Are my experiences invalid now? If you can't be happy and rejoice in your peers successes, you might not be the best person to have as a friend. I have sat there for years watching as my friends went through the same process and their husbands left and then came home with visas. Through the lump in my throat, I was genuinely happy for them. If we can't build each other and take care of each other, then who are we to judge the horrible state of affairs in the United States? You are only contributing to the hatred and ugliness with your bitter words and false friendship. I don't have time for the likes of you in my future.

We were fortunate enough to have our house to return to but it was occupied with the people we had left it to. They needed time to find a rental so we were staying with friends who were kind enough to offer us a room in their home, the four of us in one bedroom for six weeks. We just got the keys to our house on August 16th and were faced with major damages to one bedroom, a neglected front yard, and a general need for a fresh coat of paint and renovations. Jose was fortunate enough to be able to return to his former job as soon as that golden Social Security card showed up in the mail. The girls and I were living off my disability check and weekly unemployment checks in the meantime. We are sleeping on air mattresses on the floor and trying to slowly save up for one piece of furniture at a time. In spite of everything, every night I go to sleep and I'm thankful for what we have. We have each other and we have some very good friends; it's all about quality, not quantity.

4 comments:

  1. I had wondered were you went and I am so happy for you.. You have no clue how much hope you have given to others. You cannot let a troll get you down.. So happy you posted~

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  2. I am happy your back. I believe any time spent in Mexico is considered in exile. You did what you had to for your family. You made the best of a bad situation and should be applauded for what you accomplished. You had no idea how long you would be there, but were willing to make it work. I am so happy your family is back together here in the USA, free to go wherever you wish. Don't let anyone bring you down.

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  3. You know krystal i have always admired you and am so happy for you.You made a difficut and scary situation into an adventure for your children and are an example to us all.No wonder Jose loves you so much! You filled your exile with love and experiences to learn and cherished memories. So what if you had a good time-I do the same thing when im there and when i go for good i will do the same. but it doesnt lessen the heartache of separation from family and friends and all we know here. You done good and I am thankful to know you,even if only from afar.

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