Sunday, March 25, 2012

On Undocumented Love

If there's one thing I can never stop writing about, and talking about really, it is relationships. Whether they're friendships or romantic, I always enjoy conversations on the topic because only through conversation and in sharing with others can we move forward, grow and get over the experience if it's a negative one. That and I love chisme :) Anyway, for those of you who don't know, I've been double dipping over at the Huffington Post: Latino Voices Page. I submitted something when their 'dream activist' blogging serious started and then helped facilitate others to contribute on the post.

Anywho, I submitted a post on talking about being in a mixed status relationship, considering that being in a relationship with someone who is also undocumented helped me understand things from a different point of view, on many levels. The post is pretty self explanatory, but due to the editing process, in which the term 'ancho baby' was dropped in there, I'm going to share the unedited version I first submitted. Than you can read the other version and see the difference. And even then, I still have another version in which I get into a rant and more explicit details on my heart break. But that's neither here nor there.

There’s an inherent deficiency of balance when you’re in a mixed status relationship. Things tend to fall into extremes of joy or sorrow, with moments of tranquility far and few in-between, but maybe that’s just my experience. I’m a bit of a drama queen you see, and while others experience variances, both unique and universal, of what is now referred to as undocumented love, it will never be an easy road to stroll. Ones immigration status permeates into all aspects of life and when it comes to romantic relationships, it askews an already fundamentally unpredictable situation. In an unspoken way, I feel the need to prove and reassure to my partner that my intentions are indeed genuine and not advantageous in nature.

And if my intentions were indeed seeded in deception, I would have taken my families advice of finding me a cute white girl and impregnating her, there by putting her into a corner that would blind her to my diabolical plan to marry her for papers. And while this sounds like a foolproof plan to them, it’s one that is not in me. Marriage means nothing to me if love isn’t part of the mix and while other dreamers have used it as an escape from our interim status, my status won’t change over night. In fact, the way things are right now, I’d have to go back to my home country for 10 years. Yet, that doesn’t mean I haven’t been in said situation of walking down the aisle toward a green card. I’ve had my heart broken by a former lover because she thought my intentions with her were just that, adjust my status and use her.

And while my situation was one I can look back on and laugh, there are those who have suffered at the hands of a partner who takes advantage of their partner’s vulnerability to abuse and manipulate them. Threats to call ICE, extort money outta them or take advantage of them sexually because the individual is literally trapped, isolated and left with no recourse. They could call the police and ask for help, but when they see stories in the news about women asking for help in reporting abusive partners, they find themselves in deportation proceedings instead because of the malevolent federal programs in place like Secure Communities.

It took me two and a half years to mend my heart and I’ve had plenty of time to contemplate every which way of how things when down and whether it was truly because of my undocumented status. Not to mention the fact that I was immensely immature at the time and dating someone three years older than me who was going in a different direction than I was in and going. At the end of the day, it just wasn’t the right time for that relationship, but I’ll be damned if I admit that to the ex.

Up until that point, I never dated anyone else who also happens to be undocumented, but that changed last summer. For six months, I was with someone who was is also undocumented and shared a great deal of experiences that reflected my own. I mean come on, we both grew up in this country without a legal status and that alone lends itself to a much more profane level of understanding and connectivity than I could ever have with any other. I felt that I was finally going to be with someone who is able to understand me like no one else before, to talk about everything that ails me and move ahead together.

But like I mentioned before, love is already complicated enough without having to add one’s immigration status into the mix and while that relationship ended for reasons not related to our status, but more on how the two of us are in different places in our lives. Yet, it only took the misery of going through heartbreak to help me realize that maybe, just maybe my immigration status isn’t as much as a deal breaker as I make it out to be when it comes to love and relationships.

It’ll still be an issue at times for obvious reasons, but it will no longer be the focal point of the relationship. It’s as much a part of me as my long hair, sardonic attitude and delightful sense of humor. It was only in experiencing the depths of sorrow that I can appreciate the heights of joy and continue growing as an individual. And while I’m now able to get beyond my immigration status in a much more constructive and healthier way than in the past, there’s still much to be discovered and experienced when it comes to love, whether I’m still undocumented or not.