It was a huge change to finally find out about my visa. But a few days in, I questioned why I wasn’t leaping for joy as much as I expected. Instead I felt anxiety…a gnawing sense of “Well what do the next few months look like?” I think I’m overwhelmed with options and the uncertainty of the future makes my stomach twist: will that craigslist person get back to me? How will I prove that I have an income for the apartment I want to get very badly? When can I get my next paycheck? When will my health insurance start? Depending on health insurance, when can I start seeing my therapist again so I can sift through how these 9 months of waiting have affected me? When am I traveling this summer so I can fulfill all of my commitments? What do I need to do at work since we still have our interim youth director till the end of the summer? When is the most convenient time to move and still keep the cost low?
It hit me: I’m still in a big transition. I’m expecting a lot out of myself. My needs for housing, steady income, and mental and emotional unloading have caught up to me. Sure, getting the visa was good change, but it’s still change. I’ve been on my toes this year always looking out for how I can be ready for whatever curve ball comes next…so I think I’m tired from all that pent-up survival mentality.
The worst part (waiting for word on the visa) is over. Now the restructuring begins. Reintegration into my church’s leadership will look different because their children’s ministry landscape is changing. Making my own home and settling into the pace of getting groceries again, cooking in my own space, and inviting people over are a huge part of who I am and I’m so hungry to start being myself again. Wading through the emotional mess of distrust and fear of the unknown produced a great deal of knotted anxiety, so untangling these feelings will take intentional practice of being well and speaking up about why I felt the way I felt.
Now that there are open possibilities for me to be well, I’m scrambling to get to them because I’ve waited too long. I didn’t realize how much I was holding, or holding off, until this curtain fell.
I guess I’m taking off my armor of “Yeah I can face it- yeah I’m going to fight through it because I have to” and exposing my very famished and scared self. My armor was clunky, heavy, and rusty. I put it on because it would hurt too much to feel the sting of my ex’s rejection, the harsh winds of change, and the unabating heat of grief because of the loss of purpose by not being allowed to work, the loss of privacy by not living in my own place, and the stench of not knowing how to help myself in such stringent conditions.
I’m not interested in being shamed to “be more positive” or “be more grateful that the worst is over.” I’m being real with you. I was hurting. It will take me a while to get better, and I might not show it on the outside. But inside, a storm is raging and God and I are picking up the damage until life settles for a while.
So…Act I is finished. Hopefully I crawl out of the remainder of my armor but for now I’m still kinda scared of the light haha. Act II here we go!

2 thoughts on “Untanglings

  1. Immigration is funny that way, isn’t it? There’s so much anxiety and waiting (and waiting and waiting) and when the waiting is over, there’s still a lot to catch up on. When I was in middle school, my father’s employer, a contracting company, didn’t have him in an active contract and our immigration status was in process with that employer, so he couldn’t look for anything else. For a good 6 months, the only income my family had (parents, 3 kids) was from “donating” plasma. My parents had to cash in some of their retirement accounts. We kids were very aware of the near possibility of us needing to move out of our childhood home, either to someplace smaller, or back to (a relatively unknown) Canada. It was an incredibly stressful time for all of us, and some of that time, in combination with all the de-humanizing interactions of immigration does continue to impact me and my family (parents definitely had to play catch up on retirement stuff). Definitely not wanting to diminish your struggle, but to say “yeah, it looks different for each scenario, but it sucks.” Some good therapy has helped with my anxiety, and good community who walk with me and listen to me rail about the injustice and the pain has been helpful too.

    Praying for continued persistence and for good community as you continue to navigate all this transition. And I hope your health insurance kicks in soon!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s