Immigration: The Waiting Place

Dr. Suess talks about the dreaded Waiting Place in his book “Oh the Places You’ll Go.” I’ve read this book so many times and it really is one of my favourites. I follows the young protagonist through life where the hometown is left behind, where you soar to great heights, and also have the times when you are in a slump but overall, you always get back up and keep going. It’s a great story and one that my therapist gave me after dealing with the head on collision. She even read it out loud to me while I sat on the couch with her chair pulled up closely to me. It was special and I still think fondly about it.

The Waiting Place is this place where you don’t want to be. It’s the place where life is put on hold because you have to wait for something or someone. For the past almost two years, I have been in that dreaded waiting place. It sucks. Honestly it really sucks. Due to being rather independent, and by the advice given through the Immigration hotline, we didn’t apply for a Partner Visa, and subsequent Permanent Residency because if we waited until after the 3 year anniversary of us being exclusive, then the application would pass right through and I’d be granted the PR straight away. So we waited until after that date, which happens to be August, and applied in September, in between my hospital stays just before bub came. Like we didn’t need another thing to go askew at that time, really? It still makes me mad even though I try to let it go.

We didn’t get a pass because there wasn’t an official document, such as a real estate form, or a joint bank account opened literally from the day we declared our exclusivity to one another. I would be really suspicious if someone I was dating from another country did say something like “hey let’s be together AND let’s open a joint bank account today”. I would be so suspicious. I don’t think that normal people think of things like that, we certainly didn’t. So even though there is a huge record of everything else, including newspaper articles, lots of statutory declarations by friends and David’s family, we were still put on hold… and back to the Waiting Place for another year.

The 2 year mark of applying is coming up, so I am hopeful that PR will finally be granted. The thing is that, unless you’ve ever been in a situation like this, you have no idea how much stress it actually causes. Really, at this point because I am on a Partner Visa (which was only granted after a year of being on a Bridging Visa, that I can literally be asked to leave the country where my entire life is now, where my husband and my child are. I try not to get all doomsday about it, but it really sucks to not have that feeling of security in life. It makes me teary eyed just thinking about how fragile it all is. It also makes me angry, or upset rather, that we have done every single thing correctly, we truly are in love and committed to one another, we are married, we do have a child, I even went to University here so it’s not like I’m a fly by night person, and we still haven’t been granted the okay to permanently reside here, or rather I haven’t. The thing is that it does effect my husband too. We’ve had to have the conversation of what if… and if we would move to America, which would cause all kinds of upheaval. It’s such a challenge and it really feels unfair.

When looking at Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, at the very bottom is your shelter, the place where you live. Now for the first few years here, I was here on a working holiday visa, and then a medical treatment visa and I accepted that I didn’t have that foundation set, and still worked with it, I mean I kind of had to since I needed to stay in the country to recover from the accident, which was a long and challenging process. My soon to be husband and I met during my medical treatment visa, and even when we decided to be exclusive, I knew that the foundation was still not there and didn’t want to apply for a partner visa straight away because unfortunately I have had relationships that have not worked out and I wanted our love to grow as it would with me being independent, and us not having to think about anything else like but to just be romantic, and enjoy one another. So when I was on a student visa for a couple of years, we continued to develop our relationship, became engaged, all of life was really starting to flourish, the way that true love does, organically, authentically, nicely, and without any pressure of government or any outside agency. I accepted at that time that I was still not setting my foundation in my hierarchy of needs, but I we were solid in our relationship and we knew the next steps would come.

After I graduated it was suggested time and again when I would call to immigration, and when i would look online, that for time and money sake, it would be most efficient to apply after that magical 3 year mark of our anniversary. So instead of applying for Partner Visa, I went for the Post Graduate Work Stream visa, and we had projected to apply for the PR in the next stage, again after the 3 years. Well during my Work Visa, we got married, fell pregnant on our wedding day, and then had a crazy difficult pregnancy. At the very beginning of the third trimester, I was in hospital, and it wasn’t looking so good. So in between hospital stays, we went and applied for PR. It had been after the 3 years, and it should just go on through, as it was suggested strongly by so many people from Immigration.

For the next almost 2 years, the lack of foundation has been so apparent and something I cannot help but think about, specifically because it isn’t just myself and my husband who we need to be concerned with, we have a child and that child is completely dependent upon the two of us, not just one if I have to leave. It’s such a horrible position to be in. The lack of foundation when I have a family to think about and care for, is really heavy on my heart, a lot, consistently. I try my best to not let it get to me and just trust that it will all be okay, I will get PR and my family and I can actually live life like we really do live here, all of us, all of us. This is making me cry right now as I type this. It really sucks. It’s so unnecessary to have to go through this, especially with a small child.

I am so ready to move out of the Waiting Place and move on with our lives. I don’t want this to continue taking up mental headspace. I want to really build my life with my husband and our child with a firm solid foundation in place.

I’ve come a long way

Recently someone friended me on Facebook. They sent a personal message saying that they knew me when I was little and that they are so proud that I made it out. Yes, made it out, because that is what people say where I am from. She also said she doesn’t keep in contact with anyone else from my family. Along with asking if I remember her. Honestly I didn’t remember her and I told her that. Then she tried to jog my memory and it’s vague, it’s really vague actually, and that’s fine. She said she didn’t want to bring up old stuff that I’ve probably blocked out. Well, she is right. I have blocked out a lot of things in my life, likely as a survival tactic. I think leaving the place where I grew up was also a deep inbuilt survival tactic for me.

I often forget about this crazy upbringing in the way that I really did have a drastically different starting point that most people. I forget how far I have come, and how much I have had to overcome in order to move forward in my life and to progress in the ways that I have. I forget all of this and when I do, I am hard on myself for not achieving more, for not realising my potential yet. Really though, it’s because I continue to set new and bigger goals for myself, and I stretch myself time and again to new heights. I need not forget this when I start feeling down about what i have or have not been accomplishing as of late in regards to business and financial endeavours.

It really is like I have been taking a huge flight of stairs in my life, and I stop at each landing along the way for a moment and I can look back at all of the flights I’ve already climbed, but also see how many more I have to go. Looking back to gain perspective of my growth can be super helpful and very grounding for me. From an outsider perspective, I’ve already made it, I’ve already become so much more than the life I started out in had projected for me. I am really fucking resilient and I always get back up and always keep moving forward. Always.

Now I need to give myself credit regularly so I know how worthy, how capable, how strong, how I am more than enough and of course how resilient I am.

Why do I think it needs to be hard?

Somewhere deep inside of my programming there is something that has encoded that in order for me to justify what i am doing, it has to be hard, it has to be hard earned, it cannot be easy, it has to be something that I overcome in order to succeed at.

It’s like I stifle myself in the chapter I am in by making it harder than it needs to be. Even when I was healing after the head on collision, sure it was a challenge, but I probably made it harder than it needed to be. I do look to the bright side and maybe it’s because I put myself into places that need that outlook? It’s an interesting thought to dive into.

Even when I was travelling like a nomad, I wasn’t happy in it, not really, yeah there were moments, but overall, there was a sadness about me, I notice it looking back. I even made that foot loose and fancy free stage of my life harder than it needed to be searching for a place to settle down and create a new version of my life, when of course in hindsight, that stage was just a nomadic stage that wasn’t meant for roots, or at least I didn’t allow those roots to form.

I wonder if it also has to do with my ambitious nature, of wanting to be someone who is recognised, of wanting to be someone who is making a positive difference in the world, of wanting to be someone who really is helping others be their best selves. I wonder if all along I’ve been doing that, but have overlooked it because it didn’t fit what my version of success based on other people’s version of success, looked like. I wonder if my grass is always greener approach has actually taken away from the life I have been in, in favour of the life I have been searching for, or have been aiming to create.

Even now, living in the Western Suburbs of Sydney, I make it harder on myself that it has to be. I look at bad side of this area like the crime, graffiti, the fast food eating people not taking care of themselves culture. I do focus a lot on the Mum and Bubs that I have become close to here, and that is the bright spot, along with living not too far from the Blue Mountains, but beyond that I have been having this strong feeling for almost two years since being here, that this is not where I belong, this isn’t where my family belongs, and have been pinning for a move back to the lush land of the Northern Rivers where we were living. It’s like I have made this stage harder because of that, because up until recently I wasn’t as grateful as I could have been about being here, and that definitely tainted my view and my experience.

Now as a stay at home mum with my son, I know I have made that harder than it needs to be based on the feedback loop of sharing how challenging it was. I’m still sitting with that because it was liberating to say that it was challenging and that it wasn’t all rainbows and butterflies. I wonder now if it’s also part of the fact that I was feeling a bit helpless in it all, that I hadn’t taken a job and done that route and put bub in daycare, or had a live in demi pair the whole time. It’s almost like at this stage of life, I really really should have only focused on being a mum. Not focused on trying to start a business, trying to do anything other than learn how to be a mother, and learn how to be a wife and a mother. It’s a big deal, a really big deal, and like anything I want to do my very best at it, and by side tracking with these other things, it hasn’t helped me along. It was me trying to grab at things to help save myself from myself or something, I’m not really sure, but it didn’t stick, so there must’ve been a reason behind it all.

As long as I ease into being a stay at home mum with my bub, life is good. I am happier, I am more content in my life, I am a better partner, I am more creative, all of life is better. When I try to add on too many things, I get out of balance, and that makes me frustrated and those feelings come out in various ways that aren’t so great and that sucks. I want an easy flowing life. I also want to have all the resources to have an easy flowing life so that my husband isn’t worked to the bone. I know in time, it will all be okay and I will do other things, but for now, I really do want to focus on being a mother and being the best woman I can possibly be. The rest will work itself out, I know it will.

This all feels very revelatory for me. It feels like I am uncovering truths about myself and how I operate and they can make a difference in my overall happiness and the happiness of my family, which is highly important to me. I really hadn’t planned to have a life like this when I was younger, so I really am learning a lot as I go, in every moment. Plus my growth game is strong and I value that I am always evolving into a better version of myself.

So what can I do now? Be easier on myself. Allow the flow. Really focus on the goodness in life, right here, right now. Be grateful. Create. Rest. Love. Allow things to happen as they will. Be present. It’s all happening now.

Stay at Home Mum is Okay

A funny and strange thing is just coming to surface and I’m going to try my best to tease it out and allow it to flow here in black and white. I think I bought into the idea of how hard it was to be a stay at home mum because I was doing it myself and I wanted to prove that it should be valued and that in order to be valued without being paid with money, that it had to be hard. It wouldn’t seem fair if it were fun and you were just staying home with your baby while your husband goes out and works his butt off so you can be at home frolicking with your child. It’s like if it’s hard, then it’s okay to justify the stay at home mum role. However, if it’s something that you actually enjoy and get into the flow and find your rhythm that becomes a new version of easy for you, then some how that isn’t okay. It’s like I’ve been trying to justify me being home by viewing it and sharing with others how hard it has been. Granted, it has been very very challenging, and definitely harder than anything else I have ever done, especially for this long. There was a turning point though, where I really was feeding into a loop that wasn’t so healthy while I was dealing with my own post traumatic symptoms after having a baby, which definitely include the role change and not feeling useful, which was compounded by not being able to provide breastmilk and not being as physically capable as I had been, so many things were tied up in that really.

I’ve come to it now that it’s mostly quite enjoyable, I really do enjoy hanging out, playing and enjoying time with my soon to be two year old. He’s really pleasant, he’s smart, he really brings out all of my emotions and I get to grow in ways that I haven’t before, all through my relationship with him. It’s really awesome actually. I do feel guilty that I am not providing financial income to my family, but I know that I am providing way more in terms of how my son will be in the world and how we will all be affected because of that.

So no more leading on to how hard it is, it only makes it harder. I’m now going to focus on the happy bits more, the fun and joyful parts of this role I am in. It’s okay to enjoy it. There are hard parts too, all the time. However, It’s such a privilege that I even get to do this, I’m now changing the page to where I look at it through eyes of playfulness, love, and joy.

Witnessing Aggression

In general I do a really great job of limiting my time and eliminating negative people and situations out of my life. I know that if I continue to put myself in an environment where negativity is, that it only takes me down with it, and I’m entirely too sensitive for all of that.

Lately I have been struggling though, and it’s with a situation that seems to happy with every encounter and I am having a hard time breaking from it. The situation is a little more delicate I think, but perhaps I think that because I am so close to it and I don’t know truly what she is going through. It has to do with a mum and a bub who my bub and I have spent a considerable amount of time with for the last year. Her bub is super high energy, and aggressive. Before it was all about helicopter parenting to keep an eye on them and ensure that he wasn’t biting my bub. Now it’s full grown into pushing and biting for no apparent reason. My friend is at her wits end as to what to do and has started giving a smack on his hand with an explanation of why he’s getting it. The last time this happened, we all took a break of about a week after her bub was consistently aggressive towards my bub and I could see that my bub was showing signs of fear from him, which is not okay.

In that break, my bub and I were socialising with another bub who is also a pretty easy going toddler and they played just fine for a couple of hours and it was great. I felt so much more relaxed and at ease, my bub was happy, everyone was happy and easy going. I noted how it felt so different when my friend and I met back up to take a walk and talk and it hurt her. I didn’t mean for that to happen, but truly there is a marked difference when her child isn’t around and I feel really bad that this is the case, but from my perspective, it really is. So I’ve just started to notice at social events if there is a difference and surely there is. Even when I have other bubs over to play, it’s not intense like it is when they are here, and I honestly feel really bad about this.

Why do I feel bad? I feel bad because I really like the mom and I like the child, but I love myself and love my child more and know that we have to come first. When we did get together for a play time, sure enough it was intense and we had to be like hawks over them. I even noticed that my bub was acting wilder than normal around her bub. Then came the aggression from her bub to my bub and what ensued has stayed with me since. I know the mum has the best intention and is really trying to sort it all out, I know this. She quickly pulled him aside and told him why that action wasn’t acceptable, and said he was going to get a smack, and then she did it, and put him down on the floor, where he wailed for a few minutes, until he got back up and was almost back at it again.

The thing is that this time I saw my child watching closely at what was happening, he was actually witnessing violence in some form from an adult to a child. I cannot shake it out of my mind and it makes my stomach hurt when I think about it. So now the situation as it stands is that my child becomes fearful of her child because her child is aggressive to mine. I am tense throughout it all. She is tense. She reprimands him physically and verbally, and my child AND I are witnesses to this and have to feel that energy in our space. I am not okay with this, and it doesn’t feel good at all. In fact if a friend were telling me about this I would advise her that she needed to take a very long break away from them. The truth is that my child, myself, and my husband are the most important in our world, period. I am so particular about what I consume mentally, who I am around, what I experience, and all of a sudden I have a parenting style that I am not okay with, right in my nest, in the home that is to be our sanctuary, our oasis, our retreat and safety place. This must not continue.

Maybe we can play when we are out as a group, but I really don’t want to be a part of that nor be affected by it any further. It’s really hard because I care about them but I really care about us more and this is my own, my very own family and I will do whatever I possibly can to make us the best and to protect us as I can.

 

Neptune and Saturn Influences

Today it was pointed out to me that the astrologic climate is one of general cloudiness and internal change specifically regarding mutable signs since we are under a Gemini Sun with the new moon in Gemini, Jupiter and North Node in Virgo, Saturn in Sagittarius, and Neptune in Pisces. I happen to have a lot of natal planets that correspond with this such as a Virgo Rising, Saturn in Virgo, Neptune in Sagittarius, Mercury in Pisces, and a Gemini Midheaven. Lately in general, especially yesterday it was so crazy easy for me to get so worked up and go to a worst case scenario when my husband wasn’t home when he should have been. This had a negative impact on my entire day. How crazy is that? It really shook me. However, now that it has been pointed out to me that this astrological weather is happening, it makes me feel a bit relieved. It makes me feel like I have been under the influence but that it’s okay, that it will pass.

It was suggested that I try to balance things out by doing more Saturn versus Neptune things. So instead of getting lost in the arts, music, day dreaming, food and beverages etc which are all part of Neptune, go Saturn instead. Saturn is all about being practical, doing things physical, grounding in reality really. Saturn is about getting things done with a to do list and not stopping until things are done.

So today, I took 2 separate walks, one in nature which was incredibly grounding, and another around the block just so I could get physical. I ate well, I played with bub, I made plans to get some new furniture to update our internal look at our house, and I had a relatively hard conversation with a friend about not being so sensitive when she was vulnerable recently about her child being aggressive.

I am navigating through these waters, and I am assured always that things will always change, and for this, I am grateful. Until then, bringing more Saturn into my life to help me move forward productively, effectively, with ease, peace of mind, and joy.

 

Walking Feels Good

Walking gets the energy flowing and it feels good. When I take a walk, even just around the block in our neighbourhood, I feel a shift. I also tend to meditate while I walk, which means that I focus on my body, my breath, the immediate things around me, and it really helps to connect me and get me out of my own head.

Perhaps being cooped up all weekend long in the rain made me even more grateful for the walk today, but it certainly reminded me that I ought to not take the effects for granted, and incorporate it as a daily habit for my own body and mental health.

Waking Up in a Panic

Last night my husband had to rush into work as there was a huge outage likely due to the torrential downpour that was happening here in Sydney. This was sometime before dark and I consider it much easier to drive in the daylight than in the dark, especially in inclement weather. However, dark came early since it’s winter, and I kept an eye on him through Find Friends which is an app that we both have to locate one another in case of an emergency. Okay, all was fine. Close to 10p I went to bed and sent him a text saying to come and cuddle with me when he gets home.

This morning at 5am I awoke to his side of the bed empty, no texts, and he was no where to be found at home. I tried Find Friends and he was not locatable. His phone went directly to voicemail. I sent him an email, a Skype Message, a FaceBook message, so pretty much every way I know of how to get in contact with him. Nothing. Nothing. I tried to reassure myself that he was okay but I couldn’t help feeling very very concerned. My mind immediately went to the absolute worst case scenario, and I was completely distraught.

Finally I get a text back from him saying that his phone had died and that he was still at work. Sure that gave me some relief, but sheesh, I had already worked myself up so much, it didn’t really bring relief.

I try my best not to get too attached to people, places, things, ideas, because I know it’s all fleeting. However, I have become so attached to my husband and even the thought of something bad really throws me off in a major way. How do I reconcile this? How do I come to terms with this so that A) it doesn’t actualise in the worst case scenario because I really do believe that my thoughts are incredibly powerful agents of change and B) somehow loosen my grip on this attachment so that I am not completely destroyed if something does happen. So many what ifs. I know this is a dangerous game to play and one that serves me no good, yet I am playing it.

Along with this panicked start to the day, I have noticed the craziest not nice self talk happening to myself quietly. It’s like my mind has gotten on a runaway train and I know I have to bring it to a halt. None of this is doing me any good. I feel so unbelievably emotional and sad, almost like I am already grieving and that isn’t helpful to me. I’m likely tapping into the grief well within myself and all of the other emotional experiences that are tied to that are also being accessed subconsciously. I even found myself playing old music that I used to listen to way back when, when honestly I wasn’t all that happy, and I was completely unattached. It’s like I was taking a trip down a bad memory lane, to a place that doesn’t serve me well, and isn’t bringing good forward moving feelings of gratitude, love and happiness.

So what do I do to combat this? I took my vitamins this morning, I spent some time thinking about what I am grateful for, but I will write this down as it will have a bigger impact, something about writing it down and seeing the words is powerful and does create a shift. I did some deep breathing. I dabbed on some Rose Essential Oil. I took some flower essences, I played with baby. I made myself a protein shake. I took a shower, exfoliated, and then put on my makeup. I put on a white top, that really does seem to help my mood too. Really I am doing whatever I can to up my self care. I will meditate while bub is napping as well. A good walk when he wakes up will be great for both of us, especially now that the rain has broken and the sun is out. It’s been a long weekend indoors that’s for sure, then topped off with this last night/this morning, it’s been a bit much.

It really is true about the Golden Hour and how it sets the tone of your day. Now I’ll do what I can to get it back on track.

Au Pair – A Helping Hand

Since declaring what I will be doing, I have found a lot of excuses of why not to be doing it. In this, a big part of my excuse is that I am looking after bub full time and don’t seem to have the time to devote to my project. It seems to be more that I don’t have the energy to do it. I have had the energy to bake each day and to start 45 seedlings, but not energy to devote to what I really need to be doing. This could be about me hiding and resisting what I need to do, and I acknowledge that. I also acknowledge that I can remedy this by bringing in help, so I’ve advertised for just that.

Certainly this has all been compounded by being cooped up all weekend long due to the torrential rain. Anyway, moving forward, looking for an au pair to help out and it will be great.

 

Unfocused day

Sometimes unfocused kind of scattered days come along. Today was kind of one of those days. It’s the weekend yet it was rainy and cold outside meaning that bub and all of us were cooped up inside of the house. On top of that, there was someone coming to look at my car that is for sale, and we weren’t fully sure when they were coming, so we really did just hang around the house, and bub really wasn’t into it. To break up the day, we took a tired irritated baby to the supermarket, which actually did work out for the most part for us.

I had planned on creating a plan, on setting some goals, on doing something to get me closer to my goal, and all in all, I didn’t do as much as I had hoped. With a housebound toddler who was needing my attention pretty much all the time, he really must be going through a phase, and my husband not feeling so hot, it meant that I was really on duty all day, and fine enough.

I am grateful that I have learned to be compassionate and understanding with myself. It’s okay to have these kinds of days even if they don’t feel all that great in comparison to days where things get done, or true relaxation has been achieved. These days are fine too and I am happy that I can say that it’s okay and I have the opportunity tomorrow to proceed.