Visa Vent

It’s funny. My last post touched on the composition of a mental health book, and then I vanished. Why? Mental health.

Magdalene Grieving by Caravaggio

The ticking by of days has been more and more on my mind as time goes on, and the 2nd of March made the one-year anniversary of my return to the United States. In another few days, it will be one since I paid the fee for my family visa application. 12 weeks, they said. It would take up to 12 weeks for my visa to be approved. We figured I would get to go home with my spouse after we married in June. And then… Well, it’s been 12 months now.

There are some things I was able to accomplish during this time. I got my health on track. I brought my weight and blood pressure down to healthy levels, took care of my body and soul by having a hysterectomy, and replaced my recalled CPAP. And I generally tied up loose ends. These are all terrific things that I do not regret for an instant.

Because I knew I would have to drop everything and get to the UK as soon as possible once the visa was approved, I did not get a job upon my return. But as I said, it was only supposed to be a 12-week wait. I cannot thank my past self enough for saving money. It means that I am not currently in debt, though I am watching my savings tick away with the days, and that worries me. One of the loose ends I tied up was selling my car, which means I don’t have one. I can borrow a family member’s almost whenever I want, but I am painfully aware of the price of gas and the necessity of the car to its owner. That means I restrict my usage to grocery shopping and the gym. Otherwise, I stay home or accompany my sister to work at the library. That helps. But still. It’s not freedom.

This next one might mean nothing to most people, but it’s a travesty for me. I don’t have a bathtub. The tub in the bathroom I share with my baby sister has a hole in it, so we can only shower in the master bathroom. I bathe at night, and my mother goes to bed early. It’s also in her room. That’s not a space for me to stretch out in the tub to read a book. That’s a place to hop in, wash, and hop out. I am neurodivergent and massively introverted. A long soak in the bath is my tool for coming back down, finding peace, resupplying my spoons (Do you understand this metaphor?). I’ve had maybe five baths since the beginning of December (when the hole was discovered). Without access to my recharging station, I am running on empty. Operating at a deficit gives me less emotional fortitude than I might otherwise have.

And so, when UKVI jerks me around AGAIN, claiming that they’re waiting for me to pay my healthcare surcharge when I paid it THE SAME DAY I received the request – then stating in that same message that I cannot respond to that email… I have a hard time. After a $20 phone call and then my partner making his own $20 phone call, I received an email saying they got my message “saying” that I paid. Never mind that I provided the confirmation number and even the time stamp on my payment. It’s very frustrating. The last message they sent said they cannot provide me with any timetables for their activity, and they did not confirm that my visa application was approved. I feel like it must have been, since they charged me for healthcare, but at this point I can’t assume anything with the UK government. And since they have my passport, I can’t even visit.

Sadness by Natale Schiavone

I just want to go home. I want to hug my spouse. I want to leave Limbo behind. Come on, UK. Help me out.

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