I decided to write as much as I remember of the 16 years+ in book format.
I don’t know if I’ll try to have it published or not. I hope writing it would at least bring awareness to a major issue that laws don’t have a current way to deal with, even here in North America.
I think it’s important that the public be aware that I consider what happened to me a form of human trafficking… I mean he never forced me into the sex trade with others but he did bring me here with lies and deceit in order to force me to be his own personal slave. He intended from day one to dangle my illegal status over my head and no one saw it coming… not even the “helpful” border guards that bought into his lies too. That’s how a charming individual like him got me here. He talked a helpful soul into “speeding up the process” and then never filed any of the papers they gave him.
…and… no one checked on a follow through… because that’s where their job ended…
It’s clear to me now that he had absolutely no intent on ever doing my paperwork and that he enjoyed every single moment of [mental /emotional] torture he could inflict on me over the entirety of the marriage. He enjoyed smearing me to his family / friends and forcing me to have little contact with my own family and friends back in Canada.
And that the border crossing guards need to absolutely be taught to test for and recognize sociopaths and narcissism. They are the ones that manipulate, cajole, twist truth and push to get their way. They use loopholes to get away with bad behaviors. They laugh in the face of laws and play mind games with their intended targets. I guarantee that had the helpful soul at the border not fallen to his charming romantic stories, he would have thrown a hissy fit worthy of an overgrown child and I would not have landed here with no status.
*** I do not, however put any blame on the border guard(s) involved. I mean, I was tricked too. You can’t stop something from happening if you’ve got no clue about it.
Thus I think it’s imperative that they be trained to deal with these situations (by recognizing sociopaths and narcissists) to prevent them in the future… well it may be more difficult now considering that the border is somewhat more difficult to cross now then it used to be when I was brought over, but if it can help prevent any future person (anywhere in the world) from getting into the mess I found myself in for 16 years, be it here in the States or up North in Canada, or…anywhere really, then I will write my story.
***Because things need to change. ***
People need to open their eyes to what’s going on.
There needs to be follow-ups and accountability
…for those who essentially marry foreigners in order to “obtain their own personal slaves”, to force them to cook, clean, have sex and comply to their ever-changing demands while confusing the heck out of them with gas lighting, blame shifting and word salads (among other tactics), who rip their target’s already shaky self-esteem and confidence until they are so shattered and confused they no longer know who they are. Leaving them feeling unsure of themselves, doubting themselves and feeling crazy.
Those who brought them here claiming love but spend the entirety of the marriage torturing them emotionally, mentally, threatening them, holding children and paperwork /legal status over their heads,
Destroying / stealing belongings brought over (often family heirlooms), often using the very legal system to “keep them in line” and keep them fearful and isolated.
and ohhhh how easy it is for them to do exactly that, use the very laws and very authority of government and police to entrap their target once the marriage is in place. And so very few manage to find a way out, especially if the abuse is not physical. Tough to prove, because they are very, very good at using loopholes and laws, at twisting things around using just enough truth to catch folks into those lies.
anyway… I am not the only one who was/ is in this situation. I’ve met others… they have similar stories by abusive partners or former partners both here (United States) and in Canada. I’m sure other countries have folks who share similar stories. In some countries there is even less hope for those in charge to listen to their plight.
Their stories are not mine to share, but I wish to impress on those in charge or those in contact with them that things need to change. No system is perfect but education and speaking our truth is important. Awareness brings change, either protection on a personal level (hmmm, I don’t want to be caught in a mess like this so I have to find out my options) or on a legal level (we will work to protect our citizens from getting stuck abroad / we will help foreigners caught up in these abusive situations) and it begins where failure is maximum: training those who are at the forefront of those situations to both recognize and not dismiss a potential situation that could become abusive.
If the guards had known the potential, would they still have given him the out he needed? Would they have fallen for his charismatic tricks and lies as I did?
There needs to be tougher penalties for those who commit these crimes, maybe given time limits for paperwork to be completed for those who bring foreigners into marriages. Stiffer penalties and maybe even forensic psychological testing for both the citizen and foreign partner to evaluate if either is a sociopath or narcissist in order to help prevent abuse. Training for DV advocates and counselors to maybe understand that simply holding legal status over someone’s head is a serious issue that should not be ignored even if there are no bruises, black eyes, broken bones. Maybe a different help system put in place. And definitely something within immigration itself to prevent recurring offenders. That if the person brings a foreigner into a marriage and dangle paperwork/ legal status over their heads they can no longer bring a foreigner into such a marriage in the future by being blocked from doing so by immigration itself.
Bottom line, there needs to be serious change.
I am forever grateful to those who helped me get to where I am on my journey and to those who continue or add their help now and in the future. To those who will join their voices to mine in order to help the system change. I will forever hope to open the eyes of the world on this issue and hope my story will prevent any more of this type of situation.