Imagine yourself doing something that should be relatively simple. Now, imagine that you find yourself at the top of the biggest pile of crap you can envision. Throw in the INS and Social Security and you have a somewhat clear picture of where I am today.
I may have mentioned to some of you at various times that I was born in Germany after the war. German mother/American soldier father, now deceased. Never met that father until the mid 80s. Took me that long to find out who he was due to my mother's giant crate of lies opening somewhat and a trickle of info coming to light. While Roger was alive, he did everything he could to research and glean some information that led to finding that I am not an illegal alien. Here's the twist- I'm not illegal but I'm not quite legal either. Again, lies my other told...could fill a book and nearly has already. A mountain of paperwork. Along the way, I was never allowed to change my name to Roger's legally since there was no birth certificate and when we finally got one from Germany, the name was different, the location was different, and it went into the file of lies marked MOM. Along the way she had a succession of men that we lived with the details there are to gruesome to go into but lets just say they'd make a 1950s bad movie staring Lana Turner or someone like that. Along this twisty path we had to do our taxes with my former name to keep things legal on our end. Twenty-seven years worth of tax forms. All nice and neat and on the up and up. Records of my divorce from first husband, marriage to Roger, Social security cards for Roger. My social sec. that I've had since high school graduation. All good things nice and neat. Record of my entry with my mother into the US in 1952 when I was 3ish. Good stuff right? Even the name of the ship and military papers from it. Sounds good huh? My mother's naturalization papers when she became a citizen...all excellent right??
WRONG, WRONG, WRONG....
Yesterday my darling DIL Dani took me over to SS to register to receive Roger's benefits. I told them why I was there, presented the death cert. they asked me for proof of who I am and then, then, the giant crap hill began to crumble under me. They started to look up my SS# and a big gust of angry wind hit me in the face in the form of several official people who kept saying things like. Holy crap!! This doesn't make any sense. What are these names?? Why is your birth date different in several papers that were filled out by....guess who!! Out of what appeared to be about 20 people in the office, many of them became involved in the conversation and their tone of voice, while not nasty, was very frightening. They told me they cannot do anything for me until I have dealt with Immigration. Please excuse my language when I say this but if you think SS is a mess, you cannot imagine what a cluster f--- immigration is. I need a lawyer who can present my case and keep a cool head. I was in tears just trying to get to the right person to speak with who then told me this was something they would need to deal with in person(no surprise there, even I can't figure it all out)and it might be best to have a lawyer familiar with immigration law try to sort it out. Social Sec. has asked me to return at the end of the month to fill out all necessary paperwork for the benefits which they will hold on file until I can present a passport or clear proof of citizenship. Even if that goes slightly smoothly, it will be more than a year before I see any of that-thank goodness I have some money to fall back on.
Tomorrow I will be 63. I have lived here for 60 years-53 of them in this village. There is no way to describe how I feel right now except to say that I am depressed, angry, and not a little scared. My mother has been the direct cause of every bad thing that has happened to me since I was 3. She lied, she abandoned me in an orphanage in St. Louis to people who beat me with switches that you were required to go and cut from bushes outside, she lived with men who wither beat me or worse. They were disgusting drunken animals and I was regularly told that I had a new Daddy from time to time. Non of them adopted me but they made me use their names so that's part of a record I must now explain to people who are similar in attitude to what you may have experienced at the DMV in your life at one time or another. They are cross-eyed and dumbfounded by the end of only a few minutes and I am frustrated knowing that in the end they will just pass me on to the next drone...
All I feel like doing is sleeping and yet I can't. Last night was filled with that dream where you are falling. No hard figuring there. Mostly, I miss my darling Roger, who would have at least been a rock next to me and found a way to comfort and make me feel even a little better. Now there is no going back. I'm in for a penny or pound as they say. Waiting to hear from a friend who has some connection in the court system here. I want to find a lawyer and at least she can tell me who not to hire.
On the only happy note, James will be 27 Sunday and we are having dinner. Dani' birthday is the 15th-Terry's is the 17th and so on it goes.
I hope whoever you are reading this that your life is going along a lot more peaceful than mine right now. Unfortunately, you can count on my return with more crappy details soon. If you do, please say a little prayer. I really need it now.