This doesn’t seem to be “collateral damage”

By Tim…

I previously posted as “a man without a country.” I’ve lived overseas since my release from probation. Until February, 2018, I had no problems overseas, only when I returned to the US the last few, as I had to after my last parent died. Last year, using the same route and carrier as four times before, I was denied a boarding pass when something came up on the screen at check-in. They asked if I were “traveling alone”; I nodded incredulously and indicated no one was standing near me. I later wondered if this was something to do with the ‘trafficking’ we hear a lot about. Because of a health issue, I request wheelchair assistance in airports. Even though I’d spend just a two-hour layover sitting in a wheelchair in that airline’s hub, I was told to find another carrier with another route. Less than an hour after telling my family I’d be back in a month, I was waking them up to let me back in the house. Then, I spent months and months wondering when the other shoe would drop.
I had a relatively peaceful life here for 16 years; we used to fly to the beach once a year. After my aborted trip, I found myself making excuses not to travel where my three-year-old passport would be scanned and my wife of 12 years might learn of something I thought I’d left behind on the other side of the world. Now, though I had no problem renewing a year-long visa to stay last year, I’m faced with a very strong possibility I won’t be so lucky this year. As a result of IML and things getting ‘lost in translation,’ I’m boarding a plane next week and might wind up homeless, stateless, and torn apart from my family. (I’m not being deported; I am voluntarily leaving for other reasons below.)
It’s not just potential discrimination due misunderstanding outside of the States. I do wonder every day if the smaller-than-an-old-tweet info that pops up on the airport check-in screen includes what my psychologist (a PhD/LPC and devout Christian) told me about what happened being not all my fault or if there’s anything about the mother of my ‘victim’ being a ‘sociopath,’ as Doc figured out from my detailed description of her. We need to raise awareness that parents can and do cause more life-long damage to their kids than SOs are accused of doing. Ask anyone whose parent(s) had Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
I am writing this because I sense indifference back in the US to my family’s suffering as so many of us are experiencing. Above, I referred to my last parent dying. I was left a trust, which wound up having several issues requiring help from lawyers (we all know how fun that is). As there were potential needs to go to civil court, I was honest with my lawyers about my past and showed them a letter from my psychologist, in which he reaffirmed me as Level 1 ten years after I was released from probation and ended my monthly sessions with him. The problem was with the lawyers working for the trust, the defendant who took a lot of money from my dying parent, and his lawyer, who probably all knew about my secret. All of them seem to be the type to think they know all they need to know already about my story, which (like many reading this) includes details that should make an ethical, fair-minded person pause in their judgment.
My civil lawsuit to recoup money much needed for my own family’s future safety and survival fizzled, and I wound up losing not just the money I was hoping to recoup but a sizable amount of money (my late father’s) I’d invested trying to get it back and the money spent by trust principal to pay lawyers. None of the people involved seem to have a conscience about how my family is on the verge of financial ruination. I have to wonder how much of that is because everyone knows just a smidgen of my old problems.
I wish I knew how the story will end next week. I fear I might not be able to update it, so I am hoping this gets published to Tales soon. Twenty years after my mistake in judgement and sixteen years after I was released from probation, the collateral damage to me and to my new family since I thought I’d been able to start a new life is threatening to crumble like a house of cards.
I don’t know what to expect when I try to board a plane here as I tried to do a year and a half ago. I will be leaving two days before my visa here expires. I never got a letter about passport revocation. Maybe that will be when I land in the US and am greeted by our uniformed protectors of the border. I don’t have a home or any family to go to back in the US, but I have some business I need to attend to to see to it that my family will have some security in the future, even if it is without me.

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