I like to do things for myself and have always felt stronger knowing that I can. I learn by doing and I also get frustrated when I can’t be independent. I have had some leg ups along the way, like my parents buying my ticket to Australia, however mostly I am where I am through the opportunities I’ve made for myself. I lived on my own for a long time before I met Eliot, paid my own bills, bought and sold cars, moved apartments many times and traveled the world.
Landing in a new country where you don’t know the rules and trying to start a new life in a new place can be a shock to the system and your identity.
Arriving in the US has been a challenge for me. There are so many things that I am ‘dealing’ with. The US bank accounts are all in Eliot’s name, I don’t have cell service, I’m not on the insurance policy we took out on the car we just purchased in Eliot’s name, I was carded when trying to buy a bottle of wine and my Australian drivers license wasn’t accepted so couldn’t proceed with the purchase, I am unable to provide a source of income and the people around me are all Eliot’s friends and family. I feel very dependent and it goes against my strong sense of self.
Added to this is a loss of solo time. The kids are with us 24 x 7 and we are having so much fun with them, watching them learn how to navigate ice and snow, having lots of dance parties and even mini gymnastics. I am however an introvert, I recharge when I am alone and being alone is really difficult when you are together all the time.
So what to do about this? For some of it there isn’t much I can do but be patient, like my ability to provide a source of income. I am going to just have to wait for my visa to finish processing however I can start networking and investigating all my options. I can also make it a priority to go and open a bank account in my own name and get my own debit card. Asking Eliot for his card makes me feel belittled (not that he would ever belittle me!). I can take time for myself so that I can be the best version of myself. I can start driving (we have travel insurance) and lots of other practical things. And these will help me to feel much more independent.
The biggest thing of all that I can do, though, is stop being a victim. The only person that is actually making me feel less independent is me. It is time to take back control, control of my own thoughts, actions and reactions.
What story are you telling yourself right now?