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Author Topic: Urgent/Helicopter Parent/Long Distance Relationship

August 19, 2019, 09:07:27 AM
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To Whom It May Concern,
I need as much help as anyone can willingly give! First off thank you very, very much for any attention given. I am sorry of the length, yet your time here will mean a lot to us and any answers, suggestions of aid or measure of cooperation would have more gratitude then I can possibly show in this message.
You can call me K., I am a male of 33 (yes that really says 33) years living and working multiple jobs year round (including teaching elementary school, fast food, public service and entrepreneur work), in a tourist heavy part of Eastern Canada, but still living at home with my one parent and brother.
I am an intensely private person (even with my own family, which is a source of contention with them) and don’t talk much in general over social media (even to friends or coworkers), but I am under an extreme amount of stress right now (and for the past few weeks) with little end in sight and have been forced to/purposely opened up to find solutions and compromises. This has really started to affect my health to the point of headaches, over-tiredness, sleep loss, shaking, immune system suppression, and bouts of sudden crying, etc. People are starting to notice at work and offering to lend an ear. I can’t keep this a secret anymore.
No!!!! I am NOT at all suicidal to get that out of the way.

Both my girlfriend and I are definite confirmed INFJ's, by the Myer's Brigg tests if that also helps. My brother is certainly an INTJ. Mother unknown.

While living in Eastern Canada I have been talking with a woman from the Philippines for the past 6 years and we have been in a pseudo long-distance relationship for the past 3 years. Yes we met on a dating site.  J. lives in Metro Manila and is roughly a year younger than me, working as a Business Analyst for the past ~12 years. Her extensive extended family is from a part of a more rural and retirement province, but she has moved around a lot with extended family to go to various schools growing up. Frankly I have been pressured not to say much about her since my family is of the impression “[my] relationship could easily break apart since she can’t easily come to Canada.” J. openly and honestly, ultimately wishes to immigrate here as a long-term plan.

However, in the short-term we have been struggling, no, we are now supremely frustrated, pushed to our breaking points with just trying to even meet up for the FIRST time; to have a chance at further cementing our relationship in person, build some lasting memories participating in events together and eventually meet each others’ families (outside of Skype). This is due both in equal parts to multiple failed visa applications and, very sadly, my families’ social pressures.

I won't bore you with the full story of the visa woes as nothing can be done about those here, although we have tried multiple times for entries to both Canada and the US over the past three years. In between all this we contacted anyone we could, online forums, travel agencies, people who have immigrated to Canada, a retired Immigration Canada (IRCC) official, etc to try and understand, receiving conflicting information, and getting ourselves more lost and confused as we went. Just to show my desperation to try and get her to be able to visit here and prevent all this trouble in the first place let it also be known that under less stressful times I have tried contacting IRCC before both by phone and email many times to no avail. When that failed I began emailing various MP's, immigration offices, Immigration ministers offices, and even messaged the Office of the Prime Minister (July 20th, 2019) about visas in general, whom was the only one to send back anything, just a brief missive about referring my restricted size message to the Honourable Ahmed Hussen or other supporting officials. I have received no further contact from anyone else.

Forgive us our naivety. It seems so, so, so simple and straightforward, just a few days travel here in Canada, but we see now it really isn’t. Let’s just say we have been trying to address visa concerns but still get the same refusal reasons even though we should have cleared them by now.

I have tried attesting to J.’s character and equally giving this ordeal due thought to my mother’s concerns (honestly I have). My family doesn’t think J. is who she says she is (or rather this is all a scam) and doesn’t try to talk to her without a lot of pressure. They hasn't even talked to any of her family in 3 years, while I have at least met them and some of J's friends online as well (even if they can't speak great English).

J. and I have a lot of similar interests, and a few differences that are never really going to be a problem for either of us, we have been sharing gifts for years, have talked routinely through chat programs and the occasional Skype calls (we both work a lot and are on different sides of the planet), shared and gifted childhood books/movies, and already been though some rough spots together concerning other outside forces (someone locally in my area messaging her over a nonexistent relationship that I was supposedly having with a regular patron at one of my workplaces (who’s kids I regularly taught hence why we spoke)). We have weathered a fair amount together that I believe would count as certainly something towards giving her a legitimate chance.

We both grew up without our fathers, hers is deceased and mine caused such grieve during a decade long divorce process he fractured my family to a point very few talk to one another. It has just been my understandably overprotective mother, brother, and a few of my mother’s older extended family for a good part of my life now, with old wounds only starting to heal among other family members. Honestly I suppose I have been more and more grumpy and disapproving of my home life for quite some time prior to this. I have lied to them a little over little things (like which store I am working at on a given day since they hate certain things more, or would worry more) and as a result they don’t trust me now. (I just got my brother a week ago in a trap to see if he was spying on me and checking where I was at a given time). I work hard both as a bit of an escape from my dull home life (I feel I can’t go anywhere without getting 20 questions) and more importantly so that I will have more time to dedicate to a future family as I will have earned more upfront. I am future oriented. Their over-protection is somewhat understandable but really it should not be justified, especially at my age.

I don’t wish to drive further wedges in between what I have left of a family by being disobedient. We are largely the only support we have left for one another growing older now, and still stuck together under one roof. I have also overworked myself, as I said above, often running between 3+ jobs at a time to get to where I am now. Hence I am told phrases repeatedly denying approval for me to travel to the Philippines as it is “to dangerous” and “you have never met this women before.” “You work so hard you shouldn’t waste your money in the pursuit of this girl.” “Think about your career.” “Protect yourself she might be after your money, etc.” I have already suffered one very hard to swallow heartbreak a decade ago because of these “protective”, “good intention” seeking measures. My family didn’t want to see me in a relationship with someone with a physical disability that left her bound to a wheelchair cause: “You could never make it work.” and most hurtful: “that is not the life we want for you.” I am left to wonder if what I want for me means anything.

I won’t speak to much more of my failed love life, but I have a Chinese ex as well (my only other relationship) that I went out with for a year and lost to yet similar circumstances, and the fact that it wasn't a good match from the beginning, but we both were desperate to seek any kind of relationship experience having never had any at all growing up. Although I can make friends easily, I am more particular about choosing close friends (and lately have had little to no contact with them as they started families of their own years back), and I connect with very few people on more intimate/heartfelt levels. My lack of communicating doesn’t mean I don’t care. I just don’t value casual meaningless banter. My social skills towards finding and attaining significant others are practically non-existent which makes this all the more harder for me, and I am only growing older. Also I am in a rural area so my options are limited and my mother believes I can just go sit in a local pub, library, etc once a week and eventually find someone.

I am sick of the sheltering, and yet don’t wish the shame of hurting my parent and only brother to pursue a love interest ie: having to choose between my best chance of a future family relationship or the loving family that raised me (their intentions aside). I guess it is hard for someone with a 45 year teaching career in elementary to see her sons as anything but her children for life. That is not to say I haven’t made cracks in the armour. I pulled a lot of strings to get leverage for those family trips to the USA, although that didn’t pan out with J., so we didn’t go. The clock keeps on ticking and I feel bad for what part I play in having my girlfriend hold out on hope for years of her life and spend her savings on attempts to get together. (She has been trying to travel a lot (10+ countries now) and buy an apartment rather than rent to meet visa conditions.) We know it will take years before we can completely do so. Both our families demand no less.

My girlfriend and I have recently tried to compromise with my family over my birthday (early August) to little avail. My mother is willing to accept a meet up in Bermuda, if she can tag along, but it requires a transit visa for my girlfriend through Canada or the U.S. that we highly doubt at this point is achievable given our past woes and knowing nothing about them (let alone another projected 3 month wait for a Bermuda visa on my girlfriend’s part). Similar options in St. Lucia or St. Vincent and the Grenadines that don’t require visas for her still require transit visas and have higher costs for all parties. Mother refuses to travel far or anything that might be costly, and doesn't want me to go far or spend money either. The only alternative option I have is open defiance and going for a solo meet up in South Korea (the least costly for us both as a whole) or elsewhere (given I am forbidden by my mother to go to the Philippines citing “danger.”) and that practically any meet up we could plan for seemingly must be done with me on a leash and my mother talking to her first. Sadly, J.’s multiple entry visa for South Korea expires in October to add further pressure from a potential time crunch. Mother cites any pressure from J. towards me as “part of her tricks.” There has been some pressure lately as she is obviously tired, angry, depressed and beginning to question putting up with all this. This will undoubtedly sow chaos and quite possibly force me to abandon someone in shame. The Skype meeting I got my mother/brother to do between my girlfriend and my family and any talks yield nothing but tears and my mother looking for evidence in a quasi drumhead trial (to spout back at me in private) to back her claims my girlfriend is a scam artist, and my mother stalling for more and more time and delays citing anything she can from my needing to get a lawyer to arrange a will before I could fly, that I could get an interview at any time for a term teaching position, that I need to relax before school starts and travel is tiring, a friend's proposed meet up to celebrate my past birthday, to my car needing new brakes and anything fair or absurd in between. She wants us to wait till March Break to prove her loyalty (which is often report card season if I have a term position) or yet again next summer! Yes my girlfriend will do so if I ask, or will certainly try too out last this abuse, but this is getting down right tragic! She has already waited for years! My mother and brother are hyper aware of notifications and alerts that there are many citizens from the Philippines that target young Canadians for their money, an attempt to gain residency status, etc. I can’t deny this, but whatever happened to innocent till proven guilty? There is no defense against this kind of thinking, but time, trust and talk. There is no way that we know of to prove her good intentions, and I have only added to the hurt having to constantly share my families suspicions and wishes that any relationship we do have must mean we are forever financially apart or ready for a supposed divorce. That fact alone and the wait should have sunk most scams long ago. We young lovers can only stand so much before one of us breaks, she can’t continue to bare this much longer! We are all human and have moments of weakness. Again, this is all being done just to meet up for a first time! No one deserves to be made the victim of a witch hunt, stereotyped, and called low when she has done everything asked of her in an attempt to demonstrate credibility and loyalty.

I have spent ALL my waking hours out of work since mid-July seeking hope and reaching out for help, but only now from mental health forums. I have talked to family friends, the staffs of two local restaurants that are mostly Filipino immigrants, etc. A multitude of internet volunteers have found a few far flung solutions but they are unrealistic and too costly. I have had little de-stress time and very little options given I am always under a microscope.

My mother has also talked to some local Filipino immigrants at the local seniors support center where a relative is living and is using evidence from them to back her claims that Filipino’s try by any means to get to Canada or elsewhere, and by any means necessary.

"A man's no better than the pain he's caused to the people he loves and what he's willing to do to set it right." - Carnival Row

I know it is hard for you to comment on any of this, that everyone might have a nagging feeling of the effects of their feedback and telling/suggesting me what to do. Perhaps I just need to say all this down in text to think it through and convince myself one way or another; and yes in some respects I am trying to be level headed and looking for an outside unbiased source of whether I am being crazy or not. I can’t thank you enough for even non committal opinion feedback. I hate myself for looking and investigating my girlfriend to rule out my families claims. I really haven’t found anything, but there is no way to find or prevent someone who is just looking to immigrate and not hold a lifelong relationship if they are a really good actor.

I am trying to weigh my options. None of this is what we had planned for after all. It was supposed to be simple, she just came here for a bit. The choice I am left with currently to go to South Korea or not in the short term. $~2,000-$2,500 is one heck of a costly “first date.” ;) Although it is also a vacation, which honestly even my previous travel experiences weren’t. I worked in China teaching to prove I could and also took classes there on three separate trips. Mother says I need a vacation or some time off, but that travel will tire me out. That is just sounding like contradiction. I should get out of the house but not go anywhere. I don’t go anywhere. I barely go anywhere other than work, not even for groceries! I feel I need this, this meet up could help me a lot (not that I am trying to put my problems on my girlfriend to solve), but can’t be sure of what it will cost me in terms of family turmoil. (Worst of all what if they (family) are right? Their constant nagging has some effect of course.) In some respects it does seem like madness, but if I look at the flip side she (J.) has been willing to do exactly this for me for years, to come here, and spent a lot in the process thus far.

Mother says it is dangerous to go and meet her, well guess what happened less than a week ago at my local workplace before I came to work? Police showed up out of know where and tackled a man to the ground in the entry way. I was told by staff, who were told by witnesses and police that he had camo gear, a military style vest, large knife, loaded handgun, plate carrier over his heart and some bottle of accelerant to start fires on him. He was very angry that day and had just posted on Facebook. At least that is what some saw the police looking at and into. I haven’t told my mother, but have told brother this. This kind of stuff “NEVER” happens (but just did) in my retirement home community.

The two of us are really just frozen in place, J. and I, even still after coming out and crying about it for weeks, and have been for such a long time now we can’t help but dwell on, just waiting. Frankly it still is my decision and inaction that I think might be hurting her the most even if she understands why I am frozen in place and trying to exhaust every avenue that would lessen the impact on my family. I hate putting the weight all on my shoulders and understand visa refusals are beyond my ability to cause (but no one from IRCC or elsewhere I have tried to reach out to and find an avenue to answers will get back to us.) That hurts. All my stalling seems to be for naught. I want to show her progress. She thinks we are going in circles and is certainly starting to doubt.
Yes, she could apply to work here and is even willing to work in fast food retail or otherwise (some folks have offered support for this already). Again that does take time (time apart if we don’t meet up first). Trying to answer my mothers concerns (she asked me to have a conversation around planning out a future together as “you should be thinking of that” and “what if she can’t come here?”) before diving into a relationship is daunting (and more time) and I am not even convinced that is what people even do before they meet in a long distance relationship. Love happens when/whether we are ready for it or not. Don’t we need to as I have been told: “take one step at a time?” “Plan, goals, etc.” Again I am given contradiction. I wouldn’t mind a small stint living or teaching away again, it would remind me of my happy times in China, but no I know it would terrify my family. “Well why hasn’t she already tried applying to work here if she wants to immigrate?” “Why would she want to move away from her large extended family to some place unknown?” “Why Canada?” I really can’t give mother an answer, only my girlfriend can try to answer, and even like any normal person we don’t always know where our dreams and whims come from. She says she has always had this little dream of immigrating somewhere. She doesn’t know if it is a grass is always greener scenario or poking fun at fantasy like going to a new and unknown land (Narnia in the Wardrobe). She always liked the idea of Norway, Sweden or Iceland (Canada just happens to be very similar), perhaps because they have the Northern Lights (we both love astronomy), perhaps because they have the four seasons in the classical idea of the sense with trees changing color in the fall and snow in the winter (the Philippines at best has a sunny season and a rainy season.), or perhaps because of some of her favorite childhood books (The Golden Compass series). Yes, her home province is idyllic in some respects, a real tropical paradise (and a little less on the wealth side as it is rural).
My mother says she is listening to me when I tell her these responses but then she can’t even name the correct countries in her own feedback and cuts me off from giving her any details.
“Why would she want to leave that behind?” Well she isn’t there, she is in Metro Manila, one of the biggest and most populated cities on Earth in a small rented apartment. Also the Philippines has constant scary earthquakes and her hometown was more than decimated in Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) years back. I mean according to her the only thing left standing was most of her mother’s home by some miracle and the local church. That has to have had an effect too.
Naturally she wants to meet me before committing to coming here. Why is that such a bad thing? We are sorry we can’t find any other way. Immigration without me isn’t meaningless but she didn’t take this little dream that seriously until after meeting me. Why Canada? Well her words: “And oh just to clear this out.. I am not interested in "Canada".. I am interested in you K.!!”
After years of this wait (and before this summer) I promised her I would do everything I could this year to try and find a way to meet up. I have tried to complete all of Hercules’s labours and failed. Honestly we obviously can met up. The only thing holding us back is me and my worry over what my family thinks. Again that hurts me. I just have no way of getting through to my family that even “come what may” or “everything will work out alright” sometimes still requires action on your (my) part to succeed. I don’t know what to say and can’t help but feel they don’t want me to do this even if they say otherwise (with crossed arms).
Mother said at one point something like you can’t love someone that is just text on a screen you have to meet her first to fall in love. No one can ever truly tell me what I feel or how I feel. This isn’t the 1500’s or 1800’s or even 1940’s, 60’s or 80’s. Hell it isn’t the 90’s or even 00’s! We live in an age of global communication and this way of meeting up is a new norm. She doesn’t agree.
Why do I feel I have to justify that I am in love to them? I am not Confucius, Aristotle, Lao Zi, Einstein, Darwin, Plato, Descartes, the Buddha, or some other wise figure or sage. And even most sages knew they were fools. Even the Buddha took 49 days to achieve enlightenment, I can’t do it in a weekend or my remaining hours before work. Why must I be asked to reassess this?
I am really worried that if I turn down her offer to meet up in South Korea that she will think I am not being sincere. All these negative thoughts and outlooks my family have had in fear that I honestly shared with J. might be the tipping point that enough is enough even so. How could I not share them? As a result I have been keeping her abreast of all my attempts to help her come to Canada or meet up in such a way that pleases my family, but I know that isn't exactly showing me to be independent of my families influence. (Hence I can't help but wonder if she will think it will always be this stressful for her because of/around my family?) She is embarrassed for me, as I have embarrassed myself many many times reaching out to anyone I can find in government or elsewhere for help.
But she also has pressures from her family, friends and coworkers wondering why I haven't met her yet when " as a Canadian have one of the most powerful visas in the world" and clearly could afford dozens of trips there. They think I am foolish.
But like I hinted at above my family hasn't been invested in learning anything to do with her over the past years and now that I am being more forceful of the situation they are scared and rightly so. I just can’t quell fear. Theirs or mine. Sometimes we have to make our own miracles. :S  I shouldn’t keep watching for some magic email from IRCC to make the problem go away.


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