Torn Between Holding On And Letting Go, And Identities

I came to the US when I was 9 years old. I was held back 2 years (I started first grade when i was 3) because I couldn't understand English. It's now been 9 years since then, and I have a 4.2 in my senior year taking classes such as AP English, AP Calculus, AP French 6, Chinese, and I tutor people, volunteer, and took part in cheerleading.
Sounds like a great progress and like I have a future, correct?
Not exactly. My parents brought our family of four on tourist visas and we have overstayed for many years. They will go back to our home country in South America when I turn 18, and I will be left here. I met a boy four years ago, and we have been dating since. When my parents said they would arrange a marriage for me, I refused, and the boy (let's call him Peter) and I planned to marry because we loved each other and because he wanted to help me. We planned everything, and I have seen an immigration lawyer (who said my only hopes were to marry or to have a company sponsor me).
Now, things are falling apart and he realizes how difficult the whole situation would be. His parents are helping to pay for my tuition because they don't want my efforts to go to waste, and our relationship isn't tied to this generous aid. Peter and I decided to see other people to be sure of our relationship because we began to plan to split for college and then possibly get back together.
A big problem: without marriage, it doesn't matter what university my degree is from because I will still be an illegal immigrant and will have to settle like my sister has had to- minimum wage job while I wait for something to happen.
I don't want to be a vulture, looking for guys to marry or to pay to marry me. My sister is manipulating her boyfriend to do this, and I can't imagine doing that to someone else. Now, Peter and I love each other and we have had a great relationship (yes with fights scattered throughout from time to time), but now he is acting very differently and he says he still wants to end up with me, but he is not the same person I fell in love with, and he is acting strange (befriending my close friends and telling me I can't hang out with them, saying he will sleep with a lot of people in college and can't wait). Sometimes he takes it back and says he is just saying that to get into that mindset, but I just want a clean relationship. I don't like the indecisiveness that has taken over his thoughts in recent weeks.
He broke up with me a few times, but came running back and I took him back. This is not healthy; we are both stressed out and upset, but we still love each other deeply. Then there is the political issue and the fact that his parents want me to be a part of their lives years from now.
I am so torn and confused... I have no idea what to do.

Please don't tell me to go back to my home country, because I will never be able to get back out without money and it is incredibly corrupted. I love my country, but going back is simply not an option. I am not here to harm anyone, or to take anything that isn't mine. I simply want to make a future for myself and I also am ashamed of my immigration status. I never thought that it would happen to me. I want to get a good education and help people. Brown University offered me a half scholarship to study abroad this summer, and I had to turn it down. I'm not a sleazy drug dealer or lazy freeloader. I am just another teenager in America trying to earn a good future; my situation is just preventing that which for many others is a blessing that is taken for granted. Please advise, do not criticize. Thank you.

A part of me wishes I no longer existed. I am not a part of my home country and although I feel like I am a part of the US, many people want to kick people like me out, people who work hard. I have no identity.
JustEnjoyTheJourney JustEnjoyTheJourney
18-21, F
3 Responses May 20, 2012

Thanks for your understanding :) things have changed considerably since I last posted- Peter and I have changed our relationship to focus on the present instead of focusing on the future. I still want to end up with him, and he says he wants the same. However, if we find other people then that's fine too. I just want both of us to be happy.<br />
I won't worry about the situation until I have to- after college. No company will sponsor me since I don't have a college degree- yet! I'll figure something out eventually. Again, thank you for your kind words (:

I realize the tricky nature of this problem. <br />
Maybe you should have long talk with Peter, to figure out where your relationship stands. Maybe he's just scared of all the changes? Going to college is a big step. <br />
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Going along with what the person above said, is there someone else you could marry, a good friend perhaps? <br />
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Or what about the alternative, getting a company to sponsor you?<br />
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Please don't feel ashamed about being an immigrant. Canada and the United States are made up of immigrants. No one has the right to tell you that you don't belong. You do belong. <br />
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Even people who were born in the US (except Native Americans) all come from other immigrants who wanted a better life for themselves and their families. <br />
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If you parents meant to arrange a marriage for you with an American, is that something you could reconsider? Sometimes short term pain is worth long term gain. (Within reason)<br />
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Good luck!

Well, maybe you could marry a best friend? I think couples shouldnt label 'relationships' someetimes it makes them feel like theyre owned or have to hide something or, you know just things that cause a typical bad relationship. Before things go bad, it is what it is and its good thats all... The person your with should be like your best friend, i hope you kinda understand and i hope things turnout better for you:)