...The last few weeks have been...surreal, and heartbreaking.

I recently learned that my application for Permanent Residence was refused.

We have yet to receive the offical refusal letters, but I gather it has something to do with the validity of my relationship with Patrick and our failure to demonstrate just how genuine it is. That...or, even worse, that we don't fit the true definition of 'Conjugal Partners' as described by immigration quidelines. At this point, all we have is conjecture and we're forced to wait for that ever-elusive documentation before we can move forward.

We have every intention of appealing, although the added cost is a painful notion. Lawyers don't come cheap. Thankfully, we have the support of Patrick's parents, emotional and otherwise, so we'll be fighting this tooth and nail. Regardless, it's extremely frustrating to be so grossly misjudged. I have yet to confirm their reasons, but if it's as I think it is, we've both been accused of falsifying our romance and going to great lengths to fabricate things. How ironic, that the most genuine relationship of my life has been dubbed invalid and disingenuous. They couldn't be more wrong. Patrick is my REASON, not my MEANS. I just hope we can convince them of that in our appeal.

I'm doing my best to live my life without over-analyzing, as I am so prone to do. But, quite honestly, this is truly testing my patience. This entire process has been a series of difficult lessons, forcing me to shift perspectives repeatedly. Patrick is eternally calm and practical, reminding me often that this is just another hurdle...one more speed bump. We've overcome so many difficulties to be together...we'll get through this. In fact, it's these continuously challenging obstacles that strengthen our relationship. Still, that doesn't make this any easier to endure.

When I first learned of this I was so completely devastated that I couldn't even bring myself to write about it. I was so buried in my disappointment that I didn't know how to share it. It's all been too overwhelming. I didn't even phone my Mum until a few days ago. And I've had to remind myself that...this is not just happening to me. It's Patrick's struggle as well. If I'm lying, then so is he. It's incredibly infuriating to be accused of such a thing. And the worst part is the hopeless feeling that overcomes me when I realize I am nothing more than a stack of misread papers, inaccurately assessed by some faceless, heartless someone who never even met me. It makes me feel quite ill....

I want nothing more than to simply live my life and move forward, unhindered. Yet I have so many bureaucratic snags to untangle before I can SIMPLY BE. I find myself longingly observing people...walking their dogs, lounging on benches and chatting casually over coffees...and I'm jealous of them. I envy their comfortable routines. It's the pursuit of that...a life were I can be with the man I love AND be allowed to study and work and be self-sufficient...that propels me. It really isn't so much to ask, is it?

Thankfully, I can say that this has yet to adversely effect our relationship. We are still very much in love and simply happy to be together, despite the ensuing hassle. Seeing him everyday is worth every bit of adversity. He is and will forever be...my rock. What we have is so mutually beneficial and supportive...always has been. It baffles me that they would see us for anything other than we are. And I'm still shocked that they would think this is simply a relationship of convenience.

We'll get through this. It took me a moment to steady myself and regain my trust in that. But, now that I've had awhile to sit with it...I think I've accepted this as just another step. Sure it would've been nice if they hadn't made such a grossly inaccurate assessment, but all we can do now is accept it and move forward.

It's all just part of the game. Were it not for the arduous journey, how would I ever appreciate just how far I've come? Who knew I'd wind up battling Canadian Immigration in defense of something so unarguabley genuine and beautiful?