My name is Sergio Wilson Galvez and I was born in Panama City, Panama on April 18, 1983. My parents are Jerry Wilson Navarro and Carmen Aminta Galvez Evers. From an early age, my parents always urged me to pursue my studies keenly to ensure I acquire a good education. At the time, acquiring education in panama was difficult owing to the lack of a forceful change in the existing educational system and other social problems in the country at the time. It was until August 20, 2003, that I travelled to the United States to fulfill what my parents had always urged me to do in order to acquire education. I studied English at the Atlantic Cape Community College in Atlantic City, New Jersey to start with. Because of my excellent performance in the ESL classes, I was able to enroll for accredited college courses in my second semester of study. I chose to undertake a degree course in Management Information System.
In 2004, Amado Martinez, a family friend in Omaha, advised me to undertake a degree course at the University of Nebraska in Omaha. From my appointment with the International Student Counselor, I was presented with a range of opportunities that were available for students as regards their general welfare at the college: such as scholarships, economic housing facilities and transferable college credits. I managed to transfer to the University of Nebraska by the fall semester of 2004. With the introduction of International Leadership Scholarships for student in the institution, they awarded me the Non-resident tuition scholarship after two semesters. I finally graduated on May 4, 2007, with a bachelor’s degree in Management Information System, with honors in Magna Cum Laude. After I participated in a scholarship contest for a graduate degree program in an Information Technology related field, I enrolled at Creighton University. While, at the university, I undertook two masters degrees, one in Science of Information Technology Management and the other in Business Administration, finally graduating on December 17, 2009.
While still at the university, I met Melissa Webb in July 2009, whom I later married. We met at Kona Grill restaurant at Village Pointe Mall in Omaha, Nebraska, at a friend’s farewell party. We sat at the same table with Melissa and her friends, and in no time, we had developed a connection and we were having a gripping conversation. Judging from her personality, I could tell Melissa was a person who had a kind heart and good family values. We set a date for the next weekend and even exchanged contacts. From the word go, the chemistry between us steered the relationship into a passionate connection almost straight away. Happy conclusions were not just in the books I read; we actually did have a very wonderful and dedicated relationship together. Exchanging our vows was the next big thing that ever happened to us, but all I have left today is just the fond memories of how lovely our love life was.
After two months of courting, on September 5, 2009 I asked Melissa out to her favorite bistro, M’s Pub in Omaha. While at the café, I asked for her hand in marriage, a proposal to which she gladly accepted. After a fortnight we paid her parents a visit at Red Oak, Iowa, where I told them of my intentions to marry their daughter. Just as I expected, her parents were very kind and they gave us their blessings. After our engagement, we were ready to settle down as a couple with all the great dreams and aspirations about our future together in mind. Our main goal was to save up and purchase a home and then move on to the next step of having our first child. The future looked fruitful and exciting from the way it presented itself to us in our expectations; but it would not be such a smooth sail as we both expected, since not all that is well that ends well.
At the time, I was working as an Information Technology consultant for General Electric Transportation, while the Smith family employed Melissa as a personal assistant. In her capacity, the family entrusted Melissa with various duties, ranging from babysitting to house cooking and other household chores. Unfortunately, Melissa and her employer were not in the best of terms at the time and it did not seem as if any reconciliation and deliberations would help the situation. As a final decision, Melissa quit her job on October of 2009. Just as many relationship gurus would say, that the trying times actually bring couples’ relationships even more closer, I was of the same opinion since our problems like Melissa losing her job and others brought us even more closer than I had ever thought.
It was until November 20, 2009 that we held our engagement party at Blue Sushi, downtown Omaha, Nebraska. We invited all our families and friends, but sadly, my family from Panama did not attend the festivity. All the same, Melissa’s family and our closest friend attended and I guess that is that mattered to me at the time, seeing to it that my wife was happy. At the party, we publicly announced our intentions of getting married and in no time, the weeding plans lay out was made. The sequence of events would be to get married in June of 2010; then make a trip to Hawaii for the honeymoon to celebrate our weeding and hold a Hawaiian weeding ceremony while still at Hawaii. The last events would be to hold two weeding reception ceremonies, one at Red Oak, Iowa on the August of 2010 and the other one at Panama on February of 2011, when it is summer in Panama.
We travelled to Panama on December 22, 2009 to meet my family. While at Panama, Melissa had the chance to meet both my immediate and extended family, as they had not turned up at the engagement party. She immediately made friends with my cousins and they seemed to connect very well in deed. Everybody needs a re-assurance at almost every point in life and from our visit; I could not deny that I felt more confident about our relationship, arguing from how Melissa connected with my family. On 11 June 2010, we took our vows, I married Melissa, and two weeks later we left for Kauai in Hawaii, together with Melissa’s family for our Hawaiian weeding. The following week, we held our honeymoon at Hyatt Hotel in Kauai.
News reached me that Melissa had been pregnant long before we met, in May 2009. This and others attributed to the downfall of our marriage. Melissa’s hostility towards my mother and my working relationship with her dad aggravated the pitfall of our lovely marriage. I would only wonder where we had gone wrong since we had not experienced such major problems as we courted. For we had this lovely relationship, which to me was nothing short of a perfect relationship. However, things between Melissa and I took a different course after our weeding reception. During the period of our wedding party, my mom had come to stay with us at our house. Arguing from experience, on occasions when Melissa and my mother had interacted, both at my graduation and at our home in Panama, I was of the opinion that there relationship was cordial and there was no reason for alarm. Nevertheless, everything from our marriage to our families was about to change and I would not say I had seen it coming nor was I adequately prepared for the events that followed our wedding bash.
It all started with my wife grumbling about everyday petty issues that did not please her. She would complain of the smell from my mother’s cooking, about me entering my mom’s bedroom and talking with her, money expenses I incurred for my mother and other simple issues that she made a big fuss out of instead of letting us discuss them as husband and wife. It was becoming unbearable and difficult for my mom to cope with my wife when I was not in the house, and more so to act according to her demands because she did not speak English. After only spending four days with us, my wife’s hostility became intolerable and I thought it was best for mother to put up at a friend’s place for some time as I sought all means possible to handle the matters at hand between my wife and my mother. Anayansi Adams, our friend from Panama with whom my mom was to put up with for the night was overly concerned and offered to help, but I thought it was best if I handled the situation personally. On noticing that her mother-in-law was to spend the night at Anna’s house, this infuriated her even the more. As a result, Melissa threw out some of my stuff and my mother possessions; and not stopping at that, she made some very offensive comments about us and my family. She kept on screaming at me saying that I should go back to Panama with my mother. She really meant every word she uttered, accusing me of spending all my money selfishly. She was not acting and this was actually the first time I happened to see her in such a furious state.
I was very angry with my wife even though I could not reveal it to mother during our drive to Ana’s house. My mom looked very sad, but despite the fact that she was saddened by my wife’s sudden over reaction, she seemed to handle the situation better than I was doing, arguing that Melissa’s reactions may be attributed to the pregnancy. She suggested I should go back to the house and try comforting her; an argument would not help the situation. However, I guess I was the most affected by this sudden turn of events and it was at times like this I asked myself whether Melissa would at least honor our vows and share her tribulations with me. Alternatively, may be it was just a passing cloud and she would come around–all I would do was wish that things between us would get back on track sooner or later. Upon deliberations, I followed mother’s advice and tried to explain to Melissa how greatly my mother loved her and that she did not hold a grudge against her. Before I reached the house, Melissa had called her parents and informed them that I had left her together with our child, something that I have never come to understand up to date, why she had to lie to her parents regarding such serious matters. Even though the relationship between Melissa’s parents and I was not that perfect, I did not see the reason why she had to make such a grave lie to her parents. The sequence of events, in particular of that Wednesday, August 18 made things even worse. In my opinion, I thought calling up her family and make things clear would help in a way, but on calling Melissa’s mother, in a bid to explain to her what had happened, she was mean on the phone and also threatened to fire me. How else was one expected to handle such an issue, if not tackle it head on, but I guess I was wrong.
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After sometime, things seemed to have cooled off and to me this was it–the end of our arguments. In late February 2010, Mr. Kent Webb, Melissa’s dad, offered me a job, to work as a .NET Web application developer at his company, ClearValue Hearing. The company operated a national hearing aid discount benefit program. My job was to develop a call center web based system, besides developing the ClearValue Hearing commercial website. I conveyed my interest for the job and told Mr. Kent I could comfortably do the job. On March 8, 2010, I got the job and I began working for ClearValue Hearing, as a project-based contractor. After working for some time for the company, Mrs. Jean Webb, Melissa’s mother, who played an active role in the running of the business, campaigned that I should be awarded the position of project manager, to oversee the rest of the staff. Unfortunately, her prospect was not received well by the staff of ClearValue Hearing. A few had worked at the firm for even fifteen years, and had never been presented with such a covetous promotion. There was reason for controversy and I had to deal with numerous challenges at the work place.
Mr. Kent promoted me to a salaried employee and awarded me the position of program manager in the company. However, it was evident that both Mr. Kent and Mrs. Jean had their different expectations with regard to my role at the firm and to some extent my wife was also involved in the decision making process alongside her parents. My intentions were clear and I had expressed them more so to the three of them, as they were the major parties involved in making decisions at the firm.
All along, Mr. Webb had no plans of making me a project manager, were it not for Mrs. Jean’s revelation. Mr. Kent had presented the position to another employee, Melanie Sifford, several months prior to my employment at the company. As disclosed by his future actions, Mr. Webb had actually been coerced in accepting the decision to make me project manager. Despite declining to accept the new status, Mr. Webb still assigned me the job. He was very understanding when we had our conversation, and I did not see any reason why I should not have accepted the promotion to that controversial position as it later turned out to be. Assigning me this job meant that Mr. Webb had to struggle with two differing plans. On one side, he wanted to retain his image among his staff, while conversely, he was trying to entrust an unloved program manager with operations. Owing to the low levels of teamwork and esteem in the office, the outcome was very bad, nothing near what I ever expected. It seemed my problems were creeping back but in a different style. Mr. Webb started making in-considerate comments about my accent, which was not that good as English was not my first language. I was also subjected to ridiculous claims, which I was never told anything about, and neither were they ever discussed in my presence.
After about a year, without any ugly incidents between Melissa, and me we were back to the same problems again. After the unpleasant incident between my mom and Melissa we worked things out and agreed never have a repeat of the same in future. Nonetheless, it seems our memorandum of good intentions only lasted for just a year and on Friday, August 20 2010, it happened all over again. On that particular Friday, Melissa and I went over to Anayansi’s house to have ceremonial dinner with some of our close friends. While at the table, Melissa again manifested her mysterious fury in front of all our friends. She label led my dad as a criminal, and for that reason, our child would not bear my surname. After screaming all she could, she left Anayansi’s house for her parent’s home in Red Oak Iowa, where she stayed for the whole weekend. I just had to stay at our apartment in Omaha and await her return. Because I did not want to think that we had gone back to our old problem, this was really eating me up.
It is as if she enjoyed the whole idea of behaving aggressively towards me. The events of that Friday were not but the beginning of Melissa’s verbal hostility and prejudiced behavior towards me. She made it a habit to make false remarks about my performance and me at work. I forced myself to assume everything she said and not respond to a thing she said arguing that it was just because of her hormonal state. She talked rudely both to my friends and I, more so when we were in the company of other people. While at work, Mr. Kent aggravated the situation by uttering offensive comments about me, with most of the remarks being culturally related. At this point, it had now advanced from Melissa to her family and on one particular occasion, during a meeting Mr. Webb made it clear to all the staff members that I was not to communicate with the regional managers owing to my lack of fluency in English. This greatly affected my job and role as a manager, as it became hard to address the same staff who had been convinced to belittle you by the CEO.
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Times of troubles came from both areas of my life and I was going through some hard times. My marriage at home was nothing to go by, as it was the hardest hit by the recent turn of events. My employer Mr. Webb, on the other hand was insensitive towards me at work. to say the least. Back at home, I would try to share my tribulations and distress with my wife, but she would not hear of it. Instead, she would demand that making her happy was more preferential or else I risked losing my job, because to her my problems did not matter at all, they were mine alone and so it was upon me to find my own solutions to my problems . At some point, I could not help it but ask myself why I had let this situation to go this far, because at times I could not believe some words that she uttered knowing to well that she was my wife. I sat for long hours in sadness, just analyzing how bumpy our marriage had been. What I did not know was that Melissa was sharing some very adverse ideologies and thoughts about me with her family. I soon realized how she had been using crude coercive methods in order to ensure that she stayed in control of my life. She no longer minced her words and from her statements, I could clearly tell that she hated me so much. I could not help it but feel isolated and abandoned. Or was this the price one paid to love another, I guess at this point I realized it was more than I had bargained for.
On Monday, September 6, 2010, things between my wife Melissa and I ended up badly. At 5:30 PM, Melissa’s father, burst into my office shouting at me for something I considered very insignificant to warrant such kind of yelling particularly at the office. Mr. Webb had requested me to place the website–the company’s web server files -at a different server. Mr. Webb did not fully understand that I did not have the access and credentials to the computer’s server, judging from his small perception of information technology, hence a reason why he did not understand why it was impossible to carry out the task. Instead of seeking clarification on the matter, he sought to use unethical means in handling the situation. He believed his staff who told him I was becoming a crook, a propaganda he believed. Mr. Webb used offensive language towards me and repeatedly threatened that he would personally see to it that I was deported. He was really worked up that he almost hit me and my attempt to leave made him even angrier. He was not letting it pass and instead he closed the door, and reverted to more insults. After what seemed like an entirety, Mr. Webb confiscated my laptop and shooed me to leave.
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I just had to drive home; after all, I could no longer stay at the office. It was hard imagining how your in-laws would suddenly change, replacing all their love with hatred. I had to let it all out, the reality had finally hit me, and in the last couple of weeks, I had lost all the respect, love and kindness from my wife and her parents. This reminded me of how I had lost one of my close relatives to a road accident, the feeling, like that of death itself. It is at such times that one looks for solace and comfort from family or loved ones in the hope that they can at least get hear a loving voice. That is what came to my mind, and I wanted to call my mom, unfortunately, I did not have a calling card available at the time. On arrival at our apartment, astonishingly enough Melissa had placed my bag outside the door. I had been kicked out of my own apartment and my attempts to go inside proved futile, and the chain lock prevented from the door from budging. All my attempts to convince her at least to let me in only made her insist that I should leave. As a last resort, I opted to ask her to let me pack my stuff, or else to hand them to me but she did not want to hear me out and willingly denied my request.
I spent the night at my friend’s, Marcos Ferreira; in deed, I was lucky to have some very good and sympathetic friends, who understood my situation. I could not think of anything else other than call Melissa and let her know that I still loved her and we should actually make up for the sake of our child and so as to ease my pain and suffering. I explained to her all that had happened at the office. I even persuaded her into letting me back to the apartment so that we could get to sit down and talk. She was very angry with, blaming me for the exchange at the office. I tried convincing her that I did not utter a word to her father, but she did not seem to buy my story. Furthermore, she howled saying that after all it did not matter to her since I was not a good husband, and that I did not giving her enough money for her expenses. It was hard for me to get the connection between the two things, but it later downed on me that these was what she shared with her parents, no wonder they had also become hostile towards me.
Instead of showing any remorse or affection for what her family had done to me, all she could say is I deserved it all. She declared to me openly, that she was going to have me deported and she made sure she repeated it in every other conversation we had. It is the way she said it with self-assurance, which shocked me even the more. Melissa no longer loved me and she told it to my face in many ways, but what I could not understand was why the hatred whereas I still loved her in spite of her faults. The fact that I would not see our child anymore nor would it be named after me in my lineage crashed me. Seriously, this was not the way to treat me because I was a foreigner and my family’s stature was of a lower class as compared to that of her family. Denying me the paternal rights to my child was just like killing me; they really wanted me to feel the pain and suffer–being at their mercy. My wife did not care any more, she would hurt me in any way she thought best, being her husband did not change a thing according to her .Melissa did not mince her words, she meant exactly what she said, whether I got hurt or not was not her concern at all..
All together, I tried it, the marriage was worth saving for the sake of our child, and however it would take more time than I ever thought. I invited her out to dinner on several occasions. She only turned up twice, and in both instances, things always ended up badly. During our conversations, I tried to emphasize to her the importance of our family ties and for the well-being of our children. Yet, after all my efforts, Melissa had already decided to have me away. She said her parents were to take care of our children, and they would not bear my surname. According to her, it was not worth considering my opinion in naming our child, I did not see any need to keep on persisting and it was clear she would never relent.
On Friday September 17, 2010, Melissa gave me back some of my stuff together with my laptop, which her father had taken away back at the office. Funny enough, Melissa declared her desire to settle things between us. We went out to dinner Upstream downtown Omaha, the same night and we reviewed on our past problems. In my opinion, I believe I had done nothing extremely severe to harm our marriage; actually, I was the victim here. I assured her of my love and promised her I would even make up with her family. I asked her to pardon me for my shortcomings, and assured her of my continued support. However, everything was not going to sail smoothly as I thought, Melissa declared that I should never go back to working at her father’s company, since her parents wanted me as far away as possible from our child. That was an insult and I could not believe how Melissa had the guts to reveal something like that to me. Despite the influence from her immediate family, I never thought she would cloud her values and ethics just to please her family. Even though she relied fully on her parents for capital, a reason why she should comply with their demands, I still held a different opinion.
To crown it all, Melissa wanted me to give her the location of where I was I staying, with her sole aim being to sell off my car once I was deported back to Panama. Selling the car as she put it would give her some capital to raise our child. Her statement was just unspeakable; the idea that my car would be sold more like a replacement to my child made me even angrier, that was against my entire value system. The presence of a father figure to kids was of great importance, nothing could supersede that according to me, not even money as compared to the presence of a loving dad. This is of great essence to a child’s upbringing, the fact that Melissa spoke so strongly against that, shattered my spirit in a great manner. I guess it was time for me to wake up and move on, there was no marriage to save, and it was now water under the bridge.
There was no way I could tell her where I was living. Disappoint, by my sudden change, she raised her voice inside the restaurant, getting the attention of people around us. I just paid and left, feeling uneasy from her shouting, I felt disturbed and mentally broken, that was the last thing I expected from her, more so bearing in mind that we were out for dinner to solve our problems, most of which started with her screams.
For the following couple of weeks, Melissa got in touch with few of my friends asking them of my whereabouts. I could only request them to decline sharing any information with her. At times, Melissa would call me to insult me, and ask me to leave the country. In most of our conversations, she asked me for money but with no permanent residence nor a job, I only relied on the limited financially support from my parents back in Panama, so I was actually in no position to help her out. In spite of all these tribulations, same as my parents, we expected my marriage would survive and our problems would be over soon.
But this was not to be the case, that would only remain a wish. Every other time, Melissa kept on insisting I should sell my car and provide our child support from Panama. She made determined efforts to find out about me, this made me make me become conscious that she was very serious about her expatriation plans. Consequently, on September 28, 2010, I went to Chicano awareness center for free legal counseling, regarding this matter. The lawyer advised me to file a Harassment order against Melissa. However, this order would only exaggerate her adverse behavior; I thought otherwise and did not proceed with filing the order.
Losing my first child and losing my marriage affected me severely. I really got hurt in the process of trying to salvage our marriage, but it was all for the sake of our child. Melissa had no right in denying me my paternal rights. If only there was a way, our marriage would be saved. All I wish for is fair treatment from Melissa and visitation rights to spend time with my child. We were very excited about the future at first; but how things turned out later on, I can only live to regret why I ever met Melissa.
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