My name is Amy, and in May of 2017, I married my best friend in the world, Sukhin. Isn’t she stunning???
Sukhin and I met when I owned a holistic center called The Wellness Place, up in Highlands North Carolina. She had been an agricultural intern at a local retreat and learning center and we hit it off. Just a couple of weirdos in a fancy town, it was an instant click for us.
We had both lived in Australia before, we were international students, Human Rights and Social Justice activists, passionate about sharing other cultures and traditions with people, both wrote books, were plant and yoga enthusiasts, there was so much to talk about.
When we first met, I had a partner who I had been dating for years and opened my wellness center with. Within months of opening, he had decided to leave me and the business to go “make it big,” and tour at conscious music festivals. We had our problems, and I’m no saint, but I’m sure he’s aware of what a cruel move that was. Not very “conscious,” at all. Wink!
Needless to say, I have never felt so abandoned in my life. I was now stuck with this massive center, thousands of dollars a month in bills by myself, teaching endless classes whilst trying not to cry, and walking around with a bottomless hole in my heart. I was so embarrassed I couldn’t even tell anyone in town. I just said, “Rob’s on tour.”
That’s ok, because my business tripled right when he left and I had a handful of famous people visit the studio too. (Eh heh heh)
Meanwhile, the other yoga studio in town consistently and ruthlessly tried to shut me down from the start. Literally… Cease & Desist letters, legal gag orders, you name it. #ruthless #fuckyourgagorder
They even tried to get me fired from my other yoga jobs in town at country clubs, shut down my church yoga programs (successfully so) undermine my events by copying them almost exactly and taking public credit for them, also spreading malicious rumors about me and my business. The best part is, I don’t even know these people. And they don’t know me. (I bought the owner tea Once.)
Other local yogis who had been burned by them warned me about the vicious “Yoga Government,” in town but that is a whole other story….and maybe even another blog! (It actually is another blog, called “Au Revoir, Pseudo-Conscious World!” Ha! #itsabooktoo #exposeabusivebusinesses
Anyhow, through all this turmoil, I sank into the deepest depression and could barely manage to even breathe let alone work any harder. These were some of the toughest days of my life….. and then came Sukhin… This totally random and spontaneous, wonderful woman from India who changed my whole world.
She breathed life back into me just like Yahweh did for Ezekiel.
She encouraged me every single day, lifted up my broken wings, forced me to get up, dust my shoulders off, put on make-up, and show the world what I was made of. She would even hand me a Kombucha instead of a beer to drown out my misery.
Sukhin taught me about her culture and Sikhism. If I was down or feeling oppressed she told me stories of Durga the goddess of justice, or whichever deity was appropriate for the mood.
She would dance around the house to Punjabi music and tell me to look to god for the answers in life. This woman is such a bright light and was my Rock.
We also lived with our best friend Melody who was another angel in humans clothing, and we were such a special family. These girls kept me and my business alive and I am forever grateful.
(I felt like Moses in the battle against the Amalekites, where if he let his arms down, they would lose. So Aaron and Hur held his hands up, one on each side, in order to win the battle. I had my own Aaron and Hur!)
We love our Melody and thank the gods for her! She can tell you all about early morning Punjabi music and dancing as well. Our “Tea Talks,” over Saddhi Chai Tea (Sukhin’s Ayurvedic tea company) were like no others….
Girls….. We sure can talk.
Sukhin is the most diverse woman you will Ever meet. She has a Bachelors in business, a Masters in Agricultural Business and is one of the world’s top experts in the millet grain (Lol! Not Kidding!)
She has worked for the USDA, is an advocate for the Sikh Coalition, volunteers for bringing awareness, is a former TV presenter in India, owned her own fashion business and blog, started a tea company, you name it, she has done it! She never stops!
Sometimes she drove me crazy with how many business ideas and book ideas she had, and how much she wanted to do and accomplish in such a short amount of time, but looking at it all over the years, I can sincerely tell you that whatever this woman has in her mind that she is going to do, SHE DOES IT. No joke. She blows me away with her business drive.
Sukhin was my wife even before we got married. We joked about it lots. I ran the finances and property, managed all of our bills and was a full time business woman, and she always had ready dinner for me, did our laundry, would tell me how wonderful of a provider I was (she did work too, but she Loved our home and business and knew the stress that was on me.)
She knew what I needed more than I knew what I needed for myself. What a Wife!
I know that might sound sexist to a lot of my feminist friends, but it was lovely. We naturally knew our roles and supported each other in them. If Sukhin was in need of something or needed encouragement, I was there, and vice versa.
I was the one with the most masculine energy out of the three of us girls living together so we joked that I was the Dad of the home. And I really was at the time.
I was very protective of Sukhin. She was still learning so much about America, taxes, driving, life on her own, and my little flower still had her “flower,” since she was waiting until marriage, had never drank a beer or smoked a cigarette (still hasn’t on any of those aforementioned) so of course I felt like she would be vulnerable or pressured.
Sukhin comes from a tradition of arranged marriages, and although she loves the tradition and was excited for it, she just didn’t feel ready. She wanted to experience a bit of life first and make something of herself- and I don’t blame her!
I come from a strong Christian family who is wonderful, but semi Brady Bunch minded in comparison with myself. They unknowingly always made me feel like the outsider for not getting married. So did every church I went to.
Shit, it’s not like I didn’t try, give me a break. I had been in multiple relationships for years at a time, but somehow they always ending up cheating on me and using me for money. Talk about a nightmare of a pattern.
Needless to say, we both felt pressured by family, religion, and society to be married women in our 30’s. I didn’t want Sukhin to go back to India until she was really ready to get married, and I have always wanted to get married.
Plus, she was my backbone, in business and in life.
I’m a girl, and I wanted my wedding day no matter what. What can I say? I make shit happen.
During all this, and a few years into our adventures of running a business together and living together, I met a wonderful man (William) who had 3 kids and lived by himself and children on a little farm in the woods.
We were good friends and would do workshops together, he ran drum circles at The Wellness Place and we were already planning retreats.
One day, we became more than friends and decided to date. OooooOoooh! (that’s what Sukhins says when she’s excited).
William had already been married for 14 years, was cheated on, left behind, and had his heart ripped out, so he told me he would never get married again. I totally understood that. Believe you me, I totally got it. Heard.
But again, I’m a girl, and I wanted my freaking wedding day No Matter What, Folks. -And I knew that eventually I would subconsciously pressure the shit out of Will to get married if I didn’t do it. #struth
So, alas, in a moment of knowing this could be my last opportunity to get married, (like everyone always pressured me to, mind you), I asked Sukhin to marry me. And she said yes!
We talked about what a marriage was and felt like we met the criteria. And we still do.
We loved each other so much. We supported each other. We were the best of friends, always there for one another, and had each other’s backs.
We also protected each other from the world and would always fight for, and stand up for one another. Til’ death do us part. We just didn’t need sex. It was so great…. Omg. I can’t even explain it.
So I married the one person who I knew would never betray me, never cheat on me, or break my heart, and would just love me through thick and thin. She has never let me down there to this day. No Regrets!
And if you know us- then you know we will Always live our lives how we want, and it’s never quite what you’d expect! We celebrate our weirdness. And we will not conform to mainstream society. YaYa!
The best part about us getting married, was that we got my partner William ordained as a minister so he could perform the wedding. Ha! It was wonderful.
He was already a very spiritual man and leader, now it’s just legal for him to perform wedding ceremonies. I’m a pastoral graduate myself and was ordained back in my Bible college days (there’s a whole lot that most people don’t know about me, heh!), but, obviously, I couldn’t perform my own wedding. But this was WAY BETTER...
We asked our good friends if we could use their magical land at The Otto Labyrinth Park for our wedding and of course they said yes. It was the perfect venue for such a special wedding! I totally suggest it.
It felt so good to be finally tied to someone that I loved and trusted. Like we would conquer the world together just for fun.
We would write books together about our adventures in marriage, and show the world that you don’t have to fit into their tiny box lifestyles. Freedom from the norm!!! We Won!!!
But we had no idea what those ties would do to us both a few years later amidst a world pandemic and civil war a’ brewing...
Even before the ol’ Coronavirus came to town, immigration had always given Sukhin a hard time financially. (And her immigration visa was with the USDA, a government institution! What the?! She never did one for our marriage oddly enough, you gotta love that independent woman! )
Well, actually just since Trump came into office things got weird for her. People can be so hateful. It was so bizarre to watch, but she loooooooved all things America and called him “Uncle Trump,” and even the IRS her “IRS Uncles.”
I couldn’t understand why, because they were awful with her taxes and she never got proper refunds back. It was always either a year late, or they’d never send it At All! I found it cruel and dehumanizing.
Sukhin loved politics and every governor, senator, or anything having to do with America. She’d buy t-shirts with American flags on them which was never my style, but she was so incredibly patriotic. Even the mailman she said was her best friend.
I thought it was bittersweet that Sukhin always supported the very people who made it so hard for her here. She always trucked on and kept praying for them, encouraging me to do the same.
Those first few years we wanted to enjoy the perks of feeling married so we did our taxes together.
It’s what you do in that sort of commitment, and we had a business together, it just made sense…
During this global pandemic, our own president, “Uncle Trump”, and the government had decided that immigrants here don’t matter AT ALL. And anyone who had the guts to marry one would also be punished.
So here I am… Blocked indefinitely.
After a few weeks of waiting for our stimulus checks, I decided to look into it. And this was the most painful rabbit hole of corruption I’ve ever witnessed as an American.
I read a billion articles about it, still thinking to myself, “there is absolutely no way that a country would block its own tax paying immigrants from an emergency check during a global pandemic…. And Definitely no way they would ever block a U.S citizen.”
So, I finally called them… And how wrong I was.
The IRS woman was so kind and understanding on the phone and told me that not only is Sukhin blocked, but in their system I am also flagged and blocked from any assistance, for being married to an immigrant.
She also told me that if there were to be a second stimulus check, that I would not get that either. Nor would I be able to even file it as a credit for taxes next year. Instead, I am completely blocked as if I were an immigrant as well.
(Unless the HEROES Act passes. Which so many are against. People have lost their humanity in this country. And they forget, that those immigrants pay taxes and have rights too.)
Daggers pierced through my heart, and betrayal is an understatement...
I will never forget that moment in my life. My own country had forsaken and abandoned me.
William and I were one of the first businesses to close down in early March for Covid19. We stayed home. We grew gardens and prepared for the worst. Sukhin obliged fully as well.
My whole business revolves around retreats, group workshops, and a Bed & Breakfast. I have had zero income since mid-March except for the few things I sell on Poshmark or Ebay.
And the same government that told me to close down my business, blocked me from any and all assistance. As a born U.S citizen, I can’t even get a loan or unemployment.
The crushing part is, I am only one of the hundreds of thousands of Americans who married an immigrant and are being punished and blacklisted.
And the most devastating part is that there are entire families of immigrants who live here, work here, and pay taxes, who were all instantly cut off. Sit with that for a moment.
And then you tell me we are not a racist country. (WE DEFINITELY ARE.)
We have already abandoned Puerto Rico during a crisis, (you do know that Puerto Rico is a part of our country and we are responsible for them- Right?)
We desperately hire migrant workers for jobs we don’t want to do ourselves and treat them like shit.
Karen’s run around throwing white privilege in people of color’s faces, confederate flags hang on so many houses here, and we have a president who publicly glorifies white supremacists on national tv…. Just who the hell do we think we are kidding at this point? (AHHHHHH!) #nationalists
Meanwhile, on the outside of the system, I have the people that I know and respect, telling me that, “I shouldn’t have married an immigrant,” and “I should have known what I have gotten myself into.”
And to that, I respond with a hearty, “Fuck You. And fuck this racist and corrupt system that you support.”
Marrying my best friend who is a woman was one of the best things I have ever done in my life, and it opened my eyes to so many injustices in this country.
It is heartbreaking to see how much people judge you.
I have a wife, so some people definitely thought we were lesbians and had snide remarks or rude glares. And I am so sorry for all the LGBTQ community for even catching a glimpse of the persecution that you endure.
Whispers can sound like screams when said with hurtful intentions.
So for all my LGBTQ friends- you deserve to be married if you want to! You deserve equality! You should be able to visit your partner in hospitals and have every single human right that anyone on earth has! You should never be looked at as any less. And I am so sorry our country makes you feel anything less. Be Yourself! No matter what that means for you.
For all the wonderful immigrants- (both legal and illegal), to our migrant workers, amnesty captives, and anyone stuck in between- I Am Sorry. I am so deeply sorry for how this country treats you. You are human beings and are Not anything less than us here!
The people that tell you to go back to where you came from are from other countries themselves. Only the Native Americans (North, South, and Central AMERICANS) are actually from here. So I am sorry for our country treating you this way.
To the Sikh community- I’m so sorry that people here instantly label you as Muslim due to turban ignorance and that they fear and judge you. Your community is so beautiful, peace driven and I hope your voices become louder in this world.
To the Muslim/Islamic community- I am so sorry that you are so feared and judged out of that very same ignorance. It’s so wrong. You are wonderful, worthy, and valued. I don’t judge you at all. My heart breaks for you and I hope you can one day forgive us.
To All People of Color – I AM SORRY! I am married to an Indian woman, and dating a Taino Cuban man. Both are brown. Neither are Christian. And I have literally watched how this country makes them feel at times and how they are treated differently.
So you can kiss my Caucasion European Immigrant Ass if you think there is no racism in this country. I live with it.
To Uncle Trump & His Fanclub- I’m not sorry for shit. You all have dug your own graves deep enough and I’m ready for your walls of corruption to come crumbling down. You have made me ashamed to be an American.
We have always made it without you, and these two badass women always come out on top.
We will write our books, we will have more adventures, and are in the process of starting a “Church of the World,” here with teachings of All Cultures, all religious aspects, world music, every gender and sexual preference, every color, every identity…
You just come as you are to The Little Weird Church In The Woods! (We have a theme song too. Ha! )
Seriously though, I’m a degreed pastor, counselor, and social justice worker who went to International Leadership College in Australia to learn how to build churches. So Watch Out World, Here We Come!
And last but not least,
To My Darling Wife Sukhin,
I am sorry that America was so cruel to you when you were so faithful to this place. I’m sorry that you feel guilty for me not getting help during desperate times and please know that I will never hold this against you, this is our country. This is corruption and greed. This is the Real America.
I still believe in change, and I hope that one day this country will turn into the beautiful one that you chose to see.
I love you, and even though we just celebrated our divorce together, (for the sake of others, and the fear and pressure society put on us to do so….. UGH!!!!) you will always be my wife. My Forever Wife…. Ha!
Well, until you meet the perfect man, then I will relinquish that title (but still secretly say it! Wink!) You were the best wife that a man or woman could ask for, and I can’t wait for more adventures with you! I love you.
Your Adoring Wife,
If you would like to be a part of helping with a few start-up costs for our “Church of the World,” (Yes it actually is a thing we are doing here). You can donate anything you like, every dollar counts. xo
I will post more pictures on here soon, we have had such a wonderful time together in life, it’s fun for us to finally be able to share it! Thanks for hanging in there and reading it all, because this shit was Long! xo