This autoethnography describes a moment in my two-year experience with United States immigration. Using postcolonial theory, I illustrate the liminal spaces between a comfortable identifiable life and bureaucratic processes of immigration services. During appointments at a U.S. consulate, I found myself struggling with identity confusion and feelings of Otherness as a legally dependent spouse to a Middle Eastern man. My former perspectives as a Western professional female were challenged because they did not comply with cultural norms posed by immigration services. This forced me to closely examine how my lifestyle deviated from normative expectations of heteronormative relationships and Western female identity. Thematizing identity negotiations and the shifting of my positionalities in a space of foreign authority may illustrate the inner struggles of helplessness and frustration and the removal of cultural privileges. Data were collected from personal journal entries and reflexive subjective analytic memos to employ an autoethnographic methodology.
- © 2015 International Institute for Qualitative Research, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign