“Auld Lang Syne”

I finished a granite sink. I made it multidimensional because I have never worked with granite and I don’t have the tools. I used a skillsaw with a 4 inch diamond blade to cut the sink out and a hacksaw blade to square the corners. It probably took me longer than people who have laser saws with sliding tables.

As is often the case with Forensic patients there are not many people to witness your struggles. Only a few family members and some therapists can confirm the fact that there were many months that I would disappear from a conversation and stare at the floor. It made fellow patients uneasy and those familiar with me questioned why. I have been told that it was a Dissociative state and or symptomatic of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Maybe you can appreciate that I now finish too many sentences and thoughts but they are conversations and ideas I left in hallways and Treatment Rooms.

I spent more than a few sleepless nights imagining living on my own in an apartment with a private bathroom, light switch and lock. Granite is good. It is significant that I speak publicly but only as far as having episodes of being non-verbal and non-responsive.

I remember my first speaking engagement at the University of Western Ontario School of Occupational Therapy Welcome to the Profession Ceremony. I was back in my seat before I finished my last paragraph. Speaking was the last thing I wanted to do but I kept doing it. I can see now the my Advocacy has been a form of Occupational Therapy but as I spoke at the Grand Opening for the Southwest Centre for Forensic Mental Health Care I was wide aware of the fact that the fathers and daughters who would reside there lived with me at the old facility to the south.

To make a long story longer the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) recently awarded a documentary film maker as one of 150 Leading Canadians for Mental Health. John Kastner made a series of films about Forensic Mental Health and Not Criminally Responsible individuals. According to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) John Kastner “has courageously and expertly told the stories of people who have committed crimes while mentally ill. Through his films, he is educating Canadians about the complex issues surrounding the Forensic system and giving voice to the people involved in it.”

I admonished John Kastner about speaking for Forensic clients and assuming being there is the same as being there. I assumed he figured that since he filmed the accident that he was a survivor. I’ve witnessed worse and realize Mr. Kastner was focused on similar outcomes.

I had forgiven and forgotten John Kastner but the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH); an organization that has Forensic facilities, has gone out of their way to perpetuate, promote and praise the paternalization of Not Criminally Responsible (NCRMD) individuals. Not Criminally Responsible individuals are a marginalized population but the secret is that most NCRMD individuals tell their stories every day.

We pass you in the grocery aisle. We applaud our children at the same school plays. We sit next to you at the hockey rink

Maybe making a movie about Forensic Mental Health and Not Criminally Responsible individuals living successfully in the community would be too much. Maybe that footage would humanize too much. Maybe that footage would de-stigmatize too much.

I was having a tougher winter than usual in 2014 and I was practicing a presentation I gave at Queen’s University in Kingston Ontario. I was reading and re-reading to myself out loud for days. The stories I presented included some traumatic and painful scenes from my life. I was as close to suicidal as many are able to mention. I spent my monthly income on travel, lodging and food to speak to the students and faculty. Why?

So I can use my voice.

So I can demonstrate my autonomy.

So I can tell the story of a person who has “committed a crime while mentally ill.”

So I can educate “Canadians about the complex issues surrounding the Forensic system.”

“For the sake of old times.”

Mayor Matt Brown, Councillors Maureen Cassidy and Mohamed Salih and Integrity Commissioner Gregory F. Stewart

I received a $60.00 parking ticket a few weeks ago. I am blessed to be living in a new subdivision and up until a few months ago we had no sidewalks and our driveway was clay with engineered big stones. This winter my car tires froze in the ruts a couple of times. I’m still working on the property and am making use of a trailer. There are several new homes nearby and several hundred townhouses being constructed within 500 feet.

My car was partially parked on the new sidewalk and I have received notice of impeding conviction. The sidewalk is unfinished a couple of hundred feet around the corner so I’m not sure who I was endangering or inconveniencing. I always park the car in the drive as there is heavy equipment placing dust on my TV and I am cognizant of the inevitable snow plows. There are construction trailers littered along this street weeks at a time but I don’t see any fines fluttering from those windshields.

I called the city and mentioned my predicament but the lady said I had come in person to explain. I asked if she would pay for my parking fees but I think she was offended. Being institutionalized more than most of my neighbours I have an aversion to such excursions. I might wait and see what the collection agency has to say but in the meantime I have a few things to say about City Hall and company.

I am uncertain of the fairness regarding my infraction and what was dealt to the mayor for his indiscretions. For those of you unfamiliar with London Ontario, our mayor had an extramarital affair with the deputy mayor. As punishment both took a paid leave of absence.

London has an integrity commissioner who looked into the affair but nothing happened. Gregory F. Stewart from Donnelly Murphy law firm is among other things paid $250.00 per hour to investigate complaints and alleged breaches of the code of conduct for members of council. Mr. Stewart found that Mayor Matt Brown and councillor Maureen Cassidy’s affair broke council’s code of conduct but stated that any deeper investigation would only uncover “salacious details” and would be unnecessary.

I repeat: for $250.00 per hour London’s Integrity Commissioner decided while investigating possible breaches of conduct that to “investigate deeper” would only uncover “salacious details”. Hmm. But what if a complete and professional investigation actually uncovered further breaches, conflicts etc.?

Mr. Stewart has no power to punish or fine people (it’s not like he’s a bylaw officer) and as some have stated he is toothless. That needs to be fixed after we fire Gregory F. Stewart and are fully reimbursed for fraudulent fees. The next Integrity Commissioner should have integrity and hopefully balls if not brains.

I don’t think the mayor and company should be fined sixty bucks or anything cruel and unusual but what irks me is that Londoners paid for them to flirt at work. I imagine, though I haven’t investigated that Londoners paid for a few romantic meals and possibly a candle. Gregory F. Stewart’s fake fees are the chocolate on the pillow. Sweet!

Three down one to go. Mo Salih is a councillor and the newest member of the Police Services Board. He is quite popular on Twitter and fairly full of himself. With all the sexual harassment and assault claims in the news he has taken to Twitter in support of alleged victims. Great. His last troublesome Tweet basically said I believe her and her and…AND Her and HER. Great. This is worrisome. Firstly not all victims are female. Secondly as I pointed out to Mo Salih most legal systems consider the accused to be innocent until proven guilty with clear and consistent evidence.

People are being convicted by the media and the public and lives are altered if not ruined. I don’t give much credence to statements made to the media before a sworn statement is made to the authorities. The code of conduct some city officials have difficulty with includes following the letter and Spirit of the law. The spirit of the law is presumed innocence.

As a councillor making laws and holding an official and authoritative position Mo Salih has undermined the justice system. If civic leaders are finding guilt what message does the accused take away. Neighbours will be just as judgemental and prejudiced. Having Mo Salih on the Police Services Board is detrimental to justice. His position includes influencing the objectives and priorities of the London Police. Mohamed Salih is also a prominent Muslim in London and from the Sudan. Normally this is irrelevant but for newer citizens in London and or individuals with a similar faith Mo Salih is a visible example of behaviour. In essence Mr. Salih has contaminated the jury pool. If only one jurist thinks Mohamed Salih is correct or just, they may vote or influence to the detriment of justice.

I think Mohamed Salih needs to at least relinquish his position on the London Police Services Board if not his council seat. Noticing this breach of the code of conduct I wrote a letter to the Integrity Commissioner. Hopefully Mr. Stewart reads it before this. Four!

I have until the 22nd to argue or pay my fine. Maybe by then I will be the only idiot at city hall.

Take care because I don’t!

 

How Would Hitler’s Nazi’s Deal With Indigenous People’s ? “Wabi”

If Indigenous Peoples who so far seem to have evolved and migrated from Afrika were not contacted by European’s who may have departed from the same area what might have happened?

Many languages, cultures and slight genetic differences have become extinct. Some has been the result of genocide, famine, flood and appropriation.

Thanks to many individuals of various ethnicities and genders we can only wonder what Hitler might have done had he encountered an indigenous person in Algonquin territory.

“Hallo, I’m building a road. Are you busy?”

As in Afrika peoples could have survived in Canada without modern influences.

We can be ashamed of any national attempt at cultural genocide but I can be thankful for my grandfather’s military service. I did not meet the man.

I do not know who owns the land we fight over and for.

I do not know an appropriate apology for survivors of the Residential School System.

I am slightly aware of the living conditions in Attawapiskat, Ontario.

Perhaps we could pay survivors enough to give them clean water.

“Pejig”

Trigger Warning: There’s Something Wrong With the Person Telling Me Things I Don’t Want To Hear

I usually stick to Twitter because Facebook is just a place where you can watch people get murdered or raped. Unfortunately, there are a lot of disturbing things happening in the world even when your car is idling in the McDonalds drive-thru. With an awareness of the ink in my pen I will only point out a couple of the feel good ones.

Let’s start with Nobel Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai and Prince Henry of Wales. I don’t usually pick on kids but they seem old enough to address nations.

Malala Yousafzai is doing great brave things but she might be more successful if she acknowledged more. I realize she was shot in the head by the Taliban but the faith she fashions was an accomplice. Malala will tell you the story of her family’s apologetic neighbours telling her mom that maybe next time she will have a boy but the question is were they Taliban?

Malala will come to Canada and tell us to do more because there’s not much we can do where the problems originate. We can marvel that after all her hard work and world recognition her family acknowledged that she existed. Her story is that she was the first female whose name was written on a 300 year old family tree. If Malala was truly brave she would have grabbed the sharpie and scribbled her grandmother’s name who breastfed her father. She might have fetched a few pails of water but I don’t know the family well.

I’m just jealous because I wasn’t invited to stand beside my feminist husband who is a political drama teacher.

More recently we have been hearing from Prince Harry. Co-incidentally he has turned his grief into a mental illness while he and his brothers pretty princess are kicking off a mental health campaign. It must have been hard trying to forget about your mom with her picture splashed everywhere. Then again Prince Harry could have been living in a shack without a single photograph of Lady Diana.

I think it’s great to imagine royalty with haemorrhoids but before we crowd the gates of Buckingham Palace with sympathetic signs let’s ask some questions.

  1. Couldn’t Queen Elizabeth 2 afford a grief counsellor?
  2. Does Queen Elizabeth 2 know how to speak to a 12 year old?
  3. Can Queen Elizabeth 2 use that wonderful waving hand to hug her grandson?

If you can’t imagine the Royal Family as dysfunctional as any fine. But if you truly care about the monarchy just ignore them.

Take care because I don’t.

What Direction Does A Muslim Person Face To Pray When They’re In Outer Space?

If it takes 40 seconds to recite the Lord’s Prayer and it takes 12 seconds for the plane to crash are you damned?

I remember standing in the wooden box thing in Courtroom #5 and looking out at the jail priest in her collar. The prosecutor person said “I understand you’re a spiritual person.” I didn’t answer him because I was being found Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity but the reverend was nodding her head so I copied her.

I’m not sure if it’s a contradiction to be a delinquent and a disciple but I heard there was a guy named Paul who killed people before he saved them. Maybe prisoners find God so they feel better about their sins but the same could be said for anyone. Maybe prisoners are in a place in their life where they can shut up and be still. I didn’t find God in jail, He entered my body when I was losing my mind in Solitary Confinement.

I was brought up in North America so I use Judeo-Christian imagery and language to communicate my spiritual experiences but I have read the Koran. I didn’t create my own religion like the Mormon’s I just beg and borrow from a few religions to make nonsense out of my own. It might seem sacrilegious to some but I also read the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and it seems legal. You can even follow no religion at all.

I sometimes fast. I don’t do it to please God, I do it so I think about people who don’t have the luxury of food and to appreciate that which finds my mouth. It’s also more economical to be an alcoholic on an empty stomach.

I guess I do pray but I don’t gather to do it out loud. My God has better hearing I guess. I would pray out loud but I’m basically always communicating with God so I’d probably get pulled over and put back in the padded room which is hard on my spirit.

I don’t write down the rules and regulations of my religion because that kind of thing leads to wars and I’m the only parishioner so that would worry me. Maybe my God cares about what I eat and what I wear. He’s probably just given up on me because I don’t eat much or wear anything.

I was on Facebook the other day because I give a fuck about followers. There was a beautiful story about faith. Some pious people built a church but they couldn’t open it because the building inspector said the parking lot was too small. The people who pray were wringing their hands and tearing off their clothes because the only land they had left was a mountain. The priest asked the parishioners who believed “faith can move mountains” to join him in prayer. They believed it could be solved by next Sunday for the grand opening. Miraculously a construction dude approached them to ask if he could remove the mountain to use it for fill that he needed for a nearby shopping mall being built. With goosebumps on my gonads I felt compelled to leave a comment.

“i’m sure God is pleased as punch that you bulldozed a mountain to make a church parking lot. I mean how can you pray if you don’t have a flat spot for your Lexis?”

I was flustered after I noticed the auto correct spelled Lexus wrong but then I looked up lexis and it dawned on me that some mistakes have meaning.

I guess my religion is like the auto correct on a computer except it’s more like auto-connect. I don’t have customs that connect me with Spirit it just happens automatically.

We’re not really looking for congregants but if you want to join my sinagogue just send $29.95 and make the cheque payable to Brett Batten.

Take care because I don’t.