Where Are You Going?

“Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” ― Albert Einstein

What a month this has been. Not even half way through June, and so much has happened, is happening, will happen!

My 19 year old son is on the cusp of graduating! I’m so proud of him. He has FASD. If you don’t know what that is, it’s Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. His birth mother drank while pregnant, causing a great many neurological issues for my sweet boy. That said, he has constantly strived for what he wants. The past week alone he has past his learner’s driving test (YES!) and will finally graduate with his GED that he worked so hard to get. He even has full time work on a farm. To say this momma is proud would be an understatement. I can’t take the credit though. He has been staying with a caregiver who is trained in assisting those with issues like my son’s. She has been my super hero, a guardian angel that swooped in and made life so much better for all of us. My son’s mind is active, he is constantly thinking of what he wants to do with his life, how he wants to do it, where he wants to go, and so on. He has a huge heart, and his spirit shines so bright.

In other news, my parrotlet, Kalypso, has started laying eggs! My budgie, Pi, has become her mate/guardian and even injured himself trying to keep me away. Oh my. The eggs will not be fertile, budgies and parrotlets are from two very different genera. If you’d like to see a little video of them, feel free to head over to my Instagram (link on the sidebar). They are so adorable. The eggs will remain until about 20 days after the last one is laid. If I remove them any sooner, it will cause Kalypso to lay more, and that could be very harmful to her. Parrotlets can lay up to 8 eggs every other day in one breeding season!

Schools almost over for my youngest. He’s so excited to start summer, and we are so fortunate for our lives.

This, then, brings me to a very important current happening, something that needs to be talked about.

Many people in Canada, and around the World, were shocked to hear of the discover of 215 children at a former Residential School. Some calling it a dark part of Canada’s history. What a load of shit. The last Residential school closed in 1996. I graduated in 1992. I graduated university in 1997. I grew up knowing how horrible these children were treated. I don’t know if it’s because of where I was raised of my family dynamic, or that I had friends and loved ones who are First Nations. Maybe a combination of all those and the fact that I have a thirst for knowledge.

My mom’s family (as mentioned in the previous post) is Acadian from Northern New Brunswick. I’m not going to paint it with rainbows and fairy dust, but for the most part I grew up hearing how wonderful First Nations treated Acadians, especially during the horror of the deportations by the English (we know we have family that were separated from us, but we don’t know where they ended up).

My dad’s family is Welsh. My grandparents immigrated to Ontario around 1938/39. My dad’s oldest brother was born in Wales, followed by my dad who was born in Canada. If you don’t know the history of the Welsh, let’s just say the English treated them just as good as they did the Acadians and for centuries longer. The Welsh weren’t allowed to speak their own language, it’s amazing it has survived and now there are many Welsh schools in Wales.

I do know how to speak French, my mother insisted on it. I have struggled to learn Welsh. My dad spoke Welsh at home until he was school aged, then it was all English. He remembers a few words, but not much else.

Why am I explaining my family history in this context? I think because I feel like it shines a light on perspective. I was raised by families who had endured hardships. That being said, I’m white. I completely understand and see my privilege. If you see me on the street, you’re most likely going to judge me by my tattoos or lack of make up, not my skin colour. That is wrong on a level I can’t even put into words. There are those who have been born with this privilege, but they lack the perspective to see and understand it. They lash out with terms that are meant to demean, all the while showing how fragile their own self image truly is.

The fact that First Nations children were so heinously abused for just wanting to speak their mother tongue is absurdly cruel. They were harmed for things any white child would never have been even scolded for. I’ve started to read the names of the dead First Nations children, starting from A. The list is long. My pronunciation is atrocious, I am sure. I will persevere in reading each and every one. Their names deserve to be heard, I just wish their birth names, not Christian moniker, but true First Nations birth names were written therein. Some do, you can tell which ones. It breaks my heart and hurts my soul to see so much pain. I’ve tried to put myself in the shoes of their families, and I can’t. It would quite literally break me if someone stole my children from me and sent them away to such a place.

I’ve said it before, I will say it again – the depths of human depravity never cease to amaze me.

If you want to learn more, please visit The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s page – http://www.trc.ca/index.html. Here you can find more information, resources, children’s books that can help open up a conversation about Residential Schools – I firmly believe they need to be taught this, it is not just of historic importance, it is important CURRENT issue.

My heart is with you. My eyes see you. My mind thinks of you. My spirit weeps with you.

Dave Matthews Band – Where Are You Going

Dégénération, or when you learn I’m half Acadian

“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”― Mae West

On April 25, 2021, my beautiful Mémère passed away, aged 102. Yes, 102 years old. She would have been 103 on Canada day, July 1st.

I missed her birthday last year, thanks Covid. I was sick and unable to visit out of fear of making her ill (no, I didn’t have Covid).

Two weeks before her death, I got to visit her. She looked great! She held my hand tight, looked deep into my eyes. She loved having her family near. She was a very devout Catholic and I’d like to believe that she is in her heaven with her husband, my pépère (he died in the 1980s), and her daughter, my matante Clairine, who died almost 13 years ago in an accident. I hope she is surrounded by all her loved ones.

Ma belle Mémère, my mom and me

Her name was Albertine Doucet (née Dugas). She survived the Great Depression, WWII, and so many other calamities. She started life with no indoor plumbing, no phones, none of the things we take for granted now. After my pépère past, she got her driver’s license at the ripe young age of 66! She raised seven children, only losing one in her twilight years.

My mémère spoke very little English, but always had a warm hug and a huge smile for those who didn’t understand her words. She accepted everyone for who they were. She had a huge heart and loved all of us, and we are a BIG family.

My mémère survived to see the youngest members of her extended family six generations on. She was a great great great grandmother to my cousin’s grand-children! She was the matriarch of our family and I know it just won’t be the same without her.

For the first time in years, I won’t be travelling up north to see her on her birthday. For the first time in years, I’ll be making plans for Canada day locally. It feels weird.

Je t’aime beaucoul et je t’embrace ma belle mémère. T’es toujours dans mon cœur.

Mes Aïeux – Dégénérations

End of the World

In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.

– Robert Frost

Well then…it’s been a few months since I’ve posted and I can’t say they’ve been grand.

Covid has me working from home and I love it. I had no idea that working remotely would have me being more productive. It hasn’t been without it’s challenges.

Financially, I’ve heard of people saving money due to being home…all I have to say is they must not have teens!

We lost our bearded dragon, Charlie, in the Spring due to heart failure

My baby Chalie 💔

We adopted a new pup, Dahlia! She’s almost 15 weeks and is 25 lbs already.

Pretty baby girl ❤

In April, we found out Bishop had lung cancer and his liver was herniating into his esophagus. Notice the past tense…my heart broke last week when we had to take him for his last drive and visit to the vet. I can’t talk about it yet. I miss my boy so much. He was my copilot on drives, my snuggle buddy.

Bishop’s smile

Basically, my depression has been shit, my anxiety worse and my life a go-to. But! I have a home. I have happiness. I have family. I have food in my belly. I have gratitude ❤

It’s not the end of the world, even though it feels like it is sometimes.

Great Big Sea – End of the World

Unpretty

“I wish could tie you up in my shoes
Make you feel unpretty too
I was told I was beautiful
But what does that mean to you
Look into the mirror who’s inside there
The one with the long hair
Same old me again today (yeah)

My outsides look cool
My insides are blue
Every time I think I’m through
It’s because of you
I’ve tried different ways
But it’s all the same
At the end of the day
I have myself to blame
I’m just trippin’

You can buy your hair if it won’t grow
You can fix your nose if he says so
You can buy all the make up that M.A.C. can make
But if you can’t look inside you
Find out who am I too
Be in the position to make me feel so
Damn unpretty
(Yeah) I’ll make you feel unpretty too

Never insecure until I met you
Now I’m bein’ stupid
I used to be so cute to me
Just a little bit skinny
Why do I look to all these things
To keep you happy
Maybe get rid of you and then I’ll get back to me (hey)

My outsides look cool
My insides are blue
Every time I think I’m through
It’s because of you
I’ve tried different ways but it’s all the same
At the end of the day I have myself to blame
Believe I’m just trippin’ yeah

You can buy your hair if it won’t grow
You can fix your nose if he says so
You can buy all the make up that M.A.C. can make
But if you can’t look inside you
Find out who am I too
Be in the position to make me feel so
Damn unpretty
I’ll make you feel unpretty too

I’ll make you feel unpretty

You can buy your hair if it won’t grow
You can fix your nose if he says so
You can buy all the make up that M.A.C. can make
But if you can’t look inside you
Find out who am I too
Be in the position to make me feel so
Damn unpretty

You can buy your hair if it won’t grow
You can buy all the make up that M.A.C. can make”

-Writer/s: Francine Vicki Golde, Dennis Lambert, Dallas L. Austin, Duane S. Hitchings, Tionne Tenese Watkins. Publisher: Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group

It’s funny how so much external and internal ‘junk’ can make us feel. I’ve always had low self-esteem. Why did I quote the whole song? Because, after all this time, it still rings true.

I’m always telling my friends that I have a laundry list of plastic surgery I would get if I could afford to. Liposuction, tummy tuck, butt lift, breasts reduction/lift (actually, that one is more medical since I have arthritis in my back), arm and thigh tucks, get that damn turkey neck gone. Yes, that really is my list. Oh, and electrolysis so I can permanent get rid of the hair I hate.

I can in all honestly say that I don’t like myself – probably detest myself. Everyone says that in order to really love, you need to love yourself first. If that were true, I would never love anything – but it’s not. I love my children. I love my husband. I love my family, my pets, my friends. I just don’t love myself and I really can’t see how I could.

Is that sad? I don’t think so – I think it’s realistic. I’m not one who resorts to such types realism often but in this case, it is a must. My MS has in a way made it worse. My inability to lose weight, to focus, to sleep well. My inability to even go for a decent walk without needing to rest for days afterwards. My inability to do things others take for granted – it all impacts my self-image. I full and well know it is an image of my creation. No one can see me the way I do. It’s been formulated over 44 years of horrid self-talk, bullying, verbal, mental and other forms of abuse.

Have I sought therapy? Yes, many times over. I’m tired of the platitudes that truly do nothing for me. I’ve tried all the exercises, I’ve tried journalling, I’ve tried meditation, I’ve quite literally tried it all. The biggest issue – if you can’t focus all of those things are for naught.

I love this song. To me, the other person in the song is just me on the inside. It’s two sides of the same coin – feeling like you look amazing only to have those inner voices tell you how much shit you are and that you are only fooling yourself. I’m sure it was written about a person who is thinking a significant other who is abusive; but to me it’s about self-abuse, self-denigration.

I’ve stopped wearing make-up, it takes too long. I’ve stopped trying to look stylish – I feel like I look like an old bat even trying. My social life is limited and I prefer hiding in my cave (home). I try to force myself out, but I always feel like my family is embarrassed to be with me in public even when logically I know they aren’t. I never wanted to be that fat mom. I never wanted to be that stupid person. More and more that’s exactly how I feel. My friends used to tease me over my jokes as I often thought the funny ones involved puns and large words and double entendres. Now, I’m lucky if I can remember how to spell, let alone get the jokes I used to love.

I’m tired. I’m tired of feeling unpretty. I’m tired of feeling stupid. I’m tired of never being enough. I’m just tired.

TLC – Unpretty

Somebody’s Someone

“When you can stop you don’t want to, and when you want to stop, you can’t…” ― Luke DaviesCandy

Addiction IS a disease. You can see someone everyday and not realise they have an addiction. They may show signs once in a while, but rarely do you see the whole picture until shit hits the fan.

I’ve known people throughout my life who have suffered from one form of addiction to another. Some you would NEVER know, others were painfully obvious.

The one thing all have in common are the questions – why are they doing it? Aren’t they afraid of losing everything? Can’t they control it? What is WRONG with them? The flip side to those are of course related to the ones who care for them and usually people accusing them of enabling the addiction.

Addicts don’t want to be addicts. They have an impulse so strong to attain that which they are addicted to that nothing matters. Consequences are not part of the equation, until the shit hits the fan. They would rather beg forgiveness and let go in the moment. Until everyone has left them to their own devices, the addict will always feel that things will be OK (not necessarily in the OK way non-addicts would see life).

Just remember to be kind. No matter what happens. Be kind to the homeless addict, your kindness may be the only one they get. Be kind to the loved one struggling with what to do, yours may be the only kindness that helps. Be kind to the people who work with addicts, they deal with a huge burden of care most of us could not even imagine.

Remember to act with kindness and love, you never know the path that lead someone to where they are. Remember that that person is somebody’s someone and that somebody loves them.

Daphne Willis – Somebody’s Someone