I haven't written anything in a long time because I don't like to write with nothing but dark thoughts running through my brain. When all control of life is gone there is only one way to find peace and tranquility. For me, in the depths of the bathtub filled with salty tears there is peace. Sometimes you just want the pain to stop. These last two years of my life have been the hardest I have ever dealt with. And if you know me, that is saying a lot.
I know and understand desperation. I know and understand loss. I know and understand pain. But this is different. Hope is gone. Hope is that one singular thing that can keep you going above everything else. With hope, you can see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. With hope you can see a brighter tomorrow and you can garner the strength from deep within to wait for that day to come. I had hope...once...not anymore. And that hurts.
I was that annoying optimist that could always find good in everything. I grew up without a father but I had an amazing mother who ensured we were happy and well-adjusted despite that. I felt my fathers love and I was barely 2 years old when he died. When my Mom and 2 sisters died, I concocted an explanation in my head as to why they left me and my brother behind. It made sense to my 12-year old mind and gave me peace. Besides, I wasn't alone, I still had my brother. Even in the extensive burn scars I suffered I saw positive aspects. I didn't lose my sight, I had all my limbs and full mobility. No matter how bad things were, they could always be worse. That attitude and a stubbornness that worked tirelessly to ensure that bad things within my control were turned around did indeed flip to the sunny side of life and outlook.
Control is a key concept here. If you leave your circumstances to chance or in the hands of others you lose control of your life. I think that fundamentally what we seek from infancy to adulthood and beyond, is not so much independence as it is control. What we wear, eat, do and who we hang out with etc. It's a battle with our parents. And to be considered successfully reared, we have wrested this control from our parents and used it for the good and benefit of ourselves and others with whom we may connect. Having independence really just means you can do it on your own. Being as most of us have a burning desire to find a mate to share our life with, I don't think we really want independence. Co-dependency is what we really seek.
I had indeed achieved success in my life because I had that control. I had survived and thrived despite a decidedly traumatic early childhood that beat on me until my mid-20's. I made a lot of bad choices in terms of my personal relationships but I was smart enough to get out before too much damage was done. And ever the optimist - if it weren't for the genetic input of one specific relationship, I wouldn't have the beautiful children I have today. Nature vs Nurture, I will take some credit for the people they have become despite my lack of the y-chromosome :)
But I digress, back to the idea of my personal success. Just living and breathing is not life -that is existence. I carved out a happy life for myself and children despite some rough economic times and times when the support of a secondary parental figure or family member would have been beneficial. We didn't have it all but we had each other. Just recently I found myself scanning 19 photo albums filled with memories before packing them up for storage - and with every page I turned and digitized I found myself smiling and thinking "We had a good life!" Besides a few camping trips, there aren't a lot of vacation pictures in that hoard of albums but rather Life Pictures. What we did, what we had, where we lived was my decision as the soul parental influence. I think I was successful because I had everything I needed including the essentials of life but also two children I was fiercely proud of, a job I loved and above all else - peace, contentment and happiness. That's success - to me.
Did I want more? Of course, that is what dreams are made of and what keeps us reaching forward to improve. One day that European vacation or re-doing the hardwood floors would be a reality. Just like it took time to get the new fridge and car. If a magic genie popped down in front of me to grant a wish, I would naturally by-pass all the material crap and bring my family back for one more hug and to introduce my babes to them.
People/professionals who have met me since my breakdown can't believe that I was so happy. But it is the truth. To me life was too short to be sad. Unpleasantness was cast aside. The adult game of Peek-a-boo. If I didn't see it I could pretend it wasn't real. So when people at the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board attacked me - I didn't fight back. I believed in the honesty and good will of people. I believed that the truth would reveal itself. I believed that I would be protected if I spoke honestly. But no, it wasn't to be. Eventually, I voiced my allegations of bullying to people who were in a position to investigate. They didn't. But I became a liability with information that would set nobody free and hang a lot of people from the crucifix without their Savior to bail them out. I had to go. Relentless in their attack until I broke. And then to add insult to injury, my traumatic past was used against me. In layman's terms, I wasn't bullied by my supervisors, I was reacting inappropriately to people because I was still traumatized by my past. Neatly absolves them from mistreating an employee by bullying them. Something like blaming a back injury as a result of a work incident on a fall off a tricycle as a toddler. Yes, it's that stupid!
In the depths of despair today, after two years of battling the demons of S-L Corporation, I can't make anyone understand that this depression will continue until I am believed and able to regain control. For 10 years I worked and paid both my union dues and share of benefits so that I would be covered in the event of disability. So tell me why I have to now watch everything I worked so hard for slip through my fingers. My home, which I bought to secure my future and was not so extravagant that I could not afford it. Indeed it was completely affordable and I had far less than 15 years left until I was free and clear of a mortgage. Now, that home is a shell. Everything that made it a home is sold or boxed up. Without my income, without my Long-term disability, I can no longer afford to live here. Of course having done everything right and not sponging off the governmental system to raise my family, I have screwed myself. No one will subsidize me living here. Does anyone understand that I don't want that? I just want what I am entitled to.
Please tell me what I did to deserve to lose my house and everything in it. Did I skip a payment of my benefit package? Did I lie about my current medical and mental condition? Did 4 separate mental health professionals, my family doctor and countless other professionals I have encountered in the last 2 years lie on my behalf. I have supportive documentation that would fill the trunk of a mid-sized sedan and yet I continue to be denied Long-term disability. I wonder if the corporation stooges would like someone in my current mentally fragile state being responsible for the care, safety and education of their special needs children? I've said it before, there is only one way I'll feel safe at work, if I can bring my friend Smith and his sidekick with me.
Someone needs to tell these insurance companies that it isn't fair to totally destroy a persons life while they sit back in their executive chairs pushing your file from one claims consultant to another. Am I asking for money from your personal bank account or money that I paid into the insurance? Why is it okay to allow this to drag on with no end in sight.
Well, the end may be near. Professionals are trying to get me a new residence in the Rubber Room Hotel. Meanwhile the employees of the crisis center call daily to see if I am still breathing. And you have to answer their phone calls or they send the policing brigade to break down your door to verify or disprove your current meta-physical state. And the insurers continue to leave me hanging while I pack away the life I had into boxes not knowing where I am going. Maybe I am just getting my affairs in order. You see, I can't really go anywhere. Technically, I am still an employee, how far away can I go from my place of work before they say - you are fired. I wish they would fire me - because I promise you that a lot of information would be leaked to the public for the to draw their own conclusions. "Heels" would be named, so would the "Oh dear" ladies - the pain associated with the thoughts of these people is so great that I have to push them out of my mind. I am not strong enough right now to deal with that pain.
Did you hear about that Los Angeles police officer, Christopher Jordan Dorner, that was fired and then went on a shooting rampage? When he snapped and began to seek revenge, his employer issued a statement indicated that they would re-open his allegations of racism as they may have been erroneous in their dismissal of him. Too little too late, I'd say. I sympathize with the man and I understand what drove him. I am sorry he died instead of his tormentors. These are his words from his manifesto. It sounds eerily familiar if you substitute DPCDSB for LAPD.
"I know most of you who personally know me are in disbelief to hear from media reports that I am suspected of committing such horrendous murders and have taken drastic and shocking actions in the last couple of days. You are saying to yourself that this is completely out of character of the man you knew who always wore a smile wherever he was seen. I know I will be villified by the LAPD and the media. Unfortunately, this is a necessary evil that I do not enjoy but must partake and complete for substantial change to occur within the LAPD and reclaim my name.....The question is, what would you do to clear your name?"
I leave you now with a simple musing that I wrote trying to succinctly state my case: