Looking back on my life it has become readily apparent that the one thing that I am extremely accomplished at is slipping through the cracks.
And this has made me realize that there are actually a lot of people on this planet that have slipped through the cracks for all of their lives.
In 2011, in an attempt to bolster my complaint against P.S. after the case manger with the CFNIS told me that they couldn’t find any evidence against P.S. I started tracking down all of my personal information from any place that my father had been stationed.
The first crack that I seemed to have slipped through was in Halifax.
CFB Shearwater – Nova Scotia.
I had sent off a request to the Nova Scotia government for any medical or social service records that the government had from my childhood when my father was stationed at Canadian Forces Base Shearwater.
I was surprised that they had the detailed records that they did. They had my birth records that included my mother’s admission records. They also had all of my admission records from just after I was born all the way up until we moved from CFB Shearwater to CFB Summerside on PEI.
The records were notable for a few things.
First, the records identified an issue that I had with anything that contained beef fats like dairy.
The records also indicated that my mother was an extremely anxious person.
The records also indicate that my father had to be returned to port by the Canadian Forces due to “emotional issues”.
I had been admitted to the hospital on a couple of occasions as a “boarder”.
The longest I spent in hospital was 31 days.
Just before my father’s posting to CFB Summerside in Prince Edward Island the doctors at the IWK Children’s hospital had reached the opinion that my frequent admissions to the hospital were due to “societal problems” in the household and that social services should be notified.
Around 2015 I would make the acquaintance of Pat Longmore. She had been in the Canadian Forces along with her husband Bob back in the 1970s at CFB Shearwater. Pat knew both Richard and Marie. Pat was the first person ever to have confirmed the existence of a “battered wives club” on CFB Shearwater and that my mother had used it a couple of time when she needed to get us away from Richard when Richard was in the midsts of a meltdown.
- How would things have turned out if Richard had not been able to escape the involvement of our family with Nova Scotia Social Services by obtaining a posting to CFB Summerside.
- What would life had been like had Richard faced any real serious consequences for his alcoholism and his violent outbursts.
- What would life had been like had the Canadian Forces offered Richard treatment for his PTSD and his Depression instead of encouraging him to self medicate his problems away with alcohol.
CFB Summerside – Prince Edward Island
I remember being in a bicycle accident while we were stationed at CFB Summerside. I didn’t remember too much about the accident, but I figured that I would submit a request anyways.
Turns out that someone had found me laying face down in the middle of the road unconscious with no description of what had happened.
The person who admitted to hospital was not my grandmother. To this day I still don’t recognize the name. When I tracked down my mother in 2013 and showed her the paperwork she said that she didn’t recognize the name. At the top of the admission paper it says “Father in Iceland with airforce, will return this evening”.
In 2013 I had to examine my father for a Federal Court application for judicial review. One of the questions I asked my father was what provinces other than Alberta were we involved with social services. His response was PEI for child custody.
I filed a request from the PEI Govt for these records. All the government would confirm is that my father had applied for custody, but that the matter was never settled by the court, the government had never granted Richard sole custody.
In 2013 I tracked my mother down to ask her about this. She said that the Canadian Forces Judge Advocate General had granted Richard sole custody of my brother and I and that she had been ordered to leave the PMQ by the Canadian Forces.
Behaviours such as this were confirmed in a report that was commissioned by the Canadian Armed Forces in 1996 and released in May of 2000. The report stated that because of the existence of the Defence Establishment Trespass Regulations military dependents such as spouses and children had no legal right to live on military bases. Military dependents are there at the pleasure of the serving member. If there was a breakdown in the marital home the serving member could have the military police eject the spouse from the base. This would prevent the ejected spouse from serving court papers on the serving spouse. Also, the serving spouse enjoyed free transportation provided by the Canadian Forces which would often cause the ejected spouse to be disadvantaged by travel distance from seeing her children.
- How would things have turned out in the long run if Richard wasn’t able to have Marie ejected from the PMQ?
- What would have happened had social services become involved when I was admitted to hospital with no next of kin.
CFB Namao / CFB Griesbach – Edmonton, AB
The most egregious cracks that I slipped through here were related to my mental health.
As I’ve said in other posts, I fully believe that my long term mental health was willingly sacrificed to allow the Canadian Armed Forces to keep their damn secrets about the Captain Father Angus McRae child sexual abuse sex scandal under wraps and out of the public eye.
I had no idea of how bad things were until I received my foster care records from the Alberta Government. The fact that I had foster care records was the most stunning aspect of this.
In October of 1980 my family arrived at CFB Griesbach. This was 6 months after the events on CFB Namao. My teacher and my brother’s teacher brought us to the attention of military social worker Captain Terry Totzke. A psychiatrist hired by the Canadian Armed Forces to evaluate my family and I found that I was well past the point of despair and depression and that I was extremely anxious and fearful of men. I was also found to hate being touched. Oh, and I was terrified of my father and I was convinced that he was going to drown me in a toilet. It’s obvious that by this point in time Richard had been informed of what had transpired on CFB Namao.
For an added bonus my results from the Wechsler IQ test that I had been administered showed that I had an IQ of 136 +/- 6.
This same psychiatrist found that my father accepted no responsibility for his family, he expected others to solve his problems for him, he blamed his mother for the problems my brother and I were exhibiting.
I remember this time of my life as being full of confusion. I couldn’t make friends. The other kids on base were constantly beating the daylights out of me. I also started to be able to run my hands through my hair and pull clumps of hair out of my head. My father was angry with me no matter what I did. My stepmother started echoing my father’s anger towards me. No matter what I did I was a complete fuck-up. There was no pleasing anyone. I started frequently wetting the bed. To teach me a lesson and to get me to stop wetting the bed I was often sent to school without a shower which just amplified the attacks at school. The kids would often call me “onion head”. As a foot note, I didn’t stop wetting the bed until just after I had turned 16 and had moved out of the house.
Various follow-ups between October 1980 and November 1981 didn’t go anywhere. No matter what Captain Totzke was being told I was never medicated nor was I ever sent for therapy.
In November of 1981 my teacher, my brother’s teacher, and our principal contacted Alberta Social Services as Captain Totzke didn’t seem to be able to get my brother’s and my “odd and strange behaviours” under control. It wasn’t that Totzke couldn’t get our behaviours under control. It’s more than likely that the Canadian Forces didn’t want to risk either me or my brother talking to civilian therapists because there was the obvious risk that we’d start talking about the babysitter from CFB Namao which in turn would lead to the discovery of the true extent of what Captain Father Angus McRae had done on CFB Namao from 1978 until 1980.
Alberta Social Services sent me for testing and found that I was so emotionally disturbed that I would never be able to function properly in any school unless I received treatment. By the time I was supposed to be placed in a “special school” I had devolved so bad that I was supposed to be institutionalized. As Captain Totzke was my primary caregiver he would have to agree to this. Which he never seemed to. So a compromise was reached, I would attend a school program for emotionally disturbed children until further arrangements could be made.
Being in this program required two things. First my father had to sign my foster care admission paperwork. Second, me father was supposed to attend family counselling.
In December of 1982 a letter was sent to Captain Totzke and my father inviting them to a conference with my civilian social workers on January 26th, 1983.
The meeting occurred on January 26th, 1983. Captain Totzke was there but my father wasn’t. Captain Totzke said that my father was happy with my improvement from being in the Westfield program. My father was so happy that Captain Totzke said that he recently helped my father turn down a posting to Nova Scotia because my father wanted me to stay in the program.
My civilian counsellors informed Captain Totzke that my father was not attending family counselling and that unless my father attended family counselling that my behaviour and my emotional state would continue to deteriorate. My civilian case worker told Captain Totzke that in order to apply duress to Richard to make him comply that I would be removed from the home and placed into foster care or residential care. Remember the part about my father signing the foster care admission paperwork? My civilian counsellors told Captain Totzke to inform my father and my father’s commanding officer forthwith that Richard was to attend every scheduled family counselling session that was upcoming or Alberta Social Services would take action.
On January 28th, 1983 my civilian case worker called Captain Totzke for an update. Apparently my father lost his shit. He didn’t understand what the program was all about. He claimed that my counsellors were harassing Richard and Sue. Totzke also informed my civilian case worker that my father has just received a posting to Ontario. Remember Totzke claiming he helped my father turn down a posting? I wonder what changed in the span of two days, don’t you?
In closing the file Alberta Social Services noted that my father often changed his story from one meeting to the next, and that my father often told people in positions of authority what he thought they wanted to hear. Basically Richard was a pathological liar who could manipulate people to get what he wanted.
It destroys me to know that the Canadian Armed Forces and my father knew that I was experiencing severe psychological trauma brought on no doubt by the sexual abuse from CFB Namao, but also from my father’s issues, and they chose to do nothing.
What type of life would I have been able to enjoy had I received proper therapy and treatments back then?
What would have happened if my father had to prove that he had sole custody of my brother and I and that it turned out that he didn’t.
How would life have been for me had I been removed from both Richard and Marie and placed with a normal family.
If I had remained in Alberta after my father fled to Ontario and had I remained in the foster care program what type of assistance would I have received with obtaining higher education?
I slipped through far too many cracks to count here.
- How would my life have turned out had I received therapy for my major depression?
- How would my life have turned out had I received therapy for my severe anxiety?
- How would things have turned out for me if Captain Terry Totzke was less concerned about my apparent homosexuality and had been more concerned about my mental health and wellbeing.?
- How would things have turned out for me had I been institutionalized and received the proper care?
- How would things have turned out for me if I had been placed into foster care or residential care and then felt safe enough to talk about what had happened on Canadian Forces Base Namao?
- If I had been removed from the home and placed with a family that cared, would I have finished grade 12? Would I have gone on to college? University? Would I have been able to take proper trades training?
- If I was removed from Richard’s house and placed into either residential care or foster care, would I have been free to develop a proper sexual identity?
- Given a chance, what would I have parlayed my IQ of 136 +/- 6 into?
I obtained my social service paperwork from the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto as they were mentioned in my Alberta Social Services paperwork.
CAST tried to locate the contact information for my family from the Canadian Armed Forces, but the Canadian Forces wouldn’t comply.
CAST ended up tracking down my brother and I through the North York Board of Education.
CAST wasn’t able to get too involved with my family as my father didn’t want to participate and CAST was facing budget cuts. CAST said that they would keep the file open none the less and that if they received any complaints from the neighbours they wouldn’t hesitate to get involved.
I don’t ever remember being involved with CAST. Is this why Richard and Sue always insisted that my brother and I get out of the house in the morning and not come back until supper time? That way we’d never be home when CAST showed up for a house visit?
- If I had been placed at the Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto for psychiatric treatment, instead of being forced to grow up with major depression, severe anxiety, and gender confusion, what would my future have been like?
- What would have happened if the Canadian Forces Military Police on CFB Downsview had reported Richard’s violent domestic fight to CAST in the summer of 1985? Is this why when the military police came to talk to my brother and I about Richard’s violent breakdown that they told us to never call 9-1-1, that we were to call base switchboard and summon the military police?
- When I moved out of the house in the winter of 1988 the CAST file on my family was still open. I didn’t have to go to work or rent a room in a house. Had I known that my family was involved with CAST I could have asked CAST for emergency shelter and emergency funding to allow me to attend school without having to work.
- In 1989 when I attempted to finish off my schooling at A.I.S.P., I could have also received emergency funding and emergency shelter had I applied for it after Richard blew a gasket because he didn’t understand what the name “Alternative and Independent School Program” meant.
- If I had known about my family’s involvement with CAST, would CAST have assisted me with extracurricular music lessons?
- Would CAST have assisted me with getting into the National Science Fair if they had learnt about my father’s refusal because I was “showing off”?
If I had known the truth about the period from October of 1980 until January 1988, would I have been better able to prevent the CFNIS, the Provost Marshal, the VCDS, and the Minister of National Defence from concocting a wildly inaccurate story about the period of August 1978 though to July of 1980.
- The CFNIS in 2011 had access to the Canadian Forces court martial records relating to Captain Father Angus McRae. The CFNIS knew that P.S. had been molesting numerous children on the base and it was this abusive behaviour that attracted the attention of the base military police which eventually led to the CFSIU investigating Captain McRae for having committed “acts of homosexuality” with young boys on the base.
- Alberta Social Services was of the opinion that my father was a liar and often told people he perceived to be in positions of authority what he thought they wanted to hear. Would the CFNIS had been able to place much emphasis on Richard’s statement in which he said that there was never a babysitter in our house?
- If I had my social service records during my initial interview with the CFNIS in March of 2011, would I have been able to introduce enough evidence to show the CFNIS that my father was fully aware of what had occurred on CFB Namao but that due to his own issues he was refusing to allow me to receive treatment for the various mental illnesses that I was suffering through as a result of the abuse on CFB Namao?
So many cracks.
I’ve slipped through so many cracks that it’s not funny. It’s actually quite maddening.
To see that I was so close to receiving help with my issues, but that my father and the Canadian Forces were so hell bent on keeping a lid on the Captain McRae fiasco that I was kept from receiving the help that I so rightfully deserved.
You might say to yourself that maybe it would have been better if I had never found these records and documents. You’d be very wrong.
Prior to obtaining these records I had always viewed myself as a worthless fuckup who had screwed up his own life because as my father would often say that I was fucking insane like my mother and that I was a selfish crybaby who fucked with his military career.
The records allowed me to see that I wasn’t a fuck-up. That I was just a kid being crushed by forces far more powerful than I could have ever imagined.
I had been sacrificed in order to keep a secret.
The Canadian Armed Forces sacrificed me to keep the lid on a horrific secret.
My father, having his own demons and lacking his own backbone was more than willing to go along with this.
My father was obviously an unfit parent, so was my mother but I didn’t grow up with her, how would my life had turned out if I hadn’t grown up in an environment where secrets needed to be kept?
People keep telling me “Bobbie, you’re so smart, what are you wasting your life for”, or “Bobbie, you’re so smart, why didn’t you get into such-n-such a trade”, or my favourite “Bobbie, the guys in the shop are afraid of you because you know too much”.
The last point I’m not kidding about. When I took on the position of Chief Engineer at St. Paul’s I got brought into the plant manager’s office for a little one-on-one. Seems that there was a little mutiny of sorts brewing in the power engineering section. I was too smart and the other engineers were feeling intimidated. And this isn’t the first employer that has brought this up.
And it’s true. I love to read. I love reading service manuals. I love to understand. If I didn’t then I wouldn’t have made so many changes at St. Paul’s. And this is something that I am sick and tired of apologizing for. Yes, I should be in more technical employment. But that wasn’t in the cards for me. And I’m not about to play stupid. Why should I? I didn’t ask to have my potential pulled out from under me.
I really despise it when people accuse me of having been lazy or having wasted all the opportunities that a person like me should have had. When I was younger this used to anger me quite a bit. “Bobbie, you must have partied too hard instead of going to trade school”, or “Maybe home life was too good and you just never learnt the value of hard work”.
Where would I have gone in life had I not had to drag along the diagnosed but untreated depression, anxiety, and other issues that were gifted to me?
No, the discovery of all of these records tells me that short of a fucking miracle I ended up exactly where the trajectory of my early life aimed me for. I think I did pretty good for a grade 9 dropout with a grade 12 G.E.D..
No drug dependency, no criminal record, a pretty solid employment history.
Sure, going to college, or university, or even trade school would have probably opened up a world of opportunity for me, but those things were never to be.
So I’m not upset and saddened by the opportunities that were taken away from me.
I’m just disgusted at the people and organizations that took those opportunities away from me.