A lonely existence.

Me. At 11.

Yeah, my childhood after CFB Namao was a very lonely existence.

I guess the trauma and the shock of what I had been through on Canadian Forces Base Namao at the hands of P.S, along with the dysfunctional household that I was growing up in really fucked with my emotional well-being.

Being involved with Captain Totzke couldn’t have really helped with my self worth very much.

My father had convinced anyone that would listen that I was how I was because it was all an act so that I could shirk the responsibility of allowing the babysitter to molest my younger brother.

The fact that most of the kids on CFB Griesbach knew who I was and what I had done didn’t help the situation very much.

The nice thing is that most people who got to know me saw that there were problems and they weren’t all mine.

And at age 50 I can see why people like Captain Totzke and my father did what they did.

As a child you simply can’t understand the biases, the prejudices, or the politics at play.

Even still, I find myself at age 50 completely unable to make friends. Sure, I’ve got co-workers and superiors and subordinates at work. I also deal with contractors, trades, and suppliers at work. But these are professional relationships.

I’ve met many people on my journey to receive justice and acknowledgment for what happened on CFB Namao. But other than the fact that we were all sexually abused on Canadian Forces Base Namao by the same two people, I can’t relate to anyone.

It’s not that I’m a loner by any definition. I like being out and about. I like going to coffee shops, and malls, and events.

I still can’t properly read or express emotions properly. When people appear to be upset or angry I get scared and afraid. That’s probably one of the reasons I hate any type of conflict at work. Maybe that makes me too accommodating, I don’t know.

I take no pride in my work. And by this I don’t mean that I don’t take care with my work. It’s just that no matter what I do all I can hear is my father yelling and screaming that I have to stop showing off, that I’m a stupid worthless piece of shit, and that anyone could do what I do, that I’m not special in any sense of the word.

So yeah, at age 50, what is going to be fixed?

The time for fixing these issues was 30 to 40 years ago.

The time for banishing Captain McRae, P.S., Captain Totzke, Colonel Munro, Richard Gill from my skull was years ago. Trying to evict these fuckers at the age of 50 is almost pointless.

And that’s the thing, my whole life has been nothing but enduring the self doubt and self hatred caused by these people.

If I didn’t listen to Richard’s negativity for the majority of my adult life, could things have been better. Probably not as there would have still been lots of issues given to me by the others.

If I didn’t listen to Captain Totzke’s thoughts on the apparent homosexuality I had exhibited when I had been molested by P.S. and Captain McRae, would my gender identity and sexual orientation been less fucked up? Possibly, but there were still a shit load of other issues fucking me up.

And that’s one of the problems. There wasn’t just one thing fucking with my psyche. There were numerous issues fucking me up and robbing me of a future that could have or should have been mine.

Dealing with these issues in the here and now may unleash fresh new self doubt, self hatred, and regret.

In other words I think I just have to make peace with these issues.

I’ve got my dresses, my tattoos, and my bicycle to keep me company.

Speaking of tattoos, I finally got my right ankle finished.

My goal is to have all parts of my body covered with ink by the time 2023 / 2024 rolls around.

Dying.

“If you want to die, how can you be afraid of dying?”

As I’ve said, I don’t fear death.

Once you are dead you are free of the senses, you do not feel pain, you no longer exist.

It’s the dying part that scares me. It always has.

And I don’t mean in the sense of heaven or hell or gods or the such.

What I fear is the pain or the terror that would fill my last minutes, or hours, or even days.

I actually don’t like being inside automobiles due to my father’s penchant for aggressive driving and drunk driving. I don’t relish the idea of dying in an automobile collision. There was a pile-up on the Q.E.W. in Southern Ontario back in the ’90s. A young girl got trapped inside one of the cars and slowly burned to death. That is not a death that I would wish on anyone.

Yeah, I understand that dying by my own hand would only last for so long, but I’ve never been a big fan of panic and terror.

It’s fairly obvious that I’ve never bled to death before, but the idea of slicing an artery and bleeding out doesn’t appeal to me due to the shock and panic that would set in as the volume of blood in my body decreased. The nausea that would come with the shock would be very unpleasant.

Asphyxiation would be the same thing

Asphyxiation, choking, etc…… no thank you.

You hear about the successful cases. What you never hear about are the unsuccessful cases which often lead to permanent brain damage.

Drugs? Yeah, no. There’s just something about ingesting copious amounts of drugs that doesn’t appeal to me. Maybe it’s the vomiting and the retching. Maybe it’s that you actually stand a good chance of inhaling your own vomit and dying a very prolonged and painful death.

Unless you manage to get things right your last moments on Earth will be filled with pain and misery. Sure, eventually everything will be over. But as I said I don’t want to tack on more suffering to the suffering that I’ve already endured.

And I can tell you one thing, you never want to die in a hospital hooked up to a ventilator in the ICU in a drug induced coma. That’s probably the worst way to go that I can think of.

Dying is not an easy thing to do. It’s honestly not as easy as you’d think it would be. It’s definitely not as easy nor as romantic as it’s made out to be in the movies or literature. One part of the brain wants to die while another part of the brain wants to survive.

This is why I am really intrigued with Medical Assistance in Dying.

If the protocol is adhered to and if the proper doses are followed one shouldn’t be aware in the slightest that they have stopped breathing and that their heart has stopped beating. There’s no choking. There’s no gaging. There should be no violent convulsions or spasms. Just a complete loss of consciousness and then nothing.

Sure, the anxiety may be something to contend with in the months, and weeks, and days, and then hours leading up to one’s demise under M.A.i.D.. But I think with the proper mindset that one should be able to make it right to the end without too much of a problem.

I think that one of the things that terrifies most people about death is the lack of control of the where and when. Death typically comes randomly. It follows no schedule. It generally doesn’t take into consideration what your plans are or if your affairs are in order. You could be at work, you could be on the subway, you could be out for a bicycle ride. You death can be quick, or it can be lingering. You could slowly die on the cold pavement while gawkers stare at you. And I think this is what frightens most people about death, the general lack of control around the circumstances of one’s demise.

The gender bias of sexual assault

I’ve often wondered if the fact that I am male has a had an impact on how my abuse at the hands of P.S. and Captain McRae has been viewed by the authorities.

Society expects girls and women to be the victims of sexual assault.

Society also expects that boys and men will be the perpetrators of sexual assault.

Things get really turned upside down when boys or men are the victims of sexual assault.

And things really get turned upside down when males are the victims of other males.

When I was receiving my counselling from Canadian Armed Forces officer Captain Terry Totzke the area of concern wasn’t so much that I had been sexually abused but was that I had been caught having sex with another boy.

In the aftermath of being caught in P.S.’s bedroom I had often wondered if I would have gotten in trouble if I had been a girl instead of a boy. Even at age 8 I understood the gender bias that existed.

When I used to swap clothes with Megan on CFB Griesbach, it wasn’t so much that I wanted to be a girl. It’s just that I couldn’t understand why boys couldn’t wear dresses. I’d like to think that I was ahead of the curve with understanding that artificial society enforced gender roles were harmful and toxic. But more than likely it was just that I couldn’t understand why it was wrong for boys to wear dresses. And still no one has been able to explain this to me.

I remember girls on base who got touched by same age boys during episodes of “doctor”. The father of the girl would often unleash a can of whoop-ass on the boy who touched his daughter. The father of the boy would often give his son an “understanding wink” as if to say “good job son!”. The daughter never received any type of admonishment for the game of doctor as there was no way possible that the girl could have instigated it. But again, that’s just one of society’s biases, “girls are weak and can only be victims, boys are strong and can only be perpetrators”.

While living on CFB Griesbach I had developed feelings for a boy my age. He lived two doors down from me in PMQ #68. Nothing sexual at all. But we did kiss one day. His father was furious. Mine was even more so telling me that if he ever heard reports from another parent on base that I had kissed their son that he would “break my fucking neck” and that I would never have to worry about kissing another boy again.

Now, I realize that male-on-male child sexual abuse also existed out in the civilian world and that in the civilian world the victims of male-on-male child sexual abuse weren’t treated all that fairly. I still have a copy of an actual educational film from the ’60s called “Boys Beware” in which a teenage boy is groomed by a hebephile and coerced into sex. The hebephile is arrested and the boy is sentenced to juvenile detention. But there was possibly something else at play in the Canadian Armed Forces.

In 2014 when the French magazine L’actualité published its bombshell stories about sexual assault in the Canadian Armed Forces, one of the stories it ran was about male-on-male sexual assault. The writer of the article was told that male-on-male sexual assault in the military was all about control, humiliation, and punishment, and not about sexual gratification.

Is this why male-on-male sexual abuse was not taken all that serious in the Canadian Armed Forces? Obviously the victim must have done something wrong and deserved to be sexually abused, right? Don’t forget, the men sexually abusing other members of the Canadian Forces often had children at home. If these men participated in the sexual humiliation of other male members, how likely were they to take the sexual abuse of their sons as a serious offence. If these men participated in the sexual humiliation of other members, how likely were they to abuse their own children as a form of punishment or to exert control over an out of control child?

Let’s say that a soldier of the Canadian Forces had an out of control teenage boy at home, and if this member of the Canadian Forces had been involved with episodes of male-on-male sexual abuse in the military as a form of humiliation or punishment, would it be feasible that this member might also make use of male-on-male sexual abuse in an attempt to reign his son in and bring his son under control?

Oddly, when Maclean’s ran the English versions of the L’Actulaite stories they dropped the entire article about male-on-male sexual assault. Is French society that much more advanced that it can handle topics like male-on-male sexual abuse? Are the Anglophones of such delicate sensibilities that Maclean’s was worried about causing their English readers to faint, and swoon, and need PTSD counselling?

How cold is it…….


So, I spent some time today verifying the Dixell temperature monitors that I’m installing in the Pharmacy department .

This project came about after I had upgraded all of the walk-in coolers and freezers in the dietary kitchens. The old system was mechanical thermostats, time clocks for defrost cycles, and simple mechanic thermostats for monitoring for high temperatures. Needless to say there were a lot of false alarms and evaporator freeze ups.

When I saw how easy it was to install the Dixell controllers, network them, and program them I knew that I had a viable solution for the clinical and pharmacy departments to upgrade their monitoring.

Guess I’ll have to see where this goes.

I have a sneaking suspicion that other health authorities and other hospitals may have questions that I may need to answer.

My dentist

So, today I was in to see my dentist for some filling / bonding work on my canine teeth.

My teeth are in bad shape from years of grinding. And recently my canine teeth started to get sensitive which meant that they were not far away from getting cavities or worse.

My dentist bugged me again about getting root canals and caps, both of which my insurance would cover 100%.

I told her again that I wasn’t interested, that I only wanted to do the work that was required to keep my teeth from getting worse, but that I wasn’t interested in spending $20k to $30k to fix all of my teeth.

“But why not?”

So I said to her that if everything goes as planned, I won’t be around in two to three years.

“You’re moving somewhere?”

No, I’m applying for medical assistance in dying for psychiatric reasons.

“But I thought that your escitalopram was working, I thought you were feeling better”.

Escitalopram is like a pain killer, it numbs the pain, but it doesn’t fix it.

“What about therapy?”

Won’t fix the issues, and I don’t want to continue living with the damage in my head. If I was younger, maybe, but not at this stage in my life.

She just looked at me for a bit. Then she said “Do you want to get started?”.

I said sure, and she reclined the chair, and we started on my fillings / bondings.

Money isn’t the issue. I’m not poor. And I have good medical / dental coverage at work. I just don’t see the point.

I had my first dentist when I worked for the Elashi family in East Richmond.

Prior to that I had never had a real dentist. My dentists were usually from public health programs for disadvantaged children. I remember going to the dentist in a trailer that would pull up outside the school I was attending in Summerside, PEI. I think those were my first fillings.

The next time I went to a dentist was when we lived on Canadian Forces Base Griesbach in Edmonton. This was a program for low income families run out of the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology “N.A.I.T.”. Kids that went to this program had their teeth worked on by dental students.

I don’t remember going to a dentist once while we lived on Canadian Forces Base Downsview in Ontario.

Richard had promised me that he’d enroll me into the Young Driver’s program on my 16th birthday. Of course he lied. He had no intention. He gave me some excuse about his insurance going up if anyone under 18 had their driver’s licence in his house. When he saw that I wasn’t buying this he started justifying his lying by saying that his Mustang was too powerful for me to learn in. Young drivers had their own cars. I told him that he was a liar, that he had absolutely no plan of letting me take driver’s training, that this was more of his bullshit. I didn’t duck fast enough and I caught his wedding ring in the front of my mouth. He chipped my front tooth.

I didn’t start working for the Elashis until 1994. I don’t think my insurance kicked in until late ’94, so it was around 1995 when I finally got the chipped tooth fixed. So yeah, about 8 years.

I had all of my wisdom teeth yanked around 1995 as well.

So, it’s not that I’m afraid of the dentist, or dental work.

I just don’t see the point of it.

Not now.

Maybe 30 years ago.

Maybe even 20 years ago.

Even if I had been on anti-depressants / anti-anxiety medications 20 or 30 years ago my teeth would be in far better condition than they are today.

But 30 years ago was just 12 years removed from the CFB Namao fiasco and my father’s anger at how I had fucked with his military career and how I had allowed the babysitter to molest my younger brother was still very fresh in my mind. Captain Totzke’s lectures at how I exhibited homosexual tendencies because the abuse went on for so long was still rattling around in my skull.

20 years ago was 22 years removed from CFB Namao. And again all of the horseshit from CFB Namao and the subsequent fallout was still fresh in my mind.

It really wasn’t until I started learning the truth about CFB Namao 10 years ago in 2011 that I begun to realize that the issues I was living with were not of my own creation. These issues had been gifted to me. The Canadian Forces anointed my abuser as the “sole” victim of Captain McRae and chucked about 25 children under the bus.

Maybe if I had known the truth 20 or 30 years ago I would have wasted my time fixing my teeth.

Not now.

Just not worth it at this point in my life.

A Lack of Interests

I’ve always been kind of an odd duckling at work. “Not one of the boys” as they often say.

I don’t really talk about sportsball. I don’t talk about TV. I don’t talk about Hollywood stars, or movies.

I really don’t have many interests to be honest.

But then again Richard wasn’t known for instilling a love of hobbies or activities in my brother or I.

Anything my father did take an interest in he quickly lost interest in.

He had a camera with all of the doodads and gizmos. Never really took an interest in it other than snapping a few pictures on the television of a hockey game.

He had a private pilot’s licence. And except for when we lived on Canadian Forces Base Shearwater, he never went flying again.

He owned a motorcycle, but rarely rode on it. It was usually hauled out of the garage and ridden just for the sake of keeping the fuel from going bad.

Broomball? Yeah he’d play broomball, but not very often.

Was it his depression or his PTSD that kept him from taking up interests?

And when he did take up interests it was almost like he was being forced to take them on, like he was pushing himself to find an interest that he liked because if he found the interest that he liked then he’d stick with it. But he never did find the proverbial interest. He’d try something new, get fed up, and move on to something else.

I didn’t develop any hobbies as a child. It wasn’t like my father had ever encouraged my brother or I to take on any hobbies. And even if we had developed hobbies, who was going to pay for them? Surely not him.

Richard built a few model airplanes, but that was it.

He didn’t really have any favourite bands or musicians.

The only thing that he really liked was hockey. He seemed to love the Toronto Maple Leafs. But he’d get so angry and upset when he’d watch them on TV. For the entire 7 years that we lived in Toronto I don’t think he ever attended a hockey game at Maple Leaf Gardens. I know that he sure as hell didn’t ever take my brother or I to a hockey game. Even when we lived in Edmonton during the early ’80s when the Oilers and Gretzky were owning the NHL we never once went to a hockey game at the Northlands Coliseum.

Things we never did together as a family……

  • Camping
  • Skating
  • Bowling
  • Bicycle riding
  • Watching hockey games
  • Watching football games
  • Watching baseball games
  • Fishing
  • Going to amusement parks
  • Going to museums
  • Going to movies
  • School plays
  • Cadet nights
  • Cadet award ceremonies
  • Working on cars
  • Working on electronics
  • Working on computers
  • Going to parks
  • Going to the beach
Mr. Gill does not feel a family support worker would benefit kids as he claims to take them out rollerskating and to cubs.

Yeah, I can promise you that he never took us rollerskating or to cubs. I was in beavers on CFB Namao, and that was it.

Even just sitting down and trying to watch TV with Richard was an exercise in futility. You had to “shut your damn mouth and watch the TV”. You didn’t ever ask him to explain a TV show to you. That could invoke a rage almost as bad as if you asked him how hockey worked or why that guy got a penalty or why that puck was offside.

It was a lonely and boring childhood.

So yeah, I think this is why I never developed any hobbies.

Death

Everybody does it, and it’s only natural, so why are we so afraid of it?

I have no fear of death.

Dying? Sure.

Death? No.

For obvious reasons I’ve had a lot of opportunities in my life to contemplate death. When I was about 5 years old on CFB Summerside, one of my friends was killed in a tobogganing incident. When I asked Richard if everyone dies he looked at me and said yes, everyone including me would die one day.

In my dysfunctional household the thought of dying and death was always seen as viable escape from Richard or his mother.

Death is one of the phases of life. Rich, poor, young, old, there is no escaping death. Death IS the great leveller.

From the time a human being is born until the time a human being dies the body is experiencing the physical world. Even when we sleep the brain is processing information from our environment. Once we die though, the brain no longer exists. There is nothing left to process information. A dead brain cannot sense. A dead brain cannot feel. A dead brain cannot fear.

I think the main reason that humans are afraid of death is that death is something that the human brain simply cannot comprehend.

Just as the human brain cannot comprehend the existence of time before its birth, the human brain cannot comprehend no longer existing. Ask yourself this, what do you envision happening after you die?

Can you comprehend the size of the universe? Can you comprehend the universe continuously expanding in all directions? Here’s one to ponder, what’s at the edge of the universe and what’s on the other side? If the universe has no edge, does the universe just go on forever? Nothing lasts forever, including nothing. Everything has an end, including nothing.

Can you comprehend that the universe is over 14,000,000,000 years old and that for the vast majority of that time life as we know it did not exist. Or how about the fact that in 5,000,000,000 years the Sun will become a red giant and will have become so large that it will have engulfed the Earth and destroyed it. Can you comprehend that in 10, ​000, ​000, ​000, ​000, ​000, ​000, ​000, ​000, ​000, ​000, ​000, ​000, ​000, ​000, ​000, ​000, ​000, ​000, ​000, ​000, ​000, ​000, ​000, ​000, ​000, ​000, ​000, ​000, ​000, ​000, ​000, ​000, ​000 years the universe is expected to undergo heat death meaning that there will no longer be any detectable energy in the universe.

The human brain is happy dealing with topics that it can reason with and experience. Music? The human brain is great with rhythm and melody and pitch and scale.

Language? The human brain can learn multiple languages as it can experience the use of language in everyday use.

Combining materials mined from the Earth into computer chips and high capacity batteries? The human brain has the ability to learn and to apply knowledge learnt from previous experiments towards new creations.

How are these advances possible? It is the passing of knowledge from one human to another. The only knowledge that the human brain isn’t able to pass to another human is what happens after death.

I believe that the inability of our brain to understand death is one of the driving reasons behind the existence of religion. The human brain needs to know that it came from somewhere and that it has some place to go after the body dies.

The human brain is extremely curious and inquisitive. The human brain doesn’t like it when it can’t figure something out. It has to have answers. So it creates gods and nymphs and fairies and prophets and witches and warlocks and other mythical creatures. Does the Earth reside on the back of a giant tortoise that swims through the universe? Is the Earth flat? Did Noah create an ark that housed all of the animals in the world including the Kangaroos that hopped on over from Australia or the penguins that swam up from the Antarctic?

Religion and gods served a purpose. They explained things that early humans couldn’t have explained. The drought that caused a massive crop failure? You didn’t pray hard enough, or you prayed to the wrong god. The flood that wiped out a village? Again, you must have done something to upset the appropriate god. Need to justify you war and subjugation of a neighbouring village? God wanted you to do that, the others were heathens worshipping the wrong god.

I realized quite a while ago that human knowledge doesn’t die. The body dies. The brain dies. But the knowledge contained within the brain lives on by passing from one human to the next. Human beings didn’t just learn to speak one day. This feat took hundreds of thousands of years for us to develop. Humans didn’t just start building ships out of steel. The ability for forge steel and make alloys took thousands of years. Same thing for any piece of technology in use these days.

The human brain is programmed to view death in a negative manner. Death is attributed with diseases, and illnesses, and violence. Even when a person passes away peacefully in their sleep, those who find the corpse tend to respond to the corpse with fear.

It’s no doubt that our general fear of death and dead bodies has been somewhat beneficial over the years. Exposure to a rotting corpse exposes the living to all sorts of unpleasant possibilities. Humans know that it is generally a good idea to get rid of a corpse as soon as possible to avoid any diseases that the corpse may harbour. Burying corpses also seems to be a great idea that also prevents the spreading of diseases. Don’t forget, refrigeration wasn’t a thing until rather recently.

When a body dies it goes through various stages before decomposition renders the body to a skeleton.

  • Pallor Mortis is the first stage after death. This is where the blood recedes from the skin. Lips turn blue and the skin loses its pinkish hue. The resulting change in colour is especially noticeable in people with white skin.
  • Algor Mortis is the second stage of death. This is where the body, due to the lack of oxygen required to power the cells, starts to cool down as the cells in the body start to die.
  • Rigor Mortis is the next stage of death. As the body is no longer able to manufacture ATP the muscles in the body are no longer able to relax. They start to become rigid and inflexible. Further, as ADP is release into the muscle fibres, the muscle fibres contract and are unable to relax as the body no longer has the ability to reabsorb the ADP and cannot create new ATP. The muscles only relax after the muscle tissue has started to decompose.
  • Livor mortis comes next. That’s where the blood and other body fluids are drawn by gravity to the lowest parts of the body. If you die lying down your back will take a on very deep purple bruised complexion. If you were to die sitting up, your legs would become dark purple and swollen.
  • Finally, putrefaction sets in. This is where the internal organs, the muscles, fat, and skin start to break down and liquify. Bacteria will start to consume the corpse from the inside while insects and small animals will start to consume the corpse from the outside.

At the completion of the five stages you’re typically left with a skeleton.

I find it really sad that I can’t really give my skeleton away. Not even just parts of it. There’s a few people I know of that would love to have my skull. And I have no doubt that they would enjoy it.

Thankfully a person is dead by the time rigour mortis sets in. Can you imagine what a full-body Charlie Horse would feel like. Rigour mortis is a very power force. It can break bones. I’ve seen pictures from early 20th century medical text books that demonstrated the strength of rigour mortis. One picture had a corpse with a saw horse under the neck and a saw horse under the ankles and the body only had a slight bow in the midsection. Another picture had the head of the corpse resting on a chair and the ankles resting on another chair and again the body was so stiff that it barely flexed in the middle.

What do I intend to do with my body?

I’d actually love to have my body placed on a body farm. That’s probably the closets to a natural decomposition one can have these days. Body farms are basically training grounds for law enforcement, pathologists, and coroners to observe and learn how a body decomposes under various circumstances when exposed to the elements. They can dress the corpse up, or leave the corpse naked and exposed, or wrap the corpse up in plastic bags. All to simulate the various conditions that a deceased could expect to be found in. This is to allow police and pathologists and coroners to hone their skills and to learn how to read a corpse in order to figure out how the corpse died and how long the corpse was dead before it was discovered.

There’s actually only one body farm in Canada, and that’s in Quebec.

The next option for my corpse would be to have it go to a medical school. I’ve watched numerous autopsy videos and it always amazes me how much can be learnt from the body be examining the viscera of a body. The human body is often called “The Soft Machine” and what an intricate and intriguing machine the human body is. If medical students can learn something from my corpse, all the better. I honestly believe that everyone should have the opportunity to view at least one autopsy I their life.

In either scenario I’d love for my brain to be sent to one of the various research facilities in Canada that deal with neurological disorders. Even though I’d be dead, and my brain would be completely non-functional, researchers can still tell a lot about a brain and the mental illnesses it suffered from while it was alive. Even though I’d be dead at that point and I wouldn’t benefit from any research carried out on my brain, if researching my brain provided clues to treatments for others suffering from what I’ve suffered from, then it would be worth it.

I really don’t want my corpse to be pumped full of chemicals. I’ve never understood the present day need for embalming. We have modern refrigeration that will slow down the decomposition rate of a corpse while funeral arrangements are being made, so no, no embalming for me. Fancy satin lined coffins, talking headstones, and cement vaults? For what? I don’t get it.

Cremation? What a waste. All that fuel being consumed and all of that pollution being released. Not good.

Alkaline hydrolysis looks fairly interesting. Not sure if it’s legal in BC yet. It is legal in Saskatchewan, Ontario, and Quebec. The process is fairly simple. Water is heated to 177 Celsius. Lye is added to the water. The water is circulated in a stainless steel chamber in which the body has been placed. It takes about 6 hours for the body to completely break down to the point that the only thing left is a bleached and brittle skeleton. 

Anyways……. enough about death……

I the next post I will talk about why I’m scared of dying, but not of death.

Or maybe I’ll talk about hobbies or my lack thereof.

Why do I want to die?

I don’t actually want to die. I need to die. There is a difference.

My brain is hopelessly damaged beyond salvage. You may agree with this or you may not agree with this. But it’s only my opinion that matters on this. I’m the one who has lived with this. And I’m the one more than willing to die to end it.

I’ve had no one advocating for my mental health over the years. So it is quite perplexing the number of people that want to suggest ways that I can take care of my mental health.

It wasn’t like my mental health hadn’t been flagged in the aftermath of the CFB Namao fiasco.

It was.

My mental health had deteriorated to the point that I was supposed to have been institutionalized. When you’re nine-years-old and psychiatrists are recommending that you be institutionalized you know that there is something seriously wrong. The fact that I wasn’t institutionalized doesn’t mean that I got better on my own. It just means that my deteriorating mental health was ignored.

Who kept me from receiving the help I required to treat my mental health issues? Was it my father? Was it Captain Terry Totzke? Was it someone else up the chain of command in the Canadian Armed Forces? I don’t know. And due to the loosey-goosey record retention policy of the Canadian Forces I don’t think that we’ll ever know.

And you know damn well that someone in the Canadian Armed Forces hierarchy interfered. On January 26th, 1983 Captain Totzke was told that Alberta Social Services was getting ready to place me into foster care or residential care. On January 28th, 1983 Captain Totzke told Alberta Social Services that my father was withdrawing me from the program and that my father had just receive a posting to Ontario.

And at this point in my life does it really matter?

For just over 42 years I’ve been left to cope with the following:

  • CPTSD;
  • Major depression;
  • Severe anxiety;
  • Gender identity issues;
  • Sexual Orientation issues;
  • Inability to form relationships;
  • Inability to trust;
  • Feelings of hopelessness;
  • Feelings of helplessness;
  • Feelings of worthlessness;
  • Vividly reliving the sexual abuse of me, my brother, and all of the other kids I witnessed P.S. molesting;
  • Grappling with being blamed by my father for allowing the babysitter to molest my younger brother;
  • Grappling with being called a homosexual apparently because I participated in the abuse for as long as I did;
  • The endless replaying of the man in the sauna;
  • The abuse at the hands of Earl Ray Stevens;
  • Existing in a dysfunctional household.

I’ve managed to fall through the cracks for a majority of my life. That’s the double edged sword of being intelligent. The people that I worked for were more than willing to overlook my issues because I brought so much benefit to their organizations. So what if I broke down and cried at random times, or so what if I blew up when I’d get frustrated because my depressed brain wasn’t capable of handling stress, or what if I didn’t come in for days at a time. When I could do electronic repairs, electrical repairs, mechanical repairs, HVAC repairs, the meltdowns and breakdowns were tolerable.

Being highly functional with mental illness is not fair. People just write off your mental illness as being “melodrama”, or “just being an asshole”.

And the sad thing about mental illness is that it doesn’t show up on a blood test, it really doesn’t show up on an MRI.

Mental illness can only be diagnosed by a psychiatrist. But psychiatrists have their own options and biases. So the fact that I’ve never been unemployed or locked-up in psychiatric care, or in trouble with the law means that I can’t really be that ill.

Throw into that the “Just Society” bias that many people have which results in doctors and psychiatrists being of the opinion that if something did happen to me then surely someone would have done something about it, right?

The other side of the “Just Society” bias means that many other people are of the opinion that if the military police didn’t lay charges in 1980 or 2018 that obviously nothing occurred. Because if something did occur, surely somebody would have done something, right?

The only problem is that as the years went by and I learnt to “cope” and “hide” my issues. And as the years went by I could feel the desire to die building inside.

It is so very tiring keeping my “happy” face on while my brain turns into a cancerous tumour full of rot.

There’s no fixing my brain. The damage is done. The damage has had time to set and solidify.

I’m not suddenly going to find a magical counsellor or magical pharmaceuticals that will erase the past, and erase the memories from CFB Namao, and erase all of the other shit that I went through before I turned 16.

My brain is not your “fix-it” project. My emotional well-being is not your hobby.

When I was first interviewed by master corporal Robert Jon Hancock back in 2011, I told him during the interview that I understood that there was not going to be a magical time machine that would send me back and undo all of the things that happened to me.

Life honestly has no joy and offers me no pleasure. It never has.

And this is where things get interesting.

I have had people tell me that my desires to die make them feel uncomfortable. That maybe if I stopped thinking negative thoughts and just thought happy thoughts that everything would be okay.

But that’s not how this works.

Bobbie, you’re such a “warrior”.

No.

You’re a “champion”.

No.

You’re so “brave”.

No.

“You can’t be serious”.

Yes I am.

“You’re just doing this for attention”.

No I am not.

I’m somebody who got caught up in some very bad situations that were far beyond their control.

I came from a dysfunctional home.

I was exposed to adults that were suffering from their own intergenerational traumas.

I was sexually abused for a prolonged period.

The blame for this abuse was placed upon my shoulders like some sort of mantle of shame to wear.

I was then brain fucked by an organization that should have known better than to fuck with a child’s brain.

I didn’t receive the psychological help that I should have received.

In fact, my father’s methods of dealing with my issues were the exact opposite of what I required.

Do I really want to live for another 20 to 30 years?

No.

Sure the escitalopram is doing a great job with my anxiety and my depression. But it hasn’t fixed them. They’re still there. They always will be there. Just like the memories of CFB Namao, of P.S., the visits to the chapel, of the abuse, of Captain Totzke, of Alberta social services, of my father’s anger and temper. Those will be with me until the day I die.

I’m single. I’ve never really been attached to anyone. I have no family to speak of. I have no one dependent on me.

Death, I am not afraid of. It’s the dying that I’m afraid of.

When you’re dead, that’s it. You’re dead. There is no happiness. There is no sadness. There are no memories. There is no regret. There is nothing. You don’t exist anymore. You don’t feel anymore. You don’t think. You don’t contemplate. You sure won’t be aware that you’re dead. And no, you won’t feel your corpse decompose.

Everything that you felt, saw, heard, touched, tasted, learnt, dreamt about, longed for, or cherished dies along with you.

Existing longer than you need to in the hopes that you’ll eventually find some supposed meaning in life is pointless, especially if existing brings pain and not joy.

You don’t get extra bonus points for enduring life longer than you needed to.

I am an atheist. I do not believe in a supreme being, an afterlife, a heaven, a hell, or a purgatory. I do not believe in reincarnation.

Dying is the hard part of death. Transposing from living to dead is often quite painful and traumatic. I’ve seen the end result of vehicle collisions. I’ve been aware of failed suicide attempts. I’ve seen people slowly die from brain injuries and strokes. I’ve known people who have died from incurable disease.

Life itself is not special. There are over 7.5 billion humans on the planet right now.

The value of human life varies depending on the situation. If a car driver makes a right hand turn on a red light and strikes a pedestrian, ooopsie.

If I’m out riding my bicycle and a car driver runs a stop sign and kills me but didn’t have the intention of killing me, ooopsie.

Society seems more than willing to tolerate deaths from motor vehicle collisions as a small price to pay for the convenience of fast travel.

How many lives have been lost in civilian aviation due to bad designs (737MAX) or a cutback in maintenance (Alaska Airlines)?

How many innocent civilian lives were lost in wars since the year 2000 due to bad intelligence and questionable motives?

How many people have died due to simple preventable diseases?

How many people have died from starvation?

Even when it comes to drug users, society seems to have little concern.

There seem to be only two times when a human life is lost that society loses its collective marbles. Murder or Suicide.

When it comes to murder, murder is almost universally reviled. The amount of revulsion shown is a sliding scale that seems to vary depending on who is being murdered and who is doing the murdering.

Suicide on the other hand is often seen as a selfish act perpetrated by someone just acting out for attention. Suicide is often seen as an overreaction to a silly issue. Suicide is rarely seen as the end result of events for which the person committing suicide felt that they had little control over.

My death will not be a suicide. Unlike a suicide, which is often random and unpredicted, my death will be scheduled. My death will be sanctioned by medical professionals, and my death will be overseen by medical professionals even though technically it will be me starting the dosing pumps.

Unlike a suicide, even a suicide with a note, there will be no unanswered questions about my death and why I’ve chosen death as opposed to living.

Everything will be explained along the way. There will be no chance for misinterpretations.

When I go, there will be no loose strings. Everything that needs to be closed off and addressed will be closed off and addressed.

You’re all more than welcome to come along with me on this journey.

Not all of the posts on my blog will be about my death. But I will warn you that a majority of my posts will be. I was hushed up about the child sexual abuse on Canadian Forces Base Namao. I will not hush up about my death.

Remember this, all of our journeys end with our own death. Mine will only be different in the sense that I am going to hopefully be able to schedule mine and choose the location.

A new account

or how A/I really sucks with nuance.

So, my twitter account @bobbiebees was suspended.

Someone had posted a video clip from 1977 of sportsball player Reggi Jackson being a massive asshole and shoving people to the ground.

I commented that someone should have popped him in the mouth.

Well, the A.I. algorithm detected that I was advocating violence…….

Yeah, this is the same twitter that allows car drivers to post how they’ll run over any fucking bicycle rider that slows them down or how the laws should be changed to allow car drivers to run down protestors in the street.

So, the algorithm seems fine with advocating violence in the modern day, but is aghast at wishing that someone would have punched a sportsball player in the mouth 45 years ago.

Apparently the twitter A.I. considers this as advocating violence.

Oh well. I guess things are only going to become more entertaining from here on in the more that companies like twitter rely on A.I. to moderate their platforms.

The Elashi Family

I worked for the Elashi family from about May of 1994 until late 1999.

Ali had brought his family to Canada from Egypt in the early 1970s.

Ali had a son and daughter, Sam and Rosa respectively. Sam and Rosa had their own respective families.

Ali had built a small housing development in East Richmond and in this development he built a small plaza. And in this small plaza he built a small 12 lane bowling centre.

I had just returned from Toronto and was collecting UI. And this was back in the day when you had to stop into the office to drop off your cards to ensure that you got your UI payments on time. The UI office had computer kiosks set up where you could scan for jobs and print them off.

I came across a job posting for Lois Lanes in East Richmond.

Yes, “Lois Lanes” as in Lois Lanes from Superman…..

Yes, Lois Lanes did run afoul of the copyright that the owners of “Superman”, but an agreement was worked out and the Elashis were allowed to continue using the “Lois Lanes” moniker. If I remember correctly they weren’t allowed to use the “Superman” font or anything that represented a “superman” cape.

I called the bowling centre and arranged an interview. I got hopelessly lost on the way down so I called the bowling centre and I spoke with Rosa. She had one of the cashiers named Joey come and pick me up.

The interview wasn’t going too well.The consultant who had helped Ali build the bowling centre was there. Al was his name. I would find out later that Al had recommended to Ali that Ali not hire me as Al thought that I was far too scrawny and too unprofessional. Al was especially concerned that I didn’t have a car and that I would have to rely on public transit. Ali didn’t care though. Ali saw something in me that he was never able to fully explain.

Unlike the Brunswick A and A-2 pinsetters that dominated the bowling industry from the 1950s into the 1990s, Lois Lanes used the brand new Brunswick GS-10 pinsetter. The GS-10 was a fully computerized machine that used green polycord to distribute the bowling pins through the machine. As the machine was fully computerized it could do things that the A’s and A-2’s couldn’t such as short-cycles and setting the bowling pins in custom patterns for bowlers to practice with.

That said, the GS series of pinsetter was a very finicky machine. The A pinsetter was originally designed and built by the Otis Elevator company and as such this machine and the subsequent A-2 were designed with lots of adjustments to make up for varying tolerances. The GS machine required very precise tolerances be observed during installation or the machine was going to be a problem child.

And the GS machines at Lois Lanes were as dysfunctional as I was.

When I started at Lois Lanes, the bowling centre was having serious problems. The centre had only been open for three years, but it already had a notorious reputation for the machines breaking down and blacking out frequently. It was known in the Lower Mainland that if you bowled two strikes in a row on these machines that the machine was definitely going to black out.

The head mechanic that the Elashi’s had running Lois Lanes was a nice guy, but he had no troubleshooting skills. He also had no mechanical aptitude. He was strictly by the book and by the checklist and if the problem wasn’t solved by a trouble shooting flowchart he was lost.

I couldn’t believe that brand new machines like these were as problematic as they were. I asked Ali to get hold of the GS installation manual from Brunswick. Pat Hagarty of Brunswick got me a copy of the manual. I stared going through the basic layout, and that’s when I started to discover that various errors were made during the installation. They were small errors, but they all added up. These were errors that the A and A-2 machines could have easily overcome, but the GS machine didn’t have the wide tolerances required.

One of the first problems I eliminated there was the frequent blackouts. When the GS-10 machines are initially installed, the elevators are supposed to be shimmed up on the same thickness of material as the kickbacks (the ‘walls’ that separate the lanes). At Lois Lanes the kickbacks on average were on 1/2″ thick shim material. The elevators were up on 2″X10″ planks of wood. The elevators were up too high to allow the pins to flow into the mouth of the elevator freely. I spent one weekend removing the elevators one at a time, removing the planks, and then reinstalling the elevators on proper shim stock . No more blackouts.

Children bowling at the centre were a nightmare. The kids would roll the ball so slowly down the lane that the ball would either be caught underneath the sweep, or the sweep would drop in front of the ball preventing the ball from reaching the pins. It turns out that the Brunswick installation crew had forgotten to install the “Sweep Up” switch which would only allow the scoring system to sense the ball detector when the sweep was up, otherwise the scoring system would take score every time the sweep interrupted the ball detector beam. To make up for the fact that the “Sweep Up” switch hadn’t been installed, the installation crew moved the ball detector out in front of the machine further than it should be. This is why the sweep was dropping on slow balls. Once I got the switches installed and the ball detectors moved to where they should have been, all of the problems went away. Children’s birthday parties were no longer seen as a curse.

The machines had been installed 1-1/2″ too far forward. Not a big issues, but it made getting the transport band rollers out a massive pain. And it meant that the machines couldn’t spot pins reliably because the swing shafts had to go back too far to make up for the 1-1/2″ error.

As the machines were fully electronic I could do board repairs on them myself, which was a massive cost saver as sending the boards back to Brunswick for repair was very expensive.

The original motors on the machines for driving the tables were 3-phase metric motors with brakes. The brakes were drum brakes, and they would fail. I sourced a 3-phase metric motor locally that came equipped with a disc brake. The disc brake was far superior and was easily adjustable. Brunswick caught wind of this and it was a few years before Brunswick had switched over to disc brake motors.

These machines had problems with bowling pins entering the ball return system. I used to cut up old transport bands and made flaps that would hang down from the cushion board to keep the pins from rolling into the ball door. Brunswick came out with this kit a few years later.

Coincidence? Probably. But at least I was ahead of the game.

It turns out that the skills I had picked up at Rainbow Games with felting pool tables was beneficial for Lois Lanes as now I could do the tables in house instead of having to call a contractor in.

In 1996 when Ali, Rosa, and Sam decided to install the “Cosmic Bowling” package from Brunswick, I did the installation of the sound system and the lighting effects.

I was an interesting job. It was a very interesting 5 years.

Lois Lanes was a small 12 lane bowling centre, and it just wasn’t going to hold my interest forever.

Towards the end I was doing more work on Ali’s plaza than I was in the bowling centre. And that’s when I decided to take a course in property maintenance, which ended up steering me into the world of commercial property management.

I was contacted by the Elashis in 2009 when they had decided to sell the bowling centre. The machines were in very rough condition as the mechanic hired to replace me didn’t really do any maintenance and let the machines get into rough condition. But this is for another blog entry.

The Elashis were also the first indication that I had that there had been something very horrifically wrong with my family.

The first wasn’t actually the Elashi family. It was the children’s parties on the weekend. I always felt uncomfortable working Saturday mornings around kids. They were always screaming and yelling and goofing off. Most of the time I had expected the parents, especially the fathers to backhand their kids or to at least yell at them to shut up and sit down. And oh were there meltdowns. Kids would have tantrums all of the time. And the parents for the most part weren’t angry at the kid for having a meltdown.

Also, the idea of celebrating birthday parties was kinda odd to me to begin with. To this day I don’t celebrate my birthday and I don’t think that any of my coworkers know which day of the year my birthday is. Shouldn’t be hard for them to figure out as I always take that day off work. But yeah, when I was younger I just couldn’t understand the concept of parents spending a couple hundred dollars on a party and presents and food. I still don’t really get it. But it is what it is.

Ali built the bowling centre with the intention that it would eventually go to his kids and possibly his grandkids. It was always supposed to be a family operation. This was a marked departure from my father who was of the opinion that he wasn’t responsible for my brother and I, that we were always somebody else’s issue.

Ali owned a house in the housing development that he built, as did his daughter and his son. No doubt those houses were built by Ali with the intentions that his family would remain close to him.

Rosa had a son that she sent to a private school in Oregon. Her daughter was a ballerina and as far as I remember her daughter went on to New York for ballet. When Rosa’s son was in Oregon, she’d drive down to visit with him periodically on the weekend.

I had often wondered where I would be now if I had gone to a private school, or even college or trade school or even had I just finished school period. I now understand that those options never would have been available to me, but still, one can wonder, can’t they?

I had never seen anything like this. Ali was building his family. Rosa was building her family. Sam was building his family. Contrast that with Richard who was the happiest when everybody would just piss the fuck off and leave him alone. At the time my brain had great difficulty processing this. This was 10 years after my father had fled the province of Alberta to avoid my apprehension by Alberta Social Services. This was about 15 years before I had obtained my Alberta Foster Care records and learnt first hand just how bad of a parent my father had actually been.

One of the things with the Elashi family that scared me at first and actually brought tears to my eyes the first couple of times I experienced it was their “passionate” discussions. Before the centre would open for the day I’d be working in the back. Ali, Rosa, and Sam would be having a meeting in the frontend. Voices would start to rise and the first time I heard this I thought that there was going to be physical violence. In Richard’s house, when voices were raised like this it meant that physical violence wasn’t too far behind. I think it was Rosa that found me shaken by one of these “passionate” discussions. She assured me that these were just discussions and that no one was angry or upset with the others. She said that if I ever had the opportunity to travel to the Middle East, discussions like this were quite common and they were never in anger, its just that when people are passionate about their thoughts and ideas they raise their voice to emphasize their passion. How true this is I’ll probably never know. But the longer I worked there the more I became accustomed to raised voices not being an indication of anger or impending physical violence.

The bowling centre is long since gone. It shut down a few years ago. Not exactly sure what is happening down there, but it looks like the entire plaza is going to be demolished and new condominiums and a new retail development will be built on the site.

https://www.richmond-news.com/local-news/cosmic-bowling-memories-sparked-in-richmond-as-bulldozers-move-in-3271489

Almost all of the smaller bowling centres that existed back in the 1990s are long gone now. Property values in the lower mainland reached such a fevered level that a bowling centre occupying such a massive chunk of real estate just didn’t make sense.

Bowling is a recreation that got caught between a dwindling middle class and too many other low cost entertainment options. Everyone has video games and movie theatres at home. Bowling isn’t a cheap sport for maintenance. Pins and balls are expensive. Machine parts are very expensive. Labour is expensive. Property taxes are expensive. Just too many things for bowling to contend with.

I left the Elashis in the summer of 1999 and entered the wonderful world of commercial property management.