I have a feeling that my quest to receive medical assistance in dying is going to turn into a never ending journey of seeking out “treatment”. Not treatments that will do anything for me, but treatments that will make my health care professionals feel better about themselves for trying everything to save my life.
Death and dying are such taboo subjects in North America that it must perplex most doctors when someone comes to them asking for assistance with dying.
Physically my body is okay.
Mentally my brain is damaged.
The technology to “fix” my brain does not exist today and it will not exist in the near short term.
Yes, the escitalopram is “helping”. I use helping in quotes because the escitalopram isn’t fixing anything nor is it undoing any of the damage. It is numbing my emotions, which I guess is fine for a short while. It puts a limit on how low my depressions can go. It has limited my anxiety. But that’s it.
One of the things that will work against me I guess is that fact that I haven’t received much in the way of treatment over the years.
Being caught in the never ending war between my father and Captain Totzke on one side and my civilian social workers and child care workers on the other side left me with a severe distrust of anything to do with the psychiatric profession.
Growing up in the Canadian Armed Forces taught me that psychiatrists and psychologists were not to be trusted and that any outward sign of mental illness was a sign of weakness.
And yes, sure I was only a military dependant, but back in the ’50s through ’80s mental illness was a very taboo subject. And it was well known by the service members that you didn’t ever want to be seen as mentally ill. And that mentality would find its way back into the PMQs.
When I was younger, whenever I’d fall into a depression my father’s response was that if I didn’t smarten up I’d get a back hand or the belt.
And I have no doubt that what was perceived back then as a “temper tantrum” was nothing more than a depressive episode. I’ve come across literature that says that what was often though of back in the good ol’ days as a temper tantrum was more than likely a depressive episode.
Sure, I understand now that lots of things have changed between the early ’80s and now. For example, when my brother had his first grand mal seizure on Canadian Forces Base Downsview my father was adamant that I gave illegal drugs to my brother. He tore my bedroom apart looking for said illegal drugs. But we now know that epilepsy is genetic and that epilepsy is prevalent in the Dagenais genes.
We now know that young traumatized children can suffer from major depression and can suffer from severe anxiety and when these three issues collide in a young brain a tantrum or a fit often result.
So, here I am at age 50.
I have constant flashbacks to the years of 1978 through 1980.
I was seven years old. P.S, the babysitter was 14 for the duration of most of the abuse. When we were caught together in his bedroom he was just weeks shy of his 15th birthday. He was sexually mature, I along with most of the other kids he was molesting didn’t have a single hair between our legs. The only thing I had ever used my penis for up to that time in my life was to pee from. As I said, what P.S. was doing was anything but “childhood curiosity and experimentation”. P.S. was doing to us what Canadian Armed Forces officer Captain Father Angus McRae was doing to him.
Watching P.S. abuse my younger brother is forever burnt into my brain.
Watching P.S. abuse the other kids is forever burnt into my brain.
Watching P.S. abuse the little 6 year old girl with his fingers is forever burnt into my brain.
There’s still the flashbacks to giving a blowjob to the man in the sauna at the base recreation centre that P.S. provided me to one day.
Probably explains why I find sex to be revolting.
The beatings I received on CFB Namao from the other kids in the aftermath of having been caught in P.S.’s bedroom are still fresh in my memory.
And there are no pills or therapies that will undo that. You can’t undo that. That shit stays with you until the day you die.
The five visits that P.S. took me over to the rectory at the base chapel to see Captain McRae and which always ended with me drinking a tumbler full of wine will always be with me. Sure, I may have been intoxicated and completely out of it, but at some level I know that something happened to me. A military chaplain and his altar boy don’t just go around handing out wine to young children for no reason at all.
There is no Elctro Convulsive Therapy that will erase those memories without destroying other parts of my brain.
And even if they did succeed, then what? I’d have massive holes in my memory that would just leave me asking more and more questions.
I can’t escape my memories of Captain Terry Totzke, of Terry’s conversion therapy, of being caught between my civilian social workers who were trying to get me to open up about what home life was like and Richard and Terry telling me to keep my mouth shut.
When you’re nine years old and someone tells you that they have the military police watching you and that if you step out of line that you’re going to a psychiatric hospital for treatment, that really fucks with your brain.
When you are told as a child that the people whom seem nice (Pat, Wayne, Mrs. Washylesko) are in fact conspiring to steal you away from your father, it fucks you up.
I have always been very guarded with what I say, and I can’t see that about to change anytime soon.
My mind was poisoned against psychiatric professionals by my own father.
I was taught by my own father and Terry that psychiatric professionals were only there to “twist my words” and to use them against me.
I was blamed by my father and by Terry for the abused I endured on CFB Namao.
As Terry would say, the fact that I had been caught having sex with another boy meant that I was mentally ill. Sure, I was only 8 and the other boy was 14 and was my babysitter, but that didn’t seem to matter too much to Terry or my father.
I was blamed by my own father for issues with my brother because I allowed the almost 15 year old babysitter to molest my younger brother when I was 7 to 8 years of age.
As far as my father was concerned, my emotional issues were just me acting up and doing things to get attention.
So no, I’ve never really sought help in the past.
Yes, there have been attempts in the past. But the problem with those is I was never an attention getter. I never made my attempts in plain view. I was always able to get out of the situation with the realization that if I was successful the both P.S. and my father would get away with their lies and I would forever be the filthy homosexual that made the babysitter molest his younger brother.
And if I have to prove to a panel that I’ve tried to receive help, well that’s not going to be possible.
And then we come right back to the start.
Even though I’ve been through hell and have suffered for it, I have to beg to be allowed to die because someone feels that maybe I haven’t suffered enough in life and that I should suffer some more.
I have to suffer because my continued living will make someone feel like they saved a life.
The Canadian Forces National Investigation Service called me a “societal malcontent with an axe to grind against the military”.
Alberta Crown Prosecutor Jon Werbicki stated that is was very significant that I never told anyone in a position of authority about the abuse after P.S. moved away even though military police reports and court martial transcripts exist that show that the military police in 1980 were well aware that P.S. was molesting children on CFB Namao and that it was this abuse that brought Captain Father Angus McRae to the attention of the Canadian Forces Special Investigation Unit in May of 1980.
This “do-gooder” attitude sucks.
Death is a “bad thing”.
I get it.
But so is sexual abuse.
So is untreated sexual trauma.
So is untreated psychological trauma.
The answer is quite simple if you don’t want people like me making requests to be allowed to die.
Don’t allow us to be sexually abused.
If we are sexually abused, don’t blame us for our abuse.
If we are having psychological issues, don’t hide us away out of fear that your secrets might become public knowledge.
If we are young, don’t blame us for the abuse of our younger siblings, especially if we’re half the age of our abuser.
If we come forward with our tales of abuse, don’t call us “societal malcontents with axes to grind against the Canadian Forces” and don’t conclude that it’s really suspicious that we didn’t tell anyone in a position of authority about our abuse when in fact police reports exist that show that the person we accused was well known by the police to have committed the crimes we accused him of.
Basically don’t shit on us for all our lives and then expect us to change our moods to satisfy you.
I will never get back what was taken from me.
I will never get to experience the opportunities that were removed from my future.
All of that was taken away.
With the right kind of help and care back in the immediate days after CFB Namao things could have been drastically different for me.
Until the day I die I will never understand why P.S. was treated like the victim and the rest of us were shat on by the Canadian Armed Forces. How does the abuser become the victim. Those of us abused by Captain McRae and P.S., shouldn’t we have been looked after better than P.S.? Sure, P.S. had been molested by Captain McRae, but did that give him the right to molest us in turn?
In 2015 P.S. was living at home with his father. His father needed him. His father blamed the Canadian Forces and Captain McRae for his son’s extensive criminal history for abusing children across Canada.
P.S.’s older sister D.S. lied about when the family moved off from CFB Namao as if she was trying to cover for P.S. as this obviously wasn’t the first time that someone from P.S.’s past had come forward.
P.S.’s younger brother covered for his brother as well. Actually the entire family lied about the younger brother saying they didn’t know where to find him, that he had moved to the West Coast years ago and that he never contacted the family. Turns out that he was living 10km away from P.S. and that P.S., J.S., and D.S. were in frequent contact.
My father, what did my father do? He lied to the CFNIS in 2011 and told the CFNIS that we never had a babysitter. He also “forgot” to tell the CFNIS in 2011 that his mother, our grandmother, was living in the house on Canadian Forces Base Namao and had been raising my brother and I as my father was rarely home. He knew it was grandma that hired the babysitter. He knew what the babysitter had done as he had frequently brought it up while berating me for allowing the babysitter to touch my brother. Did he trade his silence for a promotion back in 1980? Did he promise that he would never make a complaint on my behalf in trade for overlooking some of his disciplinary issues? Who knows. But there is no way that he forgot about grandma.
All of the sexual abuse, the physical abuse, the mental abuse, the turmoil, the lies, the neglect, and the subterfuge have left me with a brain that has suffered irreparable damage.
And sometimes the best option is to simply let go.