The Nurse Practitioner that I’ve been seeing since May of last year has been wonderful to date. He set me up with the escitalopram. Which I am thankful for.
But he’s nearly fallen into the same trap that some of my previous counsellors have fallen into.
He thinks that counselling will help me with my demons.
Sadly, he couldn’t be further from the truth.
The rot and malignancy in my brain is toxic and it was left untreated, ignored, and minimized for so very long and it is killing me on a daily basis.
One of the problem that I encounter with getting help is my previous experience of having been caught in between Captain Terry Totzke, my military social worker from Canadian Forces Base Namao, and my civilian counsellors from Alberta Social Services.
Now, of course at the time back in 1980 through 1983 I had absolutely no idea that Terry was actually Captain Terry Totzke.
That fucker hurt me, he destroyed me, he killed me.
I was 9 to 11 years old when I was in that asshole’s care.
That’s a pretty critical time in a child’s development life.
I had been sexually abused for 1-1/2 years at the hands of my babysitter. I had been taken over to the base chapel and given alcohol.
And as we now know, Captain McRae admitted to the military police to giving the children wine and beer before “fooling around” with them in the bedroom of the rectory.
Not only was I caught being buggered in P.S.’s bedroom, but I got the shit beat out of me before I got back home which was literally across the street.
I spend the rest of the summer hiding in my house. I didn’t dare step foot outside ’cause of the other kids.
But then school started up and I was beat up almost non-stop every day.
My family was relocated from CFB Namao to CFB Griesbach and as soon as I start going to the school on CFB Griesbach I start seeing a guy name Terry who was concerned that I was a homosexual and that homosexuality was a mental illness.
He even went so far as to tell me that the military police were watching me and if they reported back to him that I had kissed another boy, I was going to be sent off to the Alberta Hospital.
My own father started blaming me for what P.S. did to my younger brother. And I have absolutely no doubt that as my father was a master corporal and that Terry was a captain that my father was placing undue emphasis on Terry’s words.
As I’ve learnt, my father had a backbone made of jello. Sure, he could beat the shit out of me and my brother. But when the chain of command gave him an order he was as firm as milquetoast.
Then I start going to a special school off base. A place that Terry says that I’m going because I’m attracted to boys and I won’t stop trying to kiss boys. My father echoes Terry with the constant refrain that if I stop trying to kiss and touch other boys that I can go back to normal school.
Pat and Wayne, my civilian social workers are always trying to be my friend. They’re always trying to get me to talk about my father and what things are like at home. They want me to express my feelings. They want me to talk about what’s going on in my head.
I remember every morning at Westfield having to do “Temperature Check” which was basically you telling the class how high or low your emotions were and what was making you happy or sad. Fuck did I ever hate temperature check. I couldn’t express my emotions.
Terry and my father would tell me to be very careful with what I said to these “head shrinkers”. That I need to be careful. That Pat and Wayne will twist my words and make me say things that I didn’t really say. That if I’m not careful I’ll be taken away from my father. And considering that my mother had “run away with a man named Gus” because I didn’t love her enough, the last thing I wanted was to be taken away from my father.
Being caught in a war between the Canadian Armed Forces and Alberta Social Services was not a pleasant experience.
Living in the household of Richard who was drilling into my head that he was sick and fucking tired of me fucking around with his military career was not a pleasant experience.
There was no one to help.
So I learnt to keep my mouth shut. To keep the tears inside. To smile even though my fucking brain was on fire.
What else could I do?
I have attempted to go to counselling over the years, but one thing always seems to pop up. That is the ignorance the general public have towards the Canadian Forces and what life was like on the bases.
Most of the counsellors that I’ve seen over the years have no idea that children lived on the bases. The idea of children living on military bases is a very foreign idea.
When I tell people that what probably affected me more and harmed me more than the sexual abuse was the way in which Terry and my father reacted to the sexual abuse.
“There’s no way that your father would have blamed you”.
Sure there is.
At the time the Canadian Armed Forces had viewed male-on-male sexual assault as homosexuality. And the Canadian Armed Forces viewed homosexuality as a mental illness. That’s just the way things were. Sure, this was a policy towards military personnel, but in military families the serving member didn’t check their military attitudes at the door. Their military attitudes and the attitudes of the Canadian Armed Forces came right into the PMQ.
I know why my father told people what he thought they wanted to hear. It’s much easier that way.
When I was much younger I would often tell people that I was happy when I was on the verge of a complete mental breakdown.
With absolutely no family for support in my late teens, my twenties, my thirties, or my forties, there was absolutely no way that I was going to tell anyone that I was having mental crises. I couldn’t afford to miss time from work, no could I afford to lose my employment. It’s one thing to hide mental illness, it’s another thing to be mentally ill and living on the streets. When you’re mentally ill and living on the streets you’re even more invisible to society than a sexually abused military dependent.
As my foster care records indicate, in the aftermath of the sexual abuse on CFB Namao, I had no ability to make friends. I couldn’t express emotions. I could’t express happiness or sadness. I was terrified of men.
Those issues have affected me into my adult life. I still have no friends. I have co-workers, but that’s it. I have had two partners in my adult life. And both of those, one male and one female, were absolute disasters.
I have absolutely no idea of what I am. Gay? Bi? Straight? Not a fucking clue. I’ve had gay sex. Don’t like it. All I can think of is P.S.. I’ve had straight sex, but all I can visualize is what P.S. was doing to the little girl who was about six years old. Bi? Well, if I don’t like gay sex and I don’t like straight sex, bi isn’t going to be an option.
Asexual? Don’t know. More than likely I’ve just got way too much fucking trauma from Canadian Forces Base Namao in my head to ever be able to have a “normal” relationship. And in our society you need to belong to one team or the other.
I don’t really belong to any team, which is why I don’t have a problem with things like wearing dresses. To me a dress is a comfortable piece of clothing. I don’t associate it with being male clothing or female clothing. It’s just clothing. And I like it. And it doesn’t touch my body.
All these years later and I still don’t like people or things touching my body.
That’s honestly one of those things that make any type of relationship impossible is I don’t like being touched.
That, and I think that sex is disgusting and perverse.
It’s something that only sick people do, or something that you do if you want something from somebody else, or you allow someone else to do to you if you’re trying to make them happy.
And this is the hardest thing to make doctors and counsellors understand. I’m not okay. I’m not a fucking “warrior” or what ever sappy feel good terms are being thrown around these day.
I’m fucking damaged.
I have my father’s depression. I have my mother’s anxiety. I have the memories of what P.S. did to me, to my brother, to the little blonde haired girl, to some of the other kids I watched him molest.
I have Terry permanently burnt into my brain, and he’s not going anywhere.
I have my father constantly telling me that I can’t go swimming at the Kinsmen Sports Centre in Edmonton when I was 11 because there’d be other naked boys in the change room and that I wouldn’t be able to control myself.
I have the beatings at Richard’s hands that would get so extreme that I’d try to hide under my captain’s bed to get away from Richard burnt into my brain.
I have Richard’s sarcasm and putdowns burnt into my head.
I have the memories of opportunities taken away from me because Richard wanted to “teach me a lesson” and get me to “stop showing off”.
I know now that my father was identified by a psychologist hired by the Canadian Armed Forces of not taking any responsibility for his family. But that doesn’t lessen the memories of the beating Richard laid on my when my brother took the Pontiac for a joyride.
Yes, Richard was ill equipped to be a father, his own mother had issues which no doubt were handed down to Richard, but that doesn’t erase the memories of Richard’s anger from my brain. Nor does it lessen the effects of the damage from all those years ago.
There’s so much more.
And I can’t get any help with these issues.
- Mr. Bees, we can’t move on if you’re stuck in the past.
- Mr. Bees, children were never in the military
- Mr. Bees, I’ve never heard of children living on military bases
- Mr. Bees, why didn’t you tell your father
- Mr. Bees, if you were a victim, surely the military police would have done something.
- Mr. Bees, you’re talking about the military. Surely there’s no safer place for a child than being on a military base.
It’s all of these ill conceived notions about the reality of the life of a military dependent that have conspired against me receiving help.
My greatest fear right now is that due to my reluctance to not seek psychiatric counselling in the past that this might harm my attempts to obtain medical assistance in dying.
Outside of me wanting to clear my name in the CFB Namao fiasco I really don’t have a reason to continue living.
I am tormented non-stop by the memories of CFB Namao, CFB Griesbach, Terry, Richard, Earl, and all of the other horseshit that went on in my life before I had even turned sixteen.
These don’t go away. These won’t go away.
Even on the escitalopram I still get brain fog, although the escitalopram does help with the frustration that used to come with the fog. I can feel the anxiety there, below the surface.
It’s not like I’m griping about a dead goldfish from when I was 12, or that I haven’t gotten over a glass of spilt milk when I was 10.
The events on CFB Namao have driven a couple of the other victims to suicide.
And yes, I have tried suicide myself before.
Two things have pulled me back at the last minute.
I hate pain, I really do. Death doesn’t frighten me. Not existing any longer doesn’t scare me or frighten me. Dying scares the fuck out of me. Not being successful scares me even more than the pain of dying. Being a gimped out vegetable after a botched attempt really doesn’t appeal to me.
M.A.i.D. is my ticket out of here. I don’t want to live until I’m 70 with the crap from Namao playing non-stop in my skull. I don’t want Terry in my head anymore. I don’t want P.S. in my head anymore. I don’t want to constantly be caught in the endless loop of wondering if I would have been half the fuck-up that I currently am if I had told someone about what P.S. was doing to me and my brother or the other kids.
I’ve rarely talked about any of my suicide attempts out of fear of losing employment or being locked up. Don’t forget it wasn’t until 1972 that the criminal offence of attempting suicide was removed from the criminal code. The stigmatism against suicide and those who attempt suicide is still very prevalent in society. Those who attempt suicide or commit suicide are seen as losers, or mentally disturbed, or just weak.
What’s kept me going since 2011 is the faint hope that I will be able to clear my name and that CFB Namao would no longer be my fault.
And now, to be so close, but yet so far away is maddening.
Medical Assistance in Dying for psychiatric issues is supposed to be legalized in March of 2023.
One of the accepted mental illnesses is “depression”.
And to be so close only to find out that the fact that I stayed away from counsellors and therapy over the years due to my experience with Terry back in 1980 through 1983 might prevent me from receiving M.A.i.D. just doesn’t seem right or fair.
The fact that I’ve kept my suicide attempts to myself out of fear of losing employment opportunities and that this secrecy may keep me from my goal of M.A.i.D. also doesn’t seem right or fair.
I know that I’m probably reading too much into this.
But M.A.i.D. is what I really want, and I don’t want to be denied this procedure all because of issues that Captain Totzke set into motion years ago.