A tale of two different Access to Information requests.
On Tuesday April 12th, 2022 as I sat in my apartment being examined via ZOOM by the defence counsel for the defendant, counsel asked me a question based upon my foster care records from the Alberta Government.
Counsel’s assistant did a screen share and an image similar to this image appeared on my screen:
I had seen this document before. This was the interview of my father by Judith James, a psychologist that had been hired by the Canadian Armed Forces to evaluate my family after our school teachers and our principal complained to the military social worker about the issues my brother and I were having in school immediately after we arrived at CFB Griesbach from CFB Namao.
Confidential – Parent Interview
Re: Robert and (my brother) Gill
I met with Richard on Nov. 6 1980 to discuss the level of emotional distress demonstrated by his sons Robert and (my brother). <blank> Richard acknowledged and confirmed many of the family problems cited by Robert and (my brother) <blank>.
What was new to me was the following text:
<blank> appeared concerned about <blank> drinking, suggesting <blank> emotionally abusive towards both children, especially when inebriated. As well, <blank> suggested that <blank> attempts to undermine any closeness between <blank> and <blank> by telling them false stories.
After the meeting was over I searched my copy of my foster care records, but I couldn’t find this paragraph anywhere. I found the page, but the section where this paragraph should have been was redacted.
This paragraph would have been devastating if it had been included in the copy of my foster care records that were released to me in 2011. As it is, I am so emotionally numb and dead now that this paragraph is nothing more than an amusing curiosity.
Let me fill in the blanks to the best of my ability based on some basic assumptions.
<Richard> appeared concerned about < Margaret’s> drinking, suggesting <she was> emotionally abusive towards both children, especially when inebriated. As well, <Richard> suggested that <Margaret> attempts to undermine any closeness between <him> and <his sons> by telling them false stories.
Fuck me Richard you stupid fucking asshole.
Both Richard and my grandmother drank excessively.
When they both got shitfaced, which was often, they’d stay up all night drinking and then spend the next day passed out. After that came the hangover phase. You didn’t want to be around either of these two when they were recovering from a hangover.
And yes, this all occurred on an active Canadian Armed Forces base in the Private Married Quarters on that base. And no, my father wasn’t the only alkie in a Canadian Forces uniform back then.
It was probably a very good thing that Richard was seldom living with us on Canadian Forces Base Namao. I couldn’t really imagine living in a house with these two drinking each other under the table any chance they got.
For Richard to tell Judith James in November of 1980 that he was concerned about his mother’s drinking is fucking hilarious.
As much as Richard despised his mother, he needed his mother to look after my brother and I while he was off playing G.I. Fucking Joe in the Canadian Forces for weeks and months at a time.
There are three DUIs that I clearly remember. One from CFB Shearwater, one from CFB Summerside, and one from CFB Namao.
There were all of the times he’d come home from the base mess three sheets to the fucking wind and he’d wake me and my brother up and keep us up at night to keep him company when he was drinking.
There was the yelling and hollering that he’d do when he was well past the point of intoxicated. When Richard was like this on Summerside and Namao there was absolutely no sleeping for my brother and I.
Grandma would do similar things when she’d get drunk. Luckily she didn’t have a driver’s licence, so we never had to worry about being in the car with her when she was drunk.
It was Richard’s drinking and abusive behaviour that led to my mother leaving and Grandma being brought in to look after my brother and I.
It was Grandma’s drinking that led to my brother and I needing to be babysat by P.S..
They were both alcoholics more in love with the bottle than the children they were supposed to look after.
So all I can say is “FUCK YOU RICHARD!”.
What a pathetic excuse of a man you were.
Blaming your own mother’s alcoholism for the problems your own children were exhibiting when your alcoholism was just as fucking bad.
And when I tell you that there was absolutely no one that my brother or I could tell about the abuse, I mean, there was no body that we could tell. The two adults in our lives were damaged beyond all hope.