falling through the cracks again.
If there’s one thing my current nurse practitioner doesn’t seem to understand is how difficult it is for me to find trauma counselling.
I had “counselling ” from October of 1980 until January of 1983.
This involved a military social worker, Captain Terry Totzke, convincing me that I was responsible for what happened to me on CFB Namao, that it was my fault that P.S. abused my younger brother, and that I was a homosexual for having allowed the abuse to go on for so long.
Now, the thing is at the time I didn’t realize that Captain Totzke was in the Canadian Forces.
When I became involved with Pat, Wayne, Aviva, and Mrs. Washylesko in the spring of 1982 Terry would often tell me that I couldn’t trust these people. My father often took the same tack as Terry. Terry and my father were adamant that I had to watch what I was saying to Pat, Wayne, Aviva, and Mrs. Washylesko as they’d twist what I had said to them and use my words against me.
My father would often refer to Pat as a “stunned cunt”. Wayne was a “fucking cock sucker”. As I grew older I began to realize that Richard referred o a lot of people like this. Anyone he didn’t agree with was usually labelled with these epithets.
And here I was from 9 years of age until 11 years of age caught in a war with my military social worker and my father on one side and my civilian social workers on the other side.
At home any punishment I received was blamed on Pat or Wayne telling my father that he had to punish me. Of course I know now that that was an absolute lie. But still, when you’re that young you don’t understand that your father can be a liar with psychiatric issues.
So here I find myself in the year 2021.
My nurse practitioner wants me to find a counsellor that I can talk to.
The first counsellor that he suggested had a magical waitlist that just kept getting longer and longer the more detailed my issues became.
This counsellor referred me to a second counsellor. This second counsellor said that I would need specialized trauma counselling.
The problem is though, I come from a military family.
A military family that lived on military bases during the ’70s and the ’80s.
An era when mental health issues were denied. An era where mental health issues were seen as personal failures and weaknesses.
An era where psychiatrists were seen as “head shrinkers” and “fucking quacks” and “feel good friends for pussies”.
Counsellors, psychologists, and psychiatrists were not viewed too nicely by military personnel back then.
So, put yourself in my shoes.
You try to find a “trauma counsellor” and this first problem that you run into is that most people won’t believe a single word you have to say. Sexually abused children on military bases? Get outta here! Next you’ll be trying to tell me that the moon is made out of cheese.
And then there’s the magical, mystical, chakra cleansing counsellors. The ones who know you can improve your life with lavender and candles.
The counsellors that I like the best are the ones who are certain that if you try hard you can come to term with your past, and if your don’t it’s because you’ve failed.
Which trauma do I work on first:
- Intergenerational trauma that started with my grandmother and passed on down through my father which resulted in both being rage fuelled alcoholics?
- The year and a half of sexual abuse at the hands of my 14 – 15 year old babysitter who had also been delivering me to Captain McRae at the base chapel?
- The two and one-half years of “counselling” and conversion therapy at the hands of military social worker Captain Terry Totzke?
- The sexual abuse on Canadian Forces Base Griesbach?
- The sexual abuse at the Dennison Armouries?
- Living with my emotionally unstable father until my 16th birthday?
- Being attacked by Jacque Choquette in the basement of our house on Canadian Forces Base Downsview while Richard looked on with complete indifference?
- My father’s periodic threats to end my life. There’s a reason why when I was interviewed by the psychologist hired by Captain Totzke in October of 1980 that I said that I was terrified of my father drowning me in a toilet. In the aftermath of CFB Namao he made a couple of threats. His most serious threat was in the spring of 1982 when Sue was threatening to leave. He said that if Sue left him that he stuff my brother and I into a duffle bag and that no one would ever find us.
- The beatings and the spankings. I guess it’s true, you never fuck with a man’s military career.
- Richard’s constant beratement for “not looking after my brother and not raising my brother properly”.
- Richard’s drinking prior to Sue.
- The three cars crashes when Richard was DUI.
- Richard’s meltdown on CFB Summerside when he destroyed everything in the basement.
- Grandma’s drinking while she lived with us.
- There’s the guy in Toronto who tried to strangle me in his car when I was about 15.
- And many many many more other issues.
There’s so much shit that went wrong. Where to start?
Hot tantric yoga therapy isn’t going to do anything.
Chanting mystical psalms isn’t going to do anything.
Fuck, I can’t even get the military to admit that Captain McRae and P.S. were up to no good on that base because DND and the CF are fearful of civil actions.
It’s always going to be me, the kid who made is 14 year old babysitter molest him and his younger brother. I’m always going to be the guy that didn’t raise his brother properly and who allowed the babysitter to molest his younger brother, who was accused of giving his younger brother drugs which caused his brother to have a seizure. Sure, I know now that Richard was a dysfunctional parent who took absolutely no responsibility for his own family, blamed others for problems with his family, and expected others to solve the problems with his family. But I’m the guy who lived through all of Richard’s bullshit. Richard’s bullshit is burnt into my brain.
Dancing around with magical crystals isn’t going to undo what Richard did.
Writing poems and painting trees and Suns isn’t going to remove P.S. from my memory. Fuck, after watching what he would do to the other kids, that shit’s burnt into my brain. You can’t watch what he did to your own brother and not have issues from that. It’s one thing when he does it to your own body. You can “go to a different place” and not be there. But to watch it, and watch what he victims were doing, you can’t erase that, you can’t block it out.
Even though I was given wine in McRae’s rectory, it doesn’t take an over active imagination to realize what was happening there. You don’t give a 7 or 8 year old child a tumbler full of wine just because you want to be the cool Padre on base. You give that 7 or 8 year old kid wine because you don’t want him to remember you sticking your fingers up his arse. Or that you gave him a blow job. Or that you put your penis in his intoxicated mouth.
And to say that dealing with the Canadian Armed Forces over the last 10 years hasn’t been a trauma all on its own would be a lie. I’ve never seen such a dishonest organization that is hellbent on keeping secrets a secret no matter the cost. The fact that someone decided to erase the fact that my grandmother raised my brother and I from 1977 until 1981 is pretty un-fucking-believable.
There’s just so much fucking wrong upstairs.
And no one is willing to help.