The Beard

Well, it continues to grow.

The beard continues to grow.

It’s been what? About two weeks since I last shaved due to escitalopram pimples…..

The beard probably won’t stay very long. I have an appointment in February to get more tattooing on my face.

Going to black out some large patches on my cheeks. Working on some designs right now. I should have something firmed up in a few weeks.

I love my tattoos, and there’s going to me more of them in the next couple of years.

I’m going to try to get as many of them before I go.

But for now I’m growing a beard.

This really wasn’t on a “bucket list”.

In fact I don’t really have a bucket list.

But I have a beard.

We’ll see how it turns out.

I’ve never had a beard before.

And it’s weird at how white it is.

There’s one thin band of black hairs on the right side by the corner of my mouth, but other than that it’s white.

Like I’m old or something.

Like I turned into an old man over night, like Rip Van Winkle.

Psychiatric Help

I’m not everyone’s cup of tea.

So, I often get asked “Bobbie, if you’re having such problems, why don’t you get help?”

Well, truth be told I have tried to get help in the past. I honestly have.

I get a lot of these

This isn’t the first time I’ve been turned down, and I have a sneaking suspicion that this won’t be the last time that I am turned down.

My current nurse practitioner had arranged for me to see someone on the north shore. But once this counsellor found out about my history and my issues, they suddenly weren’t taking bookings until next year.

My nurse practitioner has actually been the only one so far who has shown an interest in my issues. When I started having severe problems back in May of this year he had no reservations about getting me on escitalopram.

I’ve had counsellors over the years. Some were good, a few were bad, but most were indifferent.

The problem that we run into is not a single counsellor has ever run into a high functioning person with so many issues.

  • Dysfunctional household – check
  • Intergenerational issues – check
  • Abandonment issues – check
  • Sexual abuse – check
  • Prolonged sexual abuse – check
  • Multiple perpetrators of the sexual abuse – check
  • Graphic and depraved sexual abuse – check
  • Blaming the victim for their own abuse – check
  • Blaming the victim for someone else’s abuse – check
  • Receiving unwarranted “conversion therapy” – check
  • Parent threatening the victim with physical harm or death – check
  • Untreated major depression – check
  • Untreated severe anxiety – check
  • Untreated CPTSD – check
  • Inability to form relationships- check

So, it’s obvious that I’m not going to be a case that any counsellor is going to want to engage with. Counsellors, just like everyone else, want the cases that will end in success. Nobody wants to take on cases that are almost certain to end in failure.

People like me are not supposed to hold down employment or keep our noses clean. We’re supposed to be barely functional wrecks.

People like me are supposed to be dead from suicide. I know of three from the CFB Namao matter who meet that criteria. I know others who have had a very rough run at life as well.

And if we’re not dead from suicide we’re supposed to be alcoholics, or heroin junkies, or on crack, self medicating ourselves into an early grave. I’m still amazed in all honesty that I’m not pushing a shopping cart down the alleys collecting bottles and junk to trade for money.

I would guess that another issue that prevented me from receiving counselling is that I’ve never had anyone advocating for me.

My father should have advocated for me back in 80 – 83, but he couldn’t take responsibility for his family and would often insist to me that I was only acting up in order to get out of what I had allowed the babysitter to do to my younger brother. In other words I was faking “major depression”, “severe anxiety” and a host of other issues as a way to shed the blame I deserved for what had happened to my younger brother.

My mother couldn’t advocate as I don’t think she knew bugger sweet all about CFB Namao or my life thereafter.

My stepmother? I don’t think she honestly knew what was going on as I don’t think that Richard had ever been truthful with her about the events of CFB Namao, or why Marie left in 1977, or just about anything else.

So as I stumbled and bumbled through life from one breakdown to another, there was never anyone there for me ensuring that I was getting the help that I needed.

And I’ll bet you that most of these counsellors, upon hearing my issues, can’t help but wonder what it is I expect to accomplish at the age of 50.

It’s not like I’m 15, or 20, or even 30. I’m 50.

I’m not suddenly going to find a boyfriend and get married and live happily ever after.

I’m not suddenly going to find a girlfriend and get married and live happily ever after.

I’m not going to become less disgusted by sex and sexual intercourse and start having sex.

I’m not all of a sudden going to become everyone’s best friend and start drinking and hanging out in bars with them.

I’m not suddenly going to stop having recurring nightmares about the abuse on CFB Namao or my father’s own anger outbursts.

These counsellors must be thinking to themselves “WTF? Why Me? I’m not a fucking miracle worker”.

So, my journey for a counsellor continues.

And please no, I don’t need healing crystals, or magical chants.

Lawyers and Coppers

I received a telephone call from one of my lawyers today.

This one is for my case involving Earl Ray Stevens.

My lawyer informed me that the Ontario Crown is taking a little longer than promised to release their records to my lawyer. The Crown is telling my lawyer that the police are taking longer than they should in handing their investigation file over to the Ontario Crown.

My lawyer has said that the counsel for the defendants have agreed to proceed to discovery without the Crown documents.

I really don’t know at this point how this case will work out.

Sure, Earl wasn’t found guilty in a court of law. But both the Toronto Police Service and the Ontario Crown thought that the case was strong enough to proceed to trial. Even the justice presiding over the preliminary hearing thought that this case was strong enough to go to trial.

Earl died of bladder cancer before the trial could commence.

Earl was a retired member of the Canadian Armed Forces. Earl was very smooth and Earl knew what he was doing. One can only wonder how many children Earl molested on the various Canadian Forces Bases while he was enlisted.

Earl’s career in the Canadian Forces more than likely explains why he knew that I would be terrified if either my father or the military police found out what I was doing with Earl and why Earl was able to use this as leverage to get me to keep my mouth shut about what he was doing. He knew from his time in the Canadian Forces that no military dependent would want anyone to know that they were “gay” or “homosexual”.

I wonder how many other military dependent children Earl was able to abuse in silence by threatening them with the revelation of their “secret”.

On another note I also received an email from the victim services coordinator with the CFNIS Western Region. They inform me that the investigation into the “man in the sauna” is still ongoing.

It’ll be interesting to see how this one works out.

The military police are taking such a trashing in the public eye these days. The military police and the CFNIS just don’t seem to be able to get convictions on anything.

The primary witness in this investigation is P.S., the babysitter from CFNIS investigation 2011-5754. The investigation which the CFNIS actually determined was “Founded – Not Cleared”.

The Military Police Complaints Commission in their final report that was released in 2020 stated that the CFNIS knew in 2011 that the charges against P.S. were founded.

Why the CFNIS told me in 2011 that they couldn’t find any evidence to indicate that P.S. was capable of the crimes I had accused him of will forever be a mystery. I have some plausible ideas.

How willing P.S. will be to talk to the CFNIS in this matter is anyone’s guess. And how willing the CFNIS will be to push P.S. to talk is again anyone’s guess. P.S. provided me to the man in the sauna. P.S. was the only witness to what had happened. And P.S. obviously knew what the man in the sauna was going to want from me.

At this time I only have a guess as to who the man in the sauna was. I know it wasn’t Captain McRae. There was an officer of the Canadian Forces who had been sent out from Ottawa to assist Captain McRae with McRae’s affairs during the lead up to his court martial. This officer, who was a major at the time, had been charged in the 2010s with molesting a young boy on Canadian Forces Base Borden in 1974. This is the same man, who after he retired from the Canadian Forces, had made a cash settlement with a family in Ontario for having improper sexual relations with a 16 year old boy.

Again, the major flaw with this whole investigation is that if it turns out that the man in the sauna was an officer of the Canadian Armed Forces and if this officer was responsible for directing P.S. to bring me to the sauna, a sauna that was owned by the Canadian Forces and was located on a secure Defence Establishment, to perform oral sex on this man, this would expose the Minister of National Defence to civil actions for the actions and behaviours of their officer.

Two problems exist with this scenario though.

First is that the 3-year-time-bar which existed in the National Defence Act prior to 1998 would prevent the Canadian Forces from being able to charge this man with Gross Indecency or Indecent Assault.

Second, the Minister of National Defence is in fact the “Chief of Police” as the minister via the Vice Chief of Defence Staff can direct any CFNIS investigation. The Supreme Court of Canada and the Military Police Complaints Commission have both said that this is improper. The Supreme Court of Canada has specifically ruled that it is improper for a police agency to conduct police investigations that could subject its parent agency to civil actions based on the outcome of the police investigation. This is why almost every police agency in Canada will always call in an outside police agency to conduct investigations when it suspects its own officers of serious wrongdoing.

Anyways, enough for now.

Depression

what does it feel like?

One of the hardest things for me to describe is depression.

I’ve been living with depression for so long now that I really don’t remember having existed any other way.

Depression is a fairly debilitating mental illness.

I don’t think that I’ve ever been truly and honestly happy for so very long now that I’ve forgotten what happy feels like.

I’ve had days in which I am so mind crushingly numb that I feel so absolutely sick.

Depression is where you can’t accept praise from people because you “know” that they’re just saying nice things to keep you from being “sad”.

Prolonged depression can cause long term changes in the brain’s wiring and the brain’s chemistry.

As a kid I used to have so much trouble getting out of bed. It’s not that I stayed up late as a kid. It’s just the the depression had such a stranglehold on me that I wanted to stay in bed and die.

I wanted to die so badly as a kid.

Contrary to public belief, depression isn’t something that one can wish away simply by smiling or thinking happy thoughts.

My depression came from two places. I’m fairly certain that I inherited depression from the paternal side of my family. And you can’t go through what I’ve gone through in life and not be somewhat depressed.

Depression as a child is just a negative feed back loop of epic proportions. When you’re depressed as a child you don’t want to hang around with other kids. When you don’t hang around with other kids, you become marked as “odd”. Kids love teasing and antagonizing “odd” misfits.

As my grade 5 teacher said. I had become the class scapegoat and everything that went wrong the other kids blamed on me.

With Captain Totzke and my father blaming me for what had occurred on CFB Namao it just drove me into such a deep fucking depression that I never surfaced again.

Is there a fix for my depression? I honestly don’t believe so. It’s been eating away at the inside of my brain for so long. And that’s not being melodramatic. That’s the truth.

Yes, I responded pretty quick and dramatically to the escitalopram, but the escitalopram hasn’t stopped the depression. It’s just raised the floor to which I can crash down to.

The depression has stolen everything from my life.

What would I have been like if I could have found a partner earlier in life?

What would I have been like if I cold have determined what my orientation was earlier in life.

What would I have accomplished in life had depression not filled my head with so much self doubt, so much self loathing, and so much self hatred?

At work I just finished a project for trending and logging the temperatures of sixteen medical fridges and freezers. I used general refrigeration components to do this. Some Dixell Universal controllers for doing the actual monitoring, TTL to RS-485 converters to allow the Dixell Universal Controllers to communicate on a MS/TP network, NIST Certified temperature probes for measuring the temperatures, and a web server to act as the front end to allow anyone anywhere on the Vancouver Coastal Health network to log in and see the temperatures, read the logs, and generate reports.

Then there’s working with IMIT to establish an active Ethernet port, get the web server a static IP address, give IMIT the MAC address of the web server to allow it onto the hospital network, have messaging allow the web server to use the MSTP server to send emails for alarms and reports.

Dixell Fridge Monitoring Project
I shouldn’t get in trouble for this video – no personal information visible…..

When this project is completed the pharmacy department will also be able to monitor the fridges at Mt. St. Joseph hospital. This will be done using a Ethernet to ModBUS converter that will allow the web server to communicate via the Vancouver Coastal Intranet with a pair of Dixell Universal Controllers at Mt. St. Joe’s.

After this, pharmacy would like to expand this through the tower to pick up all of the ward fridges.

Am I proud of this?

Nope.

I feel like an idiot even talking about this because if an idiot like me can do this, then anyone else could have done it, right? My old man always said that I was just showing off by doing stupid things.

And that’s what depression does. It steals everything fucking thing from your life.

I know that I did a good job on this. But the depression monster keeps yelling at me that anyone could have done this, that I’m not smart, that this was nothing special.

And of course once those thoughts start, then everything else starts.

I’ve aborted so many projects in the past because my depression monster knew that I was too fucking stupid to see through to completion.

Even talking about this make me feel like a stupid attention seeking crybaby.

That’s how this shit works.

I don’t make the rules.

I try not to play by the stupid rules of depression.

But I’m also not able to fight them.

Many a braver man than me has lost their battle with depression.

A good doctor.

Well, today I had another telephone call with my physician.

I’ve been seeing him for a while. About a year I think.

I’ll call him Dr. T.M.. I’ve kinda mentioned these blogs to him. I don’t know if he’s checked them out. If I’m not mistaken he is younger than I am.

To be honest, I’ve never had a good relationship with physicians in the past but Dr. T.M. seems quite on the ball and is actually quite involved with my care.

I’ve had massive battles with depression for all of my life. One of the unhelpful doctors I went to a while ago wanted to know what was troubling me. When I started explaining to him what I had been through he told me to stop. He said he didn’t want to hear about problems from my past. He wanted to know what was currently bothering me.

Other doctors weren’t trustworthy or honestly just didn’t seem to care, period.

When I had my heart issue back around 2012 a family doctor that I started seeing at the time was far more interested in my piercings and if they hurt, or got infected, or if I was wearing them to scare people. I didn’t see him for too long.

As far as getting psychiatric help, I’ve taken advantage of some programs at work through my employer. But not to toot my own horn, but I’m a fucking basket case.

  • growing up in an alcoholic household with intergenerational psychiatric issues.
  • growing up in a household with anger control issues.
  • 1-1/2 years of sexual abuse at the hands of a very confused teenager who was being groomed and controlled by a Captain of the regular force of the Canadian Forces
  • 2-1/2 years of psychological abuse at the hands of a military social worker who was determined to cure me of my apparent homosexuality that I had exhibited when I was sexually abused for 1-1/2 years.
  • Blamed by my father for matters that were far beyond my control or responsibility.
  • failure to receive proper psychiatric care when it was indicated that I had major depression and severe anxiety.
  • As of this date the depression and anxiety have been allowed to fester like a cancer in my brain.

One of my issues with seeking psychiatric help earlier in life is the way my father and Captain Totzke pitted me against my civilian social workers. After that, I had very little trust or faith in “professionals”.

Also, there was my father’s reactions to my mental health back then. I was an embarrassment to him. If any of my illness started to show it would be a back hand or a spanking. He drilled into my head that I was just a crybaby having breakdowns as a means to gain attention. So it should come as very little surprise that I’ve had great difficulty obtaining help.

As I said before, I don’t cry any longer not because I have nothing to cry about. I don’t cry any longer because I’ve long since run out of tears to cry.

I am so fucking numb to just about everything.

Dr. T.M. hasn’t been judgemental once. He hasn’t fussed over my piercings nor my tattoos. When I told him about my literal breakdown earlier this year he had absolutely no hesitation in putting me on sick leave, and when the rest didn’t work on its own, he put my on escitalopram right away.

He has been quite open to my request to look into M.A.i.D.. If that’s what I want, then he’s willing to work with me starting next year when the the committee currently reviewing M.A.i.D. for psychiatric issues makes their recommendations to Parliament. Whether or not Parliament accepts all of the recommendations or just cherry picks the recommendations is yet to be seen. We won’t know until March 2023 what the requirements and rules will be.

Who knows, by then maybe by the time M.A.i.D. had been approved I’ll have changed my mind. I haven’t given up on alternatives. It’s just that I’m very pragmatic and realistic. Maybe the drugs will make significant changes, maybe they won’t. The baggage and the unwanted visitors are still residing in my skull.

But it is nice having someone listen to my desires and the rational for my desires and not laugh me off as being melodramatic silly.

Weird Dreams

Lexapro dreaming is a lot weirder than fever dreaming.

Well, ever since I’ve started taking escitalopram for my depression I’ve started having really weird and vivid dreams.

Last night was a really weird one.

I was riding my motorcycle down a highway somewhere when a cop riding on a bicycle pulled up beside me and told me to pull over because I wasn’t sitting properly upright on the motorcycle and therefore they thought that I was drunk.

As the cop was talking to me their face kept changing from male to female and back.

The cop wanted me to drive to a building for a breathalyzer.

So I drove to this building which looked more like a flop house.

There were a bunch of other people getting breathalyzers as well, and none of them looked drunk.

It was my turn to blow, and the reading came back as zero.

The officer made me blow again, and again I got another zero.

The officer went and got their supervisor. The supervisor told me that I must be drunk as I wasn’t sitting in the seat properly and that I was slouching.

Sure, okay, whatever.

The supervisor gave me a bunch of breathalyzer tests, all of which came back as zero.

I was told to go sit on a couch in the living room.

When I sat down, someone else came and sat down beside me.

Really weird dude. Kept talking about nothing. But then he showed me a trick.

He could point at the sky and stars would appear where he was pointing.

The cops came over and told him to stop that as it wasn’t allowed.

I was allowed to leave.

I got back on my motorcycle and drove to work.

Work was kinda like a hospital, but it was also a restaurant with a dining room.

To get in and out of the workshop I had to open a door that also served as a fuse panel for the restaurant. Every time that I would try opening the door I’d get a 208 volt shock. The panel/door was quite detailed. It had screw in fuses and blade disconnects.

Every time the door was opened, it would trip off the air conditioner and the maternity ward would call down an complain about the lack of A/C.

The restaurant was always complaining about the lights flickering.

One of the servers in the restaurant had a real bad limp and when he’d bring food out from the kitchen the food would always fall on the floor. He’d pick the food up, blow on it, and put it back on the plate. The customers saw this, but they felt sad for him because of his limp so no one ever complained.

Any ideas what the hell this was all about?
This had to be the weirdest dream of all since I first started escitalopram (Lexapro).
Even fever dreams that I’ve had before were never this weird.

15 mg

Well, I’m up to 15 mg of Escitalopram now.

After returning back to work I found that the benefits of 10 mg were wearing off around noon. Yes, work is stressful and demanding, so that was probably what started to nullify the effect of the 10 mg.

Being on Escitalopram is different. I’ve honestly never felt like this before in my life.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not like I’ve been given a 2nd chance at life, or have been allowed to start my life over from some arbitrary starting line.

The Escitalopram hasn’t fixed anything. It hasn’t made me “happy”. What it has done is raised the floor to which my depression would drag me down to. I do get somewhat depressed still, but it’s nowhere near as deep as my depressions used to go. I’ve had this untreated depression for far too long. There are also far too many factors that contributed to this depression. I now believe that I was predisposed to depression from my father’s side of the family. Depression can run in families.

The anxiety, which has been a constant companion of mine since the late ’70s had been toned down substantially. I haven’t woken up grinding my teeth once in the last couple of months.

I find that I can concentrate better now and when something disturbs me while I’m in the middle of a thought, it doesn’t completely derail my train of thought.

The dark thoughts are still there, and they always will be. You can’t go through what I’ve gone through and not carry those demons around.

Captain McRae, Captain Totzke, Mcpl Gill, P.S., Earl Ray Stevens. They’re all still up there too. But at least now I can more or less ignore them for the time being.

Even though the Escitalopram has calmed the waves of my emotions the war still rages on behind my eyes. The time for fixing these issues was back in the early ’80s. Not 40+ years later.

But, we’ll have to see how things work out. I’m 50 now. The average life expectancy for a male in Canada now sits at 80 years, so that’s about 30. Most of the men in my family have dropped dead early though, so I’d say that I might have a life expectancy of 70 years. But there are still other factors at play. So let’s just agree that I’m not getting a second chance. I’m just getting a bit of a respite in the final 1/4 of my life.

Mentally Ill

Yep, I said it.

I’m mentally ill.

Have been for a long time apparently.

The sad thing about my mental illness is that people like my father and Captain Terry Totzke were well aware of the struggles I was having, however it appears that it was more politically expedient to deny me of the treatments and medications that I rightfully deserved in the name of keeping secrets.

How bad were things back then in the early ’80s in Edmonton?

Well, I was supposed to have been placed in a psychiatric facility for children.

I was found to be extremely anxious.

I was found to be well beyond despair.

I was terrified of men, including my own father whom I thought was going to kill me.

I did not like being touched at all by anyone.

I was afraid of my grandmother who had been living with us and raising my brother and I during my father’s absences with the Canadian Forces.

My teacher noted that I did not fit in with the other kids at all. I preferred to be left alone to read books. My teacher did remark that the other kids would often use me as a scape goat.

I remember not having a lot of friends. The kids I hung out with were usually kids from other dysfunctional families living on base.

Alone.

And isolated.

Flailing around in the depths of my despair, my depression, my anxiety.

By myself.

Issues caused by my depression or anxiety would often be straightened out with a backhand or the belt.

I remember as a kid in the aftermath of CFB Namao and up until I was around 15 or 16 I always felt like I wasn’t inside of my brain. I always felt like I was behind myself, watching myself do things, and that I was powerless to do anything. Almost like I was watching a TV show.

Nothing felt real.

I frequently wet the bed right up until I moved out of the house when I was 16. It was only after moving out of the house that I never wet the bed again.

I had no hobbies as a kid, I had no interests.

For 42 years I suffered through severe depression and extreme anxiety.

I knew I was having problems and I knew I was floundering all these years. But you have to work hard and hide it, and pretend it doesn’t exist.

But the depression and anxiety are always there. Ready to flare up when you least expect it. Always trying to sabotage your life because deep down inside you know that your life is worthless and meaningless.

I’ve kinda skimmed along the surface of normalcy from the spring of 1980 until April of 2021.

It took the extreme stress of dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak at my work place to push me over the edge.

I’ve managed to keep employment due to my technical abilities.

Did my depression and anxiety come from the events of CFB Namao?

Not entirely. But I do think genetics played a major part. It would be a very safe bet to say that the paternal side of my family has depression encoded into its genes.

My anxiety is so bad that most of my teeth have been destroyed by grinding. I’ve already had one tooth extracted because I cracked it from grinding and I have a feeling that a few more teeth will need extraction in the short while.

Grinding my teeth was nothing new, I remember my father waking me up when we lived on CFB Downsview due to my grinding.

When COVID struck, the facility that I work at became a hotbed of activity. At first it was easy keeping up with the demands, but as weeks turned into months, the overtime went from being a treat to being a major cause of stress. The facility was designed in the late ’60s / early ’70s and construction was started in the late ’70s. The building HVAC systems meet the ’70s CSA standards. It does not meet 2021 standards. Being caught between parties that wanted todays standards flogged from 1960s technology was also very stress inducing.

So yeah, this was not fun.

Not fun at all.

But it did push me hard enough that I started to suffer constant panic attacks and anxiety attacks. My depression was hitting so hard that I was feeling physically ill and nauseated most of the time. I’d go to work and I couldn’t concentrate and I couldn’t think. My brain felt like it was on fire.

I ended up having to go on sick leave.

And this is how I ended up on Escitalopram.

Escitalopram is a SSRI. Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor.

Let’s be very clear, Escitalopram is not going to cure my depression, nor is it going to cure my anxiety. Those two issues have been with me for so long that they’ve more than likely fucked with my brain’s wiring.

The Escitalopram will not stop the war that goes on inside my head.

The Escitalopram will not evict Captain Terry Totzke, Captain Father Angus McRae, P.S., Richard Gill, Earl Stevens, or the many others who reside inside my skull.

The Escitalopram had a very noticeable effect on my depression and my anxiety. It has really turned down my anxiety. The depression is still there. However the Escitalopram has numbed my emotions. I find that for the first time in my life I can actually concentrate on matters and I can hold two thought simultaneously.

The thing about Escitalopram is the more severe the depression and anxiety, the more noticeable the effect it has on the person taking the medication.

And the fact that Escitalopram had such a drastic effect on me shows just how bad the depression and anxiety were.

I’m at 10mg right now. That might have to go up to 20mg due to the stresses of work.

Negative side effects?

Only two that I’ve noticed.

Getting to sleep takes a bit of work.

And I know, TMI, but I can’t orgasm at the time being.

Both of these are well known side effects of SSRIs

Sleep is becoming easier.

Couple of interesting things that I’ve noticed about being on SSRIs.

My dreams are fucking vivid and wild in a good way. My dreams before SSRIs were sporadic and were often nightmares. Now my dreams are different. More colourful. Playful you could say.

And waking up in the morning is far easier now. I’m often up before the alarms go off.

I don’t need naps during the day.

I’ll probably be on these medications for the rest of my life.

As I said, these drugs will not fix my brain. The damage has been done, and the damage is very extensive. I hope that my body doesn’t build up a tolerance to these SSRIs. Apparently the crash back into depression and anxiety can be pretty horrific.

And even though I am emotionally numbed at the moment, I can tolerate this better than drowning in the pits of despair.

But I also don’t want to spend the next 20 to 30 years of my live living with muted emotions while the war rages on in my head.

There is possibility of a solution, but I won’t find out what the rules are until March 2023.

That’s probably enough for now.

It’s time for bed.