22 February 2017

What A Canadian Looks Like #whatacanadianlookslike

I live in a tiny little town in the Kawartha Lakes, a beautiful picturesque place filled with shimmering lakes, hence the name. It is a truly amazing and beautiful place to live and I did truly love it until yesterday. In my travels in the past I have always heard rumblings of racism and xenophobia here but it was always nothing more than that which an empath like me would pick up on, not something openly expressed....not in years, not in cottage country, not in Canada......not true anymore.

I have been in this town since I was 9 years old, we started off as cottagers, living in downtown Toronto and making the weekend trek up here. I was a kid and I loved it, it meant swimming and gardening and hanging out with my dad all weekend, ending the long summer days with fishing in the aluminum boat, just him and I....happiest moments in my life.....Toronto was different back then our parents dealt with racism daily so they stayed within their little communities for socializing and as much work as possible, but within us kids there really was no racism, there was the odd bully that would have ideas of calling us names.....dirty porkchop was a favourite but otherwise the rest of us simply all played together....even then I could not keep my mouth shut, when someone is having their rights trampled on, or someone is hurting another in any way even if the are not there in their presence I have never been able to not speak up for the rights of others....that earned me other names as a child, marshmallow (my name was Melo then), Mother Teresa and of course dirty rotten porkchop was ever present. You would think it would have made me be introverted, quiet, shy and unable to speak up but no for me it always had the opposite effect my mouth got larger when it was to defend others. This town it was safe though, I went places with my dad, the old Co-Op was a favourite with all the seeds and farmers in and out, sometimes they even had animals and everyone was always so great, friendly and kind to us.....I loved it here as a kid, I grew up here, I got married here, bad things happened to me here but never by the people of the town, when my kids were young we finally moved here and now have lived here for almost 17 years.....I left for a bit but my heart remained and I came back.......and this year I celebrate a 40 year history in this town....and it took till this year for my love for this town to really take a hit. 

Yesterday it was a long day, I drove 3 hours each way to go and get some health news, more poisons to feed my body and then back home, it makes for a long day, yesterday I made it back to town by 3:30 I was amazed thinking it was my lucky day that now I could make it to the mail to finally mail out that box that I have for my sister out in Calgary.....dropped my eldest son off at the pharmacy in town to pick up the poisons and off my seven yr old and I went....again getting there I thought it was my lucky day there was only one person in line, I always feel so bad making people wait when I send packages, no worries today. I walked into a conversation that was already going on, about a local person that I knew already didn't start well for me, but I went up to the counter to a familiar and friendly face behind it.....the conversation between the man and the other employee of the Post Office ~ oh yes this was in a Canada Post location ~ their conversation turned to security measures at the airport, to then he brought up a current bill in the House of Commons here that prohibits Islamophobia, in light of the recent attack in the Quebec Mosque they introduced this bill....let's really think about what that means Islamophobia, a phobia is an irrational fear of something, so Canada saying collectively that they do not support an irrational fear of Islam is what it really means, but not to these two, no to these two it means that somehow they are trying to pass Sharia Law.....it started with me saying that is not true, I looked at the employee the one engaged in this conversation with this man spreading ignorant, hateful, untruths so openly and told her you should not be allowing this to happen in a Federal building. This was met with more hate but directed at me, as he kept going with his tirade on Islam, I asked what he actually knew about it, he knew enough....the employee of the Post Office said I don't care as long as they don't make me have to learn about it, so I asked her but it's ok that I am a Pagan and I have to learn about your Christian values? she had no response but this of course piqued the man's interest because then he took a good look at me and asked me what I was,

"What are you? you don't look Canadian." yep there it was......

I told him I was just as Canadian as he was and in case he didn't realize it was a country built on multiculturalism that means I am just as Canadian as anyone else......this made me look at the employee again and tell her that now she was allowing me to be racially attacked as he continued his tirade at me as I was speaking to the employee, I was called many things the least of which was a dirty rotten liberal, a fucken liberal as he leaned in close and told me we would lose in 2019, he finally listened to the one employee that was helping me with my post that had asked him 4 times to leave.....he left and I was left standing there shaking, angry and upset......with two employees of Canada Post, one who was apologetic and tried everything within her power to make me feel safe and the other that had encouraged first the conversation, standing in her uniform, behind a Federal counter in a Federal building paid for in part by my taxes and every other Canadians and residents of Canada and she had just allowed and ENCOURAGED this to happen to me a fellow Canadian......she defended him as it being just an exchange of opinions, harmless like as she said all the other opinions they hear in there.....I told her she had just allowed hate speech, racism and xenophobia in what should be a safe space for all residents of Canada to enter into, it should be a safe space for everyone residents or not.....her response to me was to walk up to the one that was helping me and tell her "Good Luck with this one, I am out of here" as she walked out I told her this won't die here, I will report this to Canada Post, this should never ever happen in a Federal building by a Federal employee......I asked the kind woman that was still helping me for pertinent information for my complaint she provided it, she tried to calm me and I asked her 

"When was the last time you faced racism directed at you?" she answered me honestly with "never"

I thanked her and turned around another woman had at some point come into the room, I am not sure when but what I do know is when I turned around and looked at her she could only look down.....it was a sad moment......my son who had done what he does when he is upset had tried to get me focus on bubble wrap his most favorite thing, but even though I hoped he wouldn't be uspet by what he witnessed, he started with his methods to decompress, deal with stress in the van, with Aspergers it is difficult for him to process ugliness, especially directed at his mother. I picked up my other son and drove out of town pulled over on the highway, handed my phone to my son and asked him to get Canada Post on the line for me, he asked me why and a little voice said from the back "a lady and a guy were really mean to mom at the Post Office"......he got someone on the line and I just cried my eyes out to the lady that answered, I told her I was so upset....I went through it all, she told me how sorry she was and that please understand that Canada Post does not condone this behaviour, she thanked me for my courage to stand up for others, she told me literally to "Rock on" to go home and give myself some self care and that they will handle this they will not just sweep it under the rug....I told her I was going to write this, I was going to make sure that at least in my town I am not going to sweep this shit under the rug, pretend its ok or that it is just someone else's harmless opinion, IT IS NOT AN OPINION it is HATE, RACISM and XENOPHOBIA and it does not stand in my Canada!

I was a mess, I cried to my husband, my friends and my kids, my daughter from Timeless Attic Craft started a post that I am so proud of #whatacanadianlookslike
this is me I am a Canadian and this is what I look like! Join my daughter and share what you look like as a Canadian on social media....let's show everyone that Canadians we come in all ways so let's be proud of that and make sure that we support each other and not allow those that think now is the time to let hate take over our country that NO WE DO NOT SUPPORT HATE! 


03 February 2017

Witch is my name, Magic is in my Veins

I sit and stare at the blank screen wanting to write, to let it all out, all the things that have been happening, all the changes to come and yet I feel stifled, unsure, struggling with feelings of physical failure to be truthful. Vulnerability is always so hard to show, especially in our magical world where one witch or another is trying to prove how strong her magic is....that is not me, it never has been me and it never will be me, so then I had to decide what it was that was actually keeping me silent....acceptance....not yours but mine....acceptance that I will not get better I will manage, but I will never get better..yes that was the hardest part for me, accepting that made me vulnerable, made me dependent to a certain degree, and I hate to be dependent. When Celiac disease was discovered I think a part of me really believed that would be the end of the worse health struggles, yes the other conditions, fibro & SLE, still existed but were so exasperated by the gluten issues that I hoped it would allow for longer remissions from it all....it hasn't.....now almost a year later of the struggle to confirm MS I sit here as my physical body deteriorates and I struggle with the words to express what is happening, both in the written and in the verbal sense for very different reasons though.....when I get upset I can't speak clearly at times, when I discuss my health these days even in writing I get upset.....facing disability is not something that is as easy as some may think, it is not a ticket to some free ride that is filled with happiness and laziness, it is a ride on a roller coaster of health professionals, hospitals, tests, vampires after your blood, and many nights and days of frustrations as those around you grapple with the realities of all you cannot do anymore and how it changes you. It is about Pain, lots of pain....I am going to write this and I am going to get upset, I will do my best not to but this difficult subject has its way with me often.

Just over a year and a half ago these pains started in my ribcage, these horrible stop you in your tracks, trying to breathe slowly kind of pain....it would make me hold my arm tight to my side as if that somehow would stop it, they weren't long in duration 1 - 3 mins but for me living them when they strike it seems like a lifetime before they are done.....then came the stiffness in my joints, my hands don't always co operate, and my feet well one isn't too bad but the other one well it isn't much help at times, so I found ways to cope with that, walking sticks, canes and I guess I will eventually need a walker and then a wheel chair, yes I know that will come, I think I have known that for a very long time. The pains still happen but I have realized if I try to remain as calm as possible, content with my flowers, magic, my wire and my page then they happen with less frequency....waiting for the MRI has been I think the hardest part as I have issues with other things as well now, especially my speech.....I once was a very clear and articulate person, I spoke well and often in public and never had an issue with the concept of public speaking and now I try not to have long conversations with even my inner circle, not because I don't want to but because I just cannot do it without effort, might sound minimal to say it requires effort, but think about how often do you have conversations with people and have to actually think about how your mouth is going to move to say the word....that is where I am at, I can think very clearly and express myself through writing clearly but when trying to speak verbally at times I have to slow myself down and be expressly aware.....yes it is upsetting, yes I am having issues with it, yes I need answers and I hope that soon I will have them, even for the lump that has decided to come through on my breast, when it rains it fucking pours....escapism has never been my way, my reality is this still exists and I still have to deal with it on a daily basis......so I have come to the conclusion that writing while I can still type thankfully this is the way through for me......so here I am, this is what is happening to me, and I am coping, sometimes well, sometimes not so well.

On a spiritual level I have come through the hardest part of accepting this, realizing it is not a reflection of who I am, or of my worth as a Witch, if anything a confirmation of strength and magic for me, without one or the other I would have given up long ago. My pain of this life has taught me much and giving up was never one of those things.....so I may not speak much to you verbally in the future but I will write, and I will write even more now so that I know the words are there, my beliefs, my dreams and my loves....oh yes and I am making recordings for my granddaughter and my little witch so that they can know all the mysteries of my magical path, in case when the times come I am unable to do so with my own lips, the beauty of technology will for me......so yes I am coping, making plans and finding work arounds.......I refuse to allow disability to own my soul, my body I have come to grips with but not my soul...

I am still me, Witch is my name, magic is in my veins, disability will not own me....this is me being honest, real and vulnerable, expect more of it.....