Lest We Forget

I was driving along in the car with my dad, listening to the news on the radio, when the sign in front of the Legion building usually considered the Polish Legion, caught my eye:

“Lest We Forget”

Like most Canadians, I’ve seen or heard this phrase over a hundred times, especially at this time of year. It’s the phrase that goes along with the bright red poppies that will be adorning people’s coats in the next few days as we approach Remembrance Day.

Formerly Armistice Day, the date marks the official end of the First Word War when the armistice was signed on November 11 at 11 am. Since then it has come to be a memorial to all the wars fought since then and a remembrance of all the blood that was spilled in armed conflict. It is a remembrance of all the victims of the wars, of the suffering, and of the terrible price that was paid in human life. Over the years, as veterans of the First World War died off, it became more of a remembrance of the Second World War, and with it, the Holocaust.

Lest we forget. 

For all that I’ve seen the words countless times, on this particular occasion, they hit me pretty hard.

The news for the last few years has been like one punch to the stomach after another. It practically reads like an American parody of Nazi Germany: children stolen from their parents, people locked up in unsuitable conditions, increasing harassment and vigilance of the other, the attempt at erasing trans people from the law and from public record, targeted acts of violence and hate, every day seems to bring with it a new horror, a new tragedy.

Just this past week, the deadliest attack against Jewish people on American soil took place. The next day or so, another white supremacist tried to shoot up a black church and when he couldn’t instead shot at black people entering a store.

People readily identifying as and with Nazis, while people claiming to be left-wing or reasonable, defend their right to do so without fear of punishment.

Every day there is one message that comes through loud and clear…

We have forgotten.

Lest We Forget
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Feeling Bad is Not the Same Thing As Being Sorry

CW: Discussion of Racism, Brock Turner, Abuse, Assault.

There is this concept that I was taught growing up Catholic. It’s basically this: in order to actually earn god’s forgiveness during the sacrament of confession, it wasn’t enough to simply perform a recitation of your sins. You had to truly be sorry which meant not only regretting having done it or “feeling bad”, but acknowledging and accepting that what you had done was wrong, as well as a determination to do what you could to not repeat the sin. Without these elements, one could not actually receive absolution – supernatural forgiveness.

I disagree with a LOT of Catholic doctrine and policies, not to mention the acts of the church itself, but there is a lesson in this concept, which when removed from its religious entanglements, has a lot of relevance to our modern society. It’s one, ironically enough, that many Catholics themselves forget as well.

Too often, we as a society act as though people are entitled to forgiveness, especially if they say that they’re sorry or demonstrate some sort of bad feeling about what they’ve done. Too often, the mental and emotional labour of a given conflict is forced on the injured party.

Despite having been the one initially harmed by the interaction or inciting event, the onus is still on the victim to solve the conflict through a demonstration of forgiveness, often while the initial harm remains unacknowledged or outright ignored in favour of prioritizing the transgressor’s bad feeling. Beyond that, there is this sentiment that even acknowledging that hurt was done, or in any way bringing up the result of the transgression is treated as an unfair attack on the inciting person.

College Humour made a humorous sketch video showing what is meant to be a hyperbolic example of this in a situation where a white man makes a racist joke “by accident” to a woman of colour during what appears to be a work party.

Continue reading “Feeling Bad is Not the Same Thing As Being Sorry”

Feeling Bad is Not the Same Thing As Being Sorry

War on Patients

For all the various experiences I’ve had as a disabled person, a long distance move is a relatively new one. I’m lucky in a lot of ways because the place I’ve moved to isn’t completely new. Although it has been 13 years since I’ve lived here, my parents have been here that whole time. As a result, I have access to certain resources that I wouldn’t have otherwise had. Among these resources is faster access to a family doctor – the same one that has served my family since I was a kid.

I’m lucky because that’s not the case for most people. There is currently a pretty significant shortage of Family Doctors or General Practicioners as they’re sometimes called. Your GP is meant to be the point person of your medical care. They’re responsible for managing the big picture of your overall health – receiving updates from all your specialists, all test results, providing referrals to specialists, and in many cases managing the vast majority of your prescriptions.

As part of my move, I had to transfer my prescriptions from Ottawa to here. Since I was using the same chain of pharmacies, I didn’t much foresee a problem. That’s because I didn’t know about a law that prevents pharmacies from transferring prescriptions that are categorized as narcotics. It’s part of the ongoing war on patients masquerading as the various wars on drugs. The problem is that narcotics are the recognized treatment for a variety of different conditions including ADHD. If I needed a refill of my medication, in this case Vyvanse, I would need to find a family doctor and get a brand new prescription.

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War on Patients

How Not to Trigger Your Friends

With current events being such as they are, your social media pages must be overrun with Kavanaugh hearings. And if you’re a survivor of sexual abuse you may be feeling a bit under attack. I know I and a lot of my friends are. Because of the abuse I survived, I have PTSD. I pretty much have a handle on it most days but when you’re being constantly bombarded with triggering content it can be hard. It’s made especially hard by people who do not tag the content they post properly or not at all.

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How Not to Trigger Your Friends

A Short Update on Me

Earlier this summer, I wrote about my on-coming homelessness.

After I wrote that article, I went into gear getting myself on the subsidized housing list, getting endless notes and forms from my doctors stating my disabilities, my accessibility needs, the fact that it was medically dangerous for me to either go back home, or end up in a shelter, not to mention looking for a place to go. At the start of August it seemed I had a place, then less than two weeks later it seemed that it was not to be, then it looked like I had found a place not just for myself but for two others – but they received over six applications and decided to go with someone else.  For a month, what I was going to be doing for housing kept being jerked around. My landlord agreed to extend the lease two weeks to at least give me until mid-September to find a solution.

In the end, I was left with moving back to the Niagara Area, with my parents.

Continue reading “A Short Update on Me”

A Short Update on Me