This will probably be a very polarizing blog post to write.
Feel free to read it, but please understand that it is I who have lived through this, and not you.
In October of 1980 I was found to be in between despair and depression with an unhealthy does of extreme anxiety.
By the summer of 1981 I was found to be so emotionally disturbed that I was supposed to have been institutionalized.
In the spring of 1982 my father signed the paperwork placing me into the Alberta foster care system. I don’t think that Richard really understood what he had signed. But this paperwork was the first step apparently required for me to be placed into the Westfield program for emotionally disturbed children.
My case workers with Alberta Social Services along with my child care workers in the Westfield program were beginning to realize that there were substantial problems with my father and that I needed to be removed from his care and placed into foster care or residential care if there was any hope of me recovering.
I still don’t know if my civilian social workers knew all of the details from 1978 to 1980.
It was apparent that Captain Terry Totzke had his own agenda, and that agenda didn’t gel with the agenda of my civilian social workers.
As I was a military dependent living on a Department of National Defence military base and as I was in the care of Canadian Forces military social worker Captain Terry Totzke, Alberta social services needed to inform Captain Totzke of my pending apprehension.
Within days of this notification my father received an out of the blue “Hail Mary” posting to Ontario.
It was indicated to my civilian case workers by either my father or Captain Totzke that I would be placed in the Sick Kids hospital in Toronto for psychiatric care. I never was. An ATI request with Sick Kids in Toronto showed that they had never heard of me and had absolutely no paperwork related to me.
My father placed my brother and I into the same public school. The school board ended up sending my brother to a different school due to intense sibling rivalry.
So, as of this writing it’s been 41 years since the abuse ended on Canadian Forces Base Namao that ended up driving me into the depths of mental illness.
To be clear the abuse I endured at the hands of P.S. wasn’t the only bad thing going on in my life at the time. But it was probably the most substantial. P.S. was a young teenager at the time. He obviously had no impulse control. Captain McRae was smart. Captain McRae gave us alcohol to drink to mask the sexual abuse he was inflicting upon us. P.S. wasn’t that smart or well thought out. P.S. thought that physical beatings were enough to get us to remain quiet. It obviously didn’t work as one of the kids that P.S. was abusing must have told their parents. As the Military Police Complaints Commission stated in the 2020 report, it was obvious that the base military police on CFB Namao were well aware of what P.S. was doing with younger children, and it’s these assaults that ultimately brought Captain McRae to the attention of the Canadian Forces Special Investigations Unit.
In addition to the abuse I endured at the hands of P.S. and Captain McRae, I had to frequently watch while P.S. abused my younger brother. P.S. was our babysitter. He had access to my brother and I at the same time. Uncle Doug’s sleeping cot in the basement was the usual place the abuse would occur. P.S. would also abuse kids over at the base swimming pool.
Sure, I could have told a responsible adult…… if there was one around.
My grandmother was an alcoholic with anger issues from her days spent in Indian residential school. She lived by the maxims of “Children only speak when spoken to” and “Children are better seen than heard”
My father had his own issues stemming from the HMCS Kootenay gear box explosion on October 23rd, 1969. His mother was not the best parent. So Richard had his own demons. Alcoholism and an uncontrollable rage. Richard was not home often, hence why grandma was living in the PMQ and raising my brother and I.
As indicated by the Alberta Social Service records, my father would not take responsibility for his own family. Therefore the abuse that my brother and I endured at the hands of P.S. was not Richard’s responsibility due to his frequent absences from the home, nope, the abuse was my fault. By assigning responsibility for the abuse to someone else, he was making it known that he wasn’t responsible, it was the fault of somebody else.
So yeah, 41 years of dealing with untreated depression and anxiety and a plethora of other issues foisted upon me by persons in the employ of the Canadian Armed Forces has caused me some pretty significant issues.
I was tested in 1980 and found to have an IQ of 136 +/6 on the Wechler Intelligence Scale for Children.
I don’t know what I would score on an actual IQ test these days, but I know that I have some remnants of that score with me to this day.
My problem solving abilities are obviously a benefit to any employer.
My frequent and unpredictable bouts of crushing depression obviously aren’t a benefit to any employer.
As a kid I was taught by both my father and by Captain Terry Totzke to not say anything to counsellors.
Both my father and Captain Terry Totzke were blaming me for what had occur on Canadian Forces Base Namao.
I was taught by my father that I was just making these things up in my head and that I was only acting out to get attention.
It wasn’t until 2011 when I received my hospital records and social service records from across Canada that I realized for the first time just how bad off I had been.
The unfortunate thing is that trying to receive counselling on the level that I would require is almost impossible. Most psychiatrists and psychologists are not covered by any provincial medical plan. Then there’s the fact that the unique environment that I grew up in is beyond the comprehension of most civilian counsellors, psychiatrists and psychologists .
And even as my current physician said, I may be far too jaded and will see right through anyone who tries to help me.
Untreated mental illness has a downside…………….
An unsavoury topic
Back in 2011 when I first started dealing with the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service in order to try to obtain justice for what had happened on CFB Namao from 1978 until 1980 I started a blog on the Google Blogger service.
That blog ended up becoming this blog.
One of the topics that I have steered well clear of is the topic of suicide.
I’ve had my ideations in the past.
I still get ideations to this day.
However, rest assured dear reader that I’m fairly certain that I will never act upon them.
it’s not that I value my life.
It’s just that I don’t relish the idea of more pain and suffering no matter how brief that might be.
If I’m trying to end my pain so why do I want more just before the end?
Shouldn’t my escape be peaceful?
And I’ve never relished the idea of foisting my corpse on the unsuspecting schmuck that finds the results of my suicide.
It’s honestly not pleasant leaving an unrefrigerated and unembalmed body out for others to discover.
That doesn’t mean that I still don’t want to die.
It’s just that a while ago I decided to go a different route.
Maid is not someone that comes and cleans your house.
M.A.i.D. in this sense is Medical Assistance in Dying.
A few Northern European countries have had some fairly liberal laws in regards to M.A.i.D. since the early 2000s.
The basic idea is that a person’s life belongs to that person alone and to no one else.
It’s not up to the state or the followers of some imaginary friends in the sky to determine when a person’s time has come.
Now, that’s not to say that anyone who wants to end their life will obtain M.A.i.D.. There are some fairly rigorous protocols in place to ensure that a person wishing to die, especially if they are not terminally ill with a life ending illness, is aware of what they are doing and that once initiated there is no coming back.
That said, countries such as Belgium and the Netherlands readily accept mental illness as a valid reason for M.A.i.D.
I’m an atheist..
With 7 billion people on the face of the Earth, life really isn’t that much of a miracle.
And the number of people killed in traffic collisions by impatient car drivers shows that individual life really isn’t valued all that much when you look at the rather paltry sentences and fines handed out to car drivers who kill innocent people.
The number of children that die every day from war, starvation, neglect, or from easily prevented diseases shows that human life really isn’t all that valued or unique.
And when you look at our place in the time line of the ever expanding universe, we’re nothing.
The Milky Way is 13.5 billion years old.
The Earth is about 4.5 billion years old.
The Sun will start becoming brighter over the next 1.3 billion years to the point that life will die on this planet.
In about 5 billion years the Sun will have expanded to the point of enveloping and vaporizing the Earth.
The universe will keep on expanding for billions of years after the Andromeda galaxy crashes into the Milky Way.
In the overall grand scheme of things, we don’t matter.
There is no afterlife.
There is no heaven and there is no hell.
There is no gold medal for living the longest.
And when a person struggles with mental illness and derives little pleasure out of life, maybe it’s time that they be allowed to go to sleep.
Yes, I understand that it probably is perplexing to a lot of people as to why I would like to die.
I can’t go on with P.S., Captain McRae, Captain Totzke, my father, my social workers, other men who sexually abused me, and the never ending flashbacks of the abuse on Canadian Forces Base Namao bouncing around in my skull and popping up when least expected.
These flashbacks got tiring quite some time ago.
Yes, death may seem like a high price to pay to make the depression, the anxiety, and the flashbacks stop.
But death is a bargain price to pay when compared to me spending the next twenty years of my life with all of that rubbish floating around in my head.
The time for treatment and therapy was just after the abuse on CFB Namao, not when I’m about to turn 50.
I used to cry frequently up until around the time I tried to deal with P.S. in 2011.
After having dealt with the defective military “justice system” I couldn’t cry anymore.
I’ve just become so numb on the inside that I can’t cry anymore.
M.A.i.D. in Canada
In 2021 the Government of Canada introduced legislation to make amendments to the Criminal Code of Canada to allow for persons experiencing pain, but who are not near the anticipated end of their lives, to request Medical Assistance in Dying.
You can read more here: https://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/cj-jp/ad-am/bk-di.html
You can download a brief guide here:
Up to this point in time you pretty well had to be knocking on death’s door before any physician would be allowed to provide a patient with the drugs required for death.
The Senate notified Parliament that to not allow persons suffering from mental illness to request M.A.i.D. would be discrimination and urged Parliament to pass the required legislation to allow for M.A.i.D. for mental illness. Parliament indicated to the Senate that it required more time to write these amendments.
The Senate requested that Parliament pass the required amendment within 18 months. Parliament indicated that it would have new legislation addressing M.A.i.D. for purely issues of mental illness within 24 months.
In 2023 it is expected that M.A.i.D. for mental illness will become legal in Canada.
What this will look like is anyone’s guess.
I have my fears that the legislation introduced will end up looking like a bastard child resulting from a Rube Goldberg machine mating with Jospeh Heller’s novel “Catch-22”.
What I would like to see for requirements for approval are just some basic checks.
Is the person requesting death lucid?
Is this person making this request on their own?
Is there the slightest evidence that this person is being goaded or coerced into requesting M.A.i.D. by others?
Has the person been diagnosed with a mental illness?
Does this mental illness interfere with the enjoyment of life?
Does this person understand that by ingesting the provided drugs that they will die?
And in the end M.A.i.D. for metal illness may be far too difficult to obtain in Canada.
Even though M.A.i.D. for mental illness hasn’t been approved in Canada I have already asked my physician to start the process to find out how I would go about requesting M.A.i.D. after the legislation is passed in 2023.
The nice thing is my physician didn’t question or second guess my request. He said that I did seem to be quite rational in my request and the reasoning for my request. So he agreed to start getting me in contact with the required people.
So, we’ll have to wait and see what my future awaits.
One thing that could complicate matters and make obtaining M.A.i.D. difficult is that M.A.i.D. legislation does not force doctors to participate in M.A.i.D.
This means that I could pass the tests, but so far as finding a physician willing to either mix the oral solution or insert the IV into my vein may prove difficult. I would imagine that there are doctors that will equate M.A.i.D. with murder and will refuse to participate. Then there’s also the fat that the physician would have to be present while my death occurs in order to pronounce me dead and to officially record the time and cause of my death.
The two different methods of M.A.i.D.
The oral method
Currently there is the oral method in which the patient drinks a lethal dosage of barbiturates which will put the patient into a coma after anywhere from 2 to 12 minutes after ingestion. Respiration can take up to 120 minutes to cease. There is the very rare chance that the patient will come out of the coma and will require an IV injection to complete the death.
I would much prefer the IV method.
The IV method
In the IV method an IV line is administered to the patient. This line is connected to a set of IV dosing pumps. Much like in the oral method, it is the patient, not the attending physician, that initiates the death process. Once the patient is ready, the patient starts the pumps with the push of a button.
There are two methods of IV euthanasia. One uses two drugs and one uses three drugs.
The dual drug method uses a drug that will induce an immediate coma. This drug is administered at far greater doses in euthanasia than it is in medical treatments. This drug surprises the level of consciousness to barely detectable. One this drug has been fully administered a second drug is introduced into the patient. This drug paralyzes the striated muscles. It stops your breathing and eventually it stop your heart.
The three drug method is the same as the dual drug method, except prior to the coma inducing drug, a sedative is administered. This apparently allows for a more peaceful and gradual decent into death as opposed to the abruptness of just the coma inducing drug on its own.
If given the choice I’d gladly take the IV method over the oral method.
At this point in time the only two jurisdictions in the world that allow for M.A.i.D. for mental issues are Belgium and the Netherlands. Both countries do allow for “tourists” to undergo a M.A.i.D. procedure.
I haven’t looked into what is required to travel to Belgium or the Netherlands as I know that this is cost prohibitive. However, with a recent civil action being initiated on my behalf, I have asked that if at a later date I am still requesting to die, the the DND and the CF pay for the travel expenses and accommodations.
The reason that I want DND and the CF to pay for the travel and accommodation expenses is why should I have to pay to die out of my own settlement?
I don’t know. That’s a good question.
So far it looks as if it will occur after 2023
I have two civil actions that are slowly proceeding through lawyers.
One matter is probably 25% to 30% completed.
The next matter has just recently commenced and is probably at the 1% to 2% mark.
I know it sounds silly, but I would like to have all of this wrapped up before I go.
If there are settlements in either case, I figure that it would be nice to somewhat enjoy them.
But I have to be truthful and rational, no matter what the settlements are, they’re not going to evict the tenants in my head.
I definitely don’t want to carry this rubbish into my 60s.
I’ll be 60 on 2031.
Not making any promises, but I would like to go closer to 2023 than 2031.
It’ll probably take a year or two after that to pass the required tests to show that I am competent to request my own death.
In 2026 I’ll be 55 and that’s the earliest that I can retire.
Guess we’ll just have to sit back and see.
But when a date is chosen, you’ll be posted.
I don’t intend to pass away silently.
The oddest thing.
I began making my plans for assisted dying back around 2016.
These plans involved heading over to Europe.
I didn’t really put much effort into it though as the cost was truly prohibitive.
However, my determination to seek assistance in dying became much stronger when the Military Police Complaints Commission released their final report in 2020 and indicated that the military police in 1980 knew the full extent of what Captain McRae had been doing on Canadian Forces Base Namao, and that it was the involvement of P.S. with younger children living on the base that led to the investigation of Captain McRae in the first place.
And to be clear, it wasn’t the report that increased my desire for M.A.i.D.
It was finally being able to see in black and white that I had been telling the truth.
No, P.S. hasn’t been officially implicated in abusing me and my brother.
And yes, I’m still technically on the hook for letting P.S. abuse my brother.
No, I don’t think that we’ll ever know what happened to me at the hands of Captain McRae in the rectory of the base chapel during the visits in which P.S. would take me over and give me alcohol.
But I’m one step closer to being absolved for the actions of P.S., Captain McRae, Captain Terry Totzke, MCpl Richard Wayne Gill.
Once I had the final report in my hand, my determination to seek M.A.i.D. increased significantly.
The thought of dying through M.A.i.D. has actually brought me a certain serenity.
I now know that there will come a day when I no longer have to listen to the voices of P.S., Captain Totzke, my father, and the myriad of others with secrets to keep.
I can plan to finally sleep in peace and not wake up grinding my teeth into nothing.