Part 3

chapter-11

 

anuary 18, 2008

Above is a picture of Cathy Lewis, Sue’s friend at Algonquin College, Heron Park Campus. Cathy
was from Chipman, New Brunswick. Cathie and Sue were good friends. Cathy lives in Alberta now
as far as Sue knows. Sue was 19 years old. Sue got her secretarial diploma from Algonquin College
in 1975 and started a job after two weeks of graduating and worked for the Surgeon’s General’s
Branch, National Defence in the Jelnor Building on Nepean Street in Ottawa. Major J.P.D. “Robbie” Robinson was her boss. Sue was the civilian secretary for the adminstrative branch.


Above is a picture of Fred Wegner, Sue’s first husband taken in 1980 in the summer. Fred won
$25,000 in the Cash for Life Lottery. This picture was taken at Fred’s workplace at Lemieux Island
Purification Plant in Ottawa where he worked as a gardner (horticulturist) Fred was 47 years old.


Above is a picture of Manfred Wegner, Fred’s oldest son taken in the late 70s. Manfred was a teenager.

Above is a picture of Fred and Sue Wegner on their wedding day in November 1975 in Ottawa.

Above is a picture of Manfred Wegner, Sue’s former stepson, Fred Wegner’s son, he is in the background standing up in a white shirt at his father Fred’s wedding reception at their apartment on Forest St in Ottawa

Above is a picture of Walter Wegner, Sue’s former stepson and another son of Fred Wegner.  Walter did not like his picture being taken.  This picture was taken of Walter at the Wegner’s townhouse on Woodridge Cres in the Bayshore town house across from the Bayshore Shopping Mall in Ottawa


Above is a picture of my first husband Fritz “Fred” Wegner taken in our townhouse on
Woodridge Crescent taken in the 1977 . I gave Fred a nice pocket watch for his birthday and he is looking at it in this picture. Above on the all is a picture of Fred and me geting married in 1975.
Near Fred are bottles of alcohol. Fred was an chronic alcoholic. He was a pleasant and charming and sexy man when he was sober, but when he was drunk, he became an ugly and violent person who often spoke of World War II and what he endured in Berlin as a teenager as the allies were bombing his hometown. Fred was badly damaged by WWII and I think he has Post Trauma Stress Disoder and sought no help. He probably drank to drown his memories of the war and his leaving his mother and sibling behind in East Germany when he escaped from East Germany as a border guard patrolling the infamous Berline Wall that had been torn down six months after Fred died from a heart attack in January 1989. He never saw his family since the 1950s. I met met his family in East Germany nor was I allowed to visit East Germany as I worked for National Defence as a civilian secretary. I had my background and Fred’s background checked for 3 months by the RCMP. I had a Secret Clearance with National Defence that was granted to me. I worked for National Defence in Ottawa for the Surgeon General’s Branch at the Jelnor Building at 171 Nepean St. I worked for the administration office. Major J.P.D. “Robbie” Robinson who was the right man to Surgeon General. Admiral Roberts was the Surgeon General when I first started to work for the Surgeon General’s Branch. Later General Leach took over. The Surgeon General’s secretary was the elegant Jean Thomas. Our office was on the 6th floor. The staff who worked with me were

Eleanor Faulkner, the administrator for the St. John Ambulance Certificate for the Canadian forces, Len Turbull the financil administrator, Chief Warrant Officer Ballantyne who was a kind and gentleman who was very patient with me. Chief Warrnat Officer Cruishank took over when CWO Ballantyne was transferred. When the Admiral’s secretary Jean was away, my boss Maj Robinson had me take over her job as a replacement. It was a big duty, but I did it. I had to log in lots of mail and make lots of phone calls, some overseas to Lars etc. I served coffee and typed letters. I was a serious indiviudal who at 20 took on lots responsibility. I liked it. My boss told me he had confidence in me. He boostered confidence in me, that I needed badly. He was a fair boss.

Eleanor Faulkner was a real lady in every sense of the word, she had real class, that could be taught, you either have it or you don’t. She was a devout Mormon.

Len Turnbull had a part time job running a drive in theatre with his wife and daughter.

I worked with nice people and I was real lucky, it was like a small family in our office. I had lots of fun, we laughed lots and got along real well. I worked for National Defence in Ottawa for 3 1/2 years from 1975-78. I quit as I was having problems at home with Fred and I needed a break. I had had enough of typing for those years and one day left for lunch and returned after my office staff had left. I opened the locked filing cabinet I had access to and took out a big envelope and typed my resignation letter to my boss the Major. I put it on his desk and the envelope was sealed. He called me the next morning at home and asked if I wanted to come back to work and I said no. He said it was neither here nor there. I needed a break from the mundane office work. I was so bored it was awful. I can’t talk about my work I did at National Defence, but I was bored out of my mind.

I called a friend Joan Stinson and asked her to meet at lunch at restaurant that had a bar. I had lunch with her and had a good few stiff drinks and then decided it was the day to quit my job and walk out. As I went up the elevator to my job to type my letter of resignation, my boss got on the elevator as he was leaving work and just said to me “hi Sue, good night”. I said ‘goodnight, Sir” He never mentioned why I had not returned to work in the afternoon. I typed a short and sweet letter of resignation that went something like this” Dear Major Robinson, Sir, I respectively resign today as of such and such a date and time. signed Sue Wegner. I put no reason why I quit, I believed no reason was required. I had my own reasons. I felt like I was being stifled on my job and that I was in a room with no windows and I felt like I was suffocating. I got out to save my life literally. I thought one day I would lose my mind in that boring job with no hope of advancing up the ladder of the secretarial world. Secretarial work was not for me, I was good at it, but did not like it much.  I knew the day I wanted to throw the typewriter out the window was the day to quit my job and I did.  I  met a woman in the late 90s who in fact worked for National Defence and did throw hercomputer out the window and it did not fall on anyone thank goodness, she lost her job, rightfully so.  She got frustrated with her job.  I would never do a thing like that.  I just had too much common sense to do that.  Quit the job and be free and that is what I did.  I felt better as I walked out of the Jelnor Bldg for good.  I met lots of nice people on the job and would miss them.

I was going to start a new chapter in my life that would eventually see me going into an unexpected direction in my  life – much to my suprise, becoming an outspoken activist.

I got out of Brockville Psychiatric Hospital in September of 1973 and a social worker from Ottawa came to pick me up and drive me to Ottawa to the Margeurite home a half way house for women who came out psychiatric hospitals which was on Cathcart Street and run by a nun named Irene Despards.
Sister Irene was a huge woman with a big booming voice. She could be very happy and nice most of time. Sometimes Sister Irene could be nasty and get into a bad mood sometimes. She was just a regular person trying to do her job the best she knew how.

I remember sitting at the big table for supper. The group home probably housed 7 women including myself. We would have big hearty meals and there would lots of laughter at the dinner table.
Sister Irene would having all of us laughing. She was French-Canadian. I cared about Sister Irene, she was good person. We had all had turns to do dishes at the house. When it was my turn to do dishses I would go upstairs to my private room – I had a private room because I snored something awful. I would hear Sister Irene yell “Suzanne, come down and do your dished tonight”. She would
laugh and say I was trying to hide in my room and not do my chore and she was right. I would hand my head down on my cheat and apologize to her. She would wrap one of her arms around me and tell me go to ahead and start doing the dishes. I had lots of dishes to do but I did a good job and got those
dishes spanking clean.

I felt sleepy most of the time as I was taken heavy doses of psychiatric medication. I would go upstairs after supper and most times would fall fast asleep. I had gained lots of weight and I was about 40 pounds overweight. I did not like how I looked at all. I looked bloated too.

I called Sayed Shelbaya on his job, my old Eyptian boyfriend and we started to go out again. He would pick me up at the group home and one night I got home late past the curfew. Sister Irene asked that I come into her office and she gave me a good tongue lashing. I was humilitated when she started to
accuse me of Sayed and I having a torrid affair. It was none of her business and I told her so. Shet told me in no uncertain terms if I did not like the rules I could pack up soon and find another place and I did. I called my Aunt Olive, my mother’s sister who had roomers who lived at 951 Alpine Ave near
Lincoln Fields Shopping Center. My aunt picked me up at the group ohme and my few boxes of belongings. I said goodbye to Sister Irene and the girls at the group home. I had only lived at the
group home for a few months. I was happy to leave but I would miss some of the women who lived there as some of them had become some of my good friends.

My aunt Olive had a nice bungalow on Alpine Ave. Her son Dow lived with her and he was about the same age as me. Olive had one or two roomers. She had a bedroom downstair in the basement. Olive was married to Johnny Burns but they split up in the late 60s. Uncle Johnny had a pet monkey and it did its business everywhere and Aunt Olive did not like that. Johnny named his son Dow after the beer. Aunt Olive worked at the Carlingwood restaurant as a waitress for years. Johnny and Olive met overseas during the war. They had a daughter named Patricia “Patsy” and then had a son named Dow. Uncle Johnny could play the accordion. Johnny moved out of the house at Alpine and took up with a lady named Dot who worked at the Bay in the restaurant another waitress. He eventually married her. Aunt Olive did not date and she liked it that way.

Aunt Olive was a hyper woman who was always on the go. She come home and once a month she would take the tips out of her trunk and put them on the kitchen table and there was a mountain of coins. Olive was a good waitress and she had her regular customers who would come in to see her.
She paid for Dow to have golf lessons and he won an Ontario golf award once, and paid for his college as well. She spoilt Dow. Patsy had a more difficult time in life. She got pregnant as a teenager and giave up her son Tyrone. She then met an American Service man named Robert “Bob”Rodney and then they got married and had a daughter named “Venus” Dow named his niece after the planet Venus.

The war in Vietnam was still going on when Bob got married to my cousin Patsy. He volunteered to go to Vietnam as he was an American citizen. Patsy and Venus lived off of Scott street in a rundown apartment while Bob was away in Vietnam. He never sent his wife any money and Patsy went on
social services. Patsy did not care for Venus very well. She did not care to her baby’s diaper rash
and the baby’s bottom was always scarlett red. She let her baby run around on the cold tile floor with nothing on in the middle of winter in her drafty apartment and the baby got pneumonia. Her house was filthy and a mess. Her apartment stunk of dirty diapers. Her mom Olive helped her with food.

Eventually Bob came home and he had Post Trauma Stress disorder. He went to Olive’s house one night when he got back from Vietnam. Venus was a toddler and sleeping on a double bed when he went into the bedroom with the light closed and took a baseball bat and started striking the walls.
Thank goodness he missed his toddler laying on the bed. He had emotional problems when he came back from Vietnam. Bob and Patsy moved to Belgium and other place in Europe. Pasty and Bob
eventually got divorced. Patsy moved in with a purple heart decorated soldier from Vietnam and he lived in Texas in a trailer with no air conditioning. Patsy got pregnant with this man’s baby and he
eventually told her to go home and he would come and get her and he never did. Patsy had her baby
girl Medea in Ottawa. Medea’s father was never heard of again. Patsy lived with Venus and Medea
on Stewart Street in a large three floor townhouse. One of her boyfriends Roger lived with her for a while. I lived with Patsy on and off when I had separated from my first husband Fred. Patsy would knit and crochet beautiful afghans and dresses and sweaters and sell them to people in her community.

Pasty was fun to be around. I went to a parade with once in Sandy Hill and I had a riot. I dressed up like a clown and Patsy was dressed up like Raggedy Ann. Patsy had a good heart and was kind.
Patsy did not drink alcohol and did not take street drugs. She was a square like me. She lives in
British Columbia now as does her brother. Aunt Olive retired to Hot Harrison Springs and had a
pizza parlour out there that did not do too well. My cousin Dow changes his name to George.
I would like to contact Pasty “Tricia Rodney” as she likes to call herself and I would like to contact
George Burns. I lost track of them. Pasty apparently had breast cancer. Venus and Medea her
daughters live out in British Columbia too. Patsy was good to me.

Well I moved into my Aunt’s house when I was l8 years old. I had just left the group home run by the nun named Irene Despards. In March of 1974, my aunt Olive and my cousin Patsy and I went to the Bayshore hotel for a few drinks, to have an evening out.

I was sitting with my aunt and cousin when a tall man with blond hair and glasses came by. For some strange reason, I said to the man “sit down, I want to talk to you, and he did”. I liked his smile and he was good looking, tall and slim. He bought me a drink and then we started to dance and then he asked me to his apartment and I did. He lived on Pinecrest Ave on the corner of Carling Ave.
He had two sons living with him. When we got to his apartment, he woke up his two boys and said I have a girl over here. He was quite proud he had a girl with him. Fred asked to me to show him some ID, he thought I was younger than 18 and I showed him some ID. I was l8 years old going on 19 years old. Fred was 42 years old. He was a real gentleman and walked me home to Pinecrest Ave.
He called me and then invited me to supper. He cooked a big roast and I ate most of it, as I was
really hungry and he could see that.

I was living on 60 dollars a month for food. I paid my aunt Olive 60 dollars rent, my welfare cheque was $120. a month. I never told Fred this as I thought he would judge me if he knew I was on welfare. I told her I worked for the City of Ottawa as a planner. Fred never said anything but I knew he knew that was not true. We started dating and I liked him a lot.

My mom bought me a black coat that looked shabby so Fred bought me a nice beige coat to look nice.
He took me under his wing so to speak and treated me like a little princess. Fred spoilt me to some
degree you could say. I feel in love with him. After a few months, I moved in with him and his sons Manfred and Walter into an apartment at 370 Forest Street on the 2nd floor.

I started to go to Heron Park College part of Algonquin College off Bank Street. I went there from May 74 – 75. I took a secretarial degree and got top marks.

In April in 1975, two weeks after my graduation, I got a job at National Defence at the Jelnor Building on Nepean Street in Ottawa. I worked for the Surgeon General’s Branch. Major J.P.D. “Robbie” Robinson was my boss, the right hand man to the Surgeon General who was then Admiral Roberts. After Admiral Roberts, was General Leach.

I was the secretary for the Admin department. Eleanor Faulkner was the clerk for the St. John Ambulance. Len Turner was a clerk, and Chief Warrant Officer Ballantyne was our ‘chief”. Chief was a soft spoken overweight man. He was very patient with me as I started my new job. He was the nicest boss I ever had. The major was a hyper man who smoked all the time. I would take dictation in his office and he would have one cigarette in the ashtray burning and then ligth up another one. His nerves were shot.

The Major always wanted his work done right away. He would write out his letters using a pencil and using a ruler to make sure the lines were straight. The major was neurotic and was always changing his letters. I would retype the same letter with minor changes a few times. He asked me to correct his grammar which I did. He was strict but he was fair most times. He and his wife adopted a little boy as they tried to have a chiild of their own to no success. As his little boy’s adoption papers were being
prepared, his wife got pregnant and they had a daughter. His two kids were cute. Sonja and Mark
His wife was a nice woman. One day I was taking dictation and his wife called him and said she had a car accident. His wife said she was ok and so were his kids. His pen flew out of his hand and landed on top of my dictation book. His car was totalled but he was happy his family was not hurt.

Fred and I got married in November 1975 in a civil ceremony by Rev Good at his house near Ottawa.
Fred was there with two friends and my brother Chris was there too. I invited my brother over the night before to make sure he got to my wedding on time. We drove up in a car. It is snowing a little bit. I had on a beautiful autumn chiffon dress and I had gone to the hairdresser in the morning at Lincoln Fields Shopping Center to get my hair done and I had little lilies of the valley in my hair.
I looked beautiful. I was so happy to get married, I was in love and had lots of hope for a good future.
My dreams were about to shatter very soon in my marriage.

Fred and I had a nice wedding reception at our apartment on Forest St. Manfred, my stepson bought
our wedding cake a three tier white cake at his job where he worked at the Britannia Bakery at the
Britannia Plaza. It was so nice of Manfred to do that. Walter was there too and helped out. One of
Fred’s friend’s wife came over that morning and helped to prepare some food. Fred looked happy and he drank alot at our wedding reception.

Fred and I got nice gifts and his co-workers gave us a lovely comforter for our bed. Fred and I had quite the mess to clean up after the reception. One of Fred’s friend’s wives had taken the lower tier of the cake to put away in a freezer for us.

Fred could be so charming you wanted to be around him all the time. When Fred drank he became a mean drunk who talked about World War II and that he was a teenager in Berlin who was forced to participate in the Nazi Youth. Fred’ was born in Berlin, Germany. His father was a colonel in the
calvary. His mom was a housewife. Fred had siblings.

Fred’s job in the Nazi Youth was to be on the fire brigade duty. He would pull people out of burning buildings after the bombs were dropped by the allied forces. He and some others in fire bridgade
would put the dead people in the middle of the street and pour lye on them to stop the prevention of disease. He would talk about all of this when he was drunk and he said he missed his family who he had not seen for years in Berlin because of the Berlin Wall separating East Berlin and West Berlin.
His family lived in East Berlin.

Fred was a German border guard patrolling the Berlin Wall on the East German side. Fred escaped to West Germany. He had to fight to get out of Berlin to reach West Germany. Something awful happened and he said some people were badly hurt but he would not elaborate. He was investigated by the West German authorities when he escaped from East Germany. He was allowed to live in West Germany.
Fred met a young German woman and married her and immigrated to Canada. Fred and his wife
lived on farm and Fred became a farm hand.

Fred got tired of being a farm hand and then started to build his own house in Limoges. He and wife
had their first baby boy named Manfred. Then they had another boy named Walter. Then he had a girl.

His wife eventually left him for an Austrian man and she had a son by him. His wife returned to him with her son and then Fred and his wife had their other two boys and daughter. They lived in Russell, Ontario. Fred worked in Ottawa and his wife worked for Loblaws as a big supervisor for the deli
department.

Fred did not drive, but his wife did. Fred abused his wife and then she left him for good and went to live with the Austrian man again and they moved to Austria with their own son.

Fred moved to 810 Pincrest Rd at the Olympia apartments in a two bedroom apartment. When I met Fred that is where he lived.

Fred was a very generous man. He would buy me clothes when I was first going out with him.
Fred loved to laugh too. We got along good for the first while. Little did I realize would lay ahead 

for me marrying a chronic alcoholic.

chapter-121

 

January 18, 2008

Above is a picture of left to right: Larry Lawson, Chris, my brother and John Clark. John was protesting on Parliament Hill in April 1984 his unfair job dismissal from the Ottawa Civic Hospital
on March 30/84.
Above is a picture of left to right: Joan Stinson, one of my friends and John Clark

Above is a picture of John Clark in Verdun, Montreal where he used to live.

Above is picture of John sister, Jackie holding her firstborn baby Adrienne at her christening.
Her husband Bill Gandhey is standing next to her.

Above is a picture of front to back: John’s mother Liz in dressed in white, his father John sitting next to her, Bill sitting next to Jackie. This picture was taken at Christmas 1982.


Above is a picture of John Clark as a young boy taken in Wales. John was born in Wales. His mother Liz was Welsh and his father was Polish.

 

chapter-13

 

anuary 18, 2008

Above is a picture of Sue’s former boyfriend, Stephane Theodore Fortin. It was his graduation picture for Grade 12. He was born in 1967 in Ottawa, Ontario. Stephane is now deceased (1967-1995)

Stephane and Sue in love: drowning together in a pool of psychiatric drugs (1989 – 1990) Ottawa, Ontario

This text has been edited and some portions deleted.

I met the love of my life in January 1989. I had put ad in the Canadian Mental Health Newsletter about my group called “Ottawa Advocates for Psychiatric Patients”(OAPP) . The year before I saw a letter from someone in Ottawa who wrote to Al Cote the consumer advocate for the Ottawa Citizen. A young man wrote he had purchased a membership for a health club and wanted his money back as he was not feeling well emotionally. I saw the ad and said to myself, I would like to meet this person and help them. Well it did happen, believe it or not. I did not know the person who wrote to Al Cote – the consumer advocate reporter who had a consumer column in the Ottawa Citizen. I did meet that person who wrote to Al Cote, and that was Stephane Fortin – be careful of what you wish for.

Stephane called me one night when I lived at Caldwell Ave in Ottawa Housing. I answered the phone
and this young man said he saw the small ad about my group and he needed some help, some advocacy. I said I would meet him but not in my home as I had no office. He agreed to meet me at the McDonald’s restaurant on Rideau Street in downtown Ottawa and I described what I looked like.

I went downtown to meet him. Stephane came through the entrance of McDonald’s. A tall man
who was overweight with an handsome baby face came in and smiled at me and said “Are you, Sue Clark?” and I nodded yes. Stephane started to laugh out loud. He had this laugh that was
contagious. He said he recognized me from the description I gave him. He sat down at the my booth.
We both ordered a meal and then chatted for hours. It was as if I knew Stephane all my life. He was easy to talk to and he and I laughted alot that night. We clicked instantly. I was attracted to him
and his energetic and bubbly personality. He was so handsome I could not keep my eyes off him.
I had separated from my second husband John Clark for about 9 months. John was dating a woman he knew who lived at in Sue’s apartment building on Caldwell Ave also called named Suzanne. Stephane had dated a girl for a year or two but it did not work out.

Stephane and I said goobye that night and I got his phone number. I said he could visit me soon. The next day I got a phone call and he said he wanted to visit me and so I said sure. I wanted to see Stephane again. I think he guessed I liked him. He was very intelligent and did not miss a thing. He had great insight into everything around him. He was a good judge of character and he knew I was a safe person, that I would not harm him and I would be a good friend to him. His instincts were good.

He came over to my house and I need some help to get my place organized. He was a very organized and neat person. Everything had to have it place. He was very clean about himself and so was his room that he rented.

I showed Stephane my portfolio of all the advocacy I had one and showed him the newspaper clippings
from the newspapers. He enjoyed me telling him all the stories of me and Jane Scharf and Karen
Tracey and all of our battles with the Ontario Disability Support Program, Ottawa Housing and with the police. He got a kick out of me and I knew he respected the work I was doing. He acknowledged me and my work. I needed someone to like the work I was doing.

We had supper and then Stephane went home. I didn’t want him to go home, I wanted him near me.
He came over everyday and after a month I did not ask him to go home that night. He slept on the couch for another month and both of were respectful of our boundaries. Everything was platonic
were about two months.

I visited him rooming house on Sweetland Ave in Ottawa off Laurier Ave. His big room was on the third floor. I was abled bodied then and could climb the three flights of squeaky steps up to his room.
There were three others roomers on his floor with one bathroom with a shower stall.

The first night I visited his room we talked so much I missed my bus to Caldwell. I slept on the floor and he respected me.

His room was neat as a pin. Nothing was out of place. It was so tidy I could hardly believe it.
Stephane was 21 years old and he was applying to Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) as
he had bad nerves from a traumatic childhood. He was seeing a psychiatrist and taking psychiatric drugs.

Stephane liked to sing and he was an excellent singer. He played some cassette tapes for me. He liked music. Stephane was very sexy. We both were sexually attracted to each other. Stephane was gorgeous. He was soft spoken and shy somewhat.

One thing led to another and we made love the first time in his room. He was a very passionate person. I never knew love could be as good as it was with him. He made me feel special like no other man had. He was a great lover. I was 33 years old and I was insecure he might find someone younger. He assured me that would not happen and he never did.

When people saw me and Stephane together, they would ask me if I was his mother and that hurt me but Stephane would just laugh it off and think it was funny. Stephane was a prankster and would
make up stories in a matter of minutes to make me worried and confused and then say he was only
joking. He knew how to get me going and he knew how to push all of my buttons. Stephane was no one’s fool. He told me loved me and he did. I loved him too.

I started to take psychiatric drugs again. I had been off them for about a year and a half and I was doing well without them. Stephane felt guilty that he was taking psychiatric drugs and I was not.
Stephane was addicted to the pills and he told me so. He started to get aggressive and told me I needed the pills too. He hassled me about this all the time.

Stephane and I had argued one night at his room on Sweetland Ave, some petty thing. I was laying on my back in his rug in his room. Stephane was taking his pills from a pill bottle. All of a sudden Stephane straddled me and forced some of his pills into my mouth and would not get off me until I swallowed the pills with some water. I was really upset by the whole incident. When Stephane fell asleep that night, I called my friend Jane Scharf in Ottawa. She knew me well. I told her what
Stephane had done and told her I was feeling suicidal. She knew when I called her if I was really
thinking about suicide or if I just need to vent my frustrations. When I was suicidal she knew how to calm me down and so I could think rationally and find solutions to what was frustrating me. Sometimes she spoke to me on the phone for hours as I was so frazzled. I believe if Jane was not around to help me in those days, I would not be around here today.

Stephane and I were emotionally dependent on each other but our relationship was not a healthy one.
We were two prescription drugs addicts on the road leading to the road to hell. Our life together was
starting to become a hell, a hell that one does not want to go through even for one minute it was so bad.

We would fight about the issue of my not wanting to take psychiatric drugs anymore. I wanted to
get off the psychiatric drugs again . I told him psychiatric drugs on the whole were toxic and I did not want to take psychiatric meds anymore. The police were called sometimes when we yelled too loud at our apartment on Caldwell Ave. The cops wanted to see both of us to make sure we did not have any injuries from fighting. When the cops saw that we were only verbally abusing each other, they left, a lover’s quarrel they must hav thought to themselves.

One night I threw a ceramic teapot on the kitchen floor. Stephane was in the living room and this set him off. It scared him the noise of the teapot breaking. I told him I was angry. He had gone to visit a girl he had met on a radio show who called in to one of the french radio shows he was listening to. He did not cheat on me and I knew that, but I did not like that he visited another girl and that is why I threw the teapot. He said he was sorry. He never visited her again.

I am a jealous person when it comes to my men. I am insecure and I can act out.

We fought from time to time. I yelled at Stephane to get off his drugs and told him he was a drug addict and he took a fit. He went into my storage room and took out a crow bar to use on me,
but I acted real calm and cool and told him I was sorry. He called emergency at the Royal Ottawa
Hospital and told them he was out of control. He put down the crowbar only after I hid in the bathroom door and prayed he would not kill me. He smashed the crow bar into the bathroom
tile floor near and gouged a piece of tile out of the floor and then I told him calmly to put the crowbar down and he did. Then Stephane started sobbing loudly and told he me he was sorry. We both cried for hours holding each other. I forgave him and told him I was sorry for provoking him. I never told anyone about this incident until many years later.

One night he threw me on the waterbed as we had had an argument. We both made up quickly.
We sometimes would fight over silly things.

We both paid for everything equally, 50% each down the middle, the rent, the food, the cable, the bus fare. We were both fair with each other in our financial matters.

I kept taking my psychiatric pills and so did Stephane. One day I was walking down Merivale Road with Stephane. It was the summer of 1989. We left our apartment at Caldwell Ave and were headed to the video arcade down the street. Stephane and I would like to play PacMan and Stephane was a good player. He and his brothers would play video arcades lots. I never won against Stephane in
playing PacMan.

When we were walking home one night from the video arcade on night, Stephane yelled out in public on Merivale road at the top of his voice, “Sue Clark, you are a schizophrenic and you need to take your pills as you are sick”. I yelled at Stephane to shut up and he did not, but got louder and louder as we walked along the street. I was so embarrassed I just wanted to crawl into a hole and never come
out. We had another big argument after that.

In July 1980, Stephane and I had lived together for about 7 months. I was getting sick and tired of him
bullying me into taking psychiatric drugs and I was getting more afraid of Stephane for good reasons.
His behaviour towards me was getting more aggressive and violent.

One day Stephane and I had a bad argument and he threw me hard against the back of our apartment door. I was hurt. Stephane went to take a shower and I took my keys and went out of the apartment
to the convenience store down the block called the “Quickie” store. I used a pay phone there and called the police. I told the cops Stephane was in the apartment. I waited for the police to show up and brought the two police officers upstairs to my apartment. Stephane was still in the shower, he liked to take long showers. The police knocked on the bathroom door and informed him to dry up and get dressed and he did.

I told the police I would like to call his sister Francine who was living with her boyfriend and their daughter in a townhouse near St. Laurent Blvd in Ottawa. I told Francine that there was an argument between her brother and I and that the police were there and I needed for him to go over to her house and she said it was ok. Stephane grabbed his pills and some of his clothes and left.
Stephane looked sad and so did I. After the cops left with Stephane, I broke down and cried all night.

Stephane called me a few days later to ask if he could pick up the rest of his stuff and I said ok. His
sister’s boyfriend drove him. Stephane came into the apartment and was very cool towards me.
He said goodbye and that was it.

He went to live with his mother later on that summer. She lived on Baycrest Ave. Jean had a two bedroom apartment. I sent Stephane a card and told him in the card I was suicidal. Stephane became worried about me and then shortly after landed up at the Ottawa General Hospital psychiatric ward in September of 1989. I went to see him and he was flirting with an Italian girl who was very
pretty called Gabriella. I was jealous and angry but did not show Stephane my real feelings, but he guessed how I felt. Gabriella had only eyes for Stephane and she followed Stephane with her eyes
whenever he left or entered a room. Stephane had 2 brothers.

I went home and got panicky. Here was Stephane on the ward and he was in bad shape. He
was very doped up with all his meds. I landed up in emergency and was suicidal. All of the stress
was too much for me to take. I landed up on the same ward as Stephane at the Ottawa General Hospital psychiatric ward. Stephane was indifferent to me for awhile and gave me the cold shoulder.
One night he walked down the hallway and came into my room in the semi darkness and scard the
the hell out of me. He told me in no uncertain terms to get out of my bed and he wanted to talk to me and I did. We walked down a long corridor with no rooms nearby. He told me he wante to be with me
and he needed me to respect him and vice versa. I kissed him on the cheek . He squeezed my arm
tight and wanted to do more with me but could not as we had no privacy. He had a look of passion in his eyes and I knew he wanted me then and there. We told each other we loved each other. Earlier in that day I went to the Westgate shopping center and got my hair dyed and cut and got my fingernails
done and wore a nice outfit that night when I came back to the ward. I wanted Stephane to notice me and he did. He knew I was making a play for him and it worked. I wanted him back badly and would have done anything to win back his affections.

People on the ward started to gossip. Gabriella had her nose bent out of shape once she realized me and Stephane had lived together earlier in the year and we were former lovers. She gave me and
Stephane the cold shoulder for the remainder of our stay on the ward. I was happy as I got my man back. We were discreet but the staff and patients found out we were back together again. It was easy to see as we looked into each others’ eyes, the look of love was there for everyone to see.
We did not display our affection to each other directly. We had enough sense not to do anything
in the romance department on the ward, it was not the right place nor the right time.

We had group therapy together. A doctor and a nurse and some patients put their chairs in a
circle and we all started to talk one by one of what was on our minds. Well, Stephane blurts out he had lived with me and I was embarrassed as he looked so young and I looked old enough to be his mother,
the doctor and nurse just looked a bit shocked but listened to what he had to say. Stephane wanted me to more like a woman and not like a mother. He wanted me to make him feel like a man and not like a kid. He was resenting the way I treated him. He had lots pride and dignity and I was not
helping him to maintain that. He was very articulate and told eveyone that he cared for me but
that I had to change my behaviour towards him and I told him I would try to do my best.

Stephane told his psychiatrist Dr. Gosselin he wanted to get off his meds, and Dr. Gosselin took him off his meds cold turkey, not a good thing to do all. A person should be first me weaned off their meds.
One day I was in the livingroom watching TV and then I saw Stephane having a nurse and an orderly
trying to walk Stephane to his room. Stephane could barely stand up and his eyes were rolling back into their sockets, Stephane was having convulsions. Stephane was taken his room and put on one to one supervision around the clock. I could no visit Stephane in his room, a few rooms down from
my room on the ward. I cried all night I was so worried about him. After a few days Stephane came out of his room and he was angry for the doctor taking him off his pills cold turkey. He knew he
had convulsions because I told him. He did not like Dr. Gosselin at all. He found the doctor to be
a bully.

One day I walked into my room. I shared my room with three other patients. We had a bathroom and a shower in my room. One of my roommates was being scolded by a nurse. The young woman
started to yell at the nurse. The nurse threatened to put leg and arm restraints on her and tie her up in bed if they did not stop and she did. The female patient went hysterical. I saw all of this happening.
No one came to her aid as she yelled “Somebody help me, take off these straped now, I don’t want to be tied up”. The nurse who tied up the young woman left the room. I told her I would help and I untied her restraints, I set her free and then she calmed down for sometime and then returned to her old self. After awhile the same nurse came back into our room and said the patient “who untied you?”
and I said to the nurse that I had. I told the nurse I was mental health advocate as well as a patient
and I told her tying up the girl against her will was violating her human rights”. The nurse gave me
a hard cold stare and and then walked quickly out of the room. Whether or not she believed that I was a mental health advocate I do not know. I only know the staff did not tie up the young woman again after that while I still a patient on the ward.

I told Stephane I was going to walk out of the hospital and get out and I signed some papers that said I was being released against the hospital advice that I should stay. Stephane was still in the hospital when I left and he did not want me to leave him there on the ward. I said I would visit the next day and I did. Stephane told me he wanted to sign out of the hospital and I helped him do it. He got his belongings together and we took a taxi to my home at 1485 Caldwell Ave. I lived on the 14th floor
in a one bedroom apartment facing Caldwell Ave overlooking Merivale Road and Baseline Road.
Across from my apartment building was a big field and to the left was a privately owned apartment building. Down the street to the left was the “Quickie” convenience store and number 14 bus stop.
To the right was the community center and a kids outdoor pool and some private residental houses.

Stephane told me to order some food and so I did. Stephane and I paid for everything 50-50. Stephane was fair like that. Stephane and I would sleep together but did not make love for about two weeks. Stephane’s nerves were stretched to the limit. His experience at the Ottawa General
Hospital psychiatric ward traumatized him. He became suicidal because of it. I took care of Stephane 24/7 around the clock for 8 months. I never left him alone for one minute. I had no other support to help us. Being together all the time was taxing on the both of us.

Stephane had to go to court when I met him. A year before I knew him he had found a visa card in someone’s purse and used in a convenience store. It was a woman’s visa card and he got caught.
I got him a good lawyer in Ottawa. He was afraid to show up in court but I was there. Stephane got
a one year probation sentence because he had no criminal record in the past. He thanked me for my advocacy. I went with him to his probation meetings.

When I broke up with Stephane because he was abusive to me, I told his probation officer what happened and that Stephane was not living with me anymore.

Stephane stayed with his sister Francine and her boyfriend from Bangladesh and their little girl Florence. Francine told me her boyfriend would make fun of her weight. Francine was obese.
She found out eventually her boyfriend was seeing another woman in Ottawa who came from his
native land. His two brothers lived with them. Florence was about two years old and she was so cute.
She was an active little girl who lived liked to play and dance around when she heard music play.

Francine and Stephane were close emotionally. Stephane depended on his sister for emotional support. Francine was very jovial and a nice person. Francine was generous and had a good heart.
I liked Francine and she liked me too.

Stephane and I would visit Francine and she would visit us at our apartment on Caldwell. I enjoyed
Florence, Stephane’s little niece. Stephane would buy her clothes and buy her toys. He loved his
little niece so much. He was good with children and he was patient with them. Florence liked to me around her uncle who adored her so much.

When Stephane and I broke up for good in the summer of 1990, my heart was broken. I would wake up everyday and cry for hours. This continued for at least a year. In the winter of 1991, I met Dustin
who lived a few streets over from me on Kirkwood ave. I was introduced to Dustin by a friend of mine.

Dustin and I started to go out a few months later. Dustin lived with a roommate named Dennis.
They shared a two bedroom apartment on Kirkwood Ave. Dustin worked on an old manual elevator at the Saxe building on Sparks Street. Dennis was a dishwasher for Nortel.

Stephane eventually moved to Fairlea Ave near the Herongate mall close to his mom’s apartment on Baycrest Ave. His sister Francine eventually left her boyfriend. She and her daughter moto
Stephane’s apartment building. Stephane and Francine lived on different floors.

One day Stephane heard someone frantically yelling for him to open up his door. His niece Florence
who was about five years old was screaming at the top of her lungs. Stephane opened the door and Flornece yelled that she could not wake up her mother Francine. Stephane and Florence went up to
Francine’s apartment. Francine looked like she was sleeping peacefully but in fact she was dead.
Stephane freaked out and the police showed up. Stephane was too distraught to go to his sister’s funeral. He never got over his sister’s death. She was only 28 years old. She had complained to Stephane a few days earlier that she had a sharp pain in one of her legs. Stephane told her she should got to the hospital but did not. Francine died of a blood clot.

Stephane became suicidal after his sister’s death and he went in and out of psychiatric wards. He told me one day when I bumped into him on Elgin Street. I had left ‘the Well’ a women’s drop in center
at the corner of Elgin Street and Somerset street. The drop in was in the basement of St. John’s
anglican church.

Stephane told me that he was having a hard time to accept his sister’s death and told me about some of his suicide attempts. I did not tell him I was seeing Dustin but he knew I was going out with Dustin. He saw me and Dustin coming out of his apartment building which was close to his mother’s apartment on Baycrest. I could tell Stephane missed me but was too proud to tell me. In his body language I knew he still cared. He would laugh and look at me with his big brown eyes. I did not have the same feeling for Stephane anymore because I liked Dustin my boyfreind. Dustin and I had a platonic relationship for 14 years. Dustin was 13 years younger than me, a year younger than Stephane.

Stephane bought me an ice cream cone and we went into the park nearby and sat on a bench and talked together for about an hour. I told Stephane I had to go and we walked me to my bus stop on Slater Street. I wished Stephane the best and he did the same for me.

A few months later I bumped into Stephane again at the Rideau Center. He was sitting on a bench
nearby the cafe where I was. I am sure he saw me before I saw him. I stopped and said hello.
We walked over to the Rideau Center food court and started to talk. He said he was living at the
Shepherds of Good Hope in a room down the street. I told him I was seeing Dustin. He said he knew.
We talked for a long time and then I went home. About a month later I went to see a friend of mine named Ruby. She and I had a mutual friend named Violet who lived next to Ruby. Violet was a nice lady who always invite all her friends for supper. We had great times together. Ruby liked to drink and so I had a few drinks and I got a intoxicated to some degree. I called up Stephane and said I wanted to meet him at the Rideau Center and he said he would. I called up a taxi on Forward Ave
and got in. Ruby gave me a nice plate of the Wizard of Oz that I stuffed into my big purse.
Anyhow I got the Rideau Center and was short a dollar for the ride, and told the driver that was all
I had. The driver argued with me and then told me to get out of his cab and he was angry for good reason. That was first and last time I short changed a cabbie driver. I was too drunk to realize I did not have enough money for the taxi. I could walked pretty good and I saw Stephane coming down the
escalator and we said hello. We talked for hours at the Food court. I told him that I needed to talk to him. I told him I did not like him being abusive to me in the past and he apologized to me. I apologized for my behaviour towards him too in the past. He told me he missed me and he wanted me to come to his room. He was depressed. I did not want to go to his room and told him. He looked angry at me. He turned to me with very cold eyes and said goodbye. I watched as he walked away.
I gave him a hug but he did not return my hug. He pulled away from me.

A few weeks later I got a call from Stephane at home. He told me he was calling everyone he knew to say he was going to committ suicide soon. I got frantic and told him not to do that. He asked me earlier in our conversation if I was happy with Dustin and I said yes. He told me I was lucky and that
he wishe me well. He thanked me for helping me and he told me he did love me. I told him to
hang on and that life was precious. He said he could not cope with his sister’s death and then said goodbye. After he hung up, I sat there in a stupor and in shock. I could not believe what Stephane had just said. Stephane said he was going to kill himself all the time. I thought it was one of those times whereby he thought of suicide and probably would not do anything to himself. In retrospect,
I regret not calling the Shepherds of Good Hope where he lived and inform Stephane felt suicidal.

Later on December 21 of 1995, Stephane did commit suicide only I did not realize it. I did not read
the obituaries of the papers anymore. Too many of my friends had passed away. Dustin saw the
obiturary and decided not to ruin my Christmas. I knew Dustin was keeping something from me but I did not ask him what it was. I was consumed by the Christmas season that I loved and en joyed.
In the middle of January in 1996, I finally demanded that Dustin tell me what he was hiding from me.
I was in my apartment in Ottaw West. I had a mattress on my living room floor that I used for a bed.

Dustin told me he had something to say that would shock me. He warned me first. “Stephane is dead” Well I dropped the phone and jumped onto my mattress on the floor in front of me and wailed loudly for hours. I was in shock. Finally the next day I called Dustin back and asked when Stephane had died. Dustin told me Stephane died on December 21, 1995 and he was 28 years old. Too young to die. I went into a severe depression for 3 months. I isoloated myself and stayed alone at home
and watched tv for 18 hours a day. Dustin would visit and I would either sit there and say nothing or cry during the whole time he visited me. He tried to get me out of the house to no avail. I looked very sad people told me when I did go out. I was not myself. I bottled up all of my feelings in public but could not mask my sadness from the world, it was evident on my face. I don’t hide my sadness very well. My eyes had a look that was full of pain.

I had been distraught over Stephane’s sister death a year earlier. I went into a depression then too.
I don’t handle someone dying very well. I am a very super sensitive and emotional person. My friends called to give me emotional suppport. These days I can talk about Stephane calmly as it been almost 12 years since he committed suicide. I still feel the pain of his death when I speak about him,
that type of pain never goes away, I just bury deep into my heart and soul. I loved this man so much
it is hard to describe. Stephane and I were soulmates, very much alike, it was uncanny. We would finish off each other sentences and we thougth alike and did things alike. He was the love of my life but I have learned to love again.

I put all of my heart and soul into our relationship, I gave him everything I had and a gave all of me to him. I did not keep anything for me. I got lost in our relationship and forgot to look out for number one me. My needs came last and that was not a good thing. I forgot to look after myself and nuture myself.
I never want to do that in a relationship again. give and and give until there is nothing to give because I gave it all. I did not have the self respect and self esteem to remain an individual and look after me. I became second best and that is all I ever expected from a man was to be at his beck and call
and not care about me. I changed that type of toxic thinking but it took many years and therapy to get it right, I am number one and I count and I have needs and I have to look after me becasue if I don’t hwo will, no one. I had to take responsibility for my actions and become accountable to me and others.
I took stock of myself and did not like what I a saw. I saw a woman who willowed in her own self pity and let people push her around and abuse her and use her. One day I woke up and said ‘enough of this, no more, no more abuse, no more being used..that is it…I was sick and tired of being sick and tired….

I started to learn to say no and say I will think about your request. I stopped being a ‘yes’ person to ‘
everyone around me. I thought if I said no to someone they may leave me for good. I had a feeling of being abandoned and that came from my dysfunctional family of origin, my immediate family.

The hospital food was bland and often cold when it came up to our ward. The portions were small and the menu was not very good. Cheap food that tasted like rubber.

Every morning at the Ottawa General psychiatric ward around 7 a.m. the medical staff would make their rounds to see all the patients. I was sleeping in my hospital bed when all of a sudden I heard a man’s voice say “hello, Suzanne”. I rolled over to face the door of my room and I saw 6 people in white hovering over me. There was my psychiatrist, my primary nurse, my psychologist, my occupational therapist and some medical students. I looked up and had to clean the sleepy dust from my eyes. My hair was not combed and I must have looked like some else to them. I am not a pretty
sight first thing in the morning. It is very imtimidating to have all these people looking right over you like you are some sort of specimen to them, very unnerving to say the least.

My “team” as they called themselves asked me how I was doing. They asked various sorts of general questions. I answered to the best of my ability, that is all I could do at that early time in the morning. I certainly didn’t look very friendly to them as I am always grumpy in the morning when I get up for about an hour. I don’t wake up easily and it takes me a long time to get going and get
organized in the mornings. Some people just spring out of bed like there is no tomorrow but I just can’t do that.

Anyhow my “team” would walk away and whisper things about me between themselves. Then I would get up and take a shower and then get dressed to go to the breakfast room. I would have my hospital
breakfast food and then start my day’s activities on the ward that could range from group therapy, or seeing my psychiatrist or psychologist, or going to occupational therapy.

One day I went to see Dr. Bourgon my psychiatrist. He was a man in his 40s. He was French-Canadian. He told me I should try to save my marriage to John Clark to which I threw off my wedding ring in his office and then took his empty small ashtray and threw it on the floor beside me. He did not react at all. He was calm and cool. He did however inform me that I would have to pay for the ashtray and I said I would. I did not apologize for breaking the ashtray. I picked up my wedding ring and put in on one of my fingers. Dr Bourgon told me I should not mask my feelings but show them. He told me if I am happy, my face should show it and if I was angry I should look angry. He told me I was masking my feelings and that was not a good thing to do. He told me I was holding in all of my feelings and showing the world what I really felt by not expressing to them how I felt. When I was a child I had to
bottle up all my feelings and stuff them, I was not allowed to vent to my parents if I thought they were being unfair with me. In my home, you just took what you got and never complained no matter how bad it got at home.

I told my psychiatrist he was right and he figured me out very well. He nodded his head. He thought
I was probably overeating to stuff all of my emotions and went to the fridge as soon as uncomfortable or painful feelings came up. I used food to numb my feelings, my pain. I still do overeat but not as much. I have lost 50 pounds and I am happy. I have more weight to lose but will lose it when I am ready. I had some people around me who were toxic to me and so I ended those friendships.
Some people around me put me down and belittled me so I said to myself I don’t need this and so let those friendships go. In my life right now, I have supportive people around me who believe in me.
I trust them is what I am saying and they are safe people to be around.

 

chapter-14

 

January 31, 2008

Above is a picture of Dennis Hunt on the right of this picture. Dennis is wearing glasses.

Dennis Hunt was a good friend of mine. He used to live with another friend of mine, Dustin Munro.
They were room mates. Dennis and Dustin used to live on Kirkwood Ave in Ottawa in a two bedroom
apartment.

Dennis spent most of his adolescent years at the Ottawa Regional Center in Smith Falls, Ontario. The center had residents with people with severe handicaps. He left the Ottawa Regional Center and then moved to Cornwall and had a room mate Renee. Then he became a client of the Ottawa-Carleton Association for Persons with Developmental Disabilities (OCAPDD). Dennis was a quiet person. He had a soft voice and he was a gentle person.

In January of 1991 a friend of mine named Valerie Gold called Dustin and asked him if I could come over to visit him. Dustin lived on Kirkwood and it was a very cold night and I had on these thin leather boots not made for the winter weather. I took two buses and finally reached Carling and Kirkwood Ave near the Westgate shopping center. I had to go in and out of the building lobbies in order to warm up. My feet were almost frozen solid. I couldn’t afford a good pair of winter boots at that time.

I met Valerie when she called my group “The Ottawa Advocates for Psychiatric Patients” (OAPP)
Valerie and I became fast friends. Her father was a doctor in Montreal. Valerie was a nice woman.
She was Jewish. I told her my first boyfriend was Jewish and that his name was Marvin Hersh and he was from Toronto. Valerie was a nice person. She liked men and had lots of boyfriend on the go.
She was in her 30s, she was beautiful and men liked her too. She had a pretty face and a nice body.
She had a nice personality too. She was a bubbly type of person. We had fun when we got together.
We laughed alot. A man from Sweden was using her and I told her. Igmar kept her hanging on.

One day I went to visit Valerie at her apartment on Somerset Street near Bank Street. She had a small bachelor apartment. On her kitchen table she had a box opened that had condoms. I asked her if she made all her men put on the condoms and she said sometimes she asked them to, others times she did not ask them to. I told her she knews AIDS and STDs were around and she should practice safe sex. I told her to tell her men “No glove, no love”. I didn’t want anything to happen to Valerie. I was like a big sister to her. She was not offended and she said I gave her good advice. I never judged Valerie about all her men. It was her life style, not mine.

Valerie respected me. Valerie had a child like quality about her. She was very refreshing and bright. She could converse about any subject. She was a joy to be around. She was kind and sweet. She had this tremedous laughter that was contagious. When Valerie laughed, everyone around her started to laugh. She looked at the world as if everything was new to her and she was seeing everything around her for the first time. Valerie loved life and she lived to the fullest extent of it. I admired
Valerie at her zest for life. Valerie was always on the go, out and about you could say.

Valerie told her father that she wanted to go to Paris and get a man. Her father went to the court house in Ottawa and had his daughter incarcerated in the local looney bin for 72 hours. Nothing was wrong with Valerie and they let her go after her 72 hours were up. Her father must have been very controlling.

Valerie just wanted to travel and be romanced by the beautiful city of love, Paris. I have had the same dream from time to time. I am sitting at a small cafe late at night and a handsome man comes over to me and speaks in a Parisian accent and ask if he can sit down and I say yes. He buys me a glass of wine and that is the start of a very romantic evening. Valerie’s idea about a trip to Paris was harmless and so were her dreams of getting a man in Paris…. who wouldn’t want to visit this great city and fall in love….everyone has dreams and I believe this keeps up their spirit…

Valerie left Ottawa and then moved back to Montreal. I miss Valerie. I miss her laughter, her honesty, and her carefree spirit…. Valerie was one of a kind…a special person….

I finally came to an apartment building with three floors. I buzzed Dustin and he saw me from the third floor and thought I was an old lady because the lights made my blond hair look white. He came down
the stairs and said hello. Dustin was a tall handsome young man with dark brown eyes and a nice smile. He invited me up to his apartment. Dustin sat on the big chair and I sat on the sofa.
Dustin and I started to talk right away as if we knew each other for years. Dustin told me he had
a room mate named Dennis. Dennis came into the apartment and I introduced myself to him.
Dennis was in his early forties and he was also tall and wore glasses. Dennis was shy. He did not
speak to me much at first, he was sizing me up you could say. Dennis was no one’s fool. He listened to everything I said to Dustin. We talked for hours and then I told the men I had to go home.

Dustin offered to walk me home to my apartment building at 1485 Caldwell Ave, an Ottawa Housing
complex housing the poor. Dennis came along. It was a 10 minute walk and it was real cold.
I lived on the 14th floor and I invited the men in. We sat down and then talked for a long time.
It must have been about midnight when I said goodbye to Dustin and Dennis. They were so nice to me. Dustin gave me his phone number.

I called Dustin the next night as asked to come over to watch TV. Dennis answered the phone and I got mixed up and used to call Dennis “Dustin” and I used to call Dustin “Dennis”. It took me a while to get their names straight. You could say I had an crush on Dustin. Dennis would often answer the phone and say Dustin was not home from work yet. I would go over and wait for Dustin.

Dennis finally opened up to me. He trusted me. Dennis was a good man and very smart. He worked as dishwasher. He had his own Visa Card and did most things on his own. Both Dustin and Dennis had a counsellor come in monthly to help them from the OCAPDD. Her name Marlena program. Dusiin and Dennis were part of the SIL program which stands for Semi Independent Living. Dustin is not
developmentally delayed. He was just part of this program to help him integrate into society after living so long in group homes since he was 9 years old. Dennis and Dustin got along well.

Dustin worked at the Saxe building at 75 Sparks Street on the manual elevator. He worked there for
7 years from 1990 to 1997. He now works for Loblaws in Ottawa.

Dustin started to rent cars. Dennis and I would tag along. I had a driver’s licence and would pay
1/3 of the car rental and we would drive all around Ottawa and the surrounding towns and villages.
Once we went to Consecon, Ontario to see a group home called “Bayfield” run by ?????

We used to like to go into old abandoned houses. One evening on a Sunday, it was August 4, 1991
Dustin was driving me and Dennis and we were on highway 44 near Almonte, Ontario. Dustin and Dennis had gone into this abandoned house and I had stayed in the passenger seat of the car while the men saw the old house. Dennis came back and sat in the back seat behind my seat. Dustin came back and got into the driver’s seat.

In front of us a black sports car pulled up in front of us a few meters away and a red pick up truck was
across the highway from us and another car pulled up in front of the black sports car. A tall thin
man got out of the passenger side of the sports car with long thin hair and walked towards our car.
I opened my door for a minute and said hello to the man and he said nothing. He had a hard cold stare
as I looked at him, not a good sign at all I thought to myself and I was right. I turned around
to the back seats and told Dennis to lock his door and roll us his window. I did not notice the tall
man with his hand on the handle of my car door as I was talking to Dennis and my back was towards my car door.

I turned around and looked at Dustin and told to take off quickly and he did. Our car’s tires squealed as we left the side of the highway. The man in the black sports car and the other two cars that we near him followed us closely behind. Dustin was going about 120 km and he sped up the highway for
5 minutes. We came into Almonte and sped and then we saw a pizza parlour and then I yelled, “go into there” and Dustin did. He thought it was a driveway but it actually was a lawn and a sidewalk he went over, but he did manage to drive into the laneway of the pizza parlour. We saw a young man coming out of the place with a pizza box in his arms. Dustin told him some cars had been chasing us and asked where the OPP was. The young man gave Dustin the instructions to the OPP office.

The three cars had sped off into the highway nowhere to be seen. I was relieved. It was an awful
experience to say the least. We went to the OPP office and pushed a buzzer on the front entrance
of the building. Someone answered. We told them the story and they said they could not do much if we did not have a licence number.

I believe the men wanted our car as it was a brand new car rental. This type of thing has happened before on our highways. I can only speculate what they would have done to us if they had done this.
I believe my angels were watching over us that day for sure.

We would got to Swiss Chalet and have dinner somtimes. Sometimes we would go to other placees like the Stittsville Flea Market past Bells Corners near Ottawa. I would drive sometimes. I prefer driving on the highway rather than city driving. I get too impatient sitting in city traffic.

Dennis and I would talk when Dustin was out of the house. Dennis told me he wanted to visit his sister Betty in San Francisco and he did in April 1992. He hadn’t seen her in many years. Betty and her
husband were very nice to Dennis. Dennis took some pictures of his visit and he showed them to
Dustin and I. San Francisco is a beautiful city with a great big beautiful bridge called “The Golden
Gate” bridge.

Dennis would never quit a job right away. He would get a new job and tell the boss he would work one week free and if they liked him they could hire him and then he would quit his old job. Dennis was smart. I had never thought of doing anything like that.

Dennis and I would laugh our heads off sometimes. He had a wonderful sense of humour. He was
like a brother to me.

In 1992, Dennis went to see Dr. Birnbaum in Ottawa. He had a sore side and his family doctor sent him for a scan. It came back negative and Dennis’s side still hurt so his doctor sent him again to the doctor. Dennis had cancer in his liver. It took awhile for the doctors to find out. Dennis was in the hospital from September 7 to Octobert 9th at the Ottawa Civic Hospital.

One night I was a Dustin’s apartment and Marlena, Dennis’s counsellor called and told us the bad news about Dennis. Dennis had about 3 days to live. Dennis knew as he was told he had to make a will …..I asked to speak to Dennis. He had to take off his respirator in order to speak. I told him I loved him. I hope he heard me. Dustin also spoke to Dennis.

Dustin and I were devastated about the news about Dennis. I cried and cried and Dustin tried to console me. We read from Dennis’s bible he had at home. On Friday, on October 9th, Dustin and I went to the Ottawa Civic Hospial and wanted to visit Dennis for one last time.

A nurse on Dennis’s ward told us to sit down on the bench nearby. We told the nurse we would not be long and wanted just to say hello to him. The nurse told us the family needed to be called. I got confused. The nurse had compassionate eyes and she was telling us with her body language something that I could not figure out yet.

She asked Dustin to go into an office with her behind the nurses’ front desk. Dustin went in with the nurse into a room and then the nurse came out quickly. She sat down near me and told me to follow her into the same room that Dustin was in. I followed the nurse.

I walked into the small room and Dustin had his head in his hands and he was bawling his eyes out. I figured out quickly that Dennis had died. I wailed loudly. We stayed for about 10 minutes and we both could not stop crying I took Dustin into my arms and we both cried together. I am sure the staff at the nurses’ desk heard us. Dennis was 43 years old when he did.

Dennis died in a private room. His mother and two of his sisters Lois from Russell, Ontario,
and Pat from Dunrobin were there when he died. Dennis had a respirator on his mouth. Dennis was pain free as he was given medication.

Dustin and I left the room and we were still in shock. Someone came off the elevator and they knew
Dustin and started to ask general questions about the hospital. I was in shock and everything
seemed amplied. People voices seemed louder and the lights seemed brighter. I said we had to go as a friend of ours just died.

On the bus on the way home, I don’t remember much of that day at all. It was one of the saddest
days of my life. Dennis was close friend of mine, he was like a brother to me. It was as if I lost a family member. To this day it is still difficult to speak about Dennis without choking up and tears swelling up in my eyes.

I went to the Dennis’s funeral in downtown Ottawa on October l4th at Hulse, Playfair and McGarry funeral home on Mcleod Stret in downtown Ottawa. It was a a beautiful sunny day. I had left the The Well a drop in for Women on Somerset Street. One of the staff hugged me before I went to Dennis’s funeral. I put on a nice skirt and top and wore black patent leather shoes and a nice pearl necklace. I looked very sad and I was. Dustin was there and he sat with me. Dustin’s parents sat across from us. I bent my head down and could not contain myself and I cried out loud.
I did not stay to greet the family afterwards as I was in no mental condition to do that. I had to get away and be on my own for awhile. I felt as if I was being suffocated, I needed some air. I was having a panic attack and it lasted for a long time that day.

Dennis was cremated and his ashes were buried at the Beechwood Cemetery on October l7th. Dustin and I and Joanne Harvey and her boyfriend showed up for the ceremony. Joanne Harvey was Dennis’s former counsellor and a good friend. Joanne married her boyfriend later on. Joanne and her boyfriend lived in a nice older home near Bank Street in the Glebe area of Ottawa near the
Rideau Canal. Joanne had to be St. Bernard dogs. She had Dennis come over and walk her dogs when she and her boyfriend were away. Joanne fixed her home so nicely. She had an old fashioned bath tub with a shower curtain all around it. Joanne is a friendly, nice and a good person. Joanne has long
blond hair. Her and her boyfriend got married in the big Roman Catholic called “Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica, the oldest church in Ottawa. She split up with her husband later on. She still works for the OCAPDD and she helps to organize the wonderful Christmas dinner every year which I go to with Dustin. Joanne is an excellent organizer.

A man rode up in a small car and got out with an a small box in his hands, Dennis’s ashes. The man was from the funeral home. They lived together in a nice house near
Bank Street. It was a sunny day and the weather was perfect, not a cloud in the sky. Some birds were flying overhead and some birds were chirping in the trees.

It was a horrible thing to witness. After the ceremony I went into flashbacks of memories of riutal abuse I had experienced as a child and which I had suppressed for over 30 years. A can of worms had just been opened for me by Dennis’s death. I will discuss the ritual abuse later in my book.

chapter-15

 

 

Above is a picture of Dustin Ross Munro taken in 1991 in Ottawa. Dustin was 23 years old.

Founded in 1973, by Phyllis and Philip Baldwin, Bayfield is a private rural residential setting designed for youth with special needs. Children referred to Bayfield have experienced psychiatric, psychological, social, and/or academic difficulties.

We are located in the village of Consecon, ten miles south of Trenton, Ontario. The residence is licensed by the Ministry of Community and Social Services and the school is inspected by the Ministry of Education.

Map

Bayfield provides extensive activity programming with school, recreational, vocational and clinical components. The staff include: Child Care Therapists, Vocational Instructors, Special Education Teachers and Clinical Staff. Psychiatric, psychological and neuropsychological consultations are provided, in house.

Bayfield’s history of success is based upon commitment and common sense.

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GENERAL INFORMATION

Bayfield accepts residents through various community agencies and private placements. Age limits range from pre-adolescent to young adult.

The preliminary admission criteria are:

  1. Family and social history as well as pertinent medical, psychological and psychiatric data.
  2. Placement history and present living arrangements.
  3. Characteristics of the young person that would clearly indicate a need for treatment in a residential setting.
  4. School related information and history.

Bayfield believes in a partnership with the referral source in order to provide the best possible service to each young person and their family.

Bayfield’s approach is based upon commitment and common sense and maintains a contemporary clinical perspective on the young people we serve.

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OUR VISION
”Building on our heritage of commitment and dedication,
we will set a high standard for providing diversified services
that will enable all individuals, in our care
to realize their potential.”

OUR MISSION
”Bayfield’s mission is to provide a range of treatment services
to children and youth, who would benefit from an environment
that encourages growth, change and positive interaction
in the family, community, and within the rights and
responsibilities of each individual, by offering quality programs
that develop occupational skills, academic skills,
life skills, mutual respect, common sense and morality.”

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