Part 2

chapter-6

 

January 18, 2008


A picture of my brother Chris and I.   The picture was taken in 1971.  I was 16 years old and my brother was 15 yearss old.  My family and I were living at an apartment hotel on O’Connor Street. My parents had just sold the house at 87 Clearview and we were waiting to move into our new condo which was still being built which was at 158A McArthur
Rd, the Chateau Vanier Towers in Vanier which now part of Ottawa.


Apartment Hotel, O’Connor St, Ottawa, 1971

I was l6 years old and my family moved from the Paul Anka house we owned
at 87 Clearview Ave to an apartment hotel on O’Connor St near Cooper St. in downtown Ottawa. What astounds me is that my parents never asked us if we wanted to move, and there was no discussion about it with us kids at home. My parents never asked us our opinion about anything that involved us.

My mom gave away my vanity set from my bedroom without asking me. I liked to sit and see the three mirrors and you could see hundreds of yourself in that mirror. My mon gave away my first walking doll and my barbie dolls too without asking me. I felt violated by that. Those things belonged to me.

Mom and Dad had a real estate agent show the house to a few people. The house was so beautiful, it sold quickly. I did not want to leave all of my friends
at Champlain High School. I had gone there for grades 9, 10 and 11. I felt
very sad and despondent and so did my brother. I could tell he was upset.

At the apartment hotel, Chris and I had to share a small bedroom. I didn’t like that as I wanted my privacy. We were in a street level apartment next to where the tenants parked their cars and I could smell the exhaust of the cars everyday.
Our apartment had silverfish something I never saw before and I used to scratch
my self silly.

I got an afro hairdo and I wore psychedelic tops and wore hip hugging jeans.
I had a cute little figure, I was slim. One day as I was walking downtown with my brother, a bunch of city cleaners looked at me and my new hairdo and said “what do you have in your hair, a rat’s nest”? I felt to awful I had a new haircut and I had it cut shorter. I was not into the drug culture. I was naive.
My friends and I were “squares” and I am still one.

It was the summer and it was hot and we no air conditioner in the apartment.
Ottawa has some muggy and hot and humid days as Ottawa rests in a valley and the heat just rests over the city.

I did not look forward to going to Sir Wilfrid Laurier High School on Carson Road in Vanier in the fall of 1971. I didn’t know anyone and I had a hard time making
new friends as I was shy then. Chris would be going to the same high school too. I missed my friends at Champlain High who were Nancy Benoit, Leigh McGuire and Christine.

I went to Maureen Villeneuve’s wedding in 1971. She was a fellow Baha’i and a friend of Doris’s. Chris and I went to the wedding held in a house off Byron Ave.
Maureen’s sisters Olive, Kay and another sister were there. I had on a long red
pant suit. Marvin H. a Jewish man was there. He was a student at Queen’s Unveristy in Economics. Marvin was tall and thin and wore glasses. We started to talk to one another as if we had known each other for a lifetime. We got along well. Marvin H. was a gentle soul.

After the wedding, Marvin asked me and my brother to visit him in his room
he had in a co-op townhouse just around the corner from our apartment hotel.
Marvin was very cordial, nice and polite. A real gentleman. He was kind to me.

I would spend lots of time with Marvin in his room. Marvin was my first boyfriend and my first love. Marvin was real special. He would smoke a pipe and then he would play Leonard Cohen’s song “Suzanne”. We would laugh and talk all day and then take long walks along Elgin Street and down to the Rideau Canal.
We were in love. Marvin would be reading a dictionary and quizz me to see if I knew these long words that he always used in his speech. Marvin was an
intellectual, he was very smart. I spoke to him a few years ago. He is a private
Math teacher in Toronto, Ontario. He said it was very refreshing for him to have heard from me after all these years.

Marvin had broken off with his former girlfriend with who he had an open relationship with. I did not understand the concept of ‘an open relationship’ so Marvin bought me a book. I told him I did not want that type of relationship.
Things were about to change in the department very quickly.

I invited Marvin to meet my parents for the first time at the apartment hotel.
My dad guessed we were sleeping together even though Marvin denied it.
Dad was not stupid. I make some percolated coffee for Marvin. I misunderstood
my mom’s instructions on how to make the coffee and put in 3 tablespoons of salt.
Marvin took a sip of coffee and almost choked. I asked him what was wrong, and he calmly said “it’s a bit salty”.

Marvin did not like my dad at all. He found him very demanding and stern and cold. Marvin and dad did not see eye to eye. Mom was indifferent to Marvin.
I think Marvin only met my parents once and I didn’t blame him at all.

If you saw my parents on the street and didn’t know them you would see an
attractive couple who would be very well dressed. Mom would be dressed in her finest clothes and she is really beautiful. She looks twenty years younger. In her family all of the women look younger. Mom would take care of her hair and nails too. Dad looked after himself with exercise.

If you spoke to my parents, my mom would be chatting away and laughing and you would think she was the nicest person you ever met. Dad would be stand
offish and cold and speak very little to you. He always kept his distance from people being the extrovert and loner that he is. He would be polite most times
until he got caught up in a traffic jam or someone provoked him and you would hear my dad swearing in French his mother tongue.

My parents only had to give us the “look” if we behaved in public and we wold stop what ever behaviour immediately. We were well behaved in public because of my parents strict rules with us.

We had to home for supper at 6 p.m. sharp, no later as dad always watch the
6 p.m. CJOH news. We had to eat the main course of our meal or we did not
get dessert. We took turns doing the dishes and we had a curfew too to come into the house at night.

My mom told her friends “children should be seen but not heard”

Dad sent my mother and me to Portugal in 1971 during Christmas time. Prime Minister Trudeau and his wife Margaret had their first born named Justin in
December when we were away on holidays.

The three weeks I spent with my mom in Portugal were wonderful. It was if she was a different person. She was happy and relaxed and we got along well. I shall treaure those memories with my mom because she was so nice to be around, it was unbelievable you could say. We sure had lots of fun. In the past I never saw her so happy for that long without lashing at someone or something.
I believed my dad was a very controlling man and not being around him made my mom feel
free to be herself. I think my dad and mom were mismatched as partners. Mom did not like being bossed by dad and vice versa. I believed if Mom was not pregnant with me, she would not have married my dad but probably someone else. Mom was pretty and could have any had any man she wanted. Mom and dad are still together believe it or not and it has been 53 years. I have not
seen my parents since 1993. My parents did not want to deal with the past and acknowledge the abuse towards my brother and I. My parents would only talk about the past and present. My parents have never tried to make amends or compensate me for the severe abuse that I have suffered in my childhood which still affects me to this day. I have a severe case of Post Trauma Stress Disorder. My brother and I went to a lawyer in the 90s trying to bring my parents to civil court to press for damages but the court case was too expensive and we had drop our case. We were both on disability pensions from the Ontario government and still are. We live on meagre pensions and the one of the disabilities we both have is Post Trauma Stress Disorder as a result of the severe childhood
abuse we suffered as a child from both my mom and dad. I feel angry inside that my parents would not face what they had done to my brother and I and faced up to their responsibilites to be accountable to us. I never had a relationship with my parents. My parents never nutured us or gave us any love.
My parents had poor parenting skills and they were both immature, selfish and mean. My parents should never had had any children. Some people are not made out to be parents.

My parents are now 74 years old and they missed out on a good relationship with my brother and I.
Some people have asked me, why don’t you forgive your parents and see them. You can’t forget
that my mother used to strangle me around my neck and cut off my breathing and that my brother
saved my life many times pulling my mom off me. I don’t forget my dad kicking my brother and I hard in the back of the lower spine with patent leather shoes because we both late for supper…and my mom drowning my brother’s pet mice in front of him….those things don’t go away in my memory and they should not…my mom and dad are not safe people to be around…never were, never will be.

When people ask me about my family now, I tell them to read about my past online, this online book.
Why? It is still painful to discuss these things with people because some of them don’t understand what I am talking about. To those of you who had a relatively good childhood, you are so lucky, because I did not have one. My childhood was a war zone where I felt like I was soldier waiting for
anything to happen to me that was bad. And my enemy were my parents who were supposed to love me and nuture me. Giving me the best of clothes, food and trips was not all that I needed. Love to a child is everything. It makes them feel wanted, loved and cherished. I wanted my parents to make me
feel like I was special to them. I grew up with very low self esteem and did not know what boundaries were because my boundaries were always being violated. I did not realize that I had a right to say
“no”, “maybe”, “don’t do that to me,” “go away,” “don’t hurt me”. I grew up with no self respect
and awareness on how to stop someone from abusing me. I did not learn to be assertive until I was in my mid 30s. I allowed people to abuse me, use me, and walk all over me. I now can stand up to people and tell them how I feel. No one walks over me today. I won’t allow them to. I know what boundaries are and I let people know when they are crossing the line.

My dad drove me and mom to Montreal to take our flight to Portugal. We got on a big jetliner with only about 30 people on it. I looked down when we were up in the sky and asked my mother if the puffy things outside were snow capped windows. Mom replied “no they are clouds” I was able to sleep on three seats and raise the arm rests. There was some turbulence but not too much. It was a long ride. The plane refuelled in the Azores. We finally landed in Lisbon, Portugal’s capital city. The airport was big. There were double decker buses and small coffee and pastry shops all over. People took their time when the walked.
People had on coats. Mom and I found the temperature mild and only wore a sweater. Mom and I wore the 70s new fashion called “the hot pants” I had
a great good figure and some of the men would whistle at me. Some men would
chase my mother and I down the street.

We stayed the Flamingo Hotel in Lisbon. One of the bell boys named Joaquim Armenio
Monterio took a liking to me. He is very handsome. I liked him too.
Mom and shared a bedroom in the hotel overlooking the front of the hotel.
A young handsome Italian man who worked for an airline was in the one of the rooms on our floor. He stopped me and spoke pretty good English. One day he asked me to come into his room to show me some pictures and he quickly closed th door and threw me onto the bed and I told him calmly “don’t do anything to me and let me go now or I am going to scream so everyone will hear”. He got me off the bed and said he was sorry. I forgave him.

The hotel had a small hand operated old elevator. The Poruguese food was
delicious. I loved their breads and wine. My mom allowed to have one glass of wine with some of our meals. Mom treated me so well on our trip for three
weeks it was as though she was a different person. We got along so well and she
was so kind and sweet to me. I didn’t understand the change in her but I liked it.
The change in her would not last long however when we got back home…

The Italian young man took me to some of the parks in Lisbon. He treated me nicely after that one bad incident Ihad with him earlier in the hotel. Maybe it took someone to put him in his place, I guess he respected me for it. He was very cordial and told me all about being a crew member on the airlines. He would travel from city to city all over the world and he liked that. One day he told he had to leave Lisbon so I went with him in taxi to the airport. He gave me his
address and then hugged and said goodbye. I did write to him when I got back home. He turned out to be a real nice guy after all.

I liked Joaqium the bell boy and he knew it. I would bat my eyes at and flirt.
He was so cute and handsome, and had nice manners, a real gentleman.
We would talk after he got off work and then one day he took me with my
mom to see some Lisbon sights. I spent a week in Lisbon too short of a time for me, if I had had my way I would have liked to have lived there. People do not rush in Lisbon. People relax and take their time and talk to everyone. Sometimes
they be very emotional people. One day I looked up a narrow street and saw two
men shouting in Porutugese and it was obvious someone had parked in the wrong spot. Both men had their arms up in the air and rushing up to each other and
swaying their bodies in disagreement with each other. It was like an out of control dance between the both of them. I laughed and then I saw the two men wave goodbye as they had resolved their differences. I have a firey temper at times too. I am part Poruguese and I am a very emotional person too. I use my hands when I talk and I can get very excitable if I am angry or agitated.

Mom and I loved Lisbon with its cobblestoned streets and friendly people.
Mom and I went up this one long and high street and then we went down in a straw basket pulled my a man. It was lots of fun. I loved the pastries and coffee
shops. Mom and I would go into some of them, order a sweet pastry and then some of their cups of coffee that had very strong coffee in them.

We were told not to drink the water as the water supply in Lisbon was not
sanitary so I drank lots of Schweppes soda drinks.

Mom and I visited some of the wonderful museums in Lisbon and we also went up to see a Castle high in the mountains near Lisbon.

After we spent a week in Lisbon, off to the Lisbon airport mom and I went. We took a plane to the Portugal province of Algarve, the southern most tip of the country. We had to take a very long taxi ride to get to the new resort that was built there. It had 300 rooms and only 30 guests.

The resort was lovely and next to the ocean. The resort had their own built in the ground swimming pool. The manager of the hotel was German. We met some of the tourists staying at the resort. Some were from the States and some from Europe.

We sat in the dinning room the first night to have our meal. At the next table was an overweight man in his forties. He looked very friendly. He was sitting all alone. Mom invited him to our table and he felt was happy to do so.

Bill was his name. He metioned he was teacher and asked him what type of teacher and he said he was university professor at Queen’s. We made fast friends will Bill. He was such a nice man. Bill had rented a car while he was in Algarve and asked Mom and I to go along to do some sightseeing and we did. The
long winding roads and all the little villages and the ocean was a sight to behold.
We would stop at some of the little fishing villages and go to a small cafe and have something to eat. Sometimes there was a language barrier but we managed to get our message across sometimes through a similated sign language.

We met a French man from Paris and he gave me his address. He was nice and after our trip I did write to him.

Mom got sick and we managed to get a doctor and find a pharmacy.
It was Christmas in Portugal and I was homesick and wanted to be in Canada
and spend Christmas at home. There was no snow at all and the ocean water was lukewarm. One day I walked along the ocean front alone and then a young
portuguese man came up to me and he motioned for me to follow him and I did.
He took a big branch and drew a naked body of a woman and I got scared and took off quick, I didn’t know what he meant and I was not about to find out.
I ran as fast as I could but never told my mom what happened. I did not walk along the ocean beach front anymore alone.

I put on my two piece bathing suit and jumped into the resort’s pool and it was freezing cold and I let out a loud yell and Bill came off his balcony and he laughed and said “I guess the water was too cold for you” and I nodded to him.

On Christmas Day I went up to the reception desk at the hotel and saw the
manager who was German. I was taking German in high school, so we both sang the song “Oh Tanenbaum”. There was a little artifical Christmas tree and few lights and ornaments on the tree.

Mom and I and Bill would sit at the bar in the hotel and order coffee and sometimes wine. That was the social gathering place for the guests at the hotel
to meet each other.

We had to leave Algarve and then were on our way to Madeira. Maderia ia a small island off the coast of Africa that belongs to Portugal. The plane had to make a short and efficient landing as the airport was located close to a cliff. We got out of the plane and took a taxi to our hotel. Madeira was the most beautiful place I have ever seen. It had lots of mountains and lots of big red flowers that opened us as if to greet you. The local people were so nice, I feel in love with Maderia. We had many courses of food in one night, the first course was fish which I did not like. Mom ate sturgeon, swordfish and a lot of different varieties of fish.

We would walk on the streets at night and it was safe. We saw local police and sometimes asked them for directions using our Portuguese phrase books and brochure of where we wanted to go. We had supper one night in a small restaurant. There were flamingo dancers wearing colorful long flowing shirts with a white blouse and the men were wearing black pants and nicely colored jacket and they would dance around in circles and a band would be playing. The music and the dancing was wonderful.

It was New Years’ Eve and we had a big party in our hotel. I wore my nicest hot pants and did up my hair and put on my makeup. I looked really beautiful that night. One of the young men came over and started to ask me to dance and I did for hours with him. I loved to dance and he did too.

The lights were down low and there was some traditional music and then there was some pop music for the young people too. Everyone got up to dance young and old and we had a whale of a time.

We had a big supper beforehand. I had had too much wine and I was feeling a bit dizzy and mom took me back to my hotel room.

We did some sightseeing too. We visited lots of little shops where the local women made nice jewellery and linens and clothes. Mom was a clotheshorse
like me, I can’t have enough clothes. I have lots of clothes at home. I have some fancy clothes to wear if I go somewhere nice but that is not too often. I can’t afford to go out to somewhere where the food is expensive and have a good meal.
I live on a meagre disability pension and I have to watch my pennies very carefully and I do.

We left Madeira and headed off to Lisbon again for one more week. I love Lisbon it is such a beautiful city. People show their emotions and are lively and not
reserved at all. I did want to leave Lisbon but I had too and I was sad when I boarded my plane back home to Canada. Portugal was a very different place…
and I would like to go back there again if I could.

We arrived at the Montreal airport and dad had just left. We missed each other, so mom and I had to wait for a bus to take us back to Ottawa. I was so tired from the jetlag that I fell asleep at the bus depot seat and did not wake up until mom told me to board the bus and I did.

Dad and Chris were happy to see us. We had souvenirs for them…. Marvin was happy to see me too. I gave him a souvenir as well. It was culture shock coming back to Ottawa. Ottawa was and still is a very quickly paced city. People walk quickly, don’t often look you in the eye as they are too preoccupied. The life here is a fast paced life, in Lisbon everyone takes their time, they are never in a hurry.

Dad and Chris had moved into the new condominium at 158A McArthur Road,apt 1710 in Vanier, Ontario. Our two bedroom apartment was on the l7th floor. I had to share a very small bedroom with my brother and I did not like that, I wanted my own room. I was going to be seventeen and what teenage girl wants to share a room with their brother at that age, I think not. It created tension for me.
Dad was working as a the head translator for Customs and Excise near the
Ottawa Public Libary on on Laurier and Metcalfe streets in downtown Ottawa.

Dad had high blood pressure and he had to take pills for it everyday. Our apartment had a small livingroom and a small kitchen and dinning area.
Dad gave my brother and I in 1972 a $2.00 a week allowance. Dad was a miser
and I did not like that. I started to babysit for a single mom in one of the
apartments where I lived. She was a thin and petite woman with shoulder length hair. He had a daughter that was about 8 years old. She was dating one of the
executive staff of the local garbage company. He was married. He and her would got to Montreal where he showed her with the best of everything. He had a taxi
chit number and she could take a taxi anywhere she wanted anytime of day.
She had a heart defect. She died in her early thirties. I went to see her when
she was in the hospital and she was dying and her lover looked very devastated, you could see in his eyes he really loved her.

I put up an ad in the laundry room of building to do housework. A man called me one day and asked if I was still interested doing housework and I said yes.
The man was 33 years old and he lived on the 11tth floor and he was an Egyptian
who worked at Stats Canada at Tunney’s pasture as a statistician. I did his housework and after a few months I started to date him. He was good to me
and took me over to see some of his friends. His name was Sayed Shelbaya.
I was l7 years old. He played Squash at the Rideau tennis club.

An australian friend of his came over to visit and stay with Sayed for awhile in his apartment. Sue was th wife and she was Australian, her husband was Egyptian.
They were a nice couple and I introduced them to my mom and dad. Mom invited them for supper. Sayed and I and his Aussie friends went to Montreal one day and we stayed overnight. Mom took and fit but I assured her I had a separate room that night. I lied.

One day one of my friends from my former high school Christine came to visit me.
I was late for supper. As I opened the door my mother grabbed my shoulder lenght hair and whipped me inside the apartment by the hair. Christine has
never seen any type of abuse at all in her life. Mom yelled at me “I feel like throwing you off the balcony right now”. I lived on the l7th floor. Christine
made a quick dash to the apartment door and took off down the elevator.
Christine called me the next day and said my mom was very cruel and abusive and she never saw anything like that before and I should leave home right away
as she was afraid my mom would be violent with me again. I did run away from home shortly after that.

I called Marvin my bofriend and he lent me some money to go to Montreal for the day. I did not know but there was a all points bulletin in Canada issued by the police. The police all over Canada were looking out to try to find me. Mom called the police and told them I was missing. I called the police from Hull one day and told them I was fine and I would not be going home. When they asked where I was living I quickly hung up the phone.

I stayed with Christine and her brother. When their parents got back from Florida I was homeless and had no where to go. I was missing lots of my high school classes and the school psychologist asked me to come into the office to visit her and I did.

I told the high school psychologist why I left home as my mother was abusing me.
She suggested I go to the Royal Ottawa Hospital on Carling ave and talk with
someone in Emergency. I was anxious and nervous and was homeless and had no where safe to go to and no one to run to who would help me in family. I did not want to tell my relatives because of what my mom might do to me if she found out

chapter-7

January 18, 2008

Above is a picture of Sue’s mom Theresa with Joaquim Armenio Monteiro who was a bell hop at the Flamingo Hotel in Lisbon, Portugal where Sue and her mom visited in the fall of 1971. Joaquim
and Sue had a crush on each other. He and Sue corresponded with other after Sue got home from Canada. Joaquim said he might have had to fight in Angola.
He is now a professor in Portugal. Sue has not seen Joaquim since 1972, 36 years.

In 1971 Chris (holding the plaque) and Sue welcome their dad Paul Andre home after one of his
vacations in 1971.

Above is a picture of Sue and her boyfriend Sayed Shelbaya taken at 158A McArthur Road. Sayed lived on the llth floor of this building. Sue was l7 years old and Sayed was 33 years old. He worked at Statistics Canada at Tunney’s pasture in Ottawa as a Statistician. He is married now.

Above is a picture of Sue’s mom and dad, Paul-Andre and Theresa Legare taken at the apartment at 158 McArthur Ave in Vanier. Dad is retired from the government.

Dad and Chris had moved into the new condominium at 158A McArthur Road,apt 1710 in Vanier, Ontario. Our two bedroom apartment was on the l7th floor. I had to share a very small bedroom with my brother and I did not like that, I wanted my own room. I was going to be seventeen and what teenage girl wants to share a room with their brother at that age, I think not. It created tension for me.
Dad was working as a the head translator for Customs and Excise near the
Ottawa Public Libary on on Laurier and Metcalfe streets in downtown Ottawa.

Dad had high blood pressure and he had to take pills for it everyday. Our apartment had a small livingroom and a small kitchen and dinning area.
Dad gave my brother and I in 1972 a $2.00 a week allowance. Dad was a miser
and I did not like that. I started to babysit for a single mom in one of the
apartments where I lived. She was a thin and petite woman with shoulder length hair. He had a daughter that was about 8 years old. She was dating one of the
executive staff of the local garbage company. He was married. He and her would got to Montreal where he showed her with the best of everything. He had a taxi
chit number and she could take a taxi anywhere she wanted anytime of day.
She had a heart defect. She died in her early thirties. I went to see her when
she was in the hospital and she was dying and her lover looked very devastated, you could see in his eyes he really loved her.

I put up an ad in the laundry room of building to do housework. A man called me one day and asked if I was still interested doing housework and I said yes.
The man was 33 years old and he lived on the 11tth floor and he was an Egyptian
who worked at Stats Canada at Tunney’s pasture as a statistician. I did his housework and after a few months I started to date him. He was good to me
and took me over to see some of his friends. His name was Sayed Shelbaya.
I was l7 years old. He played Squash at the Rideau tennis club.

An australian friend of his came over to visit and stay with Sayed for awhile in his apartment. Sue was th wife and she was Australian, her husband was Egyptian.
They were a nice couple and I introduced them to my mom and dad. Mom invited them for supper. Sayed and I and his Aussie friends went to Montreal one day and we stayed overnight. Mom took and fit but I assured her I had a separate room that night. I lied.

One day one of my friends from my former high school Christine came to visit me.
I was late for supper. As I opened the door my mother grabbed my shoulder lenght hair and whipped me inside the apartment by the hair. Christine has
never seen any type of abuse at all in her life. Mom yelled at me “I feel like throwing you off the balcony right now”. I lived on the l7th floor. Christine
made a quick dash to the apartment door and took off down the elevator.
Christine called me the next day and said my mom was very cruel and abusive and she never saw anything like that before and I should leave home right away
as she was afraid my mom would be violent with me again. I did run away from home shortly after that.

I called Marvin my bofriend and he lent me some money to go to Montreal for the day. I did not know but there was a all points bulletin in Canada issued by the police. The police all over Canada were looking out to try to find me. Mom called the police and told them I was missing. I called the police from Hull one day and told them I was fine and I would not be going home. When they asked where I was living I quickly hung up the phone.

I stayed with Christine and her brother. When their parents got back from Florida I was homeless and had no where to go. I was missing lots of my high school classes and the school psychologist asked me to come into the office to visit her and I did.

I told the high school psychologist why I left home as my mother was abusing me.
She suggested I go to the Royal Ottawa Hospital on Carling ave and talk with
someone in Emergency. I was anxious and nervous and was homeless and had no where safe to go to and no one to run to who would help me in family. I did not want to tell my relatives because of what my mom might do to me if she found out

chapter-8

January 18, 2008


Above is a picture of the Whitney building at the Royal Ottawa Hospital. This building
held the Whitney wards 3, 4, and 5. Whitney 4 ward was the two floors above the ground floor where the entrance is. The ground floor was floor 2. Whitney 4 is where I was first admitted to at the Royal Ottawa Hospital, my first psychiatric hospitalization. The Whitney Building was torn down last year in 2006 to be replaced with the new building which is called the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Center.

April 1972 (Royal Ottawa Hospital)

At the age of l7 years old, I ran away from my upper middle class home in Ottawa. My father was the director of a translation section in an
Ottawa federal department and had a high paying salary and my mother
was a housewife. I wanted for nothing material wise, I had the best of 
food, clothes, yearly vacations, and lived in a big house that Paul
Anka used to live in at 87 Clearview Ave in Ottawa. I was not given
any love nor any respect by my parents who violated my physical and
psychological boundaries continually during my childhood. I was a very
frightened and nervous child in my home. I had no one to run to for
help or so I thought. My childhood experiences continue to haunt me to
this day.

My mother and father tortured my brother Chris and I – physically and
emotionally. I was tortured by my parents for l7 years of my life. My
uncle Lyman sexually abused me at the age of 4 years old. My father
was a wife beater and so was his father. My father’s brother Gerry
molested his two daughters for years. My father would yell at me and
call me names and kick me and grab me and punch me.

My mother would strangle me, throw me down a flight of stairs, beat me
on the arms and legs, throw things at me, jump on me when I was
sleeping and twist my arms and legs, throw me into doors and walls,
slap me across the face, call me names and yell and scream at me. My
mother beat all the animals we had. She put my cousin Marcel’s head in
a toilet bowl for soiling his pants, and beat my cousin Robin for
returning home with an an umbrella she gave Robin to use but it got
broken at school.

I grew up in a home where on the outside everything looked perfect but
on the inside it was chaotic and it was a very violent and unsafe
environment to live in.

My brother and I hid the abuse we suffered at home from most family
members and friends and from school. My mother threatened us should we
ever tell anyone of the abuse happening at home. My father and mother
did not use alcohol nor drugs but their behaviour was out of control.
Some family members knew of the abuse that was happening to my brother
and I but kept silent and turned a blind eye to the abuse. In the
1970s, child abuse was a taboo subject and rarely spoken about. These 
days child abuse is covered in the media and it is not a taboo subject
anymore.

At the age of l7 years old with no money in my pocket and not knowing
about any community resources, I ran away from home in March of
1972. I called a high school friend and she let me stay at her home
with her brother while her parents were away in Florida. After about a
month while staying at my friend’s house in Ottawa, her parents called
to say they were coming home from Florida and they did not know I was
staying at their house. My friend told me I had to go. I was homeless
and had no one to turn to. I was all alone with no one to help me. I
was a wounded soul looking for help to ease my emotional pain of
having been abused for l7 years by my parents.

The school psychologist at my high school called me into the
office.She asked me why I was missing so much school and I told her
about the abuse at home. She suggested I go to the Royal Ottawa
Hospital on Carling Ave and someone could talk to me and I could get
some help. So I agreed, not knowing what the Royal Ottawa Hospital was
all about.

I walked into the psychiatric industry for l8 years as I made my first
step into the Royal Ottawa Hospital in March of 1972. A psychiatrist named Dr. Arboleda-Florez
and a nurse were waiting to speak to me in the Emergency section of
the hospital. I told them the whole history of my family and the abuse
I suffered at home. They suggested since my nerves were bad I should
stay for a few days at the hospital and they would help me. I had no
money,and no one to turn to. I did not know about welfare, legal aid,
food banks or emergency shelters and never asked as I did not know
about these services, and whether they existed at all in 1972 in
Ottawa.

I was admitted to the Whitney 4 ward of the Royal Ottawa Hospital. I
was 125 pounds at the time of my admission to the hospital. Right away
I was given heavy doses of tranquilizers whereby I had no
co-ordination as I walked down the hallway and had to cling onto the 
walls to walk, my vision was blurry from the psychiatric medication
and I had a dry mouth and I slept for 20 hours a day. I got up to eat
meals and to talk to my visitors. Often they had to wake me up as I
was sleeping.

While in the hospital, I signed papers that I was told “don’t worry
about what you are signing”. My vision was blurry and I did not know
what type of papers I was signing – probably drug study forms.

I gained 30 pounds in the three months I was there. I developed an
eating disorder on the ward that continues to this day as when the
snacks came by I would grab the cakes and cookies and used food to
make me feel better because I was locked up and could not get out. I
used food as a coping tool. I am seeing a therapist these days to deal
with my overeating disorder.

I left after three months and went to live my abusers, my parents as I
had no where to go. Living with my family got me depressed so I was
admitted to the Royal Ottawa again. This happened three times and
until February of the next year whereby I was threatened with “going
to Brockville Psychiatric Hospital” if you do not get better

On the Whitney Ward, I was on a locked ward and could not understand
why I was being locked up, what did I do to deserve being locked up? I
had bad nerves from having been abused severely for l7 years by my
parents. I had to line up for my medications like a herd of sheep. I
got angry and I told the staff what I thought. I was vocal, and loud.
I was protesting the way I was being treated. I was treated like a
child, talked down to, not believed, had my freedom stripped away from
me.

I would bang on my locker in my hospital bedroom whereby four
orderlies would come down the hallway and I would run away for dear
life and they would corner me and then drag me to my bedroom, and flip
me onto my stomach onto my bed. A nurse with a long needle was
standing there waiting to inject me with sedatives to knock me out for 
quiet a while. This was called a “chemical restraint”. I was not a
compliant patient, I was a shit disturber on the ward. I told the
staff what I thought of them and it was not nice language. I got many
“chemical restraints” at the Royal Ottawa Hospital.

Shortly after trying to hang myself in my room at the Royal Ottawa
Hospital in March of 1973 on the Whitney 4 ward, I was transferred by
ambulance to Ward H of the Brockville Psychiatric Hospital in Ontario,
60 miles from Ottawa. The huge complex was near a main highway.

Sue got her medical records last year from the ROH

I got my files from the Royal Ottawa Hospital last year in 2006. Here is some of what was on my chart:

I was first admitted to the Royal Ottawa Hospital (ROH) in 1972. I had run away from home because I was being mentally and physically abused by mother. I had bad nerves as I was homeless and had no money and had no one to run to so I could be safe and the high school psychologist suggested I go to the ROH to see someone and I did.

Dr. Arboleda-Florez who saw me in the Emergency ward. He asked that I come into the hospital to stay for a few days to settle my nerves. I did not know anything about psychiatry. I was only 17 years old and naive. I did not know of any social agencies to help me as my parents were in an upper middle class income. I never wanted for anything material.
I always had the best of food and clothes.

A few days of hospitalization I was told I was going to have landed up to be 3 months of being locked up on a ward a the Whitney 4 ward at the ROH and then started the 18 years of my being in and out of psychiatric hospitals in Ottawa and in Brockville, Ontario. In 1973 I tried to hang myself in my room at the ROH Whitney 4 ward in Ottawa and I was transferred to Brockville Psychiatric Hospital in March of 1973 and stayed there until September 1973 for six months on the locked Ward H. I was labelled with 15 different psychiatric disorders given to me from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM book.) from 1972 to 1990.There is no test nor scientific proof that mental illness exists.

In 1973 I tried to hang myself in my room at the ROH Whitney 4 ward in Ottawa and I was then transferred to Brockville Psychiatric Hospital in March of 1973 and stayed there until September 1973 for six months on the locked Ward H.I was labelled with 15 different psychiatric disorders given to me from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM book.) from 1972 to 1990.

There is no test nor scientific proof that mental illness exists. I believe the following disorders to be bogus.
——————————

 Sue’s given psychiatric labels were:
 Agitated Depression
Adult Situational Disorder
Bipolar Affective Disorder
Histronic Personality
Hypomanic
Manic Depressive Psychosis
Marital Maladjustment
Paranoid Schizophrenic  – I have never been paranoid
Personality Disorder
Psycho Affective Psychosis
Schizoaffective Psychosis
Schizoaffective Disorder
Schizophrenia
Severe Psychotic Illness – I have never been psychotic
Situational Reaction
I was given 14 different types of psychiatric drugs/medications at various times    

GENERIC NAME

amitriptyline————————————————-elavil benztripine—————————————————cogentin

chlorprothixene———————————————taractan
chlorpromazine———————————————thorazine
diazepam—————————————————–valium
fluphenazine————————————————-permitil, prolixin
fluphazine enanthate injectionsflurazepam—————————————————-dalmane
lithium carbonate——————————————-lithane, lithobid, eskalith
methotrimeprazine—————————————–nozinan
perphenzine——————-——————————-trilafon
somote——————————————————– chloral
hydratethioridazine————————————————– mellaril
trifluoperzine———————————————— stelazine    

When the pills did not agree with me, the psychiatrist who I may be seeing at the time would give me a new psychiatric label and then give me a new type of medication to go along with it.

I was in most of the psychiatric programs except forensic, in and out of hospitals as an in patient and out patient

I have been free of psychiatry since 1990. I have not taken any psychiatric medication nor have I been admitted to any psychiatric ward or hospital and I do not see a psychiatrist. Since 1990 I have been seeing alternative therapists.

chapter-9

January 18, 2008

  • Though slated for closure in 1999, the ongoing need for mental health services has meant that the Brockville Mental Health Centre (BPH) in Ontario continues to operate as a psychiatric teaching facility, affiliated with the University of Ottawa and Queen’s University. The campus provides forensic psychiatry treatment for 100 Ontario Correctional inmates, and 59 long-term care forensic patients. It also provides a wide range of inpatient and outpatient services to approximately 1,300 patients in Eastern Ontario. Sue Clark was a patient there from March – September 1973. Sue Clark was l7 years old when she was admitted to BPH. Sue was transferred to BPH from the Royal Ottawa Hospital in March 1973.


Electroshock (ECT) being administered at the Brockville Psychiatric Hospital (BPH) Sue Clark had 5 ECTSs given to her against her will at the age of l7 years old in 1973. Dr. Louis Sipos was her
psychiatrist on Ward H at BPH. On Sue’s 5th ECT, her heart stopped and she had to be revived.
ECT was discontinued for Sue after that. Sue suffers from permanent memory loss and has difficulty learning new things as a result of having had ECT. Prior to ECT Sue had a good memory and had no learning difficulties.

Above is a picture of the continuous bath therapy given to patients at BPH who were agitated or having difficulty sleeping after being placed in one of the bath units in charge of a special nurse. The water flowed continuously.
************************************************************************************
Disturbing news at BPH:

In the summer of 1993, people in Ontario were shocked by one of the most bizarre murders in the province’s history. A patient at the Brockville psychiatric hospital was brutally killed in a forest grove on the grounds of the institution. One of the killers, a nearly blind psychiatric patient, walked into a nearby police station and turned himself in. The other murderer lay near the body in a sleeping bag, drugged into unconsciousness. Police found that the myopic suspect is one of the Canada’s most dangerous killers, David Michael Krueger. His accomplice was Bruce Hamill, a murderer who had been freed after years of treatment at Penatanguishene’s Oak Ridge Institution for the criminally insane. Brockville hospital authorities had let Hamill escort Krueger on his first day pass in thirty-five years. How could this killing have happened? The bizarre story of Krueger’s life unfolds in this tightly-written book. It explores how Krueger allowed his strange fantasies to run his own life and how he was able to dupe psychiatrists, lawyers, and fellow inmates of the country’s toughest institution into doing his bidding

************************************************************************************

Sue gets admitted to Brockville Psychiatric Hosptial (March – September 1973)


I recall the day I was admitted to the Brockville Psychiatric Hospital. It was in May of 1973. The ambulance attendants were transferring me from the Royal Ottawa Hospital. The ambulance approached the gigantic hospital. The vehicle stopped in front of an old grey stone building. Ward H was awaiting me.

The attendants escorted me into the main admission area of the building which was situated on the ground floor. A nurse came out of a room and thanked the ambulance attendants. The nurse told me to sit down and
place my box of belongings on the floor. I sat on an old oak chair. The nurse asked me my name and started searching the box. I asked the nurse, “What are you doing?” The nurse turned around to me and stated,
“This is a standard procedure here. When new patients are admitted, we examine their belongings to see if they have scissors or razor blades, anything sharp that they can use to harm themselves”. She continued her search.

The nurse then asked me to follow her downstairs. We walked down a dimly lit underground tunnel. The tunnel had a wide yellow stripe down the middle of the floor. It was a long and winding tunnel with signs denoting the wards. The nurse took me into a large room along the tunnel. As I walked into the room I saw a man sitting at a desk surrounded by photography equipment. The nurse sat on a chair as I looked about the room.

The man motioned for me to sit in front of a camera on a tripod. I questioned the man by saying “Why do you
want to take my picture?”. The photographer looked at me and stated “We take pictures of all new patients being admitted to the hospital. If you escaped from the hospital we could call the police and they could
pick you up by knowing what you look like.” The man snapped a few pictures of me.

The nurse returned me to the Grey stone building. We took a small elevator up to Ward H. The nurse knocked on a wooden door that was locked. A petite nurse opened the door. ” This is a new patient. Her name is
Suzanne Legare. She was transferred here from the Royal Ottawa Hospital” the nurse said. The petite nurse motioned for me to follow her. “Suzanne, I’m going to show you to your room. Bring the box with you. I
entered a room with two beds. I was instructed to take the bed next to the wall. The nurse left the room. I went to a window that had a thick steel mesh screen on it. As I looked outside I could see a large area of vast green grass. I saw large oaks trees, benches, and picnic tables. I saw many Grey stone buildings adjoined to each other. Some people were walking and some people were sitting down. A few cars went by.

All of a sudden I heard a voice yell “Medication time everyone”. I went out of my room and saw many people standing in a long line. A heavy set nurse was standing in front of the line with a steel cart with wheels. On the cart were two pitchers and little paper containers with lots of different colored pills. I waited in line until it was my
turn. As I approached the cart, the nurse smiled and said “Hi, Suzanne my name is Terry. Here is your medication. We call the medication ‘happy pills”. Take some juice and swallow these”. I did what she instructed me to do. I then walked down the corridor. I noticed the ward was co-ed.

As I walked around the ward I passed by a room that had a wooden door that was locked. There was a small window in the middle of the door. I looked through the window and saw it was bare. There was no furniture and the walls had nothing hanging on them. I wondered to myself what that room was being used for.

I then walked over to the t.v. room. I saw some people who had fallen asleep and their heads were drooping onto their chests. Some patients had a blank cold stare as they stared at the walls as if staring into
space. Other patients were smoking cigarettes. There was a black and white t.v. in the room. The local news was on . I heard a staff member holler down the corridor to us “Lunch is ready”.

I followed my peers into a huge room. I sat down at a long table. At the back of the room was a cafeteria style set-up. I lined up to get my lunch. A middle aged woman dressed in a white uniform and apron served me. I
put soup and a sandwich on my tray and walked over to my table. An obese woman smiled at me and said “Hi, my name is Louise. I am your roommate. What is your name?” I told her who I was. Louise started to
talk about her hospital stay at the local general hospital the night before. “Suzanne, I got back here to Ward H this morning. I saw you coming onto this ward. I swallowed a few toothbrushes last night. The staff found
out because I told another patient and she squealed on me. Then the staff on duty last night sent me to the emergency ward at the local hospital. They took an x-ray of my stomach and saw four toothbrushes.”
Louise started to laugh hysterically.


I was shocked by what she said and just nodded my head. I looked around the room and saw a man cleaning dirty trays off into a big plastic garbage pail. A staff member counted the dirty silverware and said in a
loud voice “The count is o.k. You can all leave now”. Another staff member unlocked the dining room door to let us all out.

chapter-10

LIFE ON WARD H


Ward H was a terrifying place. I did not trust most of the staff on the ward.
 My fellow patients were kind and we looked out for each other. The dangerous people I felt were the staff not my peers. It was like a brotherhood and sisterhood on the ward. We taught the new patients who tolook out for (meaning the staff) and to get to know the ropes on the ward. For example, we told each other how not to swallow the pills and putthem under our tongue. I got away with this stunt for months. I was so hyper and agitated on the ward that I was given the long black jelly pills called sleeping pills. I would take two of those pills and they wouldn’t put knock me out for hours.

I once asked “Terry” the tall and overweight nurse what would happen to the average person taking these two black sleeping pills. She told me this “it would knock out a horse in no time” I would pour hot water from the bathroom hot water tap and pour instant coffee into a styrfoam cup and pace the halls all night.

Our rooms had no doors but a wall going halfway up. We had a curtain to pull across the makeshift wall. No privacy at all. There was a thick steel mesh on our windows. The door to the ward H was locked. The hallways were in a L shape. You got off at the elevator and then turned right to the locked ward and knocked on the door to the entrance of the ward. As you walked onto ward H, to the left was the men’s bedrooms and to the right were the women’s bedrooms. In the center of the long hallway was a small nurses’ office with a door that went half way up. As you went past the women’s bedrooms, you would enter another hallway that was shorter. To the left were a few small rooms, one of which was used for group therapy and one used for the medical students to use like the psychologist etc. To the right of this short hallway was a big recreation room that had an enclosed balcony overlooking the entrance to the building.

The recreation room had an old record player and old records. There was a ping pong table. There were some tables and chairs. We had board games and cards. Most of my peers would congregate there everyday and we would sit and talk about everything under the sun. Some would complain about the hospital staff and the hospital food, some would complain about their medications and that it they didn’t like taking it. Some people would sit there stoned faced and stare up at the walls. My peers generally looked very depressed and sad with a look of having no hope in sight for them. This image sears into my memory and makes me sad knowing how
psychiatry that locked me and my peers up. Losing your freedom is an awful and painful experience. Having to ask permission to go off the ward to go for a walk. Hearing the door lock behind you as you enter the ward.

To this day I cannot stay in my apartment all day. I have to get out to have the feeling and know I am free to come and go as I want to and as I wish to.

We had to take public showers a few times a week. I was told to stand in line at the two shower stalls with no curtains, and come in disrobed with no clothes on in front of my other naked female peers. I had just gained 30 pounds and I was already self conscious. I had to stand there stark naked. It was the most humiliating experience of my life that still affects me to this day. I used to cry before going into the shower room. My peers would stare at the floor or look up to the ceiling trying not to look at each other and give some type of respect to each other in that controlled environment.

I believe the staff were trying to break down our spirit. They did not succeed in doing that to me. I yelled at them and told them what I thought about the public showers. The staff would increase my medications to shut
me up. The staff resented patients who were rebellious on the ward.

This is what the Brockville hospital looked like from the outside. You’d pass by the highway and you would see a vast area of grass with buildings in the background. There were benches on the grounds and I would
wave to public as they drove by. The area had huge oak and maple trees. A tennis court was visible from the highway. As you drove into the hospital grounds, you would see the staff wearing white and the
patients walking behind them. Some patients were able to walk on the grounds by themselves.

We were given privileges. Privileges were earned. For example, a new patient would be restricted to the ward. Let’s call this privilege number one. Privilege number two would be being allowed to go for a walk with the staff. Privilege number three would be being allowed to go for a walk alone. Privilege number four would be being
allowed to off the grounds. Privilege number five would be being allowed to go away from the hospital for the weekend. Some ward were “token” wards. Patients were given tokens (points) for getting up, some
tokens were given for making their beds and for doing their everyday chores on the ward. Life on the wards were difficult for my peers.

Some of my peers had different problems. I had many roommates during my six months on Ward H. Louise as you read in chapter one would swallow toothbrushes. My other roommate called Amanda was a young girl about l5 years old. She would scream sometimes as she walked down the co-ed ward and then suddenly take off all her clothes and then run down the hallway. The staff would run after her with a sheet to cover her up, and Amanda would kick and scream as the staff tried to subdue her.

Another patient on my ward named Carole was developmentally disabled. She had her room at the end of the hallway on the other side of the corridor. Her door was locked at nights. She would sit at her door and pound her head against the door all night screaming “let me out, let me out”. Carole would cry all night. I was terrible to hear her screaming and crying every night. I wished I had had a key to let her out. Louise would try to hit the staff at times. The staff would put Louise into the “quiet” room on the ward. The quiet room was in the middle of the mens’ corridor. The door had a small window where someone could look in. The door was always locked.

One day as I walking by the mens’ corridor, a few of my male peers were crowded around the quiet room door. I said to them “what is going on, what are you looking at? The men pulled away from the door to let me see what they were looking at. I was in shock as I looked into the door window. Louise was naked and dancing all around the small room. There was no furniture in the room except for a mattress on the floor. I did not see Louise’s clothes anywhere. I moved back from the window and went up to one of the nurses and said to her “why is Louise in that room with no clothes on?” The nurse looked me into my eyes with an angry scrowl on her face and said “she got out of hand”. I felt so bad for Louise I did not who to call or what to do.

I felt helpless on this ward. It was then that I realized we the patients had no human rights. The ward was a terrifying place to be. I wanted to leave right away. As you walked into our building, you took the elevator up to the second floor. Once you got off the elevator you would turn right and about l0 feet away from the entrance door to Ward H. My ward. You would knock on the door until a staff member would open the door for you. The door was locked behind you. The ward corridor was long. To the left of the entrance door was the mens’ dorm, and to the left was the womens’ dorm. The womens’ washroom had three stalls with no locks on the door. We had a little sink with cold and very hot boiling water. We would drink isntant coffee at night with the hot boiling water from the sink tap. By the sink was a tiny window overlooking to the immediate left of the hospital grounds. You could see a long road and a few houses outside the window. Our rooms had a small night table with wheels. We had vinyl mattreses and pillows.

I remember one morning when I sharing my room with a girl named Amanda. She pulled out of my bed by the hair and pulled onto the floor in a few seconds. I was sleeping like a baby when she terrorized me. The
staff grabbed Amanda and put her into the quiet room. Amanda and I got along well. I don’t know why she did this to me. She frightened me to death. My scalp hurt as she yanked out some of my hair by the roots.

On another day, I remember a patient named Betty who lived in Brockville. Her husband had left her. Betty had a nervous breakdown as a result and landed up on Ward H. As I recall, I can still hear her sobbing loudly all night. A male nurse named Mr. Shannon talked to her and tried to console her all throught he night. Her sobbing was heart wrenching.

I started to smoke cigarettes on the ward. The hospital would give us tobacco. The tobacco was strong tasting. My peers would roll my cigarettes for me. I was given a job at the hospital as a recreation
assistant. I help the elderly patients on the wards daily for 25 cents an hour. Every morning I would arrive at 9 a.m. at a geriatric ward. The Polka Dot Door tv show was on as the elderly patients were sitting around the tables watching the tv show. I was told to play board games with the patients. The staff were cold and indifferent to me. I liked working with the elderly patients. I worked for two hours a day and then I returned to Ward H by walking through the hospital tunnel. I then had my lunch and then in the afternoon I would go for walks with some of my peers.

One of my peers came from Hungary. He took me under his wing so to speak. He always accompanied me on my walks in the tunnels and outside on the grounds. He was always a gentleman with me. He was in his forties and I was l7 years old. Another male patient about 25 years old. He had blond hair and blue piercing eyes. He was transferred from upstairs from Ward K the Forensic ward. I never knew what forensic meant and never bothered to ask. H would also accompany me around too. These two men became good friends of mine while I was on Ward H. I did not realize at the time that those men took it upon themselves to protecting me. They were protecting me from the danger that lay lurking in the tunnel.

Some male staff were paying some female patients to have sex with them in the washrooms in the tunnel. A male
patient would be outside the bathroom door as a lookout. If someone came by, the lookout would knock on the locked bathroom door and say “I need to go the washroom”. The male staff would leave the bathroom while
the woman would leave later on. I did not know this until a few years ago, and then it became public in the Brockville newspaper. The sex ring at the hospital was then investigated by the local police department. I thank my two male friends on my ward for having protected me while I was in the hospital. They saved me from the horrors in the tunnel.

I had been at the hospital for about a month, that would be May of 1973. The weather outside was starting to warm up and on the wards we had no air conditioning. Our mattresses and pillows were vinyl and I remember sweating alot while I was sleeping. The medications I took had many side effects. I was not allowed to sit in the sun or I would burn into a bright red like a lobster. We were given no sunscreen to wear. I wore a hat to protect me from the sun. I was gaining more and more weight from all the medications and the lack of good nutrition on the ward. We rarely ate fresh fruit. We always were given cakes and cookies for snacks. The food was the regular hospital food that had a bland taste.

We had a recreation room at the end of one corridor. There was a record player, a ping pong table, and outdoor covered veranda. I often played the “Deep Purple” record and the “Moody Blues”. One night I wanted to cheer up my peers. We had a stretcher against one wall outside the rec room with clothes on it. I put on about 3 layer of clothes from top to bottom. I walked into the rec room and told everyone, “I am going to shut off the lights tonight, and here is a show for you all”. I dimmed the lights and thenproceeded to simulate a strip tease show. My peers were clapping and said“More, more”. Little did I realize that one of the nurses had just come upon my show. “Turn on the lights everyone, the show is over”. I was angry at having to quit the fun. I said to the nurse “why can’t we just have a little bit of fun around here. You can’t put me away because I am already in the looney bin, eh”. My peers roared with laughter bu the nurse looked at me with her big brown eyes. She walked away in ahuff and a puff. My peers cheered as the nurse was leaving. I guess I have always been a bit of a clown. My clowning around has helped me through some of my darkest hours.

During the evening we have no planned activities on the ward. You could watch the local tv shows and I didn’t care to do that. I would play “Crazy Eights” the card game all the time. I became a bit of a champion you could say. We had tournaments. I went for walks with my male friends. One evening, my male friend John from Hungary said to me “Susie, let’s go to town and get a bottle of wine”. I said to John “no way, I can’t do that”. John told me he would go to town and get a bottle of wine and I was to meet him at the little shack on the grounds. So I waited for John. He showed up with a red bottle of wine and some gum. We sat on the floor of the shack and shared the bottle of wine. I said to John “hey, not bad wine”. I took some gum to take away the alcohol smell from my mouth. John had mouthwash with him and I gurgled my mouth with it. John led me into Ward H. He told me to go to bed right away to avoid the staff. I did just that. The next morning I had a hangover for sure. That was the last time John and I shared a bottle of wine on the hospital grounds.

One morning, the recreation director came up on the elevator and waslooking for me and some of my peers to go down to his program downstairs in the basement called West OT. Jeff rounded us up and then told us on the way down the elevator “you know Paul the new patient, the big guy who was quiet, well I was walking near the train tracks and I saw his body on the train tracks. A train ran over him. It ruined my breakfast seeing that”. I felt sick to my stomach when I heard the news about Paul.Paul had been on our ward for about a month. He was a tall andoverweight man who wore suspenders with his pants. He was withdrawn and never spoke to anyone. I guessed that Paul had committed suicide. It was a sad day for all of my peers on the ward. The word got around quickly about what happened to Paul that morning.

I felt like a prisoner on my ward and I was determined to get out soon. A peer of mine told me that I “had to play the game”. The game was to go along with the psychiatrist and no matter how you were feeling to say “I feel fine doctor, I am ready to go now”. Fake it was the name of the game to get out. I did that and I was going to leave in a few months.

My parents, Paul Andre and Theresa and my brother Christian (Chris)would come to visit me at the hospital once a month. They drove fromOttawa to Brockville. It was an hours drive and 60 miles from Brockville. My dad had a jeep. My dad would give me $5.00 for an allowance for the month. He was always cheap that way. My parents never took me outside the hospital to a restaurant or anything in town at Brockville. We went for a walk on the grounds, and went to the cafeteria. My parents and brother were going to Europe for a month. My family took pictures of me at the hospital. I looked forward to seeing my brother Chris and not my parents. I resented my parents for as long as I could remember. The abuse in our home started when I was an infant.

I used to walk down the tunnel to go to the library. One day I saw astretcher with a white sheet over it and it terrified me. I asked the orderly “is that a dead body?”. The orderly nodded “yes, it is, one of the folks from the geriatric ward”. I felt faint at seeing that white sheet on the stretcher. I went to the library and found an escapethrough reading books. It was a small room with lots of books. The librarian was friendly. I recall many years later that a peer of mine had told me she was raped by an orderly in the library after hours. She told the staff on her ward and nothing was done about it. The rape still affects her to this day.

I used to go downstairs and down the tunnel to get my hair done one aweek by the hairdressers. There was big room with lots of chairs andmirrors. I felt better when I got my hair done. It gave me a boost that I often needed. The hairdressers were kind and never judged me. I liked to talk and we had many good chats and a few laughs at the hairdressing parlour.

We had a few excursions outside the hospital. I remember going to see a play at a Brockville high school called the “South Pacific”. The acting was good. I had a good time and that is one of the few good memories I have from my days of being incarcerated at the Brockville PsychiatricHospital. We had dances in one of the buildings. No booze of course. Someone played records and then you would be asked to dance by one of your peers. I was so heavily medicated at the time I don’t remember the dances very well. I just remember a haze of cigarette smoke over the dance floor and loud music blasting into my ears.

A new team of mental health showed up on our ward. There was a newstudent psychologist, and an occupational therapist in training. Thepsychologist had me and some of me peers go into a small room for grouptherapy. You would sit in a circle and then one of my peers was to open up a discussion. Anyone could say anything they wanted. Whenever anyone asked me to speak up, I would just sit there and cry. I would notcommuicate with the group. The male psychologist suggested that I meethim alone in one of the rooms for a one to one session. I agreed as Ithought I had no choice in the matter. The first few sessions, thepsychologist would ask me questions and I would not answer. Finally he said to me “I am going to meet you here every week and I am going to be patient and wait for you to start talking about what is bothering you. There is something bothering you and I want to hear it. You can trust me.” I did finally open up to him and told him about my mother physically and mentally abusing my brother and I since we were infants. I told him that my father beat my mother. We met several times in that room. I believe what I told the psychologist was being passed onto my psychiatrist on the ward to Dr. Louis Sipos.

I rarely saw Dr. Sipos for an appointment on the ward. One time I do rememeber going into his office outside the ward entrance door by the elevator. He was a large man with a partly bald head. He had on his desk many little spotted pictures with black dots on a white background. He took a few of these pictures out one by one and asked me to interpret what I saw. This one picture had little black dots all over with no pattern to it. I told Dr. Sipos. “it looks like an artist went wild and threw a black can of paint against a wall”. Dr. Sipos. said “very good Suzanne”. We chatted for a while and then he told to me to leave his office.

I didn’t trust Dr. Sipo as it was he who suggested to my family that I have electroconvulsive therapy (shock treatments) to cure my depression. I told Dr. Sipos. “I don’t want to have ECT, it would be like frying my brain like an egg in a frying pan”. Dr. Sipos. assured me that the ECT would not damage my brain nor my memory. I did not believe him at all. On the morning I was to have the ECT, I was tired as I did not sleep the night before from being worried about having shock treatment the next morning.

I don’t remember this but a peer of mine years later told me who was on the same ward that when the staff came to get me to take me to the room where ECT was given, I kicked and screamed and bit them. The staff had to subdue me. I am not a violent person. I was afraid and I reacted to what I knew was a dangerous procedure. I pushed down on a bed in small room. The ECT machine was a small square steel box with buttons and wires coming out of it. I was given a needle in the arm. I had a rubber stick put in my mouth and then they put this rubber band around my forehead with wires attached to each side of my temples. When I awoke from the ECT, I was put in a wheelchair. I was incoherent. I didn’t remember where I was and who my peers were at first. It took me a few days to remember people’s names on the ward. I couldn’t remember early childhood memories at all.

I was given 4 more ECTs on 4 separate days. After the fifth ECT, I was told I would not receive anymore ECTs because I had had a bad reaction duringthe last procedure. I had a memory test done at the Ottawa General Hospital at the Neuropsychology ward in 1995. The memory test lasted 8 hours. I was told I had a severe memory loss. I never had any other brain trauma to my head except for ECT. I am living proof of the damage that ECT can do to a person. A few years later, I went to college and had to study twice as hard because I could no longer retain information like I used to. I never had any problems learning anything new before I had ECT. I was an average student with average grades who never had to study or do any homework at all as I had a photographic memory like a zerox machine. I read something once and I remembered it.

I was afraid all the time on Ward H at the Brockville Psychiatric Hospital. I was leary of the staff. I had to watch my back so to speak. I was on a locked ward and anything could have happened to me. I felt helpless on the locked ward like a caged animal wanting to getout of the cage. The longer you are in the locked ward, the more anxious you get to leave the “hellhole” as I called it.

I celebrated my l8th birthday in April in 1973 on Ward H at the Brockville Psychiatric Hospital. What a place to celebrate your l8th birthday is all I can say! My mother bought me some new clothes as I had gained 30 pounds while I was in the locked ward at the Royal Ottawa Hospital. My parents and my brother would visit me once a month at BPH on a weekend as my dad worked as the director of translation for the Department of Customs and Excise in downtown Ottawa next to the Ottawa Public Library. I could see the yellow jeep pulling up to the parking lot from my hospital bedroomwindow and knew it was my family coming to see me.

I did not cry when my parents and brother left. I had no respect for my parents as they had abused me but I have a lot of love for my brother and did not want him to see me cry so I stayed strong and kept in all my emotions. I would go for a walk outside and find a secluded spot and cry. I did not want my peers to see me cry on the ward either. I had too much pride to show my pain to anyone.

The comradship on the ward is tight. There is an unspoken rule on theward, don’t snitch on your peers. We knew our lives depended on sticking together for support and protection amongst ourselves. We watched out for each other. I did not want to sleep too long at night on the ward. I did not know what the hospital staff would have in store for me the next morning.

I had just received 5 electroshock treatments, ECT or shock treatments as they are called. It was the most terrifying moment of my life when they put you on a white stretcher and tell you to open your mouth as they put a rubber mallet in your mouth and put an elastic tight band on your head and they tell you to “relax”. How in the hell can you relax when these people are going to zap your brains with electricity”? I was terrified and angry. I bit and kicked the staff before going into the ECT room. I am not a violent person; I was just reacting to what felt would be abuse and it was. I was scared out my mind as the staff took me into the “ECT room”. Like in the movie “One Who Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” starring Jack Nicholson” that is exactly how the ECT was given to me, it was no different from the way it was portrayed in the movie.

I was given an eight hour memory test in 1995 at the Ottawa GeneralNeuropsychology Ward. The outcome of the tests stated that I do have alimited short term memory. Prior to my ECT I had no problems with learning and I could memorize anything with ease and I had to do little studying in school and was second in my class in grade school for 8 years. In high school I was an average student. Now in my day to day tasks, I have to mark everything down and it is not uncommon for me to repeat myself or to forget appointments etc. I have a difficult time to learn anything new. I struggle from day to day living with the after effects of ECT.

ECT is making a big comeback as it is given to many elderly women. Approximately 100,000 people in the US get ECT and about 10,000 people in Canada get ECT yearly. 50,000 ECTs are given in the UK yearly. It is estimated that 1 to 2 million people get ECT yearly.

One of my friends in Ottawa named Amanda called me one day to inform me that her brother Bob was given his 5th ECT at the Royal OttawaHospital and was in his early forties and had had a heart condition. He wasin his room after the ECT treatment and went into a coma and was thentransferred to the neurology ward at the Ottawa Civic Hospital. He did not come out his coma and then was transferred to the Elizabeth Bruyere Centre in Ottawa which is a long term care facility.

Amanda invited me to go with her to visit her brother Bob at the Elizabeth Bruyere Centre in downtown Ottawa. My friend Harry a former lawyer in Ottawa for many years accompanied me. I am glad he did. I needed moral support. We went up the the elevator and walked down the hallway up to Bob’s room.  Bob was about 20 feet away from us sitting up in a wheelchair. I felt faint as I approached Bob in knowing that it could have been me in the wheelchair as I had had ECT as well. My heart stopped on my last ECT, my 5th ECT. I was revived. The man in front of me down the hallway in a wheelchair was in a coma. I felt like I was going to throw up as I was so shocked to see him like that and it made my legs shake and feel like they were made of jello. I slowly approached Amanda as she spoke softly to her brother Bob. His eyes were open but he did not respond to us and he did not know we were there. His eyes rolled up and down and all over the place. He kept coughing all the time. He had on a sweater and a pair of pants and he had his a pair of glasses.

Bob was in his early forties and was married and had a teenage son. Bob had suffered from depression in the past and that is why he had gone to the Royal Ottawa Hospital. Bob’s wife did not want to take any legal action in regard to Bob’s medical situation. The family feared he may have been treated poorly in the long term care facility if there as an impending lawsuit. We went up to a room where other patients were sitting all around in a circle, some of them singing. Most of the patients were elderly. Some patients, family and friends sang.   Bob sat there with no response coming from his face. I did my best to sing but felt so sad and helpless as I looked at  Bob . My heart sank to the floor. We stayed for an hour and then I left. I cried on the bus all the way home.

It was an experience that made me realize I would work very hard withother psychiatric survivors, their families and friends, supporters andother medial staff and mental health professionals who like me want ECTabolished. There is a worldwide movement that is working together to ban ECT.  Bob  was in a semi-private room. He was curled up like a ball in his bed on one side. His eyes were open but there was no response. Harry my friend who came with me and who was a former lawyer put in hand in front of Bob’s face.

I was shocked that Harry did this. Bob’s eye did not respond to Harry’s gesture. His sister said he could not talk. There were some pictures of Jean before his coma and he was in pictures with his family. He was a good looking man and had a pretty wife. There was a book for visitors to sign and I did sign he book and so did Harry.

Amanda would take out her brother Bob in the wheelchair outside the hospital. People would ask what happened to him and Amanda would mention that he had a bad effect after his ECT treatments.

 Dr. Peter R. Breggin, a psychiatrist in the USA wrote a book called
"Electroshock:  Its Brain-Disabling Effects".  Leonard Roy Frank editedJean was in a semi-private room.  He was curled up like a ball.  His\u003cbr\> eyes were open and but there was no response when his sister said hello.\u003cbr\>   He could not talk, he could not respond to his sister and did not\n\u003cbr\> know we were there visiting him.  I was in shock and had to look away.\u003cbr\>  It was one of the most terrifying moments in my life looking at a peer\u003cbr\> of mine who was so badly absued by the psychiatric industry.  It tooks\n\u003cbr\> me years to get the courage to write this segment.  It stills pains me\u003cbr\> as I recall the two visits to see Jean, the man in the coma from having\u003cbr\> received ECT otherwise known as shock treatments.\u003cbr\>\u003cbr\>One day, Harry a friend of mine who was a former lawyer in Ottawa for\n\u003cbr\> 30 years, walked up to the Elizabeth Bruyere Centre to see Jean.  I had\u003cbr\> told Harry about Jean.  Harry went into Jean's semi private room.\u003cbr\>  Harry put his hand in front of Jean's eyes and there was no response from\n\u003cbr\> him.  Why Harry did this I do not know?  It shocked me though.\u003cbr\>\u003cbr\>To see a man in his prime curled up in bed like a ball and not knowing\u003cbr\> or recongizing anyone who is visiting him is a scary situation if it is\n\u003cbr\> your first time seeing this.  Even though it was my second visit to\u003cbr\> see Jean, I could not stomach seeing him anymore in the future.  It made\u003cbr\> me physically ill to my stomach to see this man in this condition.  It\n\u003cbr\> broke my heart and my spirit to some degree for a few months.  Nothing\u003cbr\> could break my spirit in the past but this was too much for me at the\u003cbr\> time.\u003cbr\>\u003cbr\>Jean died a few years later from having deteriorated so much\n\u003cbr\> physically.  Gisele told me Jean died and I emotionally shutdown for a month.\u003cbr\>  Jean's condition could have happened to me when my heart stopped on my\u003cbr\> last and fifth ECT treatment.  I am a strong person but this type of\n\u003cbr\> thing ravished me inside with so much pain it was incredible.  My rage\u003cbr\> towards the psychiatric industry and those mental health professionals who",1] );  //Jean was in a semi-private room.  He was curled up like a ball.  His
eyes were open and but there was no response when his sister said hello.
He could not talk, he could not respond to his sister and did not

know we were there visiting him.  I was in shock and had to look away.
It was one of the most terrifying moments in my life looking at a peer
of mine who was so badly absued by the psychiatric industry.  It tooks

me years to get the courage to write this segment.  It stills pains me
as I recall the two visits to see Jean, the man in the coma from having
received ECT otherwise known as shock treatments.

One day, Harry a friend of mine who was a former lawyer in Ottawa for

30 years, walked up to the Elizabeth Bruyere Centre to see Jean.  I had
told Harry about Jean.  Harry went into Jean's semi private room.
Harry put his hand in front of Jean's eyes and there was no response from

him.  Why Harry did this I do not know?  It shocked me though.

To see a man in his prime curled up in bed like a ball and not knowing
or recongizing anyone who is visiting him is a scary situation if it is

your first time seeing this.  Even though it was my second visit to
see Jean, I could not stomach seeing him anymore in the future.  It made
me physically ill to my stomach to see this man in this condition.  It

broke my heart and my spirit to some degree for a few months.  Nothing
could break my spirit in the past but this was too much for me at the
time.

Jean died a few years later from having deteriorated so much

physically.  Gisele told me Jean died and I emotionally shutdown for a month.
Jean's condition could have happened to me when my heart stopped on my
last and fifth ECT treatment.  I had used Jean last name on my last website
and the Gisele's wife emailed me and her lawyer said they would bring
me to court if I did not remove his name from my website, so I did.
I had to comply.  I can't afford court costs. 

I am a strong person but this type of

thing ravished me inside with so much pain it was incredible.  My rage
towards the psychiatric industry and those mental health professionals who
know that ECT harms people but yet ECT is making a huge comeback.

Shame on any medical professional who turns a blind eye and says nothing
who knows ECT does harm people.

One famous person who received ECT was the author Ernest Hemingway.  He
was depressed and he was given ECT.  After having the ECT treatments,

Ernest had difficulty writing anything new.  Ernest committed suicide
by taking a gun and shooting himself in his head.

I want mental health professionals to speak out like someone I know in
Ottawa who was a nurse and a psychiatric survivor like myself.   She

spoke up about ECT and the harm it does and she got fired at the hospital
in Ottawa where she was working.  She had the integrity to stand up
and be counted and not turn a blind eye to the truth about ECT. I commend

her.  She is one of my heroes.  She showed true courage!

Whistleblowers can remain anonymous and email me in confidence.  I need
to know what is really going on out there at the hospitals where ECT
is given. Also how the staff treat psychiatric survivors and what

psychiatric abuses you see going on.   Watch and listen and keep notes of
what is going on in your hospitals.  Put the name of the hospital, city
and country and what happened.  Whistleblowers always welcome.  I do not

divulge my sources to no one.   My credibility and integrity are my
trademark.  Like during the last WWII, the motto that said "loose lips
sink ships"  I live by this motto.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

he told me I was going to have.  I told Dr. Sipos that I thought the
ECTs would be like frying an egg or my brains and that having the ECT
would not be a good thing for me.  Dr. Sipos assured me ECT was safe and

it would help alleviate my severe depression.  I protested and told him
I did not want it.  He told me I was going to have theECT treatments
and that was his final decision.

I felt helpless and knew I had no choice in the matter.  I had no one

to call to help me, as I was not told my rights, nor did not know I
could have called a lawyer and was not told their was a mental health
rights advisor anywhere. I doubt BPH had any mental rights advisor to come

to my ward in 1973.  I vowed to speak out one day about this barbaric
treatment called ECT and other psychiatric abuses I had suffered.

I was told I was going to have a series of ECT.  During the 5th ECT

treatment, my heart stopped and that ended my having anymore ECT
treatments.  One of my peers on Ward H, Joan had over 100 ECT treatments over  a
period of years.  She always seemed to be confused and in a stupor and

had very little patience for anything or anyone.   She said she did
not want those ECTs but the doctors seemed to think she needed them.
Joan was a slender woman who was always anxious.  Joan smoked one
cigarette after another and paced the floors and hallways on Ward H all day and

night.  Joan rarely smiled.

Around 7 a.m. the hospital staff would be talking loudly and all the
lights would go on.  The staff would come into your room and get you up.
Then you would line up for your "happy pills".  You would line up in

a row while the nurse had a big steel cart with all these white little
paper cups with your dose of medicine.   There was a plastic pitcher
full of water.  The nurse would watch as you took your pills and asked

you to stick out your tongue to make sure that you did not put the pills
under your tongue.

I felt like one of a group of cows on a farm with no where to go.  I
felt like a trapped animal.  To this day, I have to get out of the house,

even if I am sick.  I can't stand to stay in the house and look at the
white walls in my apartment because it reminds me of my days when I
was locked up on psychiatric wards.  I felt like I would climb the walls

at times on the locked wards.

I felt lonely and isolated on the ward.  I was never locked up or
confined as a child.   I needed to go and and take the long walks I was used
to.  I felt humiliated and abused by the staff.  I was only a number

to them and not a person.

I was treated like a crazy person who needed help.  I was brainwashed
over the years of being psychiatrized into thinking that I was mentally
ill and I needed all this help.  I believed there was something wrong

with me because all the psychiatrists (shrinks) said I was "mentally
ill" and I unfortunately got hooked into the vice grips of the psychiatric
industry.

My outpatient psychiatrist would see me for about a half hour once

every month and then he would tell me to take my pills and he would see you
next month.  I was impressionable as I was only l7 years old when I
was first admitted to the Royal Ottawa Hospital in 1972.

As I believed the psychiatrists' labels (diagnoses) that they so called
put on my forehead.  The psychiatrists' bible is the DSM - IV -  The
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders.  Go to

this website for more info:    I believe
this book should be banned.

I don't want to be labelled by anyone.  I just want to be me and have

people accept me as I am.   I talk quickly, I am verbose and I can do a
lot of things in one day.   Labels are destructive.  I started  to
identify myself by my label.  One day I walked into my gynecologist's

office and said "Hello, I am Sue Clark and I am a schizophrenic".  The
receptionist looked shocked by what I said.  My brother, my boyfriend, my
friends, and my family doctor and supporters accept me as I am and I am

grateful for that.  I could not have it any other way.

I complied and took the medications that the psychiatrists game me and
did not question the treatments I had until many years later. I was a
good patient for awhile until I got angry and then I started to rebel on

the wards, by yelling and shouting and telling the staff what I
thought of them and psychiatry.  I would yell out and say things like "Why
are you torturing me?"  "I am not nuts, my mother is and she should be

locked up here, not me", "Get me out of this hellhole now",  "I am gonna
write about his one day you know"  "I hate this place",  "Someone,
anyone "HELP ME GET OUT OF HERE NOW"  I would sob loudly for hours and

scream.

I call the pharmaceutical companies the whores of psychiatry and
psychiatrists are their pimps.  There is mega bucks going on with all the
smooth talking salesmen with the fancy briefcase talking to Dr. X. that

this such and such pill is good for this type of psychiatric diagnoses
because it does this and will alleviate depression and the psychbabble
and the lies go on and on.  It is disgusting to think that these rich

pharmaceutical companies have no conscience as long as their bank accounts
are well padded and their profits soar every year.  I call it the root
of evil for sure at whose expense!

I don't believe people need psychiatric drugs to numb their pain but

they need to have their experiences validated, they need to be treated
with respect.  People need to have proper housing, 3 good meals a day,
somewhere to go where someone knows their name, friends who care about

them, and community support systems that will treat them an an adult and
not like a child and include them in the designing of these programs.

People need a crisis line that does not have a busy signal, people need

a 24 hour drop in where they can have a cup of coffee, chat with an
understanding crisis worker who doe not judge them.   People need group
homes where they can feel safe and trust the staff and build a healthy

and nuturing life for themselves.

They need family doctors who do not dish out nerve pills every time
someone has a crisis or is in grief, but takes the time to talk to them
and know everyone has to go through grief at some time.

The family doctors needs to undersand  depresion is part of grief, and
that a crisis can happen from time to time and it does not mean the
person cannot cope, it means for that time the person needs more support.

Caring friends got me through some rough patches in my life.  My
brother has always been there for me.  I can call him and confide in him and
he always tells me what I need to hear, not what I want to hear.  He is

honest and he knows me well.  My brother and I are close.  He is a
good man and I am proud that he is my brother.  He has integrity.  He has
my love and respect.

My brother saved my life a few times when I was a teenager when my

mother tried to strangle me to death.  He jumped on my mother and pulled
her off me.  Thank god Chris was there at the time my mother abused me.

Every time I wanted to get off the psychiatric drugs, my psychiatrist

at the time would say to me "Suzanne, don't get off your medicine,
because you know in the past you get suicidal and if you do that we will
have to send you back to the Brockville Psychiatric Hospital.  I was

afraid of this real threat and complied with taking my medication.  For
years I was afraid to even think of getting off the medications.

This is a way some psychiatrists at the Royal Ottawa Hospital treated

many of their patients with the impending threat of being sent 60 miles
from Ottawa to the Brockville Psychiatric ''hellhole" hospital.  I knew
of friends who were threatened the same way I was.  This affected my

psyche.  This threat was real and I was terrified of going back to BPH.
My experience at BPH left me with nightmares for years.

About 10 years ago, a mother called me and wanted me to advocate for
her son who was at the Brockville Psychiatric Hospital (BPH) on Ward H

where I had been locked up so many years before.  I hesitated but I
agreed to go to BPH on the bus that Canadian Mental Health Association in
Ottawa (CMHA) had  going up to BPH a few times a month.

The mother told me her son who had co-ordination problems and

behavioural problems was locked up on BPH.  He was not a violent person.  The
son was slow at taking a shower and one day a Ward H orderly kicked him
as he was taking a shower. Other patients had bullied him on Ward H.

We arrived at BPH.  The bus rolled into the massive grounds of the
hospital.  It took one hour by bus from Ottawa to get to BPH.  The bus
rolled into the front entrance of the hospital and we were told by the bus

driver to be at the front entrance by 3 p.m. for the drive back to
Ottawa.

The woman and I walked around the main building and around to the
building housing Wards G, H, and K.  I walked up the stairs after many years

and I felt a lump in my throat as panic consumed me.  I was thinking
it was 1973 again and I was a patient again at BPH.  It was a though
time had stopped.  I hesitated going up the stairs and into the front

entrance door of the building.  The memories starting to pour into my mind
as to what happened to me.  Deja-vu.

The woman asked me if was ok, I guess my face had drained out of its
color and gone white for a few seconds.  I said I was alright and then we

proceeded up the elevator to Ward H.  I got off the elevator and
turned to the right and faced the locked door to Ward H.  My head starting
to feel like it was swaying and I felt buzzing in my ears.  I suddenly

felt very anxious.  I could not knock on the door right away.  It was
knowing that once you went into the ward, the door would lock behind you.
The feeling of having been locked up never goes away when you approach

another locked ward or door in the future.   I finally got up the
courage and I knocked on the ward H door and a nurse came to open the door
and asked us our names and who we were visiting.   We told the nurse

the nature of our business was to visit this woman's son.  I crossed that
line between freedom and being locked up, an imaginery line but a real
one for me as the door opened.

As I looked around the ward, I noticed that the rooms had full walls up

to the ceiling and doors to their rooms and the bathrooms had been
renovated.  I wonder if public showers were still the norm where you would
stand naked in front of the staff and your peers with shower stalls

with no curtains.  I did not ask. That memory was and is still too
painful when I think about it to this day.

The man in question we were visiting was in his late teens and had
problems with his co-ordination as he walked.   When we could sit alone

with him he told us the guard kicked him because he was taking too long to
take a shower.  He told us some of his peers made fun of his
disabilities.  His speech was somewhat slurred by the heavy doses of medication

the staff were giving him.   The mother wanted her son to be
transferred to the Royal Ottawa Hospital where her son could be closer to her.
I wanted to advocate for her son that day but she declined as she

feared what the staff would do to her son if the word got out he was being
abused by one male orderly.  She was scared and I had to respect her
right.  It was a hard choice for me not to say anything, but she was the

man's next of kin.  I felt helpless knowing we would be leaving the man
behind on the locked ward on Ward H. I felt this man's safety was in
jeopardy.

The staff were pleasant to us on the ward as we were visiting the young

man.  The woman hugged her son good-bye and I had a lump in my throat
and had to turn around and walk away, it was too much for me to see.  I
wanted to take out the young man off the ward and take him home to

Ottawa on the bus with his mother.In fact I felt like I wanted to unlock
the door to Ward H and let out all my peers and yell "here is your
freedom to go, get out and run as fast as you can".   I knew I could not

have done that but in my mind I wished I could have.

The mother and I walked up to the main entrance of BPH.  The woman was
crying and I tried to console her.   She told me I could call the staff
and advocate for her son the following week.  I agreed.   We had a sad

ride home as the woman looked depressed and withdrawn.   I did not
know what to say to her, what to say to someone who is in that situation.
I did my best not to show her my frustration at not being able to

advocate on the man's behalf that afternoon.   I had to keep my dignity
in tack and I looked outside the window of the bus as it rolled on the
highway back to Ottawa.

We rolled into Ottawa and we said our good-byes.  The next week she

called me and told me she wanted to go back to BPH in the next few weeks.
We did and I did advocate on the ward for her son.   The mother did
not want to be directly involved while I advocated, she gave me

permission to speak on her behalf.

I advocated  for the son on Ward H. The nurse who I spoke to looked
shocked and especially when I told her I was a former patient on ward H
and that I was an advocate.  It was like the nursse looked at me as if to

say "you're not well enough to have any credibility here, lady, cause
you were a patient here."   I told her about the young man complaining
about being kicked in the shower by an orderly and told her what the

orderly looked like.  The young man did not remember the orderly's name.
The nurses's face turned red and I looked her straight in the eye and told her  "I want this abuse to stop or legal action may be taken by the family".   The nurse stammered and said she would look into the matter and then said  she would be very surprised if any abuse did occur on Ward H.  I stood up and left the  little ward office.  A nurse opened the ward door and locked it behind me.   I heard a 'click' as the door was locked and then I went down the elevator to  the main floor. I told the mother what I had said about her son  and the incident that happened to him.  The mother was not surprised. I recall one of  my peers who I had met many years later in Ottawa. She had been a patient before 1972 at  BPH.  An orderly took her down to the little library way down in the tunnel  and raped her.   She told the staff on one of the wards of BPH and no one took her  accusations eriously.  No one called the police.  Nothing was done about it. I was  fortunate that two men on my ward took me under their wing to protect me.   I was naive  and did not know that such things happened in a hospital setting. I was walking down in  the tunnel that connected all the ward. You followed the yellow line like in the movie  " The Wizard of Oz" follow the yellow brick road.  One day out of the blue someone called  my name and I turned around and there was my Aunt Theresa.  I was stunned and shocked. My aunt was my father's brother's Gerry's wife. My uncle Gerry had some serious emotional  problems.  Rumour had it he was molesting his teenage daughters, Louise and Diane and he  had hookers coming into his home in Ottawa and he was taking pictures of them.  Uncle  Gerry was a very unstable person and could not keep a job.  He took odd jobs  and painted Christmas decorations on garage windows and was somewhat of an artist.  He had  to move frequently as he did not pay the rent and was on the run with is family a lot.
Sometimes he and his family of four kids and a wife lived in small car trailer nd told  her "I want this abuse to stop or legal action may be taken by

the family".  The nurse stammered and said she would look into the
matter and then said she would be very surprised if any abuse did occur on
Ward H.  I stood up and left the little ward office.  A nurse opened the

ward door and locked it behind me.  I heard a 'click' as the door was
locked and then I went down the elevator to the main floor.

I told the mother what I had said about her son and the incident that

happened to him.  The mother was not surprised.

I recall one of my peers who I had met many years later in Ottawa.  She
had been a patient before 1972 at BPH.  An orderly took her down to
the little library way down in the tunnel and raped her.   She told the

staff on one of the wards of BPH and no one took her accusations
seriously.  No one called the police.  Nothing was done about it.

I was fortunate that two men on my ward took me under their wing to
protect me.   I was naive and did not know that such things happened in a

hospital setting.

I was walking down in the tunnel that connected all the wards. You
followed the yellow line like in the movie "Wizard of Oz" follow the yellow
brick road.  One day out of the blue someone called my name and I

turned around and there was my Aunt Theresa.  I was stunned and shocked.
My aunt was my father's brother's Gerry's wife.

My uncle Gerry had some serious emotional problems.  Rumour had it he

was molesting his teenage daughters, Louise and Diane and he had hookers
coming into his home in Ottawa and he was taking pictures of them.
Uncle Gerry was a very unstable person and could not keep a job.  He

took odd jobs and painted Christmas decorations on garage windows and was
somewhat of an artist.  He had to move frequently as he did not pay the
rent and was on the run with is family a lot.

Sometimes he and his family of four kids and wife lived in small

trailer camper.  My dad on the otherhand was always financially responsible
and put three square meals on the table and always paid the rent and
saved money.  The two brothers were totally different.  My father did not

molest me or my brother.   My father always kept his jobs and climbed
the ladder and was a go-getter.

My aunt told me Louise one of her daughters left home and that only
Michael the baby was left and that her husband Uncle Gerry was going to

give him up to adoption.  Aunt Theresa had a nervous breakdown as a
result of Michael being sent to Children's Aid to be adopted.

Aunt Theresa met a nice man called "Joe" on one of the wards who would

become her future husband a few years later.   It seemed to me that BPH
was beginning to look like a family affair and that was scary.  Who
else from the family was going to come into BPH as a patient?

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