personal

Thoughts on ’13 Reasons Why’

Like many, I had a hard time watching this show. I had a hard time not only because of the events that took place, but because of the events that I recalled from my own life while watching. At first, I had watched the initial episode and felt that I wouldn’t continue. Just that first episode was enough to rattle me. I spoke with a coworker who had watched the whole series and asked if he felt it was worth it to watch the whole thing, or if I would get the same effect after reading spoilers. So I read some spoilers (I read a brief breakdown of each episode) and I talked to the #BSP about it, and I determined that I should watch the whole thing. There are some things that can’t be conveyed through reading: you need to watch it to get the full impact. Not everyone can handle the full impact of this show and they shouldn’t try to handle it. I’m going to write down my thoughts on this show so if you don’t want to read spoilers then I suggest you stop now. But if you don’t mind spoilers or if you’re like me and want to read a bit before watching it anyway, continue on.

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments

A True Rant: An Opinion Piece

I’m sure you’ve all realized by now that I’m not one to take  things lying down.

Today was the 15th business day since the cheque was mailed to our financial institution. The funds were not in our account this morning. When my husband called yesterday to find out what was going on, he was told we needed to wait a month to see ‘if it will just show up’ before anything could be done. One cheque had already been received and deposited. But it’s the one we can’t touch.

So this morning I drafted a letter for my husband to send to the Director of Pensions and Social Programs. I had been corresponding with her after I had gone to my MP to figure out what the hell was going on.

He sent it and within minutes she responded that she would look into what was happening.

The basic reality is that it is not acceptable to tell someone that you owe money to that they need to wait to see if it ‘just shows up’ when the fault does not lie with them. He never asked for a cheque to be sent in the first place. Direct deposit was requested. It shouldn’t have happened this way in the first place. We have already waited 6 months. They are basically telling us we need to wait another month to see if it shows up and if it doesn’t, it could take another month for them to investigate and reissue a cheque.

I worked for the provincial government, specifically in Student Loans when I lived in Alberta. Yes, I understand that I am now battling the federal government, but hear me out.

There would be multiple instances a day where a student would call because they did not receive their grant cheque. These were the cheques I could immediately trace. If it had been over ten business days I would cancel and request a reissue (we did not have direct deposit then as an option) within that phone call. The caller was informed that if they found the cheque after they hung up the phone to not cash it because it was cancelled and wait for the replacement. Yes, there were issues where we tried to replace a cheque to a student who had an issue with their mail. We did an investigation, but not while the student waited. We found an alternative address that the student had access to and sent the cheque there while we investigated in the background.

So you don’t get to tell me that you can’t cancel a cheque and that we need to a wait a goddamn month before anything can be done.

I was very professional and polite in my letter but I am not professional or polite here. It is clear that this system is broken. Yes, we have resources that we can depend on if we are in a tight situation. Not everyone has that. Did you know that there are homeless veterans in Canada? They are doing a research project that you can read more about.

Is it any wonder? These men and women serve our country for at least five years. Many veterans did a full career in the military. There is massive culture shock in transitioning from being a soldier employed full time by the federal government to being a civilian who may need to wonder where their next meal is coming from. Our supports for these men and women are disgusting in the fact that they are few and far between. Our government has closed dozens of Veterans Affairs offices across the country.

I am tempted with bringing this ridiculousness to the media after is it resolved. A change needs to be made. It is a simple system, but it is a broken system. I am not asking for a hand out. I am asking that the money owed to my husband for his eight years of service not be such a battle to receive. Before he released we saved up the money for his tuition so that these funds we’re supposed to receive could be funnelled into wiping away debt and fixing our home. The tuition money is gone. Our savings are dry. Our house has a major issue that is not repaired.

I will not go quietly into that good night. I will not wait until this process runs its course. I will raise my voice for myself and for those who cannot.

Mark my words, this is not over yet.

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 3 comments

Runaway Train – 1993

Soul+Asylum+Runaway+Train+500868

“Call you up in the middle of the night
like a firefly without a light
you were there like a blowtorch burning
I was a key that could use a little turning
so tired that I couldn’t even sleep
so many secrets I couldn’t keep
promised myself I wouldn’t weep
one more promise I couldn’t keep

It seems no one can help me now
I’m in too deep
there’s no way out
this time I have really lead myself astray

Runaway train, never goin’ back
wrong way on a one-way track
seems like I should be getting somewhere
somehow I’m neither here nor there

Can you help me remember how to smile?
make it somehow all seem worthwhile
how on earth did I get so jaded?
life’s mysteries seem so faded
I can go where no one else can go
I know what no one else knows
here i am just drownin’ in the rain
with a ticket for a runaway train

And everything seems cut and dry
day and night
earth and sky
somehow I just don’t believe it

Runaway train, never goin’ back
wrong way on a one-way track
seems like I should be getting somewhere
somehow I’m neither here nor there

Bought a ticket for a runaway train
like a madman laughing at the rain
little out of touch, little insane
it’s just easier than dealing with the pain

Runaway train, never goin’ back
wrong way on a one-way track
seems like I should be getting somewhere
somehow I’m neither here nor there

Runaway train, never comin’ back
runaway train, tearin’ up the track
runaway train, burnin’ in my veins
I run away but it always seems the same”

–  Soul Asylum, 1993

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments

Bio-Mom: This is For You

I woke up this morning to a notification on my phone telling me I had a comment to moderate on one of my posts. That had me pretty excited because I like seeing what you all have to say and responding to you. It shows me that you’re really reading what I wrote and you’re interested enough to ask me something.

However, I was not expecting the comment’s author to be who they are. For the first time, I deleted a comment that wasn’t spam and didn’t let it on the site:

Snippet

Here’s a screenshot, for reference

I generally have an open-book approach with comments: unless it’s racist, derogatory, or absolutely cruel I let it through. You want to tell me something about my writing and it’s not a nice thing? If you aren’t a jerk about it I’ll definitely let that comment and my response out for the public.

If you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time you’re sure to notice I have ‘mommy’ issues (and ‘daddy’ issues and ‘eating only chips for a meal’ issues).

I’ve had this blog for almost 3 years and, for the first time ever, there was a comment from my biological mother.

It wasn’t even that bad of a comment, it was just her way of dismissing my feelings and writing off my memories as inaccurate, false and unimportant. Again.

I know you’re going to read this. If you want to reach out to me, to open a line of dialogue for the UMPTEENTH TIME can’t you do it a bit nicer?

You tell me that I’m over-exaggerating or completely making up experiences I’ve had. That my memory is false. I could say the same to you. You are not me, you did not live my life. You were there, but you are not me. Just as I am not you and can only interpret and assume how you felt when things happened. Unless a person is told directly, they can only interpret.

You have never taken responsibility for the way things turned out. It has always been someone else’s ‘fault’.

Could you just stop? Please? Unless you want to send me a heart-felt, genuine e-mail explaining things from your point of view (without swearing, blaming me or ranting) and open up to the idea of acceptance, forgiveness and accountability, go away.

This site is public. I can’t stop you from reading it. That’s fine, though, because you can see all the things I’ve done without you. While you did give me a foundation (uneven as it was) I have built the house.

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments

All The Feelings

I’ve kind of been on a self-help/self-therapy kick lately, haven’t I?

That’s probably because I’m so overwhelmed and so stressed I can’t even think about my book right now. I still write little bits here and there, but nothing new since my last posts about it. I’ve decided how it will end, which is good. Usually I can’t figure out how to end the story and it ends up a garbled mess. I’m hoping that this map that I’ve figured out will help.

Tonight I am going to be attending a group meeting. I haven’t done any sort of counselling or therapy for 10 years. I am in a new situation where a lot is going on and it’s gotten to a point where I hear those voices again.

You know the voices.

Anyone who has struggled with depression or anxiety knows the voices I’m talking about. My rational brain tends to ignore them, but that brain is getting weaker as the days go by and the stress piles up.

I’ve never been to one of these group meeting things before. I was thinking about it this morning while I was getting ready for work and I felt this wave of anxiety wash over me. It comes and goes in waves and I know it will be fine. I am hoping I will be brave enough to go. I have this wonderful habit of talking myself out of ANYTHING.

In other news, I think I may have found a Masters program I am interested in. The only catch is that it is offered by a University in NEWFOUNDLAND. I live in Manitoba. That is FAR from where I am.

But there’s not much I can do when the schools around me don’t offer what I want. It’s not like I haven’t looked. I don’t have a million  years or obscene amounts of time to prep with schooling to get into a program. For programs near me I’m looking at 5-8 years of school before I can do what I want. With this program, I think I might have to do 1 year of pre-requisites and then the actual program. Most of the pre-requisites are available online, but there are some that are only available in class. I contacted the recruitment department to see if the in-person classes are offered in the Spring/Summer session. I might be able to make it work! We shall see. The Masters program has some courses that are only offered face-to-face so I would have to see how that could work. It would be so nice to finally  have my Masters like I have wanted. It’s a public institution which is also helpful. I would be in school forever and for always if my budget would allow me.

On the other side, I feel so OLD doing more schooling. Realistically, I am not that old. But I still feel like I am. I’ll get over it though hahaha.

Here’s to brighter days ahead!

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It snowed today though 🙂

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments

Domestic Violence Prevention Month – Canada

November is Domestic Violence Prevention Month here in Canada.

As a survivor of domestic violence, I have written a brief snapshot of my history in the hopes that others may read it and draw strength from it.

You are not alone. You can survive.

Domestic Violence

It’s not an inclusive story by any means. Perhaps it’s more for self-therapy than for actually helping anyone. But it is my story.

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 1 comment

The Start of a Legend?

In case you haven’t seen the news, or you don’t follow the news in Canada, we elected a new Prime Minister last night.

Justin Trudeau, son of famed Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, and his Liberal Party won the elections. This is a big deal up here in the Great White North because it is demonstrating a departure from our past. For the last ten years Stephen Harper and his Conservatives have been in power in Canada.

I don’t follow politics. I find that it is difficult to keep the stories straight and to understand exactly what is going on. By that, I mean I don’t follow the politicians. I try to follow the causes and I try to keep informed about policies.

I am glad that Stephen Harper and his Conservatives are gone. In this last election there were some issues and concerns that were brought up that I was not happy with. The Barbaric Culture Practice Hotline was disgusting. The whole controversy surrounding the niqab was also disgusting. The sad this now is that these two issues will be the legacy the Conservative Government leave behind. Partnering with the Fords from Toronto was also a bad idea. They stand for all the misogynistic, double-sided bullshit that many Canadians don’t approve of or appreciate.

I didn’t vote for Justin Trudeau, but I am glad he is Prime Minister. Anyone but Harper at this point.

It makes me wonder what direction my country is going to take now. I don’t know if this means things will get better or not. I’ve been feeling the pinch as I am currently the bread-winner in my family. I am supporting two children and a spouse who is pursuing post-secondary school due to a job change. He works part time to help us out. But it’s still a struggle.

I’m paying off a student loan I’ve had for the last 10 years. I’m paying non-subsidized childcare costs for two children. I’m paying a mortgage and paying for bills. I’m buying groceries that only seem to get more and more expensive, even when I buy the brandless options.

Justin Trudeau has claimed he can make it easier for those of us in the middle class. I don’t want a hand out. Yes, the ‘promises’ of more funds for the Child Tax Credit and Universal Child Benefit sound amazing. Honestly though, instead of extra money there, I’d rather my groceries be cheaper. I’d rather my childcare be cheaper while still allowing my dayhome provider to make a living as she should. I would rather my student loan just disappear.

It takes time to change a country. We’ve been moving in one direction for 10 years. I hope people give Justin a chance.

I wish Jack Layton had been alive for this election. I am confident he would have been our Prime Minister. While I voted for Mulcair, he just isn’t Jack. I hope he can find his political presence and when the next election comes I hope he can blow the socks off everyone, just like Jack used to.

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments