what u want? Sunday, Nov 1 2009 

this is probably one of my favourite songs, but i was trying to rationalize why i like it. it advocates violence, drug use/abuse/sale, among other things. it makes me sad to think that this is what young native guys are writing songs about, but at the same time why would we write songs about something that wasn’t true? i know too many people who have been involved with the cops seriously, too many who blur the line too often between drugs for pleasure and addiction, too many who are involved in violence.

i think if some people (most likely those from outside the community) listen to this song, they probably wouldn’t get it. i’ve noticed especially since recently i have been living in a house which is majority native male ex-cons. i’ve been around people like that for a long time, just because if you end up in a compromised situation, a lot of times you have to share space with people who could be considered that. a lot of them have been in foster care, absent parents, etc. so it’s no surprise i ended up there either. if history serves to repeat itself, which is really hope it doesn’t, i think it would just be too easy for me to be like them. i don’t want to pass this on to my kids, if i should ever have them, but what am i supposed to teach them about this? how are you supposed to explain to a little two year old that your childhood was abusive, and that you eventually ended up in a psych ward, and eventually a sort of halfway house where you were surrounded by criminal behaviour, and had to harden yourself up in order to keep yourself safe? how do you explain to that kid that the reason their dad can’t show them how much he loves them is that it’s something he had to do to survive, and even though it’s just too easy for them to be like him, that they don’t deserve to have that pain, but need to find a way to express their love and not be afraid? i don’t know, i just hope i can figure that out before if i ever have kids.

yesterday i was watching some of the guys at the house, and seeing how everyone interacts with each other. i saw the kid who, though he’s been in foster care and isn’t native, being really naive to what we were talking about, wasn’t knowing what the words meant that we were using. i don’t know why i feel proud about knowing the slang for hard drugs, or things that happen in prison, but i do know that it’s probably to my advantage. i think that if someone naive came into my situation to replace me, and hadn’t already had some exposure, family connection or some sort of knowledge of what the heck we are on about then they not only would be very confused about what was going on, but it could put them at a risk. it’s just too easy to get someone to do something bad if they don’t know how to tell you are manipulating them. it’s so easy to snow someone if they don’t have any personal experience. i don’t think i’ve ever had someone do that to me, because i’ll see them before they even get close too it, since 90% of what people do when they’re trying to get you is going to be the same each time. my mum did that a lot to me as a kid, and i had to learn how to get out of her way, and at the same lie so that she wouldn’t get upset, and would just leave me alone instead of hurting me. my dad never did anything because even though he was always with us, i can’t describe him at all because i don’t know him, he has never been there for me in most ways, and i don’t honestly know much of anything about him. he’s pretty absent. it seems like a pretty common thread among us guys that we don’t have proper father figures. i had my uncle for a few years when i was younger, but ever since then there has been nobody. i don’t know why our success or failure seems to hinge on this quite a bit, but i think someone needs to pay a heck of a lot more attention when they break a boy’s contact with his father, or who he considers to be his dad. it seems too obvious that we would join gangs which are primarly a male father figure-like relationship with someone. maybe violence prevention is the only way to solve this, i’m not sure. most everyone i know who has been a criminal has continued on. i know only one guy who hasn’t, but i think he had more support than the rest of us in some ways, and despite his native status he wasn’t involved in a native community in the same way. i don’t wanna stereotype about the native community, but there is just so much pain that we need to take care of, just so much criminal behaviour because a lot of us have been compromised. maybe that’s why i really love this song, because it is so real and identifying. there’s so much that the people who make decisions about criminals and those of us in the system don’t seem to know. they don’t understand that probably having someone talk to a counsellor would be far more valuable a sentence than putting someone in a holding cell for a night, or on a year probation. i have never seen anyone have to attend mandatory counselling as part of their sentence, which i think would change a lot of things. many of us have been taught to destroy feelings that others would view as inadequete, or freakish, or things that could come and haunt us or hurt us. those are the things which cause us the most pain though, and force us until we can’t bear the load anymore and start acting in ways that we really shouldn’t. it doesn’t make sense the way the prison/welfare system works here. the sentences for prison don’t take into account age/life/mental health or possible chances to reoffend, and never seem to teach the offender what it’s like to be the victim in the legal sense, since most offenders were usual targets not too long before they couldn’t take it anymore and became the abusers. nobody seems to get that, not even the people who work with them, even social workers who are in charge of kids who have them snowed to the fact that they are crack dealers on the side etc. i’m not trying to say that i’m some kinda good-two-shoes either, because that’s just not it. it’s just what i’ve seen and experienced.

the welfare system here is just as fucked, if you’ll pardon my french there. once you go on welfare, it is 99% physically impossible to get off of it. good on you if you find a way to get off it without having to do something illegal on the side to make a little extra cash to cover the rent when you go off it, or to make sure that you have enough to eat during the long stretches between certain check times. welfare isn’t designed to help people get back up their feet – it might’ve worked once but that all went out the window probably as soon as it came into existence. i’ve heard too many people make the erroneous comment that people sitting on welfare can just go out, get a job and get back up on their feet, pay rent again etc.

well, why don’t you try it then?

prove it to me that it’s possible, that you can live as a human being and either not starve or not end up on the street, or both, or not get your kids taken away, or how about all of that. why don’t you show me, i bet you’ll never get your hands on that food, or those kids. the ministry will get them so fast you won’t know what happened and i doubt that you’ll ever have another chance, better just to wave goodbye and hope that if they’re male they won’t end up in jail. go ahead and chastise me, accuse me of exaggeration, of embellisment and some sort of lying, drag out your conservative stats, tell me that i’m outright wrong, but i think i know what’s real out here on the street. at least i have the opportunity to live, ’cause i know if i let you loose you might not make it through the night, and as sad as that fact is, i can’t lie to you.

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the view from above Sunday, Sep 27 2009 

since thursday i’ve been sitting within various psych wards of a local hospital.

it’s a lot less scary than i thought it would be when i first went in. in the beginning i was in the heaviest security ward, ie. lock-up rooms, straight jackets etc. in that ward they don’t even have buttons on their shirts. the ward i am in now is the brief intervention one, we get shirts with buttons and bathrobes with velcro, and our beds have blankets and our rooms do not lock.

there is thick metal wire on the windows in our ward. the lock-up ward is encased in concrete and doesn’t have windows anywhere. it is like a prison there, but i guess if that is what you need to keep yourself safe, then there isn’t much choice about it. i have my own room with a locker. they said i could stay at home tonight and come back tomorrow morning, but i don’t think that will happen. i think i need to go back but i decided to write this down before i did. maybe for personal reference i don’t know.

tomorrow the regular psychiatrist who meet me during friday will see me again because he is going to be looking after what happens to me. i think that he is doin fine so far eh so that is good and i am looking forward to clarifying things again. i didn’t expect to have to go to the hospital when i went to see my psychologist on thursday, so it is my first time there too.

the part of the hospital this wing is in is in an older part, though i went for a walk in the oldest part the other day. it is hard to believe they did operations in a place that looks like it should be some sort of archaelogical display, or for an architecture tour.

don’t get me wrong, i’m glad to be there. i’m willing to place my trust in the hands of those who i think know better than i do about what is safe and or what isn’t. i think maybe they can set me on a better way, or at least set me on a way to find it, with help from others.

oddly enough, the psychs here know far more about my gender than the therapists i seen about gender. they are more respectful, understanding, caring, and understand that though it could be the cause of much trouble, in my case it is not, and therefore, since it has been dealt with healthily, it doesn’t need to be probed and rehashed or blamed for all things. it makes me rather sad that the student nurses here know/care/understand more than those psychologists i’ve seen about gender for years. makes me think some people are living in the dark. it was a gender specialist who said that my gender was the cause of all these problems, and that they would all go away after i had dealt with them. though i would love to believe her, i don’t think my gender has anything to do with my homicidal wanting to kill certain people.

i think i’ll stick to my psychiatrist’s opinion on that one.

skipping class is productive Tuesday, Sep 22 2009 

today i spent the last two blocks of classes at a youth centre working on some writing i have been attempting to finish for the past couple of months. it was a nice relaxing, enjoyable day. i’m not sure if i’m entering one of my super productive phases, but it certainly seems so. eventually i’ll end up going and crashing, but i guess i’ll just try to use all of this energy and get my work done when i have the chance.

i also managed to complete my intention letter for a college application that i will be filling out as of october 1st. it’s exciting, because to be frank here, i never honest to god thought that i would ever in my life be able to apply for college. or with beyond shit marks even. that blows me away. maybe part of it is the fact that though both my parents managed to get through university (my dad’s work paid for his, my mum went long before it cost near as much as it is now), neither of them managed to graduate from high school. my mum has a GED, while my dad has something else entirely. i’ve almost ended up leaving on a number of occaisions, and am still shocked i am graduating.

i find it odd that i will finally be leaving secondary school but at the same time i am very glad to get out of here. my ex was telling me today that in a year i will want to go back. personally, i doubt this. there will be nothing for me to go back to!

graduation Thursday, Sep 17 2009 

Today we posed in a slight drizzle to have our graduation group photo taken. There’s something to be said for being crammed with a huge load of people into a small space. I could care less though, at least it’s over. The last group photo I will ever have taken of me in high school. Ever. Everyone always seems to ask me whether or not I like high school. At this question I must laugh. It seems to me the majority of people who do this have no idea what high school has been about for me, or have not had the same type of experiences, so even when I do care to mention that it’s been one shithole after another, they fail to comprehend. Usually, it involves me relating an incident  (or incidents) where I have had a not so good time, and whoever I am talking to turns to me and sayings something along the lines of “why is that bad?” or “i don’t see why that’s a bad thing….” or “that doesn’t bother me.” Then I wonder about why I even bothered to bring this up in the first place. I suspect it’s probably the majority of the people I describe these things too are white, rather than a minority, or, where some of these icidents are concerned, Native. Every time I have ever talked about them with another Native person, it’s always the same, or at least the same type of thing. Never a confused glance or a blank stare of utter unrelated, always agreement, even if it isn’t a good incident. It’s just the same shit different pile, really. Sometimes it isn’t as obvious as others, which is codename for “harder to deal with” ie. no-one outside your own minority or experience will pick up on it, and therefore whatever is going on will be allowed and possibly even supported, because no-one else besides you is being affected by it. Sometimes this is the most frustrating thing in the world. (Just to clarify, we had 6 Native kids at my highschool, and 5 this year. I know exactly who they all are) I belong to a sort of social justice youth group which is located a youth centre which is about 80% Native. As far as I know, we are one of the only groups using the space which has white people in it. Even though we are surrounded by Native people, the majority of people in the group are white (I’m still trying to figure this out, but I do have my hypothises), and thus when we discuss things of a personal nature (which we do often which I find good), often people will look at my with the expressions I have described before, almost as if we need a translator or something. With a couple people in the group, I am about at my wits end right now. The part that really ticks me off is the fact that both of them have the experience of being a minority (they are both Jewish fyi),but fail to see the comparison at the very basic level, even though I am sure they both possess the brains and hearts to do that. I guess it’s just part of the whole mess, but honestly, I wish some people would stop closing their minds, or have a little fucking compassion once in a while….