Posts Tagged ‘Trauma’


Image result for doom patrolI always chuckle loudly (it escapes my inner monologue) when I see fanboy-girls of comics clamour that they were never meant to be societal commentary, meta-narratives or vehicles of social justice…oh how we have missed the point of the medium that carries the message. But this post is not about our own narrow minded echo chambers and an inability to think beyond the literal (I do detest how religious and political ideological extremism has dumb downed our society in less than a generation).  Then you get a show based on a comic book that turns it all on its ear. It is a dark humourous ride into the soul of society using the vehicle of super heroes. The Doom Patrol which started as a band of quirky heroes in Great Adventures #80 (1963), their original run would end with an destructive nuclear blast on an island and Chief, Rita Farr, Larry Trainer, and Cliff Steele would be thought dead…Gar Logan The Beast Boy would go on to join the New Teen Titans as Changeling (and we shall not speak of the Titans television show and what they did with amazing source material–for shame). For more on the twisty-turn world of Doom Patrol, read here, with a grain of salt much like you enter their comic book world curated in the show by Mr. Nobody.

Then the wonderfully weird Grant Morrison would take over the title, and it would shift into Mature Readers territory, and become part of the new sub-universe Vertigo and these heroes would truly shine. This is the fun dark style adventures that the DC Universe streaming Show, Doom Patrol, has taken to the screens. Now think Morrison, and then Pollack was writing late 1980’s through mid-late 1990’s and a character like the gender-queer Danny the Street was created (yes a sentient street where all are welcome), but remember according to fan culture, comics are just stories with no other commentary (Gerard Way with the Young Animals Imprint would keep up this great style of Doom Patrol story telling). But let’s look at the other characters that now grace the television screen. Each episode of season one unveils the traumas that the team must face in their search for Niles Caulder, the Chief. Not only unpacking who the man was that gave them sanctuary and safety from the world, but also what it means to not only be a hero, but a full person.

Larry Trainer (in the comics, Negative Man). A courageous test pilot who has cosmic radiation invest a spirit within him. A man with a wife and kids, a hero, but in 1935 as a child coming home from school his parents are in crisis because a teacher is saying their child is queer. We can so easily forget how far we have come as a society and Trainer’s story shows the fear and inner turmoil he faced when the love of his life stated that he had resigned from the Air Force and wanted Trainer to come with him before the accident. It took Trainer 60 years to come to even a sort of resolution and closure over the incident, as he battles the entity within him always asking whey the entity wants to torture him, but in a seen in Parraguay and the entity echoing Trainer’s words back, is it possible Trainer is the one torturing himself and the entity is attempting wholeness and closure if only Trainer would accept?

Rita Farr (in the comics, Elasti-Girl) is a Golden Age of Hollywood Starlet. Groomed by her parents not with an education, but with only music, dance and acting lessons as it is her looks that will carry her forward. Then her powers emerge and she becomes a blob. The inner struggle is the showing of nurture having stripped her identity of anything other than looks, and the use of the “casting couch” to get ahead. When Rita looses these abilities, her new abilities leave her seeking something else that she had never had to worry about. Who is Rita Farr? It is the stage name that her parents gave her, stripping her of the family ties…so who is she meant to be now? 70 years on she is finally coming into her own, having trauma have frozen her, like Larry, at the time of the change…

Vic Stone, Cyborg is the only known “super hero” on the team, and with the vanishing chief this young adult becomes defacto leader. He first has to overcome who he is? His family system relationships with his father, Silas, and still grieving his deceased mother. Can he become whole and the person he is meant to be? Or will be become the person that outside forces and experience is going to cause him to become?

Cliff Steel (in the comics, Robotman) is a race care driver, witness of domestic violence as a child, who has become a drunken philanderer whose actions wind up killing his wife, leaving his child in the care of a reprobate, and his brain in the body of a robot. Now unable to feel, he must process his emotions, and come into his humanity as a non-human. Cliff meets, Jane, another member of the Doom Patrol…and has a second chance…

Jane has 64 personalities within her, and each personality has a different power. The Underground is where they all live, her mind…well not Jane’s because in Dissociative Identity Disorder there is primary identities and that is what Jane is…not the true person, that is Kay…and it is the story of what happens with Adverse Childhood Experiences, and the psyche. Can Jane become whole?

Oh Cliff don’t take responsibility for the therapy it was probably the rat (Admiral Whiskers).

-Rita Farr

The series episodes all use the title format (blank) Patrol. The Eighth episode of season one is “Jane Patrol” and thanks to the Negative Entity, Cliff is able to travel into Jane’s Underground to find her.

I wish we could shrink down and enter her mind like Magic School Bus Style.

-Vic Stone, Cyborg

As Jane has gone catatonic after the previous episodes marriage shenanigans of her personality Karen. It is an opportunity to meet the personalities as they exist in the Underground for the viewer. Those that surface, and those that exist simply to protect from memories. As one goes deeper into the Underground more darker memories are locked away. The goal is Jane has to choose to re-emerge as the primary, or to cease to exist as a previous primary Miranda had. Cliff is journeying with Penny Farthing (the one that avoids all risks) to find and save Jane.

It’s not my story to tell.

-Cliff Steele

It is a visual and artistic journey that illustrates how Trauma echoes exist, cause pain, and that even how good memories can be suppressed as so dark. For the first meeting of Cliff and Jane is witnessed and Cliff asks Penny why it is there… Penny responds there is nothing more dangerous than giving hope.

As the episode draws to resolution it appears Jane has dealt with the control monster of her rapist-incest father…only to have her laying on her bed smiling and the echo of his voice to be heard…

Each era has created its own challenges and traumas for people depending on their life. Some we have learned from and strive to change and correct. Most we just shake our heads at and state, get over it and move on. The repression cycle does not help anyone, just creates cycles of violence, pain and trauma. The show is fun (I mean a donkey tunnel, a talking grass hopper, a rat seeking vengeance on Cliff for running over his mother to name but a few–oh and beard hunter)…but it raises questions on what it takes for healing and wholeness, and what we as a community need to do differently so as not to be making the same mistakes.

 


Sound Bites & Twitter Ideologues

 

In human services we have seen many types of ebb and flows of concept for community and personal care. There is always a “silver bullet” that if you just plug this system into your institutions (church, non-profit, government agency) it will solve all ills. This has created a drift where many times the person before you is not seen as a person, or the institution does not want you to see them as a person but rather as a label.

The label can be their diagnosis, or in church-member, adherent, new attendee, visitor, unchurched or seeker. Within constructs of housing it comes down to a coding system of “acuity”. What is missed in many instances is that not one type of healing or place fits all. Rather we have a tool kit, and that is what we use with the person before us, while building relationship, to journey with them to the next steps of life.

In certain Evangelical and/or fundamentalist sects of Christianity at this juncture they would proof text the above. I am not going to do that. I am going to lay my own journey out as a sign post of what happens when a system finally sees you as a person.

Proof Text

 

The practice of pulling out a sentence or two, or story of sacred text outside of historical, anthropological and textual context. It is used to win arguments by appealing to the ideal of Sola Scriptura, but it also allows for the weaponization of scripture as we have seen with the anti-abortion, anti-LGBTQ2+, and anti-Feminist movements to name but a few.

 

Once I had finally achieved the referral into the neurology clinic at the Peter Lougheed Centre of the Calgary General Hospital (PLC), my case was looked at in its complexity. It took the risk of a nurse seeing me beyond symptoms that said one thing, and the Emergency Room Doctor to do the same. It then took the setting aside of ego by my neurologists at PLC to refer me to the Epilepsy Centre knowing what was happening with my mental health, trauma, neurology, and physiology were beyond what they could explore within their context and tool kit.

In some ways, this fits a sound bite out there currently. Trauma Informed Care and Harm Reduction. Why do these pop up? They are terms and practices that can be highly beneficial for those who serve, and those we serve, or highly detrimental to each.

Unfortunately, even though there are many places that implement these concepts well, to often they have become the “silver bullet” to cure all, and the terms we toss out to show how great we are. Yet in practice (praxis to the Latin lovers) we fall flat. For we do not understand the complexity of the person before us, and more importantly, how that person interacts with the community they broke down in, and the community they seek to be a part of again.

Trauma Informed Care

 

Creating the courageous safe space for someone who has gone through Adverse Childhood Events, or other traumatic events to come to the point of desiring healing.

It allows us to understand that these past/current traumas shape behaviours, and attitudes. What is also needed to point out however is that it is not to excuse negative behaviours, rather allows in a safe way to create a space with low tolerances for negative behaviours, and high expectations. Changing the outward, while the interior person decides whether or not to seek out the long winding journey of healing.

Unfortunately Trauma Informed Care, becomes an excuse for negative behaviours. It also becomes on the employer side an excuse for vicarious trauma. See, the thing many don’t understand is that trauma can be like a contagious cancer. The original individual who is hurting, then intentional or not can injure others and that ripple does not always start within the institutional construct for it ripples outwards into the staff’s life and connections as well.

This is the other challenge. For many years the abstinence model was used for everything from sex to addiction. It was a growth from the Protestant Puritanism, and Roman Catholic Catechism. The concept that one can just white knuckle through what are essentially moral lapses in character and by doing this well be healthy.

The challenge is that addiction is a symptom. It is a symptom of a broken social network, and a broken soul. There is usually underlying traumas and abuses that the person is seeking to numb. Simply abstaining does not cure. Having said that however, for those that have found success and healing in 12 step groups and other abstinence based programs, it is usually due to the community of support, and a broader network of connecting to a new healthier social supports. I do not hold abstinence based anything is wrong. It is part of the spectrum hence when I was an active youth pastor we would talk about human sexuality and sex on a spectrum. I would talk about the value you have for your own Imageo Dei.

Imageo Dei

 

Latin means Image Bearer or Image of God. It is the teaching from the ancient creation poem in the Hebrew Bible’s first chapter of the book of Genesis. It states humanity is made in the image of God. So look around wherever you are reading this book, pretty awesome and diverse image eh?

Why then would I state that there was a silver bullet for addiction? What about those that abstinence did not work? Perhaps whatever the cause for the addiction symptom was needed more that simple healthy community.

This is where harm reduction comes into play. It is a simple concept really, and it is centered on the pacing of the person with professional supports.

Harm Reduction

 

Actively working to reduce usage of addictive substance for holistic health. The goal being eventual sobriety, and dealing with what causes the addiction.

There are many psychological and physiological concepts within Harm Reduction. It is working with things of the many styles of mindfulness, shifting and re-wiring thought patterns, addiction replacement, changing habits.

Sadly, where abstinence done wrong is nothing more than shaming an individual back into relapse or leaving Harm Reduction done wrong becomes Harm Acceptance where we simply create cycles of high usage. Yes, in Harm Reduction there needs to be work when one is not ready yet to change in simply keeping them healthy and alive, but one needs to ask where this should happen and how to work with them in those moments to create courageous space for steps into contemplation and action of reducing harm to themselves.

As the healing progresses though in the spectrum what needs to be addressed aside from the interior causes, is what is known as Circles of Support.

These are the folks that support you. There are professionals (paid to be in your life) and personal (friends, family, volunteers, etc.). It is a unique activity to mind map this out with you at the centre and see how balanced your life is. The goal is for personal to eventually outgrow professional as you progress through healing.

It would’ve been easy for neurology to continue adding to a cocktail of medications to try and control my seizures. Instead they looked at the whole person before them, and chose a step to see what could actually be done to address all aspects of what was happening to me.

That was another huge referral. It also speaks to me why I was able to get to the true diagnosis and healing journey within 2.5 years, as opposed to 20ish years. Sometimes, it is simply the person before you that needs to be seen and heard.

To practice seeing the other, I have learned to take a story from the Bible, and re-write it from the perspective of characters involved in it. Take special attention to characters views you never considered or those characters you did not like. Good one to start with is David & Bathsheba.

 

 

Spin-Judge-Cycle

Posted: January 16, 2019 by Ty in Brunch & Bible, Spirituality
Tags: , , ,

Judges closes in all the chaos it opened in (Judges 17-21). That is where one has to pause for a moment, exhale, and seriously let the words of these stories sink in. We have people purchasing salvation by buying priests/Levites; we have a crazy murdered hacking up a woman, and a war brewing. The bridge piece in chapter 19, verse 1 is simply, Israel did not have a king. Say what? It is tossed in as this deflect the blame comment that they had no control because they were not like other nations.

What is seen at a deeper hearing level beyond the violence? Dysfunctional family dynamics theory. I mean all these nations are sprung from shared ancestors of Israel. We also note high levels of misogyny, rape, and murder. It is a spiraling tale of inter-generational trauma and outcomes. This behaviour has been normalized. It has been normalized back to the days of slavery in Egypt when this is how they were treated as property. The wandering in the Desert was to be a time of healing and purging this from their community. What happened though, was it became normative, and is carried through into the cycle of the stories of Judges. There is relapse into the darkness and violence of what is normal, a fear of moving into what they are meant to be in the Promised Land.

Ever had a journey through the darkness like this in your own life? Coming out of trauma, addiction, or violence? Trying to assert the new you, but it becomes so much easier to go back to what is comfortable no matter how horrible? It is the story of co-dependence, addiction and pain within the stories of Judges.

It is about the yearning to have what they do not. Not being content in their now, but looking to others and going oooh we want that. And yes, for Hebrew Bible readers you know in the books of Samuel that come next this yearning to be like others is answered with a king given them.But I digress.

The stories of Judges, and the cycle presented can be looked at anthropologically, sociologically, paleo-seti, theologically, psychologically, historically and/or allegorically. What should be coming to the surface is to value who you are, and what you have. Do not seek validation outside of yourself. It is also a warning that we are not to accept violence against our selves, and to know that we have intrinsic value.

At the core, these stories send a simple message, Love YOU.


In his third missionary journey, while chilling in Corinth (ah Leather & Letters anyone?) Paul takes up the quill once more (circa 56 CE) and writes to the gathering in Petrine Christianity, in Rome. It is believed this gathering grew from Roman present at Pentecost (both Romans and Jewish, or as the Christian Testament and Hebrew Bible would phrase non-Jewish, Gentiles). As Paul awaits heading on to aid in Jerusalem, he does not write to Rome to deal with any such issues, but rather to lay out his style of Christianity to them, a mix of the mystic and traditional. The Epistle of Romans has been one of those go to books in the Christian Testament for weaponized texts of hate, but also of “conversion driven” Christendom.

Is conversion driven a harsh stance? It is, but only because I have seen it be more about numbers and quick altar calls and not authentic life lived together. Having taken evangelism courses in Bible College, I still cringe at the concept of our final assignment was to have a project person to lead to salvation—seriously? Even the tried and true “Romans Road” was taught and that we should memorize it (well y’all know how well memorization works with my ol’ noggin).

romans roads

What happens in these instances sadly is that the longer game is ignored. The longer game is holistic growth of self. For Paul does not write from a place of completion, but from a place of pilgrimage in understanding who he is each day in the new journey laid out. Not resting, but moving forward (okay there is times of rest he lays out), but this letter to the unknown was one to encourage growth and pilgrimage to continue:

Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who [a]was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead. Through Him we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name, among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ;

To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

-Romans 1:1-7 (New King James Version)

The Romans Road is an excellent allegory for the journey of Pauline and  Petrine Christianities into wholeness, but also the winding journey of connecting paths of one’s own life. What brought you to the heart self you are today? Have you allowed the Cosmic Christ to emerge? Connect into the Holy Mystery that is already within? Or are you still hiding in the comfort of the gremlins, those that have protected you this long from the unknown?

For what is a saint?

A pilgrim on the journey of discovery of the Holy!

 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world. For God is my witness, whom I serve [b]with my spirit in the gospel of His Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers, 10 making request if, by some means, now at last I may find a way in the will of God to come to you. 11 For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, so that you may be established— 12 that is, that I may be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.

13 Now I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that I often planned to come to you (but was hindered until now), that I might have some fruit among you also, just as among the other Gentiles. 14 I am a debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to wise and to unwise. 15 So, as much as is in me, I am ready to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome also.

-Romans 1:8-15 (New King James Version)

There is much as Paul has done with his writing you can learn from books. But Paul also points to the need of presence in community. That is having a plan of discipleship/mentorship, succession planning, strengthening of members in their wholeness, and growing healthy community where planted. Paul is pointing out that he is not just a Jewish theologian, or a Greek Philosopher, but a tradesperson, a traveller, one who has connected with all types of the world. A person who has been involved in the mosaic of the Empire, experiencing it and seeing it as such in crafting this goal to come and live life with the gathering for a time.

 For I am not ashamed of the gospel [c]of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”

-Romans 1:16-17 (New King James Version)

The term gospel coming through here in a communication heading into Rome is a major act of sedition. Showing his bravery, but also pointing out the strength of conviction Paul carried in how he was aiding communities into coming into their wholeness. The living by faith is knowing that there was risk in changing direction, that there would be loss of social connections, possibly status politically, religiously or socio-economically if it had not already happened. We were still 8 years out from the purge of Nero, but I am sure there was unease within the gatherings. Especially since Paul still had to stroke the traditionalist ego and point out the hierarchy of wholeness. Some may state well it is historical, but is it historical, or simply the way it was understood?

 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who [d]suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is [e]manifest [f]in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and [g]Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like [h]corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.

24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their [i]women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27 Likewise also the [j]men, leaving the natural use of the [k]woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.

28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, [l]sexual immorality, wickedness, [m]covetousness, [n]maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, 30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 [o]undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, [p]unforgiving, unmerciful; 32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.

-Romans 1: 18-32 (New King James Version)

What is ungodly? What is unrighteous? How has this text been used for hate? We drill down into verse 26-27 and many have used this against LGBTTQ2+ community members to make them less than. But back up the boat, what is being talked about leading up to those two verses? What is being talked about is oppressive religiousity that builds power and wealth for a few on earth and supplants the Holy. It talks about practices that degrade who they are created to be. It is not about “homosexuality” (a term that did not exist in this time), but about sexual violence, sexual degradation, assaults, harassment, coercion, rape, paedophilia, all under the auspices of being “the worship of God”.

Perhaps a new heart needs to take these verses to the religious leaders of today who are hiding abuse behind false flags?

And then one will say but verses 28-32 says the practitioners should die so is Paul not using God to victim blame? Like a paedophile priest saying they were seduced by the child? Or a fundamentalist pointing to the victim saying he/she asked for it?

NO!

Paul is pointing to the perpetrators. The predators. The monsters. He is pointing out that they need to be removed until they are willing to heal and reconcile. If it is not possible to heal and reconcile then they need to be gone for good. Roman jail systems allowed a time for term served, then they were given a white stone upon release to show the clean new life that laid before them. Wisdom of restorative justice, but Paul knows for some monsters the heart beats in darkness and unwillingness to change and for those, the communities must protect themselves. In a Canadian Context this would be a Dangerous Offender designation ala Paul Bernardo and Clifford Olsen. It is a hard driven point into the heart of the Empire. Paul takes the risk.

He understands the challenge of life change of emerging from the pain of violence and trauma for a person, for generations, for a community. The ancient world may not have had the terminology, but they knew what was happening and the damage being done.

The road is a winding path. Healing is a peeling of the onion. Understanding the layers that have created our current situation, but that is not the core of our being. It is about becoming who we truly are, whole, as Paul points out, it is when we act contrary to who we are meant to be. Contrary to how we were created due to outside forces that we are truly outside of ourselves.

As 2019 begins, will we go down a different winding road?

That of a labyrinth to our core self?


The Ashram. My front porch. The kid and me, two cups of coffee.

A plot of land I quasi-inherited, squatted upon with the demise of the immortal alien life essence that was Zeus existing as a bi-sexual Zen monastic. I wish I could say the history of life in this City got easier as the story went along, but well, it has been a journey-quest—what is more than a quest? Mystical experience of the super hero operatic variety.

The weird questions being the mentor of the new generation of hero. The Ashram is 3 double wife trailers, one is mine (that is, the home of William “Shotgun” MacKay as the papers call me, when I used to be the villain killing for a living, and for the past 20ish years being the hero). The other two are split between the young heroes that make up the Great Crime Fighters. Canada’s super heroes. They have had many incarnations, and there is the dark time, that brought back the core that then passed on their legacies before their own transitions. Our greatest hero was the Bionic Knight. He was a punk ass teenager I attempted to kill many times, before he helped me become a hero. As a middle aged man, PTSD due to a life of literally saving the universe and mourning took hold of him. He was struggling through some neurological challenge as well that we were never too sure if it was magical or electrical. The power source that made him a hero, check that, that gave him the super powers of Camelot (yes that Arthur bloke) was the PenDragon force. It found a new host. A new punk ass kid, working through her own mourning as the Opioid crisis claimed her little brother, almost lost her with that. Rick talked her back. That was his real name, Rick Saturn, the first husband of our city’s mayor, Susan Kobwash-Saturn, father of two beautiful special needs twins.

A few months ago in a McDonald’s two aliens revealed themselves, George and Dragyn, because what caused the exodus of the stars to earth was coming. A few scant weeks after that Rick vanished.

Not only him, but his family. A few months left on her term as mayor. A successful run.

“Shotgun, why me?” I take a sip from my coffee, leaning on the porch rail, Beth Venus, she’s the new punk ass with the power of Camelot. Also, very anxious and unsure of why she was chosen.

Remember it was a bit of the same conversation I had with Rick after my conversion to the light, and he shared who he was. He shared at 16 years old receiving the power scared the crap out of him, having to find his way. Thinking it was like a maze, but really it was more like a labyrinth. Only one path, however winding, to the source at the centre. A metaphor I have shared with Beth many times, but she is not used to long journeys. Like most in our technological age, she wants it now. Who knew there would be a time when I would think Johnny (Johnny Power- flies, invulnerable, super strong) and Kyla (Last name, Storm, her father Kyler was the Speedster, she is of the same super-speed, with an attention span to match, though Johnny’s can be worse).

“The PenDragon knows who it chooses, your path is to walk the inner Labyrinth to find the dragon within.” Believe that is the way Rick phrased it to me once, hopefully it sounds Yoda enough.

“Quit with the Spock crap. Why me?! Do you think I wanted to be the hero of all the multi-verse?!” Beth screams. Nights like this I am happy the Ashram is on its own little hill away from other neighbours.

Remember the argument when Susie (Susan, Rick’s wife) decided to run for Mayor. John MacCurtis, Rick’s best bud formerly PinBall, formerly Bionic Archer (of Herne and Hood variety) who gave his all had left vacant. He had started a path for a just city. Susan had the passion to complete it. Her concern was Rick stopping being a hero so she could do it, he trusted the power to find th te right host.

“Find you, and the power will co-operate.” I know great pep talk take away for a teenager. Find yourself. The purpose of adolescence.

Susan leveraged every connection she had made, John had politically and Rick had as a former journalist, politico and pastor. The Bionic Knight came out in favour of her, which also helped, and the G.C.F. backed her too. It was time to fully leave the dark, it was time to embrace the light. The Council and Administration were excited over more positivity where every person was seen as a citizen who shared the same rights of Canadians promised in our Constitution and Charter for a just society.

She moved beyond tweet policies, and quick solutions. She pushed for solutions that worked for the individual in community. Moving the conversation from simple accessibility and inclusion to belonging. From housing to homes. From work to vocational purpose. From debt to actual living wages and thriving. From reaction to pro-activity in building a world. Reconciliation and restoration not vengeance. Not looking at integration or reintegration for those who are coming from institutional life whether it be medical, mental health, addiction, corrections or shelters but true connectivity, belonging and living. She pushed hard (and had the death threats to prove it) to all levels of government that any relapse, recycle, recidivism or re-housing/re-shelter rate that was not absolute 0 had to be re-framed for what it was:

A RE-TRAUMATIZATION rate of the person and community.

Susie got the we were all in this together.

Beth is nervous because the council is pushing forward her agenda of transformation and other levels of government are working it as well with her missing. But the forces of darkness and hate are brewing.

“Fuck Will. Incels, Alt-Right, Whiteass sympathizers, So-Cons, its going back to the non-heroic age. We can’t keep the keel.” I love Beth’s passion for nautical movies.

The non-heroic age was a time when heroes rose up based around vengeance, where they played at being judge, jury and executioner. Where it was fuelled by institutional hate, misogyny, and more money makes right, privatization over public good… and every problem could be solved by the taxpayer paying low taxes, and when hit with a road block of any variety by bucking up and pulling themselves up by their boot straps. For you see we are not connected at all, we are all only individuals swirling in this world.

“And why does it matter to you girl? Just toss the ring, let it find another then.” I say.

Beth looks down at the Celtic cross ring on her righthand ring finger. She had ben through the ringer. She knew why her brother succumbed to drug use. The constant emotional and verbal abuse he had endured, and the non-heroic age, non-just society answers peddled onto him. The lack of belonging sapped him to the point of being nothing more than the chemicals that remained in the body after his soul had long crumbled into the darkness.

 

“Because I see through the political correct titles placed upon bullshit movements that basically mean, bully, abuser, Nazi asshat.”

“And?”

“And…I want the world we are building not the one we deconstructed.”

I simply nod. It’s coming, and these kids, may all the gods be with us, for what ever is coming looks to have taken the big guy off the board.

–and that scares the piss out of me.