Canadians’ mental-health info routinely shared with FBI, U.S. customs

“Ontario’s privacy commissioner has discovered that the mental-health information of some Canadians is accessible to the FBI and U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.

Ann Cavoukian said Monday that some Ontario police services routinely uploaded attempted suicide calls to the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC), to which U.S. border guards and the FBI have access.

Cavoukian began investigating how U.S. law enforcement had access to such personal information after last fall’s news that some Canadian travellers with a history of mental-health issues had been denied entry into the U.S.” -CBC, 2014

Full article: Canadian Mental Health Info Routinely Shared with FBI, U.S. Customs

What do you think? Should this type of information be available to the FBI (or similar investigative organizations) or Customs? Elaborate in the comments if you want! I know my answer is straight up NO!

New Brunswick Government is Failing to Protect Women!

I need to draw you to a very important issue that is occurring in the Canadian province of New Brunswick that is contradictory, horrifying and a violation of Canadian human rights.

Dr. Henry Morgentaler

Dr. Henry Morgentaler (1923-2013) played a massive role in legalizing abortion in Canada. He was one of the first doctors in Canada to perform vasectomies, insert IUD’s and provide birth control to unmarried women. In 1969 Morgentaler opened his first abortion clinic in Montreal, Quebec and was the first doctor in North America to use vacuum aspiration. He opened 20 clinics across Canada and has trained more than 100 doctors. Morgentaler, in 1988, challenged the federal abortion law and won and in 2008 he was awarded the Order of Canada.

Now, one of his clinics in New Brunswick is closing in July of this year and the provincial government is doing NOTHING to prevent the closing. The Morgentaler abortion clinic has been battling with the province’s Department of Health for 20 years over funding (the clinic has been forced to pursue private funds). It is the lack of funds that is causing the clinic to close. This New Brunswick abortion clinic is the ONLY private abortion clinic NOT covered by provincial medicare. The Morgentaler clinic in New Brunswick is the only abortion clinic in New Brunswick (excluding hospitals, more on that later) and also serves most of the Atlantic provinces (Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island) and the most eastern places in Quebec.

The closing of the clinic is especially infuriating because abortion is LEGAL in Canada. The issue begins when you get down to the provincial level because that is where the decisions about healthcare are made. You can find abortion clinics/services all across Canada but the access to those clinics/services is the major problem. If the province doesn’t believe abortions should receive any level of priority then there is no or limited funding. Also, it is the province that decides on the eligibility criteria, who can and cannot access abortions.

Supporter outside Morgentaler Clinic in New Brunswick

One might think that the closing of the Morgentaler clinic would still leave the girls and women of New Brunswick with options since hospitals are able to provide the service. But, provincial medicare will only fund MEDICALLY NECESSARY abortions and needs to be signed off for by TWO doctors. This poses many problems: what about women who are not medically at risk but want an abortion, women who do not have a doctor (let alone two) and women who have anti-choice doctors? What do they do then? Travelling might not be an option for many and it shouldn’t have to be done.

Supporters outside the Morgentaler Clinic in New Brunswick

The New Brunswick government needs to change. It needs to understand the importance of abortion services to girls, women and families and I believe that they need to reevaluate their understanding of human rights and Canada’s healthcare policy.

More: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/morgentaler-abortion-clinic-in-fredericton-to-close-1.2604535

http://atlantic.ctvnews.ca/abortion-issue-arises-in-n-b-with-morgentaler-clinic-closure-1.1769726

 

Borderline Women Can!

Yesterday I attended an Awards Dinner for program (Early Childhood Education). I was one of four young women who had been nominated by a professor to receive an award for their during field practice.

What is field practice? Field practice means that I was at a childcare centre working directly with staff, children, families and the community. I was recognized for my ability to transfer theory into practice and by excelling in my role as a student early childhood educator.

GBC award

This is the first time I have been academically recognized in this form. I am extremely proud of myself!

This goes beyond academics though. I hope that by winning an award that is linked to directly working with children that others can see that women who experience borderline personality symptoms and/or are labeled with the disorder can be successful with children. Through the stereotype out the window!

 

“Yes I’m an Alcoholic, Yes I’m Bipolar; Tough Luck!”

Robert Munsch played a key role in my live growing up. I was read a lot of his books and read a lot of his books as a child. I now lovingly read his beautiful children’s stories to the children I work with.

Robert Munsch candidly explains his experience with bipolar disorder and alcoholism.

I have so much respect for this man as an author and as someone with lived experience. I would love to meet him one day and give him a hug! I have sent him an email expressing my thanks. He writes for children, I work with children and we are both proof that living with a mental health issue doesn’t mean we are dangerous but can profoundly and positively effect the lives of children.

Bubbling Rage

Yesterday I was at my youngest sister’s dance competition. I’m so proud of her and she was beautiful on stage! Her tap solo won second place and her group tap number won an overall best. This was her first competition and she did amazing!

It was at the competition that I had to practice self restraint. It was painful and I guess you could say I half did it, meaning I didn’t snap at the person but did so out of ear shot.

My Mother, Nanny and two sisters were coming back from lunch and making our way to the balcony part of the theatre. We were walking through the theatre lobby doors when I feel something rub past me. I turned my head to see what it was and I see a woman who loudly whispers to an older woman, “Sometimes I just want to push people out of my way.” She clearly thought we were walking too slow. One of my sister’s heard the woman say this as well and made a face. I stopped walking, looked at the woman and loudly said, monotone and stone faced, “Oh, sorry.” I decided that should be the extent of my interaction with this rude woman and kept walking towards the balcony doors.

Hulk rage (sums up how I feel most days)Walking away didn’t stop the rage that I could feel bubbling up inside of me. A guaranteed way to send me quickly into a rage is saying the wrong thing when I know there are a million other ways you could have communicated the rude comment. For example, this rude woman could have said, “excuse me.” That’s a basic phrase we teach to our young children so they learn the importance of being polite and so that people like them. It will never cease to amaze me that adults seem to think that being polite doesn’t apply to them anymore.

Anyways, the rage is bubbling and the only I can do that is moderately productive at that point and not involving the rude woman directly is saying mean things about her.

“I hope she fucking falls down the stairs.”

“I hope her child loses.”

“I hope she dies on the way home.”

Despite these thoughts being common for me when someone sends me into a rage, I am usually bothered at how good they feel. In those moments I am completely lacking empathy (not that I need to have any for this rude woman) and I feel like if something bad did happen to whoever I am directly my hateful statements I would be perfectly content with their unfortunate fate, if not a tad happy.

What do I do with this? When it comes to strangers, I’ll do nothing about it. if I start feeling this way over people I care about then I will take action but that has never happened. It comes down to the so-called “black and white thinking”. When you’re in my good books I care about you very much. If you’re in my bad books, well, that’s tough shit for you.

Still, the moral of this whole story is that I can walk away from a situation that is making me rage. I can therefore apply this to other area of my life. It’s more important that I walk away from raging towards those I love.

Friday Finds (April 4)

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FRIDAY FINDS showcases the books you ‘found’ and added to your To Be Read (TBR) list… whether you found them online, or in a bookstore, or in the library — wherever! (they aren’t necessarily books you purchased).

So, come on — share with us your FRIDAY FINDS!

Brain on Fire: My Month of MadnessEmbassytownRed HillJennifer GovernmentThe First Days (As the World Dies, #1)

My StoryThe Ghost BrideThe Walking Dead and Philosophy: Zombie Apocalypse NowThe Death and Life of SupermanThe Postman

April 3: International Day Against Victim-Blaming

end blaming

 

 

I have been blamed.

TRIGGER WARNING!

 

This is the first time I have publicly shared this story.

The most recent was a few years ago at a “friend’s” birthday party. I was dancing to Womanizer by Britney Spears. A male friend (let’s call him S.C.) of mine was watching and I jokingly went up to him and bumped him with my butt and then continued dancing on my own. Later that night, as I was settling into a big chair to go to sleep (I stayed the night), S.C. approached me (a little more drunk than earlier in the night) to say goodnight. We exchanged goodnights and he gave me a hug. Then S.C. asked for a kiss goodnight. I told him no and he asked again. “Only the cheek,” I said.  He he replied, “No, on the lips”. Feeling trapped, because I was (I was stuck between the chair I was laying in and his body), I gave him a quick peck. “Ok, there you go, goodnight!” I said. “No I want a better one,” he said. I told him no again. I then heard another male voice said, “S.C., she said no man!” and S.C. got up and left. “Are you ok?” asked J.U., the guy who had spoken to S.C. I replied with yes but the answer was no. The reality was, this wasn’t the first time S.C. had done something like this.

A few days later while talking to the “friend” who held the party I shared with her what happened and how I was outraged that S.C. hadn’t listen to me and that he felt he could do whatever he wanted. She replied, “Ya, well, what do you expect. Look at how you were dancing earlier.” The feminist in me started screaming! “How dare she engage in victim-blaming! She is contributing to violence against women and is just as bad as the idiot guys who think they can take what they want from women!” The less radical side of me started crying. “She is supposed to be my friend. Why isn’t she angry about what happened to me? Why is my friend blaming me? I would be on her side if this happened to her. I would support her. Why can’t she do that for me?”

These people are no longer in my life. For reasons other than the short story above. This is my tamest example of victim blaming. Many of us, both women and men, have more horrific examples and none of them are the fault of the victim. We never ask for it. No, means no. Victim-blaming is just as bad as actually committing any type of sexual assault and rape. Victim-blaming contributes to the oppression, the silence and gives power to those who need to be held responsible for their disgusting actions.

End Victim-Blaming!

Feeling Everything

The best way I have heard borderline personality disorder described is having been born without an emotional skin, no barrier to ward off real or perceived emotional assaults. What might have been a trivial slight to others was for me an emotional catastrophe, and what would be a headache in emotional terms for someone else was a brain tumor for me. This reaction was spontaneous and not something I chose. In the same way, the rage that is often one of the hallmarks of borderline personality disorder, and that seems way out of proportion to what is going on, is not just a “temper tantrum” or a “demand for attention.” For me, it was a reaction to being overwhelmed by present pain that reminded me of the past. (Williams, 1998)

 

feel everything

Hide Your Crazy & Act Like a Lady

Hide Your Crazy & Act Like A Lady (Dark Tank) cheaper than previous $26

I found this picture on Pinterest earlier today with a comment from a young woman underneath saying “I want this shirt”. I’m sure it’s no surprise that I personally do not want this shirt.

Many of us have felt the fear that comes with people finding out you have a mental health issue. Sometimes “coming out” means the loss of family, friends, employment, housing, freedom and dignity. Many of us have hidden our experience and may still continue to do so. We are told to be ashamed of this part of ourselves, demonized and made to feel dirty. We are labeled as disordered in our mood, emotions, personality, behaviours, attitudes, perceptions, thoughts and abilities. As the shirt says, “Hide your crazy”, so that is what many of us do, even if it hurts.

As an added slap this t-shirt brings in gender.

When I read, “act like a lady”, I immediately feel constricted. I envision a woman from the Victorian era, a loss of rights, controlled by men, not having a choice and having to give into social constructions of gender. Who is to truly say that how I act is not “lady-like”? Putting aside the XX chromosomes, breasts, vagina, female reproductive organs and hormones I have, I more importantly identify as a woman, a lady. Therefore, isn’t any way I act being a lady? I would think so.

Putting the two together: a crazy lady is unacceptable according to this t-shirt. A woman who is crazy is not a behaving like a woman and behaving like a woman means not being crazy. This is wrong. No one wins in this scenario.

Supporters of animal rights believe that animals have an inherent worth—a value completely separate from their usefulness to humans... We believe that every creature with a will to live has a right to live free from pain and suffering.The oppression contained on this one t-shirt is overwhelming but calling it out and identifying it is how we can stop it. It is important that we speak out against any statements, beliefs and legislation that continue to perpetuate unfair and inaccurate stereotypes. They do nothing but cause damage to not just those it labels but society as a whole. No one truly benefits from the oppression of others as we are all made to fit inside rigid boxes of who we are supposed to be instead of being who we are mean’t to be and being supported in being that person.

Combination Teaser Tuesday and WWW Wednesday

ShouldBeReading2

 

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

The original story was that Ms. Marvel had been impregnated by an alien intelligence, but the version that was published was even more bizarre. (pg. 178)

The Supergirls: Fashion, Feminism, Fantasy, and the History of Comic Book Heroines

Despite the fact that many readers liked her, Batwoman was unceremoniously eliminated, as if she had never existed. (pg. 75)

ShouldBeReading1

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently Reading

The Final Evolution

Recently Finished

The Supergirls: Fashion, Feminism, Fantasy, and the History of Comic Book Heroines

Reading Next?

Let Me Off at the Top!: My Classy Life and Other Musings

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