Complicated

I am so tired of life being so damn complicated. So many little (or big, depending on your point of view) things converging. In the last few month, I’ve been feeling pretty good. Not having to rely on anti-anxiety meds. Feeling pretty good about even the possibility of not being employed for the foreseeable future, feeling a little excited about getting back into the artistic side of things…. even feeling good about Mom’s health.

Then a big hiccup… and then another little hiccup, then another… and while the odd hiccup might be fine and “bearable” when I get stressed about something, usually something I feel I don’t have too much control over, I fall back on the old patterns of worry… usually about things that “might” happen… “what ifs”… feeling like it’s my responsibility to deal with other peoples’ issues… wanting to do the best job I can but being unable to because of either someone else’s “issues” or because I am so bogged down in my own angst to be able to rationally deal with what I can and let the chips fall where they may where the problems aren’t really mine. Or knowing that the best I can do just won’t ever be enough.

The problem is that, even when I know that I’ve done my part, I don’t like feeling like people are judging me when someone points at me for THEIR failures. And, of course, when I am sitting around waiting for the other shoe to drop when there might not be a shoe ready TO drop.

In this case, there was the Board stuff and then the crappy General Meeting where if fell to me to stand up to ‘splain “our side” of what went wrong, the responsibility of deciding whether I was going to go back on the Board, at least for an interim period, whether the Board was going to include one of the people I had had a disagreement with (it does), and whether I would let down some people who have a great deal of faith in me (I didn’t). Then, when it became apparent that I would have to work with the person who I had a disagreement with… what was I going to do? I did what I had to do. I went over and talked to her and we buried the hatchet… or at least it appears that way. We shall see what happens. But, of course, I feel a great deal of anxiety over what the next few months will hold. At least I feel confident that things will be different this time around. This time, there are two men on the Board, one I KNOW won’t brook and crap (and was on the Board with me previous to this last term) and the other who I have heard has a fairly strong personality and probably won’t take any crap. There is another woman who I know is pretty strong-minded and I am hopeful that things will be very different.

Then, the other day, a family member, 13 years old, ran away from home after being charged with truancy. She was finally brought home by the police but she’s troubled, and with good reason. She was molested when she was little, by a family member and despite the law being there to “protect her”, the police failed her, the Courts failed her, the Victim assistance office of the Court failed her, the CAS failed her and she is a wounded child in need of healing. I am angry because I did what I could to try and get her justice. Her family tried (they were forbidden by CAS and the Crown from being in the courtroom… CAS threatening that if her parents went into the courtroom, they would take the children away). The ONLY reason I was able to make a victim impact statement on behalf of the family was because the DEFENDANT’S lawyer insisted that my statement needed to be part of the record. Even so, I wasn’t allowed to READ it. It was given to the judge during his deliberations.

If I am angry and heartbroken, you can imagine how her step-father feels. He tried to protect her and feels he let her down, even though he was the one who caught the perpetrator in the act of molesting her and, instead of killing him like he could have, he called the police believing they would protect her and justice would take its course. It hurts to feel so helpless.

And the pain that he feels won’t ever go away. Neither will her pain, or her mother’s pain… or my pain… I know. I work every day with the legacy of physical, mental and sexual abuse. from the Indian Residential Schools. I know that people carry this pain for the rest of their lives and while redress and apology helps, it doesn’t make all the pain go away…. ever. And we can’t heal her. We can only give her the support she needs and hope that she will accept that support… and hope that it isn’t too little… to late.

This is rambling. I know. It’s just how things are, at the moment.

One day at a time… one day at a time.

The one thing I can say, though, is that I have had some kind words and support, when it has counted, from some dear friends. They know who they are… and I love them dearly… If only I could give back half as much as they have given me.

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Family Tree!

A few weeks ago, someone who I ran into on Facebook and who is someone who has been researching the Tocher family (my grandmother’s family) was able to give me a clue which helped clear up a quandary I had. I was going in circles because my GGgrandfather Tocher had married twice and had two families… That confused my efforts to find the connection farther back with his wife’s family, the Balfours and Turnbulls.

Two nights ago, I finally sat down to add the information she had given me to my family tree on ancestry.com and then did a couple of Googles. Lo and Behold! I found a website where someone had photos from their family tree and two of the tiny thumbnails just about knocked me out of my chair!

I had been looking at them, or at least the faces of the two people all my life! They are my GGG grandmother and GGG grandfather! I have had the locket, seen below, all my life.

George Balfour and Margaret Turnbull

And here they are! Along with a large number of photos I hadn’t seen before, many of them Turnbull sisters and brothers and nieces and nephews of my GG grandmother.

Margaret Turnbull and George Balfour

To add to my joy was another pair of photos – Captain Brown and Janet Bell Balfour. Captain John Brown and his wife were familiar to my through two family stories, though I didn’t know how, exactly, they fit into my family. Janet, it turns out was my GG grandmother’s sister.

Captain John Brown and Janet Bell Balfour

The first story I have heard is that the Captain, accompanied by his wife sailed the South Seas carrying various lots of cargo about. He was, according to the story, the last or one of the last ships out of the harbour at Java just before the eruption of Krakatoa. They had to jettison their cargo of pianos to lighten the load. Much to Janet’s dismay, her piano had to go, too.

When the Captain retired, he did so bringing his parrot. On day, the parrot escaped and the Captain was forced to go out in the rain to look for it. He found it and to punish it, he held it out from the under the umbrella and it was heard to say, in perfect imitation of his wife, “John! It’s cold out here!”

My cousin and I spoke today, on Skype, and he showed me the album and will be sending me high res. images of any we are able to identify as family.

I did more work on it last night. Lots of interesting things!

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