The World Should Be Kool Aid-Fair

The World Should Be Kool Aid-Fair

Accepting the responsibility of my nephews on January 1 was a turning point in my life. Despite my constant efforts to serve others, I often found myself receiving little in return. At 26, I had a hysterectomy, a life-altering experience I faced alone. I was caught in a revolving door of doctor appointments, attempting to understand my health issues. Endometriosis, a silent enemy, was part of my life, and mental health was a subject no one dared discuss back then, making me feel exceptionally isolated. I have been devastated with the inability to have more children, and I consider this new life a miracle. 

This isolation, however, was not just restricted to my health. A devastating addiction to fentanyl, spurred by numerous surgeries and stronger medications, turned my world upside down. I remember feeling the most complete when I was with my family, hosting large dinners and being the hub of all activity. But now, they're all tragically gone. My partner has succumbed to his own addictions and trauma, because all our family members have passed away or disappeared. Our story is so tragic, one would think it’s an exaggeration, however, I assure it’s not.

My sister, Kyla, went through a similar ordeal. Her and her partner got caught up selling drugs out of their children's clothing store years ago, after the stunning new opiate in town took hold of her. This marked the beginning of her downward spiral. Eleven years of more trauma until her most recent partner's tragic overdose and subsequent illegal eviction amplified her struggles, pushing her further into the abyss of addiction and homelessness. She has already been a victim of human trafficking, taken from our very own community for 18 days, by Russian men. 

In April, Kyla was in the hospital for a week before Easter, battling untreated sepsis. I pulled every string I could, arranged a year's worth of treatment for her in British Columbia with the help of various services. But the system failed her. There was no detox bed available until the next day, and the hospital wouldn't keep her overnight. I beefed for a psychiatrist evaluation, as her Power of Attorney, and was denied! You’d think being held captive for 18 days would qualify a psych eval, yes?

As if these failures weren't enough, hospital security had the audacity to tell her that if she insisted on using, she should only do it in her room. Once I left, the hospital staff betrayed her trust and took all her stuff. This act broke her trust; she left the hospital, leading to a missed opportunity for a year's worth of treatment.

My father's terminal cancer diagnosis was a crossroads for us. It spurred me to recover, but it pushed Kyla deeper into addiction. He was our anchor, our beacon of strength. But the men we trusted later in life were nothing like him. He always made sure everything was equal. The only boy of 5 children knew how to make sure us girls were content - by keeping things fair. We had Kool Aid cups that he would bend right down to eye level to ensure he’d pour our Freshee with half sugar (we were poor) exactly the same amount. If life would’ve been fair like our Kool Aid, we would’ve never had our lives end up this way. Nothing has been fair since we had matching Freshee mustaches at the kitchen table in 1989, when our normal lives began to change.

During this vulnerable period, a traumatic incident occurred at my mother's house. I was trying to get clean, and my stepfather assaulted me. This incident left me feeling violated, shattered, and even more isolated. It marked a dark period in my life, a time when I stopped caring about my wellbeing and started using more.

But now, I can proudly say that I am 11 years fentanyl-free. My sister, tragically, was not as fortunate. Society needs to reevaluate its perspective on my sister and me. Despite our seemingly different paths, we both have walked through the fires of addiction and trauma.

Despite the adversity, I stand tall, empowered and resolute. I'm not just recovering for my sake but also for all my kids, who have become my beacon of light in the darkness. I'm determined to break the cycle of trauma for their sake and create a healthier, safer environment for them.

On July 12, I'm coming out with a bang. I'm turning my pain into power, my struggle into a testament of resilience. I'm working on a book featuring Kyla's and my poetry, a testament to our journey through the darkest of times. It's time to come out loud and proud, and nothing is going to stand in my way. My hub, StopGAP Solutions will be launching on July 12, with pre-orders available for my upcoming books! I know my trauma can be used as a gift and my life skills can help with solutions for us underrepresented.

Navigating the homelessness crisis feels like being lost in a storm, a maze of systemic failures that seems impossible to escape. I've been through a lot - the responsibility of raising my twin nephews, the pain of separation, the trauma of abuse, and the constant uphill battle with mental health. Each trial and tribulation is a testament to a system that feels less like a support network and more like an obstacle course.

Despite my education and experience, I've hit so many dead ends. If it's this hard for me, someone who's resilient and determined, how can we expect someone struggling with their health, grappling with the demons of addiction, or carrying the weight of a traumatic past to navigate this system?

The city's response to homelessness hasn't helped much either. The current approach of proposing solutions like tiny homes, as suggested by some city councillors, feels like trying to fix a broken bone with a band-aid. It's a superficial solution that doesn't address the root cause.

What we really need is a safe using hub, a place that provides resources and support for those fighting against addiction. Instead of them having to navigate this complex and sometimes cold system, let's bring the resources to them. 

A hub like this could also contribute to cleaner streets and a safer community, while actually addressing the root problem. It would offer a lifeline to those who often get overlooked, a beacon of hope in their darkest hours. 

It's time for us to rethink how we approach homelessness and addiction. We need to move away from quick-fix solutions and towards more comprehensive, compassionate, and effective methods. I believe that everyone, no matter their journey or circumstances, deserves dignity, support, and a real chance to reclaim their lives from the clutches of addiction and trauma. And I'll keep fighting until we get there.


Read the raw and unedited first 30,000 words of my memoir, eSCAPEGOAT - UNTOUCHED

In my powerful memoir,  eSCAPEGOAT, I will share my incredible journey of survival and triumph over a lifetime of trauma. From sexual assault and domestic violence to divorce, reproductive issues, and bearing witness to three murder trials, I have faced more than my fair share of challenges. 

 But my story doesn't end there. I found myself raising my sister's premature twin babies, which were a surprise to us,  with no support from my family because they have all passed away. 

 Through sheer determination and unwavering strength, I have embraced my role as a mother and found a renewed sense of purpose. My grandmother, who passed away on my birthday two years ago, remains my spirit guide, and her memory has helped me find the strength to overcome even the most difficult moments. 

"With poignancy and grace, eSCAPEGOAT is a testament to the human spirit and a powerful reminder that we are all capable of overcoming the greatest of challenges. This memoir is a must-read for anyone who has faced unimaginable adversity, and a source of inspiration for those who know what it means to persevere."



This book will be published when I obtain an agent for proper support.

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