Evasive Maneuvers

 

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Evasive Maneuvers , Polychromos CP and Rembrant pastels on Fabriano WC hot press

I decided to go with an ethereal look for this. It’s time for me to stop practicing and do some real artwork for a change!

I combined many mediums for this, I did the background in pastels, as well as the highlights (yellows). I did the detail in CP but I wasn’t happy with it. Maybe I miss my pastels too much 🙂

I think I will reproduce this with pastels only.

I will be attending a trade convention this week, it has been a source of panic for me for the last week. Real panic, as in panic attack. I find myself telling myself I don’t want to be around people, all they are, are hurtful and I just can’t deal with comments and criticism right now.

I have been out of the military for about three weeks now and I had a trigger this week that put me right back into the toxic workplace I was in my last posting. I was surprised that it was me so much. Panic, crying just not able to handle anything, wanting to run away it all came back.harassment and bullying do so much damage to the human mind. Add military structure into that and it’s devastating.

I haven’t heard from SISIP so I am going ahead and just trying to find whatever job I can but it’s very stressful.

I did get a small severance pay and that there was an ad on Kijiji for a fifth wheel trailer that day that I could afford. It’s older and smaller than what I wanted but I could get it so I went to see it. it was in perfect condition and I bought it on the spot.

They delivered it to my house yesterday and my husband is cleaning it up. I’m going to be doing the decor and it’s going to be my little recluse and get away from everything. I also feel safe now because I am afraid of being homeless and this means I will always have a home. In a few months we will be looking for a pick up to buy and then we can go places or just move it.

 

Moose

Moose, soft pastels, conte crayons on BFK RIVES paper

Wanted to revisit this moose and try and improve it. I went to a local art school to see about maybe taking a class and imagine my surprise when I walked into the directors office and there on the wall was a huge moose head! I thought I was the only one who liked moose! It was done by a famous artist ( forgot the name) and is her preferred artwork of his. Just a huge moose profile, graphite on a grey paper.

So I just had to redo another moose. I added some colour just to make it interesting. I must have spent 2 hours just in the eye area!

I have turned a corner in my therapy! I was so stuck on the anger towards those who wronged me in the military and caused my breakdown. Just couldn’t get past it.

The therapist gave me an exercise to do everyday, the same time, for half an hour. I was to write down all my angry thoughts on paper. When done, I had to sort out fact from distortion.

Everyday it would start out with “those bastards…..” And all the unfair feelings just would tumble out. I really thought this was pointless and no help.

One day I began as usual, but I was really tired of it. I kept writing, but I wrote this:
Fact: there are a lot of really evil people everywhere. You will gain nothing from fighting them everyday.

I couldn’t believe I wrote that, but I continued and wrote Action. I wrote a few things for me to do.

Then I kept writing, as if I was telling myself to move on etc…. I just couldn’t stop writing good things.

I ended it by writing this: go and leave them in your dust and move on. Shake the dust off your feet and move on.

I suddenly thought about a verse I remembered and looked it up (LDS scriptures)

And shake off the dust of thy feet against those who receive thee not, not in their presence, lest thou provoke them, but in secret; and wash thy feet, as a testimony against them in the day of judgment. D & C 60:15

I actually wrote that out and read it everyday. And it’s a good visual too, whenever it find myself slipping back to anger at what happened.

Two years of therapy and medications.

I feel like painting now and actually moving forward.

via PressSync

Baby Otter

Baby Otter, Soft Pastels on heavy Canson paper

I have been working with my therapists and here is a tip for when you have been betrayed and wronged and feel stuck.

Take 30 min each day at a specific time and write down all your thoughts about the situation. Do this everyday at the same time. You are not allowed to think about the situation after that, or you can save it for the next day.

This has helped tremendously for me and stopping the same record playing in my head.

I think my painting has improved too 🙂

via PressSync

The Treatment of an Injured Reservist 

This is an earlier painting I did depicting my treatment by my Chain of Command while serving in the Canadian Armed Forces. It still applies today, nearly 2 years later.

My story: I was deliberately targeted by my supervisor while working as a full time Reservist in the CAF. He has PTSD and anger problems, which he directed at me. He would scream and pound his fist at me, and other threatening behaviour. Although I complained to my C of C, nothing was done other than he would apologize each time later, but the passive aggression got worst, ignoring me, leaving me out of information, preferential treatment to another of my equal rank, and slowly turning others against me. I felt very isolated and alone and constant fear of his explosive behaviour.

Finally, when  I went to the highest in the C of C, who assured me he would take care of it, this supervisor and his supervisor suddenly took me in a room and berated me with lies, threats and charges ( none formal) of insubordination and disrespect to my supervisor! He was so agitated and angry he couldn’t sit still. I couldn’t understand why they were so angry to me, I’ve never been anything but professional at work.

It felt like a verbal rape. I couldn’t feel my legs and my head was pounding. At the end, even though I insisted on a solution, they simply got up and left me sitting in that room. I went back to my desk, it was near the end of my day, I couldn’t even complete a thought, I felt dazed, so I sent an email to my supervisor telling him I had a migraine and was going home. I don’t even remember how I got home.

I went home and was a zombie. My legs wouldn’t stop tingling. I couldn’t sleep anyways ( I hadn’t slept in months)  and as it happened, a former officer I used to work for suddenly made a comment on one of my paintings. I hadn’t seen her in years, but I witnessed her being targeted by someone in her C of C and what she went through. I knew I could trust her. I sent her a desperate email asking to talk to her. She replied with her phone number and we talked til 1 am.

She told me to go to sick parade and tell them exactly what happened and my physical symptoms ( I had others,but the tingling wouldn’t go away). I really couldn’t think for myself and didn’t want to go, but it was like a zombie and just followed her advice. I did go, saw a nurse, she consulted a Medical Officer and they immediately pulled me out of my work and told me not to go back, not even for personal things.

And so it began. I was put on medications and cut off from everything I’d known for 13 years.

Through the next year I coped with a total breakdown and meds that kept me stable but zombie like.

And through that year I coped with my C of C accusing me of theft, constantly trying to contact me ( which caused the symptoms to return) and ending my current contract and position. In fact, they had switched my position with another to accomplish this. In other words, Fraud.

Through no fault of mine, my Reserve contract was ended maliciously. The Goon in my C of C harassed me to sign away my leave, but I was advised not to. He bullied me, but I wouldn’t sign. Although they promised Compensation, they purposely delayed the paperwork for 4 months where I received no pay. I couldn’t pay my mortgage.

I finally went to the DND Ombudsman. He really listened and within 3 days ( because of deliberate delays by my C of C) , I had my back pay reinstated. I had a $1000 penalty for non payment of my mortgage that I had to pay myself.

Finally, the Ombudsman intervened and even though the C of C tried more stall tactics, the Ombudsman and Primary Reserve List came through for me and Compensation was approved. I was exhausted and so mentally I’ll from all this.

I have been told, as a Reservist no longer with a contract, I have no rights to health or dental care other than something that occurred while I was on contract. Confused? Try living through a breakdown and dealing with this obscure concept.

Fast forward to yesterday. I have a medical appointment with the doctor. She only approves my anxiety pills, but she doesn’t approve meds for IBS which started in the military after another stressful incident. I am not going to beg for them.

I tell her my knee is really bothering me since I tried to work out more. In 2002 I snapped my Plantar Fascitis on my foot during a march and never got proper footwear for it through the years until about 4-5 years ago I started getting physio and proper inserts for my footwear and proper fitting shoes.

The doctor writes me a script for Physio and specifically puts on it that it is attributable to military service, just so they are clear, she says. She examines it, then sends me for X-rays. By then my knee is throbbing !

I take the paperwork to Physio. They refuse me, saying I must have a CF 98 on file or they won’t see me. I never needed that before.

You know what? The hell with them.

I’m a soldier, I don’t beg. I say fine, and leave. I left with my DIGNITY attached for once. I am no longer begging for anything. I’ve had to beg at Pharmacy, Dental ( for a filling that fell out that the military did) for everything. I’m not begging anymore. I will fix my damn knee myself and take painkillers. I don’t need them anymore, losing your pride isn’t worth it. No more.

For the first time I walked out of there feeling better. No healthcare, but I had my dignity!

This is the life of a full time Reservist who served faithfully for 14 years. I can no longer work full time, i now stammer and stutter, I’m exhausted mentally and physically and I’m a shell of the person I was. I live with nightmares and panic attacks.

WHY am I denied healthcare and dental while my Reg Force buddy, same as me, doesn’t worry about that, she has a toothache, she gets it fixed. Me, I can’t afford dental, so I take painkillers. And now I have to do my own physio!

It all comes down to money, the system chooses money over their own soldiers. It is not my fight anymore. I am not alone, this is repeated on all Reservists. Policy and culture need to be changed and I have no control over that, I have my own battles.

I would have given my life for my country. How stupid was I?