Monday, August 20, 2007

Stephane Theodore Fortin


Above is a picture of Sue's former boyfriend, Stephane Theodore Fortin. It was his graduation picture for Grade 12. He was born in 1967 in Ottawa, Ontario. Stephane is now deceased (1967-1995)

Stephane and Sue in love: drowning together in a pool of psychiatric drugs (1989 - 1990) Ottawa, Ontario

This text has been edited and some portions deleted.

I met the love of my life in January 1989. I had put ad in the Canadian Mental Health Newsletter about my group called "Ottawa Advocates for Psychiatric Patients"(OAPP) . The year before I saw a letter from someone in Ottawa who wrote to Al Cote the consumer advocate for the Ottawa Citizen. A young man wrote he had purchased a membership for a health club and wanted his money back as he was not feeling well emotionally. I saw the ad and said to myself, I would like to meet this person and help them. Well it did happen, believe it or not. I did not know the person who wrote to Al Cote - the consumer advocate reporter who had a consumer column in the Ottawa Citizen. I did meet that person who wrote to Al Cote, and that was Stephane Fortin - be careful of what you wish for.

Stephane called me one night when I lived at Caldwell Ave in Ottawa Housing. I answered the phone
and this young man said he saw the small ad about my group and he needed some help, some advocacy. I said I would meet him but not in my home as I had no office. He agreed to meet me at the McDonald's restaurant on Rideau Street in downtown Ottawa and I described what I looked like.

I went downtown to meet him. Stephane came through the entrance of McDonald's. A tall man
who was overweight with an handsome baby face came in and smiled at me and said "Are you, Sue Clark?" and I nodded yes. Stephane started to laugh out loud. He had this laugh that was
contagious. He said he recognized me from the description I gave him. He sat down at the my booth.
We both ordered a meal and then chatted for hours. It was as if I knew Stephane all my life. He was easy to talk to and he and I laughted alot that night. We clicked instantly. I was attracted to him
and his energetic and bubbly personality. He was so handsome I could not keep my eyes off him.
I had separated from my second husband John Clark for about 9 months. John was dating a woman he knew who lived at in Sue's apartment building on Caldwell Ave also called named Suzanne. Stephane had dated a girl for a year or two but it did not work out.

Stephane and I said goobye that night and I got his phone number. I said he could visit me soon. The next day I got a phone call and he said he wanted to visit me and so I said sure. I wanted to see Stephane again. I think he guessed I liked him. He was very intelligent and did not miss a thing. He had great insight into everything around him. He was a good judge of character and he knew I was a safe person, that I would not harm him and I would be a good friend to him. His instincts were good.

He came over to my house and I need some help to get my place organized. He was a very organized and neat person. Everything had to have it place. He was very clean about himself and so was his room that he rented.

I showed Stephane my portfolio of all the advocacy I had one and showed him the newspaper clippings
from the newspapers. He enjoyed me telling him all the stories of me and Jane Scharf and Karen
Tracey and all of our battles with the Ontario Disability Support Program, Ottawa Housing and with the police. He got a kick out of me and I knew he respected the work I was doing. He acknowledged me and my work. I needed someone to like the work I was doing.

We had supper and then Stephane went home. I didn't want him to go home, I wanted him near me.
He came over everyday and after a month I did not ask him to go home that night. He slept on the couch for another month and both of were respectful of our boundaries. Everything was platonic
were about two months.

I visited him rooming house on Sweetland Ave in Ottawa off Laurier Ave. His big room was on the third floor. I was abled bodied then and could climb the three flights of squeaky steps up to his room.
There were three others roomers on his floor with one bathroom with a shower stall.

The first night I visited his room we talked so much I missed my bus to Caldwell. I slept on the floor and he respected me.

His room was neat as a pin. Nothing was out of place. It was so tidy I could hardly believe it.
Stephane was 21 years old and he was applying to Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) as
he had bad nerves from a traumatic childhood. He was seeing a psychiatrist and taking psychiatric drugs.

Stephane liked to sing and he was an excellent singer. He played some cassette tapes for me. He liked music. Stephane was very sexy. We both were sexually attracted to each other. Stephane was gorgeous. He was soft spoken and shy somewhat.

One thing led to another and we made love the first time in his room. He was a very passionate person. I never knew love could be as good as it was with him. He made me feel special like no other man had. He was a great lover. I was 33 years old and I was insecure he might find someone younger. He assured me that would not happen and he never did.

When people saw me and Stephane together, they would ask me if I was his mother and that hurt me but Stephane would just laugh it off and think it was funny. Stephane was a prankster and would
make up stories in a matter of minutes to make me worried and confused and then say he was only
joking. He knew how to get me going and he knew how to push all of my buttons. Stephane was no one's fool. He told me loved me and he did. I loved him too.

I started to take psychiatric drugs again. I had been off them for about a year and a half and I was doing well without them. Stephane felt guilty that he was taking psychiatric drugs and I was not.
Stephane was addicted to the pills and he told me so. He started to get aggressive and told me I needed the pills too. He hassled me about this all the time.

Stephane and I had argued one night at his room on Sweetland Ave, some petty thing. I was laying on my back in his rug in his room. Stephane was taking his pills from a pill bottle. All of a sudden Stephane straddled me and forced some of his pills into my mouth and would not get off me until I swallowed the pills with some water. I was really upset by the whole incident. When Stephane fell asleep that night, I called my friend Jane Scharf in Ottawa. She knew me well. I told her what
Stephane had done and told her I was feeling suicidal. She knew when I called her if I was really
thinking about suicide or if I just need to vent my frustrations. When I was suicidal she knew how to calm me down and so I could think rationally and find solutions to what was frustrating me. Sometimes she spoke to me on the phone for hours as I was so frazzled. I believe if Jane was not around to help me in those days, I would not be around here today.

Stephane and I were emotionally dependent on each other but our relationship was not a healthy one.
We were two prescription drugs addicts on the road leading to the road to hell. Our life together was
starting to become a hell, a hell that one does not want to go through even for one minute it was so bad.

We would fight about the issue of my not wanting to take psychiatric drugs anymore. I wanted to
get off the psychiatric drugs again . I told him psychiatric drugs on the whole were toxic and I did not want to take psychiatric meds anymore. The police were called sometimes when we yelled too loud at our apartment on Caldwell Ave. The cops wanted to see both of us to make sure we did not have any injuries from fighting. When the cops saw that we were only verbally abusing each other, they left, a lover's quarrel they must hav thought to themselves.

One night I threw a ceramic teapot on the kitchen floor. Stephane was in the living room and this set him off. It scared him the noise of the teapot breaking. I told him I was angry. He had gone to visit a girl he had met on a radio show who called in to one of the french radio shows he was listening to. He did not cheat on me and I knew that, but I did not like that he visited another girl and that is why I threw the teapot. He said he was sorry. He never visited her again.

I am a jealous person when it comes to my men. I am insecure and I can act out.

We fought from time to time. I yelled at Stephane to get off his drugs and told him he was a drug addict and he took a fit. He went into my storage room and took out a crow bar to use on me,
but I acted real calm and cool and told him I was sorry. He called emergency at the Royal Ottawa
Hospital and told them he was out of control. He put down the crowbar only after I hid in the bathroom door and prayed he would not kill me. He smashed the crow bar into the bathroom
tile floor near and gouged a piece of tile out of the floor and then I told him calmly to put the crowbar down and he did. Then Stephane started sobbing loudly and told he me he was sorry. We both cried for hours holding each other. I forgave him and told him I was sorry for provoking him. I never told anyone about this incident until many years later.

One night he threw me on the waterbed as we had had an argument. We both made up quickly.
We sometimes would fight over silly things.

We both paid for everything equally, 50% each down the middle, the rent, the food, the cable, the bus fare. We were both fair with each other in our financial matters.

I kept taking my psychiatric pills and so did Stephane. One day I was walking down Merivale Road with Stephane. It was the summer of 1989. We left our apartment at Caldwell Ave and were headed to the video arcade down the street. Stephane and I would like to play PacMan and Stephane was a good player. He and his brothers would play video arcades lots. I never won against Stephane in
playing PacMan.

When we were walking home one night from the video arcade on night, Stephane yelled out in public on Merivale road at the top of his voice, "Sue Clark, you are a schizophrenic and you need to take your pills as you are sick". I yelled at Stephane to shut up and he did not, but got louder and louder as we walked along the street. I was so embarrassed I just wanted to crawl into a hole and never come
out. We had another big argument after that.

In July 1980, Stephane and I had lived together for about 7 months. I was getting sick and tired of him
bullying me into taking psychiatric drugs and I was getting more afraid of Stephane for good reasons.
His behaviour towards me was getting more aggressive and violent.

One day Stephane and I had a bad argument and he threw me hard against the back of our apartment door. I was hurt. Stephane went to take a shower and I took my keys and went out of the apartment
to the convenience store down the block called the "Quickie" store. I used a pay phone there and called the police. I told the cops Stephane was in the apartment. I waited for the police to show up and brought the two police officers upstairs to my apartment. Stephane was still in the shower, he liked to take long showers. The police knocked on the bathroom door and informed him to dry up and get dressed and he did.

I told the police I would like to call his sister Francine who was living with her boyfriend and their daughter in a townhouse near St. Laurent Blvd in Ottawa. I told Francine that there was an argument between her brother and I and that the police were there and I needed for him to go over to her house and she said it was ok. Stephane grabbed his pills and some of his clothes and left.
Stephane looked sad and so did I. After the cops left with Stephane, I broke down and cried all night.

Stephane called me a few days later to ask if he could pick up the rest of his stuff and I said ok. His
sister's boyfriend drove him. Stephane came into the apartment and was very cool towards me.
He said goodbye and that was it.

He went to live with his mother later on that summer. She lived on Baycrest Ave. Jean had a two bedroom apartment. I sent Stephane a card and told him in the card I was suicidal. Stephane became worried about me and then shortly after landed up at the Ottawa General Hospital psychiatric ward in September of 1989. I went to see him and he was flirting with an Italian girl who was very
pretty called Gabriella. I was jealous and angry but did not show Stephane my real feelings, but he guessed how I felt. Gabriella had only eyes for Stephane and she followed Stephane with her eyes
whenever he left or entered a room. Stephane had 2 brothers.

I went home and got panicky. Here was Stephane on the ward and he was in bad shape. He
was very doped up with all his meds. I landed up in emergency and was suicidal. All of the stress
was too much for me to take. I landed up on the same ward as Stephane at the Ottawa General Hospital psychiatric ward. Stephane was indifferent to me for awhile and gave me the cold shoulder.
One night he walked down the hallway and came into my room in the semi darkness and scard the
the hell out of me. He told me in no uncertain terms to get out of my bed and he wanted to talk to me and I did. We walked down a long corridor with no rooms nearby. He told me he wante to be with me
and he needed me to respect him and vice versa. I kissed him on the cheek . He squeezed my arm
tight and wanted to do more with me but could not as we had no privacy. He had a look of passion in his eyes and I knew he wanted me then and there. We told each other we loved each other. Earlier in that day I went to the Westgate shopping center and got my hair dyed and cut and got my fingernails
done and wore a nice outfit that night when I came back to the ward. I wanted Stephane to notice me and he did. He knew I was making a play for him and it worked. I wanted him back badly and would have done anything to win back his affections.

People on the ward started to gossip. Gabriella had her nose bent out of shape once she realized me and Stephane had lived together earlier in the year and we were former lovers. She gave me and
Stephane the cold shoulder for the remainder of our stay on the ward. I was happy as I got my man back. We were discreet but the staff and patients found out we were back together again. It was easy to see as we looked into each others' eyes, the look of love was there for everyone to see.
We did not display our affection to each other directly. We had enough sense not to do anything
in the romance department on the ward, it was not the right place nor the right time.

We had group therapy together. A doctor and a nurse and some patients put their chairs in a
circle and we all started to talk one by one of what was on our minds. Well, Stephane blurts out he had lived with me and I was embarrassed as he looked so young and I looked old enough to be his mother,
the doctor and nurse just looked a bit shocked but listened to what he had to say. Stephane wanted me to more like a woman and not like a mother. He wanted me to make him feel like a man and not like a kid. He was resenting the way I treated him. He had lots pride and dignity and I was not
helping him to maintain that. He was very articulate and told eveyone that he cared for me but
that I had to change my behaviour towards him and I told him I would try to do my best.

Stephane told his psychiatrist Dr. Gosselin he wanted to get off his meds, and Dr. Gosselin took him off his meds cold turkey, not a good thing to do all. A person should be first me weaned off their meds.
One day I was in the livingroom watching TV and then I saw Stephane having a nurse and an orderly
trying to walk Stephane to his room. Stephane could barely stand up and his eyes were rolling back into their sockets, Stephane was having convulsions. Stephane was taken his room and put on one to one supervision around the clock. I could no visit Stephane in his room, a few rooms down from
my room on the ward. I cried all night I was so worried about him. After a few days Stephane came out of his room and he was angry for the doctor taking him off his pills cold turkey. He knew he
had convulsions because I told him. He did not like Dr. Gosselin at all. He found the doctor to be
a bully.

One day I walked into my room. I shared my room with three other patients. We had a bathroom and a shower in my room. One of my roommates was being scolded by a nurse. The young woman
started to yell at the nurse. The nurse threatened to put leg and arm restraints on her and tie her up in bed if they did not stop and she did. The female patient went hysterical. I saw all of this happening.
No one came to her aid as she yelled "Somebody help me, take off these straped now, I don't want to be tied up". The nurse who tied up the young woman left the room. I told her I would help and I untied her restraints, I set her free and then she calmed down for sometime and then returned to her old self. After awhile the same nurse came back into our room and said the patient "who untied you?"
and I said to the nurse that I had. I told the nurse I was mental health advocate as well as a patient
and I told her tying up the girl against her will was violating her human rights". The nurse gave me
a hard cold stare and and then walked quickly out of the room. Whether or not she believed that I was a mental health advocate I do not know. I only know the staff did not tie up the young woman again after that while I still a patient on the ward.

I told Stephane I was going to walk out of the hospital and get out and I signed some papers that said I was being released against the hospital advice that I should stay. Stephane was still in the hospital when I left and he did not want me to leave him there on the ward. I said I would visit the next day and I did. Stephane told me he wanted to sign out of the hospital and I helped him do it. He got his belongings together and we took a taxi to my home at 1485 Caldwell Ave. I lived on the 14th floor
in a one bedroom apartment facing Caldwell Ave overlooking Merivale Road and Baseline Road.
Across from my apartment building was a big field and to the left was a privately owned apartment building. Down the street to the left was the "Quickie" convenience store and number 14 bus stop.
To the right was the community center and a kids outdoor pool and some private residental houses.

Stephane told me to order some food and so I did. Stephane and I paid for everything 50-50. Stephane was fair like that. Stephane and I would sleep together but did not make love for about two weeks. Stephane's nerves were stretched to the limit. His experience at the Ottawa General
Hospital psychiatric ward traumatized him. He became suicidal because of it. I took care of Stephane 24/7 around the clock for 8 months. I never left him alone for one minute. I had no other support to help us. Being together all the time was taxing on the both of us.

Stephane had to go to court when I met him. A year before I knew him he had found a visa card in someone's purse and used in a convenience store. It was a woman's visa card and he got caught.
I got him a good lawyer in Ottawa. He was afraid to show up in court but I was there. Stephane got
a one year probation sentence because he had no criminal record in the past. He thanked me for my advocacy. I went with him to his probation meetings.

When I broke up with Stephane because he was abusive to me, I told his probation officer what happened and that Stephane was not living with me anymore.

Stephane stayed with his sister Francine and her boyfriend from Bangladesh and their little girl Florence. Francine told me her boyfriend would make fun of her weight. Francine was obese.
She found out eventually her boyfriend was seeing another woman in Ottawa who came from his
native land. His two brothers lived with them. Florence was about two years old and she was so cute.
She was an active little girl who lived liked to play and dance around when she heard music play.

Francine and Stephane were close emotionally. Stephane depended on his sister for emotional support. Francine was very jovial and a nice person. Francine was generous and had a good heart.
I liked Francine and she liked me too.

Stephane and I would visit Francine and she would visit us at our apartment on Caldwell. I enjoyed
Florence, Stephane's little niece. Stephane would buy her clothes and buy her toys. He loved his
little niece so much. He was good with children and he was patient with them. Florence liked to me around her uncle who adored her so much.

When Stephane and I broke up for good in the summer of 1990, my heart was broken. I would wake up everyday and cry for hours. This continued for at least a year. In the winter of 1991, I met Dustin
who lived a few streets over from me on Kirkwood ave. I was introduced to Dustin by a friend of mine.

Dustin and I started to go out a few months later. Dustin lived with a roommate named Dennis.
They shared a two bedroom apartment on Kirkwood Ave. Dustin worked on an old manual elevator at the Saxe building on Sparks Street. Dennis was a dishwasher for Nortel.

Stephane eventually moved to Fairlea Ave near the Herongate mall close to his mom's apartment on Baycrest Ave. His sister Francine eventually left her boyfriend. She and her daughter mo
Stephane's apartment building. Stephane and Francine lived on different floors.

One day Stephane heard someone frantically yelling for him to open up his door. His niece Florence
who was about five years old was screaming at the top of her lungs. Stephane opened the door and Flornece yelled that she could not wake up her mother Francine. Stephane and Florence went up to
Francine's apartment. Francine looked like she was sleeping peacefully but in fact she was dead.
Stephane freaked out and the police showed up. Stephane was too distraught to go to his sister's funeral. He never got over his sister's death. She was only 28 years old. She had complained to Stephane a few days earlier that she had a sharp pain in one of her legs. Stephane told her she should got to the hospital but did not. Francine died of a blood clot.

Stephane became suicidal after his sister's death and he went in and out of psychiatric wards. He told me one day when I bumped into him on Elgin Street. I had left 'the Well' a women's drop in center
at the corner of Elgin Street and Somerset street. The drop in was in the basement of St. John's
anglican church.

Stephane told me that he was having a hard time to accept his sister's death and told me about some of his suicide attempts. I did not tell him I was seeing Dustin but he knew I was going out with Dustin. He saw me and Dustin coming out of his apartment building which was close to his mother's apartment on Baycrest. I could tell Stephane missed me but was too proud to tell me. In his body language I knew he still cared. He would laugh and look at me with his big brown eyes. I did not have the same feeling for Stephane anymore because I liked Dustin my boyfreind. Dustin and I had a platonic relationship for 14 years. Dustin was 13 years younger than me, a year younger than Stephane.

Stephane bought me an ice cream cone and we went into the park nearby and sat on a bench and talked together for about an hour. I told Stephane I had to go and we walked me to my bus stop on Slater Street. I wished Stephane the best and he did the same for me.

A few months later I bumped into Stephane again at the Rideau Center. He was sitting on a bench
nearby the cafe where I was. I am sure he saw me before I saw him. I stopped and said hello.
We walked over to the Rideau Center food court and started to talk. He said he was living at the
Shepherds of Good Hope in a room down the street. I told him I was seeing Dustin. He said he knew.
We talked for a long time and then I went home. About a month later I went to see a friend of mine named Ruby. She and I had a mutual friend named Violet who lived next to Ruby. Violet was a nice lady who always invite all her friends for supper. We had great times together. Ruby liked to drink and so I had a few drinks and I got a intoxicated to some degree. I called up Stephane and said I wanted to meet him at the Rideau Center and he said he would. I called up a taxi on Forward Ave
and got in. Ruby gave me a nice plate of the Wizard of Oz that I stuffed into my big purse.
Anyhow I got the Rideau Center and was short a dollar for the ride, and told the driver that was all
I had. The driver argued with me and then told me to get out of his cab and he was angry for good reason. That was first and last time I short changed a cabbie driver. I was too drunk to realize I did not have enough money for the taxi. I could walked pretty good and I saw Stephane coming down the
escalator and we said hello. We talked for hours at the Food court. I told him that I needed to talk to him. I told him I did not like him being abusive to me in the past and he apologized to me. I apologized for my behaviour towards him too in the past. He told me he missed me and he wanted me to come to his room. He was depressed. I did not want to go to his room and told him. He looked angry at me. He turned to me with very cold eyes and said goodbye. I watched as he walked away.
I gave him a hug but he did not return my hug. He pulled away from me.

A few weeks later I got a call from Stephane at home. He told me he was calling everyone he knew to say he was going to committ suicide soon. I got frantic and told him not to do that. He asked me earlier in our conversation if I was happy with Dustin and I said yes. He told me I was lucky and that
he wishe me well. He thanked me for helping me and he told me he did love me. I told him to
hang on and that life was precious. He said he could not cope with his sister's death and then said goodbye. After he hung up, I sat there in a stupor and in shock. I could not believe what Stephane had just said. Stephane said he was going to kill himself all the time. I thought it was one of those times whereby he thought of suicide and probably would not do anything to himself. In retrospect,
I regret not calling the Shepherds of Good Hope where he lived and inform Stephane felt suicidal.

Later on December 21 of 1995, Stephane did commit suicide only I did not realize it. I did not read
the obituaries of the papers anymore. Too many of my friends had passed away. Dustin saw the
obiturary and decided not to ruin my Christmas. I knew Dustin was keeping something from me but I did not ask him what it was. I was consumed by the Christmas season that I loved and en joyed.
In the middle of January in 1996, I finally demanded that Dustin tell me what he was hiding from me.
I was in my apartment in Ottaw West. I had a mattress on my living room floor that I used for a bed.

Dustin told me he had something to say that would shock me. He warned me first. "Stephane is dead" Well I dropped the phone and jumped onto my mattress on the floor in front of me and wailed loudly for hours. I was in shock. Finally the next day I called Dustin back and asked when Stephane had died. Dustin told me Stephane died on December 21, 1995 and he was 28 years old. Too young to die. I went into a severe depression for 3 months. I isoloated myself and stayed alone at home
and watched tv for 18 hours a day. Dustin would visit and I would either sit there and say nothing or cry during the whole time he visited me. He tried to get me out of the house to no avail. I looked very sad people told me when I did go out. I was not myself. I bottled up all of my feelings in public but could not mask my sadness from the world, it was evident on my face. I don't hide my sadness very well. My eyes had a look that was full of pain.

I had been distraught over Stephane's sister death a year earlier. I went into a depression then too.
I don't handle someone dying very well. I am a very super sensitive and emotional person. My friends called to give me emotional suppport. These days I can talk about Stephane calmly as it been almost 12 years since he committed suicide. I still feel the pain of his death when I speak about him,
that type of pain never goes away, I just bury deep into my heart and soul. I loved this man so much
it is hard to describe. Stephane and I were soulmates, very much alike, it was uncanny. We would finish off each other sentences and we thougth alike and did things alike. He was the love of my life but I have learned to love again.

I put all of my heart and soul into our relationship, I gave him everything I had and a gave all of me to him. I did not keep anything for me. I got lost in our relationship and forgot to look out for number one me. My needs came last and that was not a good thing. I forgot to look after myself and nuture myself.
I never want to do that in a relationship again. give and and give until there is nothing to give because I gave it all. I did not have the self respect and self esteem to remain an individual and look after me. I became second best and that is all I ever expected from a man was to be at his beck and call
and not care about me. I changed that type of toxic thinking but it took many years and therapy to get it right, I am number one and I count and I have needs and I have to look after me becasue if I don't hwo will, no one. I had to take responsibility for my actions and become accountable to me and others.
I took stock of myself and did not like what I a saw. I saw a woman who willowed in her own self pity and let people push her around and abuse her and use her. One day I woke up and said 'enough of this, no more, no more abuse, no more being used..that is it...I was sick and tired of being sick and tired....

I started to learn to say no and say I will think about your request. I stopped being a 'yes' person to '
everyone around me. I thought if I said no to someone they may leave me for good. I had a feeling of being abandoned and that came from my dysfunctional family of origin, my immediate family.

The hospital food was bland and often cold when it came up to our ward. The portions were small and the menu was not very good. Cheap food that tasted like rubber.

Every morning at the Ottawa General psychiatric ward around 7 a.m. the medical staff would make their rounds to see all the patients. I was sleeping in my hospital bed when all of a sudden I heard a man's voice say "hello, Suzanne". I rolled over to face the door of my room and I saw 6 people in white hovering over me. There was my psychiatrist, my primary nurse, my psychologist, my occupational therapist and some medical students. I looked up and had to clean the sleepy dust from my eyes. My hair was not combed and I must have looked like some else to them. I am not a pretty
sight first thing in the morning. It is very imtimidating to have all these people looking right over you like you are some sort of specimen to them, very unnerving to say the least.

My "team" as they called themselves asked me how I was doing. They asked various sorts of general questions. I answered to the best of my ability, that is all I could do at that early time in the morning. I certainly didn't look very friendly to them as I am always grumpy in the morning when I get up for about an hour. I don't wake up easily and it takes me a long time to get going and get
organized in the mornings. Some people just spring out of bed like there is no tomorrow but I just can't do that.

Anyhow my "team" would walk away and whisper things about me between themselves. Then I would get up and take a shower and then get dressed to go to the breakfast room. I would have my hospital
breakfast food and then start my day's activities on the ward that could range from group therapy, or seeing my psychiatrist or psychologist, or going to occupational therapy.

One day I went to see Dr. Bourgon my psychiatrist. He was a man in his 40s. He was French-Canadian. He told me I should try to save my marriage to John Clark to which I threw off my wedding ring in his office and then took his empty small ashtray and threw it on the floor beside me. He did not react at all. He was calm and cool. He did however inform me that I would have to pay for the ashtray and I said I would. I did not apologize for breaking the ashtray. I picked up my wedding ring and put in on one of my fingers. Dr Bourgon told me I should not mask my feelings but show them. He told me if I am happy, my face should show it and if I was angry I should look angry. He told me I was masking my feelings and that was not a good thing to do. He told me I was holding in all of my feelings and showing the world what I really felt by not expressing to them how I felt. When I was a child I had to
bottle up all my feelings and stuff them, I was not allowed to vent to my parents if I thought they were being unfair with me. In my home, you just took what you got and never complained no matter how bad it got at home.

I told my psychiatrist he was right and he figured me out very well. He nodded his head. He thought
I was probably overeating to stuff all of my emotions and went to the fridge as soon as uncomfortable or painful feelings came up. I used food to numb my feelings, my pain. I still do overeat but not as much. I have lost 50 pounds and I am happy. I have more weight to lose but will lose it when I am ready. I had some people around me who were toxic to me and so I ended those friendships.
Some people around me put me down and belittled me so I said to myself I don't need this and so let those friendships go. In my life right now, I have supportive people around me who believe in me.
I trust them is what I am saying and they are safe people to be around.