How do we deal with the pain of seeing our loved ones hurt? I don’t know to as a disabled person. Here I am writing postcards near the beach (I can’t access the beach anyway). This is a good time, almost a peaceful time. As good as it gets.
For me, being attacked or discriminated against is so connected to my work experience that I expect it; because I stand up to bullies and refuse to them bully anyone else, so the cowards that bullies are inevitably end up bullying me. Why? Because I have this weird “professionalism” which means I will do what a boss asks, so if they push me, or throw things at my head, I just duck because they hate me, but often are dependant upon my skills to cover up how crap they are. But I make it clear they will never bully anyone else.
But in Britain, when we came out, both some of people who worked under Linda and her manager felt ‘uncomfortable’ with our relationship and that I would show up to take Linda out to lunch. I guess being out and open isn’t very big there (I didn’t know anyone in her whole department that was). And eventually an accusation was made against her, and no one defended her. And I did not know how to react. And then another accusation was made about me, about how I was “always around and harassing the female staff”. And so I went directly to her manager and told her that this is untrue and she could ask the porters in the University if she didn’t believe me, I waited outside in a sight of view for Linda to see me and then join me to talk at her connivance. I also told her that the fact that she did NOT investigate this, that she brought it to Linda as if it were true and wanted her to act on it was UNPROFESSIONAL behavior, indeed behavior which was illegal under the current employment act. I said that if she wanted a meeting to mediate between the complainants, and me, I was willing. But I was not willing for Linda to suffer simply because she loved me. There was some apologizing and when confronted the young 20 something girls complaining didn’t actually WANT to complain in open mediation, just behind Linda’s back.
Then we moved here. And I had a book, and was going to competitions and Linda’s employers, the BC government were happy to know a spouse who was a Dr. and whose work was in the Globe and Mail. There were no problems from them about vacations or Linda getting time off for epee competitions. But then I became ill. And the government department where she works (who has as a motto about “work life balance”), she ended up with a boss who became increasingly resentful that I was sick. Then there was the turning of the backs of the bosses and others at the Xmas party. That it wasn't ‘appropriate’ that I was there, was the polite attitude. Only it stopped being polite and eventually in an official work evaluation her boss demanded that she put down that she had a disabled spouse and thus her work should be viewed from this distraction.
That got resolved after a phone call. But now it has started again, a steady and consistent level of harassment of Linda because, again, of me. Her boss not only is her mentor and determines her managerial grade (and thus pay grade) but is also in charge of sick and vacation time. She has ordered Linda at least once after she called in sick to move the day as vacation day. Then required a doctor’s note. Then still complained and tried to have the day as vacation because Linda has not done what her boss wants; which is to either divorce me or put in a full care facility as provided by the province. She has moved Linda’s time, docked her pay, though other people work from home on certain days, has excluded Linda of this option, along with forcing her to “prove” a single sick day with a doctor’s note (after already assuming her lying and putting her time down as vacation pay), and told her advancement is stalled due to her lack of commitment to the job over me. She has refused to allow Linda to go to the ER when contacted by authorities….unless the pay was docked, vacation or taken as unpaid leave. She has used her authority as both the person in charge of sick/vacation pay and as supervisor in a way to discriminate against Linda believing the worst (in her view): That Linda might be actually in some way helping her dying partner. Now, unlike the rest of employees who get lunch and coffee breaks, the boss has told her that Linda can no long do what Linda and I have done ever since we got together 15 years ago: call each other to find out how things were going. No, her boss, a government section head over government managers wants to single out Linda and tell her that even at lunch, she is not allowed to do anything which does not further client business, and specifically, nothing to do with me.
In BC, while all medical appointments and such are covered for parents and children, none are for spouses. Which is why the boss has been urging her to ‘make the tough decision’ and either dump me by the side of the road or in a care facility (because THOSE don’t have waiting lists – right!).
The problem is that I am forced this time, to sit and lie by, while my partner is abused at work, singled out, forced to provide doctor’s notes for the smallest times, and virtually refused to allow to go to the ER, because her boss doesn’t want a person whose spouse is disabled. The yet unstated, but emphasised solution is that I die.
And why not, because the Government of British Columbia IS official discriminatory. We went to a picnic this weekend and the form for those attending the park as you can see listed, “How many Adults, Children, Seniors (guess they are like between adults and children) and Disabled” – that is the official form for a BC park. This is also the same park where the person who was there wanted to know WHO had told us that this park was accessible (it was the Paraplegic Association). He was very angry. The thing is, it WOULD be accessible if he would use his key to remove the steel posts and let us drive to the beach to unload the wheelchair. But he didn’t want to. It was the disabled person’s fault for not calling days in advance and “planning ahead” he said (because disabled people you will find aren’t allowed to decide to have a picnic like normal humans). He was a bigot and power tripping and then we find the BC Provincial Park form puts “disabled” different from Adults or Children. The form did not have a blank for “Jews” or “Queers” however.
I can’t stop being disabled, I can’t stop being ill. I can’t stop loving Linda. But the current representative of the government of BC in Linda’s workplace does want that. They want the “problem” (that’s me!) solved so Linda can return to her WORK/life (make life even smaller) balance. That she works more than the hours she is paid each week is irrelevant. That she changed and I changed so that she did not go to appointments with me for a couple months is irrelevant. As long as I exist, Linda will be presecuted, to the point where now her job has been threatened…simply because she refuses to divorce, leave or put me away.
If you want to know what discrimination is come to BC, where while it is illegal federally, apparently either the Mayor of Vancouver (and Victoria) doesn’t want to fight it, or can’t be bothered and the rest of us are too ill, too poor, too busy (with tests) or all of the above (I mention the Mayor of Vancouver because he is IN a wheelchair, why doesn't HE get the parks service to stop putting "Number of Adults, Number of Disabled?" But I face discrimination, blatant open discrimination EVERY DAY I go out. Every day. I can’t get jobs because I am told, “They require walking”, I can’t use a beach because someone doesn’t feel like doing their job. And now, just being friends with me, just being my legally married partner in Canada is enough for not one, but Two SENIOR (as in they report to the Deputy Minister) executives to openly discriminate against my partner because….she loves me.
10 hours ago