Thursday, February 5, 2009

Do You Think?

The human mind is a very wonderful, fragile and sometimes very dark place.
It's like a fingerprint really.
Each of us is different in what makes us work, how we work or even why we think we are working.
The way we deal with that which comes at us relies on how our little electrical impulses are wired together.
All of the chemicals in us get mixed up in various combinations which will cause each of us to look, act and deal with aspects of the outside world in different ways.
I stop short of saying that we can't be held responsible for our actions since we can't control how we are put together.
I think that if the reactive part of our brain is pushing us in one direction there should be the reasoning part which keeps it in check and tries to prevent us from heading down a path of self destruction. There should be anyway.
Having said that, there is the small matter that what one person's self-preservation unit may be emitting as good advice will most likely differ from another person's. Hopefully not too much though.

It is no secret that my life has been under attack over the past few months. Some very important things have been torn away from me long before I was ready to let them go.

My sister and mother always believed in me no matter how stupid or irresponsible I could happen to be at times.
I would like to think that their little reasoning units jumped in and kicked mine out of the way sometimes and stopped me from making a bigger fool of myself than I already had.
I was able to admit to them when I had screwed something up. Again.

Mom would shake her head sometimes and read the riot act but she would help me find a way to dig out of the hole I had dug and jumped into.
Hayley was always so darn smart. She was always level headed and often protected me from my reactive and emotional side. I can think of the situations that she was with me by how well they turned out.
I can also recall situations that she was not with me by the fact that the end result wasn't so good.
I don't have enough space to go into details about it here.
She protected me from myself more times than anyone could ever know. Looking at us you know that I am 2 ½ years older than her but talking to us would lead you to think that she was older by her maturity and common sense.
She was so beautiful and so intelligent. It was easy to underestimate her brilliance.
Fortunately, for a few years I was able to protect her.
I did stand up and watch out for her.
One of my best friends probably won't admit to this story but I swear it's true.

I am proud of my surname Scammell. I always have been and always will be.
It's unfortunate that so many other words rhyme with it that are less than flattering.
One of these is "scrambled eggs".
I was tormented with this one in childhood. It felt worse than it may sound here.
One day Hayley came in the door upset that someone had called her this name.
I had put up with it for years but would be damned if my baby sister would ever suffer this.
I took off out the door and up the road. The boy (now one of my closest friends) was still heading up the street to his house.
He saw me running his way and must have realized that I wasn't coming to ask him to play street hockey.
He ran as fast as he could for the safety of his house.
My mind's eye probably exaggerates my memory but he made it into his front door with a fraction of a second to spare.
He thought that he had survived that day in victory.
I had other ideas. I rang the doorbell and his mother came out.
"He called my sister scrambled eggs!" I told her.
As the door closed I could see the terror in his eyes from what was to come. It would have been more humane if I had opened the door and let him out to let me beat him up.
Not on my watch. Not my baby sister.
As in every brother sister relationship there were the times that we had scraps and times that I was not nice.
There were a couple of situations that often came up at times of humour and storytelling in our adult years.
Thinking back on them didn't seem so funny to me as I grew older.
When she was just a tiny little thing she had these little boots that barely came up above her ankles. My friend and I were playing in the forest that used to be behind our house.
There was this huge puddle. It was almost a lake in my memory.
Hayley asked how deep it was. I told her it wasn't as high as her boots. I knew how deep it was.
She walked into it and became submerged up to her waist.
My friend and I took her out and took her home. She was crying.
I know that kids are kids but why did I do that?
Some kids around the corner from us got a brand new trampoline one day. All of the neighbourhood kids went there.
Hayley was bouncing on it and wanted to get off. I told her to just jump off.
She landed hard on the ground and broke her arm.
Just before Hayley passed away she was in a coma-like state. The nurses and doctors told us that she could hear everything we were saying.
I was alone with her one day.
I told her that I was saying goodbye not because I wanted to but because I had been told that I have to.
I said that even though she probably would never want to hear it I was sorry for some of the things I had done.
I was sorry about the time with the big puddle.
I was sorry for telling her to jump off the trampoline.

A minute later the nurse came in to check on her.
I moved out of the way and went to the other corner of the room.
"Oh look! She's crying!" the nurse said.
There were tears in Hayley's eyes. It was like she wanted desperately to say something to me but couldn't.
If she could have spoken perhaps she would have told me to not be so silly. I had redeemed myself.
Maybe she just wanted to say that she forgave me for that and every other stupid thing I did.
That's what brothers and sisters do.
The most difficult part of losing Hayley was that no matter how bad things looked or how I wondered what could be done, she had all of us totally convinced that she was going to be fine and that she would win the war. I'm afraid we all lost that battle.
The week before Hayley passed she called me to discuss mom's condition. She talked on about what treatments mom was going to have and everything that was going on.
I interrupted her and asked "but what's going on with you?"
Hayley told me that she was not feeling so great but it was just a temporary thing and she would be fine. Then she went back to talking about mom.
I'm going to stop talking about this here. It's difficult to write about for too long.
There are likely many people who ask why do I do this to myself then? Why am I putting my soul on display for the world to see and judge?
The answer is simple.

I'm not sure.
Cheryl asked me a while ago if writing about this stuff on a blog was helping me get over it.

I'm not sure. I'm really not.

It has become clear that talking about these things isn't helping me.

Cheryl almost didn't go to Ontario for mom's funeral. She wanted to be there for me in my time of grief and sadness.
The problem is that it hasn't been a time of sadness and I haven't wanted any shoulder to cry on.

I want something to hit very hard.
I am so freaking angry at what has happened I can't describe it.
I'm not so angry and feeling sorry for myself as that I am furious for them being cheated!
Hayley had so much to offer the world and did so much for everyone who knew her.
Mom was so young for her age. She was so busy doing fun things which made her feel good as well as those around her.
We were robbed. And I am angrier than I have ever been in my life.
Sadly, those little extra self-preservation boosts that mom and Hayley always had available for me aren't there anymore.
And that just leaves me with me. We all know how well that works for me.
Cheryl and the boys feel this pain as well as everyone who loves and cares for us.
Cheryl wants to help me and the boys do too. In the best way they can.
Why is it so hard for me to talk to her about this?

Why do I insist on coming on here and writing things that I know are going to lead to trouble?
I'm not sure.
One thing I do know is that I expect to be treated fairly and respected as a human being. That is, unless I have done something so vile and offensive that this is not deserved.

The catalyst for my composing the deleted blog the other day was the fact that I had been humiliated when I did not deserve it.

I won't rehash it here but it boils down to a situation where I was being punished for speaking my mind.
It's irrelevant now whether the punishment was justified or not.
I was ready to accept my punishment and move forward.
What I was not prepared for or expecting was the humiliation that sprang from the way the punishment was done.

So I reacted.
I blogged the whole situation and added my opinions of what I thought.

I upset someone whom I love and who loves me, even when I do these things.
For that reason I took the blog down.

Do I regret posting the blog?
I'm not sure.

I do regret upsetting someone I love, yes.

I do not regret speaking my mind about my feelings and opinions.

Until my dying day I will fight for anyone's right to say what they feel unless it is threatens the safety or security of another.

There are people that we have been aware of at some point in time or have had a direct impact on ours lives who society has labelled different, strange or eccentric. (I will be watching for comments here and will delete any I don't like.)

If they want to stand on a soapbox and tell the world how blue pigs in tutus threaten the paper clip supply of North America they will be able to say it.

No matter how strange something may seem to the rest of us the fact is that this person's reality is just as important and real to them as ours is to us.

Our wiring may be different but they are no less a human being than another.
It's not our right to judge what is right or wrong unless it threatens safety or security.

I may not care to hear about the blue pigs myself but I will make damn sure that nobody stops them from speaking of it.

Why do I bother with this aggravation and grief? Don't I have enough on my mind dealing with day to day functioning?

The answer to this I AM sure .
I want to do what I can to assure that those who follow will always have the same rights as we do today.

I see that there are not too many of us that are so outspoken and take these matters to such a level. But I'm thankful that we are not alone.
The world may never fully appreciate or realize what people like Charles LeBlanc have done for us.
I do.

Many are uncomfortable with Charles and myself telling things as they are.

That's okay. I'll do it anyway.
I guess I'm just wired differently.



Sent on the TELUS Mobility network with BlackBerry


lessca said...

The name Scammell is worth being proud of - what I couldn't stand was being called a camel when growing up


les scammell
qld, australia

Tony said...


We are more alike in some ways than I am comfortable with :-)

I know what it is like to not be able to talk to someone you love about something, but yet be able to talk about it "in public".

I feel for ya man.

It is tough. It will be tough. But YOU are tough.

Take care,


Anonymous said...

We are all here for a reason. Some people don't know what their reason is and look all their lives for something they can't find. Reading everything you type opens my mind to something new each and every time. This is your reason Tim. You have a gift and so far, from what I see, you use it wisely.
Take care friend,
(I'm very proud to call you friend)

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry for your loss and difficult times. You do sound lucky enough to have had / have wonderful people in your life.
God Bless You and I hope our paths cross again soon my friend.

Romano (Outspoken Co-Advisory Board Member)

Anonymous said...

The problem with looking at ourselves in the mirror we are doing an up close and in the moment overview. When you step back, out of the moment the whole package is pretty darned terrific. That is my feelings about a very wonderful man, who I have watched grow up and be there for everyone around him. I may not be there physically but my thoughts and love are with you every day.

Pat Nolan

Train Geek said...

I was angry about my dad's passing. I felt that he was cheated, and that it was unfair. In time that passed, fortunately. It's not good to be angry all the time, but it is part of the process you have to go through.

You're a fine man, Tim, and I'm happy to call you my friend. Keep on doing what you think is right. To paraphrase the Sex Pistols, "Never mind the bollocks, here's Tim Scammell".

Charles LeBlanc said...

Yes....we're all here for a reason.....That's the line that keeps me going!!

Hang in there buddy!!!!

Awareness said...

And may you celebrate your unique wiring every single day.

I'm a firm believer that thoughts are not fully formed until they are married to spoken/written words. In fact, unharnessed thoughts feed the anger to a point where it can become displaced and lost to the real reason why we feel such anger sometimes.
Whether its journal writing, talking it out, blogging or standing on the top of a hill and blasting the Gods's all part of understanding where the anger is coming from.

No wonder you're angry....! You truly have experienced tremendous loss in your life Tim. When you look at the "process" of grieving in a book it looks like linear steps.....and we know it isn't. It's a bit of letting go and reflecting, of crying and venting, of denying and reflecting some more in a spiral which touches back to the reality of our losses.
Keep writing your stories....others will most certainly learn along with you as you continue to learn....and go play road hockey every now and then. I hear that's good for the soul too.

Gilly said...

Just found your blog. Keep going. its OK to be angry, and its OK to tell others. Deal with sorrow and grief your own way.

Best wishes,

Anonymous said...

Tim what you are doing will ease the pain much sooner than generations before you.This is such a positive process....Do it and one day you will be sure Andrew

Cheryl said...

Wow, this is all very powerful and extremely touching, not the first time I am reading this either! As I read about your hosptial visit with Haley, the tears just come and my heart breaks. I have not lost someone that close to me by death yet, so I cannot say I understand or know how it feels but I wish to express how courageous I think you are! Never apologize to anyone for expressing exactly how you feel, it is how YOU feel and we all have the right to experience our feelings and emotions in OUR OWN way!