Friday, November 15, 2013

The post that has absolutely nothing to do with running or a healthy lifestyle

  • I don't usually do two posts in a row, but I'm having a shitty day.  You know, the kind where you feel like crying for no reason and where you feel you have no one to talk to that will understand? That's me right now.
  • This morning I was driving through Six Nations Reserve to get to Brantford (where I had a work meeting).  Whenever I drive to Brantford, I swing onto Six Nations to get cheap gas.  It's totally worth it.  Gas in Hamilton was 125.6/liter today.  I paid .96/liter on Six Nations.  I spent time afterwards just driving around. I felt peaceful for the first time in a long time. Six Nations is a Mohawk reserve. I'm Ojibwa, from Serpent River in Cutler Ontario. I've been to my reserve once. To meet my birth mother in April 2010. My visit to Cutler was a stressful one because of the circumstances. 
  • I am a lost soul. I never fit into the "white" world where I was raised, and I always felt left out of the Native world where I should have belonged.  My adoptive parents loved me.  My mother loved me, my father still does.  It made no difference to them what I was.  My paternal grandmother was not happy that my parents adopted Native children (my sister and I).  And although we were not ostracized from our family, it was blatantly obvious that we were different from the fair haired, light skinned members of our adopted clan. Since my mother's death, I have had ZERO contact with her side of the family. I have reached out a few times, only to be ignored. Not one of my mother's relatives came to Julien's baptism. They would have been there if my mother was still alive. She would have accepted nothing less.
  • I love people. People of any race, nationality, creed or sexual orientation. You name it, I love them! I work with disadvantaged youth who come from very diverse cultural backgrounds, and have numerous traits that society may deem unfavorable. I treat them all the same and work as equally hard for one as I do for the other. I advocate for them with 100% conviction.  That's just how I roll.  I abhor discrimination and oppression and have zero tolerance for people who make derogatory comments about others.  It makes me shut down.
  • If I hear one more person complain about how immigrants are taking Christmas away from Canada, I am going to scream.  It's immigrants who brought Christmas to Canada in the first place.  I can assure you that before European settlement, Christmas was not celebrated on this continent.  Christianity was brought to the First Nations people in a very abusive and oppressive manner.  If you have never heard of residential schools, I suggest you hit the link.  I am not writing this to offend and I apologize if someone reading this is offended.  I have nothing against any religion.  I am simply stating that you have the right to be Christian in Canada, as well as the right to be Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish...whatever religion or non-religion you believe in.  Canada is not a Christian country in my opinion.  First Nations people practice sacred ceremonies/beliefs that do not fall under the umbrella of religion.  That being said, I was raised a Catholic and am raising my son a Catholic.  
  • My most hated racist name? Paki.  I mean, any racist name causes me to cringe, but I absolutely hate hearing someone say Paki. When I was a child I was called a Paki all the time.  I am not from Pakistan. I would never refer to a person from Pakistan as a Paki.  I am...what am I? Am I Native, Aboriginal, Native Canadian, Indian, First Nations, Saulteaux, Chippewa, Bungi, Anishinabe, Ojibwe or simply Ojibwa? I'm not sure what the politically correct name is for me. My government says I am an Indian.  It says so on my Indian status card. But sadly, I don't even know what to refer to myself as.
  • Although I felt peaceful while on Six Nations, I started to feel anxious as I drove back to Hamilton. I always think of my birth mother anytime I am near anything that has to do with the Native culture. There were so many things left unsaid between us, and I'll never get to tell her things I wanted to say, or ask her the questions I wanted answered. I just need to let that go.
  • Today I needed my mother. I needed to talk to her.  No one loves you as much as your mother does. I love someone beyond reason, but no one loves me like that anymore. I was very close to my mother. She was not perfect. Far from it. But we had a special bond. It was me she asked for on her death bed and I was alone with her when she took her last breath. Second to Julien's birth, it was the most important moment in my life. And one that I can never get out of my memory. I wish I could because hers was not a peaceful death.  I lied to my father, my brothers and my sister and told them that she died in her sleep. She was semi-conscious when she died and struggled horribly for her last breath. I wanted to ease their pain and have held that secret inside me for over 10 years.
  • I'm not sure why I wrote this post. I may very well hit publish, then take it down.  All I know is that I needed to write this for me because my heart is heavy and I'm not sure why I feel this way today. 


  1. I was not adopted - but for some reason I totally get this post!! I have an adopted sister (my sister's child who my mother adopted) and a brother who was adopted, later to find out that he was part Maori (our indigenous people). He also found his birth mother years after my mother died. It turns out that his birth mother never had another living child and he is her only son. Sad and happy all at the same time!

    I am sad that your mother's family treat you like this, that is rubbish. I also hate racist names. I was raised a Catholic but am no longer. You see, there are threads all through your post I relate to :)

  2. I recently found your blog in the past few weeks but have not commented on your posts up till now. I simply wanted to say that today this post made me smile as I shed a tear at the same time. Your son is blessed to have such a soulful person to guide him as he grows. Your mothers are watching you from heaven with their souls full of pride for the woman you have become because of their love. Thank you for sharing your heart tonight, it for one, helped me with some issues I have been dealing with.

  3. I'm so sorry Leigh, I hope it helps that you got that out, secrets are no good. I have no advice, only to say "this too shall pass" and you will feel better. xoxo

  4. Oh Leigh. My heart breaks for you. I wish there was something I could do...something more I can say. You have holes in your heart that I realize can't be filled, and I am so sorry for that. I wish you could find some sort of support group for displaced Native Canadians....some group to which you would feel right and like you are amongst peoples like yourself. That still won't fill the hole in your heart re your mothers. I grieve for you. Love you!

  5. I felt for you reading this post. It also reminded me of my dear friend back in the states who is Potawatomi ... I miss her so much. She wasn't adopted and I saw the very close, loving relationship she had with her family, and the pride they had in their heritage. I wish you had that support as well, but I agree your mothers are still there for you. If those family members don't appreciate the lovely person that you are, it's their loss.

  6. I was very sad to read your post. I had a mother who treated me differently than my brothers, and I was not adopted, so I know the hurt of family rejection. In my case, one of my brothers has continued her nastiness toward me. The strange thing is my other brother and I are still connected, and the nasty brother, who has been abusive to both of us, has no family.

    Remember you are a kind, beautiful woman who has a lot of heart and strength. You have shown that time and time again. I wish you blessings and peace. I'm still looking for peace myself, and I wish I had more answers for you, but life can still be good, if we look for the good in others who will return our love.

  7. " All I know is that I needed to write this for me because my heart is heavy and I'm not sure why I feel this way today."

    I think we all feel for you as we read your post. I hope also that in writing your article it did in some way help you.

    I am a great believer in positive thoughts but at times positive thoughts dessert us.
    My positive thoughts for you are skimming over the inter-net.................

    All the best Jan

  8. Leigh my heart goes out to you as your post made me cry. I feel blessed though that you share with us even what is painful or hard to understand no matter how hard we try. I hope that by sharing with us, we can share that burden with you so it is not all in your heart and on your shoulders. Sometimes life doesn't make sense that is for sure.

    Much hugs and love - xo.

  9. Oh Leigh - I'm so sorry. It is exhausting carrying around that heavy of a secret. I do hope you felt a bit better having talked about it here.

  10. Saying a prayer for you Leigh, your value in this world is beyond measure!

  11. Hugs to you Leigh!

    I cannot imagine what it is , to not being able to speak to your Mum! My mum's back in India and I still miss her, and cry on the phone sometimes! Also I love your thoughts on religion and I am amazed how open and aware you are to all religions, not very many people know any other religion than Christianity and here in Canada -Sikhism! Me being an immigrant myself I celebrate Diwali and Christmas and teach my kids that God is one, he just has different names in different parts of the world.

  12. Leigh
    Sending positive thoughts your way.
    Just remember that you are never alone. Sometimes it may feel like it but you have a lot of people that love you see you happy! I am one of them.

  13. I am so sorry you are struggling with internal thoughts. Maybe talking about it here has helped. I hope so.

  14. I've been reading your blog for a few weeks now and I have enjoyed reading about your return to running, your love for your son and husband and your random thoughts.

    Today you felt what you felt. There doesn't need to be a reason on a conscious level, its there. Just accept that its there and you'll know the reason when you're meant to know it.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. Your weight-loss achievements and rediscovered joy for life is inspiring.