I want to write a novel about Silence…the things people don’t say. But the difficulty is immense…

Virginia Woolf

Silence found its voice.

Janet Frame

It has now been a month since I created this blog. Instead of trolling, I thought I would write another post. Mostly I have been ignored or deleted. It seems that all positive experiences are used as a testament to the greatness of Haven but all negative experiences are used as proof of the individual’s lack of self-responsibility and are deleted.

Which leads me to ask, what is the purpose of Haven? If it is a resort then it would be not surprising, even understandable, to market themselves appropriately and attempt to hide any negative publicity.

If they are trying to share ideas then this censorship is highly concerning. If they are trying to offer therapy or education then it is an alarm. I am very concerned, and appear to be the only one who is very concerned, that there is proof of unethical behaviour involving children that no one is willing to speak up about or indeed, even look into. I was once told, in regards to the kid’s program, at Haven we let people be who they are. 

I can’t imagine anyone saying this about unethical behaviour of a teacher working with children. Most kids at Haven come from very secure homes and this is not hugely problematic, partly because they are not targeted and partly because they have advocates. We need, rather, to focus on how to let these kids be themselves. I learned very quickly, very young, that being myself didn’t work at Haven.

So I have broken the silence. Some people literally run away from me when they see me. I thought one person was going to run me over.

I want to be the voice for those lost in a system where those with power are allowed to break the rules because they are being themselves and those without power are silenced. And I am human and my frustration has not always come across as caring, nor my intellect always been respectful. Still, that many people preferred me when I played dumb says something.

Who are we letting be themselves? And if Haven ideas are true, why do they need to be protected? I may have been a troll but I have no powers against truth. My aim is to uncover truth, not destroy it.

These days whenever I look at The Haven website it appears more and more plastic to me. More and more like a toothpaste ad. This blog is messy, sometimes unattractive, but it is authentic. I am not claiming to be teaching anyone what communication is, or what empathy is… When I go to the Haven website I also think this: who are these people to teach the world what empathy is?

If we are going to be pedantic about language–and it is clear that we are–perhaps The Haven should say that participants will explore communication ideas, or empathy ideas, rather than be taught them. That anyone holds the key to what it means to be human and what it means to be in a human relationship is absurd. I was always being taught and in return was taught that I had nothing to teach. Now that I have rejected this claim I have also been rejected.

So while I haven’t always been nice, I haven’t always been heard, I have often disagreed… I have been true to myself and I have broken the silence. It felt like waking up in a different planet. It felt like my skin was my invisible clothing. It felt like Nanaimo graffiti and eating gravel. It felt like all of the toothpaste ads started to tell the truth. And the truth is: the people who talk about how they should floss their teeth are always the people who don’t. The same can be said about gratitude, honesty, etc…

It is no fun to stand alone.

And I would stay here, alone, as myself for an eternity before going back to being invisible.

They’re only invisible Super Anti-Hero pajamas after all… This is still me. This is more me than anything previously. If you want the toothpaste ad version, this ain’t it. I was a heroin addict but breaking free from the Haven pattern was harder than quitting heroin.

Except for one difference… the drug dealer always answers my calls.

Heroin was only ever a stand-in for silence. Silence was the ocean, heroin was the life jacket.

So what have I learned? I know how to swim.