Comment ça va ?

Avant la pandémie, c’était la question polie à laquelle on répondait généralement « bien merci, et vous/toi ? » avant de passer à autre chose.

Pendant la pandémie, elle est devenue une question piège. Au fil des mois, il devenait plus difficile de répondre aussi simplement car pour plusieurs, les ennuis s’accumulaient.

Certains intimes, la posait avec compassion, en vue d’un échange réel. Trop peu, malheureusement.

D’autres, submergés par les tracas ou pour les éviter, ont tout simplement arrêté de l’utiliser.

J’aurais aimé qu’après des années de pandémie, on aurait perdu l’habitude d’utiliser cette question avec légèreté et qu’on serait parvenu à l’utiliser pour renforcer des liens de manière plus personnelle avec les gens autour de nous.

Mais, non.

De mon côté, je la pose comme je la posais en 2020 – dans le but de soutenir et de comprendre, suivant toujours mon mauvais pli d’essayer à tout prix d’aider.

En 2023 par contre, il n’y a de place que pour le positif. On est passé du « ça va bien aller » au « tout va très bien ! ».

Parce qu’allez mal maintenant, c’est comme tombé malade – ça représente une faille de personnalité.

Vive le déni, quoi !

Depuis plus longtemps encore, cette question est devenue une bombe à retardement pour moi.

On croirait qu’après cinq (5) années de troubles de santé, les « amis » et même les plus lointaines connaissances auraient une idée de ma situation. Eh bien, non !

Comment ça va ?

J’ai essayé d’éviter de répondre, j’ai essayé de répondre le plus succinctement possible, j’ai essayé d’expliquer. Dans presque tous les cas, la réponse est la même peu importe le mode de communication – un lourd silence qui précède souvent une disparition pour une année, ou de manière permanente.

Non seulement on m’offre le silence, mais il est souvent précédé de l’aveuglement et suivi de vantardise.

Car ces demandes se présentent toujours avec un biais précis – la positivité. Sûrement que je vais mieux, sûrement que je travaille, sûrement que je voyage, sûrement que je vois ma famille dans une autre ville, sûrement que je peux me déplacer pour aller les voir.

Sûrement qu’on a une image de moi qui malgré toutes ces années, ne répond en aucun cas à ma réalité. Et à chaque demande, on me rappelle cruellement ce que je ne peux plus faire.

Est-ce qu’on fait ça avec tout le monde ou seulement les égarées comme moi ?

Je dois avouer que lorsque je n’ai pas de nouvelles de quelqu’un, je pense souvent que c’est parce qu’ils sont pris par de belles choses dans leurs vies et non des tracas.

Le déni, l’aveuglement, le silence, la vantardise.

Rien pour créer des relations durables et enrichissantes.

Mais on n’en a pas besoin, vous me dites – on a les voyages ! La course ! Les promotions ! Alouette !

Alors soyez préventifs et concentrez-vous là-dessus et arrêtez de me poser vos questions bidon qui ne servent, au bout du compte, qu’à un préambule pour vous vanter que « tout va bien » même si souvent, ce n’est qu’un mirage.


Many moons ago, I registered to an Executive MBA program. One of these weekend programs that tries to impart knowledge to mature professionals who needed a stamp of approval for their careers. For me, one of the program<s big problems, was that you had to match up in teams of 5 people during the first introductory session and remain a team for the 2-year duration of the program (!)

One class however, Information Systems, allowed you to submit individual papers. I loved that class. It was a perfect mix of management, technology, and information sharing.

But you still had to meet as a group to discuss cases. At one of these meetings, we were asked to create an information management system for a t-shirt shop.

Three of my teammates worked in middle to senior management at huge companies. They talked endlessly of the systems being used in their organization and came up with ridiculous options for the 2‑employee shop in the scenario we had been given.

I intervened a few times, “but it’s a small shop, we need something adapted to the owners’ needs”. As would be the case my entire 32-year career, they quickly dismissed all my interventions.

Our papers were individually submitted and corrected. The marks of my teammates ran between 35% and 65%.

My grade was 95%. But although super flattering, this story is not about me.

It’s about people who demonstrate rigidity of thinking, by being unable or unwilling to move out of their comfort and knowledge zones and the terrible fall out this creates.

We are still living in dystopian times, with children desperately needing care in hospitals that can no longer cope, lingering heath issues in adults, rampant inflation stopping many from housing and feeding themselves, supply issues stemming from a European war which may be made much worse by China’s abandonment of its draconian Zero Covid policies.

But an overabundance of stubborn “experts” refuse to see these times as extraordinary and adapt their thinking and knowledge accordingly.

For example, the Bank of Canada with its “we’ve always raised rates in inflation times, so we’ll do it again now”stance, blaming high wages (increasing labour costs) and massive employment numbers for inflation and the high prices of food (but never the high prices established by private oligarchies like Telecoms and grocery stores). And the top economists of establishment financial institutions concur with this principle. But no matter how much people want to deny it, we are not living in normal times.

The last global pandemic was more than a century ago and 16 years before the creation of our Canadian central bank. Add to this the country-wide invasion of Ukraine by Russia (much worse than the 2014 Crimean invasion), not to mention the worldwide environmental precariousness and we should see that what worked historically, in a completely different global economic system, could now fail and possibly be highly detrimental to the country and its citizens.

But don’t take my word for it. Here’s a paper on exactly this from the Centre for the Future of Work.

In another sphere, the World Health Organization (WHO) and Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) held on closely to the “Covid droplet transmission” belief, increasing risk and facilitating the deaths of millions.

The WHO only began promoting ventilation to control spread of the virus (only useful for controlling airborne pathogens) in November 2020, but only changed a mention on its website about this on April 30, 2021 without even communicating the change to the public. The CDC waited until early May to admit the probability of airborne transmission. Even as far as March 2022, the description of the virus as “airborne” was almost completely absent from public WHO communications, outside of one webpage.

The CDC only stated that transmissibility of Covid was similar to chickenpox (an extremely transmissible airborne virus) in August 2021.

Public Health Canada in January 2020, in spite of China moving to airborne protections and the research between the SARS 1 outbreak of 2003 and Covid in 2020, refused to admit Covid was an airborne disease.

Once the Canadian agency admitted to airborne transmission in November 2020, it refused to use the word “airborne” in its communications for another 2 years.

Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) allowed hospitals to continue believing the “droplet dogma” of Covid transmission, introducing the use of plexiglass in hospitals where better air circulation should’ve been introduced, and stopping staff from using better protective equipment.

This meant that in May 2020, I was asked to take off my KN95 mask in a hospital, to put on a large, baggy, blue surgical mask. A year later (May 2021) I was asked to put the surgical mask over my KN95 mask and then had to wait for a prolonged period in a plexiglass filled environment.

Closer to my home, Ottawa Public Health advised individuals taking physical activity classes that they could remove masks during the activity. I only took in person Tai Chi classes and was the only one masking in one class and one of two in the other. A few participants wore masks in getting to the class, but took it off once inside the gym.

The 2022 article What were the historical reasons for the resistance to recognizing airborne transmission during the COVID-19 pandemic? Says it best:

“…the hesitancy to consider or adopt the idea of airborne transmission of pathogens was, in part, due to a conceptual error that was introduced over a century ago and became ingrained in the public health and infection prevention fields: a dogma that transmission of respiratory diseases is caused by large droplets, and thus, droplet mitigation efforts would be good enough. These institutions also displayed a reluctance to adjust even in the face of evidence, in line with sociological and epistemological theories of how people who control institutions can resist change, especially if it seems threatening to their own position; how groupthink can operate, especially when people are defensive in the face of outsider challenge; and how scientific evolution can happen through paradigm shifts, even as the defenders of the old paradigm resist accepting that an alternative theory has better support from the available evidence.”

But now there are no mask mandates at all and whichever organization refused to spend money on proper ventilation will continue to refuse to do so.

The message I’m hearing is “you can wear a mask if you want, but I will not”. Do you remember a time when people told you: “why don’t you come and sit in the smoking section with us, you don’t have to smoke yourself”? I know better now and would never agree to this, but a big chunk of the reason is because of the banning of indoor smoking. As they say, once you know better, you do better.

But knowing better about Covid got highjacked.

I never thought I would live in a country that allowed kids to get very sick, while at the same time refuse to give nurses well deserved raises, increasing staff shortages. Yes, healthcare here is a provincial responsibility, but all provinces seem to follow with these dogmatic neo-liberalism beliefs that public services are bad, increased privatization is great and we need to maximize private profits at all costs, to the detriment of decent wages, citizens’ health be damned.

Government politicians, hospital CEOs, and senior public health officials don’t face the same risk in getting long-term side effects of Covid or dying from the virus. They have better access to health and medical resources, and inflation has not diminished their wealth. They know who to go to for medical help if needed, and most importantly, who to avoid. They will not be waiting in line anywhere. They have money to spend on any type of prescribed medication.

Their risk, is not our risk.

Ensconced in their health and wealth cocoon, they will not see the desperation and horror around them. They are safe. Anyone getting quite sick is old, or a victim of their own failings and mistakes.

Because they feel superior in their health and only care about themselves and their own, there’s only one way they will change their behaviour and introduce needed change, may it be the funding of better air quality mechanisms, walking back wage cuts (any increase below the inflation rate is a cut, the smaller the increase, the bigger the cut) and/or targeted mask mandates.

They need to get very, very sick. So very sick that they will be stripped of their professional armour and dignity to realize that health is a gift, not a badge of honour. It can be taken away in a week, a day, a minute.

I want them to be so sick, that they finally realize that major illness is not a choice but often the result of unforeseen circumstances and that they owe others support to better health, whenever possible.

Contrary to the dogmatic, I am a pragmatic and want the horrors to stop by any means necessary.

You may see me as heartless, but I reserve my empathy and compassion for the people going through hell right now, victims of the rigidity of thought of too many.

Additional Sources

Plexiglass can be ‘counterproductive’ to proper COVID-19 ventilation, experts say | CBC News

Did Global Health Bodies Fail to Stop COVID-19? | The Agenda – YouTube (March 2022)

What were the historical reasons for the resistance to recognizing airborne transmission during the COVID‐19 pandemic? – Jimenez – 2022 – Indoor Air – Wiley Online Library

Scientists warring over how COVID-19 is transmitted: droplets/touch vs aerosols – YouTube (September 2021) discussion on the Canada situation at 9:00 min but the whole interview is interesting.

Covid-19 has redefined airborne transmission (

The 60-Year-Old Scientific Screwup That Helped Covid Kill | WIRED (May 2021) – kudos to librarians everywhere!

December 6th (repost from 2019)

I don’t think about it very often.

Just every December.

I don’t think about it very often.

Just every time I hear .”girls on one side; boys on the other”.

I don’t think about it very often.

Just anytime I hear a reference to “La Polytechnique” even if it refers to a different school, a continent away.

And I wasn’t even there.

I was attending a 5:30 pm class that Thursday, but because I sucked at science, I was in another university in Montreal.

Friends of mine, young men and young women, were there. They survived physically, but were never again the same.

It was the first time I encountered pure and deadly hatred. Hatred of young women just like me, only brighter, and with the courage to work in a field where few had succeeded before them.

I got to live; and my sisters didn’t.

No rime, no reason.

They were robbed of all that was good, all that could’ve been. Every year, I cry and rage about it.

Then I move on telling myself that in living well, I honour their memory.

But do I really…

30 years and counting.

All I can do is remember them.


From: The Canadian Encyclopedia

Looking Back

I’ve been silent here (again).

I’ve written many texts, but none felt worthy of putting up here. I looked back at what I had written over the six years of my blog and it felt like the voice of a different person.

I write clunky now, like my body.

Back then, if you would’ve asked me what I wanted from life, I would’ve said:

  • Good health
  • More time to read and learn new things.
  • More time to travel (I wanted 10 more big trips)
  • A job I enjoyed.
  • A simpler life – less stress, less obligations

Well, be careful what you wish for they say. And 2 out of 5 ain’t bad, as the song goes.

I learned so much over the last years. So much useless stuff. So much about the people around me. So many things I wished I had never learned.

And I can’t go back. To hold on to the idea that I could, would deny my possible futures.

Nonetheless, my hard-won insights are many.

Here are the ones I can share today:

  • When interacting with others don’t listen to the words, listen to the silences and look to the actions. They will tell you all you need to know to choose your people wisely.
  • If life hits your hard, don’t stubbornly waste energy on getting back to the normal of before. Use it to move forward instead, wherever that is.
  • People who have only known health and wealth do not want to hear about the perils of life, only the joys.
  • Work stops most of us from creating genuine connections, and that is exactly the way many want it.
  • The more you try to make people like you, the more they will dismiss you.

And my most important insight:

If to no one but myself, I matter.

Do you know this for yourself?

Vulnerability in Dystopian Times

I took a walk recently with an acquaintance. It was a lovely mild winter day. We were walking in a quiet area near frozen canal waters, closed to skaters due to the mild weather.

We talked about many subjects, but in the air, was a feeling of deep worry. We were surrounded you see, by hundreds of big rigs, trucks and SUVs occupying our town.

I never expected to be forced to leave work permanently. I never expected a global pandemic. I never expected to have my city occupied carelessly and arrogantly by other Canadians. I never expected, as I told my acquaintance, that I would face a personal, global and now local dystopia.

But here I am.

And here we are.

What led us there? I have my theory, and it starts with vulnerability.

We may not realize it, but we live in a world where vulnerability is not only frowned up and discouraged, but also weaponized in a way that benefits only the evil amongst us.

Why did I hide the extent of my illness from people at work? Because I feared it would be used to toss me aside, deny me opportunities and give me negative performance reviews, leading to my firing. Had I suffered from debilitating mental health issues instead of physical issues, I would have been even more fearful.

My worries came true.  When I couldn’t go back to my extremely demanding job or even work fulltime, I was told to just do it, or leave. There was no room in that organization for perceived weakness or accommodations for an energy limiting chronic illness.

Why are so many disabled individuals denied jobs and financial support? Because there is no room in our world for perceived weakness and vulnerability. If, and only if, you overcome whatever ails you to be as productive as abled people, will you be given a chance. This is ableism.

The abnegation of vulnerability is rampant. It is at the root of the emotional repression (outside of anger, of course) at the heart of toxic masculinity, an exclusion of anything socially seen as not utterly alpha male, keeping misogynistic beliefs well fed.

On a materialistic level, small cars almost disappeared from our roads, taken over by expensive SUVs, and bigger pickup trucks to protect ourselves from others. They are here, intimidating and fueling hate.

All this refusal of vulnerability doesn’t make us more willing to help people in need. It makes people who have had to hide their suffering turn around and deny comfort to others. It stifles helping and sharing efforts and reduces them to quick monetary gifts.

Empathy, so rare these days is also often refused by the people who need it the most. How dare you think I can’t handle X?

“You are so strong”, I’ve been told. Funny how saying this often frees us from helping. Vulnerability is seen as a moral failing, leaving us with very few emotional supports.

We have homeless populations because we want to believe that becoming homeless is a moral failing and, as a society, we elect political parties that will not force us to pay more taxes to help the issue. Same with contributions to healthcare.

Which leads us back to the occupation. It started by a claim that public health mandates (requiring vaccination and mask wearing) should be lifted everywhere in the country. Loudly and consistently, they yelled “FREEDOM” and harassed others in a manner that makes you think it’s more about doing whatever they want, whenever they want, than a genuine annoyance with mandates.

In the past 2 years, you might have questioned why it was so hard for a minority of people to wear a mask for the time it took them to shop for groceries. Why these individuals often infantilize protective actions by calling mask wearing putting “a diaper on your face”. Why so many simply refuse to have a tiny needle vaccinate them. They may suffer from needle phobia and never want to admit their vulnerability, or refuse to entertain the idea of sickness and death.

Maybe, just maybe, we created a world where vulnerability is so disregarded, so hated, that many will go to war over recognizing it in any form.

I have been more vulnerable these last 3 weeks that I have ever been in my life. Being disabled and financially at risk, in a global pandemic, in a neighborhood occupied by an angry mob determined to look strong while intimidating and harassing others.

But true strength never comes from denial. It comes from the acceptance of reality and the associated fear, as well as sharing the load to overcome, whenever possible.

Until we accept vulnerability as an inherent part of our lives and strive to offer collective support, anger filled events will become more and more common in my city, and everywhere else.

New Year, New Age

A new year is ahead. Contrary to my high expectations for 2020 and 2021, I’m keeping things real this time.

I saw a little game on Twitter where you snapped a pic of a continuous loop of words and the one you fell on was to be the word representing your year ahead.

Mine was “basic”.

Can’t argue with that.

Real and basic have been brought to me by my health issues, then the pandemic.

Before Omicron slowly hit us in late 2021, I was keen to see a new life chapter unfold, to meet new people and take part in new activities.

Yes, I wrote “new” three times because the old-old is very gone and the recent old is dreadful.

I recognize how privileged I am to be able to safely retreat from active life to keep my health safer.

But I also feel deep hurt at having been retreated from active life. Professionally, of course, but also by the lack of in-person encounters, sharing and caring experiences. The emotional loneliness is choking me.

It took me quite a while to let go of the idea of getting back to being who I was before going on disability. Then longer to see that many around me were no longer interested in interacting with a different me. After countless “everything is my life is more important than connecting with you”, I finally got the message last year.

The French have a saying “loin des yeux, loin du coeur” (loose translation: far from the eyes, far from the heart). I saw it more as far from the heart, far from the eyes.

Living alone with health challenges and no family to reach out to for help offers many challenges most people around me won’t imagine. Is it a lack of imagination or empathy, or both? Who knows, the result for me is the same.

There is a hurt that is deep when you tell people about your struggles and in return, they offer silence or platitudes, never emotional support or practical help. As the popular meme goes, the ones who’d rather give me a high five than help to save me from drowning.

I do have very good friends who live in other cities, with whom I keep in touch virtually for shared emotional support, and I have a few acquaintances here willing to go out for walks with me every once in a while, but when you spend weeks not seeing anyone you know and are left to spend the entirety of the Holiday Season by yourself for the second year in a row, it’s hard to hold on to a feeling of mattering.

Yet I matter to myself.

So I’ve moved to stop feeling like a beggar of people’s time, a beggar for help, a beggar to matter, by letting go of the people who had brought me there. I made room for the new in order to have a different life, more aligned with my emotional and practical needs.

But I can’t move on quite yet: the pandemic won’t let me.

And the in-between is often quite frightening. I may write an entire post about my nightmares and short- and long-term worries.

In the meantime, I’ll keep holding on to the hope that this is simply another pause on the road to better.

I hope.


I can’t share banal conversation knowing what I know.

Knowing at my worst, you had no time for me.

Too busy achieving, too busy enjoying, too busy renovating.

Making me empty promises to feel good about yourself, righteous, empathic.

I’m tired of saving you from your thoughtlessness.

Your privilege and safety blind you.

I have no time to make the scales fall from your eyes.

Will they, even?

Tell me how everything in your life has been more important than talking to me.

I should be grateful for the crumbs you’ve thrown my way?

Why? You wouldn’t.

Yes, I’m less than now.

Be grateful.

I’m not sitting in darkness.

You’re willing yourself blind.

What you don’t see can’t hurt you?


“I did so many fun things this summer”

“But you didn’t see me.”


Back to Normal

We’re hearing this expression less and less now, but for the whole of 2020 and part of 2021, it was THE thing to say to get the general population to wash their hands, keep apart, wear a mask, get vaccinated. Do X so we can “go back to normal as soon as possible”.

I was hearing even then though, that we would be under a Covid choke hold for 18 to 24 months, but that message was drowned out by greed tainted with toxic positivity and magical thinking.

Even saying “the new normal” was seen in the media as being too negative a concept.

“We’ll get through this.”

“You got this.”

“Ça va bien aller.”

Gag me.

Just a few months ago, business senior managers were in a tizzy to get employees working their offices to “get back to normal”. A franchise restaurant owner near me even took to Twitter to call on the federal government to force public servants to get back to work downtown so he could make decent money again.

Another silenced message is that no matter when this pandemic ends, it has already fundamentally changed how we see ourselves and the world around us.

Due to my interest in health, I follow on Twitter many accounts of medical professionals and researchers, caregivers, ill and disabled individuals. They will never be the same.

How can they?

The hospital doctors and nurses dealing with waves of unexpected level of illness and death, the caregivers and disabled left alone to deal with their needs or those of a loved one.

The people who required surgeries to get back to a healthy baseline or get rid of their cancers who were left to face additional, heartbreaking delays. Their loved ones witnessing these events, sometimes even having to mourn preventable deaths.

The families of individuals in Long Term Care lost a loved one, often in horrific circumstances.

The elderly who living on their own or in senior residences, so isolated that they lost a major chunk of their cognitive abilities, including the increase of dementia symptoms.

I see it in both my parents and my 89-year old aunt. Both my mom and her lost their will to do things that would keep them healthy.

The parents of young children moved from the stress of having them learn online all day, every day, to sending them to school and hearing every other day about a “case” requiring them to get the whole family tested.

And now Omicron, in indoor weather, on the eve of multiple festive gatherings for the many.

There is no going “back to normal”. For anyone.

The sooner we admit this as a society, the sooner we can start to make lasting changes and heal the many losses.

But society, led by the most privileged who lost the least, still refuses to accept this.

You cannot ask the benefactors of a system to change it.

We have to start doing it for ourselves and our near and dear.

Writer’s Block

I started this blog almost 5 years ago to formalize my thoughts and experiences, try something new, and see what life held for me.

Suffice it to say, life surprised me and brought tons of new things for me to experience.

Just not the way I had hoped.

After my fabulous Australia and New Zealand trip in 2018, things went downhill fast.

I started writing about these experiences, but then slowly started censoring myself. Not that I had less to say, I definitely had more but I knew personally most of my audience and I started worrying more and more about what they would think.

The loud chorus I heard was:

– “Don’t be so negative”,

– “Be the person you were”

– “Do more”.

– “Are you really still sick?”

– “How come, after all this time, the doctors don’t know what you have?”

– “Isn’t there anything else you can do to get better?”

Then the pandemic hit and I was too scared and not knowledgeable enough to discuss much.

21 months later, I see how much damage living confined lives (even after lockdowns were lifted) and mourning the lives we all had before hurt everyone around me.

The privilege of strong finances and health has sheltered many from the worst, but not everyone has been so lucky.

For every fun or kind micro-interaction at the grocery store, the pharmacy, or just walking around, I encounter many more difficult ones, brought on by exasperated and tired people, often worried about their livelihood and/or loved ones. And even from a pedestrian perspective, the road rage on the streets surrounding me is something else.

Since I haven’t made the jump from hurt and fragile yet, I can’t come up with “the moral of this story” material, or even how we can help ourselves out of this dreck. And it leaves me with very little writing material.

But I have plans.

Happy end of the year, all.

« Née pour un petit pain »

Mes parents, grands-parents et arrière-grands parents n’ont jamais fait assez d’argent pour s’acheter une maison.

Ma mère et ma grand-mère maternelle ont eu des problèmes de santé physique similaires, qui les ont reléguées beaucoup trop tôt à l’arrière-plan de leur vie. Ma mère a dû quitter l’école après sa 6e année pour s’occuper de sa mère malade. Cette dernière n’avait alors que 44 ans. Elle a vécu 25 ans, essentiellement enfermée dans un logement.

Malgré un grand amour de la lecture, ma mère a souffert toute sa vie de ce manque d’éducation et je me demande maintenant si cette absence de stimulation cognitive a un jeune âge, n’a pas contribué à la démence dont elle souffre depuis quelques années.

Mon père vient d’une large famille pauvre qui avait à sa tête un père alcoolique et violent. À 18 ans, bien nanti de son cours classique, il trouve refuge au sein de la compagnie où Il avait décroché un emploi de balayeur, puis de représentant à commission.

Il a bénéficié quelques temps d’un salaire élevé pour le temps, mais vendre de la quincaillerie à commission, ce n’est pas fabuleux. À force de faillites et de reprise d’affaire en liquidation de la compagnie pour laquelle il voulait tellement continuer à travailler, il a basculé lentement mais sûrement vers le seuil de la pauvreté, nous amenant avec lui.

À toutes les semaines, il me montrait son chèque de paie et me disait de combien il avait diminué. La précarité financière, je l’ai comprise très tôt.

Malgré tout, j’ai cru pouvoir faire mon chemin en oubliant mes antécédents.

Erreur majeure.

« Né pour un petit pain » est, selon moi, l’expression la plus déprimante de la langue québécoise. Essentiellement, elle veut dire que ceux nés pauvres et sans statut social vont finir pauvres et sans statut social. Aucun espoir d’améliorer sa situation.

Depuis mon enfance, j’ai détesté ce concept. Encouragée par la télé américaine et la capacité de ce pays de croire que tout le monde peut réaliser ses rêves, j’ai continué d’y croire.

J’ai fait de l’amélioration continue mon champ de bataille au niveau personnel et professionnel.

La belle affaire.

Je ne savais pas, à l’époque, que les meilleurs déterminants de succès d’un enfant (mobilité sociale verticale) étaient le niveau d’éducation et le revenu de ses parents. Avec la 6e année d’éducation de ma mère et le secondaire de mon père, la base n’était pas solide.

Je ne l’ai compris que beaucoup plus tard, avec le traumatisme psychologique et ses répercussions dans la vie de tous les jours.

J’étais fière de faire partie de la première génération de mes deux familles (avec un cousin qui ne me côtoie pas) à décrocher une maîtrise. Pourtant, cet accomplissement n’a jamais effacé le fait que mon bac m’a pris 13 ans, avec une pause de 10 ans suivant mon burnout à 22 ans. Mon père utilisait mon succès scolaire pour bien paraître devant ses pairs, mais ne voulait pas payer mes études. Travailler et étudier à temps plein, cela m’a coûté très, très cher.

Ce sont des choses qui arrivent quand tu manques de soutien moral et financier, mais là encore, je n’y voyais rien et me trouvais seulement faible et pourrie pour gérer mes affaires.

J’ai continué de travailler très fort pour atteindre un statut qui, je le croyais bêtement, m’offrirait une protection financière pour le reste de mes jours, quitte à travailler septuagénaire. Mais plus que tout, je croyais trouver au fil des succès professionnels, une porte vers des gens qui me comprendraient et me trouveraient acceptable.

Je vous laisse deviner comment le tout s’est terminé.

Je savais bien sûr que le sort peut t’enlever pleins de choses en une fraction de seconde, mais je ne m’étais jamais imaginée que mon corps allait flancher, tout seul et assez, pour que je ne puisse plus gagner ma vie. Ça, même en ayant vu ma mère et ma grand‑mère souffrir.

C’est fort, le déni.

Et l’arrogance.

Mon corps me force à tirer ma révérence de la scène professionnelle. Sans remerciements, sans fête, ma carrière est prématurément et abruptement terminée. Avec elle, mes espoirs de vivre assez protégée et entourée.

J’espère encore éviter le seuil de la pauvreté, mais en vieillissant, avec peu d’espoir d’arrondir mes fins de mois, ce n’est pas hors du possible.

« Née pour un petit pain » englobe tellement plus que jamais je le croyais. Oui, le bagage socio‑économique, mais aussi génétique et psychologique.

Avoir su.

Et ben, je savais, mais ne voulais pas voir.

Je veux croire que mieux s’en vient, mais après avoir vécu la pandémie et vu le haussement des barrières protectives isoler les moins bien nantis, ceux‑qui manquent de santé, d’argent, de pouvoir et/ou de liens sociaux. L’inconnu me fait très peur.

Et la démence.

J’ai vu comment la société dispose des personnes malades et/ou âgées, particulièrement lorsqu’elles n’ont pas d’alliés. Le changement climatique amène avec lui des tonnes de pertes et les plus chanceux crient « après moi le déluge, bandes d’idiots ! ».

Les films américains ne se terminaient pas comme ça, jadis.