Tag Archives: My Narrative


A few weeks ago I attended mandatory workplace training in Non-Violent Crisis Intervention and learned a few basic practical applications and physical intervention skills 

As the aggressor one may decide to grab, hit, throw, punch, kick or yell. As the  person being targeted, one may have to avoid, deflect or escape various holds, blows and violent behaviours intended to do you harm.

Each person ideally wants these 3 things in play: Movement. Stability. Safety. If you can’t move, that is a problem. If you fall over at a whisper, that’s a problem. And if you’re not able to maintain relative safety, that is a problem.

Here’s my problem. On either side, aggressor or target, in this scenario, with my current skills and training, I can never have all three in play. Rehearsal was laughable and entirely unrealistic for me as a disabled person, crutch user and general non-combatant (arm-wrestling and logic aside). All this training did for me was to highlight how vulnerable I really am, how invisible disability still is, and how fantastic it would be to have an All Bodies Defence Project* to go with All Bodies Dance Project**(www.allbodiesdanceproject).

The messaging I took away was basically, ‘Girl, you are done for.’ The training session was an ablest convention where disability was simply not part of the conversation, there was no awareness, no adaptations or suggestions or even acknowledgement that someone might have limited mobility or other impacts on their participation or experience from either side. It was geared toward the angry, middle-aged, able-bodied white, male stereotype, and everything else was simply out of scope. Everyone played along. I improvised and was invisible until the final 60 seconds when the facilitator gathered everyone round, thanked them for their participation and then pointing a finger right at me said, in a sing song tone suitable for babies only, with not a clue about how fast the day’s work could be undone and his ignorance confirmed, “And you too, dear –you did a great job. Thank you for coming!”.

Respect individuals and their experience. Please! Don’t single me out in a crowd as ‘other’. Don’t talk to me like I’m a child. I am an intelligent, strong, independent, capable, full-grown woman and human being. I have a name, I am actually wearing a name tag: My name is Sam. It is not Dear. Now is the time to practise what you preach.

I wanted to hit him. Instead, I walked away. And nobody noticed. Nobody understood.

It was a very disappointing day.



*I’d love to attend a class on self-defense where persons with disabilities and without could learn and practice skills together to stay safe and there was input from and representation of a variety of people and disciplines (ie: differences in strategy for sighted vs blind or partially sighted persons, crutch vs wheelchair users, youth vs senior, etc.)

**As a dancer with All Bodies Dance I feel respected and valued. Rehearsal is a place where everyone comes to learn together and share experiences, where differences are acknowledged and new ways to move and work together are discovered. Where I never feel out-of-place or at a disadvantage. We dance and have fun doing it in all sorts of non-typical ways!



The Sammy Shuffle: part 24

I unknowingly bought my first pair of jeggings a few weeks ago. I needed a new pair of black pants, and that’s what I got. I’m not crazy about naming/labeling/categorizing everything in the bloody universe, so if you want more detail on any of my textiles, it’s best you just come see me 🙂 My approach to this is similar to other people’s approach to dogs, asking, as everyone in my family is want to do on pretty much a weekly basis, “I met a nice dog the other day! He was about this big, long black fur and had one white paw… Do you know what kind of dog that is?” Without more details, it’s an entertaining lucky guess or series of guesses.

So, I bought the pants after trying them on and feeling like I’d joined the Sisterhood. And, whereas for many (myself included), the difficulty mostly lies in getting pants on, it turns out these are harder to get off. They’re stretchy, just not at the hem that encircles your ankle, which is a problem if, like me, your ability to ‘point’ your toes is mostly non-existent, your balance is pretty awful and you lower limb flexibility is hilariously compromised, despite everything.

As I told Mom later, “It’s been ironically helpful. I have to make myself extraordinarily calm and focused and zen, or else these pants do not come off!” There’s a 5 minute mindfulness/mediation session included with every episode of pant removal as I work to relax those muscles and reward myself with a less thought out jump into pajamas at the end of the day.

Good night, friends 🙂


Not for me.

I wrote myself an unavoidable note today…




Followed by a list of alternative beverage choices.

I don’t know what it is, or why, but coffee and I are non-compatible, and that is non-negotiable. The room spins and I feel nauseous and shaky for hours. Doesn’t matter how small the dose or what type of environment, the result is the same.

Today was my last cup of the stuff.

Never again.


early thursdays

Notes on the tail-end of the week:

I couldn’t sleep. Thursday was a bit of a blur; rather indistinct. Sorry, Wednesday — it is currently 1:17am on Thursday, hence the post title. But when I went to sleep, though I didn’t stay that way, it was Wednesday. Wednesday was a blur.

Right here, right now, I am restless and I am not going to fight myself to go back to dreamland. This post is for lack of any better alternative and also a chance to literally clear my mind. My mind has been very busy. I have been very busy.


I have worked hard to get to this place. I can afford to be generous, and my answer to anything right now is “Go for it! Why not?”

Cashew ice-cream (dairy-free) is awesome. Best part of the week 😀

I’m in a process of renewal. It started with a hair-cut this summer (in August?!) and since then, I’ve been on a roll.


Work is on my mind. I am hoping to get through the next 2 weeks in one piece, and fingers crossed that by that time the majority of ducks will be in a row. The current office space is in Vancouver. The BB Admins are cobbling together the necessities this week, finishing up adjustment/training period #1 next week and preparing to roll out the new and improved version the following week. At least, that’s how the picture looks in my head.

Here’s hoping I can stay strong and see the new and improved version to a successful conclusion. After that, I would like to request a 7-day chunk where I can take time away from everything and give it back to myself.

I’d like to be able to recharge enough so that I can stop scheduling my days and resorting to #notenoughtimeintheday. I’d like to give myself enough time to accomplish what needs to be done and then actually have time to be bored! 2 days, 4 days — from past experience — is not enough time. But 7 days, I think would be sufficient 🙂



Rough seas

Moral of the story: Everything is connected. And sometimes all you can do is wait.

Lately, I’ve been living day by day and week by week, being as flexible as I can while still striving for peace and continuity in the office and out of it.

It has been long! I can hardly wait to be in the new space and for our metaphorical boat to find a safe harbour at last –because it’s getting a little too choppy, the boat is constantly rocking and I’m very, very close to becoming metaphorically seasick. The crew is doing their best, and I am thankful everyday to be able to work with such a great team, but completing this transition will be a huge relief. Posting references to progress in this regard has also been a huge relief, and I plan to continue to do so.

If I died tomorrow and some things didn’t get done before then, I would be upset. On the other hand, if I died tomorrow and some other things didn’t get done before then, I would not be upset at all.

This is how my priorities are being structured at the moment.

If I don’t have enough tea and enough sleep before my death day, I will be very upset. Everything else will be just fine, I’m sure.


Life In General:

Thoughts from today on how I got here and where I’m going.

Friends, I worked really hard to follow the prompts for an extended period of time from August 5 to Sept 18 to give myself a bit of a challenge and look at things through a slightly different lens — so if you get the chance to explore and read some of the resulting posts, that would be super cool!

2017 at the office has been intense. Non-stop activity. Incredible support, superb team work, plenty of problem-solving and several lifetimes worth of transitions. My excitement maybe doesn’t translate directly on to the page, but I am so thrilled, and feel so amazingly privileged to work and grow with a phenomenal team of people and contribute to the betterment of society and mental health. I’m gonna cry happy tears (really, this could apply to Life In General, but in regard to this paragraph, I’m speaking of Work in particular). It’s still in progress, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and it is a beautiful thing. I have no words left.

My space looks like a tornado blew through. A small tornado. That’s what I like about having less stuff– it makes less mess. I don’t know if that classifies as laziness, creativeness, problem-solving, or lack of attachment to extras or all of the above. It works for me though!

I only just realized this, but quality time is such a casual reference to something that is so utterly essential to how I interact with the world and the people in it. And it has been such a joy.


the good life (5)

via Daily Prompt: Disobey

One of the best things about being on my own is that I get to make, break and follow my own rules. Like, occasionally staying up into the small hours or having icecream for dinner. I am also privileged in that for the most part I get to make my own hours for work. So sometimes it’s 9-5 and sometimes not!

Life is good,


If, then.

via Daily Prompt: Peculiar

People have peculiar habits and do some pretty strange things.

I can think of a few of mine (1) signing my name at the end of nearly everything in written communication, whether it be comments on a site, a text message or blog post or email. Apparently that’s weird. Personally I find it lends clarity and sincerity to the discussion 🙂

But generally, if it feels good and it’s not hurting anybody, I say ‘Go for it!’

That’s all, really.


being human (1)

via Daily Prompt: Anticipate

I’ve not anticipated how much people change, and how much they stay the same, nor how much shared experience has an impact on my ability to connect on an authentic level — as much as this sentence is full of buzz words and cliches that honestly leave a bad taste in my mouth from extensive over-use by the general population, it is undeniably true. For me at least.