One day I will leave

My primary concern is not the 'disappearance' of english - it is equal opportunity for 'bilingual' anglophones - those of us who have taken the steps necessary to work in a 'francophone' environment ... which is what I've done because it is appropriate to where I live ... I NEVER present myself as an 'anglophone' in my daily life ... althought the accent gives me away - I am respectful of the culture - I even 'humble' myself  because I know very well that I am an 'outsider'  and always will be despite the fact that this is my husband's hometwon and we have a very large extended family here - I've been living here and associated here since 1982.

I speak French and work in French and live in French ... we speak english ONLY at home and ONLY when it is just our little family ... there are some that advocate for services in english and as an independant I am certainly not against that ... but I came here with the full intent of integrating into my francophone community - as I did in 1982 when I was fresh out of school and spoke little French ... that's why it is so frustrating - I've done everything expected to integrate - in French - and I am still not accepted and never will be ... what is it they want short of 'racial purity' ... I'm 50% ... that's the best I can do ...
I do not wish to be segregated ... do you understand the difference ... it's not easy to see when I write in english all the time but I only do that only because I do not write well in French - I haven't had the practice ... working on a computer in my field is easily done with limited french or english ... it's mostly flowcharts and databases not 'original' texts ...
But I'm not stupid either ... I see the writing on the wall ... and lately it's been pretty obvious. I will never work here no matter how hard I try, no matter how much I have to contribute, no matter what group I join or no matter who I tell this story to.  I had some "heady' ideas when I joined a newly formed group supposedly 'inclusive' that was going to change the scenario in Quebec, going to move society forward into the global environment. I did meet some very nice people through that effort which did in fact end my social isolation for a time.

But I have learned that despite claims to want to 'know the truth' , this group, like any other is not really interested in a raw, fair assessment of reality - they are only interested in their truth, the issues that touch their lives, that can advance their situations, their asociations, their members. My direct observations, at first welcomed, no longer go over well. They forget that the terrain is new to me. That I do not know the players or their histories - who is connected to whom - who is an open target and who is to be protected - and I am unable to censure my remarks to their liking even if I were prone to do so.

My frankness and my truth, has ruffled some influential feathers and I no longer feel safe in speaking freely. That's how it is when you are an 'outsider' or actually a part of any group. The leaders of the group can dismiss you whenever the mood strikes and then you are gone ... others no longer sure that they can even speak to you and keep favour with those calling the shots. So they don't. There is little 'independant conviction' in a group and certainly no place for legitimate disagreement.

But getting back to the situation at hand, when it is the politically favoured and appointed who are the racists - rather than the 'ordinary' members of the population, most of whom feel powerless to do anything but follow the 'status quo' in their own best interest, there is no place for an 'outsider' to seek normalacy. Life stops or is at best severly limited, in my case to the four walls of my room most of the time. Unable to particpate and earn a living, showing up as a fixture at family events, a nice looking oddity with a weird accent, unable to leave and create something better elsewhere - the word stuck comes to mind.

I've done all the letter writing. I've done all the pleading and begging. I,ve been outraged and insulted. I prayed for someone to show up with the voice of reason, assurance and solutions. There is nothing. I am simply invisible here. But I am still here. I am still. Once I know that my daughter is okay - that her tumour is benign, she will go off and start her life and I will leave what was supposed to be my family, my community, my life, and start again somewhere. Someplace where I am considered for who I am and not from where I come. I'm sure I will find the right place. I am Canadian. This is my home.

Speaking of 'home'  I hope I can get back there - just one more time - because I haven't seen my mother in 7 years - and she's only 12 hours away - I just couldn't afford to go and was too proud to ask her for help. None of it is the way it was supposed to be - but it is the way it is - and I am so very tired of trying in vain to make it better - here. And  given the chance, I would have made it better, made my mark, because I came here to integrate and not to change a thing about a culture I came to love - a culture I share and wanted to know and honor. But people like me, simply aren't required here. I was told that often and directly but it was already too late - my kids had already integrated leaving me as the only and forever - outsider.