July 19, 1991

3:20 p.m. It’s Friday. We left yesterday at like 8:00 in the a.m. We did some shopping in North Conway in New Hampshire USA. We passed through there to do some illegal shopping then we crossed the border and slept in St-Steven New-Brunswick. The motel we stayed in was disgusting. It was boiling, sticking, smelly and everyone snored. In the morning when everyone took showers I almost died, it sounded like an airlock. I got hardly any sleep, so I slept in the car. Now we are in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Driving to Louisbourg. Tomorrow should be fun visiting the fortress. Bye.

                                            I always have trouble sleeping in foreign environments. By now I’ve figured out that I just don’t travel well but at the time I hadn’t put it together yet.

Monday, July 22, 1991 – We stayed at a bed & breakfast Friday. Keith and I stayed in a room that looked major lived in… Saturday we went to the fortress of Louisbourg reconstructed to look like 1744. I loved it. It’s all on film.

                                          It’s on video, and since VHS is now obsolete, no one will have to endure the torture of watching the painfully boring videos my father/brother/I took.

I tripped and hurt my right hand, the skin is gone, it kills, it looks like I was shot.

                                       I still have the scar. Still kind of looks like I got shot.

We stayed in an ok place. Sunday we drove, went on a ferry. (I am reading a really good book called Another Shore set in Louisbourg). We met the Potters, the had lobster, me a gross sub. I am now waiting in our hotel room for the others to come back. We have to be out b 11:00, it’s 10:50! I am taking a hyper, my hand kills…

                                      The Potters were a family we hung out with in those days. They had three children, the eldest of whom was a hellion. There was always something not quite right about that kid, frighteningly so. And indeed, he ended up in jail. That’s why I never buy it when people say troubled kids are just “going through a phase”. Take red flags seriously! Mental illness, or even just emotional issues can be detected early. Don’t ignore the signs.

Thursday, July 25, 1991 – They came at 11:30, no good explanation.

                                 I still remember the stress of this situation. I stayed in the hotel in the morning while my family went out to do things because I hadn’t been able to sleep the night before. Then I woke up and worried about where they were. I took the check-out time very seriously and was panicked that the hotel manager would come to kick me out, and I wouldn’t know what to do without my parents. This is the perfect example of how anxiety has played a featured role in my life. At that time we didn’t call it anxiety, and I just thought I was a freak, and I tried to hide my failures. I didn’t tell my parents how worried I’d been, or why, as I knew they’d be dismissive at best, mocking at worst. At least now that I recognize the root of the problem, life is easier, because I can set up my life to avoid such situations, and if they are unavoidable I can still deal, because just knowing what’s going on makes it a lot easier to power through.

I can’t remember where we stayed on Monday night, but we had a nice cottage Tuesday and Wednesday. tonight and tomorrow we have another cottage. Also nice, but smaller beds. We saw the wax museum, a bit disappointing. We went to the beach. It’s really beautiful, full of red rocks and cliffs, we skipped rocks and collected stones. I got a sunburn the first day, yesterday. Today we went but I cam back soon, too windy, I took a shower, what a joke, it was pathetic. Tonight we saw the musical Anne of Green Gables, it was good.

                                     This was in Prince Edward Island. I still remember that legendary sunburn. It’s interesting that my parents never told their three shockingly pale kids to wear sunscreen. I mean, yeah, it was the ’80s and ’90s and no one really thought about that stuff but still. Sunscreen existed. Why didn’t we use it? Why didn’t anyone care? I think in that time period people still believed that a sunburn was a preamble to a tan and a tan was still seen as healthy. Today I’m extremely worried about skin cancer. It’s not a matter of if, it’s when. Now I always protect myself from the sun but most of the damage has already been done. And it’s not paranoia either, as my father has recently been treated for skin cancer.

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