This is Cara's Story. **Names have been changed upon request and for protection**

Cara has gone through a lot as a child. Growing up she had difficulties in coping with traumatic experiences that she and her other family members both lived with and went through.
Ever since she was on AISH, Cara and others we have talked to all recognized that all the AISH workers that our daughter and others have had to work with have always reinforced to their clients the lifelong message that many clients were unworthy of support, care & medical care.
Cara and her sister grew up in a home that had a mother with serious mental health diagnoses as well as an alcoholic father who left when Cara was 9 and her sister was 6.
The mother was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder and Narcissistic Personality Disorder. I hope people and want people to understand that our mother had these illnesses because of abuse and neglect she herself suffered and she replicated that onto her own children.
Inter-Generational trauma and abuse. This is the reality of actual human beings who need support that they did not get.

My sister and I experienced the vast majority of the Adverse Childhood Experiences. We were abused and neglected and my sister Cara bore the brunt of it all.
The cycle continued with Cara and she later went on to be diagnosed with BPD, Bi-Polar and a few other psychiatric diagnoses as well. Cara survived the best she knew could. She was a fighter.
Despite her challenges, Cara was worthy of love, respect, dignity and belonging. After many years of estrangement, we reconnected. In September 2017, she reached out and we connected and started to learn about each other all over again after such a long time apart.
In November of 2017, she sent me an email. It was in this very email that was my first understanding that she was planning on taking her own life...although thinking back to earlier conversations we had...there were other clues.
It was devastating to go from finally getting her back to pondering possibly losing her. We met in person about it and I heard the exhaustion and the grief in her voice. I heard the crying out of not being good enough and being bullied by her worker and being told constantly...
...that she was not good enough. I remember her telling me that her life was nothing but a struggle and she was done fighting for dignity and she felt strongly about being a burden on what she was to the people she called "Vendors"
What she meant by that was people like her Pharmacist who was very engaged with Cara and concerned about her. They were concerned about her when her own worker should have been doing their job instead of shoving her aside as just another person with Mental Problems/Issues.
Again, her email explains more. In December of 2017, she was unsuccessful in her suicide attempt. At that point she became distant and rebuffed any and all attempts at communication from me. Then she emailed me in 2018 to tell me that she loved me but that I needed to stay away.
My beautiful and talented sister Cara was successful in taking her life in January of 2019. She had given me her final wishes and legal documents before her attempt in 2017. When she passed away, I followed her wishes and contacted the people she asked me to.
She was loved and seen in her community. She was valued and respected....the system broke her in the end. No one I spoke to knew about this letter, and I don't think it went anywhere. She gave it to me but it wasn't something she asked me to do or take care of at the time...
...but it feels good to do it now. The letter is stunningly brilliant in some places and meandering/incomplete in others. Everything she wrote to me is like that.

But before I get @Hellberta to publish everything I am going to make my statement to AISH
**Statement to @RajanJSaw & @YourAlberta**

My sister Cara was on AISH for many years, most of her adult life. She struggled with mental illnesses that were caused by early childhood abuse and neglect. None...I REPEAT NONE OF THAT WAS HER FAULT.
She was brilliant and talented and my sister tried....TRIED to get the support she needed to recover from her childhood trauma. She was curious and worked hard to understand herself, and most heal. She was a fierce social justice advocate.
She was a poet and fiction writer and had a community that loved her. She was a human being who NEEDED THE SUPPORT THAT SHE DID NOT GET!!!!! The letter below is the story that she wanted published after she died by suicide in 2019.

Below is the original email received from Cara
***Email From Cara***

I have friends who want to send this out...when the time is right. I have been physically exhausted for months, losing weight and yes my GP is concerned.
Ever since Ralph Klein accused welfare and AISH recipients of being liars, cheats, and thieves, we have been treated as such. It's not innocent until proven guilty, we're guilty and it is on us to prove our innocence, over and over and over again.
Needs, including medical, are usually limited. A broken CPAP machine requires yet another sleep study. I needed a better fitting CPAP mask because the because of the tumor and the vendor delivered one the next day but the claim was denied. I hope they get paid soon...
I don't have the energy to help. Another vendor took a $500.00 hit after a year of fighting on my behalf. They put off approval until the cutback came into effect and I no longer qualified when I did earlier but not anymore. I can't continue to keep doing that to the vendor.
Each medical need requires a doctors note, most of which are rejected outright So it's back to the doctor with forms requiring detailed medical and drug histories. And even that is no guarantee. What we actually get falls short of our actual needs, it becomes a pointless exercise
Neither AHC or AISH pays for these forms and not all doctors are willing to do it for free. I can't ask my doctor to waste his time and effort given the pittance. It's a neat Catch 22.

Kudos to the ConServatives for that brilliant twisted application of aversion therapy.
I was 5 the first time I had the mumps. Funny thing is that I only had it on one side, the same side they recently found what is essentially a benign tumor. If I was cared for, actually cared for as a child, like any child deserves, this would have been taken care of years ago.
I was left with a broken collar bone for two weeks at 13 months old, left pissing blood for three days, left very obvious effects of severe trauma requiring a second intervention with the threat of calling the authorities and more.
if it weren't for my elementary school, neighbors, and others intervening on my behalf or as dear old mom put it "Interfering" I might have not survived.
Nothing has changed in this regard. Doctors, vendors and countless others have been interfering on my behalf for far too long. The message? I remain unworthy and undeserving as I was as a child in those charged with my care. I don't happen to agree.
It's demeaning, abusive, neglectful and the cold hearted staff at AISH & CRHM make it all worse. They expect a smile. They don't want to hear our feelings about what they are doing to us. Klein invoked a gag order on staff succeeding governments have failed to right.
When I refer to government, to my utter disgust, I'm compelled to include Notley's Pink version of NDP. Notley doesn't dare pull a Redford, she wants a second term. Instead she hired more henchman. Now they have all the time to call demanding proof of worthiness....
...and they are right on top of me. Only, I am innocent and I am done proving it over and over and over. They are welcome to waste their time digging all they want. I'm done playing this sick and demeaning game.
A pre-op nurse at a local hospital told me that healthcare was being gutted by people like me. Her contemptuous ignorance completely overlooks conservative policies compelling redundant doctor appointments.
Never mind the long term costs of ongoing poverty in healthcare and justice. The right wing have been using the like of us to help gut healthcare and supports for their long game goal o private healthcare.
Looking down on my kind isn't discouraged and obviously the majority of Albertans agree with treatment & the messages we get. I understand the right wing in AB, following their Republican friends in the US believe in mandatory drug testing for us liars, us cheats, and us thieves
It will be another means of saving honest, hardworking taxpayers money.

Did you know that after every press release of an increase, they hack away other services to make up for it and beyond?
Why don't they brag about that too? I don't recall CRHM sending a letter informing us AISH clients that the cap had been lowered. I thought that I'd have the surgery & be up to moving in the I signed a lease I can't afford.
When I asked my AISH worker she told me to just mind my business and her response to my questions were as if she were disinterested and she told me that I don't care what you think I am your worker and you cant tell me how to do my job.
There are plenty of stats proving the long term costs of poverty on healthcare and justice. But those costs dont show on short term designer budgets. The right wings chronic criticism, and whining appeal to those whose lives are impacted by the current oil boom-bust economy.
The only thing that matters is oil and the real problems are leaches like me. I don't believe greed is actually a virtue and my kind paying the costs while getting what we deserve and not a penny more.
From my perspective, the current Alberta Government is as abusive, cold and uncaring as my mother and absent, disinterested father. Years of neglect and abuse, I remain, at 54, as unworthy and undeserving as ever. There is no dignity in any of this for the likes of us.
Now I am too old, too sick and far too tired to jump through the endless hoops for nothing. I'm done. Done with doctors notes and notes so I get to those appointments, no more crazy-making redundant tests, DONE hurting the bottom lines of people.
I am done with this @Alberta_UCP government and ******* Housing and *******properties for limiting access to our mail...not to mention limiting access to those needing homecare.
My hope is that this email obligates meaningful change in government. I call on Albertan's bothered by this situation to help NOTLEY get a second term. She's our only hope and chance 2make a real difference. I'm betting the majority of the other liars & cheats deserve better too
For right wing Albertans, one less leach like me...means more for them. An Alberta Success Story!! finally!!
Please support local organizations that are not run by the government. These organizations actually care about the people that fall through the cracks. They bend over backwards to keep people, animals, and families together.
***End of statement & email from Cara's sister and Cara***

Rest In Peace Cara, We will not let your story go unheard. We will not let your voice be silenced any more.

With love,

#SuicidePrevention #SuicideAwareness #Help #SaveALife #LetsTalk

If you or anyone you know is in need of help, please feel free to DM me and I will do my best to listen and connect you with services and people and organizations that CAN & WILL help.
If anyone would like to send anything to me via private means, you can send me an email to [email protected]
You can follow @Hell_Berta.
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