Paul Joseph Smith Part II

My dad, whom I am just like was a professional boxer his entire life until he fought Antonio Tarver. (Antonio Tarver is most known to me for killing my dad’s career and starring in Rocky Balboa.) I say this to say again, I am most like my dad, a fighter. When I felt that spit on my back I didn’t know or care who did it for sure, but let me tell you – I spit back, good and long on to everyone. Then I ran up those stairs and everyone followed me.

I remember getting outside and not seeing Jay. I just kept running. I heard Jay scream “Yo, Gambino, get her in my car!!” I do not know Gambino, never seen him before and I still haven’t. I was suddenly in the air and thrown in a car and the car was then locked.

At this point, everyone knew I was in the car and were trying to get inside it and trash the car entirely. About 15-20 people were picking up logs and hitting the car, cracked the windshield. There was a huge brawl outside between Jay, Fred and these people as they were doing this to Jay’s car! I’m still thankful these people heard sirens from miles away and dispersed because Jay and Fred were able to get in the car and drive me the hell home!

But that was just that. I was hurt, I went home and showered and just continued on with life.

Fast forward – three weeks later.

 It’s about eleven in the morning on a Sunday. I don’t remember what I was doing but I got a phone call on my cell and it was my friend Sarah. Sarah was the girlfriend of Paul’s best friend, she and I were still close.

Me: Hello?

Sarah: Paul’s dead.

Me: What?

Sarah: I don’t know what happened but Paul’s dead.

 I had to call his mom. I tried the house phone first and Paul’s little brother answered. I told him to tell his mom to call me once she got home but then I tried her cell. How do you wait to tell someone their son is dead?

Me: Where are you?

Paul’s Mom: At the market.

Me: K, call me when you’re home I have to tell you something.

Her: No, tell me now.

Me: I can’t. Call me when you’re home.

Her: Tell me now.

Me: I don’t know what happened but Paul died.

Her: What did you just say?

Me: Paul died.

 She wasn’t going to hear me anymore. All I heard was her distance herself from the phone and scream in agony.


aleciaPaul as an adolescent pictured with his younger sister Alecia.

She didn’t even know what happened. All she felt was the pain.

About twenty minutes later I get a phone call from Amy…


 That’s all she kept screaming into the phone. I didn’t get any information other than that she wanted to call a truce and bring her son over to meet his sister.

When she arrived she had brought about six friends and she had two black eyes, bruises, and goose eggs all over her forehead.

The kids met for the first time and Amy and her crew left.

The truce lasted about three hours. Amy had already told Paul’s family and everyone who cared for him that it was my ‘boyfriend’ Fred who killed him.

This was the first time I found out how he died.

Fred had stabbed Paul to death.

To this day I don’t know how it started. I don’t know what happened. All I know was that my love had died. And death is so fucking final.

I watch crime shows daily wishing there was a special on what happened to Paul. All I’ve ever known is that he’s gone and there is no bringing him back.

It turns out Fred had run away to Brampton after the fight and when he got news from Jay that Paul had died, he came back to Kitchener and turned himself in. He was sentenced to seven years after being charged with manslaughter and was out in four years. Still, nowhere to be seen.

For years, I was to blame for this. There was no one else to blame. The world ganged up on me and swore that I had schemed to kill the love of my life with my ‘boyfriend’. Little did these ignoramuses know that Fred was the furthest thing from my boyfriend and I still had no clue what had happened.

And I’m the one who has to explain to my daughter why and how her father got taken away from us.

10391802_101906093166701_2167641_n.jpgKaleesa with Paul at three months. The only photo Paul and Kaleesa have together.

November 2009 was just horrid and nearing the end of it was when we said goodbye to Paul. After the service, his mother and I were the ones to say goodbye to him last. The last people to touch his skin, his afro, glide our fingers over his eyebrows. When I kissed his forehead goodbye, my tear landed on his forehead and his mother told me later that day that when she kissed his cheek, my tear was still there and she just couldn’t bring herself to wipe it off.

10391802_102099993147311_5349272_n.jpgKaleesa and her aunt Alecia at Paul’s funeral.

The story continues with more blame, death, and heartbreak. It took six years for the reality of Paul passing to actually hit me. I still get a smack of the reality of it some days.

10391802_101969886493655_2907220_nPaul and I. Spring 2007.

Mental Health in relationships

  From young, we are taught terms such as, “crazy” or “weird”. These terms can be used so freely that we end up missing the mental illnesses that one may actually have. For example, if you are in a relationship with someone who may act ‘crazy’ – are they actually mentally ill?

 I was in an abusive relationship with a young man for years where I thought he was crazy, it wasn’t until his father was diagnosed with schizophrenia and I broke off the relationship that I realized how bad everything really was.

  Schizophrenia is a serious brain disorder that distorts the way a person thinks, acts, and perceives reality. People with schizophrenia often have problems functioning in society, at work, at school, and in relationships.

  In this relationship I dealt with the following from the other person:

Lack of emotion and empathy:  They had a hard time understanding what I would experience or share in the relationship. To him – I was delusional.

Insomnia: The individual did not sleep at normal times and would share this habit with me by calling all hours of the night for phone conversations. You would also find them up reading, watching television, or on the computer all hours of the night because they are frustrated and cannot sleep.

Unexplained Hostility: This would result from the frustration of being wrong or told something they didn’t necessarily want to hear which would cause sudden anger and even violent outbursts which led to beatings.

Lack of Hygiene: You may shrug this off as typical lazy behaviour people with schizophrenia often neglect basic hygiene like not brushing teeth, wearing the same dirty clothes day after day, and refusing to shower.

 Lack of Work History and Ethic: I dealt with abuse expecting to be the sole breadwinner and if I didn’t I was told I was inadequate. Many people with schizophrenia have difficulty keeping a job so they rely on others or crimes for income help.

 This mental health workshop shed light on how I felt about the situation. I no longer see this individual as the horrid abuser I thought he was but as a young man who may need help. I won’t be able to deliver that but I am at least shedding light on the topic for others.

Paul Joseph Smith

My passion runs deep. I get it from my father – as I get most of my traits from him. If I hate, I hate IMMENSLEY. If I love, I love so deeply. I learned this about myself during time spent with a young troubled man who loved me just as passionately as I loved him. But not all love stories end in true love and fairy tales.

This one ends in betrayal, blame and murder.

I was only seventeen years old when I was leaving the mall after shopping. I had just moved out of my first apartment and got last month’s rent back – so I bought a lot of clothes and an expensive phone. As I walked to the bus stop I heard ” HEY AMANDA V! COME HERE! “. I turned to see a young man I had never met before, but I most definitely knew who he was. Everyone did. He was Paul Smith aka ‘Yung P’. Standing at 6’4 with an afro that only made him taller and facial hair that grew like weeds – he was fucking beautiful. It was spring time and he was wearing sunglasses, he didn’t take them off until our second day of hanging out and when he did… those eyes!! His eyes added even more beauty to his face. I knew in some way shape or form id be with this young man forever.


For two and a half years we were by each others side. The first summer was so much fun. Everything was so new. He had many friends who I was able to get to know, we all became a crew. We partied, we fought, we were somewhat troublesome and reckless – but hey – we were teens. Paul had siblings, all younger than he. That summer I met two of his brothers and his very foreign and sweet father. I practically lived with them as Paul and I never left each others side. His youngest brother – who he looked out for the most, was usually around or in the house with us. And we became close too, nicknaming each other characters from the cartoon Arthur. He was Francine and I was Patty. Everything just worked.

Nearing the end of the summer – Paul and I started fighting – physically, it was never too drastic, but it was definitely a telling sign of the future. We had gotten our own apartment and for some reason (I forget now) it was being renovated so we gad to stay somewhere else and we decided to stay at Paul’s best friend’s house in town. That December things started to get toxic and Paul beat me up pretty bad – I had no choice but to call my trusty grandfather to come get me in the middle of the night. He made sure the police met him there. After the police searched the building and unit for Paul after seeing the damage he had done, he was arrested and charged and taken off to the station. He was only in jail for a few weeks and in that time, I tried to move on by talking to other boys not even thinking that there was still a chance with Paul and I. Paul came out of jail and his family had a get together with drinks to celebrate as he was in jail over the Christmas holidays. At this get together he had relations with a family friend (we will call her Amy) and she fell pregnant with his first-born son.

Within days of this secret conception and Paul being released he contacted me, he missed me. I went to see him at his father’s house (which was clearly forbidden as we had a no contact order) we made up, apologized over and over to each other and decided to continue our love story.

Weeks later a friend informed me that Amy was pregnant, and she was happily proclaiming to the world that she was having a baby with my boyfriend. I asked him if it was true and he said he wasn’t quite sure. Who knew if it was his baby or not yet right? I was in denial and I’m sure my denial put him into a position to be in denial himself a bit too. But he never left my side and we lived with each other during Amy’s pregnancy. Of course, this made Amy upset as she thought Paul would live with her and help her full time but that just wasn’t the case. And then his son was born, and he was beautiful. I supported him in being a father (even though I still had my doubts). A month before his son was born I fell pregnant myself, with a little girl, we got a new place and made memories, he chose a name for our daughter and we waited for her.


Two days before I was due he asked my brother to drive him to see his son as Paul knew Kaleesa was going to be here in days, he wanted to spend time with his son before being consumed with taking care of a newborn. Paul left only to get into some kind of legal trouble (to this day I still don’t know what happened). All I know is that Amy bailed him out of jail and made sure that he followed ALL court orders. including no contact with me, his girlfriend, who just gave birth to his daughter. My daughter Kaleesa was born at the end of June and we did not see or hear from Paul until the 21st of July. I went through excruciating pain the whole month and although my daughter was so precious and beautiful it still burned me to know that he wasn’t experiencing it. and it burned me even more to know it wasn’t his choice to be away from us.

He finally found a way to manipulate his assurity so that she would let him step out sometimes overnight and he started to spend more and more time with Kaleesa and I, but he still had to remain living under her roof and rules. This caused turmoil, pain in my soul. We fought. And one September day we fought so bad in front of Kaleesa that I had no choice to call the police and stop speaking to him for good.

We hated each other – with so much fucking passion and love – we hated each other. I still don’t think anyone could understand what I mean. It was just how Paul and I were.

Almost two months went past, we did not see him. it hurt but I lived through it and took care of our daughter.

One night in November I decided to go out with a close friend of mine named Jay. Jay had always taken me out and showed me a good time. This night he was already at a bar with his friend Fred whom he left at the bar while he came to get me. When I arrived at the bar I was disappointed to see Paul, Amy and some of their friends. I knew there was going to be trouble, so I kept to myself and stayed with Jay and Fred. Jay went outside for a cigarette and since I wasn’t too familiar with Fred I followed Jay outside. As we walked up the stairs to exit the bar Paul was standing there with another female and as I walked past them I felt someone spit on my back…




What is ADHD?

What is ADHD?

Many people may think that they are able to identify a case of ADHD by
simply observing a child’s behavior; however, they are very far off from knowing the
proper diagnostics and different types of ADHD associated with producing a proper
diagnosis and a course of treatment. ADHD generally begins in early childhood, and as
many as 2 in every 3 children diagnosed continue to experience symptoms into
adulthood. There are three basic types of ADHD: Primarily, Primarily
Hyperactive/Impulsive and the combined type. By properly defining the disorder and
understanding the characteristics, behavioral types and symptoms associated with it will
help with analyzing the disorder and the different methods available for treatments
along with their side effects.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is considered to be a disorder or a
chronic condition marked by the persistent inability to focus, hyperactivity and
sometimes impulsive behavior. Although symptoms may be similar from child to child,
the diagnosis and course of treatment is different for every child. Usually, ADHD is
found to be more common in males and is usually mistaken for disruptive behavior due
to one’s impulsiveness and/or hyperactivity. In females, inattentiveness is a hallmark of
ADHD because they are not often disruptive in the classroom and this may make it
harder to diagnose. Research conducted and WEBMB (
adhd/childhood-adhd/understanding- adhd-basics) states that 4%-6% of the general
public has been diagnosed with ADHD. Typically families who have a case of ADHD in
their family tend to have an increased 25%-35% chance of reoccurrence within the

Medication for treatment is available and may effectively help improve the behavior of
many children; however, it has not been proven to be a definite cure. Once conducting a
formal diagnosis for ADHD following a thorough evaluation by a neurologist or
psychologist has been done, two recommended types of medication are suggested to
use as a course of treatment: Stimulant or Non-stimulant medications. Typically, these
medications are used to manage the symptoms – not cure the disorder. However, by
closely monitoring the right dosage and keeping track of any bothersome side effects,
this could help with effectively managing the condition. Typically, children and teenager
who receive treatment are generally successful and it has been found to effectively
reduce hyperactivity and impulsiveness. Moreover, medication allowed subjects to focus
better and be less disruptive at home and/or in the classroom. Without any evidence
showing that partaking in the course of treatment, the symptoms seems to fade after a
short period of no more than 2 years.

Most commonly, stimulant drugs are used for treatment. By increasing the dopamine in
the brain – which is typically found to be a chemical responsible for transmitting messages between the brain and the neurons, it helps with maintaining calmness and
hyperactivity as a direct result. Furthermore, there are two generic stimulants – also
known as central nervous system stimulants – which are also a form of treatment and
recognized in the market as Concerta and Adderall. For children, it was found that
symptoms improved significantly once receiving the first dosage of treatment in as little
as one to two hours after consumption, when in adults it typically takes longer to show
whether or not the medication was effective by up to a few hours. None-stimulant drugs are usually prescribed as a form of treatment when a stimulant drug has not been effective or well tolerated. A medication known as Straterra is then
only recommended when the doctor feels the dopamine is not effective and has to
resort to a different chemical in the brain known as norepinephrine to help increase
focus while completely tamping down impulsiveness and hyperactivity. Two forms of
none-stimulant drugs are also available in the market and only prescribed by a doctor if
Straterra wasn’t also effective which are Clonidine and Guanfacine characteristically
similar but work slightly different to achieve similar effects.

Having to tap into brain chemicals as a resort for medication is frightening enough, but
owning such severe symptoms commonly absorbs people to resorts to such treatments
which are designed to physically and mentally improve coordination. With proven
studies conducted through the University of Minnesota notes “that children with better
self-control have fewer academic, behavioral and social problems”. Furthermore, with
effective ADHD treatment it is proven to achieve a high academic score and be able to
live a successful and productive life which otherwise may not be possible. Although the
drug may be effective, like all drugs stimulants and non-stimulant treatments have side
effects which could include a decrease in appetite, sleeping problems, anxiety, irritability
and sometimes mild stomachaches or headaches. As that may seem severe enough,
some children in most cases seem to lose their emotional expressiveness and studies
through the NIMH in the Preschoolers with ADHD treatment study found that
preschoolers were found to have a larger side effect which exhibits a slower growth

Additionally, a review has been conducted also for those taking ADHD medications
as treatment whom have possessed previous cardiovascular conditions has a higher
risk or experiencing strokes, heart attacks or sometimes even sudden deaths. With
these findings, the FDA was forced to comprise warnings of high risks or cardiovascular
and psychiatric problems in anyone taking medication for ADHD and despite these
potential challenges, the FDA considers stimulant medications safe when taken under
medical supervision.

It may be effective to treat ADHD and may even require trying several medications and
various doses in order to find the suited treatments, though notions such as parental
guidance and school interventions using a system of rewards and punishments, environmental controls and organizational strategies can help a child with ADHD succeed. Psychotherapies designed to teach a child to master appropriate social skills
and behaviors may also reduce symptoms. Because there is no objective ADHD test,
parents, doctors and even educators continue to diagnose too quick a child’s behavioral
problems as ADHD without considering other probable causes. According to Dr.
Wolraich, North Carolina State University stated that “most of the evidence is that
ADHD is underdiagnosed and undertreated.” As it is found that children who are several
months younger than their peers could be mistakenly diagnosed when in fact, they are
just less mature than their classmates.

As ADHD is described to be a developmental impairment of self-management functions
linked to complex brain operations. Forthrightly, it is simply nothing more than not
having enough of an attention span. When not able to harness it in the right direction at
the right time without any consistency, this causes hyper focus, loss of track of time,
misplacing items, or sometimes blurting out an unrelated thought when their focus
breaks free from its chains. Stimulant and non-stimulant drugs may help control these
types of behavior, however, there is no permanent cure. Whether or not prescription
drugs are the right course of treatment is debatable when side effects are taken into
consideration. ADHD is a manageable disorder, in some cases, symptoms of ADHD
disappear with age and treatment isn’t always necessary.


ADDitude Editors. (2016, June 28). Everything You Need to Know About
ADHD. ADDitud. Retrieved February 2, 2018, from adhd-symptoms- causes-treatments/

Bhandari, S. (2017). Understanding ADHD – The Basics. Retrieved January
28, 2018, from adhd/understanding-adhd-

Dean, D. (2017). ADHD Medication Pros & Cons. Retrieved February, 16,
2018, from medication-pros- cons/

Connolly, M. (2018, February 14). ADHD Medications. PSYCOM. Retrieved
February 19, 2018, from
Kalles, M. (2017, January 30). The Pros and Cons of ADHD Drugs for
Children. Maximind Learning. Retrieved February 19, 2018, from and-cons- of-adhd- drugs-for-


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I didn’t know he was my one,

It’s not something you foresee.

But I live with the guilt of running away

From someone who is so for me.

I wake up knowing for certain,

I fall asleep thanking the universe for him,

Because only was it when I gave myself,

 Did I feel like life could begin.

I’m sure sometimes he wakes up uncertain,

Or goes to sleep dreaming of SOS calls,

But who knows, if we follow our hearts,

I’m sure this could be one of the greatest loves of all.

He may not know I am his one,

It’s not something you foresee,

But I live with the guilt of not giving my life,

To someone who is so for me.



The Impatience of us..

Everyone needs a vacation (or at least they claim they do). But some people find it hard to save and budget a trip.

Potential tourists find themselves online searching websites such as Expedia, Travelocity, and Kayak, where trips can cost thousands of dollars per person to enjoy the sun and some culture.

As students we cannot afford these luxury trips – most people can’t.


So while searching you would obviously search for an all-inclusive trip included with alcohol, food, and activities. It would cost our entire tuition to fly to the tropics, swim with dolphins, drink all the alcohol we see fit and lay in the sun.

There is a solution…

and a very inexpensive one!

An ambitious woman named Mirna has made a profound presence for herself in travel on her twitter account @Impatienttourist and on her blog. Mirna, in her own words, describes herself to help people make smart and economic travel choices through individually crafted, destination-based itineraries. 

That’s right!

 She plans your trip for you! Food, activity, flight, hotel, air b&d! She’s got it all! Itineraries can be requested by email – Mirna does not have a set charge but takes gratitude in the form of donations and testimonials. So when you are planning a trip anywhere in the world, contact Mirna for her expertise. Not only is this a hobby of hers but it’s a passion as well!1489590186443.jpeg


IMG_20150905_192657 Brooklyn, New York – PHOTO BY MIRNA (THE IMPATIENT TOURIST)



Media and the police

20180305_133909.jpgStg. Dave Rektor at Conestoga College in Kitchener ONT.

“We are not heroes, we aren’t combative,

we aren’t hot-tempered, or irrational.

We’re only human.”

  Stg. Dave Rektor of The Ontario Provincial Police explained to first-year journalism students at Conestoga College today. Rektor tried to assure students that police aren’t bullying with badges and that they have nothing to hide.

  Although he is six weeks away from retirement, he’s passionately encouraging and promoting community involvement. Rektor, a media officer, says he gets frequent late-night phone calls from CBC and CTV requesting information from him and that he actually doesn’t mind it at all, as it is part of his job.

  With cameras in this day in age, almost anyone around a crime scene with a smartphone can upload anything they want to their social media. Sadly, many people believe that whatever they see on social media is true, which is the furthest from the truth. There are always different sides to a story and the media along with police can be scrutinized for the way they handle crimes or convey stories in the media afterward. Rektor advised that there is an efficient avenue for students to report stories and build a relationship with the police by reaching out to media officers as they will assist you into the crime scene and advocate for you as well.

  Rektor graduated from Conestoga College Police Foundations in 1982 after having a hard time choosing between policing and the college’s Broadcast Journalism program. He is a proud husband of his thirty four year marriage to his wife with whom he has three children and two dogs. He stated that police marriages aren’t typically known to last long and he’s beyond grateful that theirs’s has.

  Rektor is now studying Theological Studies at Heritage College and Seminary in Cambridge. He plans to volunteer and be engaged in hospice care during his retirement to provide support and companionship to people affected by life-threatening illnesses.