via Badge of Life Canada
My name is anonymous for right now, simply to protect my own interests for moving forward. I am a female member of the RCMP and have been a serving officer for 10 years. There is a fear in the mentality of the organization and some members of what I have. I didn’t end up getting a visible physical injury, or with a mainstream society illness that’s well known like cancer that required medical treatments. Since 2011 when I was diagnosed with PTSD and other associated mental illnesses, I have been on long term sick leave. Since being off I didn’t receive any outreach or support by any of my co-workers. There were no get-well cards or words of encouragement given by people who I considered to be in my other family. Instead I felt shunned and cast aside by the organization. The honesty, integrity, compassion, accountability, and respect preached to us on how we are required to do our jobs with members of the public was never given to me in return, by the organization or many members who I used to trust with my life and was ready to go to battle with at a moment’s notice. No, the comrade mentality we trained with and serve with simply vanished and disappeared. So I write this for now in the hopes to simply bring attention to the sleeping giant that is creeping in swiftly and taking many more service members like myself to the brink of hopelessness.
I read articles about the passing of Sgt. Pierre Lemaitre by his own hands and was deeply saddened and sickened by the stories that broke in the news. Unfortunately, this is how this man will be remembered by society. Instead of trying to remember the “man” who just died both his family, and the family of Robert Dziekanski were yet again forced to relive the tragic events and faced with enduring the onslaught of public opinion against them. I read the story where other members names were also posted to put additional burden and stress to them and their families as they will always be connected by these events for the public to openly remark, analyze, criticize and simply cause them more undue hardship for a series of events that simply can’t be changed. Instead of the public learning who these people are and were as members of the community, who they are and were as family members, and finally who they are and were as simply human beings, they will be judged and painted with a brush by the public for these tragic events.
After reading the articles my mind was in turmoil simply because not that long ago I could have very easily been Mr. Lemaitre and was ready and prepared to take my own life. As I reached out for help and support for myself I have been recovering at a pace that may not be quick enough in terms of public opinion but exactly the pace needed for my brain to heal enough to the point where this desire to be dead is no longer at the forefront. By being lucky enough to get treatment and support by compassionate human beings my brain is becoming stronger and the chemicals that can affect the brain and my actions with the help of medications are balancing themselves out. Obviously others are not so lucky.
I am conflicted because I simply don’t know what to say or how to say things that could help people take notice what the human brain is capable or not capable of, and that regardless of circumstances, pain, struggles, or turmoil that each and every one of us is connected to the same life force. We are all human beings. Each and every one of our stories is no more or less important than anyone else’s in this world. It’s long overdue and time for people to try and simply be themselves for who they are and to realize that because we are human beings we are all capable of things that we don’t imagine ourselves to be capable of.
Because of our humanity we all have a story. A girlfriend once told me, imagine for a moment that we all would have a T-shirt that simply titled our story. Not to garnish any sympathy or anything like that but to give each and every one of us a marker that could simply make us stop and think and offer compassion in some way shape or form to one another. We wouldn’t have to understand because we simply can’t make ourselves understand what another human being is thinking or going through. We aren’t them we are only ourselves.
So I challenge each and every human being to put this imaginary T-shirt on every single person we will come across in our life’s journeys. Remember that life is filled with nothing but moments in time. These moments shape and mould us as human beings but that’s all that they are moments. They will never happen again as no two moments are ever the same. We have nothing more in this life than these moments. Instead of trying to mark ourselves or another by any of these moments, carrying them around like a burden, or projecting what the moment will be, allow yourself to live in that moment and let your natural self carry you through. Perhaps then can the life force that connects us all can be shared and lived with as simply that moment.
May Pierre Lemaire and Peter Dziekanski rest in peace. I extend compassion to both them and their family and friends and that of others connected to this, as they’ve all been branded together by these tragic events. Let us pause and reflect if even for a single moment to remember them all as human beings and try to not allow the cause and effect of media and public opinion taint the memories of who they are and were. Nothing could ever place us in their shoes and that of everyone connected to this story. Nothing grants us the right to judge them other than to say that just like us they are human beings. All we have is those imaginary T-shirts and but a single moment in time.
May you both rest in peace!
Name Withheld Upon Request