20 years is a long time it’s been half my life, half my life dealing with violent confrontations, fatal accidents, deaths by different swords – bodies at different stages of decomposition – the smell of burning flesh – the baby that didn’t wake up – the child that was abused – the child that was sexually assaulted year after year – the husband that shot his wife – the man hanging from the tree or the empty tablet bottle beside the bed – the body pulled from the river been there for the days. Delivering the death message to a family who’s worlds about to change – holding back the tears the shaking hands because it’s hard to tell him their daughter or son or family members is not coming home and they want to know why?
20 years has been half my life I was full of energy, social, young, happy, loved my job, proud officer – now it’s taken its toll 2 bottles of red or more each night for me helped ease the pain it allowed me to sleep hoping I wouldn’t wake up again from the screaming nightmares that come to me each night, seeing the little boy that was murdered standing beside my bed asking ” Why?” I see the ghosts of the dead that haunt, I feel the fear of being shot, being stabbed or flogged to death all because I want to protect others. I felt scared and alone no-one would believe me they’ll think I’m crazy! What’s that smell I know it to well – its death it just won’t go away. I cry driving to work, I breakdown in my office, I can’t carry my gun no more they double padlocked it fearing I might hurt myself – the bosses think I’m mad, they are laughing at me thinking it’s an act! Why can’t they believe me it’s real, I’m socially withdrawn, I’m angry, my family see my changes where’s my wife gone? Where’s my Mum?
Why’s she sad all the time or cranky with me? I have to wipe her tears and hold her – the roles have reversed but “Mummy come back to me”
I contemplated suicide many times and thought of many ways to do it but I found myself crying for my children and something kept telling me how much they needed me.
20 years it’s been a long time!
That’s part of my story there is so much more to tell but it’s not easy and there’s not enough paper. I was diagnosed with PTSD, anxiety and depression in 2009 I still suffer every day but I have good days with bad days – for me it hasn’t gone away its real and it hurts!!! Police we need all the support we can get and we need to be believed – it doesn’t make us soft we are human, we suffer, we laugh and we cry!
I’ve taken 12 months leave from the police because of this – it’s been six weeks and sadly I haven’t been contacted once – I’m an Australian Police Officer NSW actually – I can see it happening all over the world when is my country and government going to recognise the reality of it and support us in every way!!!
Name withheld upon request