I am a regular member still attempting to return to active duty after being diagnosed with PTSD. I wanted to share my story in the hope that it may help others in some small way. In 2007 while attending a call, I was t-boned by a semi truck travelling at highway speeds. Afterwards I suffered nightmares and anxiety attacks, but I felt that to admit any difficulties would be to admit that I couldn’t do this job. In 2012 I was again hit by a driver running a red light. The other vehicle pushed my patrol car sideways up onto a side walk nearly injuring or killing several pedestrians. I felt helpless because I could not control the vehicle careening towards innocent people and felt guilty because I had not avoided the collision in the first place. I became ‘stuck’ in that single instant where I’m heading directly for the pedestrians and unable to alter my trajectory. Every thought, every feeling, every fear, and every emotion from both collisions piled up with every fatal that I had ever attended, every lifeless body I had sat beside, and every victim I had ever tried to help; My mind and body shut down.
Since my diagnosis I have struggled with the belief that my trauma story was somehow insufficient and not worthy; that I shouldn’t be having the reactions that I have, because no one died. I am slowly coming to the realization that it is not the trauma itself that determines whether we develop PTSD but how our minds react to it, and how many previous traumas we have allowed to build up.
Several months ago I was asked to do something creative that represents my journey through PTSD therapy. I decided to create a video/slide show that represented my trauma and my journey to regain my sense of hope and joy. I want to share that video with you in the hopes that it may inspire others to create something (video, poem, drawing, painting etc) that represents their own journey. I did find it difficult to do but very uplifting when I finished. I have tried to keep the pictures fairly PG, but I do need to warn everyone that there are images of police work that some may find triggering.
Thank you everyone on this site who have been there for me.
Link to video above