Thank you for starting this support group. Change can happen with awareness and support.
I am a widow of a RCMP member who was diagnosed with PSTD. My husband struggled with this illness for 3 years before taking his own life 12 years ago this month. After his death, I wrote a letter about my experience as a spouse of a RCMP member who suffered from PSTD in hopes of helping other members and their families. I know it travelled across Canada as I had many people contact me about it. It was also given to a RCMP psychologist to help bring awareness on how PSTD affects not only members but their families as well. It saddens me to read in this FB group that things have not changed a lot over the years when it comes to supporting members and their families who are affected from PSTD.
It is hard to believe on January 26th it will be 12 years since that tragic day. The hardest part of moving forward has been watching my children grow up missing their dad in their lives (our son was 10 and our daughter was 7). My daughter has a tattoo on her arm of her father’s signature and DOB and DOD, she also wears an engraved picture of him on a necklace.
6 February 2004
From the wife of a RCMP member who suffered Post Traumatic Stress Disorder,
It is difficult for me to even know where to begin to inform people about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and the affects it has not only on a person/member suffering from it, but the family as well. I feel obliged to tell our story, I will be gaining strength in doing so. By telling our story I may influence others to pay attention to this disease and help others deal more effectively with it. God knows it has to be addressed immediately.
As I write this letter I feel pain that no words can describe. My husband was my best friend, my soul mate and the father to my two children. I watched him suffer pain within himself, and struggle to live for the sake of myself and his children. Anyone that knew my husband would say he was a very hard working, loving, and compassionate person who brought sunshine to everyone he met whether it was a first meeting or a lifelong friendship. He wore his RCMP uniform with great pride and respected all his colleagues whether they were a Commissioner or Constable. I am telling my story in hopes that my husband and my own cries will be heard. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is life threatening and treatable. It is not a personality disorder, or a moral disorder. It is not self induced or wanted by the sufferer or their loved ones. It is a primary disease the same as cancer or any other primary disease. If you feel inclined to make judgments about the sufferer, you contribute to their suffering exactly the same as if you induced cancer cells into someone with that disease.
Before ending this letter, I want to thank all of you who did help and support my husband and I over this traumatic series of events. Many of you were angels of hope and comfort to us, and God will know and reward you. Please hear my message. Remove the unwarranted stigma from this deadly affliction…………..
I beg you.
This is only a small excerpt from Sherry’s letter to the RCMP after her husband Constable Jeff Webb lost his courageous battle to PTSD January 26th 2004.