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  • Guranteed Unique Question:

    background: my mother was murdered by my step dad when i was 12. i don't want to go into the details on a public forum, but trust me when i say that the circumstances were very violent and horrific. i was subsequently forced to live with my estranged father. i say "estranged" because he was a vietnam vet (11b - LT INF) that literally witnessed, among other things, his best bud from age 3 get his face blown off while taking a couple 7.62 rounds to the leg. he checked out long before i moved in, and i was considered a distant 3rd to jack daniels and miller lite; i guess i qualified as a neglected child and i literally raised myself. i got in trouble once when i was 19 (trespassing - class b mis), but other than that i have a college degree, stable work history, clean background and average credit. i am now in my mid-thirties.

    question: will having something as traumatic as that in my childhood be a negative or red flag in the eyes of an interview board? or will my age counteract any negative assumptions that would normally be attributed to a younger, less life-experienced person? soon after the incident i started to visit my school counselor and longtime pastor for guidance/advice; and as much as i missed her, i never really felt like i couldn't cope with life or like i was going to fall apart. but it was a lonely road.

    there aren't many people out there who have experienced such a violent event (i've checked), and imho i feel like it has given me a unusual perspective on the value of life; i can also be an emotional rock in a crisis situation due to the exposure i've had to the "dark side" of life. BUT... would a potential employer see it that way as well? or will i be labeled as "damaged goods"?

    sorry for the long post, but it's a complicated situation to explain. i would appreciate any and all advice i could get from the law enforcement community. thanks - Texas09S
    Last edited by Texas09S; 10-22-2009, 03:12 PM.

  • #2
    Wow. sounds like a lot of hard lessons to learn so young. I do not believe an event like that would affect you. Good luck.
    sigpic

    I don't agree with your opinion, but I respect its straightforwardness in terms of wrongness.

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    • #3
      Wow. Did you attend any counselling? Your background will not DQ you. I would wonder how you would react to violenct calls, DVs, blood everywhere, etc. Are memories and feelings going to come back that will prevent you from doing your job when it needs to be done?

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      • #4
        Most agencies would not have a problem with your history. I am sure it would be probed during the psych interview though. Only you know if you have come through all that trauma relatively well adjusted.

        I have co workers who have killed in hand to hand combat, etc. during their military days, snipers who have killed many in the military, and they were hired. It all depends on you, not what you have been through.

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        • #5
          I agree totally with the previous replies. Here's what I'd have you remember in all of this. You didn't chose it. The fact that these events took place are not your fault. We advise quite a few folks who visit us to "man up", take responsibility for their actions, etc. This doesn't apply to you in these incidents. So, if you're thinking of applying........Go for it. Good luck in all your efforts.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by marty33 View Post
            I am sure it would be probed during the psych interview though. Only you know if you have come through all that trauma relatively well adjusted.

            I have co workers who have killed in hand to hand combat, etc. during their military days, snipers who have killed many in the military, and they were hired. It all depends on you, not what you have been through.
            roger that, sir. i did seek counseling from my 6th grade guidance counselor as well as my pastor, but i've always been a little skeptical of a shrink messing around inside my head. i like to maintain control of my self/thoughts at all times, that's why i'm so uncomfortable with the psych part of the hiring process. i don't want my history to create an unwarranted bias, thus making me a less attractive candidate relative to the "normal" guy/girl.

            living through an experience like that is gonna be rough on a kid no matter what they're made of; but i like to think, given my total lack of post-trauma support, that i did a pretty good job of keeping it together. i take full responsibility for all my shortcomings, and i do my best to always do the right thing even when nobody is watching. very cliche, but true.

            just joe - that's precisely the issue i'm concerned about. it's not that i question my ability to execute under pressure, because i don't; i've witnessed some messy accidents and watched my grandpa die of a heart attack, but for some strange reason i remained calm and lucid throughout all events. it's almost like everything slows down and i'm the go-to guy. i even volunteer at a local grief, loss & trauma center for kids, and, even though it breaks my heart inside, i always maintain my cool on the outside because i've been there and i know i have to be solid for their sake.

            i'm much obliged for the input and words of encouragement. i've weighed my options and i honestly feel like a career in law enforcement is where i can do the most good. i feel i'm a more open-minded, sympathetic and understanding person because of my experiences, but i'm also an 11bravo so i'm not afraid to close with and destroy the enemy. hooah?

            thanks again for all the advice. please keep it coming.- Texas09S

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            • #7
              I would venture that part of the reason you're uncomfortable is because you know you'd have to confront issues. Obviously counseling is not physically painful; but it is very emotionally challenging. It takes a very strong person to go to counseling.

              My husband took a life in the line of duty and did not receive any assistance. The agency at the time didn't require it. Fast forward a few years to when he and I began dating and found ourselves in counseling; that issue did come up and while he had a very realistic approach to the entire thing, he later said it helped him out to explore it a bit more.

              Going to counseling won't hurt, so why not attempt it?

              JMHO
              sigpic

              I don't agree with your opinion, but I respect its straightforwardness in terms of wrongness.

              Comment


              • #8
                Not to be rude and considering all you have experienced....I too have some concern over your mental stability. I would be concerned about your ability to handle not only domestics but child abuse/neglect issues. Have you ever been treated for any type of mental illness? Depression or bi-polar issues? Like noted above, I would hope these issues would be gone into in depth during your psych test.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by sigcopper View Post
                  Not to be rude and considering all you have experienced....I too have some concern over your mental stability. I would be concerned about your ability to handle not only domestics but child abuse/neglect issues. Have you ever been treated for any type of mental illness? Depression or bi-polar issues? Like noted above, I would hope these issues would be gone into in depth during your psych test.
                  this is a very informative and helpful response. thank you, sigcopper, and your concern regarding my mental stability is not rude at all, in fact it's pretty much par for the course. i would probably have my concerns as well. negative on being "treated" for any type of mental illness; although the middle school i transferred to did bring in a psychiatrist to administer the mmpi and rorschach to me, but the results didn't indicate any personality disorders or mental illness. it was just a simple case of a boy missing his mom.

                  smurfette - you're point is well taken. i've confronted my issues over the years with the help of my aunt and some really close friends, but sharing the limited and treasured memories i have with someone who only considers me a claims # is just not for me. i don't really feel like i'm exploding with repressed feeling or anything, but i do still have my bad days, i.e., mother's day, xmas, etc. i just keep on plugging along i guess.

                  so it seems like the consensus is that, while the event won't necessarily preclude me from employment, it will eventually be a central issue. i guess my mental suitability will ultimately be determined by the psych eval, and then i'll probably end up being labeled the "wild card" applicant as usual. no worries. if it's determined by multiple agencies that i'm not law enforcement material then i'll just have to respect their conclusions and regroup.

                  thank y'all yet again for the valuable input. - Texas09S

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                  • #10
                    Go to counselling and give it an honest chance to work. I think you will be surprised and relieved by what it can do for you.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Texas09S View Post

                      smurfette - you're point is well taken. i've confronted my issues over the years with the help of my aunt and some really close friends, but sharing the limited and treasured memories i have with someone who only considers me a claims # is just not for me. i don't really feel like i'm exploding with repressed feeling or anything, but i do still have my bad days, i.e., mother's day, xmas, etc. i just keep on plugging along i guess.

                      so it seems like the consensus is that, while the event won't necessarily preclude me from employment, it will eventually be a central issue. i guess my mental suitability will ultimately be determined by the psych eval, and then i'll probably end up being labeled the "wild card" applicant as usual. no worries. if it's determined by multiple agencies that i'm not law enforcement material then i'll just have to respect their conclusions and regroup.
                      Its a bit difficult to judge that a therapist or counselor would only see you as a claim number if you've never tried. That's an erroneous assumption and one common to those not familiar with therapy. I was 32 when my mother passed away and as I'm only 33 now its still a rather new thing. While extremely sudden it wasn't as traumatic as what you dealt with, but still traumatic to MY family certainly.

                      I'm sorry you're so opposed to it; meetings with a therapist would go a LONG way to counteract what might come up in the background/psych test. You shouldn't exclude yourself from LE and if its really your dream, I'm surprised you'd give it up when an obvious solution is at your fingertips. Having done backgrounds myself, your situation alone wouldn't exclude you....it would send up a flag and then a second one when I saw that no professional help (counselor in the middle school isn't enough) was sought.
                      sigpic

                      I don't agree with your opinion, but I respect its straightforwardness in terms of wrongness.

                      Comment

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