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  • Another random thought.

    Ever since September 13, 2001, I have had a recurring dream. The dream is of a situation I was placed in on that day. A bunch of people from my department was sent to ground zero to help in the "recovery" effort. Myself, and another officer from a neighboring PD who I only remember as Mark, were sifting through rubble. I lifted a large peice of plywood that was covered in dust and debris, and there was a woman underneath. One arm was missing. The other was clenched tight against her chest. Thats not that bad part. The part that is gnawing at me, is that she had a picture of a gentleman, and two young children clenched between her arm and chest. I am assumin these were her husband and children. I keep reliving that moment over and over when I sleep. Its gotten to the point that I dont sleep any more for more than an hour or so at night. So what the hell is wrong with me? Anone have any advice besides "go see a shrink, ya loony f-ck".

    Earlier this evening, I went for a drive, and I just sort of ended up at ground zero. I ot out of my car, showed my shield and ID and entered into the main area where the cleanup is going on. I just stood there staring down the pit for maybe 10 minutes, when an FDNY lieutenant came up to me, put his arm around me and said "i know how ya feel" with a sympathetic smile. I hadnt realized it, but I was crying. Not bawling, but I had a few tears streaming down my cheeks. I really wish I knew what to make of all of this. What can any of you suggest?

    Jay

  • #2
    survivor guilt? that is what it sounds like. I can't imagine how you feel because it has to be so much more intense.

    I have my own survivor guilt and I often cry about the sights I saw that day. I saw them and beleive it or not, I have preminitions. I have since I was a child. I knew when I saw the buildings on fire. I knew they would fall. I saw it and the guilt of knowing and only being able to tell people who were immediately around me seemed useless, because they had their own thoughts to worry about.

    Survivor guilt. I'm sorry you have to feel it CopinNY. From my heart, I'm so sorry.
    Oh... Oh... I know you di-int!

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    • #3
      Cop, What your feeling is the after effects of a traumatic situation where you had the unpleasant duties of seeing carnage such as you have not seen before. It is like that shock class of seeing all those broken bodies in auto accidents. The pure emotional stress that is associated with the sights that you and others there have seen from that day will forever be engraved upon your mind. It will continue to haunt you until you make peace with it. TO make peace with it you need to find others who were there and be supportave of each other as you get things off your chest. Talk to each other about what your saw waht you felt what your feeling now so that you can gain control of the dreams and get them to stop haunting you. It is not a easy road and you are going to face some struggles but with the support of others who have lived through traumatic thigs such as this will help you in the long run. I know exactly how you feel as I have PTSD fro mthe gulf war and some of the sites I saw from that. I know from what you have described that you are suffering from PTSD too. E-mail me if you would like and talk to me if you have noone else I can help you get things off your chest so that you are getting better sleep spells.

      Klar
      Are you a Veteran? If so join AMVETS the only organization that accepts all vets no matter when or where they served. Contact me for more info.

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      • #4
        Jay,

        I have no way to understand what you and so many other folks went through during the events of 9/11. I visited a friend who is a detective on the Department in January. He took me to the site. I was in shock seeing it with my own eyes and not seeing it from my tv.

        Like Klar said, talk to people about how your feeling. Perhaps other folks that you worked with during that time. They may be feeling how you are right now. Sometimes voicing what we feel on the inside is a catalyst for healing.

        I'd also like to offer, if you need someone to talk to, I'm really good at listening.

        Please take care...
        Piper

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        • #5
          Like everyone else...

          My e-mail is open to you if you need someone to talk with or for prayer concerns. I have no formal LE training and I am not a LEO, however, I am positive that if you need any type of help that I could try to get it for you. I think we can all offer decent advice and listen, but many of us did not see what you did on that day. I don't pretend that I know what people are going through when I have no clue. I can't offer advice as "I've been there, I know how it is", but I will listen. My prayers are with you.

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          • #6
            Jay, none of us who were NOT there can imagine what you are going through. However, as Klar posted a great many of us have (or are going through) PTSS. I second Klar's advice on talking with other folks that worked that incident.

            And of course feel free to contact me, as well as the others if you feel the need.

            You are NOT a "loony f-ck" but you certainly do feel that way, at least at times. Be assured that you are not alone with these feelings. Many of us have or had them. I have been retired since 1997 and I STILL have the dreams once in a while. One thing that has helped me tremendously, is this board. It allows me to vent on things, current and past, and get it out of my system.

            The idea of seeing a "shrink" is NOT a bad one. There is nothing there to be ashamed of. I spent several months in therapy last year, and it helped me a lot. If you do this, you may not find the "right" therapist on the first try. If this happens, keep looking until you find someone that you can "connect" with.

            Yes, it IS expensive, but man it is worth it. I would really hesitate to let my department know about it however. The crap that some of the administrators are capable of has no bounds, and it IS something that they might try to use against you.

            My last department had a "county shrink" that we were supposed to go to if we had problems. The only problem with that was, that everybody in the county knew if someone was going to this little squirt, and what their problems were.

            Good luck with this, and again, feel free to contact me if you would like to.
            6P1 (retired)

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            • #7
              I have heard many positive things about Hal Brown who runs a Police Stress sight. He is a police officer and a Psychotherapist, possibly he could be of some help.
              http://www.geocities.com/stressline_...tressline.html

              Don is right, seeing a Psychiatrist couldn't hurt and it doesn't mean you are nuts. My son is one and his advise to his brother was, "Do a little research and find one who is reputable, if you decide to go that way."

              [ 04-11-2002: Message edited by: Pnutt ]
              Illegitimus non carborundus!

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