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My struggles from tragedy

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  • My struggles from tragedy

    It has been two years since my attack on the job. It has been a long and treacherous road toward getting my life back together. Now suffering from constant pain and mental problems as a result of my attack, it has left me wondering if I will ever be able to go back on the job again? Every day officers on the streets and inside the jails put their lives on the line in order to serve and protect. Almost everyday we endure challenging situations that take us to the brink of our own sanity. I never thought that my day would come as soon as it did for me that night. I sensed something was wrong that entire night. Yet, I continued my duties as I promised. I followed orders from those in charge of me despite knowing their decision was a bad call, a call that would result in me getting attacked. Why? Because I was an officer sworn to uphold a duty. Not a day goes by that I do not wish I could have that day back, I wonder should I have done what I did, should I have stood my ground against ranking officers?, should I have done something differently? For many of you, I hope that the day never comes when these questions haunt you day and night. I hope that you are never faced with the pain and suffering that I have just because we are officers. Our wounds heal and our scars we can hide, people move on and forget that that day ever happened. For those of us who lived it, that day will never go away, our wounds will never fully heal and our scars will always have a place. It can be a very hard road to travel and no matter the extent of our injuries, the emotional and mental pain will remain the same. It can take it toll on you as an individual as well as families and friends. We are soldiers of our community that are often forgotten by others. We can be forever changed by one single action of an individual. But, we can move forward with time, we can move on with our lives and we can once again rise above and stand for what we believe in. My story does not end here and I encourage officers to share their stories and find the courage to move forward. Its not easy, but its not over!


    Pontiacgm01
    Tennessee Officer

  • #2
    The reasoning of "why" is not going to help you....now. Easier said than done but you must concentrate on healing yourself.

    The struggles of dealing with a line of duty injury are a task in itself. Pain has a way of making someone mad. Second guessing yourself will only create more pain and that will inhibit the healing process.

    Fighting/dealing with workman's comp is stressful on the individual, family and finances. It's a game to them.

    Often time, co-workers don't know what to say and therefore alienate the injuried. It makes you feel forgotten...bad for the mental process. If they could only walk in your shoes for just a day...they would understand...but they don't.

    Our dept after hearing all of the W/C horror stories..came up with a "program" per se...no one left behind. They check up on those on disability, see if they can assist in anyway shape or form. From dinners, dr appts, filling out paperwork or just merely company.

    DX1 was injuried and finally medically retired. It was a long process....one with no assistance or guidance. She was saddened to have to leave this line of work..on someone else's terms. It was hard for her to accept...but she finally said,"Things happen for a reason. I'm not sure what that reason is right now!"

    She has helped others who are going thru the W/C process..and made it an easier transition for them. What to expect etc....

    With that I hope that there is someone...who can help you. Don't feel that you are the only one in this predicament...and that you are alone.

    Good luck and feel free to create threads here. It's been two years since you were attacked...and you only have one post. What took you so long?? We are all brothers and sister here....willing to help in any way that we can. Some of us have BTDT a few times in our career.
    This profession is not for people looking for positive reinforcement from the public. Very often it can be a thankless job and you can't desire accolades, because those are not usually forthcoming. Just do your job to the best of your ability and live with the decisions you've made.

    Comment


    • #3
      Shame and confusion took me this long to post. I am at a point now that I feel like I should be over it all by now. The fact that I am not leave me shameful and out of control. Its not easy for one day. Every time I hear the doctors tell me this and that, I think to myself how am I going to live with that label now, how am I going to deal with the effects of this now and later. I am too young to be in the position that I am in and I can't help but to partly blame myself because I feel like I should have expected this at some point doing this line of work. The fact that it happened to me should not at all shock me, I should recover mentally just fine and be able to get over the physical hurdles naturally. Struggling daily with depression, flashbacks, fear and anger....at some point I wonder what's the break point? I feel like I should not be experiencing these feelings, I feel like I should be better than that, trained better than that, be able to move on better than this. But, I am not. At 30, I face the prospect of never working law enforcement again, maybe never living a completely pain free life. Living a life restricted by all the damage done by one person. Every time I feel the physical pain, I get even more angry. Each time I have to go to the doctor day in and day out, I get a little more angry. I get angry at family, friends, doctors, medications.....I desperately seek my life back, but I don't know how. My department completely abandoned me, I have not heard from anyone except 2 close friends since the attack, the night of the attack, I received one visit from the Sheriff who spoke 1 min and left me lying there. From that moment on, the department left me laying in that hospital bed broken. A job I had cherished and made so many sacrifices for left me broken, insulted, and alone. Now, I move through wondering if the career I once loved truly exists out there.

      Comment


      • #4
        It's called being human.

        Anger is negative energy.....put your negative energy toward getting yourself out of your rut! You will make yourself crazy.

        You are not the only one going thru this...how about age 32....can't walk, can't stand, constant pain, fighting W/C, no visits, no calls, no answers, no approvals for drs visits, no assistance. They WERE willing to provide an endless supply of any meds .....oxycodone...sure!! Nope not going to fall for getting hooked on an opiate...TYVM! Nice try to cover up the pain...and not fix the problem.

        A year later.......uhh sorry due to your limitations...we don't have sheeot for you! Put in your disability retirement which takes a year to process...so no paycheck...zero!

        Ten years later......had to learn to walk again, can't stand for long periods and still can't drive! Learned to live with the pain...good days and bad days. Still angry that her career ended on someone else's terms...YOU BET! We still talk about going on calls together....like it was yesterday.

        "Things happen for a reason....maybe it was meant to be"

        Today we are enjoying life...exactly where we want to be...both still young (well one of us is...her) with no cares in the world!

        It will come......when?? That's up to you!
        This profession is not for people looking for positive reinforcement from the public. Very often it can be a thankless job and you can't desire accolades, because those are not usually forthcoming. Just do your job to the best of your ability and live with the decisions you've made.

        Comment


        • #5
          I appreciate all the replies and I take the comments to consideration. Its not an easy adjustment by far, I just didn't realize it would be this difficult. In my struggles with workers comp, I too have fought off medications in lieu of being treated for the problem itself. I refuse to become a person guided strictly by pills alone. I guess my mind is so used to structure and I always saw myself with a plan, well now I don't have either of those to ground me. I struggle to even grasp a thought of having a plan at this point. What should I do after this medical is over and what should I do while I am in this situation? Those are questions that haunt me all day. There have been moments during this that I was just inches away from suicide and one more beer away from starting to drink all my pain away. Days come and go and some times they are a little more worse than the day before. Doctors try to treat me with medications and every medication doesn't work or works exactly the opposite, and they tell me they are dumbfounded at this and I am one unique tough individual to crack. I look back on that day and I try to make sense of it all. I sometimes doubt my own ability to stand up for myself. Today, I sit and I think that good days will find me. Its the bad days that will get me. I want to refuse to give that man the power to control the rest of my life. However, its like all of the pain, the doctors, the dreams, the issues just keep putting me back in that day. Like my own personal prison cell, trapped in that moment. Trying to figure it out and make sense of it. I may never get that opportunity, I thought I would had that opportunity at his trial. That turned out to be a joke as well. The department, never took a statement from me, they never talked to me about the trial, they "lost" my report of the incident and the trial was over in hours. What started as an Attempted Murder charge ended up being "Reckless Endangerment", all my suffering was worth nothing to that jury or those entrusted with pleading my case. I was left crushed and instilled with even more anger. I look at that uniform sometime and I think of the man who used to wear that with pride and now I look at me and see a shameful, broken individual who may never be the same again. I appreciate your words and I enjoy this opportunity to release some of my ideas and frustrations with people who relate to me. Maybe that is what I am lacking, someone who truly can relate to my situation. Please do keep writing and I appreciate it all. Thanks and I promise to keep writing my thoughts and sharing my ideas if that is ok with this forum?

          Pontiac

          Comment


          • #6
            Just knowing and understanding that you are not the only one going thru this will be the first step. What you've written is what happens to most who deal with W/C.

            Feel free to write anything you want on this forum.

            Enable your PM's please...
            This profession is not for people looking for positive reinforcement from the public. Very often it can be a thankless job and you can't desire accolades, because those are not usually forthcoming. Just do your job to the best of your ability and live with the decisions you've made.

            Comment


            • #7
              I really can not step in your shoes. I have been attacked before and been in the hospital, but never anything major. But, I will say never ever let the POS that did anything to you win by giving up or letting them controlling you life. If you ever need anything shoot me a PM if you need someone to talk to. Stay strong brother. We are all a family here..

              Comment


              • #8
                Expectations. What are expectations? When we are kids we have dreams of someday becoming doctors, lawyers, vets, firefighters, or police officers. We set in motion in our minds a series of realities based on how we want our lives to be and how that occupation will entangle itself into our lives. We start pretending to be that person, we gather toys and items to solidify our position as we pretend we are helping others and saving lives. We happily go about our lives wishing for that day to come, not ever considering the sacrifices or the dangers involved. As we get older, some of us will lose track of the dream of one day becoming what we once hoped. However, some of us hold true to our dreams. We do the right things in life, we work hard to achieve our goals, we spend countless hours preparing for school, we go off to college, we go into training, we find work in our field and along this whole ride we gathered more and more glimpses of what that final day would be like. The day when we finally stepped into our careers we had dreamed about all these years. We realized we had worked so hard to get there, we had done so much to make our dreams a reality for us. But, as we travel further into the depths of our career we start to realize that all the glimpses we once had of a shimmering career have started to become over shadowed. Over shadowed, by corruption, over shadowed by politics, over shadowed by dishonesty and a lack of trust. Yet, we continue on down this path, clinging to our original dream of how this time would be. What we did not calculate is that one second in our journey, that could take what we had dreamed of and what we once hoped for, to crumble at your very feet. That one instant of tragedy, that instant of distrust, that instant of change that broke everything you built down to fragments that now you must make sense of. When a childhood dream is shattered by cold reality and your mind's perception changes, what do we do? I would like to think that we can build another dream. Expectations are building stones for dreams. Without expectations there may not be hope, there may not be goals and aspirations. But, with expectations comes a possibility of hurt and failure. Expectations can just as easily turn your life around for the negative, it is up to all people what do to with the pieces after that. I have found that these pieces are hard to put together. I write this piece as I begin to tell my struggles and issues with this forum on hopes that maybe I will trigger some form or release for me. I hope that you all will share your thoughts and comments as you have. I hope that not only maybe I can be helped in writing, but someone else can be helped in hearing my struggles and knowing as mention by others on here, that they are not alone. I hope that this thread lives for those who have struggles. I hope that end the end of this some light will shine on us all. Thank you guys for listening to me and responding, it really feels great to share.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Your posts are kind of hard to read..could you break them up into paragraphs please...thanks. It makes it easier to reply.

                  Expectations and reality are two different things. We expect or dream what this career would be like. When you make it...it's not really what is depicted. A career of excitement is usually 2 minutes of adrenalin and 6 hours of paper! The unknown is the excitement! Our day picks us...we don't pick it!

                  Work ethics are a personal trait. You are not responsible for how others do or don't do their job. Your evaluation only covers what you do and how you do your job. Don't worry about other people's work ethics...and how some stray.

                  Most in this field only know LE. No one likes change...certainly not type A personality people. Structured and anything else doesn't compute!

                  For you...you must move on. Accepting the change is the hardest. Dx1's career was cut short....2 years after FTO. Trust me she struggled and still gets angry..because it wasn't on her terms.

                  There is life after LE......physical limitations makes it difficult...but nobody here is a quitter. Do the best you have with what you've got...tiny steps forward...sometimes you'll take two steps backward...that's okay...but make a goal...and go for it!

                  No one tells you no! No isn't an option. You are in control of your destiny.

                  Did you fix your PM's
                  This profession is not for people looking for positive reinforcement from the public. Very often it can be a thankless job and you can't desire accolades, because those are not usually forthcoming. Just do your job to the best of your ability and live with the decisions you've made.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    DepX2- sorry for the long posts, the thoughts start coming out and I just keep typing without regard to format. Susan, I have long desired to be at the beach. The problem is, now I am not a very out in the public person. I have PTSD as a result of this attack and I basically do not go out other than to doctors. I tried and I tried to overcome it.

                    See that is what is mentally frustrating about this whole ordeal. I can physically comprehend the injuries I can see or feel. I can not however, grasp something mentally defected. I expect PTSD from soldiers and I feel ridiculous and foolish to experience it myself knowing there are others that it would understandably apply to.

                    My PTSD has altered my entire personality and isolated me completely. I do not sleep very well almost daily, I know that each time I go to sleep is gonna be a reliving of that whole day over and over, stuck on a reel. My day away from sleeping consists of my mind constantly step by step going over that day and if I try to do something other than think about that day, my mind goes nuts. For example, lets say today I decided to wash the car to provide a task that would take my mind off of just sitting around tactically going over that day in my mind. My brain will start to go off even faster, instead of calmly washing the car I get angry, I get frustrated my mind tries to go back to its processing of the attack. As I try to focus on the task I am doing, I become anxious, nervous, very upset and things start going out of control. Throwing items and getting frustrated over the simplest mishap.

                    Now day 2 comes along and I find myself with out any thought in my mind what so ever, an hour may have went by and I have been staring at the wall the entire time without regard to anything going on around me. Suddenly, I will snap out of it realize I should try to do something and I cant get my mind to produce a thought as to what I need to do. I might stare at laundry that I intended to fold for several minutes before my mind will produce the thought to fold that item. Even though I went right over there to fold that item instantly.

                    Now as for going out, FEAR! My mind will start to automatically suspect everyone of being a threat. I can not go places with too many people around. If I can not keep my eyes on people or check areas before I enter, I just can do it. Everyone is registered in my mind as a serious threat that I have to tabulate a risk into my brain. As this continues I get anxious and tense up, leading to me getting angry toward people are simply fleeing back to the house, where I have been pretty much since the whole accident.

                    Now I say to myself, if I can think something just as easy as what clothes I want to wear today, then I should just as easily say ok......I will not be scared, I will not get angry, I will not think about that accident, I will not get flashes in my head of that day. But, I can not turn it off. After so long, well you eventually start to feel like you are losing it. I

                    It doesn't take much to trigger the thoughts in my mind, it could be a sound, a smell, an action and the physical pain serves as a constant reminder of what happened and in itself serves as a trigger.

                    I have isolated myself from the friends and family that where very close to me. I have no desire to have fun anymore, no desire to strive for goals or ambitions. The sad thing is I miss that and realize that I have tried to to return to that point in my life and it just hasnt worked out that way for me. I do not know how to let it go. There are times that I wish that that day I should have just died. When I get up each morning and realize that a groundhog day affect is going on day in and day out, well that starts to eat at a person. Just when I think that today is going to be different, it turns out the same.


                    Susan I love the beach and I loved traveling, but I don't get that opportunity anymore. If I did go, I am sure it would be me , my personal nightmare, pain and the beach. Different setting same circumstances. I do not know where this will go with me. I do not know if I will survive it or if one day I will finally give in and say enough is enough. I hate to think that I have become that person, I hate that I am that person now. I hate that I have come this far and have gotten no relief. Physical pain is tangible, you can feel that injury, you can see that wound, you know that it will heal in X amount of time or not. There is nothing tangible about the mental part.

                    DepX2, my PM should be turned on. I am sorry for X1s situation as well. I do not want to convey that my troubles are in any way more so than any other's troubles. Officers have lost their lives, I have a life, and it saddens me to think that I am in this state of frame when I know that some officers gave it all. I hate myself for that deeply. I hate this whole situation I am in. Its late and I have babbled enough to bore you to your own demises, so I will end in saying that I once again appreciate your comments, I appreciate the opportunity to vent, and I appreciate your thoughts.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thanks for breaking up the paragraphs.

                      The hardest thing for a cop to ask for is help. Your dept or medical insurance carrier should have a program to help you deal with your feelings/behavior. Look into that.

                      Our dept had it for everyone. Most are too "proud" to ask but after talking with others and taking the step...it was the best thing they could have done. Saved alot of marriages, families and individuals.

                      You need someone to talk to in person...you can't push everyone away because obviously the problem isn't going to fix itself. It may be something simple...I don't know because I'm not in that field.

                      As hard as it may sound...you need to take the steps toward...small steps...just make a telephone call. You've walked into the woods...it's time to start walking out!

                      Do you have physical limitations that prohibit you from doing things on a daily basis?
                      This profession is not for people looking for positive reinforcement from the public. Very often it can be a thankless job and you can't desire accolades, because those are not usually forthcoming. Just do your job to the best of your ability and live with the decisions you've made.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Depx2.....I do have several compressed disc in the lower back, shifted vertebrae in the upper back, suffered a broken jaw in 3 places, nerve damage to the leg and back as well. I have constant migraines and difficulty eating, I have several more surgeries to go through regarding the jaw alone. I am limited to what I can do, but I try to continue to be as active as possible. Its EXTREMELY frustrating to be limited, especially from an active person I was. I have been battling WC since the attack regarding physical and mental health. Problem is nothing has seemed to help.

                        Kinda like it was said some people do not understand that situation from a LEO prospective. Its hard to even admit I have a problem sometimes and its very difficult to understand my own problems. It has felt good venting and getting you guys' feedback.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Susan , I am really trying to hang in there and thanks for that encouragement. Each day is difficult, but I am optimistic that there will be light at the end someday.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I do have a dog, that I had for several years out of college. He has provided me with some good days. Thanks for the music link, I will use it and see what happens. I have been in a huge depressive state recently and not been sleeping at all. This has caused me to not be thinking clearly. Few nights I have been up completely wondering about, thinking things through and trying to figure them out and I really don't even know what I am trying to figure out.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              You need to find a good therapist.

                              Comment

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