Hello Boy in blue, & Welcome to the forum. I read
your posts late last night, & was moved to tears, for how much you are
suffering as a result of the job you do. May I say, the slack response from your supervisors to your
struggles, which I am also certain are more common than most would realise is very disappointing.
A combination of your upbringing, societal expectations,
& the attitudes being re-enforced during your initial training, & I am
not surprised how much PTSD there surely must be amongst first responders. I
fear it’s another system which needs to be rebuilt in order to recognise &
respond to the needs of it’s employees much more than it does. It also needs to
recognise the secondary & tertiary impact of it’s culture, upon family
& close relatives & friends.
You’ve done so much good for the community, yet you were repaid with ‘buck
up. Be a man’. So you put on that stony face, & doing that, as you know, causes
further damage to yourself. You wind up doing exactly as you did, trying to cope,
blaming yourself for ‘failing’ (not so), to be a man, admonishing yourself for
your distress, drinking to ease the pain, forget, or if only to temporally give
yourself a break, all the while knowing, it’s an inadequate bandage, but what
else do you have?
In my own way, I’ve been there, not to the extreme end of
what’s possible, to be sure, but I feel I can empathise.
I’m very glad you have help from a Psychiatrist & a
Psychologist. It took me much more than three years to seek help, & some
You have support here, too, & we’ll be listening,
& sending you boxes of virtual tissues, too. (We have an infinite supply).
I had felt I could not allow myself to cry either, because then what I was
going through would show, & cause strife around me, so stayed silent, &
kept my emotions tightly in check for years. But they won’t be held in forever.
&, moreover, shouldn’t be. It ain’t healthy. So, cry all you need,&
talk in between, or while, if you can, to the people you trust. That’s what’s
Hope we continue to hear from you.