Yes you most certainly do deserve to be here, we all do!
Some of my family are volunteer SES here in Perth and I know they struggle with some of what they've been through too. Any job that puts us in danger personally, or has us facing unimaginable things for most people to ever comprehend, is both admirable and devastating at the same time.
I've said in a few of my posts that I think it really does take a certain type of person to do the things we do. What we see on a regular basis is NEVER supposed to seen. It's not things you can chat about with friends unless they do the same work. I had my brother tell me off in a big way because he overheard me talking with my husband (who happens to work in the same hospital, different job). That's when I really realised how fragile most people are to these things.
I feel your panic about events too. After you've been through any of these things you know how it feels. So whether your there for something or not, the fight/flight response that is so natural for humans kicks in. Both before I was diagnosed and definitely since, I've had so many times that I heard of traumas and would relive the feelings. Not a specific event, but the general feelings we go through. The racing heart, knotted stomach, you can feel yourself on edge so badly and all you want to do is run!
I remember not long after I was diagnosed and had stopped working, I was in my car at traffic lights and there was a horrific accident in front of me. Normally not a problem, but that day I froze. It took the honking cars to get me moving but I had to pull over, a panic attack. Scared the crap out of me!
Ironically the rescue helicopter that I saw on a daily basis at work, fly's over my house on it's way back to base. I LOVED that thing more than I express (sad I know), but I couldn't look at it for almost a year after I left work. That was so hard, hearing it every day, multiple times.
But now I'm back outside to watch when it fly's over and it feels good!
So welcome to our little thread. I hope you find some comfort from some of our posts and I hope to talk to again soon.