Over the past six months, I have met with Police, Social workers, Nursing staff and Members of our armed forces ...each conversation has compounded my disbelief and frustration as to why these exceptional human beings are taken for granted and the assumption is made that they are built different in some way to deal and cope with the impact their roles have on them and their families, day in, day out and in between.
My understanding is that the average Joe on our streets has no idea what each of these individual's give to the so called 'job'. What makes us think that they can deal with the trauma's and emotions they encounter on what can sometimes be on an hour by hour basis? Those of us (and that includes me), who have had experiences that have really shook our lives, can re-live trauma flashbacks and nightmares leaving insecurities, phobias and the uncontrollable panic attacks. We have no idea when they will appear and side swipe us over and over again.
So tell me, how does the human mind or psyche, process this ? Just because our emergency services personnel receive a few hours or if lucky, an annual two day courses on how to disconnect and desensitise, comes no where near to creating a different human to any one of us.
Why choose the job then?
Yes it takes a certain type of person to take on the role of front line soldier, Police Officer or Emergency department trauma nurse..but why are they so invisible when they are the most important part of our structure to stay safe, healthy and live in a society that is guarded.
Can you believe that after a Police officer has walked into a domestic violence scene where one person has been brutally murdered and another is holding a small, petrified child as their bargaining tool, they are just expected to fill in some paperwork and go onto the next call which could well be a suicide where the poor person has created a scene of pure horror...again the officer/s are expected to walk into that situation and back out onto the next call....at what stage are they cared for? who takes them to one side and checks how they feel about what they have witnessed? when they go home and open that front door ....do we suppose they just flick a switch and it's all filed away under 'day job'...far from it.
I want every person dealing with these situations cared for...taught how to deal with seeing their colleagues blown up in front of them, walked carefully through the steps of disconnection and offloading. Handed techniques to apply for sleep and anxiety disorders..this is not a day course or a leaflet handout..this is continued..regular and tailored care..but guess what...it costs money so it doesn't happen...my frustration is explosive as you can tell.
My whole heart thanks you all around the world for doing what you do..I wish I could look after each of you and hope to give you something back xx