My Kryptonite or What Can Make a Grown Man Cry………

Well, I have been struggling with writing this post for a bit (it’s now been almost 2 weeks).  Partly because it is a very raw subject for me as it speaks to the main cause of my current PTSD journey.  It is not easy for me to write about, nor will it be easy for you to read.  It might have triggers for some and could be just plain upsetting for others.  But, it is my reality and why I started this blog.  It needs to be written about so that you can understand my Journey.

One of the things that I need to make clear right from the start is that I am trying not to identify the people involved, whether they be members of the Emergency Service community or the family involved.  That being said, time to get it out I guess.

Back in the day, when I would go to work sporting the snazzy working uniform of a Mountie, I was posted in a prairie town, which is the bread and butter of RCMP policing.  I was working an evening shift on a cold winter day.  Like normal, I was out and about in my car driving around when a call for assistance came over the radio.  It was the ambulance at a residence requesting police assistance for a potential situation.  So, I chimed in that I would attend.

I pulled up to the sight of the back of the ambulance doors wide open and the paramedic making their way from the house with a female on the stretcher.  Okay, so far, nothing crazy as I start making my way to the house.  As I walk by, one of the paramedics said “upstairs”.  Okay, upstairs I go.  Into the house I go, seeing the stairs on my left, I hit the first landing after a handful of steps, turn to look up and see another paramedic standing at the top with something in her arms.  Shit is getting real……

I bound up the rest of the stairs to the waiting paramedic who informed me the baby was delivered upstairs.  My co-worker was already starting the scene so I went to the hospital and this is where things really go sideways.  For whatever reason (something that I am struggling with in order to make some sense of this), I soon find myself up in the Neo Natal ICU conducting a Coroner’s Investigation into the at home death of a baby.  But, it is no where as straight forward as to how I just wrote it, in fact, it is far from it.

The reason is that the baby wasn’t technically dead yet.  What, how is that possible you ask?  Well,  what happened is that a Doctor, based on prescribed guidelines, declared the baby as “non viable”.  This basically means that the Doctor decided that the baby didn’t meet the necessary weight and time since conception to have a perceived chance of survival.  So, he removed any further chance.  Yep, you read that right.  The doctor, based on his assessment, decided that the baby didn’t have a good enough chance to survive.

So what did that mean????  Well, it meant that the hospital did not have to provide any life-sustaining measures and the baby was left to die.  Which, after a period of time, did happen.  But not before the baby impacted a number of lives.  Unfortunately or  fortunately (I am still trying to figure that out), I was one of the people impacted as I sat there, waiting for the baby to die so that I could finish the Preliminary Report of Death and carry on with the rest of the investigation and my remaining shift.

Because of the 40 minute death vigil that I took part in, I now deal with the lasting impacts.  Something that provides so much joy and happiness to people is my pain, guilt, suffering and root cause of my PTSD.  For me, babies are a trigger that takes me right back to that pain I witnessed back in 2006.  They are my kryptonite.  It was the nursery scenes in American Sniper that cracked me at the cruising altitude of a plane.  Those scenes took me right back to 2006 and I didn’t even realize it.

A baby has made me cry, not tears of happiness but tears of pain, guilt and sadness.


Coffee Dates

Yep, one of the things that I have come to believe is a necessity. Coffee Dates.

For me, they keep me grounded with my reality of being away from work.  I know, that’s a whole lot of mixed up thinking there.  Let me explain.  In policing, it is very easy to become co-dependent on the thrill of policing to get by day-to-day.  You get caught up in the politics, the planning and the action.  Regardless if we admit to it or not, we become policing junkies.  So, by going for coffee with people still immersed in the day-to-day activities, it forces you to realize that you are not part of it right now.  In turn, it makes me understand that not only am I not part of it but due to me trying to get a handle on my PTSD, I can’t be a part of it.

The coffee dates have also shown me a number of supports that I have in the office.  A group of people who I know are more than just co-workers as they have stepped up during this time to spend time with me having coffee.


Rules, Rules, Rules…..

Unfortunately, in this day and age, and partly due to the fact that I am sworn to secreacy, I have to be somewhat careful about what I write.  Like, for instance, I won’t be using real names associated to any event I talk about.  Nor will I be giving specific details about any particular incident and hope to even go so far as avoiding the use of the locations where much of this stuff happened.

Why you ask?  Well simple.  Out of respect to those I worked with and those I were there to help, assist and serve.  If along the way, you figure out the location or people invovled, please don’t share it.  Simply contact me so that I can change the wording (I’m serious about my desire to protect those in the stories).  And beside, the small details are not important to the Journey I am writing about.  The important part of the Journey is the big picture trauma and how it has affected me and the things that I do to try and deal with it.

The other thing is not necessarily a Rule, per se.  It is more of a warning.  I am brash, I have a brutal sense of humour (occupational hazard), I am opinionated and I might say things that could be taken the wrong way.  I’ll just say “Sorry” now but in this Journey so far, I have learned that you can’t sugar coat things to make others feel better about the fact that I have PTSD.  Surpressing the feelings and opinions is part of what got me into this mess so I won’t let it continue.

THIS BLOG IS NOT FOR SNOWFLAKES.  There, I said it.  you might get offended and upset by reading what I have to say.  Sorry but this is about my real life Journey in dealing with a tidal wave of shitty situation.

Oh, and I might actually have a “Strange PTSD Thoughts” page but I am still mulling the idea over.  I can say that if I do have that page, it will not be for the faint of heart.


And my golden rule………  If you comment of a post, don’t be an ass.

When flying doesn’t include friendly skies.

Lets kick this story off.

It is the end of April 2018 and I am 30 000 ish feet in the air flying on a commercial flight to a meeting.  I’ve settled in with my free coffee, head phones in and I decided to watch “American Sniper” by Clint Eastwood. seems like a good way to pass the flight away, or is it…..

As I would soon find out, Clint Eastwood can mess you up if you’re not expecting it.  There I was, sitting in row 8, trying to cover up the fact that I am crying my eyes out and I have no idea why.  After a few minutes I’m able to compose myself only to be plunged back into tears streaming down my face.  I am panicked.  Have people seen me crying?  Why the hell am I crying?  Screw you Clint Eastwood…..  What he hell is going on?

Not sure what as happening, I composed myself and tried to figure out what was going on.  Luckily, the flight was coming to an end and I was able to find an episode of Big Bang Theory to change things up.  I was travelling with a co-worker and needed to get it together before landing as we still had a 2 hour drive to the meeting location.

The next day and a bit I kept it together, not letting on that something was wrong.  Hell, I still didn’t know what was wrong so I just pretended like everything as okay.  I guess it worked because nobody was the wiser.  But, that’s actually something important to mention which I have come to learn.  People dealing with PTSD are masters at hiding the fact that we are dealing with PTSD, or so we think.  We tend to be able to throw on a masks and make everyone think all is good in the hood, so to speak.  But those masks can only cover up for so long and only so much.

The morning before I flew back home I had a few moments of clarity partly brought on by a few glasses of beer, wine and the associated morning fuzzy head as a result.  It hit me, February 2006.  That’s what this is all about.

I then made the second hardest call of my life.  I called the (Occupational Stress Injury) OSI Clinic to get help.  I had cracked and I needed to get fixed, ASAP, before things got really out of hand.  Luckily, I was guided by a few very awesome people who led me to make a call to Breakwater Institute (see my resource page) and it turned out to be the best call I could have made.  So, you are thinking to yourself, if reaching out for help was only the second hardest call you made, what is the hardest?

Let me tell you what the hardest call to make was.  It was the call I made from the airport to my wife to tell her I cracked and needed help.  It was hard because I had to admit that I wasn’t strong enough to do this anymore.  I had to tell one of the most important people in my life that I needed help.  It was also in that moment that I made a decision to bring my family into this Journey.  As it turns out, it was probably the best decision I would make.


The Journey Begins

Okay……  So this is a preloaded page from WordPress.  It even had this super neat quote from someone I never heard of and a fancy picture or two.  I have left the header picture for now but got rid of the rest.

I will sart posting shortly but first I have to figure out WordPress and all the features it has.  Who knew a blog would be this complex?  my last blog on a different platform was soooooooo simple.

Buy lets be clear, this post doesn’t mark the Journey’s beginning.  Far from it.  The Journey started a long time ago and this blog simply marks the start of me sharing my story.