Anonymous and K9 Dyno
I have been a Police Officer for a little over 7 years in a metro police department. Having this job is one of the most important things I have ever accomplished in my life. This job was truly a calling for me and I made the decision to pursue the calling in my mid-thirties.
In this short time, I have seen many lives taken however, which is never easy to see. Mostly young people and that has become even harder to see over the years. One incident involved a shooting where a young man had been shot in the chest, when I arrived on scene, he was still alive. This young man was looking at me to save his life and I could see it in his eyes as he struggled to breathe. He was so scared and looking directly at me, then he passed away. I couldn’t do anything to save him. That was probably the first time I started having trouble.
I was involved in an accident where a drunk driver struck our squad and broke my arm. I had such bad nerve damage after surgery that I thought I may never be able to be a cop again. My hand was disabled for months as I was unable to move even the fingers due nerve palsy. Thankfully I regained the use of my arm and hand. However, I still flinch every time I enter an intersection or see a vehicle come close to the squad. I am also left with constant pain in my arm.
I also supported the city during the riots and that completely sucked too. My partners, myself and the public should have never had to go through that. Yelling, gunfire, fireworks, and crowds are never easy.
I have a hard time accepting that it is ok to feel any type of fear or pain, as I still look at this as being weak on my part. I should be able to handle this. This is the job, suck it up and carry on. However, after many years of “sucking it up” I have become a miserable person to be around. My family must walk on eggshells around me many days out of the week as they do not know how I will react. I have stopped doing anything fun as I do not want to let my guard down. My daughter draws pictures of everyone in the family smiling except daddy, he never smiles. I could go on and on. I am taking the steps to cope and take care of myself so I can continue with my career that I am so passionate about and be the dad/husband I want to be.
My wife reached out to this great foundation and asked for me to receive a friend who might help me get through my struggles. I was apprehensive at first as I feel I don’t need anyone to help me and that there are others who are more worthy. However, after being around others who have received their furry friend, I need a friend who has unconditional love and wants to be there for me always. I am looking forward to starting the healing process with my new friend.