Anonymous and K9 Neytiri
I joined law enforcement in my thirties and am in my sixth year as a Peace Officer. Prior to that, I worked as a Correctional Officer. Law enforcement was not a career "choice" growing up. I was made to believe I was not physically and biologically fit for the job.
I come from a family of seven children. I am the oldest daughter. My parents were refugees and spoke some to little English. Being first generation born, I felt as if I had three different cultures to understand and juggle. Then there was the domestic violence. I grew up in a home prevalent of it. Growing up surrounded by it, I thought it was normal. During my college years, I eventually went to live on my own, got a dog (how I always wanted to own one) and I ended up working a Clerk Typist job in a Correctional facility.
There were so many inmates being incarcerated for domestic violence. I always remembered being upset at how my father treated my mother and us children and how frustrated I was that I could do nothing about it. This was when law enforcement came and found me and I changed my degree. I wanted to help those who were in my shoes, educate, to give back and contribute to something bigger than myself.
While in my studies, my boyfriend (of several years) and I split up. I had my dog to comfort me. Not too long after, I was assaulted by my sister's fiancé, which left me hospitalized. My dog was jumping from home to home trying to have somewhere to stay on the verge of being surrendered to a rescue or shelter. While this was happening, it is sad to say, but my family still accepted him as a family member after his brutal attack on me. Their reason? He was the father to my sister's children and he didn't attack them so they had no grudge towards him. I was so torn and devastated by my family's betrayal. We became estranged. I removed myself from the community, friends and relatives that had anything/ connection to my family. I was also in a frantic search for a new home because of the incident. All I had was my dog. I sought therapy.
Emotionally, I fought harder than ever and continued on to get my law enforcement degree. I became a peace officer. While being a peace officer, I got involved in a relationship that ended poorly. He assaulted me. I had the extremely difficult decision to either make a police report or not, knowing my business would spread. Many officers doubted my "loyalty" for doing the right thing. This new "family" I had made me feel alone again. I, again, sought therapy. I still had my dog and she kept me pushing and fighting, for her more than for me.
The trauma growing up and into adulthood has created anxiety and stress. With all the things I see, hear and deal with, the job of being a peace officer has added to the stress, created new anxieties and opened back up some trauma, to say in the least. My dog of 12 years, who was the most consistent thing in my life (the last 12 years), had helped me get through the days. Sadly, she recently passed. This was when I realized how much she steered me throughout my life, especially throughout the last six years of being a peace officer. The last several weeks have been tougher at work because I am without a buddy. I sought therapy again.
When I first heard of Soldiers 6 and their mission, I had a friend who was looking for a dog. I referred him to them, not knowing I would be in need of a battle buddy myself. I am so fortunate and blessed to be a recipient of Soldiers 6. With the support of a battle buddy, I can continue to help others while helping myself. I am beyond thankful for your consideration.