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Torn Up By Public Controversy About Me....

Discussion in 'General' started by CaptainR, Apr 4, 2007.

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  1. CaptainR

    CaptainR Active Member

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    As I typed my last post I got another phone call from a former coworker. He was supportive and worried about how I was enduring the public controversy about me. Well, unfortunately I've been ignoring it, and didn't realize things were heating up around me. (If you don't know what I'm talking about, my intro and other posts explain.)

    So now, I'm torn. Do I continue to focus internally, disregarding the majority of the chaos around my situation, or do I dive in and read the stories and letters to the editor, and take the chance they spin me down farther again. I really don't know which is the right way. I don't want to hide, yet I want to hide.

    The craziness of dealing with PTSD and depression seems enough to endure, yet I get to endure the public criticism and condemnation of my mistake. Anyway my bad decision is haunting me significantly, and I'm struggling to go on, holding on to the slim hope that people will understand I'm a human being, like all of them, and not some soulless name they read in the newspaper with no history and no feelings.

    I know my situation is fairly unique, so I don't expect anyone's endured this specific situation. Just wanted to get it out there. Take it out of my head for the morning so I can move on with the day and see what tomorrow brings. My internal chant at the moment is "weather the storm, just hold on till the clouds start to thin".
     
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  3. PTSDd_Off

    PTSDd_Off Member

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    Hi Captain - I'm an advocate of hitting this thing head on. I hhad a similar experience which ended up exhausting me through all the energy I was putting into it. In the end I 'came out' and openly admitted that I had PTSD & depression. Sure there were those who formed a discrimintory opinion (that's inevitable) but for every one of those there were two who admired my honesty and integrity and acknowledged how diffficult it must've been to try and juggle things. I even offerd to stand down but those above me suggested that I spread the load and I was amazed at how those around me helped out.

    Another example, here was a relatively unknown politician here (in Tasmania actually) who has depression 'came out' and - while he did stand down - he became nationally known and admired for his honesty and integrity. Because of his profile, he brought the issue of depression out of the shadows and gave it profile. Suddenly, everyone who has depression started to admit their condition also.
     
  4. Makingitthrough

    Makingitthrough New Member

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    I am not entirely sure what you situation is but I think I understand how you feel. I am in the 11th grade and my advanced english class decided that we should cover PTSD as a unit. We spent days debation whether or not we thought it was real or these "people" jus wanted time off work and some monetary compensation ( we were relating it to war) But it just got to me. I was forced to sit in a room and have 40 people who do not know what they are talking about debating my life. I lost it I finally cracked, I couldn't breathe and I had to leave. The next day my tecahe rhtoguht she deserved an explaination and when I told her she decided that this must has been a very interesting time for meto learn something. On my assignment on the topic she gave me 60%. Apparently it did not feel inforemed enough, not enough opinions. God I hate that women. Poeple are harsh, in the end she told all my other teachers and I get treated differently now.

    I am not sure if thta was at all simular to your situation, most people would not compare highschool to the real world, but its all I have right now.

    (sorry about typos, I cannot type)
     
  5. YoungAndAngry

    YoungAndAngry Well-Known Member

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    Honestly I wouldn't know what to do in your particular situation.
    While responding or publicing addressing the issue could go either way.

    People just need to understand that, just because you have a badge,
    you are not immune to mental or physical illness.

    Everyone messes up at some point,
    it's just really unfortunate when our mistakes are made public

    Take care of yourself,
    Be strong,
    Y&A
     
  6. map9

    map9 Active Member

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    Public Scrutiny

    Your situation is unique in that all the "laundry" is hanging out there for all to see and comment upon. Tackling this whole ordeal head on would be the best avenue. Do get help for yourself, it could prevent you from health problems down the road. Admitting to whatever part you were involved with and facing the consequences will pave the way to resolving the predicament. Don't decieve yourself or others. Better to go on and get this handled in the most expeditious manner as possible will help the healing process. You will have your detractors and that is to be expected. Those good and positive actions you have taken in the past should duly be considered. At this time you will have to be your own best counsel because your going to have to live with the outcome whatever it is. Face the angry mob and be honest. My sincere hope is for a speedy resolution so you can get back to the duties that you are trained for. We all make mistakes. Sincerely, map9
     
  7. APB

    APB New Member

    I suggest you ignore the Media

    I too am LE. We all know the media is not on our side, anything you read that is negative is only going to make you dwell on the mistake you made. If you address the contoversy you will probably keep the attention on you longer. I would focus on taking care of yourself.
    I was involved in a high profile shooting incident. I shot a gunman that had shot numerouse people prior to my arrival, and failed to drop his weapon when I ordered him to. He continued to fire so I fatally shot him.
    I followed every story and report, I wish I had not. Aside from the news stories causing me to relive everything. They did not always portray me in a positive light. And then there were letters to the editor stating things such as, I should have shot the rifle out of his hands. Civilians can be very ignorant, I think they are best to be ignored until you are better. I collected all the newspapers and still have them after 13 years, I just wish I would have waited until now to read them. It really bothered me to be critisized in public by uninformed ignorant people.

    Stay safe, Stay alive.

    APB
     
  8. Audrey_Hepburn

    Audrey_Hepburn New Member

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    Hi

    Hello,

    I haven't read your whole story but if you're in a situation where you're being criticised publically, I can relate and sympathise because that's what I'm going through right now.

    The fact that I have PTSD does not seem to matter, in fact they're saying I'm unstable, so I'm not sure I would come out re PTSD. Some people can be cruel. But of course, only you know your situation, it may actually help you in your case.

    Take care,
    Audrey
     
  9. WarHippy1%

    WarHippy1% Active Member

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    Alcoholic To Maybe Alcoholic

    Hi Captain,
    Sorta harsh heading I put up at the top. Besides being a combat decorated Vietnam Vet, and the blessing of a combat related diagnosis of PTSD, I'm a recovering alcoholic. I hit my bottom one morning, awakening to a phone call from my foreman, asking where the F was I. I went out to get in my car to go to work and I noticed both of my drivers side tires were scuffed, and my front rim had a big dent in it. I went to work and spent the day looking at the bay door, expecting the police to come walking in to arrest me for whatever I had done the night before, that caused the damage to my tires. BECAUSE I HAD NO CLUE!! The last thing I remembered was standing at the bar. At that point, I still had never heard of PTSD. All I knew was alcohol and a blackout was the only way I knew to deal with my Vietnam issues constantly playing in my mind. That was the night of my last drink of alcohol, November 21st 1989. How do I remember the date so well? The next night I went to my first meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous, and that was my sobriety date. You're probably wondering what relevance this has to your situation. The members of Alcoholics Anonymous have full knowledge that Police and Firefighting careers have some of the highest incidences of both PTSD AND alcoholism, and with good cause, almost daily trauma, the closest thing you can get to combat as a civilian. We understand. There are special meetings for police and firefighters, because we also understand open meetings are a little too public for public officials. This is a little ironic, I'm a member of a well-known outlaw motorcycle club, based out of Southern California. My stereotypical response is supposed to be, "See, they are just as bad as we are". But, just as law enforcement can't be as bad and corrupt as we see the picture, we are not as bad as the picture painted of us. Personally, I see certain members of our Federal Government moving toward a hostile takeover of our way of life, and unless law enforcement is in on it, that's gonna make us brothers-at-arms against a common evil, but that's another forum. The point I'm trying clumsily to make, the public(well, at least AA) understands the stress your job causes you, especially the alcohol end of it. You've got an extra stressor, you're in the public eye. My official advice as a recovered alcoholic and PTSD sufferer, with no public statement, the public will think the worst. If you come clean with the public, state why you were drinking that night, admit that it was no excuse for your drunk driving, but then state that you are only human and sometimes at weak moments we all make bad judgement calls. You may not make any friends at the department saying that, but you'd be surprised how many people will understand what happened that night. Members of AA will probably even try to save you, HA! HA! HA! I thought you could use a little chuckle right about now. And, that's my humble opinion, and with that, I'll pass to the Captain.
    Good Luck Sir,
    WarHippy1%
     
  10. CaptainR

    CaptainR Active Member

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    Thanks for all the kind words and suggestions. Things are beginning to cool off and lighten up. The light at the end of the tunnel is still dim and a long way off, but at least it's glowing.
     
  11. APB

    APB New Member

    That is good to hear Captain,
    Hang in there.
    I just wanted you to know that it does get better, with help.

    I still have numerous symptoms, but, I used to have constant intrusive thoughts, and severe anxiety in crowded, noisy environments. Those symptoms has lessened significantly over the years.

    Stay safe.

    APB
     
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