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Do you have to give it a go to know if you're ready to get out there?

Discussion in 'Military & Emergency Services' started by zebbidee, Feb 4, 2018.

  1. zebbidee

    zebbidee Active Member

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    i'm hoping to hear from anyone who has gone through treatment and who has then successfully gone back to doing what they were doing at work, pre-PTSD?

    I have been working throughout, but in a non-operational capacity. before PTSD, my job involved manually handling deceased persons and attending major crime scenes. my trauma involved witnessing a murder many years ago, which was triggered by attending a job last year (which did not involve dead bodies). its now become clear that I disassociated after witnessing the murder.

    I honestly do not know how I feel about trying to get out there again. Its completely my choice. I can continue being non-operational but I don't know if that's what I want.

    if you are basically symptom free and have processed the original trauma, is it likely that symptoms will return just by working with dead bodies again, considering violent death was a major part of my trauma? I was not impacted by attending at the mortuary greatly before, so I think I will be okay, but I just don't know. if you only have one trauma, is it more likely that you can move past it and ptsd can become a thing of the past?
     
    scout86, Freida and EveHarrington like this.
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  3. Neverthesame

    Neverthesame A Mind The Dead Have Ravaged Premium Member Donated

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    I'm sure it's possible for some people, if not most.
    I think the biggest hurdle would be the potentially traumatising nature of that line of work. I would want to be sure that I'm confident in my ability to do the job not just when I'm doing well, but when I'm not doing so well.

    If I were to find myself in a situation that I must do my job, for legal, ethical or financial reasons and cannot remove myself from the situation. I'd want to be sure I could at least get through it long enough to be able to walk away.
    I'd also want to other options lined up for myself in case I can't handle returning to work.
    I think choosing to work through difficult times because I want to work in my chosen field, is much better than forcing myself through it because I can't afford to leave.
    One is a challenge the other is torture.
     
    shimmerz, scout86, zebbidee and 2 others like this.
  4. Freida

    Freida Been There, Done That, Lived to Tell the Story Premium Member

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    hmmm..good question. I think my Ts have convinced me that going back to public safety wouldn't be healthy even after I get it under control simply because there will still be triggers. And those won't go away -- ever. I'll just get better at managing them.
     
  5. zebbidee

    zebbidee Active Member

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    thanks @Neverthesame you're totally right, it is about my being confident to know I can cope at all times, not just when i'm feeling 'fine'. that's the big question. i just really don't know. I have the option to do office based work at the same pay due to the nature of my job and so really its my choice. I'm scared if I say to my workplace "i can't do these certain things", that will hamstring me down the line if I decide that I can at some point. they might not let me then. i do not want to leave the job entirely. I am happy with what I do, its a multi-skilled job so as I said, there are alternate but equally responsible duties I can do and avoid the 'gory' stuff. but I guess I still struggle with not wanting to give up. I still have that nagging 'letting the team down' feeling - especially since I have done so well with my treatment. i honestly don't know but I definitely not being forced for any reason and understand that's a completely different scenario. i assumed until recently that my only choice was to get back to doing full duties but its been made clear to me that isn't the case.
     
    scout86, Neverthesame and Freida like this.
  6. Freida

    Freida Been There, Done That, Lived to Tell the Story Premium Member

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    I struggled with that for a long time before I left dispatch....and there are days I still feel guilty. But my health had to come first. And I found out I was more easily replaceable than I thought.
     
  7. zebbidee

    zebbidee Active Member

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    i know i'm totally replaceable haha, i'm mediocre at best in comparison to my awesome team, but i think its more that I enjoy being part of that. the work can be challenging and tough, but it can also be enjoyable, absurd and really rewarding. I feel like I've done something really worthwhile when I'm fully involved. so i just don't know if i'm ready/willing to give up all that, without even trying. my T hasn't really steered me in any direction and she just resigned, which is awesome. i'm going to have to negotiate the future at work with a new therapist.

    i really feel that I've processed the trauma and the triggering event and I'm not symptomatic at present so its hard for me to even imagine symptoms coming back. since the trigger was not a crime scene, or a body, i think i might be okay. i spent 12 years seeing all these horrific things, and it wasn't those things that caused my PTSD, but I guess I just won't know until I try. I'm not as scared of being triggered now I know what's happening - when I deliberately exposed myself to a major trigger I felt a huge weight off the next day. it was terrible at the time but it released some pressure or something. but i know we are all different and so is our trauma. i kind of feel like if i keep fronting up to this thing, eventually it will have no power over me. but maybe i'm deluding myself. i dunno!
     
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  8. zebbidee

    zebbidee Active Member

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    that was sarcasm when i said it was awesome that my therapist has resigned....i cried and cried when she told me lol but i've adjusted and just hope i can work well with the next one!
     
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  9. Freida

    Freida Been There, Done That, Lived to Tell the Story Premium Member

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    Lol. Yea. I both the sarcasm!!

    I think if if you are feeling ok and you are paying attention to triggers then sure! Going back could be good because it puts you in a place doing something you like. And..if it gets to be a problem hopefully you have done the work to recognize it and you can move on
     
    Neverthesame and scout86 like this.
  10. zebbidee

    zebbidee Active Member

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    Thanks @Freida. I think you've summed up where I'm at. I'm on leave at the moment so no big decisions have to be made just yet.
     
    Freida, Neverthesame and scout86 like this.
  11. Elmez

    Elmez New Member

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    I'm still at work. It seems when the bell goes off and we catch a call is when I feel "normal". The quiet times, especially at home are the worst. Still learning how to calm down the puppy brain. That's actually my "homework" assignment from the psychologist . Working on grounding and calming.
     
    Freida likes this.
  12. zebbidee

    zebbidee Active Member

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    @Elmez i totally get that, on both counts. I struggle most when i'm alone. I've been at work the whole time since this started (except for taking a bit of vacation time) but I haven't been going on calls for about a year. I'm starting to feel a bit 'left out' when others are going out recently. but at the same time, I'm still nervous at the prospect of going. i've still got a bit of work to do. i'm feeling in really good spirits lately and feeling much more engaged at work, and more interested in hearing the details of jobs. when i wasn't doing well I didn't want to know about anything, and was actually quite angry when people would come back bantering about a bad job/deceased case. my favourite grounding is the five senses exercise - it really helped me get a hold of myself when i was close to losing in it public situations.
     
    Elmez and Freida like this.
  13. Elmez

    Elmez New Member

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    Not familiar with 5 senses exercise. What does it consist of?
     
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