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  1. #1
    deputyc5's Avatar
    deputyc5 is offline deputyc5
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    i need some help coping

    I just need some help copeing with a tough call I had last week. It was a house fire and we found three bodys, two of them were children. burnt beyond recognition. when I was there I was on the job and did not have time to think about it. NOW I am on my 7 day break and am going crazy. I cant seem to get the smell out of my nose and that sight out of my head. PLEASE can someone help me to be able to deal with this trauma. PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. #2
    mack's Avatar
    mack is offline Officer Resource Offical Auctioneer
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    deputyc5, I am bumping this for you because I think some of the guys here may have missed this post. I just read your introduction and saw where you said you are new to LE. Sometimes we get carried away with joking around with each other and miss a cry for help from newbies.

    My dad, I miss him every day.

    Originally Posted by Wolven
    Life is too short to wear unsexy underwear.


    I am a female!!!!! LMAO

    Be who you are and say what you feel.....
    Because those that matter...don't mind...
    And those that mind...don't matter

  3. #3
    Willowdared's Avatar
    Willowdared is offline Bendy not Breaky
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    Does your agency have any kind of peer support program, or chaplain?

    We had a similar house fire here not too long ago, and I know there were some very experienced deputies that struggled with the emotions.

    Find someone you can trust to talk to, and know that you are not alone in those feelings.

    {{{{{hugs}}}}}
    Molly Weasley makes Chuck Norris eat his vegetables.

    Do not puff, shade, skew, tailor, firm up, stretch, massage,
    or otherwise distort statements of fact.
    FBI Special Agent Coleen Rowley

  4. #4
    keith720's Avatar
    keith720 is offline Finely Aged
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    You really need to find a GOOD outlet right now. Talk to someone, a Minister, a shrink or whomever. The PTSD you are feeling is nothing unusual. Don't tell yourself garbage like "you shouldn't let it bother you," "it's no big thing," or anything like that. The loss of life is a big thing. It's something that'll stick with you throughout your career. There are any number of people on this site that will be willing to listen and help you through this. As Pdawg said, you're not alone.
    For the morning will come. Brightly will it shine on the brave and true, kindly upon all who suffer for the cause, glorious upon the tombs of heroes. Thus will shine the dawn.

    Winston Churchill

  5. #5
    depusm12's Avatar
    depusm12 is offline Patrolman
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    I had a similar experience dealing with a death a while back. . Talk with somebody u trust . Maybe writing might help. That's what helped me.
    James
    Dept of the Army Civilian Police
    "Loyalty above all else, except Honor"
    Never forget those who fell on 9/11/01
    S&W beats 4 Aces every time

  6. #6
    Wolven's Avatar
    Wolven is offline Major
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    Most departments have post-incident counseling available...or some other type of program where you can talk to a professional if needed. I would highly recommend it...keeping things like this inside is never good. Take care and I hope you are able to find some help dealing with this.
    Never be afraid to do what's right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way" ~Martin Luther King, Jr

  7. #7
    narcodog is offline Rookie
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    If he is from Western NC there will be little or no support help for him.

    Young Deputy what the others said you need to talk this out with someone that you trust.

    One good source is an SBI agent. Most I know are very helpful and most have a lot of experience. See if you can't get up with one of them.

    Most S.O.'s have a Chaplin some are good some are not so good but that is a source if you have one.
    "A Knights Oath
    A Knight is sworn to valor; His Heart only knows virtue; His Blade defends the helpless; His Might upholds the weak; His Words speak only the truth; His Wrath undoes the wicked"

    Aspire to Inspire

  8. #8
    AlDeputy's Avatar
    AlDeputy is offline Master Officer
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    You have gotten some great advise, talk it out, don't hold it in, it will get better, remember there was nothing you could have done to change the outcome. You will never forget the images nor will you forget the the smell, but you will learn to live with it. I remember my first dead body like it was yesterday, but it was almost 30 years ago.
    But you're a deputy, you can't give me a ticket!

    Yea Ok, sign here and press hard there are 4 copies!

  9. #9
    deputyc5's Avatar
    deputyc5 is offline deputyc5
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    Thanks to all of you for your advise, I am going to go and pal around with some guys from my squad today. I just dont want to sit here alone with my thoughts. But on the other side I am feeling some better today and I have started to eat again. I think that is progress.

  10. #10
    Second Chance's Avatar
    Second Chance is offline Be the last one standing
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    Good deal....glad you seem to be coming around. I am sure alot of officers in here started out in the military, so we have seen our share of bodies. We sometimes joke around with it, it is our way of dealing with it. Just talk to your friends and let them help you through this..............
    Swamp Mafia





    The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
    ~Edmond Burke

    Certainly there is no hunting like the hunting of man and those who have hunted armed men long enough and like it, never really care for anything else.
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    Disclaimer: The opinions given in my signatures DO NOT reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are MY PERSONAL OPINIONS and I accept sole responsibility as such.

  11. #11
    mack's Avatar
    mack is offline Officer Resource Offical Auctioneer
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    Glad to see people responded deputyc5. Your thread just got pushed down by other posts. You do appear to be making progress, but you should listen to the others above and talk it out with someone also. Don't hold it in, these guys know from experience what you are going through. You made the right choice coming here and asking for help, continue on and take the advise given.

    My dad, I miss him every day.

    Originally Posted by Wolven
    Life is too short to wear unsexy underwear.


    I am a female!!!!! LMAO

    Be who you are and say what you feel.....
    Because those that matter...don't mind...
    And those that mind...don't matter

  12. #12
    sgtbear111's Avatar
    sgtbear111 is offline retired
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    The smell may be with you a while. That is normal when dealing with a fire investigation.

    Images of dead kids will stay longer. I carry an image of a drowned child from a call on 7-1-1982.

    You will learn to cope, file it, and put it behind you.

    You are not alone. Remember that. Contact your FOP or a larger dept for a peer support group or critical incident counselor. Ask the Fire Chief, or FD Officer. FD seem to be better connected to sources of help for their people. Ask your priest, pastor, or physician. It's tough to ask for help in a small community, due to fears of gossip.

    A lot of us old timers here have been there before. We can help too. Use the PM - ask.

    You are not alone. What you are experiencing is normal. You are working thru being simply a witness to a horrifying incident you were unable to change. The lingering smells, the loss of sleep, the intrusive thoughts - all are normal reactions to an abnormal situation. Cops do not like the "helpless", or "vulnerable" labels. Sometimes there is nothing we can do. Talk it out with someone and it will sort out. It doesnt go away over night, but be patient, it will work out.

    You are not alone.
    Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for awhile and leave footprints on our hearts. And we are never, ever the same.-- Anonymous

    Old People, like me, may not be around to witness the destruction of our Nation. The rest of you may not survive the collapse. We all have the sworn duty to prevent it.

    The light of hope burns brighter than the fires of doom.

  13. #13
    gozling's Avatar
    gozling is offline the gene pool could use a little chlorine
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    There is a great thing to do before you go to bed when dealing with trauma... not sure if it will work for you but since your resources are limited- it works for me and the shrink got me started with it.
    I would have horrid nightmares about one particular incident for a long time but i started doing this visualization type of therapy. While you are laying in bed, constantly think of the best time/plave you had or been in your life and live it over and over while you fall asleep. When you are awake and get that deep gut disgusting feeling - think of it as well - at first I thought this was stupid but it really started to work and change how my body reacted to the bad things when they would creep in. It was hard because I had to force myself something awful to do it, but over time it made me stronger to the bad things I had to deal with sometimes...
    just a thought since you have not much help there
    I also write a lot... you will see a link to my poetry- most of that is vented crap and it helps to put shit in a bubble and blow it away
    I hope you are able to work it out with your buddy or something!
    http://www.allpoetry.com/Grunts%20Girl

    We dallied under
    Vine maples and sapling alders
    Searched for lady slippers
    But instead
    Found blackberry riots and
    Desiccated branches

    An old skid road
    Brought ghost ferns and
    Hollows filled with
    Skunk cabbage
    While waves wrapped
    Intricate lacings of weeds
    'Round mule spinners

    His cyanotic eyes
    Were hard enough to make
    The sun turn tail and
    Tender enough to attract me
    To his world of illusion

  14. #14
    Xiphos's Avatar
    Xiphos is online now I Void Warranties
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    All excellent advice! Dealing with children is one of the toughest aspects of this job for all of us. I held a dying 6 year old (hit by a car) several years ago. I can still feel the hair on his head in my hands. There is nothing wrong or "un-macho" being disturbed by dead people, especially children. There's nothing wrong with you! Peer support and other mental health services are only helping you deal with known trauma. There's nothing "broken" about you, you are just trying to cope with trauma that would bother most of us. Good luck and keep us posted!
    Pleasing nobody, one person at a time.

    That which does not kill me, better start fucking running.

    If I lived every day like it was my last, the body count would be staggering.

    I intend to go in harm's way. -John Paul Jones

    Hunt the wolf, and bring light to the dark places that others fear to go. LT COL Dave Grossman

  15. #15
    Jks9199 is offline The Reason People Hate Cops & Causer of War
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    Lots of good advice. Let me add one more thing:

    Get a copy of Emotional Survival For Law Enforcement. It's got lots of good advice for dealing with what this job will do to your head.

    And I hope you followed up with getting out of the house... Hell, matinee movies aren't terribly expensive. Go see something stupid and fun.
    Voting against incumbents until we get a Congress that does its job.

    TASER: almost as good as alcohol for teaching white boys to dance

    "Don't suffer from PTSD -- Go out and cause it!"
    -- Col. David Grossman, US Army, ret.

    All opinions expressed are my own and are not official statements of my employer.

  16. #16
    Shoestring's Avatar
    Shoestring is offline Please dont check the trunk...
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    Things are hard when you dont see them often. I remember my first EMS call, first dead person, first suicide, etc. It is not always easy to cope with, it can be very tramatic. My outlet was others on the job. I am a jokester so we were able to laugh things out and things like that but, I had people to help me through it.

    My advice, the people you work with and your friends can be great outlets, just talking abuot things can take a huge weight off your chest.

    Good Luck, We are here too
    Somebody Please, what the hell is that smell?

    "The difference between 'involvement' and 'commitment' is like an eggs-and-ham breakfast: the chicken was 'involved' - the pig was 'committed'."

    The views, opinions, stupid off the cuff comments, mouthy, obnoxious, thoughtless, etc etc etc are not always or even some of the time the belief of my department, so bugger off!

 

 

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