07-25-2011, 04:15 PM #26pontiacgm01Guest
Its been a very long week. Due to the fact my jaw was broken I am now in braces, which are preventing me from chewing because of the way my teeth are set when the jaw was repaired. Basically, they don't bite together right now. But more importantly they are flaring up the PTSD triggers that my jaw was wired shut and the emotions associated with that have flooded back. I have been struggling back and forth trying to stay grounded and not have flashbacks or dissociation. Its ended up making me almost manic.....cleaning out the garage on a whim in 100 degree weather like a mad man, despite causing me pain in my leg and back I just kept doing it I had to satisfy my mind. I have not been sleeping that great recently, despite some improvement doing meditation and easy listening to music. I am sensing a feeling that I am lost in a dark place trying to find my way out, the tools are there, the will is there, but I do not know how to make it all work to get to a better place.
07-25-2011, 04:29 PM #27
What happened to you?Certified troll.
07-25-2011, 04:30 PM #28
Read post #1This profession is not for people looking for positive reinforcement from the public. Very often it can be a thankless job and you can't desire accolades, because those are not usually forthcoming. Just do your job to the best of your ability and live with the decisions you've made.
07-25-2011, 05:56 PM #29
07-26-2011, 12:49 PM #30pontiacgm01Guest
@Michigan: When I was on duty, our dept rotates within the jail, I was asked to handle maximum security. While I made contact with the inmates in their cells, one inmate refused to allow his food door to be shut, which is a safety violation. Long story short, I contacted supervisor for assistance and he stated that there would be none, this guy was to be left alone and allowed to break the rule. For 2 more hours while making contact with other inmates I endured threats on my life, dodged feces, urine, bottles of urine, food, food trays, and other items he collected to throw at me. I again made contact for assistance and was denied. Finally, I met the supervisor face to face and explained that I was not going to continue my assignment under these conditions. He decided to speak with the inmate, privately in his cell. I was ordered to watch to make sure the supervisor was not injured or attacked. After about 45 minutes of them talking, supervisor came to me and told me he was letting the inmate out of his cell to clean up the mess he had made. I argued that I did not agree with that decision, he told me it was a final decision. BY law I am required to go back in and make contact with each inmate again for safety reasons. This time I arrived on the top floor to see the inmate out of his cell, with the floor heavily soaped with cleaner, he approached me from out of the corner where he had hidden, I ordered him back, he then hit me we fell several times on the wet floor. He kept hitting me in the head, trying to get my baton and OC as well as radio away from me. I called for help 4-6 times an no one ever came, I beat on the window of the unit watch tower and no one came. We fought for a few more rounds til he finally gave up. By this time he had broken my jaw in 3 places, injured 4 disc in my lower back, 2 in my upper back area, busted my head in 3 places. Help arrived and walked him gingerly to his cell and I was taken to hospital. The swelling was so bad I had to wait til the next day to have my jaw repaired. I laid in the hospital with my jaw hanging out all night. The department has since never contacted me, even at the trial where all my reports went missing, the video was messed up and the District Attorney never took a statement until 5 minutes before my testimony. Did I mention that I had to find out through a second source just when the court date was going to be....the end result was he got 11 months 29 days in a reduced charge from Attempted 1st degree murder to Reckless Endangerment and a small fine. Fair? I think for the pain that I have at age 30 and the pending back surgery and several more procedures on my jaw, including 3 years of braces, anchor screws being placed in to my gums in the coming months and the rebreaking of my jaw in the near future, the difficulty eating , the pain in my jaw constantly, the headaches constantly, locking jaw, nerve damage to the right side of my face with no feeling, teeth with no feeling, teeth with hypersensitivity. Along with the mental nightmares, trouble sleeping, trouble going out in public for I am always on guard when someone comes around me.
I know I didn't get shot, I didn't get stabbed. I might not have been as worse off as some other people, and I am shameful that my results are just the same. I probably should have died that night, he told me he wanted to kill me, they videoed him stating he was trying to kill me. He wanted to knock me out and throw me over the top railing down to my death. He stated that he could not get me knocked out in order to finish me. But, each day I keep telling myself that maybe I should have just given up that night and let it be the end.
Now I am struggling to find my way through that night and into today. These guys on here have been very supportive and offered many areas of advice, that I am listening to and I check regularly. This forum has become an outlet for me and a support group of some sort. These guys are so appreciated, that they take the time to care about someone they don't even know, offer advice to someone they have never met, just to share this journey and in hopes of seeing me through it. I appreciate these guys and gals.
07-26-2011, 01:21 PM #31
I admire your will to survive and your strength to beat that POS that day. You may not have inflicted the same damage on him but you survived a leathal, blindsided attack. I hate the fact that you "wish you would have died", that's not the same fighter I read about in the first part of your scenerio. I know things are tough right now and I can't imagine the pain you have already gone through, but you're no quiter. You're a surviver, a winner, a warrior.
I guess I see things a little differently from my point of view but you came out on the winning end of a live or die battle for your life. Whether it's a gun, a knife, a hammer, or fists the end result would have been the same, yet you survived. You stand tall; you're a role model for everyone, in this line of work and everywhere else: the strong survive and with the will to live, you will.
I have the upmost respect for you. I hope, I pray and I prepare for that day that I'm tested, that I too will come out alive like you. Obviously your whole situation is FUBAR and I don't understand why it ended the way it has for you. I hope you can someday be composated for your employers lack of integrity and incompotenance. It won't solve the mental or emotional aspect for you but that will come in time I'm sure.
Continue to heal, use whatever outlets you can. I live by a couple of phylosophies: What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger & everything happens for a reason.
*I'd give anything to have been your back up that day*Certified troll.
07-27-2011, 01:21 AM #32pontiacgm01Guest
@Michigan....A good way to look at it. Lots of people see it that way, I don't know why I don't, maybe its frustration, anger or the "why?"
07-27-2011, 10:21 PM #33
If you're not getting help from a qualified trauma therapist, seek one out. There are therapists who specialize in PTSD, and you need someone who knows what they're doing. ptsdforum.org is a helpful and supportive resource as well. I wish you the best.
Last edited by Reiland; 07-29-2011 at 06:56 PM. Reason: Fix wording
07-28-2011, 12:03 PM #34
- Join Date
- Sep 2010
- Upstate NY
I know you mean well and this is not at all any kind of bash. What I need to try and explain is that this is the wrong thing to tell him.
I'm in the same boat as the OP, albeit without the drastic physical injuries he is dealing with ON TOP of PTSD.
I will not kill myself, it's just not in me; that being said, there are many times when I wish God would just snuff me out. PTSD is a mother-****er to live with, especially as a Cop. There is still a VERY large stigma associated with PTSD, and whether it's intentional or subconscious, it's been my experience that the majority of Cops will abandon a Cop who comes down with it.
I spend a lot of time on this forum as a way to keep myself occupied, try to keep my mind away from things I don't want it going to, and because it's the last real tie I have to the career that I still love. I hardly mention anything about my issues anymore since when I've done so in the past on this forum I had one Cop accuse me of trying to setup some kind of scam (even though I'd already stated I had some benefits, didn't need money, and wouldn't accept it). Another Brother Cop on here lambasted me for venting about what I am going through and put me on IGNORE because he was tired of hearing about it.
I've been villified by my own City, PD, and many of my former colleagues. They call me "Loser, weak, pussy, faker, POS" and the list goes on.
I've never been so completely isolated in my life, and I know exactly what the OP is going through, as my life, three years after the incident, is still that of a complete hermit.
I don't know how the OP's battle for benefits is going, hopefully they aren't fighting that portion as hard as my City, but if so, that brings even more problems into the picture.
I live in constant absolute "fear", not knowing what is going to happen to me, where I will end-up, and what will come. If I lose the legal battles and the minor benefits I have won run-out I won't be able to support myself. With no other options, you'd be surprised at how STRONG the thought that it would've been much easier if I'd just died that night becomes.
I can tell from his posts that the OP is in the exact same hell.
While I KNOW that your intentions are absolutely honorable, what you don't realize is that by saying things like "Don't even consider it; You're not a quiter" it just breeds more shame and guilt in us.
Contemplating suicide is far different than wishing God would just take you out. I'm just not capable of the first, but there are many times I LONG for the second. It's extremely hard to go from "balls-to-the-wall Cop" to "Shutin with no purpose". I think that the loss of purpose is one of the tougher aspects of it all.
Can't write anymore about this crap right now. Sorry if this post seems kind of incomplete but I have to get my mind on something else.
07-28-2011, 12:34 PM #35
I am not going to offer any advice other than to seek and/or continue to pursue professional assistance. Always remember......you are NEVER alone unless you choose to be. You owe it to yourself (first & foremost), your family/loved ones, and lastly....to the honorable profession you so gallantly defended.
Agressively pursue treatment and get well. If for nothing else, to spite the POSs that did this to you.
Our houses are protected by the good Lord and a gun.
And you might meet 'em both if you show up here not welcome son.
07-28-2011, 03:24 PM #36
- Join Date
- Apr 2010
Pontiac- given what happened to you- not only the nasty fight you were in, and then the subsequent mistreatment by your employer, and the court system...it's completely understandable that you're frustrated, angry, and asking why.
Have you ever talked to an attorney about what happened? Seriously- your employer knowingly endangered you in a maximum security prison of all places. What the hell was he thinking, sending you in there alone- with a guy outside his cell who had already been starting trouble all night? A lawsuit is in order here, methinks...
I really admire that you fought, with broken jaw, bashed in head, and back broken in 2 spots, until the guy gave up.
Good luck to you and keep us posted!Yeah. That would go poorly. Like, on the Scale of Fail, somewhere between "Titanic" and "Chernobyl."
07-29-2011, 01:18 AM #37
I've stopped counting the number of people I have either worked with or have met who have PTSD. I've spent a lot of time in Iraq and the most frustrating aspect of witnessing people with PTSD is to watch how hard it is for strong people like yourself to a) admit they have it, and b) ask for help. I've spent time trying to convince a number of people I've cared about to seek help . It's a damn near impossible task. Too much stigma. Too much pride. Too much shame.
You are identical to all of them. I would like to ask that you please listen to those on here that've asked you to find a good therapist trained in PTSD.
Pontiac, there should be no greater priority than for you to find that specialist. Today. Now. Please don't put it off. Don't allow any of the dozens of reasons entering your mind to put it off to have sway. And don't rationalize that you can't afford it. Remove that as an excuse.
Tell yourself you will make that phone call today. Ok? Please.
07-29-2011, 04:01 PM #38pontiacgm01Guest
@Vincelli...you post on here anything you like as much as you like, I started this forum and I will continue to listen. These guys have been extremely supportive of my ramblings and thoughts. They have always offered great advice and support. So keep writing!
However, you are completely right. I have benefits in the form of WC which is always a constant battle. I have been isolating myself for most of the time since the attack, only going out mainly to doctors visit which has been almost a full time job in itself.
As far as attorney goes, Tennessee has a good faith immunity law for law enforcement officers in this state making it difficult for me to prove that I was intentionally placed in harms way. They also have a law that says that WC is an absolute remedy to an injured worker in this state and that any compensation outside of WC is prohibited. Basically, I would have to get the case to be accepted under Federal Court.
My WC benefits will be ending soon and I do not know exactly where that leaves me. Will I end up losing the things I worked so hard for? Will I be another person that falls through the cracks of the system being left alone to dwindle away?
Its hard enough that each time you try to go into public, that you naturally go into this state of mind where everyone must stay within visual and everyone is a threat and your body acts like its on high alert each time. Its hard telling your mind to not do that when its as natural as blinking now. Its almost like it has become my new personality.
I have a therapist now and we are discussing ways to cope with things, he states that my hardest enemy is myself, because if I do not completely enjoy and activity I end up categorizing the entire thing as a failure. I try to explain that I feel like I should just be able to turn off the PTSD thoughts and feelings. Its not a wound that I can see and its not a wound that I know will heal within days and weaks. Its an enemy that lurks within and takes over your whole body. It determines if you can sleep, eat, think, or be active.
There are many many days, that I end up spending the whole day just replaying that day over and over. Wishing I had never went back in there, wishing I should have stood up for what I knew was a wrong decision on my Sgts behalf and told him NO! I wish I would have fought harder sometimes, like maybe I didn't fight hard enough, I sometimes blame myself for all the events of that day. I fought against much smaller things than that decision that night, I fought against corrupt practices and ideas, but I couldn't stop that night from happening.
I am in the same boat as Vincelli, I do not think I could kill myself, although I have gave it some great thought, but I do wish many times that something would end my life. I hate that I have become this person and that I feel like I can not stop it. I was once an outgoing, outspoken person, full of life, goals and motivation. I was going to do things, go places and advance my career. But in a matter of a few minutes all of that has been taken away from me. How can a life time of work be taken from me in a matter of minutes. How can that moment change me from an outgoing person, to a recluse?
I miss my old life and I do not ever think that I will get it back, I will always have physical pain, I will always have those scars reminding me. I will forever be reminded each time I go to sleep, each time I hear certain sounds, every time I see someone that looks slightly like my attacker, it will usher in every thought, feeling, or image I have ever tried to rid myself of as if I never started therapy, never let it go.
I have made some progress I must admit, but it never seems good enough to me. I wonder if it will ever be good enough?
But, I do appreciate this forum and the people who have joined it, sharing their thoughts and their own experiences. I have said that it took a moment to change my life for the worst. I hope there is an equal moment that will change it back for the better.
07-29-2011, 04:14 PM #39
If you have Long Term Disability....that should kick in.
If not...W/C turns into temporary disability.....
Once your doctor deems you permanent and stationary...you can put in for a disability retirement.This profession is not for people looking for positive reinforcement from the public. Very often it can be a thankless job and you can't desire accolades, because those are not usually forthcoming. Just do your job to the best of your ability and live with the decisions you've made.
08-03-2011, 09:26 PM #40pontiacgm01Guest
Its been still a hard past few days. I have struggled with going out and living a normal life. I have almost completely been isolated this week, due to the fact that I am mostly tired right now. I am in a lot of physical pain this week and have been letting that get the best of me. But the reality of it is , I have been a little exhausted all this time and I just feel like I need to leave and allow for it to take over me. I feel like I am powerless against something that has refused to move for the past two years. Even if I get a break, it always comes back a little stronger and I react a little differently. Its destroying me and I have defenseless.
08-03-2011, 09:54 PM #41
Take baby steps and don't push too hard or fast. You've got a lot of healing to take place. After my last shoulder surgery I made the mistake of pushing too fast. It was healing up fine until I skipped 2 gear and went into high. Big mistake. I've been paying for it for 10 years now. Remember, baby steps and move up gradually.
"Po Po coming through!" all rights reserved DJS
'Do we really need 'smart bombs' to drop on these dumb bastards?'
08-05-2011, 03:01 PM #42pontiacgm01Guest
I have reached a point of general frustration and the anger has reached a crippling point on me. I no longer want to go outside this house and I am perfectly fine without taking any kinds of medications, they only make you into someone that is you are not. I see the world differently now and I will never see it in the same light, I am a mental case now, I have PTSD I have physical limitations. I have become expired at an early age and I must accept the fact that I am this person now. It hasn't changed any in the past year or few months and I must accept that I will never become a productive member of my community my career is lost and I will be remembered as the officer that was attacked and forgotten. What a lovely life I have to live now. I wonder what the point of it all is.
08-05-2011, 05:04 PM #43
Unfortunately I'm out of country right now and rarely able to post, but just wanted to encourage you to take Reiland's advice about connecting with a support group that understands what you're going through. She recommended www.ptsdforum.org. You made your first important step to find a therapist. When you look back in a year, you'll see it was a critical step. Your second most important is to join a PTSD support group. Mainly because you'll feel like things are getting worse before they get better.
Try it. Again, it's www.ptsdforum.org. And hang in there.
08-05-2011, 06:28 PM #44pontiacgm01Guest
You are right I am just freaking out.... I will do my meditations.
09-13-2011, 05:09 PM #45pontiacgm01Guest
Its been a while since I have been on here, so I wanted to give a quick update. I am in therapy and I have been on several medications that have not treated the PTSD correctly. The doctor thinks I have a gene that certain people have that allow antidepressants to respond differently in me. He has also feared that I have developed bi-polar disorder on top of OCD from the PTSD. He stated that the bi-polar may be just the brain acting out from anxiety. OCD is a mechanism to allow me to deal with the anxiety and prevent me from being social and leaving my house. He is have a real hard time finding medications that work right with me.
I have had some blips of my own, I have filed a federal claim against the department stating that TN's worker's compensation law should not restrict me from federal civil right violations since the department intentionally placed me in harms way and knew of the potential dangers that surround that night, basically as if you sent me on patrol and placed me in a situation where they knew a gun would be necessary and then trying to say oh well, you are a cop you knew the dangers. So this is new territory for any law enforcement, as far as we know this is the first case of this kind stating that law enforcement should be entitled to more than just workers comp, the department should be liable for placing officers in situations where equipment is inadequate or department employment numbers are below safe levels. So I am am really involved in that.
My PTSD still haunts me and my PTSD still restricts me, I am exercising my back and continuing with pain management soon. I am using my dog as part of my therapy to socialize again on walks at our local greenway. So the therapist has me working on skills, the problem is my PTSD is so severe, that I am not responding quite as fast or as well as they would like for me to. I am rated below functioning level right now, but I am trying all of the meditations that you guys have suggested and have continued trying to fight this thing.
09-13-2011, 07:35 PM #46
Judging from your posts and your choice of careers I will say that you are a fighter. You will beat this. Just like I will beat my pain you will overcome yours. Last November, while at work in my second career, I fell off of a ladder. Actually I rode the ladder down. I broke my leg with a twist fracture and 3 places in my foot. Surgery. I broke and compressed a vertebrae in my back. Surgery. I had a bursa burst in my elbow. I had my shoulder freeze up while recuperating. Surgery. I have uncontrolled swelling in my feet and hand because I cannot get into bed. I have been sentenced to the living room recliner which I cannot recline because it is a right hand drive and I cannot manipulate it. I have about 7 pounds of grip force in my right hand.
Now I have Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy. I have searing pain in the injured hand and foot and in the opposite foot and leg. One instance was so bad they called an ambulance and transported me. I am on A to Z drugs and am scheduled for another surgery for a pain block because I cannot move my arm above my shoulder without dropping to my knees in pain. I am looking forward to this actually. They will block the pain then drive me to the physical therapist and pour me into a chair where I hope to have my arm cranked.
I'm 55 and sitting all day has really atrophied my arms and legs. I get winded picking up a towel.
Every time I think woe is me I hear about or see another who is way worse off than me. Who has either lived with it for a long time or has spent years fighting back and overcoming their disabilities. I recently saw a David Letterman show that featured SSgt. Petry, a recent Congressional Medal of Honor recipient.
He was in Afghanistan and saved his men by picking up a hand grenade. Can you imagine what happened? Can you imagine the pain and suffering and the nightmares? My point is time will heal you. Time will blur your pain and nightmares. Time is your friend but you have to go through it. PM me if you wish.Pete Malloy, "The only thing black and white about this job is the car."
09-14-2011, 01:08 PM #47
An interesting man. I have met him and shaken his hand. I have an autographed copy of A Child Called It.
I listened to his motivational speaking then bought the book. It is still only about $6. I must warn you, I was so mad at his parents and the way they treated him I literally threw the book across the room several times. It took me several hours to pick it up and start reading it again. It just proves once again no matter how much you have been wronged or hurt, you CAN and WILL survive. You can also be a better person, all it takes is a decision.Pete Malloy, "The only thing black and white about this job is the car."
09-14-2011, 02:04 PM #48
- Join Date
- Apr 2010
09-19-2011, 03:28 PM #49
It's Brooke! I'm so glad you are still with us. You gave me a bit of a scare when you disappeared. Keep us posted on your journey. Let me know how the pain management goes as well.
09-20-2011, 03:23 PM #50pontiacgm01Guest
Little bit of an update on how things are going. Little set back with recent events, for legal purposes, I had to watch the attack video and go through the attack again, as if I do not already to that enough inside my head, I needed an outside stimuli to add to it. Since, that day I have been replaying that video, stopping it in my head, analyzing it and beating myself up for what I got put into. I do not know where to put this anger, I do not know where to put this depression. The places that I have tried that are positive have only seem to given me false sense of relief. My evening walks for pleasure and pain exercise are no longer enjoyable, my running to attempt to restrengthen myself only ended up failing. I can not fail! I refuse to be a person that is letting life go by without him and that is exactly what is happening, but I do not know for the life of me what it will take for me to shake this thing and move on. I should just be able to move on, I have suffered enough and I want to move on. Even the days where the sun seems to be shining and I think its gonna be a good day, there is always that moment that triggers something in me to go into depression or sit and think about a million things out of my control for hours on end. I can not live like this much more.