Thursday, 11 March 2010

The Hardest Day Of My Life

Yesterday was one of the most emotionally charged days of my life, as well as the hardest day at work I have ever had. Luckily I have today off to recover, but yesterday I felt as though the life had been sucked out of me.

I can't go in to too much detail for various reasons, but yesterday I was paired up with a long serving officer as part of my ongoing training, and had to accompany her throughout the shift. The day started out with us being called to a domestic, where we found a woman huddled in the corner of her bathroom, beaten so severely she could barely see through puffed up eyes. Her husband had come home from work and bashed her around for whatever reason, and then tried saying she had tripped over something and fallen down the stairs.

We see things like this all the time, but the hardest thing in the world, like in this case, is to keep your mouth shut when the woman just smiles, says she is clumsy and it was all her fault for not watching where she was going, and you have to just leave without doing anything. The anger and frustration overwhelms you but you just can't say anything. Some of the guys have said that that feeling goes and you just stop feeling pity for people who won't even help themselves, but I don't want to get like that because it bothers me. It will always bother me seeing these people. That's why I have always wanted to do this job. So that I can try to help people.

A little later in the day we had to explain to a woman in her 80's, how her husband of over 60 years had been killed in an RTA. In perhaps a moment of disbelief she offered us both a cup of tea and some biscuits before sitting down and saying how she doesn't know a life without him and asking us what she was supposed to do now. She looked so frail and lonely. The horrible thing was that all we could do was offer to take her to the hospital.

An hour before the end of my shift, and the worst thing I have ever had to do in my entire life, we had to go and tell a women that her seven year old daughter had been knocked down in a hit and run and that she had died at the scene. The womans sobs broke my heart and I had to excuse myself to the bathroom where I cried. Only for a moment, because we are trained not to. Not to let it get to us. Not to take it home. But just for a moment I couldnt help it. At the end of that shift I don't think I had ever been so happy to take my uniform off.

Jay was wonderful when I got home, and he managed, as always, to cheer me up. But I think the events of yesterday will stay with me for a long time to come. I know things in the job will get harder, and perhaps my outlook to it will become harder as a result. It's one of the cons of the job I guess. I guess I just didn't realise quite how emotional it can all be.



  1. I'm so sorry Ry.
    I have no words...
    The only thing I hope is by writing these things down you feel sligthly better afterwards...
    Take care of yourself

  2. Nik said it better than I could. Bless you for caring.


  3. You landed three all in one day. Hopefully not all days will be quite to intense with human drama.

    Ryan - there's not many of us could do the job you've chosen. Keep your humanity and never, never stop caring and trying to make a difference.

  4. not the best of days ryan. i know its part of the job and that you need to adapted to it . it cant be easy tho mate DRU

  5. You can't save the world. It's too big, with too many problems, for any one man to handle them all. If you try - if you go through life thinking that it's your job, your duty, your calling - you'll only be disappointed in the long run because you can't help but fail. Not because of a lack of effort but because, in the end, you just don't have the power.

    The best you can hope for (and my own personal motto) is to try and help people figure out how right their own lives, to fix themselves up. We can't save the world, but maybe we can teach the world to save itself...

  6. that does suck and oh, it breaks my heart just reading that. :/ hmm.. it really makes u question about a lot of things in life. i try to think about myself in that situation and man, it must be hard having to be in that kind of dilemma. thanks for doing what u do, Ry.

  7. It takes someone really amazing and special to be able to do the job you're doing. I don't think I'd be able to be so strong. At the same time, you're still a human being, and no one can fault you for feeling some emotion on the job. You really deserve a medal for the work you're doing. x

  8. Personally I hope you never get too hardened to these things. In the end I think that if you do, you will lose a part of what makes you, you. Yes that was indeed a shitty day, but they won't all be that bad.

    You are a special guy..., I really hope you know that. I know Jay does, so just hold onto him until everything leaves your mind.

    By the way, even someone as emotionally strained as me, would have cried over that little girl as well..., I don't think you could consider yourself human if you didn't.

    Here is hoping tomorrow will be a better day!

    Hugs, Courage and Honour!


  9. That's just horrible Ryan. I don't really know how you should do this, but it sounds like your training's asking you to empathize with people, but still distance yourself from their situations.

    Thanks for doing what you do.

  10. I know this is useless, but think of a doctors life in an ER. Tehy have to deal with this kind of thing EVERY day. Don't ever loose your compassion and caring. That is the one thing that distinguishes us from animals. Good on you for having a heart. Its rare