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.