I was wide awake again. A reoccurring nightmare. Knowing sleep was not something I was going to enjoy that night I did what I usually do and went out to watch some TV. That is where my wife found me. There was a story about this little boy in PA who had been beaten and tortured by his mom and her boyfriend. I was not crying, I was sobbing so loudly she woke up. It was that night that she started to really understand why I am so messed up in the melon. It was that night she started to realize why I was not the person she married. Two weeks prior to this incident she had asked me for a divorce. Not because she did not love me but because she no longer wanted to stay with the hateful sad person I had become. I don’t blame her. She was right. I hate everyone. I hate what people may do, what they can do, what they will probably do and especially what they have already done to me, each other, and to all my friends in EMS. I hate them for changing me. I hate them for sucking most of the joy I used to have in life out of me. I hate them for the look of pity my wife gives me when we have to wait longer for a corner booth when we go out to eat. I hate them for making me feel weak.
We are all haunted by memories. Some folks call them demons. In my head even a demon goes on its way eventually so haunting memories is what I call them. I suppose if I hated my wife I could share these memories with her. Then she could bear the level of suck with me. Maybe then she would be able to completely understand. I love her though so I get to keep it all to myself. I do not want anyone to think that I believe my memories are worse than theirs. We have all witnessed the best horrors people have to offer. The very best. The main reason I wanted to tell my story is that maybe in some way it will help someone. Secondly, two months ago I started seeing a therapist. Not because I am suicidal, I am not. I am going because I deserve to be happy again. I am going because my wife deserves to be happy again. I am going because I would like to start seeing the good in people again. I am going because I need to find a way to cope with the memories. I am going because I cannot get anywhere close to being the person I used to be without help. I tried that. I have failed.
I am seeing an EMDR therapist. I would like to say that I am an overnight success but I am not. Seeing this therapist is my second job. It is hard work. Many days I sit in the session shivering with anxiety. Some days the memories just bring tears to my eyes. Some days I get to talk about the good calls, the funny ones, and the reason I decided to work in EMS. I am getting better. It is slowly but surely helping. Here is the kicker and maybe the most important part of my story… I wrote my last trip sheet over 5 years ago.
– Written by anonymous, 14 years in EMS.