When you’re at work you don’t want to appear weak. You don’t want to get the feeling everyone sees you as a victim. But that’s what happened to me. I broke down in the middle of the police station.
I broke down in front of colleagues, I broke down in front of superiors and I just broke down without knowing why. And that feeling is something so helpless so wrong when you’re expected to be strong. When you need yourself to be strong.
The day started like any other. I got on my motorcycle to go to work. Changed to my uniform and attended the morning briefing. My colleagues and friends later told me they wondered why I was so quiet. I had some errands to run and visited my old precinct. The usual meaningless: “Hi how are you?” and the even less meaningful: “Good good, how about you?” happened a lot. But then something happened I was not expecting.
My former superior came up to me and asked: “How are you?” I once again gave the meaningless reply. But then he placed his hand on my shoulder and said: “But how are you really though?” And that’s when I broke down. I broke down visibly, I broke down mentally and we just went to a separate room and started talking. Really talking. This was all but the start though. Even I didn’t know how deep the rabbit hole went. Follow me on my journey of “Going Crazy“. Want to know a bit more before you continue, look at my About page.
Crazy is an understatement!
Breaking down at work, not knowing why, and then going home and explaining what happened when you don’t even know what’s going on. After the initial shock things became so much worse…..
After the breakdown, I tried going home, but first I had to go to my own precinct. And hope I don’t have another breakdown when I get there. No such luck, before I had a chance to take off my uniform, my colleagues obviously saw something was wrong. And even though they were very nice, every time someone asked me: “Is everything alright?” I cracked some more. I still do to this day. I had several more breakdowns before i was able to get on my motorcycle. The first thing that went through my head was: finally peace and quiet, maybe that’s all I need and everything will be alright. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
While riding I had my first flashback, it struck me like a brick in the head. (And yes I do regrettably know what that’s like) I started crying like a toddler before I even hit the freeway. Without going into too much detail. The flashback I saw was of a suïcide where I was one of the first officers on the scene. This young man of about 30-40 years old had hung himself in his own home with his belt.
Out of the blue, this image from several years ago popped in my head and repeated itself over and over. Why? That’s what I was thinking, why now, why like this, why this out of all the incidents I experienced. What overcame me was profound sadness that someone could be driven that far to take ones own life.
While driving I managed to clear my head a bit. But as soon as my head cleared, I discovered I was speeding like crazy. While wondering what the hell was wrong with me I managed to get home. That’s when the crazy really hit me…
If you want to support me or share your story, follow me on Facebook
I started going crazy and decided to write about it!
For about 10 years I have been a police officer, where I have seen humanity’s worst and best. During my work I encountered some things no human being should ever have to see and it has shaped me to be who i am today. I do my job proudly, but no-one could have prepared me for this rollercoaster of a ride to which it led me. Read all about my journey “Going Crazy” in this blog.