Tragedy arrived in my life when I was 14 years old, when my brother
was killed in a tragic car accident. I experienced depression,
anxiety and PTSD symptoms from that moment. Yet I was undiagnosed and
untreated for many years. Other traumatic events occurred later that
I was unable to speak of for many years.
In 1995 I became a police officer. Attending traumatic scenes
triggered my PTSD, anxiety and depression even more. I pushed through
it as much as I could and started avoiding places, crowds and social
events. I had difficulty not taking on other people’s traumas. I had
little to no friends and suffered in silence. I spent days crying,
had several sleepless nights and felt suicidal.
In 2009 after working with victims of sexual assaults, I could no
longer hide what had happened to me as a teenager. I told of my own
sexual assault. However being a police officer and a victim at the
same time was very traumatic for me. I went into a very deep
depression that took me years to get out of, although triggers seemed
to spark my depression easily.
The love of my two children, my husband and my mother saved me
however I am still plagued with intense flashbacks. I am currently
not at work and am still dealing with my PTSD and anxiety symptoms on
a daily basis. I am unsure if I can return to work as a police
officer. I constantly worry something bad will happen to me or my
family and the impact that my mental health has had on my family.
My fondest memories as a child was the time I spend with my dog which
was with me for 16 years and my two other dogs I had in my late twenties.
The day I found out I was accepted in this program I cried of
joy!!!! I truly feel blessed to be part of this journey with Kingston
4 Paws Service dogs. Since being accepted I cannot stop thinking that
one day one amazing dog will be by my side to help me calm my anxiety
and nervous system. To help me feel safe and nudge me when I go into a
form of disassociation. I can already sense his or her love and
support, his or her gaze on me letting me know everything is ok. I
cannot wait to hold him or her. Just the thought of touching its soft
ears brings me a sense of calmness and joy. I know that this amazing
dog will help me be a better mother and wife. To be a calmer and
happier person and perhaps even find joy in returning to work.
Your support for Paws 4 Louise is greatly appreciated.