My life is a profound dichotomy. My life at home is nearly utopian. Compared to the world I work in it’s like I live in a Disney movie. I spend time watching Dora the Explorer with my two year old. I help my 8 year old with her homework. I try to get to the Pavilions car show with my son. It’s not quite the Cleavers from Leave it to Beaver, But neither of us comes home drunk swinging at the other, well not for quite some time at least. It’s safe to say that my life at home is pretty much G-Rated.
My life at work on the other hand, well there are no G-rated days. Most would be in the R category and some in the X Rated category. At work people tell me to f’ off all the time, I get called all manner of unspeakable things. At home, Amanda has never told me to f’ off; she may have thought it a few times but never verbalized it yet. Now there can be some of the similarities like changing diapers and searching transients, both are likely to be poopy.
Now the thing is, from my home life I have all of these wonderful memories of Sunday dinners, fun with the family, working in the garage all kinds of good things. At work I have some very funny memories. Sometimes they are interesting and some are horrific painful memories. These memories are what flow through my mind when I have idle time or am writing a new story. This brings me to a tangent here. There are a lot of memories from work that I would love to erase or at least modify. Like COPS or some of these other reality shows where there is a blurry spot covering the things deemed inappropriate. Now why don’t I get one of those blurry spots? At least for my memories, for work it would not be practical. At work I need to have an unobstructed view to most things it’s not like I could testify in court “your honor, yes the subject was pleasuring himself in public, I think, there was a blurry spot covering that area, but I am certain that’s what he was doing.” No I have to see it and worse, I have to remember it. Now why can’t my memories have that blurry spot, No, I have a clear image of the gross sweaty tweeker guy pleasuring himself. Where is my blurry spot when I remember the 300lb lady who in a drunken fit at her 2 year olds birthday party cut her hand on glass and became so belligerent that she had to be restrained as snot was foaming up around her nose and she was spitting at me as she called me all manner of names. No I have to remember the snot, the spit and her big fat boob flopping out as she flailed around. Damn it, why can’t I have a blurry spot for my memories. I deserve that don’t I?
The struggle is how to balance my work life with my personal life. They are two very distinct and separate things. I don’t know if I have it figured out yet. I go to work nearly an hour early. It doesn’t take that long to get dressed and get my car set up and logged on. But it does take me some time to mentally prepare for work. I cannot just wake up shower, get dressed and start shagging calls. I need to switch modes from my personal life to police officer. Now, I know for a fact that this and some of the other aspects of the separation can be viewed as detachment. This is an area that nearly all families in law enforcement struggle with. There are some things that only other cops can relate to. This mentality is offensive to many people who love and live with law enforcement officers. The bond that gets built in the stressful situations at work makes those relationships better suited to deal with certain things than personal relationships. The only thing I can liken this phenomenon to is the stories I heard WWII vets talk about the Battle of the Bulge in the thick Arden forests of Belgium. Many said that they felt closer to the guys they shared foxholes with and had only known months than their wives and families. I could never understand this until I felt the same thing at work.
The good part is, I get to leave work and go back to my rated G world. The bad thing is I still don’t have a blurry spot for my work memories.