Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Feeling guilty

(I know I promised more funny stories and I will work on some, but I needed to get this off my chest so to speak)

I know I am outing myself on this but, I’ve been a fan of Les Miserable’s for years.  I have seen the musical on Broadway at least 4 times.  The Story is great, the music is fantastic.  I even have the music to the play in my IPod.  So I had the fortune of seeing the new Movie recently and WOW!  Amazing.  I have never been an Ann Hathaway fan but, her performance was nothing short of amazing.  I felt her pain as she sang and acted out the part of Fantine AMAZING!  Hugh Jackman was amazing too, don’t get me wrong he owned it but all in all it was an amazing representation of the story and musical.  I aint gonna lie I always get emotional when Eponine dies and when Fantine sings Jean Valjean home. 

What has me feeling guilty is not the movie or musical.  It was event last week that I worked.  I have worked all manner of heinous crimes.  But like any cop will tell you, when kids are involved it’s exponentially more challenging.  The call I went to was an infant death.  These are always hard as the parents struggle grasp at the reality of what is happening.  Sometimes like in this case you have to use physical force to protect the crime scene.  I will not get into too much detail on this case because it needs to be adjudicated first.  In general, imagine the deplorable living conditions of a “shooting gallery” (shooting gallery is a place or flop house where heroin users go to inject their drugs and pass out while high) truly a scene right out of the movie Trainspotting.  The conditions alone, knowing an infant lived there pulls at the heart strings with titan force.  Knowing the circumstances that the infant died in make it nearly unbearable to comprehend. 

In cases like this there are many details that get investigated and you have to conduct a thorough and complete investigation.  As in any death investigation, you must detach and objectively look at the facts and evidence as presented and avoid jumping to conclusions.  However this detachment comes at a price.  You become accustomed to death and even immune to much of the emotion that would normally be present until the emotion is triggered later.  I suppose all of the death investigations and sad and tragic things we see are what comes out at funerals for fallen officers or close friends.  For me in this case, I was tremendously bothered by the circumstances.  However, what troubled me more is how little emotionally it affected me.  Honestly I felt more emotion watching Les Miserable’s.  This bothers me.  In a way the metaphorical scar tissue on my soul from the emotional wounds of doing the job have precluded me from feeling the full dose of pain from that incident.  But the sad reality is that the pain is like a virus or flu bug and it sits inside us until it makes us sick when the emotional scar tissue that acts like our immune system is weakened.  At some point, I will feel the full weight of sadness over this incident.  I am certain tears will accompany that sadness, but I will still feel guilty for not feeling more than I do right now.  Now understand that we look after each other and several other officer including sergeants and lieutenants checked in on me to make sure I was “okay” and I was fully okay to do the job, I just hate the fact that I am so numb to such a tragic situation.  But, like all of the other wounds that built that scar tissue, this too will heal and it will make me better prepared to handle heinous, disgusting, tragic things down the road.  So, I guess that is the upside of the job. 

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