The importance of having support from the beginning
I grew up in a police family where my father had undiagnosed PTSD for many years. I watched my mom try to navigate through the years with no support, or tools to know how t
o handle being married and parent with a man who had experienced trauma she couldn’t begin to understand. It wasn’t until after their divorce and years after leaving policing my father began to get the help needed. When my husband decided he wanted to pursue policing I knew I did not want history to repeat itself like it had for my parents. I wanted to be equipped with all the information I could to not only provide support to my husband but also myself.
As we entered this new exciting season of life, new city, new house and new career I knew that I needed to try and find resources to help with these life changes that were about to come. Although this time was so exciting and filed with so much pride I am a little bit of a realist and when it came to what we were entering I lived in an when not if world, I wanted to be prepared for when something traumatic was going to happen not if. Right from recruit classes I was able to connect with Beyond the Blue. I was excited to see a service in place solely to help support and strengthen police families, an area that is often forgotten about. I jumped into Beyond the Blue with both feet getting involved whenever I could. The community and support that was offered in those early years were so valuable to help the transition from family to police family.
By getting involved with Beyond the Blue I was able to connect with other spouses with years of experience, they were able to provide information that made the transition from recruit classes to shift worker much smoother. I was able to have access to training and reading materials to add to my tool box of knowledge to pull from when needed. Fast forward a few years and this group has continued to be there to support as I transitioned from police couple to police family and the challenges of navigating this life with children. The benefit of having supports in place early on is that the foundation is already placed for when you need them. Being able to access support for issues both big and small is paramount in attempting to navigate this sometimes testing lifestyle. I will continue to access new information to better myself and family and in return I hope to pass on and be able to offer the same supports that were available to me to others.