Well, it’s that time of year again…twin study time! Fun fact about me…I have a twin and we look and act NOTHING alike! In fact, you would never even guess that we are sisters! We couldn’t be any more opposite! And the only good thing my parents did for me was enter us in twin studies. I’m sure my parents kept all the money when we were younger, but now it’s all mine and pays VERY well! : ) Originally we were not suppose to be in this study because of the injuries I suffered in our car accident, but they called back and said they want to try us anyway.
This study involved the effects life choices have on the brain, comparing twins that have different behaviors. Good news…I actually do have a brain! They said it’s in there! Bad news…I was officially diagnosed with 3 different cases of PTSD. Is that possible?! Apparently so. The person I worked with was totally awesome! And kept making sure I was doing ok and wanted to make sure I was safe. I lied a bit..told them I’m not suicidal, but did admit to it in the past. Sorry…I’m not going through that lock up…not happening, not right now anyway.
Back to these 3 cases of PTSD. What’s causing each one? And how bad is it? Well, I was diagnosed with PTSD from the car accident, those I read minor in this one. Apparently it is still having a small effect on me and how could it not? Let’s see…get in a major car accident, woke up with no feeling from the waist down…I think anyone would have a hard time getting in a car that someone else is driving, wouldn’t you agree? For the record, I still, to this day, refuse to ride with my sister.
The second reason for the diagnoses was that jackass Captain and his move! It read a moderate to severe on this one. Apparently it is really effecting me, more so than I let on. I think about it almost daily and really struggle with what he did to me. I hate him for it! But I hate myself more for letting it happen and I hate myself even more for not getting the fucker fired! That’s a struggle too because had I gotten the jackass fired, then I would have had that black mark my entire career. I just hate that I was ever put in that situation! I’m not a violent person, but if I came across the asshole I’ll fucking hit him so damn hard!! I’m tiny, but he’s got me pissed off enough to offer me that “super power”…you know what I’m talking about? Drunks and angry people get this super human power, they are unbelievable strong…I think I am capable of that with him. I just hate the whole damn thing!
And the third reason, the most severe, is naturally my past and upbringing. Needless to say I tested severe in that one. I pretty much knew that already, but never had it confirmed until now. It was recommend that I get help for all of them, but especially the last one. The problem with that…I can’t afford it on my income. And my career means it compounds the problem, given what I’ve seen and done. Great.
People complain all the time that Fire/EMS makes too much and do too little but when they need us they complain we took too long. WTF?! Did you know that 85% of people in my career (nation wide) can not afford to live off just one income? Bet you didn’t. That’s why everyone in my career works 2 or more jobs! Meaning they can’t get off work when they need help, nor can they afford the help they need. I’m an example. I’m one statistic, but I won’t become another…not yet anyway.
In 2010, while educating firefighters across the United States, I began to notice through stories and reports about the number of firefighters who had taken their lives. I began to collect reports through a confidential reporting system in late 2010 through Counseling Services for FIre Fighters. After much research and effort, I realized this was a much larger issue than I thought, and expanded by starting Firefighter Behavioral Health Alliance. I am now collecting this data through FBHA also. This confidential report can be found on the list at the left “ff suicide report” or at www.csff.info under the tab “FF Suicide Report”.
The number on the box above are members who were active or retired firefighters who suffered deaths by their own choice. It should not be conceived as one of weakness but one where they might not have believed they had any other options to relieve their pain. FBHA is dedicated to collecting the most accurate numbers regarding FF suicides and then updates this number as information is confirmed. It is also FBHA’s objective to educate all of our brothers and sisters on suicide prevention through our workshop titled “Saving Those Who Save Others” in hopes to limit this number.
B/C Jeff Dill
Founder of CSFF & FBHA
Note: Number is from information received from suicides ranging from the years 1880-2012. The total is comprised of 269 FF and 11 EMT/P.
Think about that. Just let that sink in when you think about voting for a tax cut for firefighter/paramedics. And that is JUST firefighter/paramedics. What about the police officers? Or that military?? Those numbers are alarming as well. Some things in this country need to change…congress needs to be put on minimual wage in their comfortable little office and give their pay to the people that work every day for their life, health, and safety.
But enough of that for now. I have a lot to do before work. Another day at “hell” job! Ugh. And a full 24 hours there to make matters worse…expect to see me tomorrow. I’m sorry…good night!