Man In Blue

October 7, 2008 at 11:21 pm (Uncategorized)

I didn’t get to watch all of the debate because I was working. What I did get to watch I had to catch up on because I hadn’t watched the whole thing. Plus, Jeff and I were talking about other issues when I went to pick Nate up, which also interrupted the whole thing.

Speaking of Jeff, he and I had a long talk yesterday, well, he did most of the talking. He let me know some things that had been on his mind, which had nothing to do with either Nate or myself, but explained a lot as far as his drinking and his general attitude sometimes.

Even though Jeff and I have our problems, and we will always have these problems, I understand better now than I did before what it is like to be him. I think the most important thing he told me was that when his problems with PTSD became so severe that he had to leave the department, he lost his identity. He lost the thing that he had worked for his entire life, and that was being a police officer. Jeff had told me stories about when his dad was Chief of Police and Jeff would ride with him, whether in the cruiser or in their personal vehicle. From the time Jeff was a child, he dreamed of being a Man in Blue.

And I’ve said it before, Jeff was an excellent police officer. I rode with many of the policemen on his department and there was such a difference with Jeff. Its not something you learn, its something you’re born with. He was born with the Blue 6th Sense. Jeff’s incredibly empathic but he had no idea so he absorbed all of the darkness that he saw. At one point, he looked at me and said, “They will never make a pill, never manufacture a medication that will take the smell of burned flesh from my nostrils.”

I don’t believe I have ever felt more helplessin my life. Perhaps when my house burned, but at that point, I was allowed to scream and cry. And inside of Jeff, I know there is a scream that cannot be silenced until he stops telling me and starts telling his psychiatrist. I have had my own problems with PTSD, but I have not a clue in how to counsel him other than to listen and cry with him.

We have a very complex relationship. We love each other, but we don’t. We are friends, but we aren’t. Sometimes, we just love to hate each other. We drive each other crazy, but have an odd symbiotic relationship, as though one cannot live without the other, even though we desperately want to. We give new meaning to the phrase, “I wish I could just quit you.”

None of that changes how I have to do what I have to do when it comes to Nate and myself. Just because I understand the reason for something doesn’t mean I have to take the fallout for it, especially when I didn’t cause it, I can’t cure it, and I can’t control it. Which leads me to feel very sad but also hopeful that Jeff will someday get the help that he so desperately needs. Maybe then I won’t think of the phrase, “So tell me Clarice, have the lambs stopped screaming?”


  1. kenju said,

    Apparently, you understand him well. Too bad he doesn’t share your insight.

    I had a tumultuous and rocky relationship from age 15 to age 22. We didn’t have a child together, but we had that love/hate thing going on almost constantly. I did quit him (Sept. 15, 1962 at 2pm) and I never laid eyes on him after that but once, and it was an accident. In spite of all that, there is hardly a week that goes by that I don’t remember something about him or have some sense of deja vu and memory. He died early (age 52) due to overuse of alcohol (and marijuana). I don’t have photos of him anymore, but I saw some this summer when I was there for the reunion and my heart still jumped in my chest when I saw them.

    Your situation is different, since you share a child, you will be forced to deal with him whether you want to or not. I pray for you, Inanna, and I will pray for him, that he gets the help he needs by being honest with his therapist.

  2. Evil Twin's Wife said,

    Well, if he won’t talk to his psychiatrist, at least he has you to get things off his chest. Hopefully, that will be good enough until he’s really ready to get help. He’s lucky to have you in his life.

  3. Marie said,

    Talking is so therapeutic. When one can not afford or just have a therapist – finding a network of good listeners is the next best thing. Solutions may not be readily available, but varied insights may give some solace and understanding.

  4. Vince said,

    I caught about the last 20 minutes of the “debate” and it was the same stuff from last week. You didn’t miss much.

    Pity jeff can’t seem to get the help he needs. However, I’m glad you recognize that just because you understand his issues, you won’t put up with them.

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