And that's when I walked away, I don't think my stomach or my mind could've taken one second more of it. I literally couldn't believe my eyes and God knows I didn't want to. I wish it were a dream, I'd even settle for a nightmare but this there was no waking up to, this was real and it was happening to me. When I first joined the force I thought I could handle anything and everything, you know I was one of those people who could watch the most gruesome horror movie on Film Four and not blink an eyelid.
Or watch my best mate throw up what seemed to be a hundred litres of lager after a night out without my stomach even twitching. But this was different, this wasn't some murder mystery on the box or a new horror movie out at the pics', this was real. This was reality in the police force. You hear about it everyday at work and how much they effect you and mess with your head especially when it's your first but you never understand till it happens to you yourself.
I thought I was prepared for this sort of thing, I mean people die everyday and it's something that you have to learn to accept, but not like this, no one should have to leave this earth in that much pain and fear. They do try and prepare you for this sort of thing, but seeing photos and reading past statements and accounts is no where near to what I needed to prepare me for what I witnessed. In fact nothing can prepare you for this, not even yourself.
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I dream about it you know, nearly once a week, up until a few years ago it used to be every night so I suppose that's an improvement. Ever since that moment hundreds of questions have swamped my mind and one that keeps coming back to me every second of every day, how ever selfish it may seem is why me? And I know that must be the coldest thing that has ever passed my mind, taking into consideration the amount of pain, mental torture and suffering that that poor women went through.
But when all your fears come together and throw a surprise party just for you, when flashbacks come and haunt you every night and the slightest little reminder throws you into a panic attack, you have to think of yourself and what this has done to you and what it will continue to do to you for the rest of our life. Just goes round in my head over and over, why me? Why on my shift? Why couldn't it be someone else? Why won't it stop? Life has never been the same since then as I'm sure you all know, however great the trust is between me and the other person I just can't open up to them.
I never could and I doubt I ever will, but this is my attempt. I knew if I did tell someone that they wouldn't understand and when I think about it, I wouldn't want them to. Even Steve and me can't talk about, I think we both want to but every time we try there is an awkward silence and even just seeing him brings it all back to me. At the time the Chief Inspector recommended that we went to see someone, whether together or not, you know like a psychologist or something, but what could they have possibly done or said to make our situation anymore bearable?
If I couldn't and still can't talk to people who are the closest to me like my daughter and my best mate and now Steve then how could I sit in a room with a complete stranger and spill my thoughts, it's just not going to happen. It's like me and Steve are the only two people who know what it was really like; to be there, to hear her last life clutching sentence, to witness her last breath and not be able to do or say anything that would help her in anyway. It's that feeling of helplessness and failure that cuts you up inside.
It will be fifty-two years tomorrow since that horrific event and I'll tell you that not a single day has past by when I haven't thought about that evening, when it hasn't replayed over and over in my mind. That poor women, poor Lynda, she didn't deserve any of it. I'll go and pay my respects in the morning, lay the same flowers that I have done every year and cry the same tears that I do every night as I pray. By now you're all probably wondering why I'm writing all this and why now? Well as you are all fully aware I'm nearly eighty-six and I don't know how much time I've got left.
So I just wanted to try and explain in brief what happened back then that made me into the scared, frail man that you see today. I hope that it hasn't affected you a tenth of what it has for me. I'm sorry for not being able to be strong for my grandchildren and for myself, please forgive that. Don't be sad when I'm gone because hopefully heaven will be the one place that that day will not affect me. I love you all and thank you with all my heart for putting up with me over these hard years. Look after each other and be happy.
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