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Anniversary

Everyone on here can likely recall the exact date/time etc of some of their exposures. Others have a mental block that keeps it hidden from their daily recall. (Some people have one major incident, others have an ongoing barrage due to their jobs. I do not diminish those with one major incident. The reality is it's trauma and it cuts deep, whether an innocent child, fire fighter, soldier, nurse etc..)

I write this to let others know that we each have a mark in time where we are extra sensitive.
Mine will be November 29th and December 21st.
Last year was the first anniversary of these traumas and it was living hell for me.
I am not looking forward to this time around either. I feel "hollow" already. My symptoms are starting up again, but slowly.
I use the techniques I've been taught to confront the symptoms. It has worked well when I identify the trigger and form a plan to deal with it, showing myself, it's all ok and I'm within my rights to still grieve.
I admitted in my group last night that I have not dealt with these two incidents, because I was having marriage problems, I cast the incidents to the back of my mind. (Don't we all "stuff" it away? Our way of dealing with it)
The marriage and family issues are much calmer now and this has allowed the incidents to creep in over the past two days.
I have many incidents that have bothered me and I have dealt with. They never go away, I just know now how to see them correctly.
There is still some emotion connected to each one. There always will be...and that's good. It means I'm still here!
During this time I may vent my rollercoaster ride as I deal with these in group and with my therapist.
My writings will be an attempt to let some of these demons go. None of this would ever be intended to stir up other readers emotions and cause them to react negatively.
My reaction to lifes stresses and PTSD are the same. I am not much of a drinker, but avoid alcohol at these times. I don't do any drugs, smoke, chew or anything. My outlet is to walk, focus on a project for someone else, read the good word, work with dogs and anything else I can focus my energy onto someone or something else but me.
So as a warning! If I sound really down or distraught, I am just really letting it all out. I have never been suicidal or had the thought. For me, that would be the cowards way out! I am not so self centered that I could do that to my family and friends!

My November 29th incident concerns four local police officers that were murdered while at a Forza coffee shop.
Two of which were friends, the other two I did not know.
The murderer was a felon that was released by Gov. Mike Huckabee. Yes, the same one on Fox news. The murderer, Clemmons had his sentance commuted and he was released to Washington State. While in prison in Arkansas, a cell search was done of Clemmons cell. Corrections Officers found a loaded .38 revolver and ammo. This is a violent felon, who armed himself in prison and was still released?
Yes, released to another State where it would be their problem! The Huckabee solution!
Clemmons was out on bond for an asssault and was facing a 3rd strike in our State. He vowed he would kill as many law enforcement officers as possible before they killed him.
His family and friends heard this several times from him.
On November 29th, 2009 Clemmons put his plan in action. A friend, who knew the plan drove Clemmons around, looking for a target.
At this time Sgt. "Mark" was meeting with his dayshift officers- "Tina", "Greg" and "Ron" at a Forza coffee shop.
Clemmons partner parked their truck out of sight as Clemmons walked into the coffee shop and began to fire one of two pistols he had.
The incident happened in seconds, with one officer "Greg" being able to get any shots off.
Clemmons fled the scene.
"Greg" died in the doorway of the Forza.
It was a sight that I don't want to describe right now. You can well imagine the carnage and violence of these actions.
One of the officers had been shot in the back of the head from the first shot Clemmons fired.
A manhunt ensued. Clemmons had been hit by one of "Gregs" bullets and had a nasty abdominal wound.
He was treated and hidden out by friends and family for several days.
Clemmons ultimately tried to confront a Seattle officer who brought the justice to Clemmons. Friends and family were found guilty and are serving miniature sentances in my opinion.
So as the date nears, the haunting begins again. The anger returns, the isolation starts and all the senses find a reason to remember.
I still try to make sense of it all and seem to return to one answer! Pure Evil does exist in this world.
I will fill in some of the blanks as I write some more. The actions by Clemmons were much more evil, cruel and violent than I have outlined here.
Thanks for reading this, it's not easy to share, but I need to.
Lobo6
Lobo6 Lobo6 51-55, M 4 Responses Nov 11, 2011

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Lobo6

Wow! I live in the same state where this happened and the news shocked and angered me, and at the same time triggered off my PTSD which goes back years to my childhood and my sadistic father who was a ********* and his boyfriend who was very much like Clemmons, look and actions.



Sorry you are going through the reliving of the event and anxiety that brings with it. Take care.

Yes, awarren98, I do get some anticipation anxiety. I would rather deal with it and start to address these issues now.

Last year, I rationalized it and let the date slip upon me too quickly without mentally preparing for it.

I will never let that happen again! I thought I'd just dispalce my feelings and emotions....the day would come and go, no problem. Well...big problem!

You are quite insightful! I do have anger and grief that I have not dealt with. This is why I'm writing about it, in hopes that I can see, I CAN let go of the negative.

It will not be completely dealt with on this anniversary. There are many aspects I need to get in check, understand and do.

I go to the memorial marker at the PD and have been able to return several times. Sometimes breaking down, sometimes not.

I drive through the Forza coffee shop and have a violent reaction of vomitting, the sweats, the shakes and flashbacks of the scene.

There are other things that set it off and I've got most of them dealt with where they are not an issue.

Thank you for your kindness, understanding and compassion. I think there are a select few people that can understand the way it can effect us. You seem to be one!

Good luck to you too! Hope the Holidays are meaningful and bring joy to you and yours!

Lobo6

Thank you for sharing your story. I think the releasing of this criminal was premature, and I wonder if any family members of the fallen officers took action against the state for releasing him. Clemmons was obviously a sick man with little to no values, possibly psychotic, and very dangerous to be allowed to walk free in the community.



I'm very sorry for your friends, in time, i only hope that you can be at peace with what happened. It sounds like you still have a lot of anger and grief. (which is completly normal) I'm glad you found positive outlets to deal with your PTSD. I wish you the best, and try not to think of the date too much, you may be giving yourself anticipation anxiety. Try to keep yourself busy, give yourself time to heal and try to learn to say goodbye and let go (at your own time)



I wish you luck, and may you and your family enjoy the upcoming holidays.

Very brave of you to share your story. I also suffer from PTSD and so does my husband ( a former sheriff's deputy). I have empathy for you and your wife it takes a very strong marriage to make it through. I keep telling myself sheer will gets me through and I am still surprising my neuroligist.

So dig down deep I hope you will perservere. Good luck to you and yours.