FAQ’s two #policewifelife
OK, I’m going to roll with a blog category called FAQ’s aka Frequently Asked Questions of a police wife.
I will call THIS POST number one as it has answers to questions such as “Can he bring home his handcuffs?”, “Does he bring his gun home?”, “Can he look up and see if there is a record on this guy I just started dating?” as well as other more pertinent questions like “Can he tell you about “work stuff”?”, “How does your husband handle coming home to the kids after an incident such as this one?” or “Does he act like a Police Officer at home, driving for example; does he pull you up for speeding?”
So, here are some of the questions I have been asked just now.
“Strangest things hubby’s brought home from work – intentionally or otherwise?”
I would LOVE to blog more about this but sadly the only things he brings home are blue disposable gloves. Clean ones. They go through the wash and the dryer and end up as melted blue rubber balls in his pockets. He did have to get tested for HIV and hepatitis after a client spat on him once….. glad he didn’t bring THAT home with him with him, scary times and an anxious wait.
“Do you think being a police officer has changed your husband at all?”
Mr Point Five has seen things that I cannot imagine. Just last weekend at a friends house he and his mate were discussing a mutual favourite sci-fi show and his mate was saying how disturbing he found one of the scenes. He asked if it had bothered hubby at all. Nope he said, I have seen it in real life and I have become numb to the carnage. It is a shock or a reminder to his audience of what he does for a living, where speeding tickets are only a small part of the job. I sometimes forget that he has witnessed protruding bones where they shouldn’t be, bruised and bloody faces, felt the palpable fear and pain, witnessed complete horror, grotesqueness and been the bearer of ultimate sadness. I forget because on most occasions he walks in the door as my happy husband, tired with a hint of cheekiness, and still the man I married. He is the father of our children and to them he is the bearer of fun times and mirth. He does his best to hide the change but I see it every now and then; not often, but it happens.
He has changed in that he now witnesses the dregs of society every day. He see’s children trapped in what to us is intolerable home situations. He often has to leave these children in their homes, being dragged up by their “parents”as his powers do not extend to their rescue. He feels defeated and helpless. These children do not have the choices that our two boys do, the opportunities. I think our boys are spoilt on occasion with all the love they could possibly receive (and the LEGO) because he is acutely aware of how lucky they are and wants to give them everything.
Mr Point Five is more aware now of the effect his job could have on his family. We can no longer go to the local pool here in town as family of four as many of his clients go there too and he does not want them knowing who his family is, for fear of retribution if the kids and I are out alone. It is a constant weight on his shoulders. I am hoping our move to our new town will lighten this weight.
My husband is a police officer 24/7. He is required to carry his badge on him all the time. He must respond in public at ALL times as a police officer. It is a seriously insane expectation of a person. The man I met who would go to the local pub and get tipsy with mates is gone. He has been replaced with a man who is all too aware of his standing in public and will only drink mid-strength beer in public and who will refuse to drive home after even one beer. It could cost him his job and us our future. As soon as people find out his is a police officer he is usually interrogated with questions; he cannot ever relax and just be himself, a man who loves sci-fi movies, AFL footy, gaming, his kids, chatting about time spent in the army and ancient history. He is on-guard, prepared to respond to their reactions whenever we are out or meeting new people. Its sad. I am glad to say we have some real friends who love us as we are, police badge be damned.
“My hubby is about to submit his application to the SA police. Any tips for him or me in the preparation for exams, psych test etc? Or tips on coping as a first time police wife with 2 kids 6&4?”
Gosh – just let him study; pick up the slack and dont expect too much from him at home. Its your future on the line. If its anything like WAPOL it will be a gruelling 6 months. After that though its not too bad. The hours will depend on whether he is in a 24 hour manned station. FX he isn’t as the shift work, especially the 11pm-7am shift can really screw him and your family around. I hated those shifts when we lived in a bigger town and we have done everything possible to avoid working at the stations that have them, hence our love for small town country postings. I don’t think you can prepare for the psych test. Either you are a calm, diplomatic and rational person or you aren’t. They have the tests for a reason; to weed out the people who want to be a cop for retribution, payback or to be an egocentric a-hole. Hopefully your hubby will pass 😉
Coping as a first time police wife with kids? Hmmmm. Prolly refer to my post that I wrote earlier. Adaptability will need to be your middle name. You need to learn how to live as a single Mum and not berate him for the unpredictable hours. Cops work during ALL the fun times. ALL of them. Its tough. There will be resentment but you need to accept the challenging hours as part of the job. They wont change, so you have to.
“Do you often get scared? Does being scared ever outweigh the pride you have for the amazing job he is doing?”
No. I am not a person who worries. Its pretty pointless if your husband is a police officer. You would get an ulcer before they had been in the job 6 months! At the end of the day you have to realise and respect that they are trained in the best possible way and prepared for every possible scenario. They know how to talk their subjects down to avoid physical conflict and my husband is an exceptionally calm and rational person. They have all the “toys” at their disposal, including a firearm and taser so chances are that they are better equipped than their assailant. We don’t live in America so the chances of the assailant being armed is slim. I don’t mind saying that I would not be a police wife if we lived there; their gun laws are insane. I will admit I have entertained the thought of him being killed on the job, you would be silly not to. I am a strong woman and mother, and I trust that the boys and I would be OK. Whilst I rely on hubby for financial benefits, emotionally I have done the single parenting enough with his hours to know that we would be OK. I adore him but he is not my reason to live. You cannot put that responsibility on another person. I also trust that he will come home each night, whatever time that will be. I trust that we will grow old together and have our grand-kids come visit us in our House O’ Dreams that we plan on building in a few years time.
We are moving house next week, going to another small country town for a two year tenure. This hopefully the final step towards being able to settle down in the outskirts of Perth and give our family a stable and semi-rural life. Whilst we have met many beautiful people along the way, we will be able to form actual lasting friendships and rekindle those we left behind nearly seven years ago. I simply cannot wait!!
If you have any other questions for me, leave them below in the comments.