When you are married to a first responder, you often notice when the job takes a toll on your significant other. Physical, emotional, and even spiritual tolls. They call it an "occupational hazard." While my husband is really good at processing trauma and the things he sees on a shift by shift basis, there are some situations that are completely horrifying and just leave you speechless. I cannot even begin to comprehend some of things people do to themselves and to other people. It can be especially horrifying and difficult to process when traumatic situations involve children. Sometimes I have a difficult time processing the mere idea of what he has seen. My heart hurts for what goes on under our very noses. My heart hurts for the children that are beaten. My heart is severely burdened for those who are addicted to drugs. I can't even imagine how the first responders themselves feel.
What we often forget is that sometimes the "helpers" need help. A few years ago, when I was in Graduate school, as part of my MA in Crisis Response & Trauma, I did a project on PTSD, Coping & Effects of Crisis Response Workers. I wanted to share some insights from the research/project, with the hopes that we can have a better understanding of processing and defining trauma:
Job Description of a Crisis Response Worker
Risk of Being a Crisis Response Worker
When a Life is Lost
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Steps to Change / Taking Action!
Lizzy Christian received her Master of Arts in Human Services Counseling - Crisis Response and Trauma from Liberty University's Graduate School. Lizzy started her career as a High school Athletic Director and transferred over as a School Counselor to follow her passion for helping the hurting. She is married to a Firefighter/EMT who is working toward his last few phases of becoming a Paramedic. Liz is a contributing writer to Start Marriage Right and was also published with Relevant Magazine.