September 17th, 2008

Feelings

Posted in The Job - Experience by 200

I don’t cry.

The last time I cried was nearly 30 years ago. I was helping my Dad move all his stuff out of our home into a small flat somewhere.

I joined the police force & haven’t cried since. I think it has something to do with the job. Not having much psychology training I don’t really know, but I’m bloody sure that seeing all the stuff you have to see can make you hard.

It’s not really the done thing to burst into tears when you’re delivering a death message, or picking up pieces of brain from a railway track, or telling a mother she can’t pick up her dead baby – preserving evidence & all that. Six foot, hairy-arsed coppers don’t have feelings.

To be honest I can’t think of a single occasion when I’ve seen any of my male colleagues cry either. Perhaps they go off & do it somewhere private, or perhaps they sit over a pint, tears mixing with the Guinness, or maybe they do it at home, down the bottom of the garden. Maybe they’re just like me. It’s not something I’ve discussed much.

In the earlier years there was certainly no appreciation that officers had feelings, you just had to get on with it. I guess now it’s more touchy-feely & maybe group hugs are encouraged.

It’s not that I don’t want to cry. I get a lump in my throat at Remembrance Service each year or at some soppy film, just like the next man.

A relative died last year, it was the first time I attended the funeral of anyone reasonably close, family-wise, at least. I had  a lump in my throat, sure, but that was about it. No more.

Sometimes, I sit back & wonder what being a police officer for 30 years does to you. I wonder how I would have turned out had I gone into IT or manufacturing or something. As a society we seem to always want to put the blame on someone else. I wonder whether I should be blaming the police because I don’t cry.

Maybe, when things slow down a bit after my retirement, I can go & get some acting lessons, I believe they have some great techniques to make actors cry at will.

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