| Clarence Wesloski

Kelly’s Story

Kelly is a former Civilian Member with the RCMP and this is her story.

My name is Kelly and in 2001, I had to re-invent my life because of a work injury that caused paralysis in my left arm. After a few years of rehab, I decided to go back to school and received a diploma for Business/Office skills. Literally, 3 days after completion I was told of a job with the RCMP. I was able to get an interview through some of the people I knew. I went through vigorous security screening and training.

 

 

My first day was April 03, 2003. I was now a TCE, Temporary Civilian Employee. My job, an  Intercept Monitor. I had no idea what I would be doing, just that I had to be proficient with computers, type at least 40 words a minute and be somewhat street smart? I absolutely, completely LOVED my job! The excitement, the adrenaline rush! The sense of pride I had was incredible, (except when I had my children). Knowing that I had a small part to put a person who did unbelievably horrible acts in jail.

One of the downfalls of my job, was the security level myself and co-workers had to have. It made my work life a mystery. My family did not understand, they just thought I was just being overly dramatic. If they only knew?

Resentment

I started to resent my family for being so uncaring about my situation and making me feel I was just being dramatic so I entrenched into MY new world. I took every course available, was fascinated, almost obsessed with all the new techniques available. I wanted to be the first to learn everything. I moved through work content and happy, was making a great wage, had a growing pension and lots of time off. At home I was withdrawn because “they didn’t
understand”.

In 2007 I became an official Civilian Member, was the proudest moment of my life. In July of 07, I was working a file and an innocent person was murdered as we were on the lines. Nothing compares to the absolute dread of that day. Within days, the blaming started, inter office. I had been working night shifts and lots of overtime and was dead tired. I took a couple days and went to the island to re-coup. It felt like I was in a dream, I didn’t react, I didn’t cry, didn’t get angry, I stuffed my emotions. I became hyper vigilant with my kids, jumpy, couldn’t sleep. And after time it went away and I plugged along. On the anniversary of that day I would have a glass/bottle of wine and remember. I have to say, I thought I was fine, no biggie, I dealt with it.

In 2013 my home life crashed, I left my marriage, my children wouldn’t talk to me. Everyone close to me told me that I wasn’t the same person, I was not a good person to be with. I became even more hostile, fuck them. I am fine, how dare they turn on me? They should be supporting me right? But, how? They didn’t know anything.

Started To Crumble

Then the worst possible thing happened, the one place I had left where I felt needed, wanted, in control, started to crumble. Our jobs took a turn to more analytical work, data entry, and transcribing. No more front line monitoring, work became boring and mundane. I felt my co-workers were not doing their jobs, all I heard was complaining about the organization, lack of support blah, blah. I argued that we were lucky to have a job and to just get it done because it won’t change. No one will have your back. My supervisors noticed the change in my attitude and remarked on it a few times and I thought to myself I’m not the problem.

I took a transfer to another city, thought maybe I’d get that sense of worth back. I lasted 3 years. I felt the exact same way? What was wrong with me? My anger/ mistrust came back full force and I was given one verbal warning and one written warning. I fell apart, I was numb, didn’t sleep, worked out to exhaustion. Isolated myself at work and at home. I realized if I didn’t get some help I would end up doing what I was thinking in my mind, just go to sleep.

Saved My Life

With help from my doctor, I met in my eyes the woman who saved my life. With her help I was sent to a Psychiatrist and it was determined that I have severe PTSD with suicidal tendencies. I spent 3 weeks in-house therapy in Toronto, I learned Cognitive Behaviour therapy, coping methods. Everything I needed to continue work, and live. 

After 6 months I felt I was ready to return to work, my first shift back was very emotional. During that time with the help of some wonderful people I met, helped me start Wings of Change Peer to Peer support group. I lasted 7 more months at work. The decision to leave my job was painful, terrifying actually. I was on my own? What would I do? How could I do this, but I couldn’t stop the feeling that if I stayed my family would get that phone call.

In my 16 years of service, I worked on 15 major murder files, countless drug related files, terrorist files, extortion files. I am proud that I was part of it. I miss it. I miss that rush, but now I am at peace, trying to re-build ME. I am still learning to open up, be vulnerable, to cry, and be happy.

Kelly

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