“Normal is an illusion. What is normal for the spider is chaos to the fly” The title is from Charles Addams, creator of the Addams Family cartons that began in 1938; spoken by Morticia Addams.
It’s profound I think.
As a police officer, I have hundreds of real life stories that fall under the chaos theme, but most are too terrible to read about here, yet all are from the “normal” life of a police officer.
Officers are unfortunate enough to see the chaos that society can dish out to one another on a daily basis. TV shows have nothing on what we really see, and have to move on from after the call is over.
You may be at a 7-11 getting a drink one minute, then responding to the worst thing you can image the next minute. Amazingly though, we deal with it, and after it’s all wrapped up, we go to the next call.
In Chicago, Illinois, as of November the 9, 673 people have killed so far in 2020; 209 more murdered than last year. July alone showed 107 murders in the city. On average, someone is shot in Chicago at an abominable rate of around one every couple of minutes, one dies around every twelve minutes there.
Los Angeles, California shows a murder rate of 268 so far this year, up from the 2019 total of 217.
New York, NY reports 390 homicides thus far, a 38 percent increase from the 282 they reported in 2019.
Officers are not immune to feelings that surround death, we all deal with it in our own ways. Some replay what happened in our minds, until we are able to put in away so we can get that next call. Some think about the impact death has on the families of the fallen; we realize the fragility of life and often mourn with survivors. After all, we’re not anymore invincible than the next guy, we just aren’t afforded the chance show it. Some eventually are overwhelmed and quit, or worse.
Cops are the tough guys, right? We aren’t supposed to be affected, or show emotion. We are expected to control our emotions every single day, regardless of what we see or are exposed to.
Citizens rely on us. We are obligated to show up on scene and take control, we can’t be human. We pretend that all is OK, but it often isn’t.
We don’t like to admit that things get to us, that we often struggle, so we soldier on.
Chaos is booming – mourn the dead, and remember those who are left to carry on.