As a young nineteen year old, a career in the New South Wales Police Force seemed perfect for me. It was the combination of adventure and being able to help the community that appealed. I had a very different policing career from the norm. I worked in some of the most exciting and challenging areas in the police force — undercover work, homicide investigation and hostage negotiation. Unfortunately, the many horrific situations and crime scenes I investigated became too much to bear. I finally succumbed to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). My career ended, my marriage broke down leaving me a single mum to two young children, and I seriously considered suicide.
When I was undergoing therapy for PTSD, I saw a number of hard working police and defense force personnel who had also succumbed to PTSD, some taking their own lives. I felt for them, the pain they and their families go through. This inspired me to write Under Siege. I felt that by telling my story it might make a difference to someone else, their family, their friends. I want to create a greater awareness of PTSD, how it can occur, the symptoms, and what helped me on my road to recovery. I want to create conversation about what measures we can take to minimise the symptoms of PTSD and how to help those persons already subject to the worst symptoms.
In Under Siege, I want to take the reader on a journey showing how I succumbed to PTSD. I warn you, the content of this book can be confronting as I describe the crime scenes in graphic detail. I want you to feel as if you were there. I want to exhaust you as I was exhausted after going from traumatic incident to horrific crime scene. My wish is that you will have a greater understanding of PTSD after you have read Under Siege.
About the Contributor
Andrew Cattanach is a regular contributor to The Booktopia Blog. He has been shortlisted for The Age Short Story Prize and was named a finalist for the 2015 Young Bookseller of the Year Award. He enjoys reading, writing and sleeping, though finds it difficult to do them all at once.
Follow Andrew: Twitter