The Coppers Wife Series – Part 2

13 Sep

I introduce the first of two guest blogs: Mrs B

Whaddya mean what is it like being a Coppers wife? Well, in short, it’s kind of wifey. I’ve never had the experience of being anybody else’s wife so I’ve nothing to compare it to. This is the longest relationship I’ve had too, so it’s a learning experience every day.

Ask my friends about my history with men and not one of you will tell you that it was a surprise I married someone that does the job that Mr B does – I apparently have a bit of a history! If a school boyfriend who joined up after we’d split or a date with seriously the most boring man alive who just happened to have numbers on his shoulders on a work day is a pattern, then I have one. My work has a tendency to bring me in to contact with the Police a lot and I also have to have day to day liaison with quite a specific police team so the stories that Mr B comes home with never surprise or shock me. But, as I understand, like a lot of coppers, he has a tendency to keep particularly traumatic experiences to himself. As a result, he has suffered with depression for a very long time. I think this is the hardest part of being his wife – I can’t talk to him, I can’t know what he’s thinking or worrying about and I can never understand the struggles that he has with senior officers, duties and the nuances of the job that only Police get.

Add to his depression the fact that he now has pretty crippling arthritis and is on light duties, then the frustrations are amplified. He has been in what this Government want to call a “Back Office” role for 2 years now. This is not the career he chose. He’s not out and mobile, meeting the public and doing what everyone on the outside want to see as “proper policing”, but is still working 12 hour shifts. Despite the apparent ban on annual leave during the rioting, he was sat at home, frustrated that he couldn’t be deployed and help out his colleagues. Instead we watched it all on TV, borough spotting on the helmets and seeing who else was in.

His depression overtakes him and he doesn’t see a future – his condition isn’t going to get better so that the CMO will be able to sign him back fit without a considerable amount of pain relief. But, on the other hand, the knowledge that he has as a Police Officer in the capital enables him to be exceptionally more proactive and effective  than a civilian could ever be, he’s received a commendation to reinforce that fact.

So we think about what he could do if he wasn’t a policeman. It’s not so easy when he’s not anywhere near approaching retirement and we’ve built our life, home and family on the basis of his salary and pension. If he leaves, we kiss goodbye to all that.

Where does that leave me as his wife? Where does it leave our kids? Well, gone are the days of having damp sweaty kit around the house. That is a bonus of course. But he’s still in uniform even though he’s not public facing so we still face this new threat of having to wear it on his way to work If something kicked off, what would he do given that he is physically incapacitated?? The boys are still supremely proud of Daddy (and regularly tell the local neighbourhood team that he is an “actual Policeman in London”.  I will always be proud of his commitment to keeping people safe, to provide the best and fastest response as the resources allow and solving crime. I am proud of him fighting through his own battles to do this for everyone else, it shows how unselfish all Police are. But I want my boy back. I want back the full-of-life dishy fella that was always laughing with me, who was ready to take on the London bombers, involved in a lot of high profile work. The man that gave up a long established team to move boroughs to be closer to me.

Right now, we can only see it getting worse. And that’s no good. Is it?

Author: Mrs B


One Response to “The Coppers Wife Series – Part 2”

  1. Das Beard (@Das_Beard) September 17, 2011 at 1:58 pm #

    At least you have the consolation of a grateful public……?

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