As our officer’s closest relationship, we have an incredible opportunity as spouses, and responsibility. You and I know our officers intimately. We know how they think, and why they act the way they do. As life partners of an officer, we are our spouse’s backup. While we don’t grab a gun and drive CODE 3 to rescue them in their dire need, there are four specific ways I’ve seen that we can backup our officers: relationally, practically, mentally, and emotionally.
The first is that we are our officer’s compass. A compass indicates where we are in reference to true north. You know your spouse in “normal state.” As they move off course in some way because of the job or otherwise, we are the first to know it and can point it out.
Second, we are our officer’s safe place. Eight to twelve plus hours a day, our officers serve, with each call or “routine stop” offering unknown danger. They are given weapons and body armor for a reason. They’ve been trained with safety in mind and must remain vigilant the entire shift. Providing a home and a demeanor that welcomes them in makes all the difference. They need a safe place to rest, recharge, and relate to those who love and support them. We want to be that place that our officers want to come home to.
Third, we have an important voice. Because we are that compass, we have to find our voice and speak words that need to be heard—reassurance, exhortation, encouragement, and sometimes, words that are harder to hear. I had to find my voice over the years because of how I was raised. Others may not have any trouble letting their voice be heard. If this describes you, use your voice wisely, making sure that nagging, complaining, and whining give way to rational thoughts and words. And with all, being eager to listen and slow to speak from anger.
The final way we can provide backup to our spouse is balance. Officers tend to eat and sleep the job. Constant contact with who police have to deal with day in and day out can jade them. Everyone’s a dirtbag. Everyone is a liar. Boy Scout leaders are pedophiles. You get it…but it’s not the whole population. You and I have a different outlook; we generally deal with decent and good people. Our perspectives matter, and have a way to balance the negativity from the job.
Victoria Newman September 11th, 2017
Posted In: Uncategorized
Labor Day unofficially begins the first day of fall. I’m excited to see the summer go, ushering in the dawn of a new season. Here in Northern California, the hot, stale heat gave way to a little cloud cover, and a fresh breeze blew through the backyard as we worked yesterday. It was a welcome respite.
For Chief and I and our family, the summer has been similar to our circumstances. The hot, stale heat of unfinished troubles settled in for way too long the last few years, stifling progress and attempts to move on. Day after day and month after month, the heat of waiting for prayers to be answered, for change of circumstances, for solutions to situations that were anything but comfortable wore on. On many occasions, we retreated inside for relief.
There have been unexpected joys this summer, like finding out I’m a grandma, and Chief returning to the Field (his heart’s pure joy) from Headquarters, and all my children returning home for a short month. There also arose new challenges and causes for prayers—in the Newman family, but also in the Blue Line Family.
Although we didn’t see endless protesting in the street against our officers on a large scale this summer, the shootings have continued, as have the nonsensical attitudes against them. But at least we now have the support of leadership of this great country.
I took a break this summer from How2LoveYourCop, primarily to attend to the needs of my family. We have been renovating our home with all the kids here and in transition. It’s been awesome and crowded and cumbersome and fun, all at the same time. The renovations are still ongoing, but I am reengaging for fall, moving toward our H2LYC vision once again.
The new CHiP on my Shoulder will release in a couple weeks, with fully updated content, and 30,000 more words of encouragement, knowledge, stories, and helpful advice. The previous editions were based on the wisdom of 35 families and research from seven years ago. The new edition is based on the wisdom of over a 1000 families from all over North America, and updated research. The content answers the questions from six years of emails and letters and conversations I’ve had with officers and their significant others. I’m very proud of the work, as grueling as it’s been this time around. The cover has been updated, the group questions and quotes have been improved, and there’s a bit more about Chief and I and our values.
The nonprofit process was put on hold in the prioritizing, but that will resume this month as well. Watch for our new blog posts, and additions to the resource page, dates for upcoming conferences, and updated content on the others who are involved in this organization. I’m so excited about what we will offer this next year, so keep coming back to the website and Facebook page to find more news.
There are many of you who are hurting now, in the same summer heat-place of waiting for solutions or relief. There are many crises still in progress, like our friends in Houston and the myriad of incidents that cast shadows on our lives. There are those of you in crisis in your own homes, either because of the career or other challenges. For now, let me offer this—the greatest temptation is to retreat inside for relief, away from others. It’s easy to be overwhelmed in the stifling heat of circumstances. But the best thing to survive, and even thrive, through crappy days of waiting is connection with others. Others help carry the load. Others give a different perspective. Others bring laughter—a welcome respite to a world of tears.
Let’s do this life together, and welcome the cool breeze in the backyards of our lives.
Welcome to fall!
Victoria Newman September 5th, 2017
Posted In: Uncategorized