This may not be the usual review for the wonderful crew at Forge Through but one I feel is necessary. I am not writing this review as an attendee of the program, but rather as a partner of a first responder that was.
Often as partners of those living the horrible burden of PTS we see how debilitating this
'injury' or 'illness', just like any other illness or injury can be. It's a slow progressive spiral and one that affects many layers, marriages, partners, families, carers and friends. When someone you love has a broken leg or broken arm you help care for them, you pick up the slack. It's no different for the sometimes incomprehensible symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress.
Part of supporting my partner was finding ways to help him realise his worth and strength that he had forgotten he had. How valuable he is, to me, my kids and so many people around him. I wanted to help him step across the invisible threshold towards being the incredible person he was, is and is capable of.
This is what lead me to Forge Through. I knew Dean long before we 'needed' him. But his courage, his bravery and kind hearted nature has always been compartmentalised because I knew we would need him, and beautiful Gina, one day. Thankfully after years of trying to set this opportunity up for my partner, it took a critical incident to get him there. Right there, amongst all the trauma, is the silver lining. And I am so grateful.
This program has changed his life, set him on his path, he has found his purpose, his courage, his reason and has stepped across that invisible threshold of being locked in the house, in front of the TV, disengaged from social interaction, the list goes on, to being himself again. He is now 'Doing The Work', going to the gym again, working in his beloved veggie garden, spending time with the kids, caring for ME. I am so proud of him. I have tears writing those words, but as a partner with secondary trauma as a result from caring so deeply for someone you love, it means so much to be able to breathe again.
Thank you Dean and Gina and Bottsy. The layers of care you provide go way deeper than I think you even realise. I know this ongoing Forge Through relationship will mean the world to us for many years to come.
Oceans of gratitude.
The wife of a still serving NSW Police HWP officer now reaping the rewards of Post Traumatic Growth