One day, Dave was having a quiet day in his workshop. He was working on his model trains, his favorite hobby. He was looking at the tracks, the way the lines interweave all around the room. And he started to think about what he had seen a few months ago in his work as a police officer. He remembered what it was like to be the first responder to the scene of a suicide. The image of the suicide scene was riveting; it seemed burned into his brain and into his retina. In his workshop, he became very distressed and started to sweat. His stomach hurt, and felt nauseated. Tunnel vision occurred and he felt all consumed by this one moment in time. He couldn’t get out of himself. Suddenly there was a flood of intense emotions, his heart started to pound, his breathing was shallow and erratic thoughts overwhelmed him.
He stood up, trying to shake the swirl of emotions and intense body feelings, that seemed all mixed together. It was like his stomach hurt but it was all tied into his emotions, too. There was no line between the physical pain and the emotional pain; his emotions and his body feelings were all tied together. He pulled into himself and felt like no one could possibly understand what was happening to him. Intense fear gripped him and he felt like he was leaving his body.