Friend Healing Relationships

Healing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): An Australian Policeman’s Intimate Account

February 25, 2017
Healing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Police New South Wales Sydney Ray Karam Ballina

Ray Karam is a husband and family man with five children. He owns multiple businesses and is an active community member of Ballina, a coastal town on the Northern Rivers of New South Wales, Australia. Many know him for his consistency, openness, deep care, vitality and excellent dress sense. Most notably, however, many associate Ray with a man who always makes time to connect with people and hear their stories, passions and concerns. In a nutshell, Ray is community. No one would ever imagine that recently he has made a miraculous recovery from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), after experiencing multiple attacks and tragic circumstances, while serving as an Australian police officer for 13 years, mainly in inner Sydney.

During one family dinner, Ray Karam’s sister-in-law Heidi Baldwin, who only had a vague understanding of his history, began to ask questions. Ray’s tenderness in sharing the details, stories, wisdom and insight that he has gained from this part of his life is astounding. This has led to the questions being recorded for others to experience.

What has resulted is a groundbreaking piece of writing, which provides insights into a world few understand. Ultimately, it is a love letter of understanding and compassion to all those who choose to serve and protect their community as police officers.

Why did you want to be a policeman?

I grew up in a small country town called Casino, where pretty much everyone knew everyone. There was a local Policeman when I was growing up and I would always see him jogging past our place. I didn’t really know him, but would see him as he ran past and he would always say ‘hello’. I admired how he was, almost like a protector of the town. He always seemed so friendly with everyone and I was very young and so I would only see him during the day. At one point, when I was around nine years of age, family friends of ours had reason to contact the Police for some support. As a result of that, a Police officer spoke to me. I don’t remember his name or what he looked like. I do remember he was very caring, but at the same time seemed so strong. It made an impression on me and from that day forward, my mother will tell you, I wanted nothing more than to be a Police officer.

I didn’t really have a plan with school, but I knew what I needed to do to get into the Police and so my grades and classes were tailored to this. I got to know more of the Police around town and they all seemed like great people, friendly, outgoing and always helpful. I saw that most people respected them and always had time to chat with them. I knew from a very young age virtually, that I was going to be a Police officer and I would often have dreams of being the hero, saving people. I just wanted to be like the Police were in my old hometown: people that cared for the community.

As soon as I was old enough, I applied to be in the New South Wales Police. I was young for my year at school and to join then, you needed to be at least 18 years and 9 months. I got a job in a retail store in town, until I turned that age and had my application ready to go.  Just as I was keen to get my driver’s licence on the day it was legal, I pretty much sent the application to join the Police on the day I was old enough. I had already been talking to a number of current and retired Police in Casino, about what the Police was like. I wanted to know all there was to know. I went to Sydney for a number of tests: physical, medical and also an interview in front of a panel. I had never really been to Sydney before, only once in fact with a school excursion and we had stayed on the north side of Sydney. It was going to be a big step not only to leave home but also to live in a big city. I relied on family there to show me where I needed to go and it seems funny looking back that all the physical and medical testing was done within the Redfern area, an area in which, later on, I would spend almost 10 years of my life.

After the testing and the interview, I was passed as successful and went onto a waiting list. The recruitment of Police at that time had slowed and at one stage completely stopped because of State Government decisions. I was told that I would be in the next class and pretty much every couple of months I would call up and be told the same story: that there was no recruitment and as soon as there was, I would receive a phone call. It would take two more years with a number of trips to Sydney for me to finally be accepted and make my way to Goulburn to the academy.

I never received the phone call, but I remember receiving a large white envelope in the mail. It arrived at my parent’s house and Mum gave it to me. I remember not opening it and driving to Casino to pick up my then girlfriend, whom later down the track I would marry, but that’s another chapter of the story. Anyway, I had the envelope and I remember driving around with my girlfriend and being too scared to open it. I remember she opened it and told me that I had been accepted and would start at the academy in November 1993. It was about 2 months away. I remember being happy, shocked, confused and sad. I remember the feeling like it was yesterday: I didn’t know what this all meant; I had been waiting for so long and now it was here; I didn’t know what to do; I was leaving home…

What was the training like?

I had never really been away from home for any length of time until I went to the Police Academy. I had always just lived with my parents in Casino. Goulburn was a long way away and I was to live at the Academy for the next 6 months to do the training. I didn’t know what to expect and from the outset, I pretty much cried myself to sleep the first few nights. I missed home and felt isolated and would ring Casino most nights. I remember buying countless phone cards and writing letters home. Any time I had extra time off, I would drive from Goulburn to Casino for the weekend, nearly a 24 hours round trip. There were only 75 Police trainees in my class and because there hadn’t been any Police recruits for a while, we were the only ones at the academy, which had been built to hold around 450 students at one time. I remember the isolation and how painful it was. There was only a handful of us that stayed weekends at the Academy, as many of the recruits were from Sydney and they would simply just travel home for the weekend. We soon got to know each other and it was unlike any other experience I have ever had. It was like being back at school but you were getting paid, while at the same time learning to be a Police officer.

A lot of the training was a bit surreal and I don’t think I fully took in what was happening; it was almost like a dream. Looking back now it seems like it wasn’t real. I was there, but at the same time, it seemed to be happening to someone else. I remember how fearful I was of doing the wrong thing. I was trying to learn while at the same time speaking up about things that didn’t make sense. We would run through ‘mock’ scenarios during our training. These were constructed crime scenarios where two people would act as the Police officers and other classmates were the offenders, victims and witnesses. At times even the instructors would get involved. We would all dress in character and essentially act the roles we were assigned. This added to the surreal experience, because you were acting about something that was going to be reality soon, yet it still seemed unreal, so far from our daily life to date. The practical application of the experience gained in the role-plays was limited, because they were constructed and artificial, whereas reality is often completely unpredictable. They were helpful to some extent, but also created a lot of ‘what if…’ questions about what we would do if the ‘real’ situation deviated from the script.

In the end the academy could only do its best to prepare you. I don’t think any amount of training could have prepared me for my first year in the Police. I was always very naturally fit and driven and so the physical parts weren’t really an issue. I had never really shot a gun and so that part was daunting. The training around the use of firearms itself was very controlled and precise, but again strangely it didn’t seem real. I mean was I really going to be carrying a gun? At some point was I going to wake up and realise this was all just a dream? Could Ray Karam really become a Police officer?

After two months at the academy, we were sent home or near home to go on the job training in a Police station. We were there as observers and for four weeks we were to experience seeing and being around the inner workings of a Police station. I returned to Lismore and stayed back at home. It was great to be home, a huge relief. There was a mixed reception by Police at the Lismore station towards the Student Police Officers or SPO’s, as we were called. I remember a running joke was that a Police dog had more rank than I did and while it wasn’t the whole station’s view, it certainly was a part of the way we were treated.

I remember a few Police really supporting me and showing me around. I do remember going to my first autopsy. I hadn’t even seen a dead person before and here I was going to the morgue to observe an autopsy. This was part of the training and something we would report back on when we returned to the academy. I remember walking into the morgue and it just feeling cold. I’m not sure if it really was, but I wasn’t prepared for any of it. I walked in and the coroner introduced himself and told us a bit about the person. Coincidently, the deceased’s name was Ray and as the coroner was discussing the type of death, he also started performing the autopsy. I remember the smells as if I am there now. It was intense for me and I found myself looking away, but at the same time not wanting to show I couldn’t handle what I was seeing. I remember thinking that a lot of the things he was discussing about the deceased were similar to a man I worked with before I joined the Police. Whether naively or innocently, I just kept listening and watching, not realising what I was watching. I had a belief that nothing bad ever happened to good people and I thought of myself as a good person. When the coroner started to explain what the deceased did for a living, I realised it was the man I knew. My first autopsy was being done in front of my eyes on a person I actually knew personally. We had worked together.

The supervising officer who was with us must have seen the look on my face and asked me if I was OK, thinking the sight of what I was seeing was upsetting me. When I told him that I knew the deceased, he ushered me out of the room and spoke to me. He was slightly supportive and said, ‘What are the chances?’ I didn’t return to the autopsy and when we got back to the station, most officers laughed, but I could tell they didn’t think it was funny: it was more of a message that that’s how we deal with things like this. I didn’t know what to think and this memory and its associated smell followed me around for years. In fact, you never really get rid of these memories; you more just gain understanding of why they occurred. I never came to terms with this memory until I found understanding about it and that understanding came with the work I have done with Universal Medicine.

Did the reality of the job align with your expectations?

I didn’t really know what to expect but all my Ray Karam Police PTSDthoughts were of being a Policeman in a country town, because this was all I had experienced. My plan was to get to the country ASAP, but that didn’t happen for some 10 years. I remember dreaming about taking care of people in a small country station. I remember growing up knowing how much the town stood on the back of the integrity of the local Police. I always thought I would be a Police officer for life. I never thought of doing anything else. I never dreamt of retiring. My only thoughts were of being a Police officer and to help people. It was almost like a childhood dream and yet somehow, it seemed connected to an older impulse.

The reality of the job was a far cry from what I had imagined. I remember first being stationed at the City of Sydney or City Central, right in the heart of Sydney. It was a far cry from a country station, with hundreds of Police stationed in the one spot. I remember getting ready for my first day. I caught the train from Granville, where I was staying with family, to Central. I was in full uniform because this is what the academy had told us to do. As soon as I was at the station I was told not to do this, as you would be a target. This made sense and I complied willingly as I had no idea of what to do if I got in trouble. (These were the days before mobile phones.) Most of the time on public transport, no one would sit near you or even talk to you if you were in uniform.

We were paired up in a ‘buddy’ system for the first three months and I was paired with a Senior Constable. She was very forthright with her views and I was told to do what she said and not open my mouth. As time passed, we became good friends and I gained her respect, as a man who respected others, listened, but also had a voice. I remember on my first night shift, we were driving up the street and I looked to see three men kicking in the window of a jewellery store. I told my partner to stop and she saw what I had. I jumped straight out and chased one of the offenders. I chased him down a back alley and into another street. I had no idea where I was but I knew to chase.

We ran up another street and into the back of a building, over a fence and back into another street, where we then popped out onto George Street, one of the main streets in the city. The offender ran into a busy café/restaurant and I chased him through the main service area into the kitchen and out again into a back alley. I finally caught up with him, arrested him and put him in handcuffs. Then I realised I had no idea where I was and had no radio. So I walked him back onto George Street and my partner found me. We took him back to the Police Station and charged him with breaking, entering, stealing, resisting arrest and assaulting Police. This was my first ever arrest and what would become the first of many foot pursuits. I still wasn’t fully conscious. I didn’t think of what I was actually doing and where I was.

After three months, I was transferred to Redfern Police station. At that time, it was notorious for being busy, violent and hard work. It was for the most part the busiest station in the city and there was a lot for me to learn, not about the work but about people. Also, soon after I joined, the Police was going through a major shakeup. The Wood Royal Commission was on and a number of Police were being investigated, charged and sacked. The public’s perception of Police was changing because of this and it seemed like every second person thought we were corrupt.

I wasn’t prepared for what people would think. I guess I had lived somewhat isolated from city attitudes and thought everyone was like me and just loved the Police. I had never really been disliked by anyone and when I was the one wearing the uniform, I thought I must have been standing out and that was why people were always looking at just me. I came to realise, however, that a lot of people didn’t like the uniform, no matter who was wearing it. It was hard to understand and I did take it personally for a long time. I had always backed myself and thought that when people got to know me they would see me for who I was, but the Police uniform often stopped any further interaction with people seeing you as a person. They saw something else and no matter how you were with them, probably they would never see you for who you really were. This was one thing I became determined about: people seeing people and not people just seeing Police. I would have people constantly not believing I was a Police officer, even though I had a uniform on. They would constantly say I was ‘too nice’ to be a Police officer. I guess the quality of people around me as I grew up, influenced very much how I was as an adult. Casino was and is a great town, but it was the people around me, my role models and how I observed them relating to each other, that shaped how I was.

I really cared about everyone but in fact, after I was seriously injured for the first time, I didn’t want to leave the station. I wanted to get back to the country, but in a way these incidents almost glued me to the city. It was like I had to prove something to someone and not return home until I proved it. When I think about it, there wasn’t a specific person to prove it to, but it was like I felt that I needed time away from the country, to grow up and be rounded out as a person. I had seen so many people travel and the accepted wisdom was that you had to leave the home town area to make something of yourself. I guess this was the belief I had adopted and yet everything I was feeling told me it didn’t make sense.

When was the first time you were attacked by someone from the public?

It was 15th of January 1995. I had been offered overtime after working my full shift. It was summer and we were putting on extra foot patrol crews around the area to deal with an increase in crime. I remember this shift like it was yesterday, but at the same time in a way I have detached myself from it. It’s like I have it as a memory, but it’s as if it doesn’t belong to me somehow. We were driving down a street in Redfern near a notorious trouble spot, when my partner saw a male he had spoken to a few days earlier, with another two males leaning on a fence. At the time my partner had confirmed that this male had given him a fictitious name when he had spoken to him previously. When my partner looked at him, this male made a gesture with his finger towards us and with that my partner stopped the vehicle and we approached the males.

The area we were in was undergoing some demolition work and so had a mound of bricks and rubble not far from where these men were standing. As we approached the men, I advised the Police radio of our location. My partner spoke to the male, who already seemed quite agitated. The male gave us another name and I stepped aside to do a ‘check’ on him via the Police radio. As I was speaking, I could see the conversation between the males and my partner escalating and then, in an instant, the male had his hands on my partner, who then said to him that he was under arrest. I went to support and the other males started to punch and kick us and tried to pull the male away, before my partner could arrest him.

In a flash, it seemed like we were surrounded by over 250 people, while we were trying to arrest this male. I had no sooner got my hands on the male to help my partner, when I was hit hard, very hard in the face by an object. It knocked me down and I remember grabbing for my jaw. When I grabbed for my jaw, instinctively I reached down to my knees. I was convinced it had been knocked completely off; such was the force that hit me. The noise was deafening. It seemed impossible that a blow to the head could make such an obliterating noise in your head. My ears have still literally rung every day since.

How did this feel?

Just shocking, devastating and it still upsets me. I have a video of the incident, that was broadcast on TV and you can still see the disbelief in my eyes, the shock and bewilderment, even when I was being taken away in the ambulance. In a way, it was like a world ended on that day. I felt something had been taken away from me. I was open and trusting, as far as a Police officer goes, but this backed me up. I’d been hit with half a house brick on the left side of my jaw. It had cracked my jaw and knocked 4 of my teeth out, as well as giving me a long laceration to the face, that exposed my jaw bone and teeth. I’d never really been hit in the head before and in this situation, I didn’t know what to do. It changed me and changed my world instantly. I remember on the night lying in hospital and all my Police friends coming to visit. Some went white and faint at the sight of my jaw. I didn’t look in the mirror until a few days later. Somehow I knew that the actual sight of the injury would also haunt me so I just didn’t look. I remember the boss at Redfern at the time, not coming out to see me, instead sending a message through another officer, that he would catch up with me over the next few days. It would be a month before he saw me. I remember my girlfriend at the time saying, that that night I changed. It wasn’t obvious to most people, but to her the spark in my eyes had grown dimmer. I withdrew and didn’t understand. I mean, just the fortnight before, I had been in exactly the same area, lying on the bonnet of a Police car with young children running around me. We were all watching the New Year’s fireworks together.

Even writing this now, brings a strange type of feeling to me: I remember it; I am back there in a way; I understand more now about what it means, but for over a decade, I felt somehow as if I had been robbed. It was as if from that point, my life changed, changed significantly and while some would say I was still a great person to be around, I knew from the people that had known me for a long time, that something was wrong. So strangely, I stayed away from the people I knew the best and stayed in the city for what could be considered years and years too long.

I went into a spiral for what seemed like a lifetime from here on and would often work very hard and then party even harder. I remember calling my mother a lot, speaking to her about committing suicide. I couldn’t sleep and was literally scared to go to work, but was determined never to show it. I remember having some time off in Casino after the injury and then returning to work at Redfern. I had to work on restricted duties for a while because of the braces on my teeth and swelling that was still around my face. Initially I wanted to get back to Casino, because I thought then everything would be OK.

I remember going to a psychologist both outside and inside the Police and acting as if everything was fine. The mentality was that you didn’t reveal to people like this how you were feeling, that they would only use it against you down the track and I didn’t feel I could trust them. I did what I had to do and returned to work. I was happy to be back to full duties, until I was actually outside the Police truck and then I found I was paranoid. I thought everyone and everything was out to get me. I hated this feeling and again tried to hide it, to bury it so no one saw. I thought my feelings were a sign of weakness and in a place like Redfern, I didn’t think I would last if I showed it. I remember every time I went back into the area where I had been hurt, my left leg would start shaking uncontrollably. I was thankful for the long pants so you couldn’t see it, but it wouldn’t just tremble, it would shake to the point that it would distort my voice. I learnt to cope by putting all my weight on that leg and that usually covered the shake.

When I shared what was going on with close friends, they would confirm what I was saying and would assure me that it wouldn’t pass but I would learn to deal with it. This was backed up by most of the professionals I spoke to about this, that in time I would find a place for all this in my life. I never understood what was happening and what had happened to me. I was confused, bemused and angry with all that was going on. My life was a place of coping and it seemed everything was impacting me. I would do my best to distract myself from what had happened, but there were so many triggers, especially at night or when I slept. I dreaded closing my eyes for over 10 years. You could say I didn’t really sleep for a decade and in fact that would be pretty accurate. My sleep was limited and to look back now I don’t know how I functioned. Anytime I closed my eyes, the walls would close in. It was like a revolving nightmare. It was so frequent that it became normal, an accepted part of my life that I would cope with or learn to cope with. In reality it was far from normal. Inside I was a wreck, while outside I just put on a brave face and tried to convince myself I was all right.

What was the attitude of your colleges around this topic?

My close friends were shocked and pretty much my colleagues at the station were as well. Some of the community sent me flowers and I remember one lovely lady sent me a fruit basket. The general attitude at the station was that I would get a big payout for the injuries (this never happened). For me, I just wanted to get back to work. I remember going home, back to Casino, because my teeth were wired and my jaw couldn’t move. For a few weeks, I could only drink banana smoothies. I was also concerned about my parents and the town as they had just seen me on the news and I knew they would all be concerned. I was blessed to grow up in Casino and have so many people care about me. I wanted to get back to them and be taken care of. I think a lot of the Police don’t want to admit the danger we were constantly in. It was like: Don’t acknowledge it and you will be ok.

I didn’t sleep well for years and years as I’ve said after this attack. I didn’t dream anyone was going to hurt me, but after this it was like my whole body was on constant alert. It would never shut down. I would pray and even scream for the nightmares to stop. I would cry every night, uncontrollably, in the shower so no one saw. I was living a double life. The things that controlled the demons were alcohol and exercise, but they would only work short term.  Pretty soon, after both, I would feel worse and then the same again. The Police sent me for counselling and I saw a doctor for a few sessions. He talked to me about my feelings and assessed that I was OK. I never really told him anything, because my colleagues had said: Don’t tell them anything about how you are feeling. Otherwise you could lose your job.

I felt alone and lost. I would go alone to most of the treatments for my facial injuries. Just the dentistry work took months and I remember the needles into my mouth were a nightmare. I couldn’t handle anyone touching my face at all let alone pushing a needle into my mouth. I remember stopping treatment, because of the pain and not ever going back to finish the work that had been started until another 10 years later. The only reason I went back then, was because of a problem with some of my teeth. Before that I didn’t let anyone touch my face at all, for any reason. The bottom part of my face was numb anyway from the injury, but I couldn’t handle anyone touching me at all really.

Were there any other attacks?

Pretty much every year of my career I was seriously injured in some way, from a broken jaw to displaced teeth, broken nose, torn muscles, bruises, hamstrings, groin, knee operation, bruised back, black eyes and the list goes on. Other officers were injured too. I remember many nights and in particular one afternoon, when there were a number of us in an area of Redfern trying to arrest someone. The person escaped and a large crowd turned their attention to us, throwing bottles, bricks and rocks at us. We were out numbered and decided to withdraw to the bottom end of a street. As we started to run out I remember looking back into the air and seeing bottles, rocks and parts of bricks raining down on us. We put our heads down and ran and as we did the officer beside me was hit in the back of the head by a rock and went down. I picked him up and we ran and stumbled out together. He was bleeding from behind the ear and as a result is now partially deaf in that ear. I can’t really describe it, because at the time, you don’t think it’s real, but it is absolutely true that a lot of the time we were working with injuries, some small, some large and some you couldn’t see. It seemed as if someone was always getting hurt and I think we were lucky in those days, that someone didn’t get killed. It was certainly more than luck.

Some would say you were never asked to put yourself in a dangerous place but it seemed that was part of the job and you and everyone else just accepted this as normal. I always believed that if I did the right thing by people or my job, that I would get the right thing done by me. This was just that, a belief and reality said otherwise. In fact most Police said otherwise and had a favourite saying in reference to how the Police Service viewed us: “You’re just a number.” All Police have a unique number that identifies them and as I was entering this phase of my life, it seemed like this was the only thing the Police Service saw.

I remember one reality check when I was being targeted by a local gang, who had taken exception to me, because I had arrested one of their members multiple times. They harassed me at work, which most of us accepted as part of the job and the gang realised they couldn’t get to me. I have a great love of cars and so I have always owned distinctive and usually clean cars. We always parked our cars in a designated area, a private Police carpark. One afternoon, I was travelling home, which was only 20 minutes from the Redfern Police station, when I saw one of the gang’s cars in my rearview mirror. I thought this was a coincidence and just kept driving.

When it became clear they were following me, I rang the station to get some help. I could see there were five of them in the car and I was on my own. This same gang set fire to another Police officer’s private car in Redfern only a couple of weeks prior, but we could never prove this. The station told me they were too busy. I got upset and told them again, but was pretty much dismissed. I couldn’t believe it. I rang my mates around the area, who were off duty at the time and they all converged near my house and waited for me. I drove the long way home and pulled up near my mates. The gang just drove slowly past staring at us and we just stared back.

Nothing was ever done, even though I reported the incident to my superiors. I made an application and pretty soon all our registration details were suppressed, so no one could see where we lived through checking our vehicles on the RTA. We did this because a number of times other people/offenders (other than Police) hacked into the Police radio system. They had done checks on our private cars, on my private car. They would sound pretty much like a Police officer, using Police call signs and language. The Police radio would broadcast our details as was customary, giving these people our personal details over the radio. The Police radio was often listened into by other people but the broadcasting could usually only be done via actual Police radios. A few radios had gone missing, stolen from Police vehicles or lost in foot pursuits over the prior months. It was very, very disconcerting to hear your own vehicle being checked on the Police radio, while you were at work, listening to your name and address being broadcast, realising that your vehicle had never left the Police car park and wondering what would happen next. This was used as an intimidation tactic by criminals with a grudge, as if to say: We know your car and where you live. I never drove my car to work again.  Mostly, I kept it locked up at home and would walk, ride my bike or take public transport everywhere. The revised policy didn’t really help though. I didn’t feel safe at all and I didn’t feel supported or protected by the very Police Service I was a part of.

Did your attitude and openness towards people change?

Greatly! Everyone was a threat and everything was a threat. I couldn’t relax or rest and I couldn’t be away from work. I worked extra shifts, nights, anything I could do. I didn’t take holidays for years. I was afraid that something would happen without me being there. I wanted to be everywhere and not let anything bad happen. I know I changed how I was in all my relationships. I became harder and had an attitude of hit first or be hit. This didn’t always mean physically, as I would use my voice and attitude as a defence to keep people away. I went through many personal relationships and always had my Mum on edge as well because she could see I didn’t know what to do. I loved being a Police officer, loved it, but I was struggling. I was a mess physically and even more so psychologically. This word ‘psychologically’, while being a hard word to spell, was also a word that you didn’t use when it came to Police. A mental health problem was a brush you didn’t want to get touched by. There was a perception that it indicated weakness; that it was ‘unknown’ how you would respond in a crisis and so there was always a fear of losing your job or what’s more losing respect if you were labeled as having a ‘mental health problem’.

What workplace social norms got in the way of healing?

You were never to show you were scared and that things really affected you. It would seem you could pretty much get away with most things, except talking about feelings. Feelings were generally avoided and not spoken about. It wasn’t because people didn’t care or even that someone directly told me to not say anything. It was more one of those unspoken rules: don’t show how you feel because if you do you will be punished somehow. There were stories around about some Police going ‘a bit mad’ (as they say) and these officers were no longer respected. They were spoken of in a way, as almost being dead. It was like saying, “He was a great bloke”. The emphasis was on ‘was’.

There was something that divided the rank structure in the Police that I couldn’t put my finger on. It seemed to kick in at the rank of Sergeant. ‘Sergeant’ and below were one style of Police officer, while any rank above this, seemed as if they were in a different Police Service. When I was working, it was almost like the two didn’t understand each other. This would normally make sense because of the difference in the jobs they do, but when they were promoted, people would change almost overnight, and no one knew how it happened, but plenty saw that it did happen. It happened to me with one of my friends: at one point, I knew him really well, but after a promotion his attitude to things changed and we were no longer really that close. These divisions within the Police were common in different stations, offices, ranks and locations. There were many things like this about the job, that didn’t make sense and eventually for me, it became all too much.

What was it like to admit you had Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?

I don’t think I ever really admitted it. I was diagnosed and wasn’t really sure what post traumatic stress disorder was. I remember sitting in the office of a Police Doctor in Sydney and he gave me a file to read. I started to read it and the guy I was reading about sounded really, really sick and I was concerned about how bad he was. I kept reading and wondered who this guy was and how he was still walking around. When I gave the file back to the doctor, he asked me what I thought and I told him, “The guy sounds pretty bad”. He looked bemused, thinking I knew what he was talking about. He saw that I hadn’t got it and he said, “It’s you. This is your file”. I don’t know if you have ever experienced this, but it is like the world stops, it stands still. You know you are still breathing, but you don’t know where you are. You can see the setting around you hasn’t changed but you are not in your body. It’s like you are floating around and trying to get a handle on what has been said.

It was more than a state of shock and I wasn’t sure what to do. I never really thought I was sick or unwell. I was in extreme pain, couldn’t sleep and felt like I wanted to die but didn’t consider that was a problem. I thought it was normal because I had been this way for already so long. From all that had been said to me, it was made clear this was a part of my life to which I would just learn to adjust or deal with it. PTSD was new in a way. It had been around for a while, but it didn’t seem anyone knew how to treat me. They could give me all types of advice, medications, exercise, goals etc. but no one could explain why some days I just wanted to die.

I remember the thoughts had got to a stage where I feared to put my gun on. I was having thoughts that I should shoot myself in the head and after a while I was scared that I would unconsciously just do it. Those thoughts were always with me. They were a part of me. It was inside of me and I couldn’t understand how I had come from being the way I was when I was younger, to this. My life as a Police officer was all I had ever wanted and now I felt like it was trying to kill me.

I realised a lot more that day and walked out of the office in a surreal state. I remember wondering what it all meant. What did it mean? What was going to happen? I mean, it sounded like my Police career was over and that should have given me relief I guess, but I wasn’t ready to go. I didn’t want to go and yet I didn’t want to be there. What was I going to do? Then I was scared what people would think of me. I thought already I was going mad. I really couldn’t think straight. I was becoming more and more paranoid about many things and felt like one day soon I was going to lose my mind completely.

What were the behaviours that made you realise this?

As I’ve mentioned, I actually thought I was normal. I thought it was normal, the feelings. People were telling me it was because of many things, the trauma, a chemical imbalance, the job, the work, my upbringing etc. Everyone had an answer and I was seeing counsellors, psychologists, psychiatrists, healing practitioners of all kinds, priests, anyone really, looking for answers about why I couldn’t stop what was destroying my life.

The big moment of realisation came after I had been transferred to Kyogle. I thought getting out of Redfern was the answer and so I applied and was given a transfer to Kyogle, a small town near Casino, my still considered hometown. I approached that town like I did everything: I loved it and wanted to be a part of it.

There were warning signs though. I remember yelling at one lady for making an illegal U-turn and nearly bringing her to tears. I apologised when I saw she was in shock but I realised something was happening to me. I remember going to a routine job and seeing a man that ‘looked out of place’. I went back to the station and searched files. I knew I had seen him before. My partner dismissed it and wanted to go home because it was the end of the shift. I knew this guy though and so I told him that with or without him, I was staying.

He stayed and I found what I thought was the guy on the Police Wanted file. He had changed his appearance but I could see his eyes, I never forget eyes. My partner disagreed, but I told him I was going back to approach this man. My partner came with me, but still wasn’t convinced. As we approached the guy, I could see in his eyes that I was right about him. It was just a question of how this was going to play out. I was on guard, because he was wanted for armed robbery and a drive by shooting. He had warnings for possession of firearms. Our nearest support was about twenty minutes away. I walked over to him and he knew that I knew and with that he went to punch me and run. I grabbed him and just held on. We wrestled for what seemed like ages and finally we got him handcuffed and drove him to the Police station and charged him. This woke me up, but scared me more. I thought I was escaping the danger in a quiet country town, but this male was from Sydney and had ended up in Kyogle. I felt again I wasn’t safe and that this hadn’t been a good move at all.

The final straw was when I had just been to a fatal car accident involving a truck. Among other things, being a Police officer in a local town, you are expected to counsel everyone. I was on the phone to the wife of the gentleman who had been driving the truck. He was uninjured physically but emotionally he was a wreck. I was explaining to his wife, (with whom coincidently I had gone to school), about the emotional state he was in and all the stages he would go through in the future. The detail I was describing was almost like I was talking to myself. I got off the phone and just sat still on my seat in the station. I was alone and when I looked back over what had just happened, I started to cry and it was as if at that moment, the sky fell on my body and I couldn’t move.

I felt so heavy and was powerless to even move myself off the chair. After a while I got myself together and finished my shift. I walked next door, which was my home, attached to the Police station and collapsed in the shower crying. It wasn’t unusual for me to cry in the shower. No one could hear or see you doing it, so for me at that time it was the perfect place. Only this time, the tears didn’t end and I thought my life was ending. I was shaking, scared and pretty much after that day, I never stepped inside a Police Station to work again and I never touched my uniform again. I took it off and could never look at it, let alone put it on. I tried time and time again, but it would break me down and I would end up in a heap on the floor.

It was really disturbing and I remember not leaving my house for days on end. I had my driver’s license taken, because I couldn’t concentrate on the road. I was medicated and almost hospitalised a few times. One day I remember walking out in the street and the footpath started to move; everything started to move and I had trouble walking straight. I would get panic attacks and only left my house to go and buy groceries. Most of the time I would sleep, wake up and watch TV and go back to sleep. I would come out at night when no one was around. I felt ashamed. I would run at night when no one was awake. Here was a young man who loved everything and everyone, but avoiding anyone at all costs.

How long after did you meet Serge Benhayon?

It was a few years after this, that I met Serge Benhayon, in about 2009. I had left the Police but was still under the care of doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists, physiotherapists and other health practitioners. I didn’t feel like any recovery had occurred and from all reports it seemed as if it would be a lifelong condition, I would just learn to cope with. My life was up and down and at that point I weighed nearly 100kgs. That may not seem significant, but I had started in the Police at 72kg and today I weigh just under 70kgs. I was resigned to life just being this way for the rest of my life. I didn’t really want contact with people. I had been that way for so long that it had become normal for me. In a way I didn’t know things could be different.

What did you think of Serge Benhayon when you first met him?

I didn’t trust Serge, but that wasn’t exclusive to him. I didn’t really trust anyone or anything. I was desperate though, because I knew something wasn’t right, but no one I saw could make sense of what I was seeing and what I was going through. The system I was in was: medication, talk about your thoughts and learn to cope with what you think… memories I was having. It was just about coping.

I read one of Serge’s books first on his recommendation, “The Way It Is”. My wife at the time had seen him and spoken to him. She felt he was different in the way he approached things and he gave her the book to give to me. I read it; I was reading a lot at that time after never really ever reading. I read it; I read it again and then I read it again. I must admit the first time I read it, I didn’t understand it, but I was determined to know why I didn’t. Amazing as it may sound, the second time I read it, I understood more and the third time, it was the same. It made me interested and his book, it made sense. When you consider yourself and others confirm that you are ‘a bit mad in the head’ (‘mental’ it was called), when something finally makes sense, you want more of it. At that point, I honestly thought I was going to be like I was forever and I would eventually just learn to cope somehow. I was at a point when I felt like I had seen, spoken and taken everything that was suggested, prescribed and thrown my way. I had seen no improvement in how I was; in fact somehow I felt worse.

I won’t say I was open to Serge Benhayon; I was sceptical. He was going to have to prove himself and do it very, very well. I remember reacting to what Serge was saying at times, but I would walk away and it would make me think. At some point later, it made sense and this kept happening. I wanted to know more every time I saw him. I wanted to listen and learn about what was going on.

What made you trust Serge Benhayon?

I watched Serge: how he treated people, how he spoke, and the way he spoke. I watched him everywhere, with everyone and when I was around him, I felt reminded of something. I didn’t know what, but something was familiar, which at the same time sparked my suspicions. When he spoke in groups, I would listen and it was like he knew me and knew what was going on. At these times, he didn’t speak personally to me but he was talking about how life was and it made a lot of sense about the way I was feeling. The more I listened, the more things made sense. It made sense of things that had happened a long time ago. I remember one day making sense of some of my school years from one of the presentations.

I was also beginning to see a psychologist by the name of Caroline Raphael at the Universal Medicine Clinic in Goonellabah. I had seen many, but she was the first who kept putting the ball back in my court. She wasn’t hard on me, but didn’t treat me like a victim. She was supporting me back to stand on my own feet and this more than anything, at that point, was what I wanted. I wanted to feel strong again and not helpless or a victim of what was going on. Caroline worked as a part of the Universal Medicine Clinic, of which Serge Benhayon was the founder. I also started to see a physiotherapist, named Kate Greenaway, who also worked there, for my physical injuries. The combination of these treatments supported me more than anything else had at that point. I had received short-term gains with other treatments but nothing long term.

Serge Benhayon played a huge role in my treatment and recovery. He gave me a role model; a solid model of what was possible for me in life. It wasn’t advice or direction. It was a living example of how to be a friend, a husband, a father and a man in every situation. I watched him, not in the same way as I had previously, because now I knew I could trust him. I had seen how he lives, how he speaks and how he treats people in many different ways, but it has always been the same: with care, love and respect embedded in every word. No one could do it for me, but it was me on my feet with support that would make sense of what was going on.

I watched him with his teenage children, who were always around. Then I watched how they were with each other and I was amazed. They were all so close and attentive towards each other. It wasn’t a show or a ‘put on’. They were like this day in, day out and every time I would get caught watching them. They weren’t afraid to show their care towards each other. I had young children at the time and the way Serge was with his family touched me. I wanted to know more. When my children grew I wanted to have the relationship he was having with his children and I wanted my children to hold such open love, care and respect for each other.

Serge would never stand back from this deep care and I saw it with everyone. I wanted what he had and in true form he never held back the ‘how’ to get it. He would always convey that I was the same as him, his equal. Serge never saw me, even on the first day, as a broken down ex Police officer. He always looked beyond where I could see, always saw more of me than I did. It became more than amazing, how he was and I knew from what he said, that I could not only be like him, but that I was like him. We were no different; only he had walked a few more steps than I had.

I saw this time and time again. The more I grew to understand what was going on in my life and what my part was in the world that was facing me, the more I grew to understand how I felt. I could feel myself changing and starting to feel like I could breathe again. Little things would happen: I would sleep soundly; I didn’t want to drink or get drunk anymore. My life was changing before my eyes and I was starting to feel myself again.  A huge veil had been lifted from my eyes and it was all the work of one man and the way he was.

I will be forever thank-full for the day I met Serge Benhayon. I was dead for all money. A body, a shell of a man that once was, a great Police officer, a genuine decent caring man that had lost his way. Serge Benhayon didn’t make me a new person or give me a new purpose in life. He just always, always held me in what he knew I was and everyone that truly knew me also knew. He bought back Ray Karam and when you read where I was, to where I stand now, that is not just a miracle but a walking, talking, living example of what is possible.

What support did he offer you?

It wasn’t that he mapped out a plan of healing for me or even told me what to do. I can only describe it as knowing that he would always bring me back. Most things are taking you somewhere or making you into something, but Serge Benhayon was clear. You know everything; you are everything and you have just lost sight of it. He never said this in this way, but this is what I took from how he was with me. He never told me what was going to happen, but every time I took a step along a path, he was always there to confirm the truth of what I was already doing. It was like having the best friend, mentor, father, man and role model you could ever dream of walking beside you.

Every time I spoke to him, I would walk away making sense of something that had happened in my life. He was supporting me directly and indirectly, to walk back through my Police career and make sense of it. But he wasn’t doing it through the common means. I wasn’t sitting on a couch, going over and over again what had happened. He was speaking about the world, about people and how we are with things. He was bringing more awareness to me about how I had lived and as I have said, that could be as one on one or as part of a group in a crowded room. The way he spoke just made sense of the things I had been seeing.

He never treated me as if I was broken, needy or sick. He always saw me for who I was and in fact who I am now. Serge Benhayon was the only man that looked at the broken ex-Police officer in 2009 and was able to see a man even greater than the current 2017 version. I mean I was 100kg, medicated, angry and not ever considering being anywhere near people.

Within seven years I am about 30kgs lighter, psychologically very well balanced and have just completed running for Mayor and Councilor in a Local Government election. This on top of owning and being involved in the running of multiple businesses and supporting a growing family.  I would say that’s a pretty stunning turn around!  Serge hasn’t made me into a new man or even a better man; he has supported me to truly be the man I already was.

The quality that is The Way of The Livingness is ongoing in the way it supports me. Serge Benhayon and I are great friends, but I don’t need the friendship or look to him for how I should be. Through these teachings I have seen and felt firsthand that my living choices bring to me how things will be. If I don’t like what I see, then I look for my part in that and take the awareness from there into how I walk my next step. It’s not rocket science; it’s not new age; it’s a return to a way of living that has always been there. A return to a quality we already are inside. That has been the easiest part for me: that I haven’t had to be anyone or be anything. All I needed to do was return to how I was and in that, it can never be taken from me, because it is me.

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174 Comments

  • Reply Katerina Nikolaidis February 26, 2017 at 11:31 am

    This was absolutely incredible to read Ray. Wow. Amazing in what it reveals about your own life, and how a deeply tender and caring man can be broken by a loveless world and system, but how the tenderness and grandness of that man is always there, waiting for the living support to be offered to arise and return again. But also on how this story is a significant one because so many more can relate I am sure. It is a very sad fact that many young men will go into the police force with their eyes and hearts open and innocent with a genuine care and willingness to protect their communities. And yet, the corruption of a system that sees them as a number and that does not understand or want to understand what is really happening and why, eats at the tenderness of these men distorting and twisting them into men that can be threatening, aggressive and nothing close to the tenderness and caring men they innately are. The corruption and bad name of the police that is held by many is one created by society itself, by a system that underpins our social ecosystem that is void of real love and care.

    • Reply Vicky Cooke April 2, 2017 at 5:28 am

      I love what you have highlighted here Katerina, in that no matter what anyone has been though in life their tenderness, grandness, truth, love and essence of who they truly are is always there waiting for them to come back to. Through our choices and getting the right support, as Ray has shared, this can be done.

    • Reply Dianne T April 7, 2017 at 9:01 am

      Sure is Katerina, and a great sharing of your life, Ray. I see this all the time: beautiful, sensitive, caring, tender men either becoming casualties of an abusive society, or else ‘hardening up’ to resist the abuse. And in that hardening up, they are no longer truly themselves. Many men will use the hardening to pretend they’re fine and nothing’s going or that they can’t handle. But eventually the armour must crack…
      What I love about your story Ray is that all the way through, in a sense, you were honest about not wanting to harden up, but about being sensitive and feeling the wrongness of everything going on, and the impact this was having on you. Sure, you could not speak about it at the time, but the fact that you remember it and have been willing to express it means you did not suppress it out of memory as many people do. Perhaps this personal sharing will help other men come back to themselves, from the layers of hardness, the fake appearances, the hurts… to returning to the sensitive, caring men they truly are. And when enough men do this, the existing paradigm will have to change.

    • Reply Anna August 1, 2017 at 9:58 pm

      This is so true Katerina, Ray was the most tender of young men before he entered the police force and as his story shares, life thereafter was never the same. I can attest that before this, and today, you could not have found a more genuine, loving & sweet man.

  • Reply Natallija February 26, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    It took me two sittings to read this enormous blog that it so needed to show the journey you had made Ray Karam in your continuing passion to work and live purposefully within your community. What is deeply revealing is the level of “toughen up” mentality that you experienced way back then that has not changed in the police force over many years. The levels of disregard even though you like many other officers were in the front line in life threatening situations begs to question: Are we feeling safe and protected by this government service?
    What stood out Ray was how you had over time learnt to not trust and be weary of every situation but when you read the book The Way It Is by Serge Benhayon the truth was a HUGE factor is letting go of this enormous hold on your life. This blog is truly a miracle of how living with this trauma is a daily occurrence for many professionals like policing where officers are left to their own devices and not given the support that was needed once they have left the police force. Your willingness to be inspired by another man who personifies the humbleness of community engagement has now brought you to the true service that you are here to provide. Thank you Ray Karam for not giving up!

  • Reply Stephanie Stevenson February 26, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    I have now read this epic blog through several times. Ray, I feel deeply humbled by your story and all that you share with a depth of raw honesty, felt through to the bone. What an inspiration you offer here, from the years of experiencing PTSD and to meeting Serge Benhayon and beginning to truly heal yourself, through learning to trust yourself and others again, from the reflection that Serge lives with love, equally-so with all.

  • Reply Sue queenborough February 26, 2017 at 3:47 pm

    What an amazing sharing Ray, thank you so much for telling us your story of how it was for you in the police service. As a society we have a lot to answer for in that so many gentle caring young men – and women – go into services such as the police and armed services to serve their community and country, yet are not themselves cared for by their seniors when in trouble. Not admitting our vulnerabilities is so ingrained in many aspects of life – toughing it out, carrying on regardless etc has become the norm. Yet expressing fragility to allow healing is the way through, enabling you to return to being the beautiful tender man you are, as you have shown in this post.

    • Reply Rowena Stewart March 21, 2017 at 6:51 pm

      I agree Sue. We do these people a huge disservice by not fully supporting them to deal with the traumas encountered in the job. No amount of training can ever prepare us for what lies ahead in the job of policing our societies. But what is clear from Ray’s account and your comment is that we can provide a strong basis on which to support people to deal with these types of jobs. When we enable people to express their feelings and regard this as the most essential support and true strength it is, we enable them to heal the pain, return to their fragility with a deeper connection to their inner wisdom and power, which in turn builds a deeper ability to deal with what is thrown at them in these roles.

      • Reply Natallija May 3, 2017 at 7:42 am

        The key word that you have shared here Rowena Stewart is offering people working in this service the ‘service of listening’ to what they have witnessed or felt with the myriad of maddening behaviours in this world. The simplest of actions such as listening is the most basic human interaction that makes the difference between those that have been given the opportunity to express from their understanding and those who have not and continue to carry the angst of this heavy load many years later.

  • Reply Jonathan Stewart February 26, 2017 at 4:01 pm

    Thank you Ray for the most amazing, open sharing of yourself. The beauty, love and care you have for others is a beacon of Light in a world where there is at present so much darkness. Thank you.

    Amazing lucid, frank and open sharing. It is quite remarkable what goes on ‘behind closed doors’ and it is the image of how to be a man that is hugely responsible for keeping them closed. Men, like you, showing that to be tender, loving and open does not lessen one being a man but in fact is the complete opposite. That there is great strength in the tenderness and that in fact this is being a ‘true man’.

    It is gorgeous to see the quality in your eyes in the photograph of you as a young boy in the eyes of you as a man today, Ray.

  • Reply Mary Adler February 26, 2017 at 4:35 pm

    Thank you Ray for deepening my respect for those in any community who take responsibility for protecting us all from the ill intentions and actions of others. Thank you profoundly for showing to us all that those suffering PTSD can find a way to heal themselves and return to being who they truly are.

    • Reply Natallija February 27, 2017 at 11:41 pm

      Yes Mary Adler these sharings of the life of a police officer shows the enormity of this professional and the depleting levels of assistane within the infrastructure to support the men and women who serve in this field. Thank you Ray Karam for sharing so honestly what is truly going on for others to read and feel. There is much here to continue to ponder on each time we hear of the alarming rates of dedicated place officers who are leaving the profession in droves.

    • Reply Vicky Cooke July 28, 2017 at 8:15 pm

      I agree Mary that is why it is so important to hear people’s stories and experiences, we get to see and be aware of the bigger picture and in turn get to appreciate others more as well.

  • Reply Leigh Matson February 26, 2017 at 6:39 pm

    This is one of those blogs that leaves me speechless at the same time it just goes to show how powerful true love is and as you shared not even in direct action with yourself but even just being in the vicinity of such brings about healing.

  • Reply Golnaz Shariatzadeh February 26, 2017 at 6:41 pm

    Thank you Ray for this deeply touching, open and honest story. I am immensely grateful for the enormous support Serge Benhayon has been in hundreds and hundreds of people’s lives. The turn around in your story fills my heart with joy. As does the depth of your care, integrity and love of people. What an enormous gift to the world you are and what a perfect constellation that you found Serge Benhayon, the spark that supported you in re-igniting your own true expression once again.

    Turning round such a devastating momentum due to the unwavering absoluteness of the love lived by Serge Benhayon is huge. It clearly shows the power and responsibility each of us have in how we choose to live and the reflection we provide for everyone in life.

    It is touching to read about the depth of love and care which you started with and have ended with once again deeper and more expanded. It is a gorgeous testament that the inner essence within us is never really squashed and is never really lost, but we can at times be disconnected from ourself. What a powerful gift it is to witness someone who powerfully lives their own essence and also honours you in your essence whether you are in the moment displaying it or not.

  • Reply Mary-Louise Myers February 26, 2017 at 8:08 pm

    I have read half of your epic blog and look forward to continuing it tomorrow. What stood out to me is how innocent you were as a boy growing up and how nothing offered prepared you to the type of world you stepped into as a young man. The only thing that would have supported you would be if you had learnt back then, what you have since learnt through the teachings of Universal Medicine. This has also been the case in my life, had I known what I now know through the work of UM my life would have been very different. We cannot turn back time but we can deeply appreciate the healing that has occurred through Serge Benhayon since meeting him.

    • Reply Rowena Stewart April 2, 2017 at 2:56 am

      So true Mary-Louise Myers, Universal Medicine offers us a true education, a way to be in the world that connects us to our strong inner knowing, confidence and awareness. What different lives we are leading now as a consequence of studying and embodying this Universal philosophy and science, particularly when looking back at our past choices and actions. What a huge gift Serge Benhayon brings us through his immensely healing and evolutionary work.

  • Reply Elizabeth Dolan February 26, 2017 at 8:15 pm

    This blog is outstanding. We hear about post traumatic stress disorder in relationship to those who have experienced war and other atrocities but we never really hear about it from our local police officers, fire officers, ambulance officers etc. This blog provides such a great opportunity to stop and consider how life must be like for certain members of our communities.

    I do not have a lot of contact with the police so it is so valuable to be able to read about what it is like for a policeman and to understand the type of trauma they experience on a daily basis. The more we hear about the lives of real people in our community the more we will be able to support them and also deeply value and appreciate the service that they provide for all of us.

  • Reply Katerina Nikolaidis February 26, 2017 at 8:35 pm

    Reading your incredible story ray has given me yet another much deeper level of understanding about people and the society in which we live. We can never take anyone at face value. What you have shared here is incredible, earth-shattering of what men and women can endure in their lives. There is such a depth to us all, so much within us that goes un-tapped and unnoticed if we don’t make our lives about people first.

  • Reply Jane Torvaney February 26, 2017 at 11:19 pm

    Ray, thank you so much for sharing this amazing blog in such incredible detail and intimacy. There are many people in our communities dealing with difficult situations on a daily basis. Your blog offers huge support through your honesty and willingness to be real about what was going on for you then and how it is very possible to turn things around and in that, return to who you naturally are and always was.

  • Reply Eva Rygg February 27, 2017 at 12:38 am

    Wow Ray – this is a blog for true reflection. I am blown away by your openness and absolute honesty – what a difference it makes when we are willing to be real and let the world see who we are, knowing that no matter what we may have gone through in life and what flavour story we have to share – none of that can ever alter who we truly are. When you yourself are true to who you are it can indeed never be taken from you.
    Deeply inspiring – Thank you.

    • Reply Vicky Cooke March 25, 2017 at 7:04 pm

      Yes the openness, honesty and transparency that Ray writes with is very healing for all. It makes us aware of what many go through but do not speak about for fear of being seen as not well, especially not mentally or physiologically well and the very ill stigmas that still currently go with this in our society today. I also feel it is an incredibility beautifully ripple effect out to all boys and men to say it is okay to show and talk about how you feel, which again is deeply needed.

    • Reply Natallija May 12, 2017 at 1:04 pm

      This is a piece of writing that needs to be published in the front pages of every daily newspaper read. PSTD and many other related traumas are no longer a small factor in the current police force. The impact is spreading thick and fast into many other professions that often don’t get a mention. Thank you Ray Karam for getting the ball rolling in one area that has inspired me to understand the impact this has not only on the individual but the families and community.

  • Reply Andrew Mooney February 27, 2017 at 2:27 am

    Ray thank you for your so honest and open blog about your life. You have really touched on something essential here about why people choose to go into certain careers or professions. You were obviously drawn to work as a policeman because you have always deeply cared about people and integrity. I could say the same of myself with medicine. Somewhere however along the way due to corrupt and flawed systems and false information, we get lost along the way in our training and our jobs and the harsh reality of the world, but the truth is we care, most people do care, just other stuff gets in the way.

  • Reply Christine Hogan February 27, 2017 at 4:28 am

    Reading this blog has brought up much sadness around the harshness and brutality of Society and how far we have separated from living the loving truth of who we are and how this life and amazing spark that lives within each of us feels constantly under attack. Recently learning about this innate spark that lives within us and how it never dies has been proven here with your return to who you truly are Ray and the tender, loving, joyful and open human being that was so evident in your early years. I am aware of the struggle that hurt, pain and behaviour’s arising from this, brings out in people around me and have still to ground the full understanding of what you have offered here in this amazing and healing blog. Thank you for revisiting this time in your life and for sharing it with us all – the depth of love and appreciation felt is greater than words can express. It has been a blessing to respond.

    Serge Benhayon sees us in our fullness and holds that for each of us until we are able to see it, re-connect to it and hold it for ourselves.

    • Reply Vicky Cooke April 23, 2017 at 4:05 am

      I agree Christine everyone’s story should be told and heard for we have much to heal and learn from them.

  • Reply Esther Auf der Maur February 27, 2017 at 5:32 am

    Thank you so much Ray for sharing your life experience; it was lovely to hear how you were as a young boy, just wanting to grow up and help everybody, loving people. On many occasions the years I had been wondering about the lives of police personnel or SES workers or Firemen for example, when I heard things about bad accidents, fires, floods, or life on the streets – and homes, where violence is now common place, in our Country, which is actually not in war officially, but the feeling of the intensity is very far from peace, let alone harmony. I remember strongly as a child wanting harmony in my life, but as a teenager starting to feel I was just being silly, as in reality as it was, I never felt harmony around me, except when I was with a beautiful friend whom I felt was wanting the same too. To hear how you have come back from where the brutality of your life as a policeman had taken you, totally hurt, scared and given up on people, to where you are now is nothing short of a miracle. And I can very much relate to this change, as having met Serge Benhayon in 2004, my life has totally changed and I could never have imagined the richness I have now, living a normal life, nothing fancy, but filled with love and harmony and getting to know who I am more and more every day.

  • Reply Bernadette Maullin February 27, 2017 at 3:53 pm

    Ray, I know it would have taken courage to be so honest. I grew up with you in Casino, and know what I kind caring person you always were at school and outside school. It was those qualities that made you the guy everyone wanted to be friends with, and a great man now. As I read your post, I remember the good points of growing up in a small town, but also related to the ‘having leave Casino to find out who you really are.” I am only hoping that by sharing your personal experience that it helps raise the issue of PTSD and mental health issues. My husband developed PTSD after the 2011 floods, and it is a constant battle due to the negative attitude from society. As someone who has battled her own mental health issues, primarily depression and anxiety, it is so important to understand that we are not alone and can make it. I admire you for being so honest, and to your wife of the time who stuck by you. I know it is not easy but we do it because we love our husbands. I am lucky enough to have watched your girlfriend / later wife grow up and become a strong confident woman too. It was Anna, who put me onto your post through Facebook. Thank you Ray for sharing your story and giving us hope. We are glad that you have come out the other side. Bernadette (nee Lane)

  • Reply Jonathan Stewart February 27, 2017 at 3:57 pm

    Wow, Ray. The honesty and openness with which you share yourself is quite breath-taking. The loving, caring quality you have for humanity shines out. There is so much that you share to comment but what stands out for me is how if “The quality that is The Way of The Livingness is on-going in the way it supports” you having gone through all that you have, then what an amazing support it is – and it is available for everyone.

  • Reply Lee Green February 27, 2017 at 6:26 pm

    Dear Ray,
    With every word I read, it has taken a couple of days to digest and fully comprehend what you have shared has allowed me to see into a life so intimately, I have been touched deeply. I have never read anything like this – an account first hand of a man serving people to hell and back and then full circle to returning to his potential in full. Back to serving people.
    Gosh I don’t know you well and yet now I know you like a dear friend – this story is a life if not game changer for many in the services and beyond. Truly powerful.

  • Reply Nicole Twist February 27, 2017 at 6:58 pm

    It is true what you say that the current treatments for PTSD really only offer a way of coping but don’t truly heal the underlying cause. With the support of the teachings of Serge Benhayon and the support of practitioners such as Caroline Raphael and Kate Greenaway along with your own determination to apply these principles to your own life is nothing short of a miracle, from where you had been. You have shown us that there is a way for people to come back and actually live again and not just be left coping with the scars thereafter. That is amazing Ray and a wonderful example of the possibilities that is there for others to connect to.

  • Reply Harrison White February 27, 2017 at 9:12 pm

    Ray, this is one of the best things I have read in a long time, better than being stuck into a novel or biography and taken on a journey. We were offered a very real and eye opening account of what it is like to be a police officer, the world is not all glamour, but it was amazing to see how you have truly healed and you are no longer an “ex-cop”. That those experiences aren’t a part of you, you shine as a living inspiration for everyone, and that is a miracle!

  • Reply Stephen Gammack February 28, 2017 at 9:06 am

    This story certainly gives a greater understanding to the men and women who serve in the police. Next time I come across a dismissive policeman I will keep in mind your deep sharing Ray. What an incredibly difficult job, which it seems is made worse by the complete lack of support within the service for those affected by all the traumatic incidents that can and do occur at anytime in the line of duty to society.

    • Reply Golnaz Shariatzadeh March 1, 2017 at 4:40 am

      I was also struck with the turn around that is possible for issues such as PTSD through witnessing the steady loving reflection of someone like Serge Benhayon and being offered support to reconnect with and know your true essence once again.

  • Reply Vicky Cooke February 28, 2017 at 9:16 am

    Ray gosh I deeply appreciate what you have shared. If I am honest when I saw how long the blog was when I went to read it, thought that is a lot to read! When I started reading how you write is so very open, genuine and as you say intimate it was easy and a pleasure to read. I wanted to know more about you as a person and what you had been through. You truly write from your heart, it is very beautifull. To read what you went through felt like a complete nightmare and this was just me reading it not experiencing it first-hand! I know of you through other blogs, webcasts and when you were running for Mayor but we have never met, however, I do know and you can tangibly feel from you how much people and community mean to you and that you are absolutely treasured within the community because of your genuineness and basically have a heart of gold. So, it is a joy to read how you are living now is what you felt and knew as a child with regards to people, community and what is possible. It is crazy that there is a belief that to ‘make something of ourselves’ we need to move from where we grew up. ‘I had seen so many people travel and the accepted wisdom was that you had to leave the home town area to make something of yourself. I guess this was the belief I had adopted and yet everything I was feeling told me it didn’t make sense.’ I have been around the world trying to prove myself and in the process got very lost and felt very sad. Since moving back to where I grew up everything has fallen into place for me but I feel that the most important thing here is knowing that it has nothing to do with where we are but who we are and are we connected to our truth within because without this we are nothing. Your relationship with Serge is also deeply touching and humbling and from knowing Serge for over 10 years I know this to be true of him ‘Serge Benhayon didn’t make me a new person or give me a new purpose in life. He just always, always held me in what he knew I was and everyone that truly knew me also knew. He bought back Ray Karam and when you read where I was, to where I stand now, that is not just a miracle but a walking, talking, living example of what is possible.’ That is how Serge helps to confirm who people truly are not ‘fix’ or ‘change’ them. And this is really gorgeous as well ‘It was like having the best friend, mentor, father, man and role model you could ever dream of walking beside you.’ Thank you for sharing this so openly.

  • Reply Leah Pash February 28, 2017 at 12:51 pm

    Hi Ray, your blog was so touching, so real and written from your body. I could almost feel every moment you wrote about as you described it so well. I am humbled by your experience and the healing, you have had from such trauma. Just goes to show that although we can be scared and affected physically, emotionally or psychologically by our experiences, that inside the essence of who we are, never leaves us, it is always there to return to. Thank you for your amazing blog. It took me two sittings to finish reading it, and the whole time I was so intrigued and interested to read it. And from speaking with you in person just the other day, I could feel a depth of wisdom, caring, and love from a gorgeous tender man.

  • Reply Carmin Hall February 28, 2017 at 4:44 pm

    Wow, Ray. I only know you as you are today and can’t even imaging you being an overweight broken ex-policeman. What you share is a true miracle – thank you for such an open and honest account. Who would have thought that true healing comes from returning to your amazing self and not trying to get somewhere or achieve something.

  • Reply Judith Andras February 28, 2017 at 5:35 pm

    Thank you Ray Karam for this amazing account of your life and thanks to Heidi Baldwin for encouraging you to write it down and making it available for all to read!
    I love how you describe Serge Benhayon and how he does not usually tell you directly ‘do this’ or ‘do that’, as this is my experience too. But through the way he talks and presents on topics that concern the world matters he brings an awareness to me that can then be applied to my own life – I always gather insights into my own life and into the world from him. My understanding for people has deepened so much and as a result I also stand and behave very differently in the world today and especially the way I relate to people has changed a lot.
    This is an incredible connection Serge has with himself, with people and with so much more than our human eyes can see, what he brings to humanity has not been acknowledged and appreciated in full yet, but this website and this report are definitely offering us to make the first steps to claim what is on offer here in full.

  • Reply Sarah Karam February 28, 2017 at 9:21 pm

    Hello my name is Sarah, I am Ray’s wife and I must admit I was unable to read this article in one go but it wasn’t because of its size. It was because I was crying so much in the first half I needed a break. Obviously there are so many more stories that were not shared and I suppose they will be for Ray’s book but there were some details in here that even I was not aware of and that I was actually reading for the first time. This to me depicts the support Ray received by the interviewer and founder of this site, Heidi Baldwin, our dear sister. Ray, you are an incredible man, where you have been and what you have gone through is so healed that you cannot see a trace of your former life. We are now blessed with the innocence (not unlike the boy like innocence you speak of when you joined the force all those years ago). An innocence of a man that lives to serve community and is open to everyone he meets with an intimacy and warmth that melts both the hearts of women and men alike.

    • Reply Jennifer Smith March 4, 2017 at 1:52 pm

      Sarah what you have shared is equally moving, in that being with Ray day in and day out and seeing how he is with everyone that comes in and out of your day and see no trace of any of the experiences that he would have been reliving every moment of everyday previously. One can see how those who work in emergency services or defences forces don’t share the intimate details of what they deal with on a daily basis. Perhaps we need to relook at this level of protecting the public, so that the community starts to really know what police officers and others do everyday.

    • Reply Stephen Gammack March 16, 2017 at 5:47 am

      It is remarkable that Ray has recaptured the innocence Sarah, incredible really as very rarely when someone is involved in experiences like this do they not remain affected for life. It is a testament to the healing sessions he received and his own willingness to heal and move past the issues that arose.

      • Reply Golnaz Shariatzadeh April 17, 2017 at 5:00 am

        It is a delight reading about Ray’s deeply disciplined, dedicated and loving nature which has been a thread through his life and significant in his healing. Astonishing the lack of true support for Ray prior to Universal Medicine, and seeing the profound turn around after he met Serge Benhayon shows that the support offered by Universal Medicine ought to be studied and offered to such men and women in a similar position.

    • Reply Rowena Stewart April 7, 2017 at 1:52 pm

      Your testimony Sarah is deeply touching and confirms beyond all belief the depth of healing that Ray has accomplished with the profound support of Universal Medicine. What a gift it is that the real Ray has returned in full and is able to offer the world what he felt so naturally as a boy in his heart, to express all the care, concern and love he has for humanity.

    • Reply Vicky Cooke May 4, 2017 at 6:37 am

      Sarah it was touching to read this on many levels, some of them being your deep love, respect and appreciation of your husband including how it is clearly felt you both give each other space in your relationship to be who you truly are with zero imposition. Incredibly beautifull and inspiring.

  • Reply Stephen Gammack March 1, 2017 at 6:38 am

    I was gripped by this story, it just flowed which is a testament to your writing Ray (and Heidi), and on such an important topic. It seems crucial that we all understand better what members of the police force go through, and how there is always a person underneath the uniform, which many people dismiss. It makes me wonder how we can tie up deepening our sensitivity as people when we have jobs such as this where there is such a barrage of attacks on your person. I feel for now the answer is about allowing a culture that acknowledges the depth of trauma that is encountered, and where openness is deeply encouraged, not buried in a pretence of bravado and bracing hardness. Can’t wait for the book!

  • Reply Andrew Mooney March 1, 2017 at 7:17 am

    Such an incredible story Ray and one I just had to come back and read again. I will never look at a police officer the same way again! I have a deeper respect for the job that they do and the service they provide for our communities everywhere. Your comment that the stability and integrity of a community is heavily influenced by the integrity of the local police really struck a chord with me, and it made me realise just how much we take certain professions for granted and how much responsibility we all have in our daily lives to contribute to the harmony or stability of the world around us. And also how there is an inner knowing that we all have of what is true and love but our systems and our organisations have strayed away from this foundation of truth and love and do not actually support these qualities as much as they could anymore. The other major thing that stood out in your blog for me was that whatever we do in life, or whatever job, culture, nationality, class, religion, profession or wealth or possessions, we are people first and foremost who live, breathe and bleed the same and all ultimately want to love and be loved.

    • Reply Vicky Cooke March 8, 2017 at 9:58 pm

      I feel we should have respect for all professionals and people and it is about debasing the prejudice and ill stereotypes that we have created. For example a friend of mine who is Somalian and in his early 20’s continually gets stopped and pulled up by the police because they feel he is ‘dodgy’. This however could not be further from the truth and sometimes they have been really rude to him. This has also been reported to be the same around the world. People from the black ethnic minorities are stopped far more by police. So it is the person that makes the profession. What kind of person are they? What values do they hold? Do they respect others? It is clear to see that right from the beginning Ray held brotherhood, community and people close to his heart. This also highlights the complete lack of support professionals have when something needs to be changed.

  • Reply Stephanie Stevenson March 1, 2017 at 10:18 am

    Ray, as I re-read this personal story through again, there is more understanding of PTSD and the depth of suffering and mental torture there is with this condition. You offer a profound understanding of the depth of true healing that is possible from this trauma when living as you do now – re-connected with your body and the Livingness from within.

  • Reply Jonathan Stewart March 1, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    As I read your amazing account, Ray, I can feel you have truly healed the traumas you have experienced as the way you express feels so much like the innocence of the young boy’s innocence you describe. This is beautiful to feel and an inspiration for us all to heal our traumas, however great or small they may be, and return to the that same innocence with which we are all born.

    • Reply Jo Elmer March 14, 2017 at 2:17 am

      Great observation Jonathan, I also see in this story that Ray has truly healed the traumas that had been so blocking him to be the open enthusiastic person he was and now is able to fully be once again.

      It is extremely encouraging to see how very possible it is to come back to who we are after feeling so lost and beaten down by hurts and lead a beautiful and full life.

  • Reply Matts Josefsson March 1, 2017 at 7:58 pm

    Thank you so much for this testimony of your life up until today Ray. Your story brought me to tears because I can relate to many thing such as thinking that just getting on with it is normal and not even considered being wrong. You just do it. You bite the dust. I think this is what kills many men. Both literally and emotionally. We go through stuff and haven’t developed that natural mechanism to ask for help and share how we feel and how things affects us. And you could go the other way also. Getting more hard and develop a resentment towards society and life and people. Great to see that you came back to the true version of you.

  • Reply julie Matson March 1, 2017 at 8:24 pm

    What a story. This has really opened my eyes to PTSD, which we hear of mostly relating to people in the Army but it makes sense that the Police would also suffer with what they have to deal with on a regular basis. What really stood out for me was the ideals and beliefs you held onto which originally had you set your sights on joining in the first place, and what a contrast from a quiet town to the big city – without a doubt your eyes were well and truly opened. Awesome blog, and thank you for sharing.

  • Reply Kerry lyons March 2, 2017 at 6:40 am

    Wow Ray your blog is so honest thank you for sharing.
    You are a true role model to so many.

    • Reply Gabriele Conrad March 5, 2017 at 3:00 pm

      I agree – the sheer decency and utter and unquestioned dedication of Ray Karam is out of this world.

  • Reply Gyl March 2, 2017 at 5:08 pm

    This is an incredible and in depth blog, that not only supports police officers but helps everyone to really understand what’s going on, and there is another way, and the fact that we are not crazy for feeling life is a mess or there has to be more than this – truth is – there is – way much more. And also it’s very interesting what you share, as last year there was a report in the papers, I think about the Scottish police force and the rise in mental health issues. Maybe they have always been there, it’s just now people are more willing to be open and speak about how they are feeling?

  • Reply Michelle M Ryan March 3, 2017 at 3:14 am

    Ray, your open and very honest sharing here is to me another example of how important it is to not judge other people. We don’t know what choices they have had to make, nor what circumstances have happened that have shaped their lives. The vulnerability with which you have written this is palpable and in that, your strength shines through.

  • Reply Marika Cominos March 3, 2017 at 4:12 am

    This was an incredible read – a long one, but worth every minute! Yes its a story about how amazing Serge Benhayon & Universal Medicine are in supporting people back to the wholeness of themselves (this I can personally attest to with much joy), but there is so much more here to digest and appreciate in regards to your choices Ray Karam. This is such a masterpiece of turning your life around and how we are not defined by our past choices unless we allow this to be. Such a healing for all that will be blessed to read this – true role modelling and inspiration. Thank you Ray for writing this.

  • Reply Bina Pattel March 3, 2017 at 5:24 am

    This is a huge account Ray Karam and to be honest I have not read the whole thing. What I have read is a man who is deeply genuine and has made some great changes with the support of Serge Benhayon.
    What sticks out is when you talk about being a broken police officer and not wanting to go near people to where you are today standing for mayor and councillor in the local government election.
    Outstanding turnaround and you look great. Bit like Elvis in your uniform and now a gentle community man who has humanity at the heart of everything. Keep doing what you are doing Ray as your story is a real inspiration. Thank You.

  • Reply Gabriele Conrad March 3, 2017 at 7:54 am

    It is deeply shocking when we realise there are members of our society who cannot disclose what is really troubling or even haunting them for fear of losing their job; it is the same for medical professionals and it affects us all. It starts when we say yes to something we should say no to, just in case we are seen as weak or incapable. What is this thing, this force, this consciousness that we give our power away to in these situations? What is it that is seemingly bigger and mightier than us?

    • Reply Vicky Cooke March 19, 2017 at 6:06 pm

      I agree Gabriele it is deeply shocking and the sad thing is Ray’s story is probably 1 of millions of people … and not only in professional roles. Why is it that in a society when we are supposed to be more connected and ‘advanced’ than ever before do we still feel so alone and completely unsupported by others when we need it the most? Something definitely has to change. All I can say is thank absolute goodness for Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine who not only truly deeply and genuinely care about humanity but actually do something with regards to the state that we are in by choosing and reflecting a different way to live.

  • Reply Elaine Arthey March 3, 2017 at 7:15 pm

    Thank you for this intimate account. It is open and yet at the same time rich in its content and gives us much to consider and ponder upon. We might be surprised at the amount of people who are experiencing, or who have experienced PSTD and how it affects their lives. This is a great account and also makes me appreciate so much more those who put themselves at risk in the public services.

  • Reply Nikki Mckee March 4, 2017 at 5:00 am

    Wow Ray, thanks for sharing. It’s beautiful on so many levels. It’s allowed me to have a much deeper understanding of people. I always put police officers in the tough category and as though they were untouchable. Reading this broke down many pictures I have of society and I realise that underneath whatever role we may play it is not who we are and we are all delicate and sensitive human beings worthy of love, care, decency and respect. Thanks for sharing your story.

  • Reply Jennifer Smith March 4, 2017 at 1:42 pm

    I deeply thank you for sharing your story Ray. This has actually helped me make sense of some of what I saw in the police force too. I didn’t see as much violence as you did, but I worked with many people who did and that takes its toll as well. What I know is that the far majority of people who join the police have a genuine love of people and community and want to show their care through the work a police officer does. Most of the community don’t know what police see and have to deal with day in and day out. Your article Ray really highlights what police experience and even with my brief experience I am shocked at what you have shared. The fact that you have turned your life around as you have is actually really incredible and a testament to the commitment you have to life and community.

    • Reply Rowena Stewart March 18, 2017 at 4:25 pm

      Very true Jennifer, many people sign up to the Police and indeed the other emergency services because they have a genuine love of people and real desire to support, safeguard and protect us. What we ask of them is immense and some of the situations they have to deal with are without doubt immensely shocking, at times they have to encounter the very worst of humanity. Ray’s account here highlights the immense responsibility we have to ensure that we in turn truly care for those who choose to care for us. It is clear that what Ray met and continues to meet in Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine has truly empowered him to deal with the traumas he has experienced and restore not only his health and well-being, but a new level of normality, respect, truth and understanding. Once experienced the teachings and qualities of Serge Benhayon accompany us for the rest of our lives and establish new markers that empower us to know immediately when to ask for support so that we never let life get to such a crisis points again. It is in my opinion a duty of care we should be extending to all who put themselves at risk on our behalf.

  • Reply Harrison White March 4, 2017 at 9:17 pm

    Absolute inspiration Ray! When we enter a career, or something we have always wanted to do it is not always like how we pictured, the realities of life hit hard sometimes and this is something I have learned from your blog. When I was a kid I too wanted to be a police officer, the idea of arresting evil and good triumphing was something I aspired to, and was obsessed with the secrecy and spy-type uniforms of the federal police and secret service. I also wanted to be a fireman, a builder, a doctor, a musician, a businessman/salesman (like my Dad) and Batman…but as i have grown up I have seen each of these respective professions has their own reality and it is not like how I thought.

    A great story Ray about how one inspires one to live who they truly are. You have shown how we can hold our past not with angst or regret or with horror, but with understanding and this clears the way forward for us to live with the fire and Joy of our Soul.

  • Reply Golnaz Shariatzadeh March 5, 2017 at 3:40 am

    This is a deeply touching story and a beautiful love offering to all of us with the immense care, vulnerability and honesty it has relayed. Thank you Ray.

    A powerful confirmation that whatever happens to us in life, however disconnected from ourselves and broken we may get, the enormity of the light within us never dies. It just stays dormant within us, waiting until we are ready to connect and be all that we are once more.

    In our society we don’t open ourselves to people nearly enough to share our trials, tribulations, moments of bewilderment and feeling lost. We mostly hide our hurts and any mistakes, as well as the tenderness, the depth of awareness and care, the joy and the love we can feel within us.

    When someone does share these, they provide profound lessons in life and an opportunity to deepen an understanding of the physical and energetic dynamics of the world we live in. Thank you so much for so openly and so humbly sharing your story Ray Karam.

  • Reply Katerina Nikolaidis March 5, 2017 at 4:35 am

    Your powerful blog ray has been an eye-opener for what is akin place in silent worlds of so many – in the police force and many more professions I am sure. The long and the short of it being that we live in a world that currently does not offer true support mechanisms and where it is commonplace and often encouraged to keep quiet with the chin up and purport that everything is OK when it isn’t.
    We need to make our world about people. Once we do, these closets of shame that harbour the tortured minds of women and men won’t have a place. Until then we are perpetuating a system that asks you to hide away your sensitivity, tenderness and humanness and the appalling conditions and accounts that take place – most of them unnoticed and never to re-told – will continue to take place.

  • Reply Stephen Gammack March 5, 2017 at 5:42 am

    I got a real sense of just how challenging it must be for a new recruit to go on duty in their initial days, weeks and months. And if you marry that challenge with a deep sensitivity then it must be even more difficult. To go into an environment where you are learning so many new things, and to top that off with having to deal with so many “difficult customers”, even more challenging. In regards to the lack of support for trauma, I wonder what would play out if more officers said, enough is enough, how this job has affected me is too much, I am going to leave the force. Perhaps if enough did then the powers that be would be forced to look at how they really should be supporting their staff to deal with trauma and not brush it under the carpet.

    Your description of the police officer growing up brought to mind a retired policeman I knew who policed a small town. His descriptions of the job portrayed an innocence in many aspects of his job that has now been lost. And perhaps that is a big part of the issue, the force hasn’t moved with the times, in respect of the need to support officers to deal with the horrors they face on a daily basis.

  • Reply kim weston March 5, 2017 at 6:29 am

    Phenomenal change Ray. Seeing you as the man you are today, I am blown away with the tremendous steps that were needed to bring you back to the tender, caring energetic man you truly are today. What a important story to share.

  • Reply Gabriele Conrad March 5, 2017 at 10:46 am

    What strikes me most is the fact that we can all think something is normal and here to stay, just because it has been around long enough. The devastation and hopelessness as you wrestled with PTSD are palpable, to the point that you didn’t recognise your own story when the patient file was handed to you. It can’t get any worse than that, surely; reading your story it feels like we then live in a void, exist in the permanence of “living besides ourselves” in order to just survive from one day to the next.

    • Reply Golnaz Shariatzadeh March 6, 2017 at 6:20 am

      It is incredible how it is possible to get so used to coping with life that you would no longer even see it. Not recognising your own patient record is classic. This shows how invaluable it is to receive the unwavering love and regard Serge Benhayon offered. Such steady reflection can ease off the impression that the coping mechanisms are necessary, and provide a reminder that there is more to life and to you, which is the best gift and support we can offer one another.

      • Reply Rowena Stewart March 17, 2017 at 3:54 pm

        So true Golnaz, we get so used to the trauma we just begin to think that this is life and most shockingly, it becomes the norm. Enter Serge Benhayon, a man who consistently holds a true, tender, honest and steady normal for us to re-calibrate our sensors to so that we expose our own coping mechanisms and begin to unravel them. This is an immense gift in a world where we are rapidly loosing sight of the true Normal, Serge shines an immense beacon of Normality that is instigating a true and astounding healing revolution for all who walk, study and evolve alongside him.

    • Reply Rowena Stewart March 20, 2017 at 5:25 pm

      So true Gabriele and what is feels so sad is that Ray is not a lone case, there are many thousands of people who work in the emergency services who are also suffering PTSD who are un-able to admit or own the traumas they are attempting to assimilate. Ray Karam has shown the world that there is a true way to address PTSD, a way that restores a steady platform of inner connection, tender normality and deep respect, completely void of the desperate coping mechanisms we concoct to deal with the traumas experienced. Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine are heralding in the new epoch in addressing our traumas with such profound results that are providing us with a whole new platform on which to re-build our societies.

  • Reply Henrietta Chang March 5, 2017 at 8:25 pm

    Thank you Ray – this is an incredible account, a deeply intimate sharing of your life and your turn around to be where you are today. I have known you for many years, but still had no idea of the depth of despair that you have gone through. I struggled to read this blog – because of the tears that would come in waves and I had to read this over a few days. The way it was written was like you were here sitting with me and I could hear your gorgeous deep calm voice sharing each stage, it felt exquisite. But what I struggled with was the knowing of how precious you are to me, and how I know you to be today (and have known you to be over the past few years) and then to be presented with a picture of someone who was so far away from this, so lost and so untrusting of the world and people. It hurts to know when someone you care for so deeply has gone through such deep deep despair, but it also makes me reflect on the countless numbers of other people out there in the world that are going through something similar and have not found an answer, and worse yet, perhaps have given up looking for one. Sometimes we do hit rock bottom before we are ready for the Truth, and I cannot express what a gift it is to us all that you were ready, and embraced the Truth when you encountered Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine. By turning you life around like you have, paves the way for others to do likewise, and this is an incredible feat – for the first persons to do this requires much purpose, there is much opposing this to happen because it is known that it creates a wake that then carries forth others to do likewise. And where one goes, others will follow.
    And I can imagine the immense joy of your family, especially your mum and dad, to have you back again! And you are a gift, after all, to us all – and you can feel this and appreciate it all the more today!

  • Reply Benkt van Haastrecht March 6, 2017 at 7:32 am

    Such a beautiful read, showing us that it is our living way that can change our life.

  • Reply Michael Brown March 7, 2017 at 4:18 am

    Ray, having met you this blog is such a perfect expression of you. I get every cell and fibre of your being through this blog, and what a beautiful tender powerful man you are.

    It strikes me how un-understanding we are as a society, all because we do not connect to people to see what their lives are really like, what they go through day to day. What a beautiful blog to start that connection to people and industries.

    It is quite alarming to hear the level of intensity and pressure police come under, even in just day to day foot patrols – I imagine there would have been many officers who would have spent the rest of their lives suffering from this, how blessed you, as are we all, to have had the support of Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine.

  • Reply Gabriele Conrad March 7, 2017 at 11:35 am

    I can’t get enough of this story; knowing you today there is not even the slightest resemblance to the broken ex police officer you describe here. And even more miraculous, there is not a whiff of fervour, fundamentalism or messianic aspirations in the air – just one man, Serge Benhayon, living true to his essence and seeing and meeting everybody else in that absolute equalness, nothing more and nothing less.

    I especially appreciate your conclusion where you say that you didn’t need to become anything because Serge Benhayon showed you that you were already everything you would ever need to be; this is in such a contrast to most modalities and therapies out there which make you strive and run to become a better version of oneself. What Serge proposes and lives daily is the fact that we are already everything, we just need to get rid of what we are not.

  • Reply vanessa mchardy March 7, 2017 at 6:01 pm

    I literally can’t imagine you in the way you describe your life before it turned around Ray. It is incredible the healing you have undertaken and so incredibly inspiring.

    • Reply Natallija July 9, 2017 at 8:26 am

      This is a true miracle that is shared for all to embrace no matter how difficult life has been and the curve ball that may come our way. Very inspiring indeed!

  • Reply Karoline Schleiffelder March 8, 2017 at 7:01 am

    Dearest Ray, thank you for sharing so deeply and the rawness your story. It’s personal, yet a story many policemen could relate to. You have shown the man behind the uniform. It took me days to read as I read every word, stopped and felt all that was being said and brought understanding to what it is like for all police officers. Very powerful, and very healing as you show there is a way for true healing.Look at where you are today, who you are today. Deeply appreciated.

    • Reply jonathan stewart March 9, 2017 at 5:15 pm

      Yes, I agree Karoline, this is a truly powerful, personal and intimate testimonial that true healing can occur however traumatic.

  • Reply Kerstin Salzer March 8, 2017 at 2:01 pm

    For me it is shocking how cruel people are and how real this is and like you Ray I think it doesn’t happen to me, but only the fact that there are people out there so desperately lost that they are only able to act in aggression and with cruelty is hurtful. Your story for me feels as if you never and actually probaly no one of your collegues were able to handle this amount of cruelty and that we as human beings are not meant to be cruel and as such have no way to handle cruelty as it is not our nature. The presentations of Universal Medicine make sense and having this background, for me reading about your experiences the call to live the love we are is urgent.

    • Reply Rowena Stewart March 28, 2017 at 4:36 pm

      I agree Kerstin Salzer. Violence is such an alien expression and its presence in our societies flags up the immense gap we have allowed to manifest between who we really are and the way we choose to behave. The very choice to commit such violence against one another is clear evidence that we are deeply lost, because it is not our true nature. Ray Karam has shown us the extent to which we allow ourselves to drift away from our truly loving essence, a quality he was definitely in touch with as a child, but became estranged from after experiencing such unprovoked violence. Universal Medicine is the bridge that offers us the way back to ourselves and the truly loving beings we are, as evidenced by Ray Karam’s return to health and his inner vitality, wisdom and natural love of people, vital qualities that we need to reclaim within us all so that we can also reflect the real way to be in a world that is fast losing sight of what is true and normal.

      • Reply Golnaz Shariatzadeh May 22, 2017 at 12:51 am

        Recognising that “the very choice to commit such violence against one another is clear evidence that we are deeply lost, because it is not our true nature” is deeply significant in our approach to the escalating abusive behaviour in the world. Jailing, killing and sanctioning people is not the answer, but offering steady loving true reflection and support for people to regain their connection and trust in who they truly are.

  • Reply Jo Elmer March 9, 2017 at 6:26 am

    I would love to see Ray’s story printed into millions of booklets and in the hands of every person who has PTSD.

    The truth in this sharing is so moving and inspiring it goes straight to my center and reminds me who I am, who we all are…

    Ray does not use the word love to describe how he has healed himself but in this story I feel so much love.

    I have felt that when Love is Truly lived by another we can recognize it as who we are too.
    … and I can feel that it is in returning to who we are that we heal.

  • Reply Susan Green March 9, 2017 at 9:13 am

    This is a blog like no other.. it deserves to be read a few times over. I have always had a deep respect for police officers and people working in the public sector but I have never had an insight into their lives and what their jobs are like. Reading this very personal and intimate account has deepened my understanding and changed my perception of what these jobs really entail. Very raw, real and humbling. Thank you Ray.

  • Reply Susan Green March 10, 2017 at 6:37 am

    Ray, this blog has left such an impression on me that I wanted to mention one more thing… I recently read a blog written by a doctor who had tried to commit suicide. He started off in the same way as you, so keen to join a profession he loved but the job itself was very traumatic and it wasn’t home life that was a problem, it was as he described ‘trauma after trauma after trauma’ and there was little support or understanding within the profession. It is very sad to hear of so many caring people who join a profession they love to be broken down by it. It made me ponder on our responsibility as a society in how we choose to live because it was people like you that had to pick up the pieces.

    • Reply Rowena Stewart March 22, 2017 at 5:01 pm

      I agree with you Susan Green. I too have never fully appreciated the burdens we ask these people to carry for us, to deal with the un-acceptable aspects of the lives we choose to live. Whether it’s dealing with people who see violence and crime as their only options in life, or endless cases of ill health largely caused by the way we treat our bodies, it is clear that those who are attempting to take care of us are hugely under valued and under supported. These people are not here to “pick up the pieces” but to support our societies to work well, to help when we are in a genuine crisis. Imagine how different their jobs could be if they were supported to process the traumas experienced and to re-connect to their caring, tender essence within them through sensitive, appreciative and genuinely caring management, coupled with a society that chooses to take responsibility for its woes.

      • Reply Susan Green April 15, 2017 at 6:37 am

        Since reading this blog Rowena, I have started to ponder some more… what if we stopped before we went head long into something and asked ourselves the question, ‘What is the consequence of this behaviour? What will this lead to and who will have to ‘pick up the pieces’ for me because I may not be able to? What affect will that have on that person?’ If we did this before we drove recklessly fast, or before we decided to get blind drunk on yet another Saturday night, would we start to change the way we conduct ourselves? If we saw the consequences of our actions, played out like a film, gaining a true insight into the impact of the way we live on one another – much like this blog – it may just make us sit up and take note. As I am starting to learn also, we all affect everyone.

        • Reply Rowena Stewart May 1, 2017 at 2:12 pm

          I completely agree Susan. Meeting Serge Benhayon was the beginning of me realising and then taking responsibility for the wider impact of my choices. Up until that moment, I felt so hurt by the world that I simply did not care about how my choices and actions affected other people. It has been through the consistent integrity with which Serge Benhayon lives his life and presents his teachings that has shown me just how much I am worth taking care of, and consequently I have resumed responsibility for the effect of my choices on myself and on others, because everyone is deeply worth taking care of.

    • Reply Golanz Shariatzadeh March 23, 2017 at 2:22 am

      This is a great call Susan. After well over a decade of Universal Medicine teaching how important it is for at the minimum to self-care, it has become fashionable in some areas to ‘talk’ about and ‘go through the motions’ of organising care for their personnel, but true care on an ongoing basis is still not a practiced a reality. Many in work areas such as the one covered in this blog experience ‘unofficial’ pressure prohibiting them to take time out to care for themselves. There have been enough stories and suicides for us to know this set up is not okay.

  • Reply Jenny Ellis March 11, 2017 at 3:11 pm

    Wow Ray what an incredible story and sharing of your life to date, I am deeply touched by the detail and the honesty. To feel the tender, genuinely loving and caring young man you were crippled in the face of that level of violence and abuse is horrifying indeed. I have the distinct impression you have an extraordinary capacity for understanding people and their choices now, and in that, the ability to de-personalise all of what happened to you and truly let it go. Understanding what is involved when it comes to truly heal the traumas from our past is critical and that is what Serge Benhayon and the teachings made available through Universal Medicine offers us all. Thanks for sharing such an amazing journey…

  • Reply Rowena Stewart March 15, 2017 at 4:12 pm

    Awesome account of your life and experiences Ray that exposes so many issues. Thank you for taking the time to share what has been such a traumatic journey. What we ask of our Police Officers is immense, they are so often put in the frontline of danger without adequate training and definitely without the proper back up and support. It is a high stress job and we do little to appreciate that or the people who serve us and have opted to police our societies. What stands out here though is that despite receiving a great deal of therapy, nothing was working for you (in fact I would go so far as to say the pit you were in was getting deeper) until you met Serge Benhayon and received some of the Universal Medicine therapies. You put it so well when you say that the defining factor within Universal Medicine and Serge’s approach is that “Most things are taking you somewhere or making you into something, but Serge Benhayon was clear. You know everything; you are everything and you have just lost sight of it.” What is so stupendous here is that not only have you restored your health and equilibrium again, you have connected with and are expressing even more of the genuinely caring, intelligent, open hearted and gregarious Ray Karam that was waiting to be explored, expressed and magnified when you joined the Police. This is an immense testimony to the power of Serge Benhayon’s tireless work and deeply ethical healing practices, living proof that given the correct support we do know how to heal ourselves, as proven by the powerhouse of a man you are today.

    • Reply Golnaz Shariatzadeh May 4, 2017 at 5:56 am

      Yes in an environment where so much asks you to become something or force a change , Serge Benhayon’s stance of: “You know everything; you are everything and you have just lost sight of it” is huge. This is not a motto, a mantra or a gimic. This is how he lives and the way he honours and relates to people . In one swoop you know regardless of what has been happening in your life that you are not broken and also that you have everything within you to turn it all round.

  • Reply Stephanie Stevenson March 18, 2017 at 6:06 pm

    What a journey you have been through Ray and then finding the support of Serge Benhayon in sessions, workshops etc and in the way he reflects his daily way of living as a shining example of what is possible for each and every one of us.

  • Reply Rowena Stewart March 19, 2017 at 4:34 pm

    I am very struck by this account Ray, to have been so badly injured and to have made such a strong return to health and your deeply loving inner values is true testament to the depth of power and healing that Serge Benhayon and all the Universal Medicine practitioners offer us. As you say, the ball consistently keeps getting put back in our court in such a loving, honest way it enables us to re-evaluate how we are living and make the changes ourselves, based on a solid foundation of vitality, joy and health presented to us by Serge and all his colleagues without exception.

    Looking at you now Ray one would never guess the traumas you have been through. This is the real marker of the power of the healing that Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine offer us all, the ability to re-connect to our inner wisdom, love and fragility that empowers us to heal the wounds, take responsibility and fully restore ourselves.

    “The mentality was that you didn’t reveal to people like this how you were feeling, that they would only use it against you down the track, “I didn’t feel I could trust them.” What a terribly sad state of affairs we have created for ourselves when we don’t even feel safe to open up to those whose job it is to actually support us. It is very obvious that on meeting Serge Benhayon you connected to an integrity born from an unwavering commitment to Love that allowed you the space to rebuild your trust, first within yourself and then in the practitioners you sought help from in the Universal Medicine Clinic. Your recovery from such a desperate state of isolation and terror is quite simply phenomenal.

  • Reply Esther Andras March 19, 2017 at 6:34 pm

    This is a real life story told with an openness and willingness to share how the reality of life is without wanting to spare yourself or hiding behind an image. Thank you Ray Karam.

  • Reply Susan Green March 24, 2017 at 7:58 am

    This is one of those blogs that has stayed with me and I still recount parts that you have written as I go about my day. The sad thing is (and this is perhaps why it has stayed with me) I know this is one traumatic story out of many thousands of similar if not, dare I say, worse experiences. Yours was an amazing turnaround, thanks to the incredible support you received by Serge and Universal Medicine, there are so many that do not end this way.

  • Reply Mary Sanford March 30, 2017 at 2:24 am

    Your honesty is amazing how you relate to the post traumatic stress and what you went through and the turn around after meeting Serge Benhayon who is the most steadfast role model for those of us that have let him into our lives, he never tells anyone what to do but lives himself in every way and it is this solid reflection that gives everyone the possibility that they too can live with true love and have a natural integrity too.

  • Reply Narelle Poole March 30, 2017 at 6:56 pm

    This is a beautiful, honest and deep sharing of the darkest time in your life Ray, followed by your wonderful reconnection to yourself with the help of Serge Benhayon and the Universal Medicine practitioners. I have always had much respect for police, ambulance, emergency service workers and the defence force who serve our communities in very difficult and life threatening situations. It saddens me that some (possibly many) end up with such deep hurt both physically and mentally, but somehow it is not too surprising. We as a community need to take responsibility as a whole for this treatment of these men and women who serve our communities and keep us safe. And for all of those who have walked a similar path to you Ray, I trust that this message of hope finds its way to them. Thank you for taking the time to express your story.

  • Reply Christine Hogan March 31, 2017 at 6:35 am

    ‘Serge hasn’t made me into a new man or even a better man; he has supported me to truly be the man I already was’.- this is just a small part of the amazing wisdom and insight you have shared Ray and I deeply appreciate every word. We are already enough and to have someone walk beside us knowing this when we cannot see or feel it ourselves is love in its fullness. Your blog exposes so much in the systems and pressures applied to people every moment of their lives but at the same time confirms that we have within us a truth that is unwavering and never lost unless we choose to allow that connection to breakdown. Thank you so much for sharing.

  • Reply Elizabeth Dolan March 31, 2017 at 5:48 pm

    I could read this article a hundred more times and not get tired of reading it. There is something very beautiful about someone who shares their story with such rawness and honesty. The depth of lostness and despair that you experienced is not uncommon in today’s world so to have someone write about it who has been through it and come out the other end is deeply supportive for people. The level of healing that has taken place for you Ray is obvious and shows that when we commit to it we can heal our deepest of hurts. This is truly inspiring.

    • Reply Rowena Stewart April 14, 2017 at 6:03 am

      So true Elizabeth Dolan. The honesty and openness of Ray Karam’s account is deeply supportive to all those who have been deeply traumatised for whatever reason. The fact that Ray has not only healed the trauma and deep anguish, he is now striding ahead in his life, fully engaged and committed again, speaks volumes in what can be achieved when we determine to face our pain and resume responsibility for our well-being once more.

  • Reply Kerstin Salzer April 1, 2017 at 1:05 pm

    This sharing of you Ray touches my heart deeply. The processes you have gone through and your healing process with Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine Practitioners is a shift in your life which is extraordinary and amazing.

  • Reply Nicola Lessing April 2, 2017 at 6:36 am

    What a beautiful and open sharing. We are all such sensitive and caring people. How sad we hurt ourselves and each other as we do. Nobody is a number or a uniform.

    It is the difference that makes all the difference when we see ourselves and each other as already being everything and whole and all the other stuff as not being who we are but what is there for us to heal.

  • Reply adam warburton April 2, 2017 at 8:20 am

    A most profound and intimate story, and one worthy of sharing a thousand times over. They say you should walk a thousand miles in another’s shoes. I am not so sure about that, but we should at least study their footprints so that true understanding can be sought.

    • Reply Golnaz Shariatzadeh April 23, 2017 at 4:36 pm

      Personal accounts such as this which are shared with such honesty, humility and care are indeed priceless. They are an opportunity to learn so much about what truly takes place for our fellow brothers and sisters, offering invaluable insights and understanding that we rarely have access to.

    • Reply Natallija May 11, 2017 at 1:17 am

      Couldn’t agree more Adam Warburton and I have a funny feeling that there are many more of these sharings of others who have footprints that will stand the test of time to bring back the truth in writing what humanity are all feeling – the final awakening of our behaviours with one another.

  • Reply Michael Nicholson April 2, 2017 at 4:34 pm

    Dear Ray. I woke up this morning knowing that I had to read your article and it has me spell bound. There are so many different, tender and honest elements from the innocence of your youth to the way that youth is taken away. We ask so much of our police and others such as the armed forces and we are helpless to truly support them when the chips are down. The only person who I know who could truly be there for you is Serge Benhayon and you found him and the amazing support team that he has. I know that you don’t ask for recognition but you are a brave man and where you have been I fear to tread. I am deeply touched. With love.

  • Reply Stephen Gammack April 4, 2017 at 5:56 am

    Among the many remarkable aspects of this story is the response Ray had to meeting Serge Benhayon. How many people has Serge Benhayon supported who have been deeply traumatised and affected by life circumstances. You describe yourself Ray as a quite broken man, and yet to read your story now you can see how far removed from those experiences. Not a single part of reading this made me think this was still affecting you, and there can’t be many policeman who can have healed in this way. A real testament to Serge Benhayon and the magic of his deep love and understanding of people.

  • Reply Stevie Cole April 9, 2017 at 7:31 am

    An inspirational read Ray and a deeply moving account of how through life’s events our gentle, caring and wonder-filled natures can be crushed beyond recognition, even from ourselves. And I shudder to think how many of our serving police officers are barely functioning out there, soldiering on with the debilitating weight of similar walking-wounded stories. And these same men and women are supposedly responsible for keeping the community safe. There’s something very ironic and deeply disturbing about this picture. Your story is truly inspirational and has the potential to inspire many, through the humanity, humility and grace in all that you have experienced and the way in which you share it with us. The choices you have made to return to the truth you are and who know yourself to be, are felt by us all.

  • Reply Michael Brown April 10, 2017 at 6:51 pm

    It’s amazing how much goes on around us that we are oblivious too, there has been a lot in this blog that opened my eyes to some of the events that take place around the world. Thank you for sharing Ray.

  • Reply Golnaz Shariatzadeh April 14, 2017 at 12:01 am

    I find this story deeply moving. One huge factor conveyed here is that we can never tell why someone is behaving as they are since there is no way we can know all their experiences to this point. Nor is any unloving behaviour any indication of the true extent of love, dedication and beauty inside the person which could masked by layers which they have built to protect against their hurts. Everyone can do with what Serge Benhayon offers as a simple starting point: love, honouring, understanding and confirmation of our true essence that we might have forgotten about.

  • Reply Rachel Murtagh April 14, 2017 at 3:06 pm

    Ray, your every word from your raw account is captivating, an inspiration…I didn’t want to stop reading. How many police officers and other people in different services have gone through something traumatic and have PTSD? You bring the realness that most of us want to hide from, or not admit to and you show that it is possible, with true support, to completely heal from devastating trauma. This is an amazing blog and reads like a published book… have you considered writing one? I would love to know more about the healing process itself, about how your practitioners didn’t hold you as a victim but ‘who kept putting the ball back in your court’. Thank you for writing and sharing.

    Reading about your experiences Ray it seems that there is a strong culture within the police force of hiding what is truly felt through challenging, difficult and often traumatic experiences. To not share, (although that is exactly what is needed) because there is a fear of losing the job is an enormous pressure to hold and complete counter to the healing process.

  • Reply Michael Brown April 19, 2017 at 2:53 am

    What a gripping read Ray. It seriously shows us just how much we should appreciate those who put themselves in evils way to protect and serve us.

  • Reply Elizabeth Dolan April 19, 2017 at 3:54 am

    It is beautiful to read the story of a man who is not afraid to share with the world how he went from being so lost within himself to how he came to seek healing and what happened after that. We all have our stories about how we have let life affect us and the more we share them the more we can feel how we are all the same and that healing is possible.

  • Reply Stephanie Stevenson April 20, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    An eye-opener of a story Ray. Having a connection with our small local police station, it is shocking to see that over the past couple of years there have been at least 4 policemen off on long term sickness through stress from lack of support from management and coping with the aggression from some members of the public.

  • Reply Golnaz Shariatzadeh April 21, 2017 at 3:43 pm

    I am deeply moved by the openness and sincerity of this blog. Every day I learn more about the depth of despair so many of my brothers and sisters reach in their lives. It is a humbling moment when I can choose to numb myself and carry on, or whether I choose to embrace my own vulnerability and express my all with an open heart so that step by step we turn our world around.

  • Reply Helen Elliott April 22, 2017 at 3:53 pm

    Thank you Ray for sharing your story with such depth and intimacy. Your deeply caring nature shines through and it is a devastating indictment of our society that so many are left to suffer as a result of the actions of others without support, partly because of the pervasive messages we are fed that we need to put on a front and never reveal (even to ourselves) what is truly going on. By your willingness to share so openly you have lifted the lid on the nature and impact of PTSD and demonstrated that it is possible to heal and become a fully functioning member of society giving back in so many ways.

  • Reply Mary Sanford April 23, 2017 at 4:20 pm

    There is so much here to take in and understand Ray, it’s not a blog that can be read and then put to one side and forgotten.
    Actually something you wrote helped me to heal and come to a deeper understanding about myself and how I perceive life. While reading your blog something just popped up from no where about my childhood and what happened to me. The words you used helped me to understand I was holding onto the physicality of a situation, I had a understanding of what happened on one level but by reading your account of the incident I suddenly allowed myself to go deeper in my understanding . I feel most of us live a life from the coping aspect and that does have a huge impact on us as we can all see from the rise in illness and disease that is rife in our world.
    This show me that we are not coping with life and we are copping the impact that this is having on our bodies and your blog clearly highlights this.

  • Reply Rachel Murtagh April 24, 2017 at 2:40 am

    Often when people have experienced the level of trauma that you have, Ray it can be seen through their eyes, their body language and the way that they move or talk. Having met you for a brief while a couple of years ago, it would have been impossible to tell any of the trauma you experienced. Being warm, loving, steady, rock solid and completely transparent you show the level to which you have healed and come back to your own true self. It truly is a pleasure to know you. Serge Benhayon, Universal Medicine and its practitioners really do know how to offer true support and they are a marvel in this modern age at what can really be accomplished. Your testimony says as much for them as for you in your recovery.

  • Reply Susan Green April 24, 2017 at 4:24 am

    You know Ray, instead of reading the news as it is set out these days, with all of its twists and biases, it would be so much more valuable to read real life accounts such as the one you have written so we could have a true account of what’s actually going on, written from credible sources about people and the challenges they face. It would perhaps make us stop and remember that we are all human, we have the same feelings and face many challenges in our lives. In sharing them we can all come together and learn something.

  • Reply Stephen Gammack April 27, 2017 at 8:12 pm

    How many incidence of PTSD are swept under the carpet, how many traumatised people are affected for life, spreading their troubles in unspoken ways to their loved ones. PTSD and the acknowledgement that we are not as robust as we make out should be our aim, to appreciate that when put in difficult situations it will affect us, and in fact it would be more abnormal did it not.

  • Reply Golnaz Shariatzadeh April 29, 2017 at 7:13 pm

    What a powerful blog. As a result of reading such honest stories I much more aware and appreciative of what many of my fellow brothers and sisters go through so that the world I am accustomed to can carry on as it is. And the blatant lack of support they are often faced with.

  • Reply Golnaz Shariatzadeh April 30, 2017 at 6:14 pm

    I was moved when I read how after counseling the wife of the man who had been in the severe accident and taking care of listing the way her husband needing care and attention, you realized that this same level of care and attention would be required for you who had witnessed the accident. How often do we miss this point that those in the service professions need just as much care as they offer others?

  • Reply Rachel Murtagh April 30, 2017 at 7:11 pm

    To read, Ray your devastating trauma was truly overcome and healed is an inspiration for me and others to deal with their dilemmas, small or large, in the same way.

  • Reply Natallija May 2, 2017 at 7:18 am

    I have recently come across a number of articles on PTSD in other professions, that is showing the alarming rates of suicide that at taking away our brothers and sisters from the quality of life that can be lived. Ray Karam your experiences are deeply inspiring to show that there is another way out of the despair so many are currently living. A must read blog!

  • Reply Kerstin Salzer May 3, 2017 at 1:17 pm

    This is an amazing story of a healing which seems like a miracle but is very real with real steps and true growth of awareness. I did not know how traumatizing the job of a “normal polliceman ” is and from your sharing can see the support that these people need to do a job which is extremely challenging.
    It is also showing the nonsense of what damage aggression does to people, which is on a rising level.
    it is a miracle how your life has changed since the time you saw Serge Benhayon.

  • Reply Susan Green May 6, 2017 at 7:41 am

    This blog is an amazing testament to not only Universal Medicine and their wonderful practitioners, but to you also Ray, for your strength and willingness to heal. Quite incredible really.

  • Reply Harrison White May 6, 2017 at 8:38 pm

    A great study and learning for us all Ray, thank you. Its commonplace to be thrust into the deep end of a profession and to be tumbling with the waves so to speak, like the night you r then Girlfriend mentioned you had changed, the spark in your eyes was gone, so too do we all in our own way get weird by life’s events, but you have shown remarkably that it doesn’t have to be this way and in fact even the most traumatic things can be healed.

  • Reply Stephanie Stevenson May 7, 2017 at 3:03 am

    Re-visiting this blog today, I am aware that possibly, the majority of people are existing in their lives and keep on pushing through to not feel what it truly going on. The body will take only so much, giving little signals along the way, that all is not well. We see[ doing more of the same and the body simply brings us to a halt. Time to re-assess and begin to feel the depth of separation from ourself.

  • Reply Natallija May 8, 2017 at 11:04 am

    I recently had dinner with a family member who works as a police officer and asked about the PTSD increases in this area of work. From his sharing’s I had an insight that has supported what you have written in this blog Ray Karam of how we bury what is crippling our men and women who have come into the profession from a deep care for the community and helping one another.
    What was interesting to note was the alarming levels of treatment for alcoholism or extreme levels of binge drinking of officers when they were not on shifts to cope with what is our current level of community unrest. Thank you for writing a much -needed topic that many chosen to stay silent on.

  • Reply adam warburton May 8, 2017 at 5:51 pm

    the most intimate of sharings, and one that frees a man from the shackles that bind him to the illusion that we have to tough it out in this world and have all our oars in the water all of the time.

  • Reply Golnaz Shariatzadeh May 11, 2017 at 4:32 pm

    How would I have responded to you if I had met you at the period in which you did not want to connect with people, were under the care of all sorts of specialists and had reached the heaviest you had ever been in weight as well as in every other area of your life? This blog so beautifully shows that we can at no point know the whole story about the person by what we observe in that moment with our eyes.

    It is a gorgeous and humbling reflection provided by Serge Benhayon when regardless of what a person presents in that moment, he also sees the most divine within the person and will only ever relate to the person as that divinity.

  • Reply Harrison White May 13, 2017 at 9:00 pm

    We are given images from young about the nature of Good triumphing evil, from seeing the power of superheroes, to the Thunderbirds, to the police force who protect us and put away ‘the bad guys’… but as we grow up we learn all is not what it is painted to be, we enter a world of complexity, which becomes an inner war, we see that even the best of us can be affected by corruption – and start to be changed but a beautiful story Ray which proves our essence is always there and untouched.

  • Reply Jonathan Stewart May 14, 2017 at 5:29 am

    Serge Benhayon “gave me a role model; a solid model of what was possible for me in life. It wasn’t advice or direction. It was a living example of how to be a friend, a husband, a father and a man in every situation.” You are not alone in this Ray. He is a living inspiration for so many people, and not just men, of how to live with integrity, truth and love.

    • Reply Golnaz Shariatzadeh June 28, 2017 at 4:24 pm

      This is a fundamental reflection of the importance of how we actually live.
      A true living example, such as Serge Benhayon offers, provides inspiration and support far more than any amount of words. And connecting to one another in equality and love offers the understanding that the grace you witness in the other is in fact also the truth of your own essence.

  • Reply Rachel Mascord May 15, 2017 at 6:18 am

    Your story Ray really needs to be in the mainstream press, so everyone can read on it and reflect on the warden that human life has become. It is more than an exposé of the police force, it is an exposé of how in this world we thrust people into positions and roles that endanger and hurt them , and then do not support them. And we all play along with it, pretending that we are coping as day by day we die on the inside.
    This whole notion of toughing up and “getting on with it” truly is just a game we are playing with ourselves and with life.
    Men like you who say how it is are opening the door for others to do the same. This creates a ground swell of truth and it is this way that change comes about.
    It is the silence, the shame, the belief that we have no voice and are not worth listening to anyway that perpetuates the systems that make wreckages of human life.

  • Reply Stephen Gammack May 15, 2017 at 5:43 pm

    I can imagine that nothing in the training manual could prepare you for a first day as a policeman or the first experience of something out of hand. It really is worth considering how this affects the men and women who do this job, and whether their is adequate provision to support the day to day challenges. It really seems like not.

  • Reply Golnaz Shariatzadeh May 17, 2017 at 2:05 pm

    There is a gorgeous depth of love, sensitivity, wisdom and grace in everyone. But depending on challenges in life and their personal response they may be very far from revealing that inner essence. This blog reveals this so powerfully. We need to ensure we have systems in place that recognise and honour people as such.

  • Reply Rowena Stewart May 17, 2017 at 2:09 pm

    What you have come through Ray and who you are today is a true resurrection and a massive confirmation that what Serge Benhayon offers humanity comes from an unshakeable foundation of wisdom, compassion and integrity. Serge Benhayon is empowering thousands of people to reclaim our power and authority within our lives and to truly commit to life, addressing our issues head on with the same transparency, wisdom and integrity.

    • Reply Aimee Edmonds May 19, 2017 at 2:34 pm

      Hear hear Rowena, my feelings exactly. Ray’s blog has touched me deeply, and a stop moment to appreciate even more what Serge offers humanity by way of his livingness and reflection. And as we are all equal we all can live in a way that reflects to another who they are.

  • Reply Michael Brown May 17, 2017 at 10:19 pm

    What you touched on about not being treated like a victim is absolutely key. We are never able to grow and expand whilst wallowing in self pity and sympathy.

    • Reply Liane Mandalis July 1, 2017 at 9:08 pm

      This is a big one for us as a humanity to grasp – that sympathy actually incarcerates a person further into their suffering and does naught to truly alleviate it, nor support the person to evolve. This does not for a second imply that we are to be unfeeling and uncaring towards each other but more so help us to truly love and care for one another by bringing a depth of understanding to the situation at hand.

  • Reply Golnaz Shariatzadeh May 18, 2017 at 4:43 pm

    Such a joy to read about the natural depth of awareness that you loved people and that you wanted to serve the whole from early on in your lives. Such expression and connection to purpose is not uncommon in the young. We need to have a society that does not dismiss and squash it out of them, but one that nurtures and supports the relationship with this innate inner pull from young and throughout our lives.

  • Reply Aimee Edmonds May 19, 2017 at 11:02 am

    Wow Ray, what an incredible story, one that is deeply humbling to read. So many like to bag police offices and put them down but they have absolutely no idea of the trauma, physical and mental injuries and violence that they see and are subjected to all the time. We have been brought up to feel sorry or see ourselves and others as victims. However, when we are seen for who we are and held with the enormous love like you were and with the choices you then made true healing happened.

  • Reply Golnaz Shariatzadeh May 22, 2017 at 11:16 pm

    A great blessing that you found Serge Benhayon when the impact of the abusive and uncaring incidents had taken the toll on you. The more I consider how such disturbing incidents and our lack of ability to deal with them is what results in those behaviours we would otherwise never choose, the more I realise how vital it is that we have a society that offers what Serge Benhayon provided for you, right from the beginning, at school, at vocational training and as a support all along the way. What Serge reflects is the natural way humanity could and ought to be living with one another.

  • Reply Carmel Reid May 23, 2017 at 8:30 am

    Thank you Ray, for sharing your story, it has been a revelation for me to hear a true story of how it is in Police work, and not the clinical images seen on TV. I love what you say about the support you receive from Serge Benhayon: ‘It was like having the best friend, mentor, father, man and role model you could ever dream of walking beside you.’

  • Reply Kerstin Salzer May 23, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    interesting that as children we have the best intention and imagination about a job and how we could support people however reality is totally different. As a child and young person I wanted to show people a different life as I had the feeling people do not truly enjoy life or are open with each other.
    I did not have as traumatic experiences like you, but I was deeply desillusioned when I started working and I gave up on myself more and more. When I met Serge Benhayon I learned so much about myself and how to be in the world without getting crashed. Today I love my work and being with people. I am deeply thankful for the reflection and support Serge Benhayon gave me.

  • Reply Vicky Cooke May 24, 2017 at 7:11 am

    I appreciate the time you have taken to tell your story, this is really important and perhaps will help people who have suffered or still have PTSD see this can be truly healed.

  • Reply julie Matson May 31, 2017 at 8:41 pm

    Thank you for the honest account of what it is like to be a police officer. Personally I have never understood why anyone would want to because it seems like a very hard job, and difficult to cope with long term, but I suppose as a child we see the potential of the job, but without having the stark reality of the facts.

  • Reply Golnaz Shariatzadeh June 4, 2017 at 2:12 am

    It is a disturbing thought that the love, commitment and purpose in your heart which was so apparent throughout your growing up and is expressed by you today, could have remained locked up under an armour of devastation and protection because of the challenges and hurts which you had found difficult to resolve for yourself. And what a joy to read that your relationship with Serge Benhayon supported you to heal what there was to healed and reconnect to the fullness of the love that you are.

    The world would be a far more rich, supportive and loving place if all of us choose to live as Serge Benhayon and offer such a quality of relationship with everyone we meet.

    • Reply Andrew Mooney June 20, 2017 at 2:37 pm

      Yes I agree it is so important in life to meet everyone in our day with tenderness, openness and understanding so they feel loved for you just never know what they have been through or are going through at the time and just a simple meeting and connection with someone, which is what Serge Benhayon did for Ray, could be the turning point for someone in their life.

  • Reply Carmel Reid June 6, 2017 at 7:18 pm

    It is horrific to read how much a job can affect us physically, mentally and emotionally, but shows the strength of our bodies in that eventually they bring us to a complete stop in order for us to make sense of what is happening and to move towards a healing.

  • Reply Stephen Gammack June 7, 2017 at 8:53 pm

    I believe the attitudes toward the police tells us a lot about a person’s personality and ethics. If you are someone who abuses the police and has it in for them then I would say you lack appreciation of what they have to face, and perhaps it is also a telling lack of responsibility. For sure the police are not perfect and there are bad apples, but they operate in a hugely imperfect world and it is a big exposure of an attitude to see those of us who don’t understand and wish to support such public servants.

  • Reply Carmel Reid June 12, 2017 at 10:13 am

    It is a sad indictment of our world that the job of policing can be such a traumatic one and it begs the question, how can we ever get ourselves out of this mess? How will society ever improve? It starts with each one of us – we cannot judge any criminal whilst we ourselves commit any act of abuse, even against ourselves. Only by us being shining beacons of light can others have the opportunity to know that there is another way.

  • Reply Sandra Dallimore June 15, 2017 at 11:41 am

    Wow Ray, your story is incredible and shows what is possible when you’re open to healing. The fact that you did fall into a heap is a blessing because if you hadn’t, you may not have been open to what Serge, Caroline and Kate were able to support you with in sessions, and relied on alcohol and medication to just get through.

    • Reply Golnaz Shariatzadeh July 12, 2017 at 11:31 pm

      What you share Sandra is significant. Whatever the circumstances and the experience may look like, there is often a bigger story at play. It spells out to me how going into sympathy with someone and encouraging victim-hood, giving up or blame is not supportive. The example Ray has provided in showing what is available ‘when you are open to healing’ and turning your life round is huge. And the example offered by the supportive relationship between Ray and Serge Benhayon is truly inspiring.

  • Reply Stephen Gammack June 18, 2017 at 4:48 am

    It would be interesting to get the perspective of long serving police offers on how the role of the job has changed. I look on policing as an extremely challenging job that has in line with society got more and more intense. Some of the issues that have to be faced in the line of duty seem incredibly stressful. This is all not helped by the lack of respect for police officers. It is all our responsibility to bring that respect back and not accept when there is abuse of law enforcement. Those who dismiss the police as corrupt are so often the ones who are looking to break the law, and perhaps it is reflection of the lax approach to discipline we all experience and suffer from in parenting these days, where children run amok and grow into irresponsible adults.

  • Reply Carmel Reid June 19, 2017 at 9:23 am

    Public opinion of the police service varies depending on individual experiences, the geographical area and the population, but in general, I feel that it is not good for someone dedicated to their job to be injured, attacked as a normal everyday occurrence. Ray’s story is one of extreme conditions and it is good to read how he has turned his life around.

  • Reply Andrew Mooney June 20, 2017 at 2:34 pm

    One of the key things in this story is the way we are not given permission by the world to express how we really feel. It occurs to me that this makes any traumatic or disturbing experience much much worse, for not only do we have to endure the trauma and hurt of the event, but we then are forced to suppress, deny and bury this hurt deeper into our bodies because we do not feel free to express what is really going on without being misunderstood, judged or disbelieved.

    • Reply Golnaz Shariatzadeh June 25, 2017 at 1:13 pm

      What you have shared Andrew is deeply significant.
      We are designed to live and evolve in relationship. A true and honouring reflection with no judgment or agenda, is one of the most supportive gifts we can offer one another. And at times it is like a lifeline that helps us get back on our feet and reconnect to our own essence. No greater example of this is offered by what Ray Karam has shared about the monumental impact of Serge Benhayon’s loving and honouring reflection for him.

    • Reply Stephen Gammack August 17, 2017 at 10:28 am

      So well said Andrew, it is like building trauma on top of trauma, instead of being allowed to release what we feel, we are supposed to put on the stiff upper lip. It is a bit of an imprisonment and becomes a default where we get to the point where we don’t want to share how we feel as it’s not what the world expects and it feels like it is easier just to shut up and bear it, whatever it might be.

  • Reply Golnaz Shariatzadeh June 24, 2017 at 4:26 pm

    How does the expression of a deeply caring and inspired boy who is open, confident, tender and just wants to serve his community end up as yelling at a lady, seeing everyone as a threat and considering the possibility of shooting himself? It is shocking that the impact of our hurts through life, and perhaps past lives too, when unresolved can twist our true expression to such an extent.
    How many gorgeous tender loving open hearts throughout society are buried under the façade of the anxiousness and protection their hurts have produced? Serge Benhayon’s support to know we are never ‘broken’, the love within us may be buried but is never lost, and the importance of recognizing and healing the hurts behind the issues and patterns we face in life, is deeply empowering and in my view ought to be a fundamental part of the education for living life in the human form.

  • Reply Liane Mandalis July 1, 2017 at 9:03 pm

    Ray Karam – by virtue of your lived way you serve as a beacon of light to those of us who may still be stumbling in the dark. That you can rekindle your childhood love, care and joy speaks very clearly about the true power we each hold deep within us to overcome anything life seemingly throws our way. This was a totally inspiring piece to read and I will enjoy digesting it further in many more days to come. Thank you x

  • Reply Kerstin Salzer July 6, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    It is shocking that there are professions in this world who allow such a huge amount of abuse with employees ..

    • Reply Natallija July 14, 2017 at 11:35 am

      The abuse you are sharing here Kerstin is what is part and parcel of many professions that are set up to care and support the community. The levels of illness and disease are often covered up or down played as the willingness for these organisation to stop and get real about what is truly going on is far from the reality of what we are witnessing in the current world climate. This blog is setting the record straight that what we ‘think’ is care is far from it when we put product- services over people.

  • Reply Susan Green July 15, 2017 at 5:23 am

    This amazing blog has the opportunity to open hearts, to enable other to express their hurts and experiences and let their walls of protection melt away. Ray, you have shown that it can be done, the hurts can be healed. We are not broken as we sometimes think.

  • Reply Stephen Gammack July 16, 2017 at 5:11 am

    An incredible piece of writing and a real display of what Ray now offers as a man in his community, returning to that openness, love and trust in people. Something that could have been lost for life after the attack. Understanding that all police officers are at heart gentle beings, they are sensitive and they deserve our care and respect is hopefully something that will be re-developed again. We have to face the fact that police officers have an increasingly difficult job, and we can all ask ourselves what is our attitude towards them, is there care and compassion or are we blinded by other thoughts and media we receive and take in?

  • Reply Natallija July 23, 2017 at 8:39 am

    Reading this blog makes me stop to consider how many other levels of abuse are shown in other fields of work that we often ignore or choose not to speak up about in fear of criticism or bullying. There is much here to look at the state of all areas of community service and the conversations we should be initiating in our current world climate.

  • Reply Golnaz Shariatzadeh August 1, 2017 at 4:24 pm

    I have head so many stories of Serge Benhayon’s complete openness, love and understanding of people regardless of their history or their current momentum in life, and how this has supported the person to radically shift their outlook on life.

    I am talking people who I would normally run a mile from and perhaps in the past I would have given up on, because of the way I had learned to judge people according to their past and present behaviour and mannerism. It is examples such as Serge Benhayon that have restored my trust in humanity, because not only do they provide proof that we are all sensitive, tender, loving essence within and at times choose the opposite because of our inability to deal with our hurts, but such example confirm what a powerful support even one one person living the light of their Soul can be in the lives of all others.

  • Reply Anna August 1, 2017 at 10:22 pm

    Wow, it is incredible to read this blog as Rays former wife. I am speechless, yet inspired as always I have been with Ray Karam. All I can say is that when I first met Ray (12 months before he was accepted into the police force), he was a shining example of someone with a very deep care and love for people, this was (and still is) what I loved most about him. He was so looking forward to making a difference as a police officer, and back at that time, I remember feeling selfish because every part of me wanted him to not leave. Not just because I wanted to be close to him, but because their was a part of me that was afraid of what could happen. I realised years later I had every reason to be, for he never was the same again after moving to the academy. Until now that is. It so great that Ray has shared all that happened for him and also his experience of PTSD. The impact of this illness on the person, their family, friends and community is devastating and it is also something many people either don’t understand, or don’t want to due to its confronting nature.

  • Reply Michael Brown August 2, 2017 at 8:53 pm

    It’s always amazing to see how much goes on behind closed doors in businesses/organisations across industries.

  • Reply Victoria Lister August 13, 2017 at 6:53 pm

    It’s hard to know where to start in response to this extraordinary portrait of modern policing. I’m sure I’ll return here many a time, but my first comment is to offer an immense THANK YOU to Ray Karam for telling it like it is. I doubt many men in the force, or outside of it, would have the courage to tell their tale quite like Ray has. This blog should be distributed far and wide to bring awareness to the community, and perhaps to those in the industry who have either forgotten or have never quite wanted to know what goes on on the street, and later as a result of the violence men and women in uniform encounter.

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