Two books, two perspectives, one marriage
Author Robert J Verbree and his wife, Ruth J Verbree have written companion memoirs on life as a cop – and life married to a cop. My Life With A Cop – How To Survive The Ride by Ruth, and Robert’s memoir, My Life as a Cop Police Stories, PTSD and a Promise.
My Life With A Cop – How To Survive The Ride
Ruth Verbree’s memoir was written as a means to “help spouses of first responders, by sharing her own real life examples of overcoming challenges and celebrating victories. Her desire is to help spouses of first responders by empowering them through her experiences and depth of knowledge.”
Growing up in Vanderhoof, BC
Ruth describes her childhood growing up in Vanderhoof, BC. She provides this description of the community in the 1970s, “There were not a lot of street lights, not a lot of anything going on but a great place for a child to grow up.”
Being asked out by a young RCMP member while working at the local bank, and then dating and marrying him, with her cultural and religious background (Mennonite), posed challenges. Being related to half the town was another challenge – especially with many family members in the trucking business and an RCMP highway-patrol husband. As expected, conflicts arose.
This began a series of career related transfers that saw the Verbrees move to Hope, Kamloops, Prince George and Williams Lake before Rob’s retirement after 35 years with the RCMP.
Vanderhoof, BC readers may remember Ruth by her maiden name, Ruth Martens, daughter of Peter and Margaret Martens and the founder and original owner of the Vanderhoof, BC Curves International franchise.
Raising a Family, Living Life
Ruth decided early in her marriage that her time wasn’t going to be spent in a state of continual worry about her husband, Robert Verbree’s safety and well-being. She had a family to raise, a life to live, and such worries weren’t going to help anyways.
Each chapter of her memoir details life events, the good, the bad, the heartbreaking and the wonderful, will a closing paragraph of Ruth’s life wisdom, “How to Survive the Ride.”
The ride this family is surviving is a familiar one to almost every family. There are illnesses and losses, graduations and marriages, but in this ‘ride’ there are also challenges specific to families of first responders. Watching fellow RCMP families separated by divorce in higher numbers than the average public, the Verbree’s, led by Ruth’s determination, worked hard to ensure that didn’t happen to their family. It wasn’t easy though!
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Once retired, Ruth’s husband, Robert Verbree, years of work-related stress caught up to him, and he was soon diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Ruth’s memoir finishes with a description of supporting her husband through diagnosis and treatment, “I appreciate the very real way she shares the adventures and struggles of living with a cop. Their journey of PTSD/operational stress injury has been anything but easy. The practical tips on how to Survive the Ride will be sure to resonate with readers and be a great help to other first responders who walk this journey.” (Excerpt of book review by Carol Joy Green, Ruth’s friend and mentor).
Come and join the author’s ride through the years of being married to a cop. In this memoir, author Ruth J. Verbree shares some of the highs and lows she endured as the spouse of a First Responder, including uprooting the family for work transfers, and living with a husband suffering from PTSD. Her real life stories of overcoming challenges and celebrating victories will be sure to resonate with you on many levels. Her perspective on life and practical tips on How to Survive the Ride will give hope for those who also walk this journey.
Resources and Support – PTSD Battle Plan
“Exploring Mental Health” takes a look at different aspects of a person’s mental health from a big picture perspective. What does it mean to be mentally healthy? And vice-versa, what does it mean to be mentally ill? As the book progresses, it explores different psychological ideas – what is stress? Can stress be good? When is it ok to run away from a difficult situation?
After reading “Exploring Mental Health”, the reader will come away with a much clearer picture of how their own mental health fluctuates on a day to day basis, and in turn, will be able to face the trials of daily life with a new sense of confidence.
Authors Robert and Ruth Verbree and family members are founders of the Canadian company, PTSD Battle Plan. The company’s mission is “to proactively prepare people to deal with trauma in careers that are prone/susceptible to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
”Funds raised will be used to develop “a course, website, workbook and anthology to help those with PTSD.”
Where to buy the books
Locally, My Life As A Cop – Police Stories, PTSD & A Promise and My Life With A Cop – How To Survive The Ride by Robert J and Ruth J Verbree are available at the Vanderhoof (Four Rivers) Co-op mall food floor.
The books can also be purchased online.
Think you know Vanderhoof, B.C.? Think again!
Pick up copies of these local books (15 Must Read Local Books) and explore Vanderhoof, B.C. and Saik’uz history, read about local heroes and celebrities and learn about nearby places you didn’t even know existed.