This book is an autobiography of a man who had over 50 mostly major PTSD events in his life. It recounts the trials, struggles, and lessons learned over a life span of 67 years. It recalls his childhood, time as lifesaver, police diver, police driving instructor, member of SWOS, professional NRL footballer, running Police Citizens Youth Clubs (PCYC), Security Manager of the world renowned Porgera Gold Mine in PNG and world record holder of going around Australia in under 10 days on a motorcycle. The events accounted whilst a police diver as well as a Highway Patrol Officer includes plane crashes, train accidents, body recoveries and numerous fatal road accidents, some of which are major historic events in Australian history. It also includes native raids, murders, abuse and many more traumatic events while working in PNG. Some of the accounts are captivating and others highly emotional. His life and determination to succeed was mostly driven as a result of having been sexually abused over many years at the hand of his tutor as a child. It is a true Australian story and displays considerable endurance and survival skills.
read an excerpt...
Sometime later, I was asked to help out the divers as an instructor. I was with a group of raw trainees teaching them how to ‘buddy breathe’ with one tank of air to be shared around the group. We were sitting on the bottom of the harbour in one of the old ferry wharves where the water was only about three meters deep but very murky. Each of us would take a breath from the apparatus, pass it to the next person and hold our breaths until it came around again. Despite the poor visibility in the murky water, I noticed a large shadow come across on top of us. I knew it was the Water Police Boat drifting on the surface, but I didn’t know what to expect. I just knew something was wrong.
I then heard a loud splash and a shark landed right in the middle of the circle. It wasn’t a big shark, but the trainees were novices to being in such murky water, let alone the in the presence of a shark. It was enough to set them off; they scattered every which way, even straight up under the boat. I stopped about halfway up to make sure I could see them all. I counted them off by their legs and then sank back to the bottom, but the shark was gone. As I still had the tank, I waited under the water for about five minutes.
When I finally surfaced, I got out onto the wharf, calm as day, and lectured the trainees about staying calm in the water. I pumped it into them that no matter what happens, it is vitally important to stay calm when in deep water. Had the water been thirty meters deep instead of only three, they may have been dead by now.
The Water Police, over-hearing my lecture, were shaking their heads at me in apparent disbelief. As it turned out, a couple of their guys had caught the shark while out fishing the previous night and had let it harden so that it was like a spear coming through the water. They had tied a rope around its tail, so were able to pull it back up after causing the ruckus with the trainees.
The prank was obviously aimed at me, though, but, as they observed, I hadn’t budged while pandemonium reigned all around me. One of them called out, “You didn’t move Forlonge! You have nerves of steel!”
Little did he know that it scared the living crap out of me. But I was not going to let them know that! That was one up for Graham!
about Graham Forlonge...
Graham Forlonge is a father, footballer, policeman, diver, security officer and the author of IN ONE LIFETIME.
In the 5-Star Review from IndieReader C.S. Holmes writes, "In the memoir In One Lifetime by Graham Forlonge, the author experiences murder, plane crashes, mine explosions, and more...on his way to healing from PTSD...Graham Forlonge’s memoir In One Lifetime is an expansively honest and brutally detailed submersion into aspects of trauma that left the author with a lifelong case of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and is most touching when detailing his healing process."
It took 10+ years to write his memoir. Now, Graham works as a part time counselor for the underprivileged.
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