by Patrick O'Brien
On the run . . .
In 1978, haunted, hunted, traumatised and scared, I resigned the police and fled New Zealand — a price on my head and lucky to be alive — the legacy of my work for Criminal Intelligence.
For thirty years I travelled the world, running and hiding, running and hiding, yet never able to lose the demons that rushed around in my head.
At one point in the late 1980s, on a visit to New Zealand and desperate for help, I underwent a psychiatric assessment. The psychiatrist, a specialist consultant for the police department’s undercover programme and an expert in the field of PTSD who also worked with veterans from the Vietnam, Korean and Second World wars, diagnosed my condition as being chronic “post-traumatic stress disorder” resulting from my work as an undercover agent — and yet the police department absolved itself of any responsibility and refused my ask for assistance.
Their refusal was a blessing because my life of wandering continued . . .