Here’s What It’s Like to be a Whistleblower…

a view from the jump


I have a lot to say on this subject, as I was a whistle blower much of my time on active duty in the Air Force. It takes courage and a lot of emotional energy to stand up for what’s right and juste. You pay a price every time you do this. I think what it really comes down to is what you consider to be fair, and what you have the emotional energy to fight. It is a fight, for lack of a better word. You are being courageous enough to stand up for a terrible injustice, which may cost you your life or safety. It takes stamina, perseverance, and moral fiber. It costs you your emotional and sometimes physical health. You can be falsely imprisoned, medicated against your will, or attacked, even murdered. Self-care is now your priority. It takes a huge toll on you, and can alienate you from everyone in your support system. You pay a very high price for something that you have no idea what the outcome will be. Sometimes, there is no outcome… no reward for your suffering, and sometimes there is an outcome, whether it’s one you agree with, or not. 

However, there will always be witnesses to your struggle. They see your fight, and the injustice. They sympathize with you and even sometimes take up your fight when you’re too weak to finish. This is an extension of your family and part of your healing. The effects of whistle blowing can be very traumatic and long-lasting. There is a sort of domino effect. It changes every aspect of your life. The adrenaline it gives you can only sustain you for so long. Oftentimes, when I would uncover something unjust, I also had to follow up with self-care, antidepressants, and counseling just to have the strength to recover. Depression can be like an undertow, washing you farther out into deeper waters until you drown. Choose your fights wisely, because there is a always a price to being a hero, and if you’re fighting for something fair and juste, then you are a hero. At least, that’s what a hero should be.

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