Survivor’s Guilt

As a psychotherapist, I often encounter clients who feel guilty for surviving abuse or other tragedies.  On the news this morning, I heard Patience Carter, a 20 year old who survived the Orlando massacre, read her poem “The Guilt of Being Alive is Heavy.” I will say no more. I believe her words eloquently reflect a message that is important for us to hear. My heart goes out to her and to survivors everywhere.

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15 thoughts on “Survivor’s Guilt

  1. Thank you for sharing about survivor’s guilt Karuna…I hope many take the time to listen to this survivor’s poem…we are a nation in trouble…I pray we can learn to stand together and right the wrongs.

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  2. Survivor’s guilt is a heavy burden to carry especially after such a horrific incident. Would you consider posting this to the Senior Salon today. I am trying to gather posts regarding Orlando.

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  3. I saw the young lady read her poem and also listening to a young man who couldn’t save his friend in a CBS interview. I pray they feel the love and support of your readers.

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  4. I saw her on television as well…so moving. I worked in domestic violence for many years and also at Ground Zero…survivor’s guilt is brutal, to feel you can even rejoice in being alive because that would betray those who died…those just like you. It is a part of the puzzle “Why.” Why did this happen? Why did my friends die? Why was I allowed to live?

    And putting those pieces together is to face the uncertainty of randomness and perhaps to find the path that says…You’re alive for whatever reason, you’re alive! And that is a gift…live it that way..make a reason. Live it that way for you and for those who will not be able to. Fill your life with meaning and purpose…because You are ALIVE. And it’s good to be alive, and it’s alright to be alive, and others are glad you are and celebrate that gift. That is my prayer for all the survivors. Thank you for reminding me. Jo

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