I don't expect anyone to respond to this post, but I just need to write it out. About 10.5 years ago, two towers in my city crashed to the earth and thousands of people died. The morning that it happened, I was north of the city in a constitutional law class. When I got back home, I had to clean a thick layer of dust from my window sills, and over the months I discovered various items in my apartment that were covered in a black, thick dust. I knew what it was...that dust. It is 10.5 years later and I'm still not over it. Why doesn't the sadness go away?
My biggest problem with the whole situation is that I had the good fortune of living. Another big problem is that I live in the minds of the deceased every day. I didn't have to make the phone call, I didn't have to decide to jump. But yet, I'm there, I'm thinking about it. Every day I look out of my window in my tall office building and think: I don't have to make that decision to jump. And, I feel GUILTY. It has been 10.5 years, and I think about it every day. There are so many reasons why I could have been in the area at that time (my office was only a block from the site and someone in my office actually died in the collapse). After all these years, the day and experience is still in living color to me. I walk around the area and still "see" dust in the cracks in the sidewalk. I am surrounded by ghosts.
I'm having trouble looking through any other lens than the lens of that experience, and I wasn't even a first-hand participant. I didn't stand at the base of the towers, but I stared at the dust on my window sills. I walked around in the haze and smoke of the murdered. I walked around the shell of a place and look(ed) up into the blank sky where there was once steel and shadows. My daily life is filled with constant reminders. Every time a movie comes out about the experience, it seems super shallow to me even though I know the other person's experience and interpretation is valid.
I've read about survivor's guilt. I'm not a survivor in the sense that I actually survived a tragedy, but I feel like I was a reluctant witness. I feel like I've been cleaning up ever since. There is no peace yet.
Thanks for listening. I haven't really talked about it all to anyone.