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10.5 years later and survivor's guilt - Page 2

post #21 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Imakcerka View Post


violence is violence in my opinion. 
 



 


Thanks.  See my edited post above.  I'm bowing out.

 

post #22 of 32


I don't think you need to bow out and I don't think you need to explain yourself.  Seeing what you saw is terrible.  People remember these kinds of things for life and they don't go away.  Each individual experience is valid, ugly and terrifying.  No one can ever say they can understand. 

 

Don't let anyone pick it apart.  Mass violence is terrible, any violence is terrible but trying to minimize someones experience is wrong.  I think that my have been done here.  There is no way you can shake what you feel.  People can say that you will somehow come to terms with it but until they themselves feel and see devastation... they just don't know.  Many of my sisters and brothers to include my own husband have seen things and been apart of things they can never get out of their minds.  No matter what kind of help the VA offers... the pain does not lessen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CatsCradle View Post


Thanks.  See my edited post above.  I'm bowing out.

 



 

post #23 of 32


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CatsCradle View Post
 I don't think it is something in our national psyche because we've never been presented with it our modern times.  I guess I wasn't explaining myself well and perhaps thinking more in philosophical terms. I'll shut up because I guess I'm digging a hole.


 

I think you are thinking about it philosophical terms and strongly doubt that is going to help you make peace with it, especially as long as you define "the American psyche" (a group you really can't get out of) as unable to process violence, ever.

 

What happened on 9/11 was a scale completely unthinkable anywhere in the world the day before. Although it happened on US soil, people from all around the world died. It was the WORLD Trade Center.  It was an attack that was felt all over the globe and effected billions of people's sense of safety.

 

My DH grew up in Belfast N. Ireland during The Troubles, so if growing up with terrorism and violence *prepares* people somehow, then he should be. None the less, the scale of what happened shook him up. The scale of what happened is almost too much to comprehend.  Most people died on 9/11 that died in the entire history of The Troubles in Ireland.

 

So yes, I agree with you that it was unprecedented. But I think that is true on a world-wide level.

 

I disagree that living through violence better prepares people to cope with violence. These are horrific things to deal with. People do figure out how to have peace again, how to move forward.  The fact that "the American psyche" as you see it is unaccustomed to violence doesn't mean that you CANT move forward.

 

I highly recommend you find a therapist or support group. You can heal from this. But you'll have to stop making excuses first.

post #24 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

I disagree that living through violence better prepares people to cope with violence. These are horrific things to deal with. People do figure out how to have peace again, how to move forward.  The fact that "the American psyche" as you see it is unaccustomed to violence doesn't mean that you CANT move forward.

 

I highly recommend you find a therapist or support group. You can heal from this. But you'll have to stop making excuses first.


I'm sorry, Linda, but there is a huge disconnect between what I'm trying to say and how you are interpreting it, and that in great part is due to my inability to say what I actually mean.  If I inferred that living through violence helps people better cope with violence, I apologize for that, as I wasn't thinking that at all and I truly regret that it could be interpreted as that.    

 

I'm thinking out loud and working through some of my thoughts.  If that is making excuses, then so be it.  I thought talking about it might deflect some of the issues, but my inability to articulate in a correct fashion is getting me into trouble.

 

post #25 of 32

I think saying that she's making excuses is unnecessarily harsh.  You might be trying to shock her into starting therapy, but I still think it's harsh.


I too have a lot of survivor's guilt to deal with - not through 9/11 but for other military-related things.  It's very hard when you're living with it every day.  Therapy might help but it won't erase it.  Talking about it helps as well - and yes, even if it's only online it can help.  I think it's a good step for you to be opening up.  I know it is difficult, but many people do understand and can relate.

 

(And fwiw I agree with violence = violence = violence.  "Scale" doesn't necessarily matter.  It's all relative.)

post #26 of 32


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tiqa View Post

I think saying that she's making excuses is unnecessarily harsh.  You might be trying to shock her into starting therapy, but I still think it's harsh.

 


I'm not trying to shock her into therapy, but rather trying to point that that a belief that it is impossible for any American to deal with violence and terrorism completes blocks the person with the belief from  recovering. It's an excuse to not do the real work necessary to live a complete life after surviving.

 

Every body get shit to deal with in life. Different people get different shit and trying to work out who's is worst is pointless.

 

1. Some people figure out how to move on. They have complete lives in spite of what happened. They learn to live in the moment they are in Right Now. (this is where I am)

 

2. Some people are able to take the evil that touched their lives and not just go on, but transfer it into something beautiful. They are the saints and angels among us.

 

3. Some people are so completely destroyed they go insane. (my sister)

 

4. Some people just wander around living a half life, which is where the OPer is right now. She might stay there for the rest of her life.

 

But she doesn't have to. She can have a full life and experience joy. It's possible. Being an American doesn't block that.

 

Her belief that being an American blocks that possibility, however, is very, very dangerous for her future.

 

What I was trying to say is that it also makes a good excuse to not do the difficult, painful, and terrifying work of looking at exactly what she went through and how she felt about it and how it still effecting her. That's hard to do. Very hard to do. Some people choose to live the rest of their life as a half-life instead of doing that work.

 

If you believe that there is no way for YOU to work through what happened, then why bother trying?

 

I have had evil touch my life. And I did work through my shit. It can be done.

 

A really wonderful book is "Man's Search for Meaning" by Frankle. It was written by a therapist who was also a concentration camp survivor.  That was another horrific experience on a scale that was unthinkable, that no one had the background to figure out how to move. Yet people did.

 

 

post #27 of 32

So, maybe her first step  to confronting her "shit", to moving on, was to post here.  Maybe this is the beginning for the OPer.  For me, empathy and advice do a lot to help move me in the direction I need for further growth and a more enriched life.  When I am confronted by someone (even if what they say is 100% true) I put up defenses and draw into myself.  Just sayin'.

post #28 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post


 


I'm not trying to shock her into therapy, but rather trying to point that that a belief that it is impossible for any American to deal with violence and terrorism completes blocks the person with the belief from  recovering. It's an excuse to not do the real work necessary to live a complete life after surviving.

 

 


I'm still trying to figure out where I said (or even implied) that it is impossible for any American to "deal with violence and terrorism [and] it completely blocks the person with the belief from recovering."  I've re-read my post that you are referring to several times, looking for possible alternate meanings.  I guess I can't see alternate meanings because at the same time (in that post) I was talking about my work with with Iraqi refugees who see people being blown up every day and it is a concept that I don't experience every day, and I can guarantee that none of my fellow commuters experience that fear every single day.  I didn't infer anywhere that it makes it impossible to recover.  I didn't infer anywhere that people don't experience violence in their lives elsewhere (I think I mentioned that in subsequent posts).  I agree that violence is violence, no matter what the situation.  I'm freaking sorry that I ever typed out my thoughts of "Americans" because obviously it was taken the wrong way and in my opinion, out of context.  

 

1.  I agree that violence is violence.

2.  I know that Americans everywhere experience violence on some level.

3.  I'm an a-hole for ever posting this post, because it diminishes others' experiences.

4.  I don't believe that being American blocks the opportunity to recover.  JHC...that post was is my only true regret.

5.  This is exactly why I don't post personal things here.  

 

 

post #29 of 32

I didn't even live in NY any more, and I was depressed for the first time in my life after it happened. A few months later, I got up the courage to look up a list of the deceased and found the name of someone I dated briefly. It was a casual fling that only lasted a summer. He told me he wanted to be a cop or fireman one day. He actually knew what his fate was at that time, if you can believe it. He said that when he died, it was going to be something very big...and the whole world would be watching. Pretty freaky stuff. It's totally normal to be having issues with this. I got over my depression, if that is even what it was...but I have friends who were living in the city at that time who still have issues. One of my friends gets panic attacks when she tries to take a subway. She has to stay above ground now. I would talk to a counselor about it if you can.

post #30 of 32
Thread Starter 

And Linda, I like you a lot and appreciate all your thoughts on MDC, but if I'm sounding defensive it is because I think you have taken this to a subject that isn't even on my radar.  One of the reasons I posted was to start talking about something that I've been silent on for a very long time.  In doing so, I didn't want to deny others of their own feelings or to make this about blame or excuses or whatever.  I know myself and why I feel the way I do.  I just need to release it.  I need to tell others how I feel.  I'm not so dumb that I think that others don't have these feelings (in whatever capacity) and I know that talking is part of healing.  I'm sorry if I offended anyone.

post #31 of 32


Don't be sorry.  You're completely in the right to say what you need to say about this subject. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CatsCradle View Post

And Linda, I like you a lot and appreciate all your thoughts on MDC, but if I'm sounding defensive it is because I think you have taken this to a subject that isn't even on my radar.  One of the reasons I posted was to start talking about something that I've been silent on for a very long time.  In doing so, I didn't want to deny others of their own feelings or to make this about blame or excuses or whatever.  I know myself and why I feel the way I do.  I just need to release it.  I need to tell others how I feel.  I'm not so dumb that I think that others don't have these feelings (in whatever capacity) and I know that talking is part of healing.  I'm sorry if I offended anyone.



 

post #32 of 32

CatsCradle, in response to your original post:

 

I am so sorry you are going through this. You sound like a caring person, full of empathy and love. The victims of 9/11 include the survivors, because you have to live with the pain every single day. I pray for the ones who were taken on that day, and I also pray for you and all of the people who lost loved ones that day. I pray for us all, because we all lost something that day. It must be so difficult for you, since you have to live right where it happened. I never thought about it, but the dust would certainly bother me too. Is there anything you can do to help yourself feel better--maybe join a support group? Help with a 9/11 charity? Try to do something positive to help yourself get through this terrible situation. It is brutal, and on a daily basis I find myself hoping for a world without the pain and violence. 

 

Thank you for being a good person! This world needs more like you.

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