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#356391 - 03/13/11 11:17 AM Survivor Guilt?
prisonerID Offline
Greeter Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/17/08
Posts: 1247
Loc: Oklahoma
I had a cousin who met a guy at a club. He was murdered in order for the guy and his friend to steal his car. My cousin was missing for a few days and then his body was found. It changed that side of my family for many years.

This was a couple of years or so before my own kidnapping. I used to visit his grave often and that of his mother's who died some years later. I would just think of how close our incidents happened and even apologize that he did not survive his ordeal like I did.

I really do not know if I have guilt over surviving and the fact he did not. But it is in the back of my mind. I know I have wrestled with other things connected with coming out alive from that night.

Just pondering I guess.


Daryl









Edited by prisonerID (03/13/11 11:22 AM)
Edit Reason: error
_________________________
Broad statements often miss their true mark.

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#356395 - 03/13/11 12:19 PM Re: Survivor Guilt? [Re: prisonerID]
earlybird Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/17/10
Posts: 1007
Loc: WA USA
Daryl,

1st I’m sorry for the loss of your cousin especially in such a similar and horrific manor. I would imagine that having a reference point so close to home and nearly identical in act as that perpetrated against you with a much different outcome would cause one to hold their breath and wonder the “what ifs” and “why him and not me” type questions. I surely don’t have an answer. What I’ve learned is guilt survivors often carry is real in feelings and false in reality. I think what a survivor of sexual assault/rape can do is heal and if possible take this tragic event and use it to bring healing to others. In much the same way Daryl, you have done for me.

_________________________
Balanced (My goal)

There is symmetry
In self-reflection
Life exemplified
Grace personified

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#356470 - 03/13/11 09:59 PM Re: Survivor Guilt? [Re: earlybird]
CruxFidelis Offline


Registered: 06/16/10
Posts: 486
Loc: NJ
I agree with Earl.

It is easy to wonder, "why him, and not me?" Or just simply, "Why, me?"

it is absolutely senseless to murder someone to steal their car. there are no words for that kind of act. I can't help but to imagine that not only would you mourn the loss of your cousin and who he meant to you and your family, but also the loss of someone who would have had a lot in common with you. I'm sorry he is no longer with you and I am here if you ever need to talk.

I can relate to feeling guilty for surviving. I often wonder sometimes if my survival was not for the best. But like Earl said, all we can do is heal, and after we have healed, share that healing with others. For that reason, I am happy you are with us here.

_________________________
“If a man wishes to be sure of the road he treads on, he must close his eyes and walk in the dark.”

- Saint John of the Cross

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#357294 - 03/22/11 05:30 AM Re: Survivor Guilt? [Re: CruxFidelis]
SamV Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/13/09
Posts: 5924
Loc: Talladega, Alabama, USA
Resolution is elusive in these ponderings, Earl. My own sister died in a car accident after(years later) having been sexually and physically abused.
May I ask, what conclusion, if any, have you resolved?

Sam

_________________________
My SENSITIVE Difference

"Lets talk about that."

Go Get A Hug: HUG>porn

*When provoked* "Anyone holding back his sayings is possessed of knowledge.” (Proverbs 17:27)"

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#357358 - 03/22/11 04:39 PM Re: Survivor Guilt? [Re: SamV]
earlybird Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/17/10
Posts: 1007
Loc: WA USA
Sam,

No Resolutions.
Conclusions - unsolved.
Only my ponderings?

_________________________
Balanced (My goal)

There is symmetry
In self-reflection
Life exemplified
Grace personified

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#357815 - 03/27/11 11:56 AM Re: Survivor Guilt? [Re: earlybird]
1.healing Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/10/10
Posts: 261
Loc: NW Ohio
Daryl,

There's too much violence in this world, that it's visited upon innocent people, like you and others here, is tragic and sad. If there's any hope perhaps it's that the violent behavior isn't contagious, at least with most victims and they don't become perpetrators of violence themselves.

Instead they choose to heal their wounds; those physical, emotional and spiritual. They do so in order to move on with life; bearing scars, but hopeful and as positive as possible. Sadly others because of something broken or missing in themself make a choice to turn that dark corner and unleash their pain upon others. It seems such an ignorant, illogical reaction, it's difficult for me to get my mind around it! Like "I've been hurt, so now I'm going to hurt you to make myself feel better." That's such madness and craziness.

In my last relationship I experienced survivor guilt for someone I had not known personally. Is such a thing possible?,I can tell you it is...

My spouse Michael's partner before me had been kidnapped and then violently murdered. The perp, recently paroled from prison for kidnapping, was hiding in the back of the car on the floor at night. After robbing David of his wallet, not satisfied, this man tried to get David to take him home, so he could also rob the house. Knowing that Michael and his mother were there, David took the perp on a wild goose chase in order to protect them. When it became clear what was happening it infuriated the perp and he violently took it out on David. The perpetrator was so enraged he repeatedly stabbed David inside and then outside the car as David attempted to get away. This happened near a carry out where there were many witnesses. David bleed out so quickly that the rescue team from only a few blocks away, nor the ER team about a mile away were able to save him. The perp was quickly found, arrested, tried, convicted and sent again to prison and unbelievably was paroled again.

As David's predecessor, it almost felt like I got the relationship with Michael unfairly. After all if David hadn't been murdered I wouldn't have been in the picture. It took many years to reconcile those feelings, survivor guilt is very hard, not an easy thing at all.

You're navigating difficult terrain and that is to be commended.

If there's any way I can help, I'm available.

Gary

_________________________
"It's never too late to be what you might have been."

George Elliot

"You cannot find peace by avoiding life."

Virginia Woolf

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#357820 - 03/27/11 12:39 PM Re: Survivor Guilt? [Re: 1.healing]
prisonerID Offline
Greeter Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/17/08
Posts: 1247
Loc: Oklahoma
Gary,

Thank you for sharing that very difficult story with me. Paroled again? That is absolutely beyond comprehension for me and yet so typical of our justice system.

I am so glad you worked through the unwarranted guilt from David's murder. I am sure you have helped Michael to heal and move on with his life. That is a gift you have given to him that cannot be measured by any means. It is nice to read of such a victory for the both of you. That is very encouraging and uplifting.


Daryl

_________________________
Broad statements often miss their true mark.

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#357893 - 03/28/11 04:05 AM Re: Survivor Guilt? [Re: prisonerID]
1.healing Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/10/10
Posts: 261
Loc: NW Ohio

Daryl,

The prosecutors plea bargained the charges because they were concerned that they might not get a conviction for the murderer because his victim, David, was gay. As the perception of gay people was at an all time low at the time, mid 80's and AIDS, it was a legitimate cause for concern. Also the perp made noise about the murder being self defense , claiming that David had attempted to have uninvited sex with him, untrue but an effective defense. Appeal to peoples base fears and prejudice and ignorance does come to rule the day.

Michael has been gone for many years now too, he died from a series of rather quick and fatal heart attacks. He came from a very unkind and selfish family who quite literally broke his heart one too many times.

We had spent nearly thirteen years together, not always easy or pleasant ones, but important ones in both our lives. He was a therapist by profession and an unpublished novelist with a passion for the written word. He was very supportive of me in most ways, especially during the time I worked specifically with Mary Bratton on my CSA recovery. Michael was also a victim and survivor himself of clergy/teacher sexual abuse when in his teens, he understood first hand what I was experiencing. Isn't it amazing how we survivors so often find one another.

One of the first impressions I had of Michael shortly after his passing was a vision of he and David once again youthful and strong seeing each other again with the joyfulness of great companions having been separated far too long. It was both very beautiful and sad.

Your kindness is appreciated, Daryl and I wish you well on your own remarkable healing journey.

Gary

_________________________
"It's never too late to be what you might have been."

George Elliot

"You cannot find peace by avoiding life."

Virginia Woolf

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#357924 - 03/28/11 02:27 PM Re: Survivor Guilt? [Re: 1.healing]
prisonerID Offline
Greeter Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/17/08
Posts: 1247
Loc: Oklahoma
Gary,

Thank you for sharing such a personal part of your life with me. That was a beautiful picture you painted of Michael and David together. This was very special and I so appreciate your heart in telling me this.

The justice system is an odd one. I think there are wonderful folks in all areas of it but as a whole it is broke and falling down.

I am very thankful to know someone like you here.


Daryl

_________________________
Broad statements often miss their true mark.

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