survivor’s guilt

‘Can you be our designated driver?’ 5 minutes after I dropped off my mom, a drunk driver crossed the yellow line at 117 mph.’: Car crash survivor urges ‘get a ride’ after losing aunt to drunk driver

“I remember the silence, then sirens. People running from their houses, lights shining, and the rush of an emergency situation. People asked me, ‘Who are you? Where were you going? Have you been drinking?’ I had no idea what happened or how I got there.”

‘When he is older, how do I explain this?’ We handed over a tiny 3-month-old for his first open-heart surgery.’: Mom of heart warrior thanks those who helped, ‘He lived, and so much of that is due to all of you’

“He shows his scar to everyone. Sometimes he will say, ‘I saved Mommy from a great white shark, look, guys!’ Other times, he just tells people, ‘I had heart surgery!’ The first question immediately is always, ‘Did it hurt, Finn!?’ He just sweetly replies no and then wants to play. He lived. We all did.”

‘I’m 14, alone with a boy. ‘What if you had sex with me?’ He leers. ‘No thanks.’ ‘What if I held you down and made you?’: Survivor advocates for fellow survivors of the Me Too Movement, ‘Culture tells us not to complain. To keep quiet.’

“I’m 17, and I have a long-distance boyfriend. He begs me for phone sex and I say no. ‘I’m sorry, I’m just not comfortable.’ I hang up on him, feeling guilty. He’s lonely in the Marine barracks. I’m all he has. He needs me. He suffers from depression, self-harm. A few nights later, I pause on the phone. I hear his heavy breathing, muffled moans. ‘Are you…?’ I ask. ‘Don’t stop. Keep talking,’ he pants. Feeling sick, I hang up the phone. I feel dirty and embarrassed. ‘Men will only go as far as you let them,’ I’ve been told. Boys will be boys.”

‘I knew something was wrong just by looking at him. ‘It’s not a blood clot. You have a 5-inch mass in between your heart and your lungs.’: Woman diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma fights to live for her daughter, ‘I’m too young to die. I have a 3-year-old daughter who needs her mom.’

“My first symptom hit like a ton of bricks. I felt heaviness in my chest I couldn’t explain. We had to run to catch our connecting flight. This is the exact moment I knew. I could not run. I WANTED to, but my body wouldn’t let me. I ate well and exercised often, so I knew something was very, very wrong. My friends said it sounded like I was having an anxiety attack. ‘I’m only 32 years old. How can this happen?’ Our lives changed forever.”

‘Holly are you sitting down?’ I cheated death. Cardiac arrest caused 6 of my family members to die.’: Woman is 9th person in family to inherit heart disease, ‘I believe my own life was spared to save others’

“‘I’m glad you’re still with us,’ my surgeon whispered. Tears of gratitude spilled from my eyes. I felt a kiss on my forehead. With less than 90 seconds to spare, my surgeon had saved my life. The defibrillator implanted in my chest was 10 years old, with fractured wires, on the manufacturer’s recall list, and requiring immediate removal. In the middle of this dangerous procedure, a vein suddenly ruptured. My blood pressure plummeted.”

‘Yes darling, what is it?,’ she said. ‘If I told you something, will you promise me nothing would to happen to my mom, sister or dad?’: Woman overcomes PTSD to find her ‘happy ending’

“I told my grandmother everything I could remember of that night, every detail of what he told me. My whole life changed in an instant; one day I had a family, then my family became smaller. I blamed myself for what had happened. I always thought I was dirty and an awful person because of what happened.”

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