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Survivor's Guilt

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AlanBama:
After all this time, it sometimes surprises me when I have feelings of "guilt" over being a survivor.    What triggered my most recent episode was seeing a guy my age that I went to high school with who is dying from bone cancer.   He goes to my church; they wheeled him in on Easter, and he looks so bad.   He's about 6'4" and weighs maybe 125.   He's been sick for a long time, and has battled cancer on and off for about 10 years I think.

I have been where he is now!  I should have something relevant to say to this man, who is dying.   But instead I stand there like a blubbering idiot and can't come up with anything.   And then the guilt floods over me....he has two sons and a wife who need him, why is he dying and why am I still living?   Intellectually, I know this is silly, but these thoughts are coming from my heart, not from my brain.   I just wish there was something I could say to him, to make some kind of sense of it all.  But I'm not sure that he knows I have AIDS, and that makes any kind of conversation along the lines of "I understand what you are facing" difficult.   Why should he believe that I know what it is like to be dying?

I ended up by saying "I hope you find peace".   It used to drive me crazy when people would call me or come by the hospital when I was close to death and say "oh, you'll get better I'm sure of it".   OK, so they were right....but they didn't KNOW I would recover, they were just saying that to make themselves feel better.

Just when I think I have conquered something, it hops up to bite me in the butt.  I am even chicken to send him a card, I hate those cards that are "suitable for serious illness".   As Jonathan says BULLSHIT, there is no card that is "suitable" for serious illness.

Am I the only one who still experiences this?

Alan

J.R.E.:

--- Quote from: AlanBama on April 11, 2007, 06:32:52 PM ---
I have been where he is now!  I should have something relevant to say to this man, who is dying.   But instead I stand there like a blubbering idiot and can't come up with anything.   And then the guilt floods over me....he has two sons and a wife who need him, why is he dying and why am I still living?   
Am I the only one who still experiences this?

Alan

--- End quote ---

No, your not the only one Alan. For all the years I was living healthy with this virus, and watching so many others pass on, from aids, or other causes, I was having these feelings of guilt quite a lot. I still do at times. I often wondered "why", or "what" makes me continue to go on. Or " what can I say". I was feeling almost freakish at times.

I am sorry about your fellow church goer. Words can be difficult to come up with at times.... I know this too well. Sometimes just a smile and a touch on a shoulder is what someone needs. I know....


Ray

Lis:
As stupid as this may sound.....

We go when it is our time...
God doesnt give us a break just because were sick... there is always more to learn

Tonight i felt like if one more person died... (you know the rest)

I will spend as much time on others in the next few days as i can.... God knows i have no answers.....

OzPaul:
Hi Alan and thank you for this thread.

Words are difficult right now for me about this delicate subject. As a 20 plus year Long Term Non Progressor I have had and do have a lot of survivor's guilt. Participating in and reading these forums daily reminds me of the good, blessed grace I've been given. While I have my own sometimes serious health concern, having bi-polar disorder, I have miraculously been spared a different  HIV outcome, at least as of today. That could all change tomorrow. I am mindful of that daily.

I participate in several research studies on LTNP's both here in Australia and the USA in the hope and prayer that we all (globally) may all have the same good HIV health as I do today. Until then I get by well, gratefully with some shame and survivor's guilt.

in Peace and Love
Paul

ARMANDO:
i dont think that i have ever experienced guilt that i am still alive but i have often questioned "why am i still alive"?ALL my friends have died from aids and it seems that i am the last one left and it sometimes makes me so sad and it is very difficult to make new friends because we feel that we cant share our "secret" or they wont understand.I HAVE TRIED TO BE UP FRONT WITH NEW PEOPLE BUT THEY ALWAYS SEEM TO DROP ME ONCE THEY FIND OUT THAT I AM HIV POZ.I HAVE BEEN LIVING WITH HIV FOR THE PAST 18 YRS AND I GUESS THATS WHY I'M STILL ALIVE,I REFUSE TO DIE FROM AIDS!!!

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