"The unexamined life is not worth living" Socrates

- - scatterings of ideas sent to my younger self, a sensitive boy who often thought he should have been a girl - -

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Survivor's Guilt

What was I to do? What do any of us do, other than what seems like the right thing to do at the time?

What I did, while it was right for me, was too difficult for others who I cared for. Life said to me "Make a decision. Decide whether this time you will live for yourself, or ... "

When I chose life, that is what was given to me. While nothing lasts forever, I am not going to feel guilt for having survived, and perhaps, through sheer luck, for having thrived.

I am peeling away and casting off remnants of shame and guilt. What is left is me; grateful for every thing that has come my way, whether I deserve it or not.

After a lifetime of trying to please others and living with feelings of guilt and shame that I couldn't control the world, I did what seemed right. Sometimes the universe is benign. Often it is very, very cruel. For me, there was a gift of healing and acceptance in a way I could never have orchestrated.

8 comments:

  1. you did what you had to do after years of struggle and you needn't feel guilt or shame. its been a long ride for me as well and I am still fixing the little potholes that continue to show up on my road. Life is not easy and its messy but ultimately its still worth experiencing.

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    1. There is no way any of this would have been possible without those years, and time given to paying attention to a good therapist too. I learned so much about myself with her. Only now do I fully appreciate the value of self-examination.

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  2. I could also have written that last paragraph. Our sacrifice goes unnoticed, perhaps we tried too well... Even up to the moment I started to tell people about my change I was sure that the rejection we have been told about would be complete, I had no plan for the acceptance which came my way!

    I have to admit that for many years I never expected a post here like this one but here it is.

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    1. You have watched and cheered me on through so many bumps in the road. Our friendship is very much in my thoughts as I read the last sentence in that last paragraph Coline.

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  3. Hi Halle,
    Trust in yourself is important just as it is in our relationships with others, until such time as we have good reason not to be trustful. But alas, often when trust is misplaced through no fault of our own so we are made to feel guilty.
    Human experience is not always a good barometer in understanding or accepting the rich fabric of the Universe. Maybe a guilt companion accompanying survival can be diminished or even eliminated in the acceptance of who we are, which is what I think you may be hinting at. As a kind of grace in realizing we are here now to live our lives to the fullest. Bearing in mind. ‘All the efforts of the human mind cannot exhaust the essence of a single fly.’ Thomas Aquinas
    Best wishes

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    1. I must admit to having been somewhat overwhelmed by Aquinas quoted here at my humble blog Lindsay. I will also admit to a tendency to overthink things and thus miss the simplest of truths; only I can make me feel guilt.

      All the best to you as well.

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  4. Well I for one never doubted that you chose the correct course in life. Continued Godspeed to you.

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