My Invisible Limp
In my last meeting with my counselor, he suggested that I may be dealing with something called “Survivor’s Guilt.” Because I am wide awake at three in the morning again, I decided to finally explore what this is. According to Dr. Nancy Sherman, a blogger for “Psychology Today,” this is a continuous cycle of “counterfactual thoughts that you could have or should have done otherwise, though in fact you did nothing wrong.” Another blogger, Dr. Diana Raab, highlights that survivors may be susceptible to this due to unsettled, losses from the past. In short, I may be troubled by the false notion that I could have saved my daughters' lives if...
I have so many "ifs."
If only I had stayed awake a little longer.
If only I had woken up sooner...etc.
The truth is, I had no control over the timing of their deaths. They had rare, incurable/fatal, genetic diseases. In both cases, I was in deep sleep and even in the same room, as they slipped away from this life into eternity. I couldn’t do anything to extend their lives here on earth—here with me—with us, for that matter. I could not heal them. In both cases, once I realized something was wrong, I immediately jumped into emergency mode. Yet, I was rendered powerless against God’s eternal clock.
I realize that I have to stop this "Survivor's Guilt" cycle. I have been and I am traumatized. (Never articulated this to anyone but my husband before.) All I know is that I tried my best.
My invisible limp.
Caveat: 1. I really tried my best to resist the urge for using APA citation (for my academic friends). 2. I still believe...yes, my girls are now forever healed.
4/23/2020 12:33:48 am
Love you! Go for it!
4/23/2020 01:02:10 pm
It is my belief, that every hug, every kiss, every smile, every thank you, and every I love you continues with us on this journey. Your daughters are forever with you in each one of those show of affections. Francemise, I mean this when I say it, and it may sound selfish, but I draw strength from you sharing your pain. The pain of loss surrounds me 11 years after my mother’s death and my father’s death 2 years ago. Thank you for being open and vulnerable. I love you sister. Peace be with you and the family. 💕
4/29/2020 11:20:00 am
Shorty!! Thank you for your support. I am learning that healing can come in sharing our stories. I am sorry about your losses. May God's love continue to carry you through your own grief. Love you.
4/29/2020 11:17:50 am
Love you too, Joy! Thank you!
4/23/2020 12:38:11 am
I pray that God will heal you through this process. Please continue writing your thoughts because it shows your strengths and willingness to press pass what you are going through to help others.
4/29/2020 11:21:31 am
Thank you, Dr. Alice. I will as long as God gives me the strength and courage to do so. Amen. Love you too!
4/23/2020 01:51:31 am
Beautifully written! Praying that you may experience the peace of God as you write and know that you did that which you needed to do. Nothing less and nothing more. My prayer is that God will bless you beyond measure as you heal and thank you for sharing your process, which has helped and encouraged me tremendously.❤🙏
4/29/2020 11:31:44 am
4/23/2020 03:48:35 am
What an awesome woman you are! I keep saying this because I really do mean it! I know that your healing is taking place because you are able to share this with all of us. Thanks for being transparent, I know it's not easy to lay it all out like this. Be blessed ❤
4/29/2020 12:40:25 pm
Aww, Michelle! Thank you for your kindness towards me. I will keep trying to be transparent. Love you.
4/23/2020 03:50:57 am
Thank you for writing about survivor’s guilt. It is real and for me has been the hardest part of grief to overcome. Even when in your heart you truly know God is in control and there was nothing we could have done to prevent this tragedy our human minds take over in our weak moments. I pray God will continue to heal and comfort you on the journey.
4/30/2020 07:21:31 pm
4/23/2020 04:51:30 am
Mece I would love to just give you the biggest hug possible. You’ve been in my prayers because I know this has not been easy. There’s so much love floating around for you and Hassan in hoping you’re feeling all of it. There’s so much I want to say but the words get in the way so I’ll just say I love you and I’m forever in your corner!
4/30/2020 07:22:34 pm
Thanks, Tonya. We love you too!
4/23/2020 05:04:48 am
4/30/2020 07:23:42 pm
Thanks, Nathalie. I appreciate your prayers. ❤️
4/23/2020 06:18:43 am
Thank you for your transparency! Praying with you for peace.
4/30/2020 07:24:56 pm
Thanks, LaTonya, for your prayers. ❤️
4/23/2020 06:44:22 am
I just love tour transparency and some ppl in your situation never gets an outlet. Keep going!!! I remember going through the same thing when we lost our daughter and I was stuck in a state of shock. My husband was baffled that I didn't cry. Until one day the Lord reversed the story. I thought I was the survivor but He showed me how she saved my life. That day I broke down!! Everyday after that when I prayed, I reminded myself that we both were survivors. So again this was great and I am here praying WITH you too! You all be blessed!!
4/30/2020 07:29:36 pm
Bettie H Kingsberry
4/23/2020 10:27:46 am
Francemise, I was reading early in the morning, 3 am about knowing what the Holy spirit is and how do you know that God has placed it in your heart. The feeling of unspeakable joy that's in the heart even during the lost of a love one. Having thankfulness even in the midst of your storms. Submission to God, God's will. I think you can see where I am going with what I am saying. The Holy Spirit was with you and as you slept, it kept you in peace as God performed His will to take His babies breath of life back with Him. you had to submit to His will and still be thankful for the time He gave you and Hassan with His Angels. He gave you and Hassan the strength to do His will, to love His children. They were a gift to loving parents, but they were His just like we all are, and if we live right; serve Him doing His will, God will send Jesus for us too. Love you, You must submit to God's will, blessed be the name of the Lord
4/23/2020 11:58:27 pm
Mece, I love how you share with transparency the pain and often uncertainty that lingers from your love to care for your beautiful butterflies, your babygirls. I, too, have experienced wrestling with those questions when I was caregiver for my mom and she slipped away.
4/30/2020 07:40:16 pm
4/24/2020 07:22:40 am
So beautifully written. Thank you for being brave enough to share your pain but also your faith. Even as I sense your grief and anguish in this piece, I can simultaneously feel love, hope and tranquility flowing from your words. This was so healing to read. I can only imagine how healing it might be for you as you write and publish these posts. Praying for your continued comfort and peace as you mourn the loss of your girls.
7/27/2020 01:27:55 pm
4/24/2020 01:29:17 pm
I have dealt with survivor's as it relates to my only daughter's transition for years but today I have resolved in myself that my Daddy God loved kitara and He also loved me. And in His divine wisdom He did what was best for both of us. But I still deal with it as it relates to my friends that lost their battle with breast cancer. It makes me feel bad that I am still alive and I have to remind my self that instill have purpose and that why I am still here.
7/27/2020 01:29:33 pm
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New Jersey Native. Proud Haitian-American. UNC-Chapel Hill (First-Generation College) Graduate. Double Tar Heel who obtained a Doctorate from NC State. Educator. Devoted Daughter and Sister. Loving Wife and Mother. Lover of People. Photographer. Poet. Home Chef. Singer. Worshiper. Preacher and Motivational Speaker. Virtuous Woman. I am who I am by the Grace of God.