A Message To Gun Violence Survivors From A Survivor

By
Home Stager with Sharon Tara Transformations

I just read an amazing article and I really think it needs to be shared to as many people as possible. The writer is my cousin, Nathan.

Six years ago, while serving in Afghanistan, he was shot in an ambush. Three people were killed that day. Nathan was one of three wounded survivors. 

 

We don't often think of the hell, the psychological trauma, that the survivors of these shootings face.

Yes, they are blessed and lucky to be alive, but their pain is much more than just physical.

The horror of the continued mass shootings in this country put more and more people in Nathan's situation.

I believe his article could be very helpful to them.

 

 

What I Wish Someone Had Told Me After I Got Shot

Nathan Jerauld

Tragedy struck our country again this month. Mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, claimed the lives of more than 30 people. While much attention will, and should, be placed on those who died, I write to address another group who may go overlooked in the coming weeks: the people wounded by these terrible events.

I want to tell you what I wish I had known after I was shot.

Continue reading at HuffPost Personal

 

 

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Rainmaker
2,106,166
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Debbie Gartner  True, it will be helpful to other types of survivors too.  I'm so glad he wrote and shared it.

Sally K. & David L. Hanson  Another part of the tragedy...so much senseless pain and not enough attention given to it. We have a long way to go to fix this.

Richie Alan Naggar  So true. It sickens me. I understand why too, when it comes to some aspects like war, but these senseless mass killings are beyond comprehension.

 

Aug 13, 2019 07:25 AM #17
Rainmaker
109,494
Marie-Denise Kratsios
Daniel Gale Sotheby's International Realty - Huntington, NY
Where ever you are, that's where I'll be!

Thank you for sharing this with the Activerain community Sharon.  I have to tell you that as I read Nathan's article I felt it right in the pit of my stomach as I read his article. Years ago I had a client who was a victim of the Long Island Railroad Massacre.   It is so hard for people, myself included, to really understand emotional injury, especially without visible signs.  I hope the article helped to heal Nathan as he wrote it as much as I hope it helps all victims who I hope will read it.  

Aug 13, 2019 07:26 AM #18
Rainmaker
2,106,166
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS  War sickens me, but I understand its purpose...don't like it and wish we could find a way to live in peace and avoid it. The senseless mass shootings are another issue and I agree with you...something needs to be done. I won't get into my political views here, but we need to fix this.

Brian England We need a lot of things....better health care resources in general are desperately needed. It's criminal the way it is now. People shouldn't be suffering because they don't have access or can't afford medical help and/or medications. It sickens me. Pun intended.

Sheri Sperry - MCNE®  True...too often people have no clue just how much a traumatic event has affected them. Hopefully Nathan's article will help some people recognize their need for help and support.

Aug 13, 2019 07:34 AM #19
Rainmaker
4,400,046
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy

Sharon,

What a great article you shared with us.  Our grand nieces in Colorado where attending the school where the shootout occurred.  They had psychologists and mental health meetings for kids and parents alike...A

Aug 13, 2019 07:36 AM #20
Rainmaker
2,106,166
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Marie-Denise Kratsios  Thank you. Pit of the stomach is exactly how it hit me...gut wrenching. The lack of visable signs does make it easier for people to minimize the victim's suffering. A better understanding is needed...hopefully articles like Nathan's will provide it.

Aug 13, 2019 07:37 AM #21
Rainmaker
2,106,166
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Ron and Alexandra Seigel  My heart aches for people, especially children, in these shooter situations. I'm glad your grand nieces are ok. It's so important that the mental health meetings are provided.

Aug 13, 2019 07:40 AM #22
Rainmaker
745,624
Robert Rauf
HomeBridge Financial Services (NJ) - Toms River, NJ

Survivors guilt and PTSD are very real!  what I took away from his article was a simple sentence we can all reflect on-  I could fight to be happy again. So that’s what I did.

Aug 13, 2019 08:11 AM #23
Ambassador
2,674,288
Katerina Gasset
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services - Wellington, FL
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services

 Mental health has always been like a taboo to discuss and for centuries, you were either killed or put into straight jackets with electic shock therapy- remember : One Flew Over the Kuckoo's Nest. 

It has always been shoved to the side. Yet, today, instead of being killed and being institutionalized, mental issues just go untreated and there are not enough people going to therapy, etc. Of course I by no means think we should go back in time! But we can't ignore all the mental health issues today. 

My father was shot several times in VietNam. He survived but was sprayed with Agent Orange which led to him getting a brain tumor in his 70's. He was the youngest death in our family. 

That being said... 

There are many other ways in which people suffer pain of loss and survival. Guns are not the only things used to kill people. People who are mentally ill can also be very strong, and kill by torture, fire, knives, swords, beatings... anyone capable of heniuous crimes against another person is mentally ill. It is not normal to go around killing people. 

To me, the idea that 30 people were killed is horrific, but the problem is 'mass' killings are they are the only killings that get all the attention. In Chicago alone 561 people were killed and that is a lot more than 30. They just happen to not happen all on the same hour. But there are many times in big cities, where 30 people are killed in one night. 

Every day a police officer is knocking on some parent's or loved one's doors to let them know they have just lost their child or parent to a drunk driver. Every day 30 people are killed in drunk driving crashes. That is one person every 48 minutes. That is traumatic, and that emotional pain that it causes the parent or survivers, is no less than someone dying from a gun shot wound. 

Your brother's article was very good. 

 

Aug 13, 2019 01:14 PM #24
Rainmaker
1,071,546
Margaret Goss
Baird & Warner Real Estate - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

None of us can really understand that kind of trauma - until it happens to us. The body shows the physical scars but the mind is damaged too. I so appreciate his article and you sharing it with us.

Aug 13, 2019 01:26 PM #25
Rainmaker
2,106,166
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Robert Rauf  A very good take away I would say. Very inspirational.

Katerina Gasset Mental health, all health for that matter, should be a greater priority. We need a lot of improvement when it comes to caring for our people.

I agree with you regarding other deaths and the shocking, horrific numbers. It is terrifying. The words "thoughts and prayers" have become far too common a phrase. 

Margaret Goss  I am glad you appreciate the article and I'm appreciative of the comment. We never know when our family will become one of the statistics. Terrifying.

Aug 13, 2019 02:46 PM #26
Ambassador
2,839,127
Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ
Arizona's Top Banana!

Hi Sharon so many, many terrible incidents going on. I'm sorry to hear about your brother Nathan's long and hard journey. And I am so glad to know he found his way back and his sharing his story. He will truly be a lifesaver to many people -  a true gift.

Aug 13, 2019 03:07 PM #27
Ambassador
3,964,801
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Sharon:

Thank you for sharing Nathan's article - so very touching and heartfelt, and someting that could be helpful to so many.  I think many people simply don't consider what the survivors might be experiencing months or years after shootings. And we have heard stories of the suicides that sometimes following when it gets to be too much.

Jeff

Aug 13, 2019 05:42 PM #28
Rainer
475,289
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Unfortunately, violence will continue regardless of what we do. What we can pray for, however, is educating our kids about the value of life beginning from birth to the family structure of mother and father, belief, faith and teaching by example to be virtuous, kind and grateful for our being. Most would argue, it's a difficult task, yet, nothing worthwhile is easy, isn't it?  

Aug 13, 2019 06:17 PM #29
Rainmaker
2,004,270
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
DFW FINE PROPERTIES - Southlake, TX
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Sharon Tara - Thank you and your cousin Nathan Jerauld for having the courage to write your articles. What we the people need to know is "Real Life. Real News. Real Voices." We don't need rubbish, fake news that is pitting people against one another. We don't need twisted humor on SNL about our President and we don't need Actors and Late Night Talk Show Hosts acting stupid by influencing the general public with their sick excessive us of negative rhetoric making loud noises to make themselves look good and glorified. 

What's going on now is "REAL LIFE," and there is nothing funny about it. We don't need protesters in D.C. causing chaos. We don't need late-night comedy shows promoting what they think is funny about the news, nor do we need them attacking politicians and people on the air to get popularity votes. We need REAL NEWS.  I believe in the power of free speech from REAL VOICES of people like your cousin, Nathan Jerauld. 

I can't imagine what it's like to survive while serving our country only to come back home and see continuous violence here in America and listen to all the garbage on the air. Now what? Are people like Nathan going to live out a life sentence with flashbacks trying to understand and heal by reliving the trauma they lived through pretending it's time to get back to normal when there is no normal anymore? My heart hurts for Nathan and all who struggle. REAL VOICES is what Americans and people living in America and Overseas need to hear. In my opinion, it's their REAL VOICES that count. 

Aug 13, 2019 09:39 PM #30
Rainmaker
509,046
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

I had read this on HuffPo.  Very moving.  Those people...just living their lives and now having to endure so much pain for the rest of their lives...if they survived.  Assault weapons should be banned.

Aug 14, 2019 12:54 PM #31
Rainmaker
749,409
Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

Thank you to your cousin for highlighting his personal struggles with post traumatic stress and survivor's guilt. It can be a consequence of all kinds of situations but it's important to know that it can be managed with time and professional help. He's doing amazingly well and is certainly a giver of hope to anyone suffering like he was.

Aug 14, 2019 02:04 PM #32
Rainmaker
2,106,166
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886  Thank you! He has a lot to offer the world!

Jeff Dowler, CRS It is so sad that this happens to so many. I hope Nathan's article helps a lot of people.

Kimo Jarrett  Nothing worthwhile is easy. I agree. I like your suggestion about teaching our children...something that could greatly improve our world.

Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP  My heart aches too for all those suffering because of such senseless, tragic violence.

Politics is killing us...I agree with your stand on fake news but one area where we would disagree is on the comedians and humor...truly my salvation...without the laughter they provide I would not be able to deal with all the horror of the real news.

We are in a terrifying point in time and I pray that we somehow find the answers before it is just too late.

In the meantime we must surround ourselves with as much joy and love as possible.

 

Aug 14, 2019 05:05 PM #33
Rainmaker
2,106,166
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR   So much senseless pain...lives lost and lives ruined. I agree with you regarding weapons. Unfortunately the politicians have control over that.

Jill Sackler  Nathan is beacon of hope and I have no doubt will accomplish great things in his lifetime. He is a very special guy.

Aug 14, 2019 05:09 PM #34
Rainmaker
976,885
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

You are so right and thank you for writing and sharing your cousin's story.  I'm headed over to read it.  It's heartbreaking, just plain heartbreaking to see. 

Aug 14, 2019 07:18 PM #35
Rainmaker
1,542,991
Mike Cooper, GRI
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro

Sharon, you are so right. I've been shot at in the former Soviet Union and I've been shot at in this country. It doesn't matter what the venue is, it's always shocking and hard to deal with. The support system you have in place makes a huge difference. In both cases, I knew there were possibilities. I surived both times, but it was never easy to accept what was happening.

Aug 14, 2019 07:41 PM #36
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Sharon Tara

New Hampshire Home Stager
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