Why do i still grieve for somebody i didn't know,all these years later?

(15 Posts)
1997 Mon 16-Jul-12 14:12:54

On the 27th July 1997,i witnessed a woman get stabbed to death,by her husband.I tried to stop the bleeding but couldn't.I know i didn't really help.sad
I hate this time of year.
I think about what happened most of the time,but more so this time of year.I feel so guilty.
But i didn't even know her.So why should i still feel like this.I can't even image what her family feel like.
I have name changed incase i out myself.I have been a member seen before Peter turned pink.

OP’s posts: |
Hassled Mon 16-Jul-12 14:17:35

You feel like this because it was so hideously traumatic and awful for you - and there's probably some PTSD thing going on you should talk to someone about. You won't get past this unless you can resolve your (unjustified) feelings of guilt and the feelings of powerlessness you had. You've witnessed horrible violence and while doing so, the fragility of life must have been made very clear to you - so there's a lot of issues all going on at once.

Please go and see your GP and explain - ask for a referral.

becstarsky Mon 16-Jul-12 14:18:57

I never give hugs, but please have one. You grieve because you aren't a psychopath - you have empathy, you saw her suffer and understood what it means to suffer and felt for her, wished you could stop it.

You say that you know you didn't help but you also say you tried to stop the bleeding. So in her last moments she had someone at her side who was trying to help her and who would never forget her - someone who gave her tenderness and care in those last moments. That is the most precious thing you can give someone who is dying. You did help. And when you remember her I believe you help too - to die a violent death and then be forgotten would be awful.

I'm not very religious but in your situation I think I'd pop into a church on 27th July and light a candle, say a prayer for her soul and maybe donate a token amount that I could afford to a relevant charity (women's aid) as an act of remembrance. Would that help?

becstarsky Mon 16-Jul-12 14:22:18

X posted with Hassled - and agree that GP for PTSD is a good idea.

IvanaNap Mon 16-Jul-12 14:25:41

Oh goodness OP, how awful sad
At the very, very least you gave such compassion to that woman during her final moments - she knew that someone cared and, without you, she would not have had that. How horrific for you - does talking / writing / posting about it help? I hope so. And I hope the bastard perpetrator was locked away for a very long time too.

SirEdmundFrillary Mon 16-Jul-12 14:26:48

1997. sad

1997 Mon 16-Jul-12 14:38:40

The night it happened i was offered counseling.But i think i was running on adrenaline,so turned it down.
Family and friends don't really want to keep talking about it,this many years later.
I think i even let her down at court.I said i didnt see her husband with a knife.But then suddenly awhile after i realised that i did see him with a knife.I think i just blanked it out of my mind.

OP’s posts: |
becstarsky Mon 16-Jul-12 18:57:51

Don't blame yourself for that. Memory is very unreliable when it's something traumatic as your mind is trying hard not to remember as a self protection. Go to your GP and ask for a referral. When your friends and family don't want to hear it, do call the victim support line or the Samaritans. It is a terrible thing you went through and it's understandable that you are having difficulty with the memories of it. I am so sorry.

littleducks Mon 16-Jul-12 19:07:03

I think it is (misplaced) guilt. I agree you should try and get some counselling to try and come to terms with what happened, however I expect that something as horrific as that probably will always be there to some extent at the back of your mind.

1997 Mon 16-Jul-12 23:10:38

Thank you all for your kind replies,and advice.smile
I think i made my family and friends sound abit uncaring.They really have supported me over the years.But i feel that they have moved on,and rightly so.
DH always supports me,but was at work the evening it happened,so thankfully didn't have to go throught it all.I really wouldn't wish it on anybody.
I feel so guilty, feeling down when i didn't even know her.Goodness knows what her family feels.
I also worry about when the killer gets released.I know when i'm thinking right,he won't be thinking about me being a witness.But when i'm stressed i worry he might come after me.sadconfused
How long is a life sentence really?

Do you think the GP will help,this long after it happened?

OP’s posts: |
chipmonkey Tue 17-Jul-12 01:46:01

1997, your GP will help. There is no doubt about that.

I do think there is something awful about trying to save someone and failing. I did CPR on my baby daughter but it didn't work. sad Now, obviously the fact that she is my daughter means that it's a double blow but there is a part of you that always looks back and thinks "Maybe if I did A, B or C, then things would have been different and she would have lived" I have thought this, even though medical staff told me I did nothing wrong at all.

And, the other thing is that you probably thought at the time that this woman had no-one else and it was all down to you and that is a huge responsibility. Huge.

You are a hero, you tried to save her. You did your best. Which is all anyone can do. In all likelihood her husband won't come looking for you but it would do no harm to voice your fears to someone. And bless you, that woman died knowing that someone cared about her.

1997 Tue 17-Jul-12 09:53:37

chipmonkey I'm so sorry for you loss.sad
I think that is what i have found difficult to understand.If it was my DC or even somebody i knew,i could understand still feeling the loss.But i didn't know her.I had only lived in that house for 3 weeks,and didn't even know the area.But i still carry the image of her face with me.Little things remind me off her.
For along time i lost respect for the police.They arrived 15mins after my first 999 call.She hadn't been stabbed when i first rang.When they finally arrived they seemed to just stand there,slowly putting gloves on.They had told the ambulance crew to hold off attending until they said.I was screaming for them to help.Two of my older children were in the house scared.sadMy DS1 was 12 at the time.He was walking the dog,and walked right pass the man after the stabbing.The man had still got the knive in his hand.

I'm really sorry for sounding like it's all about me.
I know lots of you have lost DC.Which must be so much harder to deal with.

OP’s posts: |
chipmonkey Tue 17-Jul-12 14:08:35

1997, there are no rules in Bereavement! How you feel is how you feel and you shouldn't feel you have to justify your feelings to anyone.
And OMG, that sounds horrific! I'm no psychologist but surely that would give you PTSD? It sounds like a hellish nightmare and even in three weeks you would have known something of the poor woman, and certainly enough to know that her death was horribly unfair and at the hands of a murderer.
Please do make an appointment with your GP and get a referral for some counselling. That's an awful burden to have to carry around with you.

Thumbwitch Thu 26-Jul-12 00:10:26

1997 - I think you really do need some PTSD counselling. Ring Cruse if your GP can't help you, they may be able to put you in touch with the right sort of counsellor. So sad that you've had this experience.

scurryfunge Thu 26-Jul-12 00:17:41

It is perfectly normal to have these feelings after an abnormal event for a few weeks. Because this is still with you after so many years, then I suggest you do need to speak to your GP about this.

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