It took me about two years to call myself a gun violence survivor, as it was our daughter who was in the public shooting event. I didn’t see myself as a survivor, but I am, as are our family members. We are lucky our daughter survived and was not physically hurt. She showed bravery, helped a number of people and walked away from it.
The aftermath continues years later though. She continues to fight depression, PTSD and our whole family has been affected. Years have gone by and yet it’s still there, even when we least expect it. Counseling is not free, and insurance only covers so much. It’s something we live with now, and it is part of our story as a family.
Knowing that others have suffered much more doesn’t lessen the effect of it, yet again I know I am lucky. Those that have not lived through a shooting don’t understand, and we know they cannot. Change must happen somehow, so no one else has to be a survivor.