Y2K Survivor's Guilt

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More and more now I find myself contemplating not just how bad Y2K will be, but what consequences unprepared and disabled people will have to endure. I have vacillated through phases where I have rationalized staying in the city and helping out the best I could, and turning survivalist and getting the hell out of Dodge. I am currently preparing for the latter.

The other day in the car going to work I decided I would listen to FM radio instead of the usual Headline News I have become addicted to in the past few years. I felt I was becoming depressed with all my deep thought about y2k and its ramifications and that a little good-old rock&roll would cheer me up. The first thing I tuned to was a song I'd never heard by Jewel. Some of the words were "In the end, kindness is all that matters" and "My hands may be small...but they're my own" I don't know whether its attributable to Millennial Dysfunctional Disorder or not, but I broke down and cried. The thought of all these frail old elderly folks becoming engulfed by what promises to be an absolute horror and having to face it more or less alone was more than I could suppress any longer.

I feel like I've done my part by researching the problem and warning everyone I know, but I'm not sure this will be enough to prevent "survivor's guilt" in the event y2k is a catastrophe. The question is, how do you feel about your decision to leave or stay, and how did you arrive at deciding who would be in your "inner circle" of dependants?

-- a (a@a.a), January 08, 1999


If its any consolation, I experienced similiar feelings. I have been on this issue for a year, making my assessment, going through all the psychological phases, etc. My wife told me a month ago that I was in depression. I can't save the world. I took stock in what I had accomplished and basically I have the retreat and all that goes with it. A little more food stored and I will feel as comfortable as I can that my preparations are in order.

That gave me a chance to stand back, stay off the net for a week, assess my preparations and conclude that I have done almost everything possible to prepare for this unkown event. I have had a number of people contact me who I lectured to on this subject 6 months ago, who thanked me for bringing this to their attention. We all help the best we can. I am fortunate that at my senior years I have the resources to execute a viable plan. Individually we follow our own paths, but unless the community we are in come the millenium, is totally aware and able to provide for those that did not take this threat seriously, then I think we are all in trouble. If I have to feed extra bodies then I need more food. In the rural area where I am relocating, I doubt emergency help will be available.

-- Rick Reilly (rreilly@home.com), January 08, 1999.

Those who die are going to a better place. Most of them.

-- Andy (2000EOD@prodigy.net), January 08, 1999.

a, there is no question that you work very hard to warn others. But consider this: probably no one will feel worse than the Don't Get Its that you and many others warned, repeatedly, about what was to happen -- yet they didn't take heed. That will be the worst feeling in the world.

-- Jack (jsprat@eld.net), January 08, 1999.

bold off. (sorry)

-- Jack (jsprat@eld.net), January 08, 1999.

This "civilization" has become very soft because it is wealthy. Many "primitive" societies don't have a problem of old, sick, enfeebled people because they either die fast, or the community helps them along by putting them on an ice flow, or setting them out in the middle of the forest.

Similarly, obviously defective babies were disposed of. None of this "heroic measures" bull pucky of incubators and liver (whatever) transplants for 5 month "premies".

Even in Western society, not so many generations ago, there was something called the "midwife's option" -- where the midwife made an immediate decision as an infant popped out of the birth canal. If any apparent defects, she made sure it didn't "quicken". To the parents: "Sorry, baby didn't make it."

Looks like the only way for people to get back to reality is for this mess to collapse.

So, all of you boo-hoo babies, if you're tempted to help out a geezer, just think, he may think like me. Heh heh.

-- sesenta (60plus@oldfart.com), January 08, 1999.

As a young boy I took my first oath which began, "On my honor, I will do my best. . .

I knew even then that I was making a lifelong decision and definition of who and what I would be in this life.

A great deal later in life I learned that guilt is a negative emotion and a past tense emotion as it can only be felt about things already done. Since the past is set in stone by the emergence of the present, guilt must be ineffective at changing reality. Its only effect is a subjective and corrosive one, and only on oneself. I have learned to distinguish guilt from regret and to live without guilt.

Adherence to that first oath is what allows me to do this.

-- Hardliner (searcher@internet.com), January 08, 1999.

After a solid year of trying to "sell" other on just looking into this mess and making their own opinions, I've reverted to preparations for my own family and circle of believers. I will try to est. a portion of good to share, but sometime I think that whatever power you believe in just wants to thin the herd and start with a stronger strain. The plague, holy wars, natural disasters might be a way to do such, but then again, according to some I have talked about this with, what do I know? If I am wrong, they can laugh and I;ll be stuck with a great deal of goods to live on. If I;m right, my family and I will see you on the other side.

-- justanother dude (wishitwasntso@ibm.com), January 08, 1999.

# # # 19990108


It's sometimes referred to as survivor's remorse.

I went through several years of this psychological phenomenon upon my return from Vietnam. Talk about mixed psychological baggage! Regrets about many high school friends that didn't make it! ( Why me? ) Stirred well with a strong ( healthy ) venom at the government and "silent majority" of idiot citizens that sat back and permitted the "undeclared war"--also unconstitutional--to get started, let alone continue for so many years.

I had to redirect my loss and anger into constructive activities: political activism aimed at preserving constitutional rights with an intellectually patriotic vengeance. I and many others had paid our dues.

It'll take time to get over it. Don't pent it up. This seems to be a normal reaction. If it becomes all consuming, it can deflect attentions and focus on surviving.

It'll be tougher, this time. The dead in Vietnam were not my family and/or relatives. This time they will be.

Maybe there's someone lurking that can expand on this crucial topic?

Regards, Bob Mangus # # #

-- Robert Mangus (rmangus@mail.netquest.com), January 08, 1999.

"...how did you arrive at deciding who would be in your "inner circle" of dependants?"

As a youngster, I decided I would rely on my intuition; this would be the tool I use for granting entrance into my "inner circle". My definition of intuition being: intelligence + emotion + something else. That something else, in my case, being divine inspiration (I hear the choking sounds out there!).

To put it another way, a person must have a kind heart to gain entrance into my "inner circle". This will not change post-Y2K. I've notified those who have "qualified" to stay with me. I have the necessary supplies & outlook to live quite happily post-Y2K. I hope these folks take me up on the offer.

That being said, I do not have a high opinion of our species. Too many act as sheer poison to my soul. I would not stay in a city environment. Fortunately I'm living in the country these days.

Why should I go out of my way to help anyone who is not interested in helping themself? Not a chance!

I am compassionate. I feel the pain of others, sometimes far too deeply. I care deeply for all, however, this does not lead me to conclude I should put my life in jeopardy for the sake of others who do not rate entrance into my "inner circle". Perhaps next incarnation.

I've squirrelled away rice/beans for those who come a knockin' with growling bellies. But rest assured they will be movin' along quickly, unless my intuition tells me they're a keeper. I will be open to this occurence as I am each & every day.

"I feel like I've done my part by researching the problem and warning everyone I know, but I'm not sure this will be enough to prevent "survivor's guilt" in the event y2k is a catastrophe."

Suggestion regarding guilt: If you perceive that you've done the best you can with each person, give yourself a little credit for making the effort & move on emotionally. Continue to address the Y2K subject with these people if you wish, but try to do so unemotionally (I know, easier said than done!).

Final words: Allow folks to be RESPONSIBLE for themselves!

-- Bingo1 (howe9@pop.shentel.net), January 08, 1999.

a, the very word "survivor" to me means everything, and just that, surviving and not looking back. If I can't handle guilt feelings I won't be able to survive in these situations. Post Stress Syndrome is a form of guilt which mentaly disable people. I must prepare myself with this in mind.

Hardliner; "I promise to do my best, to do my duty, to God, the Queen, and my country". My Girl Guide oath (Canadian's Girl Scout). I've failed so far. *sigh*.

-- Chris (catsy@pond.com), January 09, 1999.

Should have said "I've failed all 3 so far".

-- Chris (catsy@pond.com), January 09, 1999.


Do you know what 'guilt' is? I am not talking about psychobable 'feelings of guilt'. I am talking about GUILT. Guilt is 'liability for punishment. If you have done someone harm , THEN you are GUILTY. Have you harmed anyone? No. Then you are not GUILTY of ANYTHING and have NO reason to 'feel' guilty.

I do understand what you mean. And I think it to mean that you empathize with the suffering that may occcur. That is NOT your fault and you are not GUILTY for any reason whatsoever.

'Feeling guity' is a common expression but it is often badly missused. If you have done wrong then you SHOULD feel guilty ot 'liable for punishmnet. You would have earned it. But the consequences of Y2k are nothing to 'feel' guilty about in the least. Of course I will now have to endure the nonsense from the touchy- feely crowd.

"Oh, you have no compassion."

We were not talking about compassion. We were talking about GUILT. And about the inappropriate use of that word in conjuction with feeling empathy with unfortunates. There is a world of difference if you use your brain.

I most assuredly have compassion. That is why my preparations include spending a ton of money on things for ohter people if and when they need it. But, that is NOT the issue here.

You have NO reason to feel guilty unless you have harmed someone else by commission or ommission. If you fail to warn anyone, you indeed are guilty. Guilty of their blood, if it comes to that.

Buck up. Be responsible for that which is your responsibility and recognize that what happens is not your fault and you are not liable for the consequences that befall others. If you have the ability to help others when that time comes, do not fail to do so if it is within your power. That is the best that you can do.

-- Paul Milne (fedinfo@halifax.com), January 09, 1999.

My parents, as I have stated before, went through WWII, my father in concentration camp. Most people I have met with that background either became very materialistic, trying to make up for past suffering, or had an attitude of "you can't take it with you". My parents are the latter type. Their attitude was very much shaped by the rare individuals they met in those hard times to whom compassion and justice were more important than survival. Some of them survived the war, others did not. I have always wondered what choices I would make if it came down to it. Despite the fact that I (like both sets of my grandparents) have responsibility for 6 kids, I hope I will/would choose compassion. But we'll have to work it out on a step by step basis-- after all, the kids are our responsibility and have nowhere else to go.

-- Maria (encelia@mailexcite.com), January 09, 1999.

First you've got to survive before you can worry about feeling guilty about it. That might be the harder part, surviving. Many decisions will be taken out of your hands. Even if you decide to help someone, that doesn't guarantee they will survive. Ever see the movie Clean and Sober? Interesting movie about drug addiction and control of your life. I try to remember that it does no good to feel guilty about things I have no control over.

-- Noah Simoneaux (noaj@yournet.com), January 10, 1999.

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