Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Pulse survivor writes moving poem about living through mass shooting

Posted By on Tue, Jun 14, 2016 at 3:26 PM

Survivors of the mass shooting at Orlando's gay nightclub Pulse that killed 49 and wounded 53 are sharing their stories Tuesday, including Patience Carter. 

Carter, 20, was visiting Orlando from Philadelphia. At a press conference, she told reporters she was hiding in the bathroom when she heard the gunman, Omar Mateen, on the phone telling police "his allegiance to ISIS, and that he wouldn't stop his assault until America stopped bombing his country," according to CBS News. Mateen was born in New York, but his parents are from Afghanistan. 

Carter also says Mateen asked victims hiding in the bathroom, "Are there any black people in here?" One person said yes, and he replied, "I don't have a problem with black people. This is about my country. You guys have suffered enough," CBS News reports. 

Carter was eventually rescued when police officers broke through the bathroom walls. On Tuesday, she recited an emotional poem she wrote before telling her story. 

"It shows everything that I'm feeling right now, and it's a part of my healing process," she says. 

The transcript reads: 
"The guilt of feeling grateful to be alive is heavy. 
Wanting to smile about surviving but not sure if the people around you are ready. 
As the world mourns, the victims killed and viciously slain, I feel guilty about screaming about my legs in pain. 
Because I could feel nothing like the other 49 who weren't so lucky to feel this pain of mine. 
I never thought in a million years that this could happen. 
I never thought in a million years that my eyes could witness something so tragic. 
Looking at the souls leaving the bodies of individuals, looking at the killer's machine gun through out my right peripheral.
Looking at the blood and debris covered on everyone's faces. Looking at the gunman's feet under the stall as he paces. 
The guilt of feeling lucky to be alive is heavy.
It's like the weight of the ocean's walls crushing uncontrolled by levies. 
It's like being drug through the grass with a shattered leg and thrown on the back of a Chevy. 
It's like being rushed to the hospital and told you're gonna make it when you laid beside individuals whose lives were brutally taken. 
The guilt of being alive is heavy."

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