ORLANDO, Fla. — She was shot twice during the Pulse terror attack in Orlando. But after she heard a Parkland survivor, and the father of a Sandy Hook victim both took their lives, she knew she had to do something.
WFTV reporter Lauren Seabrook spoke with Patience Carter about how she hopes to help those touched by violence to keep living.
"There's a great deal of pain that comes with surviving,” Carter said. “You smile, say ‘I'm OK,’ even though your soul feels like dying."
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Carter knows because she's been there before.
"I was just begging God to just please take me," Carter said.
We first met Carter in recovery at Florida Hospital, just 48 hours after being shot in both legs and witnessing her friend fade away.
"Looking at the souls leaving the bodies of individuals, looking at the killer's machine gun through my right peripheral," Carter said.
With the world watching, she opened up her wounded heart through words.
"The guilt of being alive is heavy," Carter said.
After hearing survivors of mass gun violence recently took their own lives, Carter said, "It hit me like a ton of bricks. I knew that I was a few dark nights away from being one of them."
She's now sharing words she wished someone would've shared with her.
"Don't isolate yourself. Please don't isolate yourself," Carter said.
Carter said during the most trying times, “I wanted to think about a way to put it in a format, so it could reach people for the ones who are still struggling, still going through, and maybe still considering taking their own life. What can I say?"
So, once again, she put her pen to paper.
"Share your pain, open up,” Carter said. “Because bottling just isn't enough. You're a warrior, you're tough."
To remind all who see it that it's OK to ask for help when you need it, Carter said, “Don't stuff everything inside, trauma becomes a monster when you feed it. Defeat it."
Carter said she writes a lot about what happened at Pulse that night.
Cox Media Group