Juni (giveyoulife) wrote in little_details,
Juni
giveyoulife
little_details

Survivor Guilt and Family Relationships After Accidental Death/Murder

Setting: Connecticut, 1915 & New York, 1924. The family is fairly standard New England Protestant, somewhat rigid, not exactly wealthy but comfortable and refined.

Search terms: "psychological effect of accidental death", "survivor guilt", "ptsd" (I am very open to suggestions- I have a lot of trouble putting together search terms.)

My story involves the effect of an accidental drowning on the survivors; it also takes place in two different realities, where the survivors are different, and I'm trying to figure out how the different circumstances are going to effect the characters when my MC travels from the reality where she survived to the one where she didn't.

In both realities, a widow and a widower marry in early 1915; the widow has two daughters, Prue (8) and Grace (4), and the widower has a daughter, Evie (8). Prue and Evie do not like each other. About six months after the wedding, the family goes sailing. The sisters have a fight, Evie is scolded but Prue is not, and Evie goes outside the cabin, upset. Prue follows her out, their fight resumes and escalates, and Prue pushes Evie, who falls overboard.

In reality A, Evie's father rescues her but drowns. In reality B, Evie's father survives but is unable to save her.

I'm trying to determine what kind of relationship Evie and Prue have after the father's drowning. Would it be realistic for Evie to suppress/forget that Prue had pushed her, because of the trauma of a near-drowning and losing her father?

And for reality B, I'm trying to determine how Prue would react to the guilt of killing her step-sister, and then how she would react to seeing said step-sister in the flesh almost a decade later.

I appreciate any help! Thanks so much. :)
Tags: 1910-1919, 1920-1929, usa: connecticut, usa: new york (misc), ~psychology & psychiatry: historical, ~psychology & psychiatry: ptsd
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