V for victim. I wore it like a hard-earned badge of honor. Hard-earned, yes – but there was no honor in it. However, it was the only thing I had done with consistency, the only thing I had ever excelled at, or so I thought in my abuse-riddled mind. So, I wore it everywhere I went but took special pleasure from it when I was alone. I could stand before my bathroom mirror and watch myself cry. I did that more often than I’d like to admit. I’ve always been somewhat dramatic. When I was 6 years old I wrote a letter to my parents and infant sister before leaving for a trip to Disney World with other family members. I wrote the letter in case I didn’t make it back and made sure to drop tears on the page for effect. Yes, I was born dramatic, but I wasn’t born a victim. No, I became that. It was both something that happened to me and something I allowed to happen.
My abuser often accused me of reveling in being a victim, of choosing to be a victim. Maybe I arrived at a point where that became true. My victimization allowed me to feel something whereas I was otherwise numb. It allowed me to watch myself cry in front of the mirror – my tears, a testament that I was still alive because dead people don’t cry.
When God, Himself, pulled me away from the disintegration of myself, I eventually realized that I had adorned that V much too easily. I accepted it as my lot in life and stopped fighting for myself. I gave up and gave in, and as a result, I nearly destroyed my life, nearly lost my life.
So, I don’t watch myself cry in the mirror anymore. Actually, as of late, I often stop and watch myself smile. I don’t wear a letter of scarlet across my chest anymore either – but a word, SAVED.