The rhetoric for most individuals who survive ANY tragedy is most always described as "victim".
By definition the term victim is described as:
1.a person who suffers from a destructive or injurious action or agency:a victim of an automobile accident.
2.a person who is deceived or cheated, asby his or her own emotions orignorance, by the dishonesty of others,or by some impersonal agency:a victim of misplaced confidence; thevictim of a swindler; a victim of anoptical illusion.
Did I suffer? Yes...both physically, emotionally, mentally....did I feel I was cheated? Yes, not only by the person I befriended in school who took advantage of me, but also by a system in law that couldn't protect me from seeing my attacker again, or by the school system that did little to ensure my safety in and out of classroom.
While pressing charges I was described in police documents as a " victim". "The victim wants to press charges" the victim needs help processing a restraining order" "the victim..."
Was all I heard, was the only word I could take with me after having the case dropped due to "lack of sufficient evidence".
I was crushed, I was deeply angry and bitter, I looked at this system and felt more victimized than before. Was ALL this even worth it? I went through hours of questioning by police, underwent a rape kit (a series of examination of the body including DNA sampling, photographs of body, vaginal examination)
And then the case...just...dropped.
That it. End of story?
Was this going to be MY story?
Six years later I CHOSE to reclaim my experience--for me, I took the initiative by seeking an identity in Jesus Christ. In that moment I realized I'm NOT a Victim despite what was written about me, I survived something, I chose to keep pursuing my life after this!
The journey from victim to survivor has been an uphill battle. Be sure when you undergo ANYTHING that was meant to "kill, steal, or destroy you" you do your BEST to not internalize that experience. REMEMBERING from last week; "you are NOT rape" you are not what happened to you. "It"did happen; but you are not "it".
Unlike the definition for "victim" I choose to identify my existence in the present as a survivor; as do I address OTHER SURVIVORS of their existence.
By validating that YES what you went through was more anyone should have to go through...
BUT you are still HERE.
By definition survivor means you have survived. To survive requires an action. An active pursuit to
If you are reading this... You May not have chosen the words used to describe who you Really are, you may not have been able to choose your experiences, but you can choose to reclaim them; develop new meaning for whatever It is you have gone through. This takes work. This takes patience. This takes Love. So no matter what Step your on, keep going. And know we are choosing to survive with you..
Let's heal together.
With Love and solidarity,
Devin and Cristal
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.