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  • Writer's pictureKatie O'Hara

Be The Victim

Be the victim. Be the victim. Be the victim.

The brackish words course through your whole body, demanding to be heard. Be the one who was hurt, who was wronged. Be the one who had no choice, no say in the matter. Be the one with no control over what happens. Be the one that everyone pities and feels sorry for—for you truly were disrespected and mistreated, after all, dear girl. Make sure that the whole world hears your story—share it far and wide—let everyone know every sordid detail. Let them know just how hard and utterly hopeless it is…To. Be. You.

Be the victim. Be the victim.

Retell the story so many times that you can’t say for sure if the story you’re telling resurfaces from memories of what happened, or from the imprint the words left upon your mouth as they crashed like waves over your tongue and spilled out of your lips, dripping in…drowning with…sorrow.

Be the victim.

During another retelling of your sad, sad story, your words—shrouded in woeful disdain as they swim hand in hand with the theatrics your body has mastered to accompany your tale—are tumbling out of you, flooding those around you once more. You’ve never told your story with this much passion and conviction and magnitude, when suddenly your resolve begins to sputter. The tide pulls back. Your story is drowned out mid-word and sinks below the murky surface of your soul.

Be the…

Those words, your words, lose all momentum as they prepare to crash over your lips once more. And you stop. And you settle. Your arms fall limply, peacefully by your side. Your mouth closes and you shut your eyes. Your breath, which once came in chaotic bursts causing your chest to heave, now slows. And becomes shallow. And calm. And quiet. And still.

Be the victim? No, no. Not this time; not anymore.

No—this time you decide to cast out your broken heart and swim alone beside it. This time, you won’t simply weather the storm and wait to be given control, you will take control. This time, you will sink underneath the weight of your anger and pain and brokenness, and swim there until you are whole once more. This time, you won’t need anyone else’s saving or validation. This time, you’ll build your own lifeboat and become your own goddamn lifeguard. This time, you will be the hero. You will be your hero. Shaking off your old identity like a cloak that’s grown too small, you realize, with grit and determination, that you shall be the victim nevermore.

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