Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Girl with the Phoenix Tattoo

I will not be a victim.

For those of you who haven't read the book The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, I highly recommend reading it and then watching the Swedish version film that was made. There will be a Hollywood, American version with Daniel Craig and Robin Wright coming out soon.

Without giving away spoilers, Steig Larsson wrote this book as a way of illuminating the absolute horrors of sexual violence against women that occurs in Sweden. In Larsson's book he gives some statistics: “46% of the women in Sweden have been subjected to violence by a man”; “92% of women in Sweden who have been subjected to sexual assault have not reported the most recent violent incident to the police.” 46% is a staggering statistic, considering that in the US an estimated 1 out of 6 women have experienced sexual assault of some sort (based on a 1998 survey). And again in the US (according to the 2009 United States National Crime Victimization Survey) only 55% of rapes and sexual assaults were reported to law enforcement officials.

So not only are more women assaulted in Sweden than anywhere else in the world, but they are also not reporting it. I'm not here to give answers, nor will I point the finger. What I do know is that this infuriates me and sets a proverbial fire in my heart, but that's a discussion for another time and perhaps another post... what I do want to discuss (with the above in mind) is Steig Larsson's heroine in this book, Lisbeth Slander, or the girl with the dragon tattoo.

Here we have someone who has had a rough life, a tough time, and has fallen victim to many terrible things. She has every right (in my mind) to roll over, give up, and decide that life is too tough. I would not argue with her about feeling depressed and falling victim to overeating or deciding to just give in to any happy drugs, alcohol, food, etc. But she doesn't, she's a survivor.

I will not be a victim.

Now I haven't had it that tough. I've have a great, fear free life that hasn't had any serious psychological or physical traumas . But I have fallen victim to that mindset as above. To the thought process that leads down the wrong road.

"Times are tough and I just want to give up."

Whether its short and something as simple as having a stressful day at work... it results in junk food filled, sweet treat evening because... "I deserve it." Or being in a sad frame of mind for whatever reason and justifying unhealthy lifestyle habits "because I'm depressed."

Have you ever been there? Been in that moment... where you feel like you are a victim?

Where you feel like you deserve that brownie... just because you had a rough day?

Where you dig into a whole plate of nachos "because work was so stressful"?

I've been there, I've gone through that moment...
and I will not be a victim.

Just like our heroine, I will take control of my life and refuse to give up. I will survive the trials of my life, and face them the way I choose to. In Chinese culture , a dragon represents the mastery of all four elements of the world (water, wind, fire, and earth). A dragon is seen as being victorious in all endeavors.

The phoenix is a symbol of rebirth.

I am the Girl With the Phoenix Tattoo.

I refuse to be a victim to negativity and self-loathing. I will fight for my survival.
I will be victorious.

I will not be a victim.

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