You were a hero, a real-life hero,
a sparkle in your eye, a swagger in your walk,
scarred inside and out; twenty years of war carried with quiet pride;
self-assured, confident and able, a real-life hero; great to be around that sparkle in your eye.
oh but then, offered rights and restitution, you traded in your sparkle and your swagger
suddenly a victim…
complete with the victim slouch and slur and gaze
all within your rights, Jose, all your choice
but I miss the hero and the sparkle in your eye.
Rights and restitution for those who have suffered wrongdoing is a noble endeavor. Unfortunately, gaining access to those rights often requires reliving trauma and assuming an idealized victim pose. Financial compensation becomes the all-encompassing goal and remedy, with a little “that will show them” punishment against the aggressors thrown into the mix. While that compensation may be gained (or may remain a promise), the question as to the long-term impact of this victim conversion process on the quality of life of each hero should not continue to be ignored.
-and to those friends who will speculate on the identity of “Jose”, this is a composite of this behavioral phenomenon I have observed over the years and does not apply to a particular individual.-