VMP. I just learned a new acronym. I always love learning new acronyms. This one sounds like a venereal disease. Actually, it stands for “Victim Mentality Propaganda.”
Now, what’s interesting about this “condition” is that it connects the word “mentality” with “propaganda.” Of course, there are people who are perpetual victims, who blame the world for their problems and take no responsibility for their lives themselves.
But those who WERE victims and have moved beyond it, have a story to tell. That is not propaganda – that is the survivor’s story, the cautionary tale. That is what my memoir is.
Unfortunately VMP comes precariously close to “BVM” or “Blaming the Victim Mentality.” This acronym (I just made it up) came in response to a book called "Blaming the Victim" about women (primarily) who have experienced sexual abuse or domestic violence. It answers the question of “Why didn’t she just leave? No one was putting a gun to her head.” In some cases, there was a gun. In some cases, just the threat of a gun was enough.
I can recall many times in my cult when I was threatened with death, destruction or maiming if I were to leave. I was convinced the devil would take me if I left and yes, I took it very seriously. I was under the thrall of mind control.
It takes a great deal of courage (if not desperation) to finally leave any abusive situation. But psychological or spiritual abuse is the most challenging precisely because there IS no gun. One can argue that “it’s all in your head,” like the “gaslight effect.” (If you’ve never seen the movie “Gaslight,” I highly recommend it.) But that is the essence of mind control – that you think it is all in your mind when it is not. There are outside forces at work.
Healing is a process from victim to survivor to thriver. As a victim, I was stuck in my abusive situation. As a survivor, I excaped. As a thriver, I now live and share what I have learned through VMP -Victim Mentality Freedom. But I am ever mindful of those victims who are still caught in their desctructive webs of abuse and are trying to break free. I pray that my story (not propaganda) may assist them in some small way.