I had never shot a gun in my life before last summer when I asked my now husband to take me shooting. I had no idea what to expect, and was shocked to find that I was a pretty good shot and had a lot of fun!
One thing led to another and I am now a gun owner and have taken 32 hours of training with plans to train continuously. I carry a gun almost all the time, legally. I make an ideal victim....age 65 and in a wheelchair. So I decided to take steps to level up the playing field between myself and any would be bad guys....
It's not for everybody. Just the need to know EXACTLY what the gun laws are in whatever state and town you may visit is a BIG job! And you need to have a very non confrontational attitude while you carry. Apologize, even if it's not your fault. You have to be the bigger person in order to keep yourself out of trouble. Drive so as not to ever cause road rage.
***Used to be hit-by-a-train***
Very early in our marriage, FWH and I had had a fight. I got mad, left the house, and went to a movie alone. It was the middle of the afternoon. There was no one in the theater but me, until... A man came in, and out of all the seats in that completely empty theater guess where he sat down? Yep, right next to me, and, it just so happened that he was of a different race/culture/language.
He never touched me, but leaned into my space, talking to me, whispering in my ear, making me very very uncomfortable, and I sat there far far longer than I should have, and I think I have just now finally figured out why I didn't jump up and run out sooner. Now, looking back on it, I think I didn't want to appear 'rude', or 'racist'.
Now, looking back on it, I think I didn't want to appear 'rude'
I think I've let myself linger in more than a couple sketchy situations for that very reason.
For me, if I really look at why I do that, I get two answers. Instinctively I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt because I assume that people are good. It's not that great from a self-protection standpoint, but in terms of regarding humanity on a whole I think it's a kinder outlook. Just beside that though is that strange numbing mechanism, the part of me that says, "Nooo, nothing bad is about to go down here. That would be WAY to scary and you might have to fight."
I guess it's time to fine tune those a bit.
Listen ladies, we were ALL pretty much taught to be nice girls, don't make a fuss, and don't be rude to other people. And I will bet that most of us have a tale to tell about having an unwanted encounter (at the best) because of us trying to act like ladies and not wanting to be perceived as rude.
Be safe instead. Be loud. Be assertive. Never get in the car, never go to the second place which is where you will be gravely hurt or killed. Be pushy and run like hell when your gut starts speaking to you.
I highly recommend "The Gift of Fear," by Gavin de Becker (remember to click on the Amazon link on the home page!). We all tell each other to trust our gut, on if our WSs are betraying us. We also need to trust our gut on our safety, and fear, healthy fear, can be a lifesaver.
Stepping firmly off of my soapbox now. (((Jrazz)))
D-Day, June 10, 2012
[This message edited by Jrazz at 10:33 PM, July 5th (Saturday)]
I know the times I've been in these situations, I've had the tendency to tell myself I was overreacting... Still wonder sometimes if I was.
But in the moment, I couldn't ignore the fear I felt. It was too overwhelming. My instinct has always been to react to the situation & think about it later.
I think a few things combine that make us override our instincts:
- we've all been taught not to judge a book by its cover. But that just means one should keep an open mind. Unfortunately, many times we try to apply that everywhere, & allow that idea to override our sense of self-preservation. We need to remember another saying that I think is more often true than the above one: if it looks, walks, and quacks like a duck, chances are pretty good it IS a duck.
- we definitely are trained to be polite, and sometimes let that override our sense of self-preservation as well. It can be difficult to get out of that mode and realize there are situations where we don't owe politeness to someone trying to take advantage of us in whatever way.
- self-esteem, or actually, the lack thereof. I know I've had to deal with this one. Thinking that I must be imagining this (unwanted) attention, because I'm not pretty enough/too fat for someone to focus that kind of attention on me. In reality, anyone can be a target; perceived vulnerability is the attractant, not looks or desirability. And that perceived vulnerability can come from many things - it can be situational, such as In Jrazz's situation, a small enclosed space, isolated, with no alternate exit. It can be due to a lack of awareness.
One of the things I've found has helped me the most is making myself realize that the "rules" only apply to those who are also willing to play by them. I don't owe politeness to anyone who is not being polite to me... and invading my personal space or being inappropriate in some way is certainly not being polite.
[This message edited by osxgirl at 8:00 AM, July 6th (Sunday)]
I've thought about it and I'm not sure I could do the same, not just freeze. Over the years, I've thought about the times I've accepted a ride with someone I did not know when I had a car issue. A strange man in both cases. I just climbed into their vehicle when they offered without thinking. I was very lucky that both were just good Samaritans and did exactly what they said they would do - they drove me home. I know it could have been so different.
The number of women on here who have told of incidents that turned out differently or could have, is shocking to me. I'm glad they weren't any worse. The ones that maybe were, aren't being told here.
Jrazz, it took courage to act as you did, and courage to bring it here. But you told us out of selfless concern and to help us. Thank you.
I agree with others that it is "normal" to go back and forth as you described. You do things you normally do and do things automatically, almost without thinking, but then you do think - think of what you just went through - and everything changes for a while. You are overwhelmed with that experience and immersed in it. I hope you do find an IC and talk it out.
"I could have missed the pain, but I would have had to miss the dance." Garth Brooks
Now, looking back on it, I think I didn't want to appear 'rude'
Years ago, when I was in my early 20s, I had stopped late at night at the post office. It was dark, I knew the timing was potentially dangerous, so I waited for the only person there - a man - to leave before I went in.
As he was coming out and heading toward his car, I had started the process of opening my door - several cars away. He suddenly noticed me, seemed to have a thought, and headed toward my direction.
Instinctively, I pulled back in the car and closed my door.
His face was suddenly horrified as he realized the appearance of the whole situation. And while he was apologizing with gestures (plus his face said it all), he did what any honorable and respectable man would do - he immediately turned and left.
I do now believe he was totally harmless. He just wasn't thinking. He felt bad that he had scared me. And while I felt bad for "being rude", I also came to realize that any man with pure intentions would understand such behavior. They have wives, girlfriends, mothers, sisters, daughters....they would want them to do the same thing. Any man that sees a woman alone, realizes she's uncomfortable, but then doesn't retreat, simply doesn't respect women. It's totally appropriate to be rude when treated as such - regardless of the intentions.
I've had male panhandlers approach me at my car in San Francisco when I was WITH DD4, and I've always lashed out and then felt badly later...
I think my response was something like, "Lady with a kid here - do NOT come up to me!!"
Usually that sends someone scattering. I think nature has a way of making a mom of any shape or size intimidating if she calls upon the wrath. I just need to hang onto that wrath for myself. Unfortunately.
Minor development - I woke up from my sleep screaming and had my hands out in front of me. Crazz had to hold me steady and remind me where I was.
Apart from sleepwalking once when I was 6 I have NEVER done anything like this.
Sooo yeah. IC shopping today. In earnest.
[This message edited by Jrazz at 1:11 PM, July 7th (Monday)]
Listen ladies, we were ALL pretty much taught to be nice girls,
Screw That!!! I'm never nice!
I wonder if anyone else has had the same experience that I am about to describe, ie, not wanting to be 'rude'.
In the experience I described several pages ago, the reason I didn't move to the other side of the paved area is that the boys/young men who were grouped on my side were of a different race and I didn't want to look like a racist.
I highly recommend "The Gift of Fear," by Gavin de Becker
I second the motion. I found this book life changing. And it has a follow up, Protecting the Gift, which deals with what we can do and teach our kids. Worth every penny.
Find that IC, my friend.
secondly - look at how many people have similar stories. I'm shocked but then again, I'm not.
thirdly - I was raped in a town far away. The police pooh poohed when I reported 5 days later. I MADE them contact the DA to see if charges could be pressed. They wouldn't because of lack of evidence. through the course of months of IC I remembered a few other things that could have changed my case. I called the police again, a year later. I called the DA again. They still didn't do anything. I also called a lawyer from that state and asked that he represent me. I called the Rape Advocacy people in that state and asked for help as well. While we decided not to pursue this, it helped me to know that I had this lawyer and the rape advocacy people there for me, if needed.
The guy who assaulted me talked to me a day or two before this happened. He told me he was accused of something he didn't do. I remembered that and that is ONE of the reasons I called the police. What if another assault was reported and nothing done. What if two reports could save another woman from this?
My point - thank you for doing this. The police should be taking this seriously. Things could have gone south if you hadn't done what you did. I am also urging you to get to IC for further processing.
I'm so sorry!!!
me (WW/BS): 48
4 kiddos in mid 20's
The conditions we face do not define us. They remind us of who we are and who we want to be.
Hugs to you too (((((rachel)))). And everyone else gone through this or similar.
Screw That!!! I'm never nice!
But I will...I will fly out there.
Holy moly - and I know what getting on a plane means to you. It's tempting to procrastinate to get a visit, though...
Crazz and I have been working on it together today. Insurance and referrals are at odds a bit. It will come together.
[This message edited by Jrazz at 6:10 PM, July 7th (Monday)]