After my March ordeal, I went through quite a bit of emotion that I have talked about a lot on here. I have also talked about how I worked through it and got stronger in the process.
I have been feeling good about my progress and my growth for the most part, but the past 2 weeks have been emotional for me and I have had an unsettling restless feeling that I can’t seem to shake.
Back in March after I signed up for the CC class, I received an email from the instructor telling me to watch a video, sign up for the NRA and the VCDL(Virginia Citizens Defense League) and, as we all know by now, I was a very compliant gal and not one to question authority, so 2 seconds after I got the email, I watched the video. Then I signed up for both the NRA and the VCDL.
Those 3 things were pretty painless and I felt good that I had done something to further my knowledge into the new world I was entering.
Next a guy at my husband’s work told me I need to buy Massad Ayoob’s book In The Gravest Extreme, so I did along with 2 others
The night I received Massad Ayoob’s book, I sat down to read it, but I only got to about page 7, before I broke down in tears and told my husband, I can’t read this book. I could not even think about letting my mind go where he was going.
I made it farther along in Kathy Jackson’s book, but I admit, there were certain parts of that book, I skipped and it took my weeks to finish it.
I put both books aside and haven’t thought much about either in the past 7-8 months, that is until I wrote the post “Betrayed By The Angel”.
That post got me to thinking about how far I have come, but it was more of a wake up call to how far I have to go.
As I recently mentioned on here, I have known for a while now that it was time to get some further training and to push myself to the next level, but for one reason or another I haven’t done it, so when an opportunity came up to sign up for a class in Tennessee, I took the plunge and signed up.
I was feeling better, but still unsettled.
The day before I read the article “Betrayed By The Angel”, I read a post on our local newspaper’s FaceBook page about a man in our town who had just shot himself in the leg with his Glock .40. He was in his car, reached for the seatbelt and the gun went off. His wife and 3 of his children were in the car with him and even though help arrived quickly, he did not survive the wound.
When I first heard the story, the details were sketchy, but it appeared he would be fine and my first thought was “Oh, no, the anti gun people are going to be all over this.” I knew that this man probably missed something in his preparation to carry for the day. Perhaps he didn’t have a holster or maybe he didn’t take the time to holster it properly, I didn’t know the situation, but I do know guns don’t go off by themselves and I was worried how the incident might be spun.
Unfortunately, as more and more information came out, I learned that he had died and selfish worry turned into utter sadness and I was literally sick to my stomach.
I didn’t sleep much that night. I was consumed with thinking about guns and safety and the reality of what guns can do.
Let me be clear, again, I am always aware of what guns can do, always. I am a safety fanatic and I am consciously aware each time I handle my gun not to become complacent.
I remember my husband telling me time and time again, complacency kills. He has told me stories of Marines or soldiers during the war that took risks they never should have taken because they got too comfortable. One would think war was one place that people would surely never lose focus, but it’s our nature. Even war can become routine.
Those lessons have stuck with me and I am fully focused each and every time I handle my gun, which for me, is daily.
Knowing this and knowing that the reality of this tragic situation is that this man probably didn’t do something right, did little to comfort me.
An old familiar friend had returned.
I was afraid.
The next day I got up, went downstairs made my kids breakfast, packed their lunches, took a shower, ran some errands to 3 different stores, came home and spent the rest of the evening doing various things around my house.
My gun never left the safe.
The next day, I read the “Betrayed By The Angel” story linked from the Cornered Cat’s FB page and I wrote my post.
Later that evening I got an email from a woman, I won’t say who because I didn’t ask if I could use her name, but it was a person with whom I have great respect.
I also won’t share all that was in the email, but I will say that this person gave me encouragement and said that even though in certain situations I have acted or not acted in way that were ideal, I could learn to do better. I could change.
I spent the next few days reading and rereading that email.
As I read it and thought about the past 2 weeks, I began to identify the source of that uneasiness I had been feeling.
I had become complacent.
Not in my gun handling, but in my mind. I had accepted the status-quo as good enough.
While I think it is good to grow and then rest for a bit, and it is healthy to give ourselves time to absorb what we have learned, I have had enough time for that and I knew it.
I have known that I needed to do more, but I let myself make a few convenient excuses. Excuses my mind was not going to let me keep letting me make.
Excuses I used because I knew what lay beyond the next hurdle and I didn’t want to go there.
One would think I would have this lesson down pat by now, but I am good at pretending. I have had years of practice.
BUT, I am STRONGER now and I am getting faster at recognizing the signs and I can change, I am determined to do so.
Yesterday I began rereading The Cornered Cat: A Woman’s Guide To Conceal Carry and this weekend I will dive into In The Gravest Extreme.
I will read them from cover to cover, without skipping a page and without pretending that I can keep on pretending.