After I was mugged and started attending training to courses to learn how to shoot my gun I hit an all time low in my healing.
In addition to E outing me(if you don’t know the details I apologize. I am not going go into that again right now) the constant comments I would hear in the classes was enough to send my already extremely weak and guilty mind right to the edge of sanity.
It went something like this…
Instructor: What does every bad guy need?
Instructor: A victim
Then he/she would pull out a list of all the “stupid” things people do to make them prime targets and the full judgement of stupidity was not only implied it was out right stated. Laughs and jokes about how someone freezes in the face of an attack or doesn’t scream would ensue. Usually the instructor would set up a scene where the bad guy grabbed a woman(always a woman cuz men never freeze or find themselves in bad guy situations) and goes to shove her in her car and she does nothing.
At this point everyone is class would say things like , “Who would be so stupid?” “I would never.” “I would fight and scream.” They may very well have. Many people without a single second of training do fight back, but I didn’t, so there I sat being the poster child for the stupidest person on the planet and those experiences began to build in the fibers of my being and I began to see myself as pure filth. I began to blame not the crime, but my reaction to it. For a few months I was so uncomfortable in my own skin, I wasn’t sure how I was going to continue to live in it. I was never not once suicidal and I never not once engaged in any destructive behaviors, but I sure as hell felt like shit. I think that if you go back and read those old posts you can easily find the ones where I was falling apart and fighting everyday not to.
Kathy, who was one of the rare instructors(there were others) who did not do this which is probably why it was in her class that for the first time I complete broke-down in front of others and why my mind started to open up a little and let me see more of how things unfolded that day, wrote an excellent article on fear and freezing. READ IT!
In addition to my experiences in class, in my free time, desperate for information I read blogs by woman like Tam, Brigid, Roberta X and Lima. Strong, secure,no holds bare, not gonna take crap from anyone women who while inspirational only seemed to highlight, in my own mind, my weaknesses and failures. I felt completely ashamed and completely alone.
Let me add that I am not blaming any instructors or any person in the classes for sharing their feelings about how they believe they would or would not react or how stupid the victim is(although I tend to put the full blame of the crime on the criminal and not on the victim). People have every right to say what they think and feel and share in these classes AND I certainly do not blame other women for being strong. Good for them.Those qualities are to be admired and encouraged. I am simply trying to explain how and why I felt how I felt and how certain things were interpreted in my mind.
The mind isn’t always easy to understand.
Other people have shared their stories with me, but I was always kind of the support to them. I did a lot of listening and offering of the shoulder. I was honored and blessed by this and continue to be and there were healing aspects in doing that, but for whatever reason none of those stories were ones I related to. Over the year(It will be 2 years since I was mugged next month) I found ways to heal and to move forward, but there always was a place in my heart reserved for that ugly emotion of guilt. While not active that guilt became a part of my make up and I learned to deal with it or more accurately force it to stay in the background.
I have tried to say this a few times and I can’t find the words. I have sat down to write Lima personally, but my words sound off. I try and try, but all I can come up with is somehow reading her story touched some part in me and helped me feel less alone. That feeling of not being alone helped me heal in ways that nothing else had. I don’t know how to explain it. Our stories are not the same, we are not the same…but something in her words helped me and for that I am grateful.
I have said this before. Each time I write a post like this or like I did the other day I get the urge to pull it down, but I don’t because I hope that maybe there will be something in my words that helps someone else to feel a little less crappy. I can’t do much, but I can try to help add positively to someone else and so I continue to try.
P.S. Only a few more days to toss your name into the hat for the giveaway Thank you to everyone who has shared about it and to those of you who already took the leap of faith to email me your story.