I Came Out Of The Closet(So to speak)

For the most part the people in my real life have not known that I carry a gun. I have always had a very small number of friends on my personal Facebook. It has been made up of my close friends and people I have known either most of my life or for a very long time.

I have not posted about guns on there until recently. Over the past several months I have posted a picture here or there of me with Eleanor(my AR) or of the kids at the range and I have even posted a few links to this blog(but people didn’t realize I was AGirl), but I never really spoke about me and guns and I never spoke of the mugging.

I have been trying little by little to integrate my two worlds. Last night I posted an old picture of me with my gun on my hip along with a story of how I almost walked into the kids’ school dressed just like that.

Soon, I had a few friends email or FB message me asking what on earth and what in the world and oh my…

So, today, I came out. Today I told all those people that I had been mugged and that I am not only a gun owner, but a gun carrier.

There has been something very protective and safe about being two people. There is something comforting about having a place where I could still be the old me or at least subconsciousness-ly pretend to be. It was nice for a while and then it became a burden and started to feel heavy.

In the beginning I did not tell them because I did not tell anyone and then I didn’t want them to know. I was embarrassed and ashamed and I had already had the few friends I did tell walk away. Later it just became a nice place to escape. A place where I didn’t have to think about being a victim or what had happened. And I liked holding onto the old me. Even two years later I wasn’t ready to fully walk away from the old Shelby, the one that was never attacked.

With all the good that has come from my waking up, there is still pain. It is faint and hardly even there, but nonetheless, it can be felt from time to time.

The more I have healed and the more I have come to accept all the new aspects of myself the less I have wanted to hide. I have not wanted to be AGirl any more, but be more, just a girl. More Shelby. In fact, the less I want to blog or post on my AGirl facebook and really just talk about guns as part of my everyday life and not so much as an announcement or a revelation. I am, in a way, becoming more private again and yet still wanting to share.

I am not walking away from the blog or guns or my public advocacy for training, awareness, self defense and gun owners. I am just being a little more me and a little less AGirl, if that makes sense.

As of right now no one on my personal facebook has walked away or been anything but supportive  Time will tell I guess, but regardless I am feeling lighter than I have felt in a while and a little more whole.

33 thoughts on “I Came Out Of The Closet(So to speak)

  1. There has been something very protective and safe about being two people. There is something comforting about having a place where I could still be the old me or at least subconsciousness-ly pretend to be. It was nice for a while and then it became a burden and started to feel heavy.

    Oh, I know that feeling. It’s nice that we are both coming out of our shells. 🙂

  2. No need to feel embarrassed or uncomfortable at all. If your friends don’t understand or agree with your decision and they leave, then obviously there not a friend.

    We’re all proud of you 🙂

  3. Good to learn you’re on a treatment plan, what your using is essentially a very good dermal skin peel. It’s been around for a short while and aside from making your face look like its peeling from bad sunburn only itches. I went through surgical removal of pre-cancerous and cancerous lesions on my head and face some years back. It was unpleasant but so are a lot of other things in life. I’ve learned to embrace the good and bad things encountered with life. The strongest tree has the deepest roots which only develop where adversity and friction take place.

    • Absolutely. Can not let life get us down can we? Just have to rise to the occasion.

      I have been doing a lot of research on the cream. It is absolutely fascinating how it works. They really do not understand why it works so well on cancer, but it seems to be effective. The cream actually stimulates the immune system to get it to fight and kill the cancer cells.

    • It has been a bit of challenge this last year to morph all aspects of myself, but more because I wasn’t fully accepting of myself yet. As I said to Barron, i am feeling less like a stranger in my own skin.

  4. I find the use of “handles” a bit confusing myself – in the end, we all figure out who each of us are. But I suppose it keeps those whom you don’t socialize with and might have objects to your words from getting bright ideas.

    I don’t care who knows who I am or what I think or who object to what I think – the handle is just how it seems to be done.

    • I can understand why some people feel a need to be more private or low key. Mine really isn’t so much about the actual names as what they represented to me and my two worlds. I was not really hiding anything as much as needing time to heal.

  5. I’ve always enjoyed the creativity involved with coming up with handles. I don’t mind telling folks who I am, though, if anyone asks. As for losing friends when you mention being a gun owner/enthusiast, I know what you’re talking about (different subject matter, though). Just remember that your true friends won’t care, or may feel hurt that you hid something from them, but they’ll still be there and recognize that you’re carrying for a reason. The rest, the ones who huff off and leave for good, I usually call those “temporary acquaintances”. The Bible once describes Egypt as “a splintered staff that will give way when you lean on it”. Basically…useless. The temporary acquaintances will never be there for you, or provide strength/support when needed most. Its the true friends who stick around that are to be treasured, for they are rare indeed.

    • 100% right. I wasn’t really worried about people not liking me, I think it just became a place I didn’t really talk about it and then it became harder and harder to start. I am glad I did though and with only the exception of a very few people in the beginning, everyone else has stayed around!!!

  6. Obviously I didn’t know all this was going on. Jeez it’s hard enough being one person much less two. If you feel lighter, float like a butterfly.


    • Lol, yes being one person is plenty. I think it may have come across a little more dramatic than it actually is/was, but I do feel better. Thank you!!

  7. Everyone must make the decision whether to let family or friends know if we will let them know. I support your decision, but I don’t know if I would do the same. I have a family member (inlaw) who would just freak out. It could put a strain on all concerned. I live with one! I once heard this on the radio, “guns are like parachutes — if you need one and don’t have one, you will never need one again.” That comment, along with reading about personal experiences like yours, make my decision to take the CCW in my state, but still don’t know if I will let others know. Whether your decision to let those know will be a good one or bad one, putting a strain on you relationship with family or firends, is yet to be seen. I do know this, depending on others to protect you from a dangerous situation is not an option. Remember, you might loose some of your old friends, but from what I have seen on your site, you have many new friends now and we will support you for your decision to “come out!”

    • Mike, I could not agree more. Each and every person has a right to privacy and the right to decide for themselves what to tell or not to tell about themselves.

      This is my journey and my story, but it is unique to me, my emotions, my family, etc.

      I have parts of my attack that only 4 people know…me, my daughter who witnessed them, my husband and one friend. I don’t know that I will ever share those with anyone else.

      I have shared as I felt comfortable, but that in no way means I think that everyone should make the same choices. What I love about sharing is that as I do I find more ways that I can be of support to others and to be there for them as they need me to be. That may mean being a safe place to share and be authentic while knowing that they can trust me to keep that info private.

      I have had people share things like my first initial or other revealing things about me before I was ready. I would never do that to another person.

      In many cases my speaking out has limited me. I can not carry in some fringe places around town because people know I carry and are watching. Had I been more low key I probably could have got away with carrying into a house or two of fellow PTA members:)

      It’s a balance and I absolutely respect everyone on their journey and on the choices they make for their lives.

      Well, except for anti gun people who not only chose to be disarmed, but are trying to make that choice for me:)

  8. Shelby –
    I’m quite proud of you!
    Having said that, know that FB can be a den of treachery, villainy and political puffery. I’ve had a couple FB friends unfriend me because of my politics expressed there.
    Since I began blogging, I use FB less.
    And I keep Guffaw separate from *redacted*
    I hope this move only brings you good things!

    • Thank you!

      I have learned from this process a little more about who I am a lot more about who people claim to be. I can honestly say that those that walked have not been missed, at all.

  9. Hi,Speaking for myself,I’m glad that your path has included this blog,I’ve enjoyed reading about your training and growth as a gunnie (or gunnette ?)But I also understand that the process has been a gradual “evolution”.You used the word morph,which exactly describes how we grow as experiences ,and our reactions to those experiences ,change us.Let it have it’s own pace,take your time deciding your next steps,and let us know whatever you want us to know.
    But ,can we still call you AGirl ?I think its’ kind of cute.

    • Yes please. AGirl is my favorite!!!!!!

      Thank you for the kind words and for coming here! I truly appreciate it!

  10. Way to go! Something I still need to do. You give me courage. :). Your always a leader in setting a strong example. Thanks!

  11. I think there are a lot of us that keep two lives when it comes to guns, I do the same as well. I had started a journal for my gun posts just to keep it separate from the on line journal that contains 20 years of my life.

    I think you are taking a brave step just coming out and just letting people know who you are now and why you are who you are. If people walk away from that, then they weren’t your friend to begin with. Advice I should take for myself as well but I’m not quite ready for that.

  12. Lighter and more whole. AGirl is better than BGirl! (j/k) 😉 It’s hard to fight all the *other peoples’* neurosis-es, and so we keep the heavy burden of the tightly clenched pit in the stomach and walk funny that way – but it’ SO worth the fight to let it go, and fly off and away – lighter and more free.
    I don’t/won’t have anything to do with Facebook – but I still blog anonymously too, to keep my separate worlds apart. I guess I still have a ways to go, and when we move out of here and up to the foothills I will be able to get my carry permit, if only to help the numbers grow and because I CAN.

  13. Real friends will accept who you are and what you stand for. If they don’t their not the type of friends you need. That’s my 2 cents!!! Congrats on doing U!

  14. The truth shall set you free, it has been said.

    Some truths, maybe. But I support your right to choose the person you want to be in peace…and wish you peace, hope, and love.

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