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On self-defense, particularly for women.

On tonight’s show, things got serious, and I shared something about myself that will probably reach many more people than it did here on my blog when I wrote about it.

I know I’ve gained some new readers in the past year, and there are some who were shocked/surprised at what I revealed.  Others may have just missed the admission.  Either way, here’s some insight into why I carry.

In 2005, I was a victim of rape.  I didn’t listen to my gut, and ended up in a horrible relationship.

In 2006, I started this blog, albeit at another location, to basically bitch about victimization of the population, as well as all of the stupid stuff I was seeing government employees do.

Due to the former rapist stalking me, and the police in my area being very unhelpful about it, I decided to read up on gunny blogs and see what I needed to do in order to acquire a gun, and a carry permit.  At this time, I was terrified of my ex, but my terror seemed larger to me than necessary, because I seriously didn’t remember the rape at that point.

I bought my first gun, began practicing, and began exploring carry options.

In 2008, it finally HIT me that I’d been raped.  I can’t explain it any better than “repression”…I guess with everything else that was going on at the time, my brain decided that I didn’t need to try to deal with that stress in 2005?

That was a bad school semester, and that was the point where my fibromyalgia began to come out.  The stress of dealing with the rape memories/flashbacks (i.e. torture at random times during the day), school, the end of one relationship and the beginning of another, moving, etc., caused my body to freak out.  I am now unable to do really simple things, and some of those are necessary for my self-defense.

As such, I’m very sensitive about the subject, and really, really hate it when people say that some women who get raped deserve it.

I also resent being told that my body and my life are not an important enough reason to NOT post my information in a public forum on the internet by a NYT-wannabe newspaper.

Not only did being raped teach me to trust my gut when it came to guys I was with, it also helped me to realize that the only person who could have prevented it was ME.

I put myself in an awful spot, and was so far between a rock and a hard place by the time I realized it that I couldn’t go anywhere.  I was trapped by my own inattention to very obvious signs that I’d had yet to identify.

I became a victim.

As I mentioned in one of the linked posts, these past couple of years, I’ve been a victim who is learning.  A friend told me she hoped that I would one day become a survivor.

I believe that now, in the face of everything else that has been going on, I can finally say that I am a rape survivor, rather than a rape victim.  I will always have that past of having been victimized, but I’ve moved on with my life.  I’m married to a wonderful man, I no longer live in a city where I feel vulnerable, and – this is the most important part – I have too much other shit to worry about, and I don’t have time any more to dwell on the past.  The present is all I have, and I intend to live in that present as much as possible.

How can I begin to heal if I’m constantly picking at scabs and scars?

How can my body begin to de-stress (and hopefully begin to feel better) if I’m always remembering the times when I was weak?

I won’t lie – I appreciate words of encouragement, and the offers to “off” the offender are taken in the spirit in which they are given.

But I don’t want anyone to feel sorry for me.

I want you to learn from my mistake, and NEVER let yourself be in a position where you invite someone to victimize you.  There are things and situations we can’t control, but if you do everything in your power to avoid coming across as a victim (either externally or internally – the power of thought is not to be under-rated), then you are not only less likely to actually become a victim, but you’re less likely to FEEL like a victim if something happens.

Hell – someone most of us know had to throw a cup of hot coffee at someone to keep from being robbed.  The distraction of the coffee was enough to distract the would-be robber so that a gun could be drawn.

The greatest weapon you have is your mind.

The greatest defense is your ability to reason.

The greatest real-life tool for defense is improvisation.

When all that fails, having a gun or knife on you can save your life.

The thing is, though, that you have to be willing to use it.

Please don’t wait until you’re in my shoes to make a decision to protect yourself.

You’re the only you there is, and you’re worth saving.

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