Create-A-Day: So Over It

May 6, 2012 § Leave a comment

I’m so over that robbery crap. After the initial shock/anger/confusion wore off, I can look back and see the benefits of the situation. First and foremost, no one died. That seems like a weird thing to take away from it, but had those train doors opened up, I most definitely would have tackled that asshole and chances are pretty good that that kid had a weapon so Alec and I could have gotten seriously injured in the throwdown, or worse, we could have been killed. An iPhone isn’t really worth dying over, is it? Though I can tell you that I feel 100% sure that if he didn’t have a weapon, the two of us would have kicked his ass. I’m a little white girl from the South, you’re damn right I can punch. ANYWAY, no one got hurt, and that’s a serious thing to be thankful for.

Secondly, I learned a bit about myself. Bit of backstory so you understand what I’m thinking: back in the day, my dad used to goof around with me. Sneaking up on me when I got home late and scaring me, for example. Sometimes he would just scream randomly at me, like a lunatic, just to see what I would do. Usually, I would shriek but then I would hit the shit out of him. One time he was coaching some actors for a play at church and he was trying to get them to act like they were scared. He was having particular difficulty with one of the girls, so he tried what he used to do with me all the time — he screamed at her (basically, it’s kind of like someone going “BOO! … gotcha!” but he doesn’t say boo, he just let’s out this really loud “YAHH!”) and she burst into tears, so he had to sit there apologizing and trying to calm her down. I thought that was a funny story, but I think it reveals how some girls (probably guys too) react to vulnerable or scary situations.

I wasn’t like that. I’ve grown increasingly aware as I get older of how angry I get whenever I feel vulnerable or scared. I tend to lash out at the people who are making me feel vulnerable, and unfortunately for Alec, a lot of times that’s him. So I’ve been learning that about myself in recent years, but I never knew how I would react to feeling vulnerable outside of my relationship. In all honesty, I’m actually kind of proud of myself that I reacted in fury instead of crying like a little baby when I got robbed. It’s slightly a risky reaction, I admit, because I was ready to tackle that guy if the doors would open, which could have led to my own injury, BUT I think as far as immediate reactions in emergency situations, I don’t think I reacted badly at all. I’m glad I learned that about myself, because I’ve always wondered if I would be one of those girls who freezes in the face of attack.

I have a somewhat reasonable reason for that fear. When I was in college, I, like most other women (the statistics for this on college campuses are insanely and terrifyingly high), was alone with a guy in his dorm room when he jumped on me. Of course I was shocked because I thought he was my friend, but the shock didn’t last long and I fought so hard to get him off that I had bruises on my wrists and rug burns on my hands. So, so far so good, Alexa is fighting back. Then he told me he would bite me if I didn’t stop kicking and screaming because his hands were occupied holding me down, so I guess biting was his only other option of control. I kept fighting, and he bit my face. Then I froze.

Luckily for me his roommate came in. His roommate didn’t help me at all, but he distracted my “friend” long enough for me to push him off, grab my bag, and run like hell. I looked back on that and felt ashamed until recently, because I was so disappointed in myself that I froze after he attacked my face. What a wimp, right? Oh he attacked your face, couldn’t you figure out that he was going to do worse than that after you stop fighting? At least I fought back initially, and I did, in my defense, fight back hard.

Looking back on that, I realize I was pretty young. Besides fighting off two guys who were trying to carry me to their room at church camp, that was the only time I’d ever been physically assaulted, so it’s hard to know what to expect from yourself in those situations. Now I’m older and I look back on it, I have to cut myself a little slack. You never know how you’ll react in those situations, and I did the best I could. I did fight back, even if I didn’t fight back enough, and at the very least, I didn’t freeze initially.

So in light of the robbery and my blind rage that followed within seconds of the incident, I’m feeling pretty good about myself. I am more confident that I will react in a way that won’t embarrass me in retrospect. Don’t get scared, get mad. Get mad as hell. Because that adrenaline rush may well save your ass.

So I’m over it. Petty theft is hardly the worst thing that could have happened that day or that could happen to me tomorrow or the next day or the next. While I wish it didn’t happen, I know that things could have been much worse so I have to be glad that they didn’t. I’m definitely more aware of my surroundings now, but the fear following the incident has faded. I’m okay walking alone in my neighborhood and now I make a whole lot of eye contact with anyone I think looks a touch suspicious. I want to convey “I’m watching you. Do not fuck with me.” and thus far, it’s working, though I think I might be freaking some innocent guys out. They’ll get over it. I think just showing people that you’re aware of them helps as a preventative/defensive measure and for now, I’m fine staring daggers. Fuck feeling scared. Fuck feeling vulnerable. I’m not invincible, but I’m also not one of those girls who breaks down and cries. And that, dear readers, means a lot to me.

How about a few pictures? These are from the cherry blossoms in March.

 

Also, I love that one of the recommended tags for this post is “Complex post-traumatic stress disorder.” Thank you, wordpress.

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