Sunday, March 08, 2015

Being responsible for myself

One of the first things I realized when my mentors started to teach me how to recover was that they were telling me in a kindly way that it was high time for me to grow up and learn to be responsible for myself.  Part of me wanted to argue that I was already grown up, but I really knew it wasn't true.

So, although I've been in recovery for over 30 years, I'm still learning to be a responsible adult.  I've made a lot of progress, of course.  On the other hand I worry about stuff like violence against women.  It's never been lost on me that most men are a whole lot stronger than most women and that most of us females are easy targets for bad guys or even just drunk guys, or guys with uncontrolled tempers, etc. 

I didn't worry about myself much when I was younger because I had such a terrible temper that if any guy would have messed with me, I felt confident that I could effectively fight back.  I did deplore the very real fact that quite a lot of women did experience physical violence from men. I thought the solution was to get men to quit it.  The trouble with that solution was that it wasn't working.

My teachers in recovery have taught me over and over that solutions will usually come from me no matter what the problem.  Occasionally I would think about taking a class in self-defense, but that idea was very low on my priority list.

I've noticed in the past few years that I've definitely lost confidence in being able to defend myself and as a result I've stopped shopping after dark, getting gas after dark, and am even a little nervous when I pull my car into the garage at night. 

Recently there was a rapist breaking into houses in my neighborhood, and I got alarms and braces for all my outside doors.  But  taking that action brought my attention to how much I was restricting my life because I felt so vulnerable. 

So...thanks to Google, I found a class on self-defense for women and went to it yesterday.  It was amazing.  I got exactly what I had hoped for - ways to avoid trouble, ways to fend off trouble and ways to fight if those other strategies don't work.  It's another way of being a grown up and taking responsibility for myself.

So now I want to start a trend so that almost all women have had self-defense training.  I'm thinking it might make a big change in the world if the "bad guys" knew that almost any woman they tried to target would probably make them regret it.

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