This page has moved to a new address.

It Doesn't Matter

A Girl and Her Gun: It Doesn't Matter

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

It Doesn't Matter

For the past few months I have done a lot of soul searching.  Not just about that day in the parking lot, but about my life before it and my life after.  Trying to figure out why I did what I did or why I didn't do what I failed to do.  As more and more people have read this blog and pointed to old posts they have read, I will go back and reread them too. When I am done I often wonder why did I say the thing I said.

Two things that come up again and again in my posts are my references to being "cute" and the fact that I don't cuss.  I am way past the age of being cute in any context and I actually do not spend hardly any time on my looks. From the time I decide to get ready until the time I am ready is all of 20 minutes.  I do not experiment with hairstyles or make up.  I like being healthy and fit, but it is not an obsession, so why bring it up?

I have not been a cusser, but it was never anything I identified with.  I have never been offended by it and up until I wrote 900 posts about it, I never brought it up.  So, why did I?

As many of you know I kept most of the details of my attack to myself.  It was not until my 8 year old daughter, who was with me that day started to tell her side that I was forced to admit that, that day was much uglier than I let on.  Why?

Well, because I was ashamed.  I knew that I did not deserve the support I was getting and I wanted to convince myself and all of you that I was a "good" person.  Look, at me I am "pretty" and I don't cuss and I just made this little tiny mistake by giving the guy money. I am not bad, really I am not.  Maybe if I said it enough I would believe it or at least maybe I could make you believe it.

At the time there was no conscious thought.  I wrote those things almost unconsciously I would say, but looking back, I can see I was looking for redemption.

It's one thing not to fight for my life, but to not fight not for my child...  What kind of mother...everyone says so.  A mother bear or lion protecting her own. It's natural.  It's primal. Do you know how hard it is to sit with your child, who used to sleep peacefully, but now doesn't. To sit there night after night knowing that you did not fight for her life?  Do you know how hard it is to sit in training after training and hear everyone talk about the stupid victim and how dumb people are, knowing full well, you are the stupid one they mean? 

I can tell you, it's pretty darn hard.  I was grasping for things that said I was good.

I should have fought.  I should have fought, but I am learning that it doesn't matter because either way, I was gonna feel like crap.

If you have read She's a Garand Girl then you know she fought like hell and guess what, she has carried that same shame and self hatred around for years.  Today another blogger(I won't say who because I don't know if he/she wants me to) sent me a link to Jeanne Assam's Blog and if you don't know, she too fought like hell.  It has been several years and she is still reeling from the effects of that day. Unfortunately, she has not received much support, in fact, quite the opposite. I am hopefully that all of you will offer her that support. Neither of these women stood by and let the bad guy have his way with them, but the fact remains, even though both of them did everything right, their pain is much the same as mine.

When a bad guy does a bad thing, 100% of the responsibility for every bad thing to follow is HIS fault.  I didn't fight. They did. And we all are writing blogs looking for answers and healing and support. I love my daughter, I do, I swear I do and I will be eternally sorry that I did not fight back, but even if I had, she would be having nightmares and I would still have a journey of healing to travel.  When good people are forced to do things they shouldn't have to do, regardless of how they respond, in the aftermath every insecurity comes right to the surface and when one is trying to overcome something that powerful one grabs at any passing life boat to keep from sinking.  I am luckier than most, I have had a lot of lifeboats to grab onto.

I can not speak for anyone other than myself, but I am done.  I fucked up.  I should have fought.  I should have kicked and screamed and clawed and told him to get the hell off of me.  I should have made him GET THE HELL OFF of me, but I didn't and I am done feeling bad about it.  I have decided that I will never willing allow anyone to hurt me again.  That is just not going to happen.  My children are safe because I will fight back.   He may kill me and that's fine, but it will get real fricken ugly before he does. If by the grace of God I make it out of the fight alive, I will not feel guilty.  I will not feel sad.  I will not spend one more day letting the bad guy get anymore of my life.  Not today, not tomorrow, not ever.  Everyone has to walk their own journey and I will be here for however long that takes each you(those that have reached out to me or anyone else that needs a friend), but my prayer for you, if you were a victim of a bad guy, is that you will say ENOUGH, no more, I am DONE! I want you to say my life was worth it that day, whatever day that bad thing happened, and it is worth today.  Whatever we have to do.  Move, change jobs, find new friends, get help, cry, scream, forgive...Life without joy isn't worth living and dying isn't an option, so lets LIVE!  Lets find a way to live! For ourselves and to help other women heal. Lets give them good solid examples of women who said, screw you asshole, you are not getting one more second of my life.

I have done a pretty good job of healing and  I have been done with the shame and guilt for a while, but the raw emotions of that day has lingered from time to time and I am just no longer willing to let it stay there. The little remnants that are still hanging around, it's time for them to go. That day the guy got away with some of my flesh, much of my dignity, most of my confidence and all my money except part of a five dollar bill.  It ripped and I kept it.  I don't know why, maybe as proof that he didn't take everything from me, but the reality is, he didn't.  No matter how much my bad guy took from me, no matter how much yours took from you, he didn't get everything.  Do not give him any more.

Today I am throwing that ripped $5 bill away, I don't need it. 




47 Comments:

At March 7, 2012 at 11:13 AM , Blogger TheMinuteman said...

Three most useless things to a pilot.

1) Altitude above you.
2) Runway behind you.
3) A Quarter of a Second Ago

What happened in the past is in the past. There is nothing you can do about it now. It serves no purpose to dwell on it and play What-Ifs. The best we can do is take it as a lesson and say, "Lets not do that again!"

Later today if I get a chance I'll fire off an email.

BTW, you didn't lie about being cute. ;)

 
At March 7, 2012 at 11:21 AM , Blogger Duke said...

Little sister, I don't know if this helps any but all of us have made decisions we wish we could change. Some may haunt us more and may be on a bigger scale than others but nonetheless we all have things we wish we could change or do different. That doesn't make you a lesser person, in fact it makes you a greater person because you learned from it. You acted in the best way your training, belief, and 'gut' told you to do at that moment. If you change how you act/think now, good you learned and got stronger. Hold your head high and be proud because bottom line is you survived and are helping others.

 
At March 7, 2012 at 11:32 AM , Blogger North said...

You got more from him, than he got from you.

He might have gained some money, and temporarily took your confidence and dignity. He TOOK, because that is what he does. He is still no better than he was. He will go out and take again, and all he ever will get is a little cash. Or a bullet, if he is unlucky - then he will take no more.

What did you get from him? You took nothing. What you get from him, you earned. You earned your confidence and dignity again. You gained gun skills. You have a better outlook, you have a greater spirit.

You have gained me. I have your back. But I'm certainly not the only person you gained - they will all chime in here. You struggled, and are still struggling. But what you have gained, and what you still gain are things that will improve you. Things that make you a better you.

Importantly: you have shared with us. Obvious things like what you did for Mrs. Groundhog. Not so obvious gifts like many of your blog posts. Thank you for sharing and for contributing to the better good. (And for being cute. :-D )

Toss the torn $5. What you have gained in exchange is priceless.

 
At March 7, 2012 at 12:15 PM , Blogger Garand Gal said...

I'm leaning toward the other direction, frame the 5$ bill bit along with the brass from your favorite carry piece and your favorite target, all shot up. But that's me, sort of a visual reminder that says Not Me, Never Again, since I'm a very visual learner. You do what suits you, maybe you and your daughter would prefer to burn it and make s'mores over it's ashes, or quietly consign it to the landfill like the garbage it is.

I'm proud of you. Sharing your story, putting yourself out there is incredibly difficult but you've done it to great success and have been a huge help to myself and others. Also, you know you didn't do anything wrong that day, that mfing a-hole is the one who did wrong, you just had to deal with his actions and you did that based on your experiences and beliefs up to that time, which is all anyone can do. We know you love your daughter otherwise you wouldn't be so worried about how this is impacting her.

Go AGirl, you rock, you roll!!! YAYYY!!!!! *Bouncing around* *Fist pump with my pom-pon* Ahem...reverting to the high school cheerleader that I never was LOL

 
At March 7, 2012 at 12:17 PM , Blogger GunDiva said...

You are an amazingly strong woman and a shining example for your daughter. Don't ever forget that. Because of you, and how well you articulate what happened and your feeling since, a lot of other people are benefitting.

Keep your chin up.

 
At March 7, 2012 at 12:44 PM , OpenID ordnancecorner said...

Personally I've always said that the only time someone makes a mistake is when they fail to learn from experience. You had your experience and you learned, you're teaching your daughter, you're teaching other women (even indirectly), you're helping other women heal. What you are doing here is making a lot of lives better, and that is the hallmark of a good person.

- SteveG

 
At March 7, 2012 at 1:37 PM , Blogger poniegirl004 said...

How many times have we each looked back over our lives so far and say - Wow I could have done that differently, or I wish I had chosen another path? We all have things we wish we could change. Reviewing what was done and why is important but so is moving forward as you are doing. Living in the "Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda" world brings nothing but misery.

Moving onward and upward brings healing and growth and you are well on your way! Thank you for sharing what you went through and how it has made you a stronger person.

Looking forward to the next leg of this journey together!

 
At March 7, 2012 at 1:46 PM , Blogger Lynne F said...

you are a good person, and pretty (I try not to use cute for anyone over 12 :-)). Look forward. This is behind you, you are stronger. It will always be a part of your journey, but you are not who you were. Hugs!

 
At March 7, 2012 at 2:26 PM , Blogger Teke said...

While reading what your going though is painful to read because I don't like watching good people hurt. It is not the pain of healing. Your story is beautiful in a way that cannot be described. It is the story of a woman overcoming what has happened and becoming a stronger person for herself and her family. The path you have taken since that point in your life is one to be proud of. In doing so you are being an excellent role model for you daughter and teaching her how to be a strong woman and mother.

 
At March 7, 2012 at 2:31 PM , OpenID 2a3a4a54-b06a-11e0-b0c2-000bcdca4d7a said...

About frikin time, AGirl! Welcome to this corner of the world where your decision is understood at a a very deep gut level and accepted almost as unconditionally as the love of a puppy. How, why, when you made the decision does not matter - it really never did, but you had to figure that out for yourself like everybody else. It's not a "rite of passage" so much as the closest to a meeting with $dietyofchoice that you come away from knowing you are not only still but more alive than ever before.

Lots of folks who carry have not yet reached the decision you have. Lots of folks who will never carry have BTDT. It was never about being armed with a gun/knife/pointy stick or not, but about being armed with confidence and conviction. Just occasionally look back and see if your shadow is swaggering.

stay safe.

skidmark

 
At March 7, 2012 at 2:58 PM , Blogger Tango Juliet said...

Things happen for a reason. As alluded to in an earlier comment, if you DIDN'T learn anything from this, then yes, there is something wrong with you.

But you have learned. You have grown.

I can't imagine even the most vehement advocate of Condition Yellow condemning you for what happened that day. You were a good person before and an even better one now.

 
At March 7, 2012 at 4:42 PM , Blogger agirlandhergun said...

It helps! Thank you!

 
At March 7, 2012 at 4:42 PM , Blogger agirlandhergun said...

I am beginning to see this. You have helped me so much! Thank you.

 
At March 7, 2012 at 4:48 PM , Blogger agirlandhergun said...

Thanks for being an encouragement to me.

 
At March 7, 2012 at 4:49 PM , Blogger agirlandhergun said...

"your story is beautiful" I have never thought of it as beautiful, but I intend to make this a positive story and not one of sadness. Thank you!

 
At March 7, 2012 at 4:49 PM , Blogger agirlandhergun said...

Ha! Thank you!

 
At March 7, 2012 at 4:50 PM , Blogger agirlandhergun said...

I can always count on you! Thanks so much!

 
At March 7, 2012 at 7:59 PM , Blogger eiaftinfo said...

It looks like you're working your way to the "nub" of the issue. You were a different peron then, the product of your life experiences up until that moment - then life gave you a new lesson. You could have done two things - crawled into a hole or . . . . make a choice to learn to use the tools to defend your self, your family and your friends. You made a good choice! Obviously there has been pain, discomfort, fear . . . . and growth, strength, hope, life, friendships.

You are simply experiencing life - and growing into a strong, tough, determined, loving, caring person. You're on a good path. I enjoy watching your journey. For what it's worth from an old fart like me, I'm proud of you. Keep it up!

 
At March 7, 2012 at 8:30 PM , Blogger Borepatch said...

This makes me want to curl mu hand around a baseball bat and go have a chat with the scumbag. But that's unworthy of the courage you exhibited here talking about this.

Let me just say that this post is inspirational about the human spirit. It's easily the best thing I've read in months.

Bravo for your courage.

And let me know the scumbag's address. I expect that there are a fair number of guys who'd join me for an energetic discussion with him on the natue of Right and Wrong.

 
At March 7, 2012 at 8:50 PM , Blogger 45er said...

It's so hard to actually do this. I'm glad you're taking those steps. Something everyone that carries needs to be prepared for is the affect an event will have on them. Events like this are not your fault. You should be able to live your life as you wish, it's not your fault that someone took advantage of you. Also, if you ever have to defend yourself it will not be your fault, either. Bad guys make decisions to do the things they do. I'm so happy you're prepared, but I hope you never have to use your new skills.

 
At March 8, 2012 at 3:51 AM , Blogger agirlandhergun said...

Thank you for both the support and the offer to harm said bad guy:)

 
At March 8, 2012 at 3:53 AM , Blogger agirlandhergun said...

My new skills...I have new skills!! I hope I don't have to use them either, but if I do, I will and I am not doing this again, I am not giving him anything of myself other than some lead. Let's pray for his sake, no more bad guys come around me.

 
At March 8, 2012 at 3:54 AM , Blogger agirlandhergun said...

It means a lot that you are proud of me. To have support like I have had means the everything. Thank you!

 
At March 8, 2012 at 5:24 AM , Blogger 1911Jeeps said...

Things happen in our lives we don't always control. Each time, we make choices. You chose that day based upon your beliefs, skills, and what you thought was the right thing to do. You said before that you were taught to 'give them what they want' and you did that thinking it would help protect you and your daughter.

But as mentioned already, he still took what he wanted. However, you got a lot in return. You gained knowledge, new skills, confidence, a ferocity you didn't know you had, and a desire to never be forced to give in.

For better or for worse, our past makes us who we are today. We all have things in our past that we regret or wish we could redo. However, in doing so, you'd lose who you are now. I think we can all safely say that you are a much stronger and more confident woman than you were the day before that attack.

You've learned from this. Your children have learned from this, even though it is a hard lesson at that age. Use it to remind them that they can and should protect themselves however they can. That lesson, however hard to learn, will serve them (and you) well for the future.

Your actions since that day serve as an inspiration to everybody, not just women, on how you can still be yourself, but also be willing to do what it takes to live happily and safely.

 
At March 8, 2012 at 5:40 AM , Blogger ProudHillbilly said...

What happened is in the past. It can't be undone. And as painful as it seems it is now a part of the creation of who you are now. That new person, while suffering, is also moving towards an understanding that has a chance of profoundly affecting others for the good.

 
At March 8, 2012 at 7:56 AM , Blogger TinCan Assassin said...

Ma'am, you are a good person, you were before, you are now. He's the evil one. You found yourself in a circumstance in which you were ambushed. It's happened to Platoons of Soldiers and Marines who are taught from day one, "Stay Alert, Stay Alive." You responded to that ambush according to your life training. You have new life training now. And because you are now part of this Tribe, you also now have people to your left and right you can look to for support. Always. Your husband is there, and we are here to offer you what we have. This We'll Defend.

 
At March 8, 2012 at 8:04 AM , Blogger Broken Andy said...

Not only are you learning from your experience (I would hesitate to call it a mistake), but you are sharing your knowledge and experience and that is helping others.... turning something bad into something good... from lemons to lemonade. Take care.

 
At March 8, 2012 at 9:18 AM , Blogger DirtCrashr said...

When I was a Missionary Kid and we lived in a far-off Asiatic-Type Foreign Hotter-than-Hell Country where we were the only ones of our type around and there were no conveniently located Embassies (or Marines) nearby, and sometimes the local population got a bit rambunctious but they usually only torched each others' mud-huts...sometimes I would get a bit anxious (like that time when we were on the Train and there was lots of banging on the locked compartment door and shouting, and then shooting started but it was just a smuggler, or the time when we were surrounded by an angry mob that shook our Jeep when we showed up at Children's Day Celebration - it was not for us Children however)...
So I asked my Dad (rather pointedly) about the kind of HELP I could expect to get from HIM in a Desperate-Type Situation (having already experienced what seemed to me a few), and yeh so OK, he's a Jesus-Pastor and a Love Thy Neighbor turn-the-other-cheek kinda guy, and a follower of Ghandi's non-violence - so in hindsight the answer might have been predictable once I put him On-the-SPOT -- but I was rather devastated when he told me that the 1st Cavalry would NOT be coming to MY Mount Calvary and I had my own cross to bear. That in all likelihood he himself would be struck down while praying to God to forgive those who were doing us Evil. That the Evil (or whatever) that was done to Me-the-Kid would not be responded-to with the Wrath of God/Dad. That violence of any sort was not The Way...
Yeh, devastating, especially for a 9-year old, and I'm sorry I made this rambling about me but maybe you daughter can relate: Adversity (and disappointment) develops independence, certain skillz, and self-reliance. Ever since that day when I knew I was on my own when the SHIT hit the fan, my thinking changed - especially when I was sent off alone some five hundred miles (you can hear the whistle blow) to Boarding School, and some (minor) shit happened there (fortunately long-past and dimming even further)... Being on your own and KNOWING *that* changes things internally, but I still had (and have) to un-learn a certain level of passivity that had been religiously indoctrinated. And so did YOU. And you're better now.

 
At March 8, 2012 at 9:39 AM , Blogger agirlandhergun said...

I don't mind you making it about you. It is about you. It's about all of us. I will admit reading it stung a bit, but I am so glad you shared. I appreciate your candor.

 
At March 8, 2012 at 9:41 AM , Blogger agirlandhergun said...

Just when I think I am done being emotional by the kindness of others I read this. Your words are very touching. It is comforting to know you have my back and it's nice to k ow that I am getting the skills to have yours. Thank you.

 
At March 8, 2012 at 9:42 AM , Blogger agirlandhergun said...

Thank you. I know I say that a lot, but I truly mean it. Thank you.

 
At March 8, 2012 at 9:42 AM , Blogger agirlandhergun said...

I am learning those valuable lessons. Thank you.

 
At March 8, 2012 at 9:44 AM , Blogger agirlandhergun said...

I think you know how much your words mean to me, but I will say it publicly, thank you. I value your friendship ans support.

 
At March 8, 2012 at 11:53 AM , Blogger DirtCrashr said...

I should have been a bit more clear, because I love my Dad - but I was Nine and asked if he would kill to protect me/us, and I was challenging him - and his reply was that it was beyond all his Faith and religious training to do-so, that Jesus' life and teaching prevented him. So he had an "out," as it were, and growing up in the Church as a PK/MK I knew that and what it meant...

 
At March 8, 2012 at 1:30 PM , Blogger agirlandhergun said...

I think I knew what you meant. I am glad you love your father! It was hard to hear the not being able to count on anyone...I hope my daughter doesn't feel that way. I hope someday she can learn to trust me and while she needs to take respsoibilty for her life, not at 8 or 9 and that taking responsibility doesn't mean there is no one to count on. She can count on me. Your words kicked me in the gut because it gave me insight into how she may be feeling and that hurt. It is important to hear from other people who have experienced similar things and while not everyone is going to feel the same way, it gives me things to think about. I really do appreciate your sharing and honesty. No worries either, I am not beating myself up or taking any steps back, I am just listening and learning and hopefully I will be able to use all that I learn to help my daughter.

 
At March 8, 2012 at 1:37 PM , Blogger Kirk said...

I've got some handy 2x4's in the garage, and can probably scare up some rusty nails and/or screws to bring to the party. Oh, and popcorn...nothing like a batch of hot buttered popcorn whilst teaching the values of right-vs-wrong to some scumbag arsewipe in a dark alley!

 
At March 8, 2012 at 4:56 PM , Blogger agirlandhergun said...

I have read this a couple of times...thank you.

 
At March 8, 2012 at 4:57 PM , Blogger agirlandhergun said...

I probably should have done something more, but I just tossed it in the trash, unceremoniously.

 
At March 8, 2012 at 5:27 PM , Blogger DirtCrashr said...

I'm sure your daughter doesn't feel neglected or unable to trust/rely/count on you! I always knew I could count on my Dad for absolutely *everything-else* - but if it came down to that final extremity, I would just have to do my own killin'... And I'm very-very-very glad it hasn't! ;-)

 
At March 8, 2012 at 6:45 PM , Blogger God, Gals, Guns, Grub said...

As a firearms instructor... I've trained a fair number of women over the years who have been through attacks of varying degrees similar to you... I have learned a lot and have tried to pass it on as an instructor, husband, and father...

Some might say I'm crazy, but I've taught my wife and daughter to fight dirty and fight hard... different martial arts are OK and guns are good at a distance, but when a 215 pound guy gets hold of a 130 pound gal... it's time to gouge the eyes... tear off the ears... rip the nostrils... bite... kick... scream...

Those are harsh things to discuss with a teenage gal... I'm not sure they're the right things... but I'm trying hard as a father to let her know the reality of the world as she matures and is able to understand... to be prepared, but not paranoid...

Your experience has allowed my gals to see once again that bad things happen to good people...

As always... thank you for sharing...

Dann in Ohio

 
At March 9, 2012 at 3:25 AM , Blogger agirlandhergun said...

This probably wasn't suppose to be funny, but it made me laugh. Fact is, I would like for my daughter to do her own killin'! But I want her to know that its ok. If someone comes after her, it is ok to protect herself and I also want her to know that the Calvary will be sent. If I am there, if there is any possible way, I will be there to fight for her!

 
At March 9, 2012 at 3:29 AM , Blogger agirlandhergun said...

Oh my gosh Dan, I don't think your crazy...I thank God for you. I would love to say that I am the exception, that I am the only one who was raised not to fight, but I am not. For the record it's not just a female thing, but teach them to fight if they have to. I think as long as there are lots of hugs and support and stability then they won't become paranoid and afraid. I know with my daughter, she is becoming more and more secure as she learns about protecting herself.

Thank you for the supportive words!!!!

 
At March 9, 2012 at 7:01 PM , Blogger Groundhog said...

You can't know what other what else 'might' have been. Suppose you had had a gun, or even decided to fight back and you'd been killed? You can't know. A gun is no magic talisman. It's a hell of a lot better than nothing but it insures your safety no better than putting up a struggle unarmed would have. None of us are ninjas or "operators" and even those guys get killed. I think you did your best given your circumstances and where you were at that point in time. You were not a CIA trained assassin at that moment. Just a regular gal. You are doing very well on your road to recovery. You may yet have relapses. Just. Keep. Going. Forward!

 
At March 10, 2012 at 3:56 AM , Blogger agirlandhergun said...

Your right and I know that, but I guess I mean it should have least been a possibility in my mind. I think it's good for me to get a little feisty and worked up. I have been way to calm and collected...lol

It's good to hear from someone that has experienced violence. I have a few other friedms that have experienced trauma and they have been sharing their journeys with me. So, so helpful!

 
At March 10, 2012 at 11:47 AM , Blogger Lisa C / Celtic Clicks Photography said...

Not crazy at ALL Dann!!! Lately I've been talking to my four kids age 10 to 15 about these things. FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT! The first few discussions I was met with EWWWWW and "I can't hurt someone like that!" UGH.... I've taught them compassion too well lol. So now it's compassion to those that deserve it and gouging eyeballs and such for those that deserve it ;-) I think the knowing how to deal with things replaces the paranoia with the calm of preparedness!

 
At March 10, 2012 at 12:42 PM , Blogger Cargosquid said...

Amen.

Unlike the other animals, humans have to be taught to fight. Were you EVER taught to fight? Or were you told to do otherwise?

These lessons will be passed down to your daughter. THAT is the silver lining in all of this. As I've said before, you are a wonderful role model. What is past IS PAST. You've chosen the road to self knowledge, self defense, and leading a good life. Congratulations.

A thought.....you have a blog.... I bet that you could do well speaking to different appropriate groups about this. Think about it.

 
At March 10, 2012 at 4:51 PM , Blogger agirlandhergun said...

Thank you for your words of encouragement. Its nice to hear.

I actually have never spoke out loud about my attack. I write about it, but I have never said the words. I do a little with my 8 year old, but mostly I do the listening with her.

 

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home