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More From The Good Colonel

A Girl and Her Gun: More From The Good Colonel

Thursday, May 31, 2012

More From The Good Colonel

I am going to have a lot to say about the things this man writes.  Fascinating book!

Yesterday's post touched a lot of people.  I was honored to read so many emails from people sharing their stories.  Thank you for those who reached out to me.  I was blessed and touched that you trusted me with intimate and personal parts of your life.

Lt. Col. Grossman says this...

"Very often what they(in this case military people he interviewed) shared with me was something that they had never shared with anyone before...I have been taught, and I hold it to be a fundamental truth, that when someone withholds something traumatic it can cause great damage..there is therapeutic value in the catharsis that comes with lancing those emotional boils." 

I have found that to be true in my own healing as well as in the healing of those who share their lives with me.

The Colonel talks a lot about conditioning and how things we learn in our childhood most definitely affect how we view violence and determine whether we fight, flight or submit. I find his view on submitting endlessly fascinating and I am going to talk about that later, but the flight or flight model, at least in his research, is flawed.  He argues that understand the culture(both personally as in our homes and in general, as in the greater society) in which we were raised aids greatly in understand and eventually overcoming our conditioning.

So, I am starting to do that.  I am starting to look deeper and see more and more how my conditioning led me to fully submit, but also how it is keeping me from moving forward in some of my training and my mindset.

As I have said before, I didn't know I had any issues with my childhood until last March.  I was happy, calm, confident, good to go.  I knew I didn't talk or cry, but I never saw it as a problem.  It was just how I dealt with tings that were hard and I viewed it as me being strong.  I could cry for others.  I cried on 9-11 and for weeks after.  I cried when our friends were killed.  I cried at the news or those stupid Kleenex commercials that come on at Christmas. 

Crying for myself is a much tougher thing to do.  I like to be in control.  I have seen out of control and it almost always ended with me covered in welts.  For me anger is bad and it is dangerous and I have never known how to handle it, so I learned not to be too anger or too sad and never out of control. It has worked very, very well for me.

I think a lot about training. A lot.  I am sure it is annoying as all get out to read week after week about how I am going to punch and how I want to punch and then I don't punch.  I promise you, it more annoying for me.

Sometimes I stand in the mirror and I practice punching.  I try to see what it looks like, what it will feel like. I try to imagine getting mad and angry and punching Arete.  I am alone, no one is watching me and even then, hitting into the air, I just stand there with my fists curled up, until I drop them to my side in frustration.

I don't know what will happen if I let go.  I don't know what will happen if I let myself feel and get angry about that day about any day.   I have started a few times to get mad, if you have been following me for a while then you have seen those posts.  I have come very close, but I always pull back. I don't even know if it right to get angry and then hit someone?  A bad guy, of course, but a trainer...can I do that? What if I do get anger and what if I fight someone who isn't a bad guy, what does that make me?  Oh my god, that's it, that is the problem.  I am afraid I will be like my parents. I am afraid of becoming violent. It's not about the good/guy bad guy thing, it's about being afraid that I will become them. Holy shit...I just this very second realized that.  Huh.


At May 31, 2012 at 6:37 AM , Blogger agirlandhergun said...

That is not how I saw that post going. In fact my plan was not to write at all about training. After the quote by lt.col.Grossman, I am not sure where the rest of it came from.

At May 31, 2012 at 7:33 AM , Blogger God, Gals, Guns, Grub said...

I've read and followed Col. Grossman's writings for a long time... he has very interesting insights, and first-hand information on these matters...

There's an old joke about what a Marine scout-sniper feels when he gets the enemy in his sights and pulls the trigger... the answer is "recoil"... I think the military needs folks of a different mindset than civilians...

I'm very sure when the day comes I will not hesitate to pull the trigger to protect my life or my gals lives... but I'm also very sure I'll feel far more than recoil afterwards...

Dann in Ohio

At May 31, 2012 at 7:54 AM , Blogger Paul Erickson said...

You've had your a-ha moment, AGirl.

Your biggest fear is becoming like your parents and reverting to that violent behaviour.

Remember though, they did it because of alcohol and other issues. Your getting violent is only in response to a threat to you or your family. While it is violent, that which you're training for (including the fighting), the motivator, the reason behind it is defensive in nature.

From what I know of you, you will never be like your parents. Never, ever, not even possible. You've already developed emotionally and mentally far beyond that. Your moral fibers mentioned the other day already have prevented that from EVER happening.

At May 31, 2012 at 8:07 AM , Blogger GunDiva said...

From Lt. Col. Grossman..."And so the warrior must strive to confront denial in all aspects of his life, and prepare himself for the day when evil comes."

You, AGirl, have made a conscious effort to be a warrior. That in no way makes you anything like your parents. Wolves (your parents) preyed on your weaknesses; Sheepdogs (Warriors) know when to unleash the violence, otherwise they keep it tucked away, only to be used in times of need.

You shouldn't worry about becoming like your parents; don't be afraid of anger. You're a Sheepdog, not a Wolf.

At May 31, 2012 at 8:10 AM , Blogger agirlandhergun said...

Dann, I have no hesitation at all that I will pull the trigger or do whatever else it takes to defend my life or that of my childrens' should we be presented with a lethal threat. I am not kidding. I have no mental block about shooting or hitting or getting ugly...this issue was some kind of training block. Writing this post was the wildest feeling ever. It was writing itself.

At May 31, 2012 at 8:14 AM , Blogger agirlandhergun said...

There is no way, none whatsoever that I will not become them. My conscious mind knows that 100%. I am not violent unless I am forced to be. I am nice:)

I understand the difference between who I am and what I train to do and to do it ONLY if a lethal threat is presented. I train to know the difference and not to just react, but to assess and then act accordingly.

My brain was automatically reacting out of a deep seeded fear. I had subconsciously, probably out of conditioning, attached a moral argument to a non moral situation. Just realizing it and the absurdity of that thinking has made me down right giddy:)

At May 31, 2012 at 8:15 AM , Blogger agirlandhergun said...

THANK YOU!!!! That is it. It is, you are so right!!

At May 31, 2012 at 8:57 AM , Blogger eiaftinfo said...

My offering to this thread would be that there is absolutely nothing wrong with being violent. To defend yourself, your family or your friends, you will be violent. Soldiers are violent in defense of team mates and our country. Policemen and women are violent at time to subdue a community threat. There is nothing wrong with violence. At all. Period.

It is the focus you need to be aware of, the management of it. Once you realize you have nothing to fear from your violence (you are obviously on a far different personal and spiritual track than your parents), you will be much more willing to let your warrior side out in training. There you can practice your management and focus of it.

Please, remember, violence is a GOOD thing when used and managed in defense. There is no reason to fear it, simply respect it.

At May 31, 2012 at 9:05 AM , Blogger God, Gals, Guns, Grub said...

I think was referring more to the mindset difference after the fact... similar to the mindset difference you were discussing between the response to an actual situation of a lethal threat and a situation simulating a lethal threat like in training...

Dann in Ohio

At May 31, 2012 at 9:19 AM , Blogger agirlandhergun said...

Gotcha...sometimes my brain doesn't work like everyone else and I misunderstand:)

At May 31, 2012 at 9:51 AM , Anonymous John C said...

I have always been told you fight like you train. If you are unwilling to let go in training there is a chance when you are confronted with the bad guy. Are you thinking about what you are going to be doing or are you just going to react. The time difference between the 2 can be vital.

At June 1, 2012 at 4:50 AM , Blogger agirlandhergun said...

Yep, 100% correct and yesterday I fought!

At June 1, 2012 at 4:52 AM , Blogger agirlandhergun said...

Right, right, right. My brain holds onto things and I can't really change until I "get it". Kind of like SA/DA...easiest concept in the world, but for some reason my brain was stuck. The minute I typed that last sentence I knew my block was gone and it was.

I was violent yesterday, but I was totally in control. Not emotional. Didn't feel bad before, during, or after.

Thanks for the insight!


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