After a totally unanticipated disruption in my posting capabilities, I have been reunited with my files. A few weeks back, I set out to explore the subject of self-defense by using my experience to understand what I could have done better, what I did well, and what others who read my story could use as “takeaways” should they ever find themselves in a similar situation. So, without further adieu, I give you Part 2 of my three-part series on self-defense with the totally kick-ass Melissa Soalt a.k.a. Dr. Ruthless.
What about people who say “It’s your fault. You should have never gone alone with him.” I haven’t heard this said to me, and have only seen a handful of obnoxious, I-am-so-brave-because-I-post-anonymous-garbage-I-would-never-have-the-guts-to-say-in-the-flesh-to-anyone posts making that kind of condemnation to me.
“It’s a sad commentary. Sadder is that women have bought into the myth. What does that say when women have that attitude that they have to live immobilized, never get drunk, never be unescorted, never be alone with a man unless they expect to be raped…we have to live, damn it!…There was a study done that showed the top thing men fear from women is to be laughed at/ridiculed; the number one thing women fear from men is being killed.”
I wrote my story because I wanted women to at least begin to think about what they would do if in a situation similar to mine. I had always had a huge fear of rape or being physically assaulted by a man, and I had actually thought about it – A LOT – as to what I would ever do. I always knew I would fight. Self-defense class had taught me to think that way.
“Women have to learn how to fight. Like junkyard bitches, really scrappy. You have to have a plan. What would I do? What could I do? What can I do in advance. It’s an attitude. It’s a mindset.
The practical part of my teaching is the notion of advanced planning. You have to make some decisions in advance. What is worth fighting for? What is non-negotiable? Where do you draw that line? It’s a deeply spiritual as well as physical question. You can’t fend off an attack if you are fighting yourself.”
As I always say to people who ask me about the experience, there was a point when all of sudden I felt invincible. Like I had strength of 10 women. I actually felt like I could kick Marco’s ass. Destroy him. Still, I knew it was better to exit than stick around.“I’m a big believer that women are intrinsically very fierce. That they can be fierce. They can have a primitive ferocity. Women have to learn to tap into it in a heartbeat in a very animal, primal capacity.”
People ask me if I really thought he’d kill me. And I say “Yes.” Because things had escalated so much, and gotten way out of his game plan.
“He had no regard for you. So, you don’t know that he’s not going to rape you and get rid of you. Trust your instincts.”
Something I knew, almost as soon as it was over, was that I HAD to tell women about the crystal clarity that came to me. The quick-thinking, the calculations, the heightened memory of every little detail and smell, and how that will carry you through the experience and the police questioning after. Was that normal, unique? Is it wrong for me to tell people about it because maybe it’s not a normal response?
“That’s not uncommon. Everything non-essential falls away. The focus gets more and more concentrated. It feels like time slows down. You are perceiving at a higher level. There is an eerie calm that comes over people. A forced calm where things become crystal clear and luminous. You see only that which is critical. Keri, you utilized all that nature gave you. If you can tap into all of that and physically stay present and switch into your “to do” list that’s all you can hope for.
On the other side of that, some people have that moment when all the mechanisms kick in, and they just freak out. People have to be prepared and understand what is going to happen, what is going to take place in the body. There really is no substitute for the experience itself.”
See you tomorrow for the third and final installment…thank you for your patience