☆ November 1, 2010
I filed stalking charges. The stalker did not know this; as outlined in Part II, the paperwork still had to go in front of the Prosecuting Attorney and he would decide whether or not he would press charges. I hated the fact that the decision was out of my hands, but I had done everything I could do.
Meanwhile, I continued to be inundated with messages from the stalker. I also got a present in the mail. Not from him! From my Fairy Godmother. I have an Internet Godmother (hi J!) and an Internet Fairy Godmother (Hi E!) and, though she knew nothing of what was going on (or did she….), my Fairy Godmother sent me a box of flower essences. I will do a full post on flower essences, but the short explanation is that these are drops, distilled from different plants, that work energetically; they do not alter one’s physiological makeup the way homeopathics, herbs, or pharmaceuticals do.
Included in this box were flower essences called Pack Leader, Caretaker, and Golden Armor. The arrived on a particularly trying afternoon, email-wise, and I put drops of the aforementioned three under my tongue. I sat in my big chair and stared at the wall, for that was all I could do, then fell asleep in my chair.
When I woke up that evening, I asked myself, “why am I so bothered by these emails?” The words themselves did not matter. They were just words. What bothered me, the root of my anxiety, was the threat they carried. The threat that he would show up to harm me or the Farmily. And I was not confident that I would be able to win a physical confrontation. I’d taken self-defense classes but I had never fought a human foe. I didn’t know, when it came right down to it, if I could, because I didn’t have the skills or the practice.
But then, in a flash, I realized – and I attribute this epiphany to the flower essences – I do have the skills and the practice. I’ve done hand-to-hand combat with a coyote. I can stop a charging bull in his tracks. I’ve been afoot in the middle of a horse fight and dodged flying hooves and kept myself unharmed. I’ve learned to notice the tiniest changes in muscle tone to predict an animal’s next move. And I can apply all of this to a physical fight with a person. And suddenly, I wanted to. I began to prepare for it.
Mike has years of karate and bar brawls under his belt and I picked his brain. As with anything, technique is essential and I learned the proper way to punch, to block, to kick, to turn a hold into a broken arm (take that bad guy!). And it’s not complicated. The most complicated part, for me, was getting over the societal conditioning that “girls aren’t supposed to fight. The flashing neon sign in the house in which I grew up declared “females are polite and accommodating no matter what.” Like many girls, I was raised with the message that physical fighting was not the answer, not an option. What a disservice! Through the stalking, I realized it was an important skill to master. To cross the chasm between my past and my present, I again looked to animals to help me.
I saw, for the first time, how adept female animals are at fighting and defending themselves and their young. In the wild, female coyotes are far more strategic and vicious than the males. I have been slowly taming a female feral cat, and when she climbs on my lap and kneads with pleasure, I gasp in pain – her claws are so sharp! Sharper than any cat I’ve ever known. Sharper than Eli’s, and they have a similar lifestyle. Perhaps you saw these photos of a cow taking on a bear to save her calf. She sustained scrapes on her face from the fight but the bear retreated, most surely with broken ribs and potentially fatal internal damage. A mother cow, a prey animal herself, will attack dogs, humans, coyotes, and bears to protect her calf. In fact, one of the largest ranches in my area frowns upon coyote hunting on their land. If a cow comes in from pasture without a calf, she is sold, the sentiment being, “if she doesn’t protect her calf, she ain’t a good mother.”
Through these observations and more, the “stigma” of physical fighting and defense, as a woman, disappeared. I realized how ridiculous it is that this skill set is withheld from human females in our culture.
In addition to practicing the physical elements of fighting, I studied my environment. To the women out there: no one knows your environment better than you do. I analyzed my space and surroundings, noticed all the seemingly innocuous items I could use as weapons wherever I happened to be, made note of possible routes, exits, ambushes, strategies.
And my anxiety was gone.
Part IV is HERE