Part III

☆ November 1, 2010

Earlier posts:
Intro Addendum
Part I
Part II

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


85 Responses to “Part III”

  1. Carolyn
    November 1st, 2010 @ 6:00 pm

    I have a friend who was stalked. After four years of silence, he has showed back up, having found her Facebook. She’s blocked him, but I know her soul is uneasy. I’m sending her the link. Thank you for sharing all aspects of what you are going through!

  2. Cait
    November 1st, 2010 @ 6:02 pm

    You are always more powerful than you think. You can jump higher, run farther, and fight harder than you would ever believe possible. Adversity brings it out, but if you can carry your knowledge into times of peace, you need never lack confidence.

  3. Amanda
    November 1st, 2010 @ 6:04 pm

    This is really inspiring. My boyfriend and I have been having an ongoing discussion about verbal harassment, assault, and the power dynamic between men and women in most social situations (I work three nights in a bar hosting trivia, and while most people are decent, occasionally I have to deal with men who can’t handle a young woman knowing more than they do and being in a position of authority). Last night was a particularly rough night in terms of unwanted attention, even with my boyfriend there. I was in shorts and a Batman t-shirt, nothing particularly revealing – not that it should matter – but a large (drunk) older man made several comments and air humped at me. Several other men yelled things at the stage, made comments when I passed by, and leered. My boyfriend understood why it was upsetting but didn’t understand why I took it as hard as I did; I tried to explain to him how helpless it feels to be 5’1″ and surrounded by large drunk guys.

    But you’re right – females have more power than we’re conditioned to believe we have, and I need to start remembering that.

    Thank you for posting your story – as difficult of a summer as this may have been, your strength inspires me.

  4. Caria
    November 1st, 2010 @ 6:08 pm

    alternative website name – Honey-rock-on!

  5. Alice
    November 1st, 2010 @ 6:09 pm

    I grew up with a different social conditioning. My parents told me I was never allowed to start the fight, but if someone else started it, I would never be in trouble for defending myself. I personally think every woman should be taught how to defend herself, starting at an early age. I learned through my 3 much older brothers (the youngest is 16 yrs. older than me) always picking on me/play-fighting w/me. After I graduated college, my mom said she never worried about me doing anything on my own b/c I was always aware of my surroundings and she knew how my brothers had prepared me. I don’t have any real training and have often thought about taking a self defense or martial arts-type class. Personally, I would love to hear how to turn a hold into a broken arm. Also very interested to find out more information on flower essences.

  6. Jackie
    November 1st, 2010 @ 6:13 pm

    as always, thanks for sharing your life with your public, shreve.
    sorry you had to endure the experience, glad you were able to learn something from it, and to see that your learning has made you more free.

  7. Maggie
    November 1st, 2010 @ 6:29 pm

    Your stories are inspiring, S. I love flower essences too… the Bach flower remedies are great – Rescue Remedy has helped me so much.

  8. Jerry Johnson
    November 1st, 2010 @ 6:32 pm

    As a former police officer, we were always trained to use only that force necessary to affect an apprehension. But as someone who is the potential victim of a violent attack, the gloves are off. Shreve, you do not fight “fair”, nor hold your punches. Aim for the most vulnerable points of an attacker: eyes, throat, groin, knees, etc. There is a program on one of the cable channels called Fight Science. It teaches many easily learned techniques with which to defend yourself should you ever have to. I hate the fact that you might ever have to use any of these techniques but it is a fact of our life today, and you fight to win and escape. There was an adage in the law enforcement community; I would rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6. Be prepared Shreve, and it sounds as though you have done your homework.

  9. Liane
    November 1st, 2010 @ 6:33 pm

    You go, girl. Uh, lady. Nope…like girl better. I plan on being a girl even when I’m 80. You rock regardless of what we call ourselves. :)

  10. Alyssa
    November 1st, 2010 @ 6:36 pm

    Just wanted to say (as a fellow woman) I have no problem with the term ladies!

    I admire your courage and your perseverance to stand up for yourself and your Farmily. I took a self defense course and it was one of the most empowering things I’ve done. Every woman should know how to properly defend herself. Sadly, most of us are taught (either from family or society) that we should be meek and compliant. When it comes to our safety and the safety of those we love, that should never be the case.

    I hope your story will encourage more women to learn how to defend themselves properly.

  11. andrea
    November 1st, 2010 @ 6:47 pm

    I have defended my dogs against other dogs who have threatened and attacked them, and have the scars, but until you have a child of your own whose life is the most important thing in your universe with nothing else coming close, including your own life, you will not truly ‘get’ how important it is to fight back. It is rare and awesome and simply exists in the wild as a matter of course.

  12. Penny
    November 1st, 2010 @ 6:53 pm

    Hey Shreve….thanks for part 3! As far as “ladies”…no problemo…I don’t have any suggestions, nor do I find your comment offensive in any way. Per you..I bought The Gift of Fear the other day, and will be sharing it with my 17 yr old daughter, Savannah…as she prepares to leave for college in the fall. I think that you are so in tune and in touch with yourself…and you are an inspiration to many. You go.
    (PS my first purchase from Karin today…yay.)

  13. Lisa
    November 1st, 2010 @ 6:55 pm

    I’m a firm believer in flower essences, been using them for over 20 years. You do whatever you have to do to keep yourself and your farmily safe. Brightest blessings to you.

  14. Jane Trades
    November 1st, 2010 @ 7:11 pm

    I think it’s important to prioritize. How much energy does someone who is causing you great distress deserve? There is only so much energy that you have to give. You can increase that amount by investing it in people, places, and things that return your investment or appreciate it or somehow give back positive energy. But investing in someone or something that gives back only negativity is a waste of time (and energy). Sure, try people out on occasion to see if they’re willing to try the path of good trade and return of appreciative energy. But if they don’ wanna, you can’t make them, and putting your energy into them is a waste of both of your time.

    Energy is energy is energy. Whether “negative” or “positive”, it’s an investment. “Negative” energy is generally unwelcome and not something that you typically can easily use. But that definition leaves a lot of variables and subjectivity, as well it should, because while in most of our world(s), someone saying “hey, I don’t want you in my life, get out and stay out” is a negative response and one we would walk away from, for those with the concept that *any* energy is good energy, that statement is no different from “you are the most amazing person in my life, stay forever”. It’s not a typical response (thank all the gods), but it happens sometimes that some people believe that any response, no matter what shape/energy/form it takes, is a good one and one that builds a connection.

    The defense? Well, there’s the legal manner, which is good for when things cross the line into that arena and need to be dealt with on that level. Energy-wise: purposefully intend yourself *away* from the negatively energized person (or whatever). It’s not quite enough sometimes to “ignore” or to “golden light” oneself. Sometimes it is necessary to intentionally detach and to give yourself the imagery of actually being unconnected to whatever or whoever is the issue. Don’t wish them ill, don’t wish them better, just don’t wish them anything at all. Because that too is energy. Deliberately invest whatever energy you might be tempted to throw their way into something else that *does* give a good return (family, friends, writing, singing, walking in nature, reading, meditating, etc., whatever works for you personally).

    This is all very woo-woo (spiritual-focused mumbo-jumbo), but it can apply to almost anything in life. Some things are unpleasant but still need to be carried out, but most things are open to choice. Choose what you want to invest your *self* in and try to see what returns you will get for your investment. Some interactions are more variable in their returns but even a smile or a “thank you” or just feeling good about yourself can be a return.

    (I have some rather long and blithery things to say about energy in the “magical” sense being used for defense and “shielding”, but that gets way “Out There” pretty quickly and probably would be best talked about in a specific conversation through e-mail. Which, well, you’ve probably not the time for, but I’m open to if you’ve any interest.)

  15. TGW...
    November 1st, 2010 @ 7:18 pm

    You are so inspiring to me Shreve. Thank you!

  16. Colleen G
    November 1st, 2010 @ 7:21 pm

    I grew up in a rough neighborhood and have been in a few scraps. I never started or threw the first punch, but it was either them or me and I wanted to go home in one piece! I don’t promote violence, but I’ll be damned if I’m not going to protect myself. This lady loves your attitude and your ability to reflect to find your answers.

    I can’t wait for more on flower essence.

    BTW elbows are a GREAT weapon!

  17. JayBee
    November 1st, 2010 @ 7:24 pm

    I know lots of women who study martial arts and self defense, but hopefully your posts will encourage many more to step up and learn what they need to learn in preparation for defending themselves and their families should a crisis arise.

    About the term new age not existing back when you were a teenager, you’re quite young. That word has been around for decades. :o)

  18. Colleen G
    November 1st, 2010 @ 7:29 pm

    I should have mentioned that my scraps were in my pre-teen and teen years. Certainly not in my adulthood! That’s not to say that I have “forgotten” how to kick someone’s ass!!!

    Peace, love and harmony to you and the farmily.

  19. Teaspoon
    November 1st, 2010 @ 7:33 pm

    I’m glad to see Part 3 shows some measure of your balance has been restored. I hope that you relish in your new skills and the strength of your body and spirit, and also that you’re never forced to use them.

  20. Catherine Chandler
    November 1st, 2010 @ 7:41 pm

    Shreve, thank you for sharing. Seriously. I love that you believe so deeply in intention and energy. Our minds are such powerful sources, and there is truly something to be said about being connected to the energy that surrounds us all. A man who sexually assaulted me 10 years ago lives in my city. I didn’t report him for a year after the incident (didn’t think it would make a difference, yada yada)and when I did, I couldn’t find any information on him–no address, phone, website, nothing. So really all they had was a name, and I honestly got the “I hate to tell you this but if we find him it will be his word against yours since there wasn’t a medical exam…”. However, a few years later, I decided to look him up. I found him. Address, phone number, business address, website, etc. I immediately wrote it all down and took it down to the police station. I haven’t looked him up since, but I know what neighborhood he lives in. When I moved back to this city, I would avoid that neighborhood all the time. Or when I was there, I was hyper-aware of who was around me. At some point, it was like I put a permanent shield around me. Subconsciously, every time I go there, I put up this shield to protect myself from seeing him. I have *no idea* what I would do if I did see him. Probably vomit, to be honest.

    I admire your courage and your “gumption”….you go girl! You are an inspiration to women everywhere.

  21. Penny
    November 1st, 2010 @ 7:44 pm

    My daughter and I are going to take a self defense class “Fight Like a GirL, for Life” next week…..hoping to empower both of is.

  22. eni
    November 1st, 2010 @ 8:07 pm

    You are so strong and inspiring. I think I might name my daughter after you one day. Rock on, girl!

  23. Eve
    November 1st, 2010 @ 8:11 pm

    Love the line about Mike’s years of experience with bar brawls!

    It’s hard to wait between updates, as I really want to know what happened and to know that you are (hopefully) safe now. Seeing that the next update is titled “The Arrest” gives me hope.

  24. Jess
    November 1st, 2010 @ 8:26 pm

    I almost never comment on people’s sites, but I’ve been a silent participator in your sites for quite some time now. You live the life I wish I was strong enough to. This post literally brought me to tears. I am so glad you and the Farmily are alright. I come from a family where male or female you stand up for yourself and what’s right. Never start the fight, but don’t be afraid to finish it to protect yourself or someone/something in need. You are that whole Farmily’s mom. I’m very glad you realized you have it in you to protect your “calves.” Sadly, this is the risk that comes with being in the public eye. No one deserves this kind of harassment/fear/terror, but sick people are prone to attaching to celebrities, especially such wonderful people like you. Let’s hope you never have to think about it/him/this again.

  25. mlaiuppa
    November 1st, 2010 @ 8:53 pm

    I read somewhere that there were two types of soldiers the ancient Greek armies feared most to face in battle; women and homosexuals. It was thought that both were the most vicious, ruthless and merciless armies to fight.

    (Funny how those are the two categories our modern military seeks to bar from combat.)

    My feeling is that it is our very societal training that makes us vicious, ruthless and merciless. Once a woman is pushed to the point of violence, there is pretty much no point in holding back. It is all or nothing.

    A note on Charlie and his octopus. Fat Cat Toys makes dog toys for maximum “floppability”. They say that dogs (and by extension coyotes) love to have their heads banged by the appendages of the prey they are shaking around. I imagine that is why Charlie is so enamored of his octopus. Maximum floppability.

  26. deedee
    November 1st, 2010 @ 8:55 pm

    Krav maga has awesome moves to defend/take on all kinds of scenarios: pinned to the ground, choke holds, confront with knife or gun and so much more. I took a class. It was fun as all heck and valuable! Online videos work too- get a friend to practice with you (brave friend).

  27. Lindsay
    November 1st, 2010 @ 9:03 pm

    Shreve, thank you so much for sharing this experience. I recently bought my first house and live alone. I occasionally experience some anxiety because my third night in my house, someone trespassed in my garage looking for things to steal very early in the morning as I was getting ready for work. It’s supposedly a safe neighborhood, but it has really shaken me. I think your experience and my own are encouraging me to learn some sort self defense (currently contemplating a shooting class and also fighting class).

  28. Julianna V
    November 1st, 2010 @ 9:06 pm

    As a black belt, and fellow “lady,” I know the importance of being able to defend yourself. The way I figure it is I can’t control anyone else, but I can sure as heck control myself. I prepare myself for whatever physical confrontations may come my way, though I’m hoping that they never do. I know too many women who’ve admitted that no matter what happened, they wouldn’t be able to “hurt someone else.” Thank you for not setting yourself up for some serious harm by not holding this mindset!

  29. Kristan
    November 1st, 2010 @ 9:35 pm

    Not much new to add besides what’s already been said… I’m still appreciating your bravery and looking forward to hearing the rest.

  30. bonnie
    November 1st, 2010 @ 9:36 pm

    i like the term ‘lady’ — as long as those of us who are female are the ones who define what it means!

  31. Lesley
    November 1st, 2010 @ 9:49 pm

    Nothing is more liberating than empowering oneself; using experience to learn new skills and a new way of seeing. Go Shreve!

    Btw, I have this picture in my head now of Daisy kicking stalker ass. I still think Ricardo could do a lot of damage though.

  32. MCJ
    November 1st, 2010 @ 9:49 pm

    Awe-inspiring. You bring to mind the undefeatable and ever resourceful Lisbeth. You’re right. We all need to learn to fight, because we just never know. And I certainly couldn’t get my hands on my own taser!

  33. Brandon
    November 1st, 2010 @ 10:25 pm

    This is crazy. As your neighbor in MT, I want to come over and do some justice. From the title of the next section, it seems it may not be necessary (hopefully). I wish you the best.


  34. Hawk
    November 1st, 2010 @ 10:49 pm

    It is quite empowering to realize how much you can do, when you stop accepting the limits our society tries to put on you.

    I have no issue with the term ladies either.

    I grew up being taught how to defend myself, but being also taught that I wasn’t allowed to actually do so – the law, as far as I could puzzle it out as a child, was “good girls suffer and bad girls hit.” The techniques I was taught were all completely ineffective, as well – especially for me at the time, I was quite the runt! Being taught how to deliver a perfect right cross is great, if your opponent’s chin happens to be in range…I could have used a lot more teaching on how to take out a kneecap or just on how to escape from anyone.

    As for why women are barred from fighting…honestly, when you look at how women were treated in the bad old days, the men were probably *afraid* of the idea of women fighting – after all, if the women knew they could fight back, the men would have been the ones being oppressed!! Or at the very least there would have been a lot more husbands getting their butts handed to them by wives that had had enough.

    I am glad you are OK. I am inspired by reading your blog each week, and there are times when I wish I had the chance to have a place like yours. But I wouldn’t give up my own “farmily” for anything, not even the clean open spaces of the “howling wilderness.”

    Keep being strong, and all that is bright bless you.

  35. Clare
    November 2nd, 2010 @ 3:28 am

    Shreve, You are truly wonderful in the way that you have coped with this awful time in your life. I well remember the day after I had my baby looking at him and thinking that if anyone ever hurt him I would fight them with my bare hands, this was a shock to me because I’d always believed that I was a pacifist. My ‘baby’ is now 32 years of age and I’d still fight to the death for him. Mothers are mothers whatever their species.

  36. CathyA
    November 2nd, 2010 @ 3:47 am

    Decades ago I was hitchhiking out to CO. One guy who picked me up put my pack in the back seat, then pointed behind me while I was still standing on the side of the road. I turned to look, he hit me on the top of my shoulder, and I went down. He hadn’t seen I had a knife on my right side. I knew nothing about knives, don’t even know why I was carrying it. I got it out and stabbed at him. It felt weak, but he backed off holding his ribs, told me to get my pack out of the car and he zoomed off. It was broad daylight on the interstate. I don’t really know what he was thinking – knock me out and stuff me in the car?

    Anyway, I had no thoughts about using that knife when I put it on, knew nothing about self defense, and really don’t think I ever believed I would do something like that. But, when you feel your life is in danger, you react. It was a powerful lesson.

    Years later I took self-defense where you get to beat up on guys fully outfitted with padding. In that situation it was hard to overcome conditioning not to hit. But it is good to practice this kind of thing, where you actually DO get to land blows. Practice cuts down on reaction time, and you’re able to do it without thinking.

    Now they’ve even got self-defense classes with canes, which make highly effective weapons! Not to mention you don’t think of someone with a cane as even able to defend their person.

  37. Deanna
    November 2nd, 2010 @ 5:04 am

    Haven’t had time to absorb everything here about self-defense. But I want you to know, Shreve, I do love a good dose of Octopus!

  38. Beth
    November 2nd, 2010 @ 5:11 am

    wow……all the best warrior thoughts your way.

  39. Maia
    November 2nd, 2010 @ 5:47 am

    Shreve, you just keep getting stronger and more wise and wonderful. I don’t mind the term ladies.

  40. Jolene
    November 2nd, 2010 @ 6:25 am

    Hi Shreve, Thanks for sharing your words. I am hoping you never end up in a situation where you have to use your newly acquired self-defense skills, but your lessons are something every mother with a daughter should heed. We live in a different world–even in Wyoming, our women are being attacked. I wanted to share a story with you. My daughter is in the lead picture of this article. Looking back at this experience, it made me sad that we have to teach our daughters these skills, but proud that she was willing to learn the lesson and sees the world through a different lens.

  41. Sue
    November 2nd, 2010 @ 7:22 am

    Wow, you’re amazing and amazingly wise. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  42. Maddy
    November 2nd, 2010 @ 7:47 am

    Nice post Shreve. We must always “be aware and be prepared”.
    Many of us will recall Meredith Emerson, a GA hiker who lost her life to serial killer Gary Hilton on the Appalachian Trail.
    When this occurred there was a long article written about how important it is for women to know how to defend themselves against predators. Too many do not take this seriously. I have taken a RAD course which is offered in many areas of US, often by the police department. They did mention to us that even if we are skilled at martial arts, we need to go that one step further.
    Meredith is considered a hero. If she had not responded in the way she did to Hilton, they think he would have many more victims to his credit. She stalled him long enough that the FBI was able to finally capture him.
    Sadly,as in Meredith’s case, we do not always win the battle, but we can at least give ourselves a fighting chance. Shreve is doing that and we should all learn some valuable lessons from her, and not procrastinate what needs to be done to arm ourselves against these monsters.
    One thing I learned was that you never allow yourself to get close to a stranger when out hiking, etc. I think 15-20 feet away is the rule, regardless of how charming they appear to be. You don’t turn your back on them, bend over, etc. I used this in parking lot and it worked beautifully. As soon as I spotted this dude, I treated him as “trouble”, and that he was. I instinctively did what I was taught and because I did not hesitate I was able move quickly from the back of my truck to get my driver side door flung open wide where my Akita was on the front seat. He was using the “I need help…can you help me PLEASE” ploy, over and over again as he walked rapidly toward me. Before the RAD course I would have hesitated and tried to “help”. (It’s the nurse in me.) As he came around my vehicle where I was sitting with the Akita I had my phone in hand. One look at the dog and he backed up FAST! He continued to ask for “help”, and I told him “help was on the way.” He absolutely stayed his distance once he saw the dog, and took off running when he realized the cops were on route to the parking lot. So much for “needing help”. I had not even had time to dial 911 but he did not know that. In this case, my Akita would have taken all the steps she needed to “help” this fool on my behalf.
    This is a web site about Meredith, but there are many more if you are interested.
    As tragic as it is, I found it to be an excellent learning experience and the wake up call I needed to arm myself against the sediment of society in any way I could.

  43. Renee
    November 2nd, 2010 @ 8:02 am

    Shreve, I wish I had half your courage. Lesley, your picture of Ricardo attacking an intruder has given me a fit of giggles!

  44. Jessica
    November 2nd, 2010 @ 8:13 am

    I admire your COURAGE and tenacity Shreve! I read these and am fired up with fight instincts for you. I can’t imagine having to deal with something like this. Its one thing to protect yourself and then also be looking out for the whole Farmily. You’re an amazing woman. You’ve made me very curious about these Flower essences too. :) Thanks for sharing on something so personal.

  45. hello haha narf
    November 2nd, 2010 @ 8:26 am

    i’m grateful that you are sharing this story.
    (i am of the belief that things happen for a reason, even if we don’t understand the reason. think it is possible that your experiences with this awful situation happened for a reason…to prepare and maybe save one or more of your readers? i hate that you had to endure this abuse, but i can’t stress enough how thankful i am that you are able to be vocal about what happened.)

  46. Karen
    November 2nd, 2010 @ 8:29 am

    I really love this post. It is about women, FOR women. Your words will help someone, sometime, when they least expect it, and you will likely never know you made a difference. Women are stronger than men I think, and that is why we bend. We are more flexible. On the other hand, our strength is needed in multiple ways in this current world we live in. You’ve been a great example of how we can be strong without losing who we are.

    Thank you for the time and effort you’ve put into your writing. It’s making a difference.

    Oh, and I use Bach Rescue Remedy for my dog when storms come through. She is SO frightened during them, and this allows her to become calm, takes the stress out of her life, and mine, too. Flower essences are powerful magic.

  47. Jo Davis
    November 2nd, 2010 @ 8:30 am

    we are all….ladies, girls, women, females, the weaker sex HA!….hear us ROAR!!!!!

  48. Jill
    November 2nd, 2010 @ 8:39 am

    Thank you for sharing. I was lucky enough to start training martial arts when I was 14, and 14 years later couldnt imagine my life without it! A meditation important to my art, Poekoelan:

    Always in History those who loved fighting were destroyed, But those who could not fight were also destroyed.
    Strength and virtue, such alone lasts and can lead others aright.
    – Hakin Song of Meditation

    People with good hearts who know how to defend themselves and others are necessary. No tools should be exclusive to those who are willing to abuse them.

  49. Deborah
    November 2nd, 2010 @ 8:47 am

    We are more powerful than we think. You are a testament to that in sharing this very personal story with all of us.

  50. sal
    November 2nd, 2010 @ 9:14 am

    Hi Shreve, it seems you’re doing everything right. There is a ‘victim’ posture, mindset and expression. Shoulders slumped, drawn in, eyes downcast or furtive, slow, hesitant steps etc. Compare that to a woman walking upright, shoulders square, eyes bold (not daring)walking with purpose. Which whould an assailant be drawn to? They are generally opportunists and cowards looking for an easy target. Oh, a word to replace ‘ladies’? Try she-human …. Has a nice ring to it. Non compartmental sounding. Have a nice rest of the week, hug your growing family for me. Sal

  51. Marg
    November 2nd, 2010 @ 9:32 am

    To think I suggested vitamin therapy for you when I thought something was wrong and you were so down. So sorry Shreve, never assume you know what is going on with people is my lesson.

  52. danielle
    November 2nd, 2010 @ 9:36 am

    No wonder you were so taken with Lisbeth Salander and the Millennium trilogy!

    But good for you for realizing your own power!

  53. Lynda
    November 2nd, 2010 @ 10:09 am

    Good Morning! Thank you for this. I too am waiting impatiently for more of the story. It’s empowering just to read it.

    I love Green Hope Farm’s flower essences. I’ve been using them for about a year now. Recently ordered Bofin Unusual, Giant’s Causway, and Sea Rocket. Very powerful.

    Jane Trades: I personally would be very interested in what else you have to say. Shreve, you have my permission to send her my e-mail address if you’re inclined.

    Again, thank you for sharing your story. Thank you for sharing all your stories. It’s always a treat to check your sites. Best wishes to you and all you hold dear.


    And, Ladies is good. We Ladies Rock-It!! :)

  54. Tom O'Dowd
    November 2nd, 2010 @ 10:09 am

    You should spend some time with wolves. We have a saying, “Males play for points, females play for keeps.” Fights between males are mostly smoke and little heat. Fights between females are likely to the death. When a female is mad a male, the male normally backs off, way off. They know about females.

  55. Karen
    November 2nd, 2010 @ 10:14 am

    I love, love, love how you went into intense observation mode… watching those female animals, and noticing your surroundings in a new way. It’s how I would guess you would evolve in this story just by knowing you from your internet/book words.

    I love how you are so in touch with animals/Earth/behaviors– it’s truly lovely to learn about, even when it’s not a lovely situation.

    Stay strong– you are.

  56. Theresa Szpila
    November 2nd, 2010 @ 10:21 am

    Shreve, I found your “awakening” to your own power most heartening! Thank you so much for sharing this with us. Stay strong!

    Blessings to you and all the farmily!

  57. kimberly
    November 2nd, 2010 @ 11:40 am

    i read your blogs often, and i just wanted to say 3 things:
    1. KUDOS to you for being such a bad-a$$ in this situation.
    2. what an inspirational and thought-provoking post. it’s true that mother animals have the most vicious fighting skills … why IS that not ok for the human ladies?? this is something i’m going to carry around to think about for awhile.
    3. as a feral-cat-tamer, i know just what you are experiencing … isn’t it lovely?! :)

  58. Regina Ellis
    November 2nd, 2010 @ 11:43 am

    You rock, Shreve. Call us “women”…that’s what we are. Although I have no problem with being called a “lady”, the term brings to mind someone in high heels, a skirt, lace, and sipping tea with her friends in a high end restaurant. “Woman” encompasses that and so much more. It says human female in all it’s forms.

  59. Chris
    November 2nd, 2010 @ 1:16 pm

    Again, thank you for sharing this. It is heartening, tracing your progress through this horror as you’ve related it. Hindsight is inevitable, but to my mind you have responded appropriately and wasted very little time making crucial decisions.

    My sister took a self-defense course years ago, the kind where instructors wear heavy padding and students are taught to fight all-out. She is a very peaceful, even pacifistic person; it has always eased my mind knowing she has the training to fight if need be.

    I applaud your insight in using what you’ve learned from animals for your defense. Everyone’s optimum solutions to problems are different; I’m very glad you’ve found yours.

    And again I am chilled, outraged and warmed by the testimony of the other women who post here. You are shining examples of the best that human beings can be.

  60. Sarah
    November 2nd, 2010 @ 2:31 pm

    Looking forward to hearing more about flower essences, glad you were able to find such strength. Reminds me of the weaknesses I need to work on in myself!

  61. Marlene
    November 2nd, 2010 @ 4:09 pm

    Flower essences..I have been reading about thier power..I think this situation you went thru with this nutcase, will bring with it many spritual lessons your way, all hard situations teach us so much about ourselves our strenghts and weaknesses..I have been reading some books from Ester Hicks “Abraham” and one thing he says over and over is we make our reality with what we give focus and energy thinking about..(so easy when your a disembody bubble of cosmic energy?) and since you know this and how to focus on the good ex: your trip on the Vespa…there must be some really deep fears..that you need to work on..and then this nut will dissapear..and nothing else will ever happen like this again…you’ll do it I have no worry about that! Marlene from Cambria

  62. Liza Lundell
    November 2nd, 2010 @ 4:25 pm

    You’re an inspiration. It’s certainly true with domestic dogs; the boys fight for status, the bitches fight to kill. When two bitches decide they don’t want to live together any more, you better rehome one of them; it’s not going to get better and if they ever get at each other it’s going to be ugly.

  63. Rhea
    November 2nd, 2010 @ 4:35 pm

    I agree with Andrea & Clare – mothers (hence, women) become the strongest, fiercest, indominitable forces when it comes to protecting their loved ones. Being a “mother” can be different things to different people. In my own case it’s my sons. In your case, it’s being a protector of “your children.” Same thing… I’m sorry you had to endure that situation but appreciate you sharing it with all of us. I still vote for someone’s western suggestion – the 3 S’s (shoot, shovel, silence).

  64. Adrienne
    November 2nd, 2010 @ 11:17 pm

    I don’t have the energy to read all the comments Shreve. But I will say that you are more well-prepared than most I know. I spent my teen years growing up in a not-so-great neighborhood (we moved out when a bullet went through our front siding one night). I routinely walked the dog down at the park after midnight, without incident. I was *always* aware of my surroundings. I frequently looked to see what I could use to defend myself. The bull clip on the leash was my main “weapon” should I need one. I figured a good slash across the face with that chucnk of steel would give me all the head start I needed. But that confidence gives one an aura. People sense and respect it and therefore, there is no trouble.

    Good luck to you Shreve. But don’t let this creep absorb any more of your life than he has to. Be ready for him and get on with things that are more important.

    Say, it’s kind of like the Old West. :-) Enemies always at hand. You simply had to be ready for anything, be aware of your surroundings, fight when needed but live your life despite that.

  65. Scotty
    November 3rd, 2010 @ 2:51 am

    book em danno

  66. Patr
    November 3rd, 2010 @ 6:30 am

    As my Grandmother said: “A lady always knows how to carry herself in any situation, and if the situation calls for you to kick some ass, wear the right boots to do it.” I think your grandmother’s would agree.

    Kiss Mr Charlie for me today. On my drive in I saw a coyote that had been run over. Very sad to see. The area where I live is becoming too populated….very sad for all of us.

  67. Roxanne
    November 3rd, 2010 @ 8:04 am

    I’m SO grateful to you for writing this. LADIES NEED to know this. And, I encourage women to take any type of class (or like me do some young self, Bar brawlin’ *LOL*) that teaches you to prepare FOR and DEFLECT and TAKE a punch. The “fear” of pain, of getting hit…I’ve always felt that was the major issue preventing women from defending themselves…along with the “GIRLS DON’T FIGHT!”
    Hmmm…Hope Mike never got hit over the head with a chair or pool cue in a bar in Cali…mighta’ been ME.
    Love you Shreve!

  68. Roxanne
    November 3rd, 2010 @ 9:56 am

    WHHHHOOOHOOO@ COLLEEN…that’s why she be one uh my “girls”! xoxoxoxoxoox

  69. Jenny C
    November 3rd, 2010 @ 10:58 am

    Thanks for letting us in on this entire process, Shreve. It’s a gift that allows us to learn from this situation, and it eases our concerns somewhat for you and farmily. Sounds like it’s also helping you to write it out – some of the best processing and viable solutions are found by brain to hand to paper (or keyboard).

    So glad E sent flower essences – wonderfully gentle emotional, mental and physical little atom bombs (so effective). I’m so grateful for them. Also a lovely mystery that they can have not only an immediate impact but, depending on the formula, can continue to heal, strengthen and prepare over time.

    Jerry’s (#8) was a great post, imo.
    Rhea’s (#63) last line was awesome, funny and appropriately deadly.

    I don’t give an elf’s leg whether you call us ladies, girls, hey-you-guys, or whatever – don’t spend your joy and strength on worrying about that stuff when you’re in your own personal boot camp honing essential skills, attitudes and paradigm shifts.

    We’re still that invisible posse riding trusty steeds and kickin’ up dust (how corny is that!) to lend support and strength.

  70. Stephanie
    November 3rd, 2010 @ 2:45 pm

    Great post love what I am hearing – keep it coming. Something all girls need to hear. The very thing that make us “appealing” is also what makes us vulnerable – I am NOT polite, to friends and family, yes, to strangers no, i know how to fight and how to shoot (very accurately) a variety of guns. And there is nothing wrong with that.

  71. Joseph Dobrian
    November 3rd, 2010 @ 8:30 pm

    “Ladies” is no more offensive than “gentlemen.”

  72. Lisa Wallace
    November 4th, 2010 @ 1:12 am

    When I visit your websites, I am always drawn to your techniques for living life with purpose, conviction, passion, and an open mind. One word continually enters my thoughts: potential. Thank you for teaching me about potential.

  73. christine
    November 4th, 2010 @ 11:29 am

    thanks for sharing this. I will share with my daughter and other female friends. I agree, that the mothering instinct whether from a body born child or just furry children, gives us power we don’t really know we have.

    Shreve, could you share some of the book titles that you value that teach about intent? manifestation? I would love to read more.

  74. Phyllis
    November 4th, 2010 @ 7:49 pm

    I’m glad you gained control over the fear. How ironic (or maybe not) that the flower essences arrived just when they did.

    I for one would not hesitate to fight somebody trying to harm me or mine!

    And I also gain so much strength from animals – not just my pets – but all animals.

    That perve never knew what wildcat he unleashed in you – ha ha!!

  75. Jeannie
    November 4th, 2010 @ 7:50 pm

    Thank you for sharing your experience, and especially for “The Gift of Fear.”
    I’ve been making notes for myself to help fine tune my intuition after years of listening to social conditioning about expected behaviors for the female of the species. That book is so helpful!

  76. Heatherface
    November 5th, 2010 @ 1:49 am

    I don’t have anything to add that hasn’t already been said, but wanted to leave my two cents and say that “ladies” is perfectly fine. It describes all ages just fine, saying “females” would just sound rather silly.

    I’ve been enjoying reading this, thank you for being willing to talk about it.

  77. Andrea
    November 5th, 2010 @ 10:43 am

    Shreve, you are so very right. When I recently started a job, my new boss started touching and intimidating me and I felt so vulnerable. I will never ever let such a thing happen to me. (Needless to say, I quit 2 days after and told the job agency about him)
    Keep fighting :)

  78. Tina
    November 6th, 2010 @ 2:41 am

    So glad you got over your fright and found your fight. I do feel soooo bad for that poor bear. Happy for that mama cow, too.

  79. dusty pines art
    November 9th, 2010 @ 1:37 pm

    good for you! to have found your core of strength – so grounding, settling, enriching – opens you to be you, without artificial boundaries. so freeing – and i’m so glad for you, tho the genesis of it is so awful.

    i tend to live fear-based (got it from my mom), but i know i have the strength (for all i’m disabled) & the will to protect myself & mine if necessary. i fought off 3 dogs who tried to get my older son when he was a toddler, jumped in the ocean (i can’t really swim) to save younger son when he was getting swept away (his father was supposed to be watching him & i just happened upon them at the right moment) – & some 15 years ago we had 2 mountain lions living right in my yard & the surrounding areas, threatening children & adults alike. whenever we left the house, i always stood between the boys & the brush, projecting fierce motherhood, & they were never openly threatened by them. saw their eyes watching a few times & i got pretty huffy – if i had a scruff on my neck it’d’a been fully up!

    ladies? i love the term! i know its origins, but i am happy to be called a lady – because a real lady knows her strengths, can face & handle any situation, and rise above it all to find & be herself.

    “years of…bar brawls under his belt”?! *sigh* men . . . gotta love ’em, the dears!

    many good thoughts, you!

  80. dusty pines art
    November 9th, 2010 @ 1:40 pm

    oh – and! re the cows & bears – i noticed the cows moved off & went back to grazing as the bear slunk away. the ability to let go, to not hold onto the stress, to deal with a situation & then move on – that’s something we humans can learn from other creatures. & i feel from what you’ve posted above, you’ll be able to, too.

  81. Jennifer
    November 10th, 2010 @ 8:03 am

    Shreve, I am a wreck while reading these posts, as they hit way to close to home. I was in a similar position as you, and it came to confrontation (by him, at my house where I lived alone, in the dark hours of night).

    As regretful as I may be with the loss of human life, it was either him or me, and I am not ready to leave this world. I walked away shaken, with a black eye, some bruises and 18 stitches in my shoulder, but I walked away alive and living. He did not.

    I had (and still have) people who call me names, tell me I should be in jail, etc. For a long time I took those comments to heart, and was conflicted inside. But then one day it hit me. This man had invaded my life/well being/privacy in every way possible, for a period of 2 years and 11 months. AND if that wasn’t enough, he broke into my home with the intention (in writing no less!) of harming…no ‘extinguishing’ (his word) me. I had every right to do what I did, and by god I’d do it again tomorrow.

    Keep up your confidence, power and positive thinking. I have no human children, but my fiance, my horse, my bloodhound and my kitties are my absolute world, and I would do anything and everything in my power to keep my family safe…I’m sure you feel the same way about your Farmily! :)

    Be well!

  82. Badger
    November 10th, 2010 @ 12:59 pm

    I fight in the SCA, and I have never had a problem believing women can fight.
    I know several Lady Fighters in the SCA, and have had my share of bruises from them on the field.
    (Several of them are better fighters than me.)

    Don’t let anyone ever tell you a woman can’t fight, because anyone who says that hasn’t been up against a Lady Fighter, either in armor, or with a rapier.
    (Yes, they are usually called that in the SCA- at least one I have met is a Knight.)

    Aside from the SCA, I was raised rural,and everyone in my family knows how to use guns- including my mother and sister.
    My mother is more likely to shoot someone who threatened her than I would.

    I never heard of the practice of telling women they should not fight.
    It certainly didn’t happen in my home.


  83. Ariel
    November 18th, 2010 @ 11:20 am

    I think the Real reason physical fighting and the art of warfare are withheld from women in our culture is precisely because women have the potential to be more vicious than men.

  84. Rebecca
    January 23rd, 2012 @ 2:12 pm

    I know I am late to the party but I want to thank you for what you are saying about women and fighting. Many of my friends do not feel confindent in their ability to protect themselves because their upbring did not prepare them for physical confrontation. I was raised in a house where my father saw women in his family abused while he was a child and he never wanted that for his daughters. Friends that like to ‘play fight’ stay away from me and my sisters. I learned how to throw a real punch very young and when I practice I am not throwing weak kicks, jabs, punches or hits. I am aiming to do what I would if need be – and there are times I have needed to defend myself. More people need to talk about a female’s right to protect herself and empower women to do so. This post is a great example of how important it is to be thinking about self defense as a life skill.

  85. Jenn B
    May 23rd, 2017 @ 2:57 pm

    I know this is aged, i wanted to say thank you for your decision to share your story. I to went through a similar situation and i was so afraid to do anything for fear of the law not being able to protect me and my children.I to had responded to texts trying to ask him to stop. One night i looked out my window and he was there in my back yard. I have no idea how he found my home. I drew strength from your ability to stand up and say enough is enough. The law works a little differently in Canada but the courage to take that step was instrumental in saving myself and my children as he had quite the criminal past with similar issues and other women who were not as lucky as i to get away unscathed. Thanks for bringing this subject to light.

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