These are my thoughts, based on my experiences, on having a sense of security and feeling safe. I have been in a situation when my life was threatened and I was living in constant fear. I share these traumatic events in my book Heels to Holster. What I have seen and found is that my idea of security has changed as I have changed. When I was living in fear every day I wanted something or someone to save me and give me a sense of security. I was looking outside of myself for people and things to provide this. During that time I believed the restraining order I had in place and gated community I lived in was my salvation. My mind let me believe these two things would keep the threat away from me. As I look back, I see it was a defensive mechanism so my body could take a break from constantly being in a fight-or-flight mode. Today I see the restraining order was just a piece of paper that is almost impossible to enforce. The gated community with a security guard only keeps law-abiding citizens away, just like the restraining order. They were a false sense of security for me.
As time passed, I needed to find something that would give me a feeling of safety. I believe the only way for me to do this is if I can protect myself. Law enforcement cannot be everywhere at all times. I am responsible for my safety and there are several ways for me to provide this.
- Firearm – The purchase of a gun is just the beginning of the journey. Everyone needs to know how to handle a firearm safely. Owning something that to defend yourself and not knowing how it works or being afraid of it makes it useless. If you purchase a gun, take classes and go to the range and practice. When purchasing a firearm, skills aren’t included in the packaging.
- Pepper spray – Pepper spray used properly gives you a chance to escape a threat. It buys you time to run, find safety and get help. Again, be sure you know how to use it. Don’t wait until you are in a situation you need it to learn how it functions.
- Hand to hand – There are unique types of hand to hand defensive moves that can give you a fighting chance for survival during an attack. There are several classes offered. Scenario training and SPEAR training at W.O.F.T. is my choice.
- Flashlight – An effective item I never considered before attending classes at W.O.F.T. is a flashlight. A flashlight can stun and temporary blind someone if it has enough lumens. They aren’t just for use at night. They can have the same results in the daylight, when you point the light into someone’s eyes.
There are many other tools you can use to defend yourself that I haven’t mentioned. The ones I discussed are the ones I have selected at this time. Whatever you chose be sure you feel confident using them and be mentally prepared to defend yourself. You can take all the training available to you but if you aren’t mentally prepared to do whatever it takes to defend yourself I believe there is a good chance you may hesitate when the time comes and not be ready to put to use what you learned. When I was in a situation where I needed to defend myself against someone I knew I didn’t have the mindset where I was ready to do whatever it took to save myself. I felt hesitation to actually want to harm this person because I thought they cared for me. Today is a different story. I am more confident and I believe my life is important enough to defend myself at all cost whether I know the person or not.
COVID-19 has changed our day to day activities and has people searching to find something to make them feel safe. I see people living in fear and needing something tangible to keep them safe or at least give them the sense of safety. These items are gloves, masks and apparently toilet paper. I will never understand why toilet paper was the item of chose in the beginning. If gloves and masks are used properly they can be a barrier against COVID-19. That isn’t what I have observed in a number of cases. I see people not wearing the mast properly and leaving them hanging on their rearview mirror in the car to be used numerous times without being washed. Having gloves on doesn’t mean you can’t transfer a virus from one item to another like a wallet, purse, keys, or credit card. The gloves don’t mean you should feel comfortable adjusting your mask and touching your face with them. If you chose to wear gloves be conscience of touching items with your hands that you just touched with your gloves. If you are wearing gloves and masks don’t let them be a false sense of security. After wearing your mask once wash it, remove your gloves after one use and throw them away. Be aware of cross contamination when wearing gloves and then handling items with your hands. I found when I wear a mask I need to be conscience about not touching my face. I have a tendency to want to adjust it because I am not use to wearing it. That defeats the purpose if I constantly touch me face after touching numerous items.
Beware of things you may be using to give yourself that sense of security and safety you are craving. Take a close look at these items and see if they are fact or fiction. Are they really keeping you safe or are they providing you with an illusion of safety. Today my sense of security is fact, not fiction, I am my own first responder and I have the mindset and ability to do what it takes to survive.