Thursday, December 13, 2007

empowered

How did this class empower me, Andrea wants to know? I’ve already written a full six-page essay on the subject, but I’ll spare you that.

I’m less fearful. Most people are surprised to learn that I was walking around most days in a state of hyper-awareness, unable to sleep well, and constantly thinking through “what if” scenarios. (What if someone sneaks into the garage while we ride our bikes around the block?) Facing these fears head-on was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. But knowing I’m able to handle a worst-case scenario attack allows me to let go of this hyper-vigilance. Freedom from fear? Empowering. It opens up a whole new world.

I’m more assertive. Just knowing that I have the ability to kick the tar out of someone allows me to set a verbal boundary right where I want it, knowing that if they escalate the situation, I’m prepared.

For instance, I mentioned the drunk man at McDonalds. I was there with my three boys several weeks ago, and he zeroed in on me right away. (I think it’s the blonde, slightly overweight factor. Drunk guys dig chicks like me.)

“Oh, you have three boys,” he said.
“I do.” I responded, noting his slurred speech.
“I have two boys and then I get my girl. You want to know how to get a girl? Let me tell you.”
“No. I don’t want to talk to you.”
“Oh, come on. I’m just being nice. Let me tell you what my wife and I did one night...”

(Loudly) “You need to leave me alone. Now. You’re drunk and you don’t belong here. You need to leave.”

And he did.

And can I just say that I was kind of disappointed that I didn’t get to kick him?

A few months ago I would have handled this differently. I would have been friendly instead of assertive, thinking maybe he would leave me alone if I was nice.

So, how do I feel empowered? I feel much more confident setting verbal boundaries and I am free from fear. The list goes on, but these are the big ones.

Next week? How to share God’s love with drunk men at McDonalds.

10 comments:

Spencer said...

Wow,
It sounds like it pretty much changed your life...awesome!!

Frazzmom said...

Not only have you empowered yourself, but you are also setting an example for your boys...

Sometimes NOT being polite is the right thing to do and safety is more important than social expectations...

Llama Momma said...

spencer -- pretty much. :-)

frazz -- I completely agree. This whole experience has really helped me in teaching my boys how to stay safe, and reminding me that I need to empower THEM to take care of themselves.

23 degrees said...

Free from fear! I love this!

I know some folks may be skeptical regarding this training, but in a matter of weeks (I have no affiliation with this group, btw) I have trained individuals who had never even been hit or even studied any martial art into someone that could face down black belts. So, I think this is VERY possible and probable. No question in my mind that it can work, depending on the will and discipline of the Llama in the class.

Great work, LM! Now on to look for that bouncer job. :)

spaghettipie said...

I think you can be polite and still set boundaries and clear expectations. In your example, I wouldn't say you were rude. You were just clear that he didn't belong and needed to leave you alone. It's an interesting, although necessary, balance to teach our children (and ourselves) to set clear boundaries while still showing them God's love and grace.

Llama Momma said...

23 degrees -- Now that would be hilarious, wouldn't it? Me as a bouncer? :-)

SP -- Sometimes the hard truth is the grace of God in someone's life.

Mommy Cracked said...

This sounds like a class I really need. I have problems being assertive, especially in situations like you mentioned. I don't want my son to be this way, so I picked up a book (Protecting The Gift) that really was a huge help to me. I obviously still have a ways to go, but this is so important and kudos to you for raising the awareness.

L.L. Barkat said...

Great little slice of life here. And good for you for setting boundaries. Not always easy!

Don Mills Diva said...

You handled that perfectly. Forcefully but with class. Thanks for reading my blog. Your blog name made me smile - Llama Llama Red Pygjama is my son's favorite book.

MamaToo said...

looking forward to Part II... :)