Saturday, May 2, 2015
How I’m learning how NOT to be a predator magnet!
“No” is a complete sentence.
I don’t always have to defend myself or my choices. If you get caught up defending your valid life choices, the bully is going to back you in a corner demanding you explain yourself. Nope. I don’t need to explain a thing! Bullies want a reaction and they want you to keep talking. Sometimes, moving on without a word is the smartest response. Furthermore, engaging and defending yourself makes you seem weaker because you care too much about what others say rather than remaining confident in your own truth. The more you say, they more a bully can find to pick on.
I need to STOP telling people too much too soon. Bullies will take your insecurities and run with them! And the more you tell people, the more they have to work with when they want to mock, stalk or prey on you. People with poor boundaries violate their own privacy by giving away too much information which shows predators that they are easy targets.
I need to practice self-control. Instead of letting myself get caught up in romance, I need to limit myself and give myself time to think instead of rushing in. The romantic predator is hoping to overwhelm you and push you into a relationship to get you hooked before you know what is going on.
I need to beware of making hasty decisions–especially if someone is pushing me–and stop being afraid to ask questions.
I need to recognize my needs and desires and speak up for them. Predators want an easy target. If you start being a “pain” and asking for equal rights, they are probably going to move to someone less difficult to control. Plus, if I don’t know what I want, how am I going to meet the right people?
I need to stop being mousy and start being bold."
In my life, there has been too many predators. If you live in a bad neighborhood or a ghetto, you know what it is like to be sized up and what it is like for the wolves to be staring you down, in making the decision to take a bite or rob you. You know what it is to hide or run. One learns to live by instinct almost in surviving. Most people in all poor areas, are ordinary people just trying to survive and feed their kids, but in some areas especially taken over by gangs and the drug trade, life can be very dangerous. I lived in that danger. Predators abounded.
American social decay and police state catches up in the inner city, and with all these riots, some anxiety gets in the pot of my stomach. In my opinion the powers that be are agitating for racial hatred for police state crackdowns and destruction of civil rights. The inner cities felt the destruction of the USA economy first. The billion dollar "drug wars" have turned our inner cities into "combat zones" where the police state rules completely.
As I have written before I lived in a place bad enough to hear gunshots at night, and gangs posturing and "flashing colors". This included seeing homeless people sleeping on ledges and with their trash bags in shopping carts and others shoved up on the back of police cars. Drug dealing was rampant. This wasn't the first bad neighborhood I had lived in. My apartment in another neighborhood was a few doors down from a crack-house in my old college town but this one was the worse.
While my present neighborhood is immediately safe with the accompanying expensive rent, I live only 5-6 miles from another "bad neighborhood". If something goes wrong here, my car will be packed with my computers, pills, medical equipment and clothes and we will be driving away ahead of time. In my life, there has been too high of a taste of the streets to know how bad things can get. A lifetime of PTSD probably has put me perhaps on too high alert. We are too poor to move further into the country for cheaper rent but where one is more dependent on a good car and I know mentally and physically I can't handle living in a "tough" neighborhood, so we pay big rent that is actually near half our income.
One life decision I have made is I will never live in a dangerous place again, even if this means selling everything I own and renting a room in the smallest out of the way town I can find. I know I couldn't survive what I went through before again.
One thing I hated about living in some of these places especially the worse, is I never could go out and feel vulnerable or weak, you had to put your "hard face" on to survive, and almost an air, of "I don't give a crap" to be left alone. My work was with violent and troubled teens and I had no illusions about the streets. A different code ruled them. This gave me more streets smarts to survive then ordinary people but it was very rough. I have seen things that well, changed me. A carpet of cockroaches, doors sold for drugs, perhaps one day I will write about more of these things.
Social cohesion and friendliness is gone. During my years there I grew rather "hard" like the people I lived around. When I escaped to the small town, it was like dying and going to heaven, just for the very fact of being able to walk down the street without being mugged. It was an impossible feeling to even explain to people. The peace I found there was so important. Later we would be forced to move but I still miss the quiet, the more relaxed and less career obsessed people, and the lower number of yuppies. This area has its positives, but I still miss the more rural life, though economically things crashed.
One hideous lesson I learned in dealing with street criminals and other scumbucket vagabonds, was NEVER SHOW FEAR. Since I worked with troubled youth with a few known sociopaths in the mix, my street smarts and radar was higher and I definitely had learned not to display fear there too. I had to put all the rules in force that are listed above. Self control, never show fear, speaking up for myself and being bold ruled my universe.
My job was such that if I cracked it would have been very bad for me. Sometimes lately I have had thoughts that I ended up in that work, because my employers not only wanted someone big, the teens would be less likely to beat up, but my life long experience of dealing with sociopaths? You must remember with my work in inner city schools, a juvenile home and a residential home for violent youth, many co-workers did crack up. They'd break down in tears, they'd get jumped and beaten up. They'd lose control. One coworker actually had head injuries that put her into the hospital for three months after I left that job. To do the work, we did especially at my last job, you had to use wits to avoid endless tragedies and danger.
There are times in my life, where I have wished I could be what I call a "normal" person. They are happy. They didn't spent years worrying about parents who would beat them or who were sociopaths. They never had a thousand yard stare or nightmares for 15 years. They have families who love them. They have normal jobs, and homes, and lives. It's hard to explain those feelings. They didn't spend years of their life being prey for sociopathic narcs or living in neighborhoods so dangerous they'd wonder if they'd survive. To be frank, one reason I know I got so sick, is trauma. Outrunning and outwitting an endless list of predators frankly wore me out. Today I am tired. There are times I am tempted to become a complete hermit and never leave the apt again. I'm housebound enough as it is.
One way I dealt with the predators in my neighborhood was to let them think I was crazier then they were. I was probably crazy since I had just gained 400lbs. I remember the day this guy tried to rob me of the 15 bucks I had on me down at the bus station, and how I not caring about guns, knives or weapons--he hadn't displayed one yet but was working on me via coercion. I actually screamed, "I'm poorer then dirt you #^($$ leave me alone!" along with endless cuss words. I got so mad that in front of 10 people waiting at the bus stop I picked up a metal trashcan like the Hulk, and threw it across the parking lot, screaming along the way. After that display no one bothered me for money the whole next year.
My neighborhood was so bad, I could have gotten easily raped, robbed or murdered. It was "watch your back time" all the time. Men did follow me in twos most often to try and set me up. I would run into public places to avoid them. I heard two men discuss robbing me in Spanish. They didn't know I knew their language enough to get the gist and to clear out of dodge. I was jumped and had to fight to at least twice but this doesn't explain the dozens of smaller interactions, being grabbed on the arm, being asked to be a customer for drugs, beggars who were on the line between robbers and "asking". One learns the lesson of the streets and weirdly they are applicable to your evil narcissist or sociopath sitting prettily in their suburban home. Be wary of someone who approaches you with a smile or asks to help, at the big city bus-stop, some people would swarm you asking to carry your bags to steal them! Robbers will caste people, and even come up asking for directions and smiling. Most people think they just come up punch you and run, a few do, but most size you up first.
I had to develop "rules" to deal with my family and mother. Like the above experiences, I had to learn to "never show fear". Lately I have been thinking about that one, why on earth was I visiting people who scared me to the point, I lived in deadly fear of having an asthma attack around or having any "weakness"? I had my times where I had to be bold, and not mousy. One thing about my family, I did tell them off a few times, but it bounced off the wall and meant nothing but at least I defended myself to get away.
Dealing with my parents was a primer in surviving the street criminals I would face. My mother's smiles couldn't be trusted and I learned to know when I was being lied to. Working at the group home, lies flowed like a river. Predators don't care and this is why my 6 figures parents had no qualms about letting their daughter almost die in the inner city. I know my father did not protect me at all or even treat me like a young woman forcing me to go into such dangerous work to pay my rent and keep off the streets. It saddens me that so much of my life was dealing with people who lacked consciences and trying to survive around them. The me of today would never do the work I did before. Psychologically there must have been some process at work in me where in my "avoiding the predators" around me, as a child, I entered into the same situation in the work world. I believe I had altruism and good intentions in becoming an art teacher of course.
The more I have studied narcissism and sociopathy, it has been interesting. As an Aspie, I have to admit the competitiveness and status focus of neurotypical society nauseates me. Aspies want peaceful lives reading their books and doing their interests. We don't want to watch out for people who want to get over. We are not into competing. We tire of people who see us as targets. Let me just be frank being Aspie among "getting over" neurotypicals sucks eggs. My sickening family with it's constant games of competition and showing off, was the last family I should have been raised with. Wolves and sharks make us all miserable. I am learning to also listen to that uncomfortable feeling in the pit of my stomach too, read the book "The Gift of Fear". Intuition will help you "see" predators and get away. I had someone recently I knew I had to get away from. She would smile and "act nice" but I was listening to those feelings inside, that turned out to be right.
I have better radar for predators and they come in all forms. I think the best thing is to avoid people like this as much as possible but the advice in the article above is good advice. Don't over-share with them, don't think you owe them anything, be cautious, control your emotions around them and be bold in making your needs met. My top advice of course is avoid them at all costs and go no contact immediately when one has come around you.