Saturday, June 5, 2010

Found this online!

Steady as she goes...

Hey all!
   Nothing regarding my diet/exercise/weight has really changed since yesterday-I've decided not to weigh myself until Monday morning, so that I won't freak out over little fraction of a lb changes and just WORK MY ASS OFF! Then, if I'm a little short of my goal in the morning, I can work all day and still have a last shot for night time.
   Also, I realized that a lot of readers and bloggers are in the UK (Thanks, "Because I Love Who I Can Become!"), so as soon as I'm through with this post I'm going to go through my stats and do metric conversions and UK sizes for all of them. I know that we Americans are the only ones not on the boat with the Metric system, lol-so that must be frustrating. To be remedied shortly =)
   What I kind of want to post about today is about the RAD class I took. I don't know if I've ever brought this up in a post before...pretty sure that I haven't, but I was sexually assaulted about 5 years ago. I never really got counseling or treatment for it until very recently, and I still get nightmares and flashbacks sometimes of it happening. Ever since, I've had this idea that men can do whatever they want and there's nothing I can do to stop them. I'm no match for their size or strength, which really scares me-because nothing I did stopped it last time. It is quite a reality check-I always used to see on television and in movies, women would escape in the nick of time with a kick to the groin or something like that-but it wasn't that easy.
   Well, overall I'm fine now...I still think about it sometimes before I fall asleep at night, but it doesn't hinder or interfere with my every day life anymore. In the beginning, I couldn't leave my apartment for weeks. Then, when I had sort of recovered a bit and had gained back a semblance of normalcy, I saw him in a mall food court after 3 1/2 years. That was rough-it was really terrifying thinking things like "What if he saw me?" "Does he know where I live now?" "Has he been in town this whole time or did he just come back?" etc, etc. For various reasons that I won't go entirely into, I never reported the attack or pressed charges. It was a textbook case of a combination of 1. alcohol and drugs being involved, 2. blaming myself, and 3. that he was not a stranger but rather a friend of a friend. All of these factors made me too scared to report anything to the police. I was afraid that no one would believe me, or think that I was drunk and exaggerated it. Then on the complete opposite end-what if the police did believe me, and it went as far as an arrest and a trial-and then I had to testify in front of him and my family and our mutual friends would be called up....inevitably some would side with him and some would side with me. Neither result seemed particularly desirable to me.
   Anyway, now that the background information is over with, I'll get back to the point. I was reading my local newspaper and came across an article about the police department offering these Rape Aggression Defense classes for FREE! So, I went online and searched "Women's Self-Defense Class" in my area, and sure enough the most highly rated one that kept coming up was the RAD class. There were some others, but they weren't all free and didn't have as great reviews. So, I asked a friend of mine if she wanted to do it with me, she said she would, and I registered us both.
   Well, even though the classes are extremely long (Four hours for three days), they were really awesome. I learned so much, and a lot of safety measures that I never even would have thought of. The first day was not hands on, it was basically a 4-hour power-point presentation, but with a very good instructor who didn't just read the slides, and demonstrated a few things, and had a lot of stories of past cases to drive the points home. The second day was really cool, we got to be much more physically active and were taught a bunch of amazing resistance, defense, and aversion moves if ever attacked from just about every angle/position imaginable. It was a lot to take in, but so empowering to know that you don't have to be a 6-foot Amazon Women to have a chance in hell at escaping!
   Here's comes the bad part. Well, not bad-just disappointing, I suppose. The third day is what they call "Fight Night," and it is supposedly the best part and most useful. It is basically where you get to use everything you learned the previous two days, where you enter a room not knowing what is about to happen, and certified RAD instructors who you haven't met before surprise attack you in a variety of scenarios, forcing you to remember what moves to use in those situations. I was really excited about it, but also extremely nervous. What happened was, at the end of the second day, we had finished a little ahead of schedule and had about a half hour left, so the instructors decided to teach us some "advanced" moves that required them to sort of "fake attack" you in order for you to use them, and one the the moves involved what to do when you are being dragged by your legs.
   When I was attacked, I was dragged by my hair to a room where the door was then locked and I wasn't allowed to leave. So, even though this move wasn't exactly the same, something about the sensation and feeling of being dragged away triggered a flashback. I was near tears and had to leave the room. After everyone else had gone and the class was dismissed, I asked to speak to one of the instructors and explained that I had been sexually assaulted in the past, and that I've been diagnosed with PTSD and have been working on trauma issues in therapy, but that I was extremely nervous about "Fight Night," based on what had just happened.
   She told me not to worry, that it was completely understandable, and that they would let me go first with no one else in the room, so that if I had to stop for any reason, the rest of the class wouldn't know. That made me feel a little better, but that night (Thursday) I had nothing but skin-crawling, bone-chilling nightmares all night...the kind I haven't had in years. And I know that I shouldn't have let it effect me the way that it did, but I ended up no-showing to Fight Night.
   Now, I feel so awful about it. I can't believe that I let my fears from the past stop me from learning how to protect myself in the future! True, I got the information out of the first two days-but what good are all of those moves and tactics if I can't remember them in a high-stress situation? That's sort of the point of Fight Night-making you recall information when you are caught unaware. I called the police department today and found out that they are holding the classes again at the end of July...which will be about a week or so before I move, anyway. I e-mailed the main RAD instructor I had and made up some excuse about yesterday, and asked if I could come again in July. Hopefully, I don't let my past ghosts get the best of me next time. But, all that being said, I think that anyone who ever has the opportunity to take either an official RAD class or any Self-Defense class for women-PLEASE DO IT! There are RAD classes offered in the US, Canada, the UK, South Korea, and Switzerland. Here's a link to their website: RAD Systems: Program Locator. If it helps even one woman avert an assault or battery, its done its job.
   I think I'll let that be the final word on my RAD class. I'll be spending the rest of the day finishing making my friend's Wedding Guest Book. She wanted a guest book that people could sign, but also wants to make a "Wedding Scrapbook" after the wedding, where she can put people's messages in it by their pictures. So, she didn't want to buy an expensive, fancy guest book because she plans on tearing the pages out and using it in the scrapbook. But she also didn't want something cheap-looking or trashy, like just throwing a memo pad on the table with a pen, lol. She was stressing over it, so I offered to make one for her-because I love craft projects like that. I'm going to finish it today so that I can take pictures of it and send them to her to make sure she likes it, while I still have time to change anything in the next week. I'll post pictures here of it when its done-I'm rather proud of it, if I do say so myself. =)

"Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead."
-Louisa May Alcott