Feeling Threatened

I used to feel on top of the world. I had an attitude about me when I’d walk thru the world that basically said something like “Don’t Mess With Me”. Not in a hard core punky sort of way, but just in that way of being strong in myself, of having a good self image and self esteem. I didn’t take guff from people and I stood up for myself as well as I could given that I’m not a big guy or a tough or trained in Martial Arts or anything like that. In fact I’ve never even been in a fight in my life except as kids. So when I had a breakdown and found that I was disabled I also found that my self image had shifted somewhat.

Speaking in part here as a gay man but more as one who is disabled, I feel like I’m now a target of people who would do me harm. I can’t run away anymore, my favorite tactic when I couldn’t stand and fight, with words I mean, not physically. I can still hold my own with words pretty much but then again not when I’m in a depression. I can’t do it then. I’ve tried and failed miserably. I’ve had people trash me when I was depressed and haven’t been able to fight back and defend myself and know that I didn’t deserve it. In fact often I’ve felt that I Must have deserved in the nature of my illness.

I also grew up as a kid with severe asthma and was the subject of some bullying when I was a child. Nothing major but enough to let me know even then that I had to develop my wits to survive. And I did. As I said I had an attitude and it carried me thru. But that attitude isn’t around a lot of the time now. I can still call it up when I’m feeling particularly good and not in too much psychic or physical pain. But I Always know that in fact I’m Not OK anymore when it comes to protecting myself. I know attitudes about being gay have changed over the years but we’re still vulnerable to hate crimes everyday and people who are homeless or look like they’re not on top of it are considered easy prey by muggers and those who would do us harm.

So what do you do with this? I’m asking because I haven’t figured this one out yet. I try to stay calm and think positive thoughts and believe in myself as I used to but I find it doesn’t always work. Sometimes it’s my mind that betrays me as I’ve said. But mostly it’s my body that’s the culprit and I hate to think of it as a culprit of anything. But the fact remains that I’m now prey and it’s a disturbing feeling. How do You cope with it? Do you take classes in how to defend yourself? I’ve done that but I don’t think I can even do the moves I learned anymore. It takes too much Umph!.  I have to rely on staying out of dangerous places as much as I can and try my best to stay as strong as I’m able to do. I’d really like some feedback on this if you feel the same way I do. It’d help me and maybe others here as well.

Thanks.

Steve

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6 comments on “Feeling Threatened

  1. I am a woman, almost 65, with Bipolar and a string of other things which I wrote about to you in another post. My husband has been after me to get pepper spray. I think I will get it because he said he would carry it if I did. He is a super thin guy of 61 who works in a bad neighborhood as a clinician to the poorest mentally ill in New York City in the Bronx. Sort of glad you wrote about this because it gets me thinking constructively. P.S. While Mace is illegal, pepper spray is not.

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    • I think your idea of pepper spray is a great idea. We were just in Yellowstone and got some super pepper spray for bears and it made us think we should get a can of something strong for home protection, and maybe to carry with us when we walk at night. My partner is still strong but he can’t fight off a gang. Pepper spray would give folks like us a chance.
      Best of luck to you in this,
      Steve

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        • Thanks for the good wishes. And good for you for getting the spray yourselves. I’m sure it’ll help you feel safer on the streets. I think it’s probably wise they have you sign for this stuff. It’s pretty dangerous in the wrong hands, as are many things…
          best to you,
          Steve

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