After leaving therapy this morning, wired and emotional from discussing the anniversary of my sexual assault (which was Memorial Day), I walked to my car with this new understanding about my feelings, emotions, and experience. In fact, I’d say it was very important information that aided in a boost in my comprehension of not only my situation, but myself and what happened.
As I approached my car, I thought I was hallucinating but came to the sudden and alarm realization that there was a male inside of my car. Now, my car was locked when I left for therapy, so how could someone be inside of the car. Oh, yeah…. I was being robbed.
This experience was not only disorienting, but also my first experience since taking a self-defense course, having dealt with my sexual assault, and learning to get out of the victim persona. The male was not much bigger than me, and couldn’t have been that much older either. I’d say between 18 and 23 years old.
Regardless, after I assessed what was going on and realized, “oh, shit, I am being robbed,” everything in the world stopped, including my emotional mind. The young man got out of my car, hanger in hand and began to walk away as if nothing happened.
Uh, yeah right. I was not going to let another man steal anything from me. I told him to stop, just stop. I asked him what he took, to give back what was mine…now. And he assured me he hadn’t gotten anything. Most likely, it was because I had arrived to my car just in time.
When he showed me his pockets, he emptied them, he swore he didn’t have anything of mine. By the time he took off his shoes to show me he truly didn’t have anything, this was the point that I knew two things:
1. He wasn’t armed.
2. I was in 100% control of the situation.
I told him to stop and stand right there. Just stop. I checked my car to make sure nothing was missing, for certain from inside, and then turned to the young man. He faced me looking at his watch, his ring, knowing he was caught. He offered to give me his watch, his ring, money, anything. Because I knew I was no longer in physical danger and had what was mine, I had something serious to say. I wasn’t done at just “stop” or “give me what’s mine back!”
I turned to him and told him since nothing was missing that I wasn’t calling the cops. Part of me didn’t want to involve the police out of subtle fear of prolonging a controlled situation. Obviously now, I know different ways that I could follow with the police, but in this moment, I sure as hell did the best I could, gave the kid an earful and sent him with a message.
I told him not to break into any more cars, or to steal. But more importantly, I told him, why. I said that the items that are stolen, while important, are not what he is stealing. I said by doing this, he is stealing my security, my safety, and that cannot be easily taken back. He told me he didn’t realize, and did now. And with that, I drove off.
Of course, police should have been called but in this moment, I was not going to be a victim at that time. I cried after it was over and sure, I have post-incident feelings of paranoia or fear that I will walk into my car, and feel unsafe. However, I did fight him back, with my voice, and did not let him take anything of mine except my words.