Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Better to be Smart than Lucky


After reading the edge-of-your-seat post over at @CaroylnEdgar's spot today, for some reason I was instantly reminded of my misadventures with PsychoMike. So in lieu of post today, take a minute to read:

  1. Traveling Alone As a Woman - Carolyn Edgar
  2. The Long, Sad, Bad but True BougieTale of PsychoMike, Part I
  3. The Long, Sad, Bad but True BougieTale of PsychoMike, Part II
Both Carolyn and I, two fairly intelligent women, found ourselves in situations where we were more lucky than smart. And we all know that you cannot count on luck to hold. That one second that your brain shuts down and something else takes over or that you make a decision to zig when you should have zagged - that's when it all goes to hell in a handbasket. It's easy to say in hindsight exactly what we both should have done differently but when you are in the moment, all you can do if find a way to save yourself.


Thoughts, comments, insights?

37 comments:

CaliGirlED said...

Morning Chele!

Yes it's always easier said than done and hindsight is always 20/20. Too bad foresight is not as well. But like you said, "It's easy to say in hindsight exactly
what we both should have done differently but when you are in the
moment, all you can do is find a way to save yourself." This is why we need these stories shared so that it can help those of us who've never been in these situations to try and be a little smarter. It's easier to think "It could never happen to me!" when you only see these kinds of stories on TV (either in a movie or via a news story). But when you hear them from women a little bit closer in your reach, they become more real, causing you to be a little more cautious. This is not 100% full proof protection, but if I found myself in a "Hanger-On Guy" type situation, would I have EVER thought to say what Carolyn said? Probably not, but now that will be engrained in my brain!

Thanks Ladies for sharing!

Jubi The Great said...

Yes hindsight is 20/20. Yes we should all listen to our intuitions, that little voice that tells us something aint right. But the fact remains that you can be as diligent as humanly possible, and STILL end up a victim, and I speak from personal experience. In the end, the only people that can prevent stuff like this from happening...is the people who do it. They make the final choice to be creepy/crazy/assault someone/etc & if they want to do it, they will.

aishao1122 said...

thanks for linking Carolyn's story I need to start reading her blog. I'm sorry that in this day and age women can't get up and go without having to worry about what can happen to them. I went to volunteer for a travel nursing gig and when we were being orientated they also told us about the self defense classes that were required as well as birth control for the women. We were also taught to let several people know where you are going, who your going with, for how long you think you'll be gone. If you meet up with strangers or leave with strangers take pictures of the people send it to a friend or several friends & let the people or man your leaving with know that others know what he looks like and the name he is using.  I backed out after that, sounds mean but if im here to help and you can't guarantee my safety how the hell am I helping? if im too scared to do my job because I'm constantly watching over my shoulder then what is the point? & what in the hell you mean sometimes the governments don't want us there, so who will help us if shyt goes wrong?? Nope backed all the way out after that. I can help in other ways, but not at the expense of my own life. 

CaliGirlED said...

 Amen!!!

thinklikeRiley said...

*reminds self to grab up my homegirls and remind them of the ratchet nature of man*

SingLikeSassy said...

 Yes, Jubi. Yes.

blackprofessor said...

Good Morning Bougieland and thanks for sharing.  I am glad that you and Carolyn got out without being physically harmed. 

When I was in graduate school, I took a self-defense class and the main technique I learned was trusting my intuition.  Our instructor hammered in our heads that our intuition is the most powerful and built-in weapon available.  The more I trust my intuition, the more I get comfortable doing it and these stories reinforce why it is so necessary to do so. 

MsJamie14 said...

It's always going to be a battle between "living a little" and trusting that intuition. You always want to trust someone, you don't want to believe they'll take advantage of you. Life is to be enjoyed. I do a lot of things alone, and it sucks I can never ever allow myself to get too comfortable. I know that it's only been by God's grace I've "lucked out" in certain situations too.

Thanks so much to you and Carolyn for sharing your stories and for issuing a much needed reminder that we all need to hear.

bougie_guest said...

your stories have definitely given me a lot to keep in mind as i continue to plan my ultimate alone trip for my 40th.

thank both of you for sharing....

Grace said...

That  PsychoMike story is the basis of an awesome movie. Gosh, I guess you never really know someone - do you?

CaliGirlED said...

You were not wrong to continue your partying and being entertained by Boys II Men (Mike had lost his entire mind with the McDonalds and Dennys trips). But returning to that room that night, alone, was a huge mistake!

I have a feeling Gene somehow knew Mike was a loser because he was super available to whisk you away. And good thing!

Leo the Yardie Chick said...

And people chide me for being 'paranoid'. Whatever, man! I've heard too many real life horror stories of women who threw caution to the wind for the sake of a good time, only to end up with lifelong mental/physical scars, or dead.

Thank you, Chele and Carolyn, for sharing your stories and reminding us that it's not silly to trust your gut.

CCDreamz said...

I'm relatively a newby around here so this was my first reading of PsychoMike. Wow!  Thank you and Carolyn for sharing.

Sol_dier said...

I have been extremely lucky and very very dumb.2008, Funchal Portugal, an employee of a flower park offered to be my tour guide & show me the real beauty of the town. Noiiiiiiice, I thought & grabbed my camera. 

Town was beautiful, so beautiful I didn't realise we were driving up mountains. I protested, he claimed he would turn around at the next opportune moment. Cue me gripping my seat and pretending to be okay. 

He kept ignoring my request to turn and began to talk about black women and their beautiful bodies and would I mind if he touched himself whilst looking at me.

I sat there, terrified. But couldn't show it. I had to be brazen, nonchalant almost. I said I couldn't stop him but I wasn't interested.  I took a few pics of him and decided to throw my camera out of the car if anything happened.

I sat there, in his car as this bastard got off and then kept bloody driving higher into the mountains. Thankfully we came up to a roadside village cafe, I pleaded thirst. He stopped, then I asked him to turn the car around as it was getting dark. There were no taxi services and the bus did not run to that part of town after 5pm. It was now 6ish and I knew it would get dark soon.

He was my ride back to town. I bought him a few more drinks, told him I had to shower but would love to see him the next day when I was feeling 'fresher' and better prepared. That seemed to pacify him. He drove me back to town. I arranged where to meet the next day and ran like the wind.

I never reported it. I was so ashamed of my naivety and just embarrassed. In all my travels, I've met up with and partied with strangers across the globe, never thinking anything of it. And even after that event I thought he was the crazy one, and not to let it cloud my judgement of rambling and relying on the 'kindness of strangers' how foolish of me.

Sorry for the ramble. Carolyn's story brought back a few memories

M Dot said...

Things like this should make us brothers keep tabs on the guys that are around our homegirls. It may not stop everything but maybe bros see the warning signs that others may not

I once had to "extract" an ex from a near-deadly situation.  She was staying with a cousin and the cousin's boyfriend stabbed the cousin. The cops let him right out. It was a crazy situation.  I was 23 and took a train to Harlem from Philly to go get her. It was deep.  

Only1DivaC said...

OMG, I'm glad you are okay!

Only1DivaC said...

As someone who is about to embark on traveling solo internationally for the first time later this year, this post and Carolyn's have given me some good watch outs. Lord Jesus be a fence around me because folks are crazy out here!

GrownAzzMan said...

Stories like these are reminders of the responsibilities we have as men. 
1) Respect women
2) Check our boys when they are out of pocket
3) Raise our sons to respect women
4) Raise our daughters to respect themselves and avoid any men who don't do 1-3

invectiva said...

 THANK you, GAM. A thousand times, thank you.

It's so often that the lesson taught is, "girls, be smart", when even the best choices women can make can't protect if someone is determined to do harm. We *need* to do better. Teaching our boys to be respectful and not reinforcing our men when they're out of line is a huge part of the battle. Thumbs up on #4, too.

Mo said...

"They make the final choice to be creepy/crazy/assault someone/etc & if they want to do it, they will."
Today our local news reported a 32 y.o assaulted a 10 .y.o- can't wrap my mind around these type of acts-like u said - they do it because they want to do it.

C Nelson said...

 Your homegirls would be safer if you grabbed up your homeboys instead and made sure they knew how to walk the straight and narrow and that you fully expect them to.

C Nelson said...

 Exactly. Thank you. Every time some man does something to a woman, we examine what the woman
did for ways to let the man off the hook: "well, she was dumb going out
alone, look what she's wearing, she was drinking, what did she expect?"
But the only constant is the presence of a man who didn't act
right
. But God forbid anybody actually say that out loud, yeah?

CaliGirlED said...

*drops blank check in the offering plate*

CaliGirlED said...

*drops in all the cash I have left*

C Nelson said...

 The sad thing is, you cut yourself off from an opportunity because they couldn't guarantee your safety, but even in your own living room, you can't guarantee that either. Two out of three rapists are someone the victim knows, not some stranger off the street. Just under 4 times in 10, it's someone you know well. About 4 rapes in 10 happen in the victim's home. There is no way to live a life small enough to be completely safe from rape, and those self-defense tips you turned down sound really and truly useful to me.

rozb said...

When overseas, you can't act like the free and liberated woman you are here in the USA.

A friend of mine was on liberty (free time in the military for the un-indoctrinated) in another country, and while out partying, some random dude tried to pick her up - in a very rude way. Being her very spirited self, she proceeded to tell him off, and as she walked away, he came behind her and hit her with an open hand in her ear. Needless to say, she bruised and had a really bad eardrum injury. Had she been alone, it could have been a lot worse. In some countries women are like chattel, and do not matter in the equation at all.

I had some Russian dude in Haifa, Israel try to pull me into a car with him - he just walked up and tried to yank me. Fortunately, some of my shipmates heard me raising Hell and came to my aid. But folks that live and breathe in Haifa, not so much. Just stared. I was scared as Hell, and all I could think of was what I woulda done.

It's a shame in this world you have to walk around as alert as a damn meerkat all the time, but what else are you gonna do?

rozb said...

I know how you feel. I am glad you got out okay.

Carolyn Edgar said...

"But the only constant is the presence of a man who didn't act right." Amen. That's why I wrote my post. I've had this post on my heart ever since VSB's ridiculous victim-blaming post, but it was too hard to write, let alone publish, back then. I knew it would have attracted more attention because of VSB - and even all these years later, I still feared the victim blaming. But the piece insisted on being written, and I'm grateful for your response to it. When a man does something to a woman, in most cases, the outcome depends on the man's behavior, not the woman's. Like I said in my post, the rapist decided not to rape...that day. Who knows how many other women didn't escape from him. Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts.

Sol_dier said...

Holla if you swing by the UK :-)

Sol_dier said...

That is the advice people are given when they volunteer to be camp counsellors in the USA. They can't guarantee your safety and it would have been remiss for them to say so.

Something happens to us when we travel out of our home countries. We do things we don't ordinarily do at home. Its even worse when we go to 'poorer' countries. For some reasons we seem to completely let down our guards without realising that we stick out like a saw thumb.

We party with people we just met, we go to places with strangers to chill or just chat. It's like being away from home gives us the illusion that we can drop our safe guards and just live in a freer world.

Sol_dier said...

thing is, I've learnt that this is what most people think and do. 

Dudes can stay friends other dangerous menfolk as long as he doesn't mess with 'their people'. 
I've heard men I was close to just shrug off obscene behaviour their 'friend' is perpetrating on some woman whilst warning me to stay clear of dude, cos that's what he does when he is a lil tipsy.
Many men are extremely careful and protective of the women they know and that's about it. 

GammasWorld said...

First - thank you for introducing me to Carolyn's blog ... don't know how that gem has slipped by me.   Second, Lawds but for the grace of God.  This reminds me of my 5'9, 140 lb. sexy-chocolate-17-year old self who had no business even trying to talk to grown men much less those with their own apartments.  "Robert" invited me to his apartment while on one of my many walks through our neighborhood and my dumb ass went thinking I was mature enough and sexy enough that a 25 year old wanted to get to know me.  In my defense, I was neck deep in the romance novels at the time and the fact that this beautiful, older man, who had all the makings of a hero to my poor little dysfunctional home was straight out of Harlequin Romance.    I seriously was naive to the ways of men .  It wasn't until Robert said excuse me, went to the bathroom and came out butt nekkid that I realized I was in over my head.  He tried to uh convince me this is what I wanted and all I could think was I've got to get out of here.   Thank goodness his deadbolt wasn't one that needed a key.  I ran out of there so fast and the only thing that saved me from being raped was he was nekkid and couldn't run out of the building after me.   I never told my friends or family that story mainly because I didn't want to acknowledge how much I didn't know.  Truth is that fool had probably raped many a young teenage girl before.   I hate realizing after all these years, women still can't just "be" without that being mistaken for "ally ally oxen free" on our lady parts :( 

Sol_dier said...

thanks :-)

Sol_dier said...

Thanks. I'm sure most women have a story or 3 to tell. 

aishao1122 said...

maybe but considering what happened to many of the different relief convoys that did go in, maybe that was my intuition telling me this wasn't the trip to go on. there are stories of even UN soliders either participating or looking the other way. I don't know I just know the disquiet I felt wouldn't let me sign up to go,  there once was a time being a relief aide meant you weren't touchable but that time has passed and the criminals have started using these convoys as much as some of the governments have. Nope I refuse to be somebody's cannon fodder. 

Annette Evans said...

While in the Bahamas last year, a group of 11 friends and myself hired a local guy  to take us around the island to see "the good, the bad, and the ugly" (his words). While pausing at the tourist attraction, "The Queen's Walk", we met a group of teenage girls who were dressed like they were looking for something they were too young to want.  They were trying to duck their tour group to go back down the road to meet up with some Rasta-types, who they thought they could score some good ganja from. As we had seen these gentleman standing in the road earlier (with machetes and hand, and hate for tourists in their eyes) we told them in no uncertain terms to get back to their bus.  I am glad we were there; no telling what would have happened to these young ladies if they had continued on to their destination.  No bueno; no wandering off in foreign countries!

One Chele said...

 Amen!!!

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