Sometimes I joke that if I could implant my daughter with a microchip like I have my dog, I’d sleep better at night.
Just a little GPS chip sown in somewhere, behind her ear, under her armpit, beneath her scalp, a little square of safety that could be activated if there were ever an abduction or bout with mental illness that inspired her to run off to Egypt (remember that?). Just some piece of mind that would be with her and me, always.
Now, it’s no secret that I’ve been quite the little victim in my 35 years, and on more than one occasion.
I was abused by my father. Doozy of all victimization doozies.
Then, during my time in Los Angeles, I’ve had two bikes stolen and my car broken into.
I had my credit cards pilfered at the 24 Hour Fitness on Pico Boulevard.
A 5 foot tall Hispanic gang banger type grabbed my ass and pushed me on my way to that same gym about 9 months later. (I didn’t go lightly into the warm Los Angeles afternoon, oh no, I chased the pip squeak brandishing my yoga mat while yelling that I’d kick his ass when I caught up. Sadly, but fortunately, I never did. ).
In that same part of town, my roommates were held up at gunpoint while I slept with my boyfriend in the next room. We heard everything.
And about a year later I watched an orthodox Jewish family get shaken down, also with a gun, a block away from that same apartment. Obviously the previous crimes didn’t scare me away because I moved to a new place down the street that was a better deal (something I would NEVER do now). And then I proceeded to write about “staying safe” as a contributor to the book Diploma Diaries.
Aren’t you just itching to send your sons and daughters to pursue their dreams in Los Angeles after my tales?
As far as I’m concerned, though, that’s just life in the big city. ANY big city. Crime happens. You just hope that if it happens to you, you’re one of the lucky ones who isn’t seriously injured or worse.
You’d think that after ALL of that, I’d be afraid to leave my house, that I’d spend my days wondering if I was born to be victimized by men, and that I’d have plenty of excuses to nurture a pill addiction and drink wine for breakfast.
ALL of those thoughts, and then some, have crossed my mind more than once since we’re being honest here.
I’ve struggled. But who hasn’t?
For me, there was addiction in high school, but not necessarily because I’m your classic alcoholic/addict, but because I wanted to escape my truth. There were lots and lots of unhealthy relationships with men and women, but men especially until my late twenties. Varying degrees of anxiety and depression are part of who I am as well, bouts so acute I’ve had crying spells and severe insomnia and daily discussions with the devil of self loathing that seems to permanently sit on my shoulder taunting me to hate myself. It’s not very awesome when there’s a voice inside you trying to convince you how much you suck.
Plus, I’m hyper vigilant.
I’m distrustful of most. Wary of big sporting events and concerts. Always taking note of the nearest exit, mentally planning my escape, scanning the airport crowd for the most likely terrorist. I totally get doomsday preppers and if I had more time on my hands I might go there. I’ve even considered owning a gun despite my strong desire for gun control in this country.
But these days I’m working on feeding the good wolf. The one who represents safety, health, love, and light. The one who doesn’t fixate on all that could go wrong.
I’m working on turning the hyper side of my vigilance into a healthy awareness so that I don’t get caught up in my own fear, so I don’t manifest the very dark corners I hope to avoid. Energy is powerful stuff my people. I believe.
I’m working on feeling safe simply because there’s really nothing to be afraid of, except when there is.
Here’s how I’m doing it:
Instead of allowing phrases like this to repeat over and over again in my brain: “Oh God, what if someone hurts my daughter? What is someone hurts me? My husband?”
I’m rewriting the script.
For every thought like that, I’m forcing myself to re-frame it: “I want my daughter, my husband, and myself to live a long happy and safe life. I can see it happening.” And then I visualize the beautiful and safe life we’re all going to lead. Seems weird, I know, but energy, guys, IT IS POWERFUL.
BUT, just because I’m striving to fatten up my friend the good wolf, doesn’t mean I’m stupid (not as stupid as I once was at least).
I am after all a fighter, a survivor, a mommy wolf who will stop at nothing to protect her cubs. And that means also protecting myself.
I’ve taken a few steps to doing that in the last few years.
We have an alarm system at home now, which has been AMAZING for my night terrors. I’ve only had one since we left the city and moved into our alarm protected house, whereas before I was having one a week. Shooting awake in the night like an arrow from a bow, yelling that he’s here, he’s come to get me.
And now my Cuff has arrived. The next best thing to implanting that microchip I mentioned.
The Cuff is a GPS device that looks like jewelry. You activate it if you’re ever in trouble. It won’t summon your own personal James Bond, but it will alert any and all people you choose so that if they get a notification they can contact the proper authorities who can locate you on the Cuff app’s GPS map. Better than nothing if you’re stowed away in a trunk somewhere, but again, not your personal Mr. Bond.
Pretty paranoid, I mean, cool to walk around with spy enabled jewelry?
So bad wolves aside, I’m wearing it. And I feel just a teeny tiny bit safer because of it. Whatever it takes to keep this mommy off the bottles right? Whatever it takes to help me feel safe.
What makes you feel safe? And if you could have any celebrity as your body guard who would it be? I’ll take a Rock/Mike Tyson hybrid thank you.