Where does self defense start? This was a question I had to ask myself the other day.
A couple of times a week I take our company's deposit to the bank. I always do this during business hours, but lately I have started to feel uncomfortable when I go there. Our bank is in a rough area of town, and its reputation is deserved.
There have been a couple of times when there were people outside the bank that I have taken a firmer grip on the deposit, and readied myself for any trouble that may arise. There never seems to be any police around, funny how that is. I have been asked for money there numerous times.
One time a man went so far as to approach when I was entering my car. I had the door open and was about to sit down and close it when he put himself in a position so I could not close it. I don't remember exactly what he said, but I obviously did not sit down, I told him I could not help him, and to move out of the way. He did so after no hesitation. I am not a small woman, I am 5'10, 145 lbs. Don't get me wrong, I do understand that my size would not make a difference to a desperate person, just reporting all the facts here.
I did not feel any chemical cocktail until he left and I was driving away. As Gary Khoury mentioned in another thread, I made the decision long ago that I would do whatever necessary to defend myself, friends, and family.
That was the only time someone invaded my personal space at the bank. I rationalized it off, because it was the only time. I think that happened in the fall. I like the staff and service at the bank, and it is the fastest to get to from work, so I did not want to switch.
Until something else happened last week. I was leaving the store beside that bank after making my deposit, and a man about my size stepped into my path. I don't know if my facial expression changed or my body language or my eyes, but he saw something. I didn't prepare to do anything, but all senses went on alert. He took a step back away from me and waved his hands in front of him. He said "no trouble, no trouble, I just need some money for the bus". I told him I had no change, and he moved out of my path, and I proceeded to my car.
Now that scared me more than the first guy. I mean, something tipped him off not to be pushy with me. And that made me realize that if it was someone else, the situation could easily escalate. That is when I asked myself where self defense starts? Why am I putting myself in a situation where I, or someone else can get hurt? For convenience? Is it worth it?
So back to the bank I went, and talked to my account manager. Of course, the staff there has the same problem. She said that the police tell them to call them for a 20' escort to their car if they work after dark! I will keep my account there, but make my deposits at other branches.
I guess it starts here. Better safe than sorry.