I remember being with a friend and doing some pad work; we were both taking turns to punch and kick the pad. After a while we both needed something to drink, so we headed over to the shop.
Interestingly, my friend said that if we waited a little while, his mother would be back and then we could have something to drink. This was something that took place around 2001.
An Unpleasant Experience
When we were in the shop a boy, who was in the year above at school, asked me if we had any money, this was because he recognised me from school. I wasn’t prepared to give him anything, and this had a negative effect on the other boy who he was with, I can’t remember why.
Afterwards, my friend and I sat outside and I looked at the other boy when he came out of the shop. Perhaps this other boy threatened me when we were inside, I can’t recall what happened.
He didn’t like the fact that I did this and he ended up walking over and giving me a hard slap around my face. I froze after this and I soon started crying, I couldn’t believe what had just happened.
I wasn’t the only one, as my friend couldn’t understand why I didn’t fight back. The reason for this was that I had done Taekwondo for a few years at this point and I had done kickboxing for a little while, too, plus he had seen me spar.
It Hit Me Hard
Being hit didn’t really do much, I didn’t even end up with a black eye, but what happened had a big effect on me as a person. I told my parents about what happened, but I told them that it was nothing to worry about.
I didn’t want to cause any drama, and this also meant that I had to make sure that my sister didn’t do anything ether. In a way, I became more withdrawn after this, yet this is not to say that I was completely outgoing before this took place.
But while I was shy and quiet at times, there was another part of me that was completely different to this. This part of me felt as though it could do anything and take on anyone, it wasn’t scared.
However, I rarely revealed this part of my nature; I didn’t feel safe enough to do so. I had no idea why I didn’t feel safe to do this at this time in my life, but I did find out why this was many, many years later.
The Second Time
With that aside for the time being, around a year or two after this, I ended up in a similar situation. And in the same way that it seemed as though something was trying to stop me from getting attacked again (in the first example it was my friend suggesting that we wait for his mother), my mother told me that I shouldn’t go out that night as we had a family friend coming over.
This time, believe it or not, the same boy who was in the year above at school was out with another friend. A friend that I was with that night ran off as one of these boys wanted to beat him up, but I wasn’t prepared to tell him where he was, so I ended up being slapped by the other boy.
The Same Story
Once again, I ended up freezing and crying, and I remember wondering how this could have happened again. Ironically, soon after he did this he came back and said sorry for what he had done.
In both of these instances, I had the ability to fight back and maybe I had it in me to sort them both out, so to speak. Even so, I hated violence and didn’t want to harm anyone or anything.
The Light Came On
During this time in my life, I often had dreams where it wasn’t possible for me to move my limbs; I couldn’t understand why this was. It must have been around 2012 that I came to see why I froze up and, therefore, why I was unable to protect myself.
As a child I was physically abused, and this was something that usually took place with a cane or a belt. When this happened, I would generally freeze up, dissociate and want my life to end.
Destined To Happen
So, when I was hit by these two boys, I just behaved how I behaved when I was being harmed in my own home. The experiences I had had, in an environment that was supposed to be safe and secure, set me up to experience more of the same in the outside world.
Not only did these experiences define how I would behave when this happened at the hands of someone else, they also caused me to carry the energy or resonance that would attract more of the same. Unsurprisingly, my parents couldn’t see the part that their behaviour had played in all this.
The part of me what was there to keep me alive – what Ben Ralston calls the ‘fight instinct’ – was not online. If I had got angry as a child I would have suffered even more, it simply wasn’t safe for me to express this part of myself.
And it has been through working with Ben, a therapist, healer and retreat leader, that I have gradually been able to integrate this part of my nature. I have come to see how important this instinct is when it comes to being able to stand my ground and to assert myself.