I see bad people.

Until recently I was a fairly confident person. I took buses and trains both here and in other cities.

But after being mugged in Seattle’s Westlake Center transit tunnel, I lost my happy thoughts. To paraphrase the little kid from “The Sixth Sense,” I see bad people – everywhere.

I get anxious when I leave my apartment. While walking to the neighborhood market I froze as a couple of young men passed. When someone bumped into me at the airport I whirled around, all but baring my teeth at the poor fellow.

That’s because of the nature of the assault, which was three 20-something guys “sandwiching” me on the escalator: Two to do the bump and slam and one to distract me as the others peeled off.

It’s likely I was targeted because I had a carry-on bag and was headed toward the light rail stop. Either I was a tourist (and thus probably had money and a debit or credit card) or I was a local going to the airport (in which case I probably had money and a debit or credit card).

Terra incognita

My initial reaction was breathlessness. It happened so fast, and I’d been shoved off-balance by the tall, bulky guy behind me. The wind got half-knocked out of me and I was startled by the suddenness of being jammed between two people.

Immediately I felt something was wrong, but the incident was over so quickly that I literally didn’t have time to catch my breath.

I’d used the transit tunnel dozens of times but now I’m spooked by the idea of being there, even though it’s a clean, well-lighted place. In order to attend SaveUp 2011 I went out of my way to use a bus that dropped me where the light rail stops. As soon as I got off the bus I stood next to a security guard until the train arrived.

My first half-day in New York City required getting to two different appointments. Determined to get over my skittishness, I forced myself to walk from 30th Avenue and 6th Street down to 18th and 6th, and later to 3rd and 6th. Despite intermittent rain squalls and lingering anxiety magnified by the unfamiliar terrain, I managed well enough.

On the final day of the conference I needed to get over to where the Megabus stops, about seven blocks from the hotel. Taking a cab would have seemed silly, so once again I forced myself out the door and onto the sidewalk.

It was a lovely autumn day and I struck up conversations with a letter carrier and a woman taking a smoke break. But I felt pit-of-the-stomach tremors until I was in the seat and steaming off toward New Jersey.

No doubt the anxiety will pass. It better pass, since I don’t have a car and rely on public transit or shank’s mare to get anywhere I need to go.

Lucky, sort of

Plenty of people have mugging stories. I’ve heard a bunch in the past couple of weeks, some of them horrific. It’s not clear to me whether they share the tales to commiserate or to re-live it in order to prove they’ve gotten over it.

Some of the tellers betray themselves with little wobbles in voices or nervous flickerings of eyes. I doubt they really have gotten over it.

What I haven’t cared for are the interrogations. Where did this happen? What time was it? Why were you there? There are several reasons they might ask:

  • To avoid those areas at those times, or to remind themselves to be vigilant if they do have to be there
  • To be reassured that this will never happen to them because they’d never use public transit in early evening
  • To insinuate that it’s my own fault for having used public transit in early evening

For that last group: I am an adult. I am allowed to leave my house at night. Men are not allowed to rob me. They are the ones at fault.

Understand: I know that I am lucky. No weapons were used except big guy bodies. I was left only a little bit sore and very shaken, and later inconvenienced by the loss of 80-plus dollars and the hours spent canceling credit cards, closing and re-opening four different bank accounts, and re-scheduling autopays and my PayPal account.

But dammit, it’s a sad state of affairs when we have to count ourselves fortunate that at least we weren’t cut or shot.

Worse still: I now feel vulnerable. I feel like a target. And I feel that this will only get worse as I get older, because I’ll look less capable of putting up a fight – in other words, more vulnerable and more of a target.

I’d love to have the money back. But I miss my confidence more.

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  1. Laura P.

    I’m sorry this happened and that you feel bad. No they should not be bothering you and you have every right to go where you want!
    I am a big fan of Rick Steves’ travel stuff. He has a money belt, and a wallet that hangs around you neck tucked into your top. I think for any trips now I’d be wearing it and just keeping a book and a small amount of money in the bag I am carrying.

  2. I echo what I am sure everyone is thinking when reading this when I too say I am sorry this happened to you. Eventually you will put this behind you and once again regain your confidence (I was mugged in San Francisco a few years ago and I remember it took me a few weeks to feel normal again walking alone). What amazes me is the sheer gall of the muggers. Taking something with force which took someone else hard work to earn! In your example – three young men who have decided it is better to band together and steal rather than work and earn?!? I am glad you are not hurt and out just a bit of money and aggravation of dealing with your card companies. Hopefully something good happens soon to counterbalance this negative experience!

  3. Golda Meir, Prime Minister of Israel, (Labor Minster at the meeting) was present when men were discussing a curfew for women since there had been many attacks. She quickly suggested: ‘Men are attacking women, not the other way around. If there is going to be a curfew, let the men be locked up, not the women.’ ”

    This attitude of protecting women by confining them was hotly discussed in WOMEN AND VIOLENCE, a course required for my Women’s Studies degree. No one asks men why they are out late if their wallet it stolen. For women the question is blame: why were you out that late?

    You are locking yourself up in a sense. I think with time, the feeling will pass.

    The feelings you are going through are normal. My sister was brutally attacked (but escaped rape) in Memphis and I was terrified for months all the way down here in Alabama. I slept with the upstairs light on, downstairs lights on, basement lights on, outdoor lights on, and even the one in my bedroom FOR TWO WEEKS.

    Twnety years later she wants to be in by dark. Normally, she is not afraid of anything.

    If the feelings continue, seek therapy. Someday can you force yourself to go back with someone else, then with someone shadowing you, and then finally alone.

    As I have gotten older, I feel like I make an excellent victim. Add my sometimes slow, labored walk, and a limp, and you have a prime victim. I have only one defense–a blood-curdling scream that I should sell to Hollywood.

  4. I’m so sorry this happened to you! So glad you’re relatively “Okay”…I can relate on the anxiety, since I was hit by a car last month, I think every car out there is about to ram into me.
    It’s nature’s way of us protecting ourselves…

    And also, The questions are similar, trying to find a way to blame me for what happened. My favorite is when people ask if I was wearing a helmet (I was on my bike), as if a helmet would have made the lady stop at the stop sign…

  5. Blood-curdling scream…that’s a good defense. Must remember that one.

    Donna, I want to kick these guys’ a**** for what they did to you; not just for the mugging but for the shaken confidence. That’s a terrible feeling, but from my perspective, you’re doing what you need to – you’re screwing up your courage, moving on and riding out that nasty pit-in-stomach feeling. Keep it up. It will get easier.

  6. I, too, am echoing others thoughts of how sorry I am that this happened to you. However, I would like to thank you for your honesty. In writing about the mugging after it happened to you and this article about how it has affected you and your self-confidence. My neighbor was recently mugged in broad daylight on her way home from the grocery store. Since that time, I have been more vigilant myself and have taught myself to carry very little on me while I am out about running my errands. Surprising me is the fact that I haven’t missed having all the other stuff that I normally carried in my purse.

  7. That’s horrible that this happened to you–although technically you weren’t “mugged” (the term implies violence), but rather pickpocketed (ala the smash and snatch version). Either way, the act of having your possessions taken from you is a terrible situation–it’s no wonder that you are now understandably apprehensive.

  8. I also live in Seattle, so sorry to hear of your mugging. I’m an RN and work in a sometimes crazy ER. At work I’m always on my guard and am prepared to REALLY YELL, “BACK OFF!!!” Or whatever command is appropriate to any patient or visitor who is crossing the line, like violent etc. But you do have to be in the mindset/awareness of potential violence. I loved the self defense classes for women that used to be taught, having you practice shouting and deflecting physical attacks. If you can find one, it may help you feel less vulnerable and TAKE BACK YOUR POWER!!! 🙂

  9. P.S. always walk with a “JUST TRY IT SUCKER!!” attitude. 🙂 : ) namaste

    • Donna Freedman

      @Zoe: I’m working on my scowl. And from now on I’ll be taking the bus that drops me in the tunnel from now on, even though it adds extra time to the trip.

  10. 🙁

    Don’t forget a fourth bullet point:
    . To contact local law enforcement to lobby for more oversight at those places and times.

  11. jestjack

    The truely sad thing is ….if these “fine folks” would have been “panhandling” and asked for money you would have probably given them some. Not so long ago I was managing a property in the City and a very kind older gentleman in one of the units was attacked when he opened his wallet to “give someone less fortunate” a couple of dollars. He was beaten when he refused to give up his wallet. His face just looked awful and his confidence was shaken. They did catch the guy but still it was disturbing.
    Good luck in the future and be careful!

    • Donna Freedman

      @Jestjack: You’re right. If someone had asked for money I would have donated a dollar or two. But I don’t take out my wallet in public — I carry a few singles and some change in my pocket to give out.
      Sorry about your tenant’s terrible ordeal. I hope he regained his equilibrium.

  12. I echo the sentiments of others in that I’m very sorry that this happened to you. I really enjoy reading about your independent travels and I hope that those three a@@holes don’t put a crimp in your style. One of the things that I do when traveling is to keep my money and debit cards (ANYTHING of importance) in a highly unfashionable fanny pack under my pants LOL A mugger would have to go through a couple of layers of clothing and practically strip me to get to my money. Yes, it’s a little inconvenient but it means that I have my hands free (I wear a backpack with all the other stuff in it) and I’ve never (touch wood) lost valuables or had them stolen off my person.

    • Donna Freedman

      @Quest: I wear a fanny pack, too, and in fact most of my money and credit/debit cards were not in the wallet. But I guess I need to re-think the need for a wallet at all, or else get a much smaller one that will fit in my fanny pack or on a string around my neck.
      Here’s the thing, though: I want at least one card, whether it’s credit or debit, in that wallet. If I’m held up as in “empty your wallet,” no thief will believe that I’m traveling with no cards and just $10 cash — he would probably order me to empty my various pockets. If I give up at least one card and a token amount of cash, that might be enough. Easier to cancel one card than all of them.
      Isn’t it depressing that we have to think in these terms? But thieves have been with us since we had opposable thumbs to try and get the other guy’s food, furs or stone money. The stakes have risen, however.
      I will keep traveling. I’ll just be more and more careful as I get older not to be an easy mark.

  13. Welcome to the new world economy. As more and more people become poorer, more and more ‘other’ people become their targets.

    Your frugality impels you to travel in the circles of those less fortunate. Thus you are an easy mark because you probably look out of place.

    Sorry about what happened to you, but it’s a wake up call to the rest of us.

    Want to travel cheap? Look the part and you’ll be left alone.

    That’s what I learned from my life on the streets of NYC.

    • Donna Freedman

      @Morrison: I was wearing jeans and an old coat (bought approximately 21 years ago) that’s fraying in strings around the cuffs. But anyone who’s heading toward an airport (i.e., pulling a suitcase and getting on the light rail) can be reasonably assumed to have some money.
      That’s not always true, of course. When I was dead broke I still made a few trips, such as to my dad’s surprise 70th birthday party (my stepmom very kindly sent me a ticket). Thieves sure wouldn’t have gotten much from me that time.
      I don’t think it has to do with any “new” economy. Pickpockets and muggers have been with us since cities first developed.
      Thanks for reading, and for leaving a comment.

  14. I just hate this happened to you; just goes to show this can happen to anyone, anywhere even if you are a careful person. Give yourself time to heal, it was a traumatic event. You are resilient and will gain your confidence back in time.

    • Donna Freedman

      @Apartment Prepper: Thanks for your kind words. I know that the jumpiness will pass, and despite my cranky words I really am aware that it could have been much, much worse.

  15. priskill

    I am so sorry to hear this — and blaming the victim (especially women) is all too common). Bravo to you for jumping back in and carrying on — by all that is holy, we should be able to take public transportation, yea, even unto the early evening! And the physical nature of the attack is what stings – I’ve had things stolen without that violent contact and felt little more than remorse. It makes sense that you feel nervous and violated.

    I am so glad that nothing worse happened to you, Donna! I hope you stay intrepid!

  16. priskill

    Oh, one other thought — thieves are with us, bad economy or not! In fact, the whole purpose of your blogs has been to point out a million ways to live on not a lot of money, regardless of “The Economy” — hey, you could have called your blog “Surviving and Thieving.” But no — you dug in and found ways to get what you need while still making charitable donations. That is such a powerful message! I don’t necessarily buy that the recession caused this crime — people did.

    • Donna Freedman

      @Priskill: Thanks for your thoughtful comments. And yes, I don’t want to stay indoors taking my own pulse. I want to be out in the world. Hence, New York City and other exotic ports of call.

  17. It sounds like PTSD and it can happen in many circumstances. It leaves you feeling vulnerable and second guessing. I have nothing to add but if this feeling continues do two things, get professional counseling and take a self-defense course. Thing “empowerment.”


    • Donna Freedman

      @Patty: Oh, I’m all too familiar with PTSD — was treated for it after my daughter’s near-fatal illness. It took months for me to admit that I needed help. These days I’m much more cognizant of such things and will seek a little short-term help if I need it. I don’t think I will, but I’ll pay attention.
      Thanks for your concern, and for leaving a comment.

  18. Msjbelle

    I’m sorry that happened to you. It’s sad that people can’t go out & make there own money & feel they need to STEAL others. I am thankful you were not hurt physically & that they get caught.

  19. I had my wallet stolen last October. It contained my checkbook in addition to a variety of bank cards and credit cards. As you mentioned, the time spent notifying the various banks and closing and reopening accounts was a huge hassle. Since then I no longer carry 80% of what I used to keep in my wallet. I just carry one credit card and one debit card even though I have money in multiple banks/accounts. I don’t want to go through that hassle again!

  20. First: you WERE mugged. Pickpocketing is different, and it happened to my father in Rome. The thief was probably a mile away before Dad even realized his wallet was missing. You were roughed up by a group and your stuff was taken – that’s a mugging. I’m a little irked that someone’s playing pedant when you’re discussing something serious.

    Second: I sympathize, and your reaction is completely normal. We had some scary experiences in the first neighborhood where we lived when we were just-marrieds, and it took some time (and a safer place to live) before we weren’t looking over our shoulder for the “bad guys” all the time. I hated that feeling – never being completely comfortable in my own skin. Walking is my default mode of transit, and I despised feeling like I couldn’t just go where I wanted to without fear. That feeling will pass, I am sure, but in the meantime it sucks.

    And add me to the list of people who totally want to beat those guys up. Jerkwads.

  21. Just sending support on top of all these good thoughts already put in – it will pass, you’re right to keep an eye on and and doing beautifully already

  22. Gun Control: Approved by Muggers & Rapists Alike.

  23. Rochelle in San Diego

    Hi Donna. I posted about my mugging experience meaning relate that it can happen to anyone at any time. Mugging is a crime, an assault.

    Being a native New Yorker and growing up in a crime-infested, inner city Housing Project I’m probably more suspicious than most.

    No one should be assaulted, ever. I hope you get over this experience and continue to share your adventures in frugal travel…

  24. my goodness! That is horrifying indeed. The only advise is that we have to try to be really viligant about our surroundings and keep a sharp eye out, unfortunately. It is really unfair and pathetic that we can’t just feel safe but these idiots make us all feel nervous most of the time when we leave our homes. And, damn it, in our homes also!
    I can relate in a way. When I lived in Ottawa (a supposedly safe city), right after university, my car was stolen right out of my car port. It is strange how invasion makes you scared. Although I was not around when my car was stolen (but found about a week later) I felt extremely violated. I remember leaving work at 10pm and being so nervous to go get the rental car and drive home that I just sat there talking to my coworkers. It was not until one of the guys realizd that I was stalling for time and walked me down to the parking lot, that I was able to make a move to go home. I was extremely scared. The only consolation I can give you is that in time, the wounds will heal. It will just be a distant memory but being cautious will never again leave you. This world sucks sometimes.

  25. Hey Donna – your feelings are totally normal. The closest I’ve come is having my house broken into. It makes you angry, you feel vulnerable, and I slept with the lights on until we got an alarm system (sigh..can’t get those for people the same way). I think people ask questions b/c they *do* want to reassure themselves it’ll never happen to them..it’s a way of “protecting” oursevles. I admire you for getting back out there, but don’t overdo it..

    • Donna Freedman

      @Cat: I was burglarized three times while living in Philly. Not fun and yeah, I slept with the lights on and a knife under my pillow. You’re afraid they’ll come back while you’re home next time.
      I’m going to be more vigilant than ever. Generally I do pay attention to my surroundings. But I must admit I could not have seen the escalator robbery coming.

  26. My former roommate was sexually assaulted on a train in Denver about five years ago, and when I met her about two years later, she remarked that I have too friendly of a face, just like she used to have. She strongly recommended that I work on my “bitch face” as she called it, for my own safety. I thought that sounded wise since it wasn’t uncommon at the time for creepy men to get on the bus, eye me up and down (and I’m not some sort of drop-dead beauty), and then follow me off the bus. Since I’ve developed my “bitch face,” I haven’t had this problem and feel much safer. I also look passers-by in the eye now, so if there is a problem, I can identify them.

    • Donna Freedman

      @Rachel: I work on looking confident and, yeah, slightly scowl-y. Meeting people’s eyes does send the signal of “I see you, I’m aware you’re here, don’t try anything.” If you drop your eyes you look submissive.
      Perhaps it’s a function of my age, but no matter how touch-me-not a vibe I send, people talk to me anyway. I must remind them of their mothers or something.

  27. I know this is traumatic, but I suppose in a way it’s a good thing that you’re not always on guard and on edge. This thankfully does not happen to you every day. When I lived in the city in a rough part of town, I was CONSTANTLY looking over my shoulder, putting my keys in a brass knuckles position and never ever taking my iron grip off my purse. It’s not a very happy way to live life. I had street smarts, but I also had a scowl on my face. I’m much happier now that I’m in a nicer neighborhood and I’m glad that you live someplace that’s safe most of the time so that living in constant fear is not a normal MO for you.

    I really hope you move past this experience quickly and go back to your happy carefree self. Sure, it’s smart to go into a defensive position when you’re in a crowded place, but it’s no way to live 100% of the time.

    • Donna Freedman

      @First Gen American: Agreed. I don’t want to live in fear. It’s aggravating enough to live in a state of constant caution.

  28. Donna,
    I can’t believe how naive you are. Of course your mugging has to do with the new economy. Revenues are down, police forces are down and crime is way up. Of course we have always had crime but not as much as we have right now.

    Read this post about tourists at the Statue of Liberty:


    Police confiscated over 5400 ‘weapons’ such as pepper spray, screwdrivers, knives from tourists as they explained to the police they were just trying to protect themselves. Think this was a common occurance? No. It’s recent. There have been over 20 attempted rapes in one Brooklyn neighborhood alone here and the police can’t catch the culprit. These statistics were unheard of just 2 short years ago. Police don’t have the resources to send out decoys to catch the guy. People are basically on their own right now.

    You are a middle aged woman and you look like one. You are an easy mark. Frayed coat or not. Unless that ‘suitcase’ you were totting was a metal shopping cart (as most homeless now push) you are a target. Period. Please stop deluding yourself and justifying your actions. The score card has changed. The world is way more dangerous and you need to take extra special precautions. That may included changing or adjusting your frugal traveling plans.

    Don’t respond to me. I’m not coming here anymore. You’re too defiant for me. You don’t like to listen to advice. Suit yourself.

    • Donna Freedman

      @Morrison: I listen to advice, but I don’t take all of it.
      Have a nice day.

  29. sandra jensen

    Oh Donna, I am so sorry this happened to you. And, be as DEFIANT as you want to be! I would probably hide out in my home and never come out. Good for you for getting “back on the horse” but taking more precautions. It’s your life – live it as YOU choose – not as others choose for you. God bless.

  30. Pocket knife, mace, stun gun and/or concealed handgun. I usually carry between 2 or 3 of these unless the TSA has forced me to disarm to get where I need to go. I cannot emphasize enough having your hand on one of these items at all times when walking.

  31. ImJuniperNow

    Donna – Please don’t become agoraphobic and not able to leave your apartment. Please seek medical help, even if it’s just enough to take the edge off your anxiety.

    If it ever happens again, or even if you think it might, scream “I’m Donna Freeman! I write Surviving and Thriving!” I promise there are enough of us out there who will heed your call and come to your rescue.

    Super Frugal . . . Up Up and Away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Donna Freedman

      @ImJuniperNow: Ha! I love that image of Super-Frugal.
      While I may have agoraphobic feelings, I am not agoraphobic: I am requiring myself to leave the apartment. Since the robbery I have traveled to New York, Philadelphia and South Jersey. I think the anxiety will abate over time — and if it doesn’t, then I will definitely ask for a little help.
      Thanks for your concern, and for reading Surviving and Thriving.

  32. Donna, I’m so glad that the incident wasn’t any worse than that. You could’ve been hospitalized or worse.
    Maybe a self-defense course would help you get your confidence back faster? Stay safe and keep on keepin’ on.

  33. I need this reminder now. I’m having an…….ummmmm…….adventure all by myself here in Vegas.
    I think you need mace. Whenever you see young guys(as bad as that sounds) or are traveling at night, have that stuff in your hand. Make sure to fumble with it when people are around. Just as a warning. You might want to think about a self defense class to.
    Warm and fuzzy vibes, my dear.

  34. ImJuniperNow

    Hey Donna – As a resident of the NY/Phily/South Jersey territory, all I can say is: If you can cope with being here, you can cope with anything!!!

    To Frugality and Beyond!!! (My newest superhero cry)

    • Donna Freedman

      @ImJuniperHow: Funny you should say that — while taking the NJ Transit bus down from Philly I heard a couple of guys talking about life. One of them said, “They say if you can live in Jersey you can live anywhere.”
      That explains a lot.

  35. Hi Dear One:
    I am so very sorry this happen to you. I’m a 73 y/o woman & even as a younger person
    This is advise that I use: If I feel uncomfortable around people in a situation like you were in I act crazy: pick my nose, talk to myself laugh or scream like I’m off the hook. Most are fearful of crazy people on the street because their unpredictable.
    Okay now stop laughing, it worls!
    This is for all you ladies & men as well & always be vigilent!!!!!!1 Di

  36. This is so sad to hear. Something similar happened to me in an L.A. bus. I was just sitting there texting and a guy pulled my iPhone out of my hands. I fought him – it was the adrenaline. No one in the bus stood up to help. In fact, I got lectured afterwards for going after the guy by other commuters. I’m not proud of my response, but I cursed them out. How dared they? No one even bother calling the police. This happened about a year ago and till today I avoid taking my phone out and carrying too much. I also promised myself that if I ever saw something similar I would do something. By the way, the guy ran off the bus and I was able to pull my phone out of his hand.

    • Donna Freedman

      @Yazmin: I’m glad you weren’t injured and that you didn’t lose your property. And I know what you mean: How dare he try to take something you worked for, and how dare they try to blame you?
      Although in a sense they’re correct: What if he’d hurt you? Would replacing your iPhone hurt worse than, say, a broken jaw or dental work after getting punched in the face.
      I wonder about the ease of theft when I see people sitting on benches or buses, texting away. A fleet-footed youngster could grab the smartphone and be half a block away while the texter was still sitting there in shock.

  37. I’m sorry that happened to you. Friends who have been similarly victimized have said that they felt violated and skittish for a long time after the fact. You’re probably right to make yourself go out and walk around. It may be the only way to convince yourself that this isn’t going to happen every time you poke your nose out the door.

    Intermittently I take to trying to carry only what I need — a credit card, ID, keys — in a pocket, not in a purse. Trouble is, there’s so much junk you do need to haul around, it’s hard to do without a purse, particularly since women’s clothing is perennially short on pockets. One strategy might be to carry at least one credit card in a pocket, so that when thieves do take your purse (as sooner or later they will), you’ll have one account that isn’t compromised.

    • Donna Freedman

      @Funny About Money: That’s the way I always do it — just one credit card and a little cash in my wallet and the rest elsewhere on my person. On that particular trip I’d neglected to put my driver’s license in a pocket, which I usually do when traveling because it’s easier to show ID at the airport. Fortunately I’d also made it my habit to carry my passport in my coat pocket, so I had no problem getting on the plane — I was on my way to a conference when it happened — and since I had another credit card and some cash, I made it through the conference weekend just fine. (In fact, I actually loaned some money to another writer who hadn’t brought enough.)
      Walking around is getting easier now, even though I got a bit narrow-eyed yesterday on a sidewalk crowded with young men and women (UW students shopping near my apartment). Life goes on.
      Thanks for reading, and for leaving a comment.

  38. Oh, Donna, I’m so late to see this post. I missed it completely. I hope you are making your way back toward peace by now. BTW – mace wouldn’t have helped. It was too fast and they were so close, it would have gotten on you too.
    I’m also writing to say I’m sorry for Morrison’s flame-out. That kind of vitriol, particularly from a fellow blogger, is the last thing you need after your experience, or ever.
    I’m sure you know she pulled something similar over at TFG recently. Don’t know why she does this. One day she’s fine and another day her hair is on fire. Think I’ll stop visiting her for the foreseeable future. Be well.

    • Donna Freedman

      @Diane: Thanks for your kind thoughts. I am feeling better as time goes by. No doubt this trend will continue.
      And I agree that mace wouldn’t have helped — not only were they too close and too fast, I was knocked off-balance and my arms were pinned. I couldn’t have reached a mace canister if I’d had one.
      Thanks for reading, and for leaving a comment.

  39. I’ll never forget the time I was unloading some shopping bags from the trunk of my car in my apartment parking lot after dark. I noticed a car approaching really slowly from the corner of my eye, as I was bent over digging in the trunk (the street through the complex was behing me). Maybe the guy was trying to see the addresses on the buildings; I don’t know. I do know that I kept the car in my peripheral vision, and as it approached directly behind me, I stood up (arms free), turned around and looked the guy right in the eye as he drove by. He began driving normally (not so slow), and I grabbed my stuff and got into my building quickly.

    I agree with a previous poster that walking with purpose and attitude, and always looking people in the eye goes a long way in deterring criminals from targeting you.

    So sorry this happened to you, and now that it’s been a few months, I hope you’re feeling much better when you’re out and about. Best wishes!


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