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Did I overreact? - Page 3

post #41 of 76
I don't understand why a woman sitting there would be any less dangerous than a man? Statistically there are more crimes committed by men, but the incidence of violent crimes by women is rising drastically. Also, in child abduction cases, women have a greater percentage of participation, often times because of some deluded reason that they can take the child and become its mother. Ladies, you do our gender wrong to assume that a woman is any safer than a man. In the era of equal rights, we should credit women with the same possibilities as a man: meaning that she could have been just as out for harm as a man sitting there was.

As for me, I would have gone. Instinct has evolved over generations for a reason, and it hasn't disappeared because we've become more "civilized".
post #42 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by dewi View Post
I think your response is not a wise one for anyone to follow.

Read the book the "Gift of Fear" by Gavin De Becker. Studies show the same thing, that people aways say they had a "funny feeling", "a creepy feeling" and just brushed it off, did not want to be perceived rude. You pull the race card, and that is a bullshit card to pull. Women fear all colors and size men. It is a whole other conversatin, not this one.

At 15yrs old my daughter was abducted off a public beach at gun point and raped, she did not follow her gut instinct, and she has a good one as a city kid, she was polite. I certainly never taught her to be polite to strangers.

In the playground I saw a women leading a child out of a park holding his hand, it was not her child the mother started screaming to stop her, and we all ran to help. Everyone in the park than said "oh i had such a creepy feeling about that women waking around the park".

We see stuff all the time and never have a weird feeling, when you get that feeling follow it!
Yet there are times when we get that feeling and it really isn't anything. I read DeBecker's book but as someone who is prone to anxiety attacks if I listened to my gut all the time, my life would be crazy because sometimes I am off. I say listen to your gut but apply some common sense as well, if it had been a man even just sitting in that car, I might have understood better feeling out of sorts but it was a woman. Logically my own mind would have thought someone on a break, not someone who menat me harm.

As for your comment on the race card, that is really offensive as there are women on this board like myself who are women of color or women who are partnered with men of color and the example I gave or BrandiRhoades gave is based in reality. Like I said I see women (generally white) move when they see my son and it may be their gut but a 6'2 preppy teen dressed in Abercrombie and Fitch weraing glasses generally would not be perceived as threatning by most unless he is a person of color. So sometimes our biases do come into play.. heck, when I first moved to Maine, white men in pickup trucks set me off. I have had to work on that to realiaze that not every white man in a pickup means me harm.

Shay
post #43 of 76
I would have hi-tailed it out of there too. Depending on what my gut was telling me, I may have even called the police.
post #44 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by yarngoddess View Post
I think you did the right thing. Often we assume "Oh, It's just some lady doing xyz, taking a smoke brake..." When our instincts are SCREAMING at us to "Get out of there" we should listen. OP- You did great.

To those of you that think "It's just some lady" when did we LADY's become NON VIOLENT??? Not a threat? Not dopped up on Meth? Women are just as brutal as men in many situations- and many women are very twisted.

By not listening to our instincts, and this is just MY personal opinion, is a in essence ignoring a very huge part of our Motherhood/Womanhood. By ignoring what we feel is creepy, out of place, wrong, or just OFF is putting US and our CHILDREN in a position of Danger- and to me that's never worth the risk to "see" if I was right or wrong.

So- I hope you mom's out there do listen to your instincts. We are given them for a reason...
Quote:
Originally Posted by dewi View Post
Posters saying "I sat in my car today" are you afraid of me,
Are missing the point.

Everyone sits in their car waiting for kids, doing work, or wasting time. We see people doing this everyday of our life, and think nothing of it, what makes this situation different is that this normal occurrence set off this mom flight instinct and she smartly listened.

That is what the "gift of fear" is all about.

She did not say every time I see a person sitting in a car I get a creepy feeling, it was this particular situation that set something off. That is why she is not overreacting.

This is what we have to teach our children. Follow their gut.


This.
post #45 of 76
I'm guessing there was nothing going on with the woman in the car. If the OP actually called the police or something, THAT would have been overreacting. But to just leave for a while and come back later? It's a bit overly cautious maybe but I just don't see the harm and I say it's better to trust your instincts than to go around second-guessing yourself because our instincts aren't ALWAYS right but they are enough of the time that we should listen to them. I agree though that if someone's instincts seem to be racially motivated then that person should do some soul-searching and figure out why and how to change that. To distrust everyone is as useless as to distrust no one. And to base it on something irrelevant like race means that you'll overreact to people of one color AND underreact to people of another. An example - my parents house was broken into and bunches of people saw it happening, but the kids who broke into the house and dragged stuff out to their car in broad daylight were white so they "didn't look like thieves" and no one called the police. And a big sarcastic "thanks" to my parents' stupid racist neighbors.
post #46 of 76
I have read the book "The Gift of Fear", and what I gleaned from it was that, sure, trust your instincts, but also learn why you have those instincts.

The book gave several true examples of how people's instincts were screaming out at them and, in the moment, these people couldn't quite place why their instincts and gut were screaming at them because the situation was normal-ish. After reviewing their incidents, these victi ms were able to remember and pinpoint subtle details about the otherwise normal appearance of the situation or the attacker that were "off" that their brains noticed subconsciencly.

I don't think the book is really about blindly trusting some obscure gut instinct with absolutely no facts, or based on prejudice or statistics. I think it's about learning to be more in tune with the subtle "off" details of a situation that may happen that your brain tries to subconsciencely tell you about in your gut. I think it's also important to get to know your own prejudices so that you will be able to seperate personal prejudice mindsets and your own issues with anxiety or other emotional issues from true "gut instinct"...(if that makes any sense at all...)

So, to the OP, I'd say go back, review the situation, and try to figure out why your gut was screaming at you. It could be just small vague details that put you off. Was she staring at the kids? Her body language? Did it look like she was hiding her car? Did it look like some one else was with her somewhere?

These are details that no one else knows, only you. And you may not be able to remember them or make sense of the details right away.

Personally, based on what you've told here, I don't think I would have left. I may have if she got out and came closer to the playground or if she drove closer to where I was, or maybe if it seemed like she knew or was with some one who was already out there and that person started coming towards me. People I presume as creepy don't really phase me until I notice that they are focusing their attention on me with intent or they start heading in my direction. But in any case, I don't think you "overreacted" moreso than maybe was being "overly cautious", as a PP stated. No harm done; but I do suggest reviewing why you felt the way you did; you may remember some surprising details that gave you a right to feel that way, or you may discover that you need to relax a little bit.
post #47 of 76
I don't think that you over-reacted. I probably would have left as well.
post #48 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by dewi View Post
Posters saying "I sat in my car today" are you afraid of me,
Are missing the point.

Everyone sits in their car waiting for kids, doing work, or wasting time. We see people doing this everyday of our life, and think nothing of it, what makes this situation different is that this normal occurrence set off this mom flight instinct and she smartly listened.

That is what the "gift of fear" is all about.

She did not say every time I see a person sitting in a car I get a creepy feeling, it was this particular situation that set something off. That is why she is not overreacting.

This is what we have to teach our children. Follow their gut.
what she said
post #49 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by dewi View Post
Women should always follow their gut instincts. Not mine, not yours.

The difference with this situation than all the others she has seen in her life is that Mistymama felt creeped out, and that is enough for her to leave the park.

We all see many people a day and feel nothing about the situation after we see it, someone eating lunch in the car, parent waiting for a kid, finishing a phone, whatever, and we have NO response.

Than all of a sudden you have a gut feeling that something feels wrong.
Always Listen to yourself and never feel as if you you need to be polite to anyone when you feel creeped out!
That is EXACTLY what I wanted to type last night but couldn't because I was holding a sleeping babe.

I do believe that we have instincts for a reason. Our instincts come from all the people we've seen or met in all the years we've been alive. We are aware of so much more than we consciously think about. My best friend got mugged at gun-point because she decided she wanted to show her attackers how friendly and non-racist she was. She didn't listen to her instincts. I don't blame my friend for what happened, but I do think it's sad that we are encouraged not to listen to our gut.

If the OP had said that she saw a women sitting in the car so she left, that would seem a bit odd to me. But because the OP said that she started to get a creepy feeling, I think she did the right thing. I've done the same thing several times. Now, I'm not living in fear and constantly snatching my DS off playgrounds, but it's come up twice in two years. My first and most important job is to protect my DS which I will do at any cost, including offending strangers.
post #50 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by gabysmom617 View Post
I have read the book "The Gift of Fear", and what I gleaned from it was that, sure, trust your instincts, but also learn why you have those instincts.
exactly.

Yes, DEFINITELY trust your instincts, especially when the result is harmless (yeah, your kid was unhappy, but kids are always unhappy when they leave somewhere fun. You could have had to pee or go pick someone up. He wasn't unhappy due to the reason for your departure).

However, I agree that reviewing this case to figure out what it was that creeped you out is important. It will absolutely figure into the next "gut instinct" moment you have. Those gut instincts don't come out of the blue - they come from experience of picking up on subtle clues. Some people are better at it than others and most people can teach themselves to be better at it.

And yes, we all have biases and things we react more severely to. I tend to get really paranoid about water since I had a dog drown and I was the one to pull him out. So my "instincts" around kids and water are hyper sensitive. My "instincts" about other safety measures are probably less than someone else who has their own negative experiences.

And prejudice can absolutely play into it. I remember working at a store when I was in college, and my boss asked me to pick out of all our customers who I thought were "shoplifting" types. Of course, I picked young kids (and to my embarrassment now, several were AA, which I am certain influenced my suspicion.)

He strongly corrected me, saying ANYONE can be a shoplifter - and the people you least suspect may be the most likely. He taught me to not look at people (where my prejudices about age and racial status would interfere) but to look at behavior - where people kept their hands, how they acted when they knew I was watching them, etc.

So I personally don't think the question really is "did I overreact" but rather "why did my gut tell me this situation was wrong, and what can I take from it?" Your gut may be reacting to some behavior that seemed odd, or your gut may be reacting to something else that may not be relevant.

And while you behavior at the time was totally correct (creepy feeling = remove to safe location, period), the analysis after the fact is equally important to inform future decisions.

My 2 cents.
post #51 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by shayinme View Post
Yet there are times when we get that feeling and it really isn't anything. I read DeBecker's book but as someone who is prone to anxiety attacks if I listened to my gut all the time, my life would be crazy because sometimes I am off. I say listen to your gut but apply some common sense as well, if it had been a man even just sitting in that car, I might have understood better feeling out of sorts but it was a woman. Logically my own mind would have thought someone on a break, not someone who menat me harm.

As for your comment on the race card, that is really offensive as there are women on this board like myself who are women of color or women who are partnered with men of color and the example I gave or BrandiRhoades gave is based in reality. Like I said I see women (generally white) move when they see my son and it may be their gut but a 6'2 preppy teen dressed in Abercrombie and Fitch weraing glasses generally would not be perceived as threatning by most unless he is a person of color. So sometimes our biases do come into play.. heck, when I first moved to Maine, white men in pickup trucks set me off. I have had to work on that to realiaze that not every white man in a pickup means me harm.

Shay

Shay,
If you have an anxiety disorder then it's not for you to follow every anxious gut feeling, but most of us don't have an anxiety disorder, and don't feel this way frequently. It's harder for you to figure out how to keep yourself safe.

I absolutely agree that most White women are afraid of black men and that is absolutely racist. However this situation is not about that. I did not think it was appropriate to let this thread run off into that very heated conversation and direction.

I also know that the national statistic for the race of rapists who rape white women are white men, not black men!
post #52 of 76
Can I play devil's advocate for a minute?

What, exactly, could the woman sitting alone in the car have done that would have been so awful?

Are you guys all picturing her hopping out of the car brandishing an Uzi or something? Because, honestly, other than that extremely unlikely possibility, I can't really see what she could have done that would have warranted leaving the park.

Serious question here.
post #53 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by chinaKat View Post
Can I play devil's advocate for a minute?

What, exactly, could the woman sitting alone in the car have done that would have been so awful?

Are you guys all picturing her hopping out of the car brandishing an Uzi or something? Because, honestly, other than that extremely unlikely possibility, I can't really see what she could have done that would have warranted leaving the park.

Serious question here.
Women can be just as violent as men. Maybe the mama would have dropped her purse and the woman would have come and stole her child. Maybe the woman DID have a weapon. Maybe she was just sitting there eating her lunch.

I know that I am very paranoid when I'm pregnant and have a young babe. I remember hearing all those awful stories about pregnant women having their unborn babies stolen. I lock the doors when I'm home alone. I always look all around me when I'm walking through a parking lot alone. I pay attention to my surroundings. Not because I think every nice, harmless looking lady is going to come, steal my children and do me harm, but because I'd rather be safe than sorry.

Leaving the park wasn't a big deal. The mama listened to her instincts and for that I applaud her. We should all do the same. When you put being pc or not wanting to disappoint your child or not wanting to be rude over your instincts you are putting yourself in danger. Maybe nothing will happen. But I don't see what's wrong with being cautious because there are bad people in this world who will do you harm, be they male or female. I lock my doors at night, but I certainly don't expect my neighbors to come rob me blind if I don't. I do it to prevent anything from happening. You just never know.
post #54 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by chinaKat View Post
Can I play devil's advocate for a minute?

What, exactly, could the woman sitting alone in the car have done that would have been so awful?

Are you guys all picturing her hopping out of the car brandishing an Uzi or something? Because, honestly, other than that extremely unlikely possibility, I can't really see what she could have done that would have warranted leaving the park.

Serious question here.
Yeah I really want to know too. I'm having to really stretch my imagination to figure out what horrible thing was supposedly about to happen. Spies? Terrorists? She's phoning in info to a team of highly trained ninja kidnappers who will soon jump out of the bushes and attack? I mean those are silly answers but I seriously cannot think of what she supposedly was about to do all by herself, sitting in the park, that would be so bad.

And yes women are *capable* of violence to the same degree as men are, but it's a total joke to claim that this means women are equally as *likely* to be violent because they just aren't, by a wide, wide margin. So OK maybe this was the one in one billion women who's a serial killer but somehow I doubt it. Or the one in ten million who is a rapist. Right.
post #55 of 76
The only thing I can think of if is maybe the OP subconsciencioulsy noticed the woman eyeing her van too hard? Like, (and I dont' know how far the OP parked away from the park) maybe there were a whole bunch of places the lady could have parked but the lady parked right next to her van, and maybe seemed to be waiting to maybe see if the OP was noticing or to see if that was in fact the OP's van, and maybe she was thinking about taking something out of the OP's van? Being that it did seemed to be a very deserted area, based on the OP's description, not many people around to notice it?

I don't know, that's the only thing I could think of based on what I've read.

Of course maybe it was nothing.
post #56 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by KnitLady View Post
My best friend got mugged at gun-point because she decided she wanted to show her attackers how friendly and non-racist she was. She didn't listen to her instincts.
No, your friend got mugged because some bad people decided to take advantage of her.

If you're going to use hindsight to determine why she got mugged, you'd have to also account for how she shouldn't have left the house ten minutes late that day, how she ought not to have taken that precise route, how she shouldn't have been wearing expensive looking clothes, or whatever -- there are any other number of variables that contributed to the perfect storm of her being in the wrong place at the wrong time and looking like a good target to some predators.

She didn't get mugged *because* she said hi to the attackers. She got mugged *despite* of it.
post #57 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by chinaKat View Post
No, your friend got mugged because some bad people decided to take advantage of her.

If you're going to use hindsight to determine why she got mugged, you'd have to also account for how she shouldn't have left the house ten minutes late that day, how she ought not to have taken that precise route, how she shouldn't have been wearing expensive looking clothes, or whatever -- there are any other number of variables that contributed to the perfect storm of her being in the wrong place at the wrong time and looking like a good target to some predators.

She didn't get mugged *because* she said hi to the attackers. She got mugged *despite* of it.
Very good point.

Quote:
Read the book the "Gift of Fear" by Gavin De Becker. Studies show the same thing, that people aways say they had a "funny feeling", "a creepy feeling" and just brushed it off, did not want to be perceived rude.
Yes, people say this afterward. In hindsight. Whether it is actually true, though, is another question.
post #58 of 76
I don't think that the OP overreacted. If I felt unsafe in a situation, or unable to protect my kids b/c juggling a little baby and my toddler is too much for me if something were to happen, I'd leave.

And even if she was "overreacting", so what? I don't see the harm in it. The harm in not reacting is that she 1. learns to not trust her gut instinct and 2. potentially ends up being profiled by a person who wants to do her and/or her children harm.

I can very easily imagine a woman profiling mothers who go to a small deserted playground with multiple small children in the middle of a small empty town in the middle of the day when no one is around - whether she's doing it for herself or for a male partner. Sounds like a place to find semi-helpless, trusting women and small children to me. Of course it is very unlikely this was why she was there. Who cares why she was there? I'm not the type to go running from people of other races or sexes, but if I had a nagging bad feeling, I'd listen to it, too.
post #59 of 76
Profiling for what? Robbery? Rape? I could almost see the robbery thing, like if she was casing to see what parking lots had cars with good loot in them and were unattended during certain hours. Anything more violent than that is just really stretching the limits of my imagination, though.

Too much Law and Order, people!
post #60 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by whalemilk View Post
Profiling for what? Robbery? Rape? I could almost see the robbery thing, like if she was casing to see what parking lots had cars with good loot in them and were unattended during certain hours. Anything more violent than that is just really stretching the limits of my imagination, though.

Too much Law and Order, people!
Since you're asking for what a woman and little kids could possibly be profiled - robbery, purse snatching, rape, kidnapping, molestation, murder, panhandling, scamming, wife swapping, girl scout cookie solicitations...

Again, my point is: Why does it matter that she listened to her gut nagging that something felt wrong just because it doesn't happen that often? If it *never* happened there'd be no tv shows about it. I certainly don't want a tv show based on my real-life drama.

Why be so dismissive? If you choose to not live your life fearing/reacting to those possibilities, that's your choice. No one is going to fault you for not feeling uneasy about a lady sitting in her car during lunch time near a park. I think we should respect the OP's gut reaction because it is within a range of normalcy for that situation. Just as not being worried about it is also normal.
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