Saturday afternoon comes and it is so nice having a guy around. This is actually the first time in my life I'll be going to a laundromat but I know we'll be there a couple hours so I bring the iPad so we can play some games or I can write or read. We walk a couple blocks with him pulling the suitcase. We walk past a group of guys and they are hanging out in a couple torn out garages with lots of graffiti. I'm used to gangs so I'm not bothered but I don't take out my iPhone to take a picture of a car part. I really wanted to though. It was awesome. It was just the hood and front window of of a car with two doors attached sitting upside down in a garden area. Crazy.
We turn the corner and go into the laundromat. There are a lot of people out and about and its generally a lovely afternoon in the neighborhood. Thankfully, all the clothes were able to fit into open machines so we only had to wait an hour and then 20 minutes for drying.
We walked around, sat in a greenspace for a while chatting, and regularly returned to check on the wash. When it was nearly done, we stayed in the laundromat. I tried to play a couple iPad games with him but he's not a gamer, not even for battleship, but we played with a couple apps and then he got a phone call. I decided to Skype my sister. It was noisy in there so I walked outside where he was. Some teenagers kept noisily motorcycling around the block so I backed into a corner where the iPad and I were safe and I could see everything. Then a car wanted to drive through the gate there so I crossed the street and sat on the curb near where the fiancé was on the phone. But, he didn't see me. He walked back inside but I was too busy talking to notice. I NEVER use my iPad out of a building. EVER. This was the first time and I'm not sure where my head was. I've never let my guard down before, but I think being with the fiancé made me feel so safe that for the first time I did relax even though I shouldn't have.
Thankfully, my screen had a reflection and in it I saw two guys approaching behind me on either side. My hand already was holding the iPad underneath the case but I gripped my iPad with my left hand even harder and moved my right hand above it. They grabbed the iPad. For a flash of a moment I thought they might have it. I thought "no way! I have no way to replace it and I am not living without my iPad!" So, my reflexes took over and I used my body.
Thankfully I was holding my hand between the iPad and the case - a G-form extreme edge. My hand wasn't sliding out easily and that gave me the time I needed to fall towards the ground and lay on top of my iPad. They kept trying to grab the iPad but at this time it was safe so I had a moment to think. I noticed they weren't going for my purse which was slung over my head and wouldn't move easily either or my pockets where my iPhone was. They were purely focused on the iPad. But the G-form case wasn't sliding on the ground and they couldn't get it, so I let go with my left hand and tried to push them away. Tried to dig my nails in the hand of one of them and that didn't work either. I remembered that I could scream at this moment but I couldn't think of the fiancé's name. I breathed, remembered and screamed his name twice. They ran. I looked behind me and saw the fiancé just outside the laundromat looking at me in shock and I don't know terror maybe. I stood up and by this time he was gone. I knew he was chasing them.
A lady asked me if I was alright and I told her yes. I walked back into the laundromat and sat down. Another lady also expressed concern and shock that they hadn't gotten the iPad. My sister was still on Skype so I told her that they had failed and I'd call her when I got home. I then put it away. As I did, the fiancé returned.
He was on high alert. Pacing and angry at them. Angry at me for using the iPad outside in a gang area. Angry that stupid kids don't take advantage of free education and instead of working they steal. He chased them because he naturally assumed they had the iPad and like the others was shocked that I still had it. My elbows and knees were scraped up and he was compassionate about that.
Thankfully, unlike the US, here they aren't violent. Physical crime is highly prosecuted whereas thievery isn't for minors. The gang members I used to work with in the US gladly would have kicked me and tried to roll me over to take it. Because it wasn't physical, I didn't even feel assaulted.
Using my weight to fall to the ground and protect the iPad comes naturally to me because I am a well-trained victim. Parenting RAD means I know exactly how to protect myself whiteout hurting the aggressor. Having my hand in between the case and the iPad and paying attention to the reflection on the screen come naturally because I am used to being a target. Yes, I had used my iPad in an unsafe place, but my instincts were well developed thanks to parenting RAD, ODD, etc.
As one my awesome friends said: I think, "ha. You want to TRY to pull that one on me? I'm not an *ordinary* mommy, honey; I'm a RAD mommy. I have seen it ALL and then topped it with coleslaw. So go ahead. TRY IT. I dare you."
As such, I feel empowered rather than traumatized by this encounter. I'm not your standard target. Their friends will be making fun of them. "Two of you against that fat old lady, wow, you've real lost it haven't you?" LOL!
The dryer finished and he put the clothes in the suitcase. He was still pacing and out of sorts. The lady kept reassuring him that I was ok. I started to realize that he was a victim too. He hadn't chased them as a bystander. Attacking me was also attacking him. We were in this together. Wow!
We left to walk back. I naturally walked in front of him so that he could protect me as we turned the corner. As we walked the block towards the gang, I noticed each store open and where other people were all the while confidently walking toward them like I always do. I walked right through them rather than around and continued on my way.
We had intended to go to the store afterwards but he said he was too worked up so we just hung out at the house. The couple whose house I live at were there and he was able to tell them all about it. They asked me how I had kept the iPad and I showed them what I had done. The fiancé hadn't known and although he didn't say anything he looked impressed. Then he said that he hadn't heard me yell. I asked how, because he came outside immediately when I called. He said he'd just had a "thought" while transferring the clothes to the dryer and he turned around and saw me on the ground and ran. That was definitely a God thing! I told him that was incredible - that at the very moment I needed him, he came even if he didn't hear me.
He was still very stressed about the ordeal and I realized I didn't know how to help a victim process an attack. I could have helped the attackers process it without a problem - them I know. But, a victim? I didn't need to process it yet because I was feeling so good about it, but he wasn't. So, I just told him how thankful I was that he was there, that he was my hero, and that it was helping me knowing that we were in it together.
After relaxing for a couple hours, he asked me how my elbows and knees were and I told him they were just fine, and so was my heart thanks to him. That the way he was there for me at the time and in the hours since meant that I was feeling great. In fact, I was thankful for the opportunity to learn that we were in this together. That is what he needed to hear and he was able to let go.
So, last night I didn't sleep. Everytime I would use my iPad I would remember everything and I started to feel afraid. I'm not afraid of some teenagers so then I got angry at them for making me feel that way.
Today when I left to meet him at church, I wasn't thrilled about going to the bus stop myself on a Sunday morning when most people were still in bed. But, I've travelled as a single lady for many years knowing the risks very well. I've prevented two other theft attempts on co-travelers. This isn't anything new. I'm always very careful and I know exactly why it happened - I'd let my guard down a block away from a gang I'd already seen. I wasn't about to start reacting out of fear now, so I left. While waiting at the bus stop, I thought that one advantage of a Sunday morning is that no teen boy that I've ever known has been up on a Sunday morning. But, when I got on the bus, I saw two black teen boys. The only thing I saw was the arms and hands of the thieves, so I only know that they were black. The previous stop is where the gang was at so if these two weren't the attackers, they very well could be their friends and since I walked through their group twice, they would recognize me. But, probably its not them.
For the next 8 minutes that I was on the bus, one of them was looking at me each time I glanced his way. The other one never noticed me. When we got off, I found that they weren't together. This tells me that the guy who kept looking at me recognized me. I waited until he got off the bus so I would be behind him and I didn't see him again. Not once did I feel afraid. The only fear I've experienced was the "what if" fears of the morning before I'd even left. But, it did make me realize that all of them recognize me and I don't know any of them. It's why I enjoy parenting RAD. If I'm a target, I'd much rather know the enemy. It's the only way to have any influence on their lives while protecting your own.
Thankfully, gang members here aren't the threat they are in the states and don't scare me at all. But, I am thinking I should start hanging out with them so I can get to know them.
And, I have a new ad for g-form. Have you seen their ad showing the iPad falling from space?
You must check it out now!
My daughter in a rage threw the iPad last December. The smart cover came off and her story is that iPad landed on the cover which is what broke the screen. So, after she finished paying for the replacement iPad, she also had to pay for the G-form extreme edge before being allowed to use it again.
So, I bought the case to protect from falls, but it also is an anti-theft device! I wouldn't have the iPad now if it weren't for that case. The way I was holding it gave me the time I needed and no other case could have protected the iPad on the ground with me laying on it, so even if I'd kept hold of it in another case I would have then damaged it.
The extreme edge portfolio came out after I bought the edge and I was sad because the portfolio is exactly what I had been wanting. But, would I have been holding the iPad under the case if I had the portfolio? Not sure, but it's on my wish list for future iPads. The iPad is the perfect electronic for my daughter since it can be locked down so well and yet has so many educational apps. I would love to be a multi-iPad family since I usually forget to lock down my iPad when I pass it off to her.
So, yes, I am including links and free advertising for g-form because they enabled me to keep my iPad.
Thank you g-form, the fiancé and God.