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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm hoping I can post this here! I'm new to this forum, but it seemed like a good place to ask this question.

I want to get over my fear (phobia really, because I do know it's slightly irrational) of guns.

To have some backstory:

I was raped at gun-point when I was about 19 years old. This has resulted in a major fear of guns in general. When I see one, or even know one is in the room I clam up and start to have a panic attack and/or flashbacks. I am in therapy for this, and am working through it.

The thing is, I don't want to live like this anymore. I don't want something like a gun to have this type of effect on me, and I don't want to let those...idiots (trying to be nice here) to have this kind of control over me anymore. I feel it's necessary for me to overcome this fear, but I'm basically at a point now where I'm even afraid to walk around the city alone, for fear of coming in contact with someone who might hold me up. I get shaky when I see someone carrying one in a store.

I'm trying to figure out a safe way to overcome my fear. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Also...please don't look down on me because I struggle with this. I am just reaching out for suggestions and help, and it's really hard for me to post this...
 

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Welcome. But I'm really not sure if this is a good place to be seeking the kind of help you're looking for. I guess I'll ask the obvious, have you ever fired a gun? If not, I would suggest going to a gun range and have a range officer show you how to shoot. Good luck.
 

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The best thing you can do is to become an enthusiast. Start off with a 22lr. Take an NRA safety course. Then find an instructor to teach you how to use it and shoot it. Build from there.

In time you will enjoy guns and understand that no gun has ever hurt anyone. People have but guns do not.

You will also feel empowered by understanding that you have always been responsible for your protection. Not the Police. Not the Government. Once you are capable with guns and are willing to carry one concealed everyday then you will feel better and more secure.

You see your fear of guns is misplaced. The gun was a tool that an evil person used to control and hurt you. You should fear people in this world. Many are just evil. It's not fair what happened to you. Life is not fair. To find your strength you must empower yourself. Do this by learning to protect yourself.

This may not be what you wanted to hear but it is what you need to hear and do. Your life is your responsibility.

If you would happen to be here just to troll. Then I hope this ruins your day.
 

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Welcome aboard. Maybe being taught how to handle a gun would not be such a bad idea. They say familiarity breeds contempt. Remove the mystery and it becomes just another mechanical device. The main difference is YOU control the device. Not some predator that is hurting you.
 

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I'm not a psychologist, nor did I play one on TV, but IMHO the fact that you were so traumatized by the power or destructive capacity of a gun, owning one & being able to handle it with expirtise might be just the thing you need to cure your fear of anyone having control over your life. Being confident of ones ability to protect ones self is a great feeling as well as a great responsibility. As I passed from youth to old age, one of my greatest fears was my loss of ability to protect myself & my loved ones against physical threats. At least now I have options. Good luck!
 

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Welcome, nomorefear, to the Forum. You are perfectly right to be fearful - of bag guys. The gun didn't rape you, the bad guy did. To get your head wrapped around the right problem, look up the NRA's "Refuse To Be A Victim" and find a time and place near you to attend. There, you will find lots of folks pretty much like yourself, and an understanding, empathetic instructor.
 

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Grand Imperial Poobah
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The only way to overcome a fear is to face/confront the fear head on.

You have to keep reminding yourself that, the gun is only an inanimate object. It by itself can not do anything to you. It is no more or less like a hammer laying on your coffee table. It is only a tool. And a tool in the hands of a good person will be used for good, and in the hands of a evil person will be used for evil.

Do you have any gun owning friends? If so, visit them and think to yourself, "There is gun here in the room with me." When you are comfortable with that, ask to see their unloaded gun. You don't have to touch it, just look at it. When you are comfortable with that, ask to touch it or even hold. Keeping in mind that the gun is unloaded and can't hurt you. This may take one visit or several. If it takes several visits, keep pushing yourself to get closer to the firearm. As you experience being around a gun and seeing nothing bad is happening, your fear should subside.

Having a fear is nothing to be ashamed of. Willingness to overcome a fear, makes you stronger as person.


And lastly, all of us here hate what you went through. We generally despise criminals and evil people. And we try to get our wives, mothers, sisters, girlfriends, to carry a gun so they have a way to protect themselves, should they ever face what you went through.

Take care and God Bless.
 

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Addressing this kind of issue is actually a specialty in the practice of psychology -- which is a good thing for you. From what I have seen, the most effective therapy involve slowly getting mentally/physically 'closer' to the object. It is not uncommon for this therapy to begin merely thinking about the trigger object. What would happen if you saw a painting of a gun in an art museum... what if you saw a gun store near a grocery store... and so forth. Very good results are consistently reported for this approach.

In fact, there is so much information on this, on the 'net, that you could probably design the process on your own, and do the work yourself!

Good luck, and what's more, if you publish an account of your situation and how you overcame it, you would very likely get substantial royalties and speaking fees!
 
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Greetings and Welcome to the Forum

Sorry to hear of your bad experience. It's good that you try to reach out to a community you think may be of some help. No one here will look down on you for reaching out and baring your soul.

You said you are working with a mental health professional and they would be your best bet to assist you.

It's a delicate issue but I feel like the direct approach is best. If you have a trusted acquaintance that shoots you may want to go with them to the range and work out your fears. Oversimplified I know but really feel it will benefit you.

What part of the country are you in? Maybe someone here can be of assistance to you. If you were local I'd be glad to help but words on a forum is all I can offer at this time and I'm sure will be of little solace to you. I would like to say you show courage and appear to be taking the right steps and it will just be a matter of time before you master this fear. I can tell by reading your post that you are a lot braver than you think. Best of luck.

Whatever you do please keep working your current program and keep us apprised of your progress.
 

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Pretty much agree with what everyone said. Do you have a close and trustworthy friend who is a gun owner? If so i would ask them to take you shooting before going to a stranger at a range.
 

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RELOAD=More PEW PEW
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Pretty much agree with what everyone said. Do you have a close and trustworthy friend who is a gun owner? If so i would ask them to take you shooting before going to a stranger at a range.
^^^ This, but before do the slow " approach" till you can hold one without fear at your own pace. Just remember, it wasn't the gun, it was the SOB holding it that put you were you are now and one in your hands once trained, can prevent another SOB to do the same to someone else
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I want to thank everyone for taking the time to reply. I truly do appreciate it!

I had no idea that the NRA offered the "Refuse to be a Victim" class. I'm looking into possibly attending a session local to me. Thank you horselips for mentioning it.

I unfortunately don't have anyone around me that owns a firearm anymore (the only person that did moved to the other side of the country not that long ago). I'm just outside Boston though, and frequent New Hampshire often.

I also appreciate people pointing out that it was a bad person who hurt me, not the gun. I do logically understand this, I just need to get over my fears so I can emotionally recognize this as well and not allow my panic to overcome me.

The idea of trying to find somewhere safe to handle and (eventually) shoot off one was a very good one, however I'm not entirely sure how to go about it. Do I call local shooting ranges and tell them my story, hoping they can connect me with someone who would be patient enough to help me? Would it be better to reach out to the NRA and have them point me to someone local? I guess that's where I'm stumped. I don't want to just show up in a shooting range, get near the gun, and start panicking and freaking out the poor workers there, know what I mean? I do agree that facing this fear head-on is best, but I also want to make sure I'm in an environment with someone who would be patient with me so that the fear goes away, not get worse. I'm really hoping that makes sense...

Thank you for the overwhelming support. I really do appreciate each and every one of you who took the time to respond to me.

God Bless.
 

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No one that has responded here can understand what you have gone through. I also feel everyone though being sympathetic just cannot imagine it.

How close are you to Connecticut? I have an idea of one for you.

You could also contact the NRA for the Refuse to be Victim program and ask them for instructors that will help you.

I am also sure that there will be more folks chiming in on this. Maybe someone close to you.

Good Luck and God Bless.
 

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RELOAD=More PEW PEW
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The showing up to the range in the state you are now might not be the best thing to do, as Larry said i cannot begin to understand what you went trough but i understand fear of guns (my wife) who is a hell of a lot better now, she handles my .45 now chambering a snap cap and all and she was visibly uncomfortable in the presence of a gun before. Point is, go slow and at your own pace hopefully you will find a good soul who will be patient with you.
 

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Keep calm & return fire!
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I would be more than happy to help you out if I wasn't 5 hours south of you.

one thing I would suggest in addition to the great advice thats already been offered....
spend time visualizing yourself handling a firearm. close your eyes and imagine one in your hand. visualize yourself handling it and manipulating the slide and such.

Go to toys r us and buy a plastic toy gun and start with that. my kids have toy guns that are damn close to the real thing in fit,function and weight.
An airlift gun would fit the bill perfectly. Its also a completely safe place to start.

17 bucks : http://smile.amazon.com/Crosman-Sti...8&qid=1436396261&sr=1-1&keywords=airsoft+guns
 

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Grand Imperial Poobah
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I decided to engage my Google-Fu superpowers and see what I can find.

I ran across this ----> Sisters in arms - The Boston Globe , which led me to this ----> http://www.2asisters.org/ , apparently Second Amendment Sisters it is a national group aimed at self defense for women.

The 2005 article states, "The Massachusetts chapter has 130 members." Since that was ten years ago, I imagine the MA chapter has grown quite a bit. If you register and login there, you may be able to find a gun-owning lady willing to help you. Not that we want you to leave us here at NGF, it's just we want you to get whatever help you need.
 

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Get in touch with the NRA, I'm sure this will not be the first time they have dealt with similar problems. They can probably get you in touch with somebody that has expertise with your situation. I'm sure with the right counseling and training, your fear of guns will turn into your comfort of having one at your side.

I think you are on the right path to overcome insecurity and gain independence, Elapid---<
 

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Hi and welcome,,, another thing to remember is it was the perp behind the gun, the gun itself can do no harm by itself it has to have someone using it..
As someone in an earlier post said, I'm no psychologist ( but I did stay in a Holiday Inn Express once)
but seriously,,, get familiar with firearms slowly and working your way toward a more entertaining experience learning the safety aspects and such,, then when you feel more at ease try and develop a more confident attitude toward the uses. You'll be amazed at how little time it takes to gain the confidence needed

Good Luck
 

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I agree with what the others wrote.
They make blue guns - They are cheap and it may be a place to start.
You could also get a real gun - leave it unloaded
Keep ether with/near you at all times around the house.
If you did this with a .22 pistol you could also seek professional training to get moving that way also.
My 2 cents? You got to get back on the horse that threw you.
When I was a kid a tractor flipped on top of me - I was real nervous getting back on it, but I did and went on to make a living operating equipment in some of the scariest situations you could imagine.
 

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I'm hoping I can post this here! I'm new to this forum, but it seemed like a good place to ask this question.

I want to get over my fear (phobia really, because I do know it's slightly irrational) of guns.

To have some backstory:

I was raped at gun-point when I was about 19 years old. This has resulted in a major fear of guns in general. When I see one, or even know one is in the room I clam up and start to have a panic attack and/or flashbacks. I am in therapy for this, and am working through it.

The thing is, I don't want to live like this anymore. I don't want something like a gun to have this type of effect on me, and I don't want to let those...idiots (trying to be nice here) to have this kind of control over me anymore. I feel it's necessary for me to overcome this fear, but I'm basically at a point now where I'm even afraid to walk around the city alone, for fear of coming in contact with someone who might hold me up. I get shaky when I see someone carrying one in a store.

I'm trying to figure out a safe way to overcome my fear. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Also...please don't look down on me because I struggle with this. I am just reaching out for suggestions and help, and it's really hard for me to post this...
Fear is real and a very personal thing. Just because I do not understand your fear does not mean I should minimize it or marginalize you for your feelings. You feel what you feel never apologize for that. I admire your courage for making the attempt to get past your fear. You are very brave for what you are doing.

Can you find someone who owns a hand gun? Ask them to break it down. Take it apart so it is no longer a gun but just a collection of parts. Have them lay the parts out on a table or something. Then you go with them into the room where the parts are. If you can, touch the parts. Handle them. Look at them. Hold them in your hand. Smell them even. Perhaps put a little oil on them with a cleaning rag. Do this till you feel comfortable. Learn the proper names of the parts. The when you feel comfortable with it, ask this person to tell you how to put the parts together. Have them verbally walk you through assembling the parts. Put them together till you feel afraid of what you have assembled at that point take it apart again, make it not a gun any more. Then get a cup of coffee and relax and just chat a while. Get to a comfortable place with the parts. Then start putting it together again.

This is just to reinforce in your mind an idea that you already know. A gun is just a machine. Not good, not evil. Just a thing. Also we fear most what we do not understand. Learn to understand how the machine works and you will loose some of that very real fear. This way you become more and more comfortable with the parts. You focus on the task of putting them together and one day you will put the last piece on and suddenly there you are holding a gun in your hand. But its not a gun, Its a collection of parts that your are familiar with and comfortable being around.

That is the best I could come up with.
 
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