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Human Tetherball

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Everything posted by Human Tetherball

  1. Almost got jumped; buying a gun.

    This is good advice. I bought a pistol a few weeks back and made two 'range' trips before taking my CCDW exam last weekend. I bought a bunch of cheap ass steel-cased Tula ammo for the very reason you mention. It's dirty but the Shield doesn't care. I've shot guns off and on my whole life, but that's no substitute for knowing your specific weapon, not even the platform, but the weapon. It doesn't matter how many other Shields I've shot, I have to know mine. I've gotten over choking up on the trigger so the plastic trigger safety hinge no longer throws off my first shot. I don't commit most of the common shooter errors [milking, limp-wristing, etc.] so that's speeding things up a bit. My grip and stance (Weaver) are pretty well rehearsed. I won't say I'm familiar with the firearm until I've put about 500 rounds through it, and I've put about 200 through. Can field strip it, clean it, lubricate it, and reassemble it with no problems. I'm making progress, and I think it'll work for me in a defensive situation right now. No manual safety and the slide doesn't like to close without chambering a round so those two factors are things I don't have to fool with, carrying condition 0. My friends are shooters and own land so setting up a shooting day on a random weekend has been easy so far. They've been really helpful and it's not like it's hard to ask a Kentuckian to go shoot, lol. Back to your very good point: I'll continue practicing because I simply enjoy shooting so there's no lack of motivation there. After I get through my 500, at least two trips a month. No sense in going through this trouble if I'm going to let my skill atrophy. Need to find a local indoor range and gun club so I can keep this up through winter. I'm also infodumping as I'm going so forgive the redundancy, I figure you know all that stuff but everyone doesn't. As for where I'm at in the process: passed exam Saturday 9th with flying colors (not that it's hard) and am waiting for all the paperwork BS to get done, which should take no more than two weeks. The instructor didn't send our stuff in until Friday. I signed up for digital application so I wouldn't have to wait "up to 60 days" for the paper ones to get processed. Calling state police tomorrow to make sure our test results are in the system, and if so, going to the county Sheriff's office to get all that going. In the meantime I've been dry-firing the shit out of it so I don't lose my ability to pull the trigger without moving the frame. It's striker-fired so dry-firing doesn't hurt it; wouldn't be doing it with a CZ-75. Hornady Critical Defense hollowpoints were recommended by my instructor. JHP is good for not overpenetrating, but this specific round is able to pierce heavy clothing before expanding thanks to the polymer filler in the nose's hollow. So I'm going with that as a defense load. They're relatively expensive, so I'm gonna practice with 25 of them and keep the other 25 for carry until I can buy more. With shitty CCI Brass and Tula loads it still gets 1" groups at 7 yards, so I'm confident in its accuracy and ease of getting on target. It's a natural pointer, fits the hand like a glove. Had to lube the shit out of the slide though so it didn't take Herculean strength to rack or takedown. As for disabling, yeah, you have to aim for center mass, as people will only go down with a direct hit to the central nervous system or direct hit to major organ. Mechanism of death from gunshot wounds more often than not is from blood loss, and it takes longer than you would like for someone to bleed out. Hopefully a hit elsewhere will convince someone you aren't worth the trouble anymore. Aim to kill. Shoot to stop. The area I'm most green in is drawing from a holster. I'm used to just pulling a firearm out from its case and going to town. I've decided I want to go with appendix carry, but I haven't picked a particular model yet. Once I do, I'll be practicing that intensely (it's good that this vital skill can be learned at home with your shades drawn). Whatever I pick will protect the trigger, and I'm thinking of using rubber trigger guards as well, but I don't know how counterproductive that is to condition 0 carry. Anything is better than a negligent discharge, but... Also ruled out shoulder holsters, ankle holsters, [these two suuuuck] and IWB holsters that sit on your ass [these are fine but I imagine uncomfortable]. Appendix lets me sit comfortably and also draw from my front.
  2. Almost got jumped; buying a gun.

    I made it to my car before they did. On my way to my parking lot (I work nights downtown in a medium sized city) around 12:30 or so I got a tail. A belligerent woman followed me to my car while her male accomplice walked the perimeter of the lot, slowly getting closer starting from about a few hundred feet. I got the vibe that she was the distraction and he was the flanker, so I fastwalked my ass to the car. I had lost sight of the dude when I made it to my car but the woman wasn't far behind. I got in, locked doors, and by the time I started it, she was almost close enough to open my rear door. I got the fuck out of there. How did it start? I walked down the sidewalk of an apartment building and passed the couple. I nodded at them because you want to see how people react when you do that shit, and the woman just stared at me. I said "pardon me" [yes I sound like that] and walked past at a good pace. Shit already felt weird to me at that point. Then she started yelling Hey! to get my attention. I turned to look as I entered the lot and she and her man were coming towards me. He hung back at the edge of the lot, moved slower, while she advanced. Hey! Hey you! I ignored her and kept an ear out for the sound of someone running because I no longer knew where the dude was. I turned my head every couple seconds to make sure she was still following me and was more than just some crackhead beggar whose actions I had been misinterpreting; my gut told me that was very unlikely so I got to my car before she did, got in and got the fuck out. I didn't run, because that's when people really chase you, it triggers the predator instinct. Immediately sees you as prey. Humans are predators, and it is ignorant to think otherwise. I made eye contact at the initial contact to indicate mutual humanity--I got a bizarre stare instead of the returned nod and turn which indicates the inherent person-to-person trust needed to have a society. You definitely want to do that test because sociopaths are actually uncommon, and people with bad intentions will usually communicate them subconsciously if you can read body language--you broadcast the same of course--people are bad at hiding it. I was actually trying to look kind of hard, you know, shoulders flexed forward, arms a little wide, slight backward lean, conscious fast pace as though you got somewhere to be and are determined to get there. I generally do that when walking out and about at night and don't have too much of a problem telling people who approach me to fuck off. I dunno if I fucked it up this time, or they figured their odds were good [they were, dude alone could have fucked me up, let alone the both of them]. When she started yelling at me to get my attention, it sounded aggressive, and sank my initial gut feeling deeper. Keep in mind, I weigh a little under 130 lbs and am 5' 7". I can punch a little bit above my weight, but attitude's about all I got. I can run like hell, but my knees are starting to go to shit. I always have a knife on me, but tonight really demonstrated how inadequate it would be in practice. I would most definitely lose a close range shakeup against two opponents, one much bigger and stronger than me, and probably get gutted with my own weapon before it was over. The main reason I'm okay is because the criminals in question were completely incompetent, and I saw them first. Not much you can do about getting blindsided, but definitely keep your head on a swivel at all times, it helps enough to be worth it and it's better than nothing. Trust your gut. If you think you're in danger, it's because you are. Other people should always be considered a potential hazard. Probabilities vary, of course. I've had my eyes on an FNS-9C chambered in 9mm. I shot the full frame version and loved it, and it's basically a Glock 26 with better features, so I'm sure it'll be a good investment. Factory tritium paint night sights are also relevant; don't need a bulky flashlight hanging off the front of your pistol just to get sights on a target. A rail mounted light or laser would also make it harder to conceal, or fit in a holster. It doesn't cost all that much to get concealed carry training and permits where I live, so I think it's worth it to just throw this shit on the credit card and start practicing. Open carry isn't an option in my workplace, though it is legal in my state. A baseball bat and pepper spray will do until I can get all my firearms paperwork done. I don't think putting lead on paper at 7 meters will be much trouble at all so I think this is a pretty viable option and a lot less conspicuous than an "instrument for sporting purposes" aka bludgeon. I enjoy my job downtown. I get to practice Spanish some, see a lot of people so I can keep my social anxiety from growing back, and the hours are really flexible so I can do this whole novel thing. Hell, I even get a little exercise with it. (I am a fairly well-paid store clerk in one of the busiest stores in my state. This city has a major international airport and there are hotels on either side of the store) I don't want to stop going to work because of this. I probably should try to work somewhere else, to be completely rational about it, so I'll work on that too, but I shouldn't have to. Little old ladies are some of my coworkers, and I don't know if my replacement would do the right thing and walk people to their car, give them rides, etc. Plus, if they have the balls to do it, I would be embarrassed to have such an excuse for my leaving. I'm replaceable, sure, but I'm well known by the regulars and liked there--it feels hard to leave at this point when its still serving all of my goals. So for now, my decision is to arm myself as effectively as possible. I did notify the police and I'll be calling my store in a few hours to give them a heads up, and again to make sure 2nd shift gets it because 1st shift doesn't do half the shit they're supposed to. Of course, I'm still fucking wired so sleep is probably not happening for a good minute. /blogpost.
  3. Almost got jumped; buying a gun.

    Greeting people is always a good idea IMO, it gives you a lot of useful information. As for slowing down to engage shady people beyond that, naw, you need that distance the time you don't spend there gives you. No one is trying to make friends downtown at 12AM. Ignoring them initially just slows down the rate at which you acquire information. The immediate aftermath paranoia has given way. Now, with my situational awareness, improved knowledge of de-escalation and escape techniques, and additional training in the lawful carry of a firearm for the defense of self or others in imminent threat of serious harm, I feel well prepared to deal with the problem before me while I work on solving other problems relevant to that one. I don't live an 'unfortunate life', people in Guatemala live an unfortunate life. I'm American poor, which just means that much of my existence is incomprehensible to people who are of a higher socioeconomic class than that and always have been. I face generally more problems, which are also more severe than and are different from the problems they do. I had a fucked up past which has given me psychic injury, but again trailer trash child abuse fucked up, not victim of war fucked up, and I am now receiving adequate care in at least that dimension. Medicaid does a lot of things right. I'm still LOLing at posters saying shit like "why not move to a wealthier state or country?"; cost of living is very relevant. Might as well let me eat cake too. After all, Americans are merely temporarily embarrassed millionaires, to paraphrase Steinbeck.
  4. Almost got jumped; buying a gun.

    Atypical depression caused by a fucked up life, that is now effectively treated by neurotransmitter substitutes, is totally why I don't deserve my second amendment rights. Bad things happened to you because you were too weak to stop them and it hurt you, but fuck you for claiming the bare minimum means of power to defend oneself. Fuck you stigmatizing mental illness. I'm not violent and I don't live in another dimension so what the fuck is it to you if I don't make enough dopamine or norephinephrine on my own? I'm not schizophrenic, I don't suffer psychosis. Unlike the general population I actually KNOW what's going on in my head because I take care of my mental health. When I speak of the dangers of 'mentally ill' people it's those who are violent, delusional, and untreated. Left untreated, I'm constantly sad and anxious, and that's about it. My life sucks without help but I'm no danger to myself or others. Otherwise I'd be deemed incompetent by the state and would not have passed my NICS background check. Qualified for my CCDW, btw. Missed no shots at 7 yards. 100% range accuracy translates to 50% combat accuracy, says veteran police officer of 31 years who taught the course. My other classmates were two middle aged white women (one with an EPO on a violent ex) and a middle aged black woman. Considering moving because I'm poor not retarded; that however is a process that also takes resources. Men don't have reason to fear sexual assault? @Jazz You're flat wrong. (but statistics and rape culture!) yes, those magic words will prevent all rape I might risk. I've been assaulted so I'm biased, just not randomly on the street by a stranger, so yeah it's probably unlikely for that to be a consequence of an altercation I would have in this circumstance. Yes, the first event is the one that matters and yes I came to the same conclusion regarding threat level. I already park as close as possible and move as fast as possible--a block away at most. I also called the police as soon as I got home. That is not the extent to all of what I should do. Someone, somewhere will have to work this job even if I leave, so pretend, if you will, that I personally do not exist but that this situation does as a constant. Some arguments may make more sense if the context is more important than the individual. Here's a weird thing to me: the odds of being assaulted go down or up based on location; but they never equal zero, so no one is justified in owning a personal defense weapon? It's always middle class and upper middle class people who have never been in real danger who think no one should have guns. No bad things ever happen once you do the white flight thing and make it to the 'burbs. As for Sam Harris comment, if the wrong person says the right thing, fuck it totally right? Sorry I didn't link to someone on your reading list. @mmf I post weird shit because I'm weird and my life is weird; approaching normalcy is the goal, however, whatever that means--I assume it means lower overall existential risk. @Sophocles Yeah, I'm just trying to give myself a fighting chance in case I can't get away. Going from 100% chance of dying to 99% chance of dying is still worth effort. @Malcolm I'm also no longer considering carrying an arsenal on me. The pistol I purchased will do just fine. Everything else is either overdoing it or underdoing it. I've been doing some more self-defense training but of course the emphasis is distraction and escape. I'm not trying to be Bruce Lee. Also working on making money so all my problems go away. Just paid off the debt I incurred off car repairs. Now I can focus more on my medical bills and credit card debt. If I was doing "privileged comment" BINGO I might have it by now. We've reached the point ITT where I'm not seeking advice but giving it.
  5. Almost got jumped; buying a gun.

    Had another close call/encounter today. Not as close as last time by a good margin though. Me and my co-worker loitered, I suppose a few minutes too long, in the safer closer parking lot. The one I was using and no longer use was still within a block; this one is too, it is one corner shorter, well-lit, long line of sight. Gave us a false sense of security. I had my driver's side window down to let the cigarette smell out, and left the lot, no problem. Before we turned the corner. "Hey! Hey ese!" [he was not Hispanic]. Whip my head to the side and this weird looking motherfucker is in the middle of the lot we just left. My co-worker says "don't look at him, don't look at him", so I face forward. We get a green light only to hit a red one around the corner. "Hey ese!" I shit you not this motherfucker decided to follow us. He seemed far enough to where I figured we'd make it once it went green. Based on how fast he was moving, it seemed like we had plenty of time. "Go go go!" says my co-worker. I look out my window again and this dude is booking it and has gotten a hell of a lot closer. Less than a hundred feet away, probably close to sixty or so (I suck at this but he would have been at my window soon). I looked around the intersection for like a second and gunned it through the red light. Thankfully there was no incoming traffic and the next two were green; at 1230 or so your odds regarding traffic are pretty good. She's scared of course. She knew my story, and I carried my bat of course, but she hadn't had a close call herself yet where she felt fear. Just a random hobo stole her vaporizer while she was on a break outside, hit it, and gave it back without missing his stride. That was the weirdest prior thing she'd dealt with. My anxiety level has kind of plateaued so I'm not all that shaken up about it. We passed 6 LMPD officers on the corner of 4th and Muhammad before we left work for the parking lot; it's Friday night on 4th Street Live! of course the cops are out in force. Contributed to our false sense of security. None of them said anything about my bat, and less than a block away some scraggly motherfucker decides he's gonna try to get intimate through my car window. I don't think he had particularly violent intentions, I think he was just an extremely poorly socialized beggar. I think Summer brings out the crazies more than any other season so far. I've worked there since December. A security guard I shoot the shit with told me in July that an abrupt change in how Social Security worked led to about a hundred or so people becoming homeless at once, and the city of Louisville had no forewarning about this. There's a park where a lot of them huddle down, he says, a mile or so west. I don't remember the name, starts with an H. Supposed to be a playground, but, mired in human shit and heroin addicts for now. A lot of them were probably mentally ill to begin with, and without state support what else would happen to them? Lesson [re]learned: don't loiter in a parking lot at night, no matter how safe you think you are. I usually practiced this principle but slacked this time. Dude probably saw us long before we got in my car for that reason. She called her mom while I was driving--her mom agreed to split the cost of a pistol with her, and she's interested in getting a CCDW too, so that's good. She's disabled, has back problems, has no chance in a fight, and is a young mother. I picked up my pistol earlier yesterday and got a business card from the CCDW instructor who owned the gun store. Just spent an hour field stripping and reassembling it and I can do it without the manual now. Striker fired pistols are kind of all the same. Everything's a Glock. Three weeks or so is how long I have to practice, think I'll do okay. Going down to Bardstown to shoot cans with my buddy later today. He's got some land with a lot of natural backstops. Threw 150 rounds of 9mm on the credit card, that should give me a decent feel for it. Found a good deal online for bulk ordering that cuts the $/rd in half, probably gonna do that too. Link to SOSS Smith and Wesson Flash sale: S&W M&P Shield in 9mm no Manual Safety for $298 [with a native capacity of 8+1 it's legal even in communist states] Remington bulk ammo, 500 rds of 9mm for ~$100. SOSS in general has the best deals online. My LGS was selling a Shield for $349. FURTHER EDIT: Magazine springs were a bitch to break in but the Shield shoots like a dream. Easy to control, accurate enough and consistent groups, will probably need to adjust the sights a little but was definitely able to get minute-of-badguy. The CCDW test should be a joke. The only thing I don't like about it is one small issue with the hinged trigger but that will go away with practice anyway. Also practiced some useful self-defense techniques which do not involve firearms with my karate buddy; I will describe them below. Technique #1: The most important one: change the attacker's focus. Give them something to think about that isn't you. Throw shit at them (people naturally try to catch it or halt), if engaged in combat even a light shin kick is enough to distract. Throw your hand in their face (doesn't have to be a punch). Poke them in the stomach. Whatever you can do to make them think of something that isn't you. If they're thinking of the gut that just got poked, or hand suddenly in their face, they aren't thinking about you. Only an experienced fighter can ignore distraction. Most people are not that. You can usually get an opening to flee, which you should do if possible. If not, take advantage of their vulnerability. Pepper spray is an extremely effective example--hard to think about you when their eyes are burning. Technique #2: breaking a grab. Using your feet and body weight you can escape nearly any grab. Step backwards if your arms are grabbed and rotate those arms in a wide circle. Your foe will be off balance because you shifted your weight by stepping backwards, and the circular motions take advantage of the limitations of human arms in general--they will have to let go. If grabbed from behind (arm wrench, to give an example), move hard and fast in the direction they're pulling you. Go with it, your weight will throw them off balance and you can pivot to escape. Everything is circles. Randomness in your arm movements can help break a stubborn grab. Technique #3: A charging enemy attempting a tackle, if it cannot be evaded or interrupted with a distraction, can be punished by driving your knuckles into the soft tissue above the collar bone: use their neck to help you aim. The force you resist with, and the force of their movement combine in a small area to cause a great deal of pain that can help break their focus. DONT'S: you're trying to survive, not win a fight: don't tense up [it will not make you faster even if you think it will], don't try to box, don't treat it like a sparring match. The costs of a missed punch can include a broken arm. Stay as loose as possible. That same arm, if loose instead, can be used to deflect an attack to create an opening or escape route. Circles. If they have a knife, these principles will still work, just try to think of one of their arms being longer than the other. You just need to escape. Don't panic. If they are holding it blade down, edge out, clasped in fist, they know what they are doing and should be eliminated at range if possible in any way. A person holding a knife palm up, tip forward, doesn't know what they are doing and your odds are a little better--still a serious threat, but they can lose control of their weapon more easily. Another tip: stare potential threats in the eyes; turning away indicates weakness. It's fine to keep your head on a swivel--you should be aware of your surroundings--but keep staring at their eyes. It indicates that you are confident you can fuck them up and vultures looking for weak prey might have second thoughts. One of the skills cops learn is to make prolonged uncomfortable eye contact.
  6. Almost got jumped; buying a gun.

    I've taken two self defense courses in college and read a lot on the topic because of my fucked up life. I've more than likely committed tons of plagiarism by cryptamnesia or otherwise in these posts. Sam Harris has a good sum up article and I'm pretty sure some of my wording uses his because I recently read it to see if I did anything wrong, as I have been obsessively reading up on the subject in general. Regardless of how incredulous you are at what I'm saying, and its your life, you should be skeptical, you should read up on it. EDIT: I've also done a LOT of de-escalation and some running my ass off, to refer to non-OP experiences OP has. Just some random examples: Had to talk a farmer down from shooting my cousin's dog a second time gun in hand, etc., when I was 13 [she was fine, the bullet passed right through the meat of her leg; to be fair in retrospect he had chickens to mind and Girl was a black lab without a leash and on his property] out in Caddo, OK. Prevented fights at parties by getting in front of a belligerent while apologizing profusely for anything and everything [many times in Berea], gotten outwardly crazy people to calm down and leave houses [Bardstown], stores [Louisville]. Been hit and not thrown back, talked it down (some people actually get embarrassed if you don't retaliate and just act like a rational adult) [abusive ex, random school bullies earlier]. Stopped stepdad from beating mom [several times] and vice versa (wasn't always successful but nobody's dead so good enough). My brother's done a lot of that kind of stuff and I've watched him in action, he's better than me (I learned a lot from him). He caught a punch to the face one time at a party around a bunch of drunken idiots (young ass men with alpha complex bullshit) and still managed to keep his head straight enough to talk down what was about to be an all-out brawl. We left quickly after. [ex]friend of a friend's house in Cleveland. In some situations you just get the fuck out of someone's way or perceived way and let them go be crazy/an asshole in some other direction. I haven't seen all the shit he's dealt with. Got out of a shady ass meth trailer outside Gatlinburg, TN after we gave a ride home to a drunk lady who crashed her car into a tree down a hill--her friends and family were not happy to see her and they followed us in their car for awhile, probably thought we would call the cops, but he lost them in the mountain roads--they probably just gave up and went back to looking for her car before the cops could get to it. Was with my buddy Will out in Samuels Loop [16, 17?] when we had to lose an aggro driver who got really pissed off because our dumbass teen selves cut him off on 245; he tried to run us off the road. Had to talk a guy down from stabbing me by asking why he wanted to stab me repeatedly while backing away for about 4 or 5 minutes until he decided he didn't have much of a reason to (he really didn't it was fucking random and he was batshit crazy, one of those edgy teens that could be a school shooter, but really, could've been a school shooter; at some dumbass high school party). I've pussied out of tons of fights too. Also won a few by unexpectedly fighting back (by won I mean I was able to get away without getting my ass beat because I threw a lucky punch or elbow). I got bullied a lot as a kid, been around a lot of scary people my whole life. I guess I'm proud of going out of my way to not hurt people or be hurt? I dunno. But I'm here in one piece. Running and talking. In terms of deterrence a lot of the rednecks in high school stopped bullying me when my brother pulled one aside and played up how crazy I was and therefore dangerous (the word stab was used)--they already thought I was weird so in confirming their biases they decided I wasn't worth it. To be fair I was mentally ill and fucking weird in high school so... back to the baseball bat thing, I just don't want to be an attractive target. Hornets have yellow and black stripes to let you know it has a stinger well before it stings, so it often doesn't have to. I'm candid about all these things because I know other fucked up people badly need other fucked up people to relate to and feel validated about being fucked up. But yeah, feeling secure? I don't know what that's like. I do know that the older I get the more real mortality gets, and the idea of dying over stupid shit more outrageous. That's why I've worked so hard to get away from all the really crazy influences in my life and now just deal with regular crazy. I'm white trash that escaped the drug world, escaped crazy shit,worked hard so I could get a scholarship,got educated, still working hard. Shit's always a struggle. Getting stalked and nearly assaulted/mugged/whatever, it made me think of the people I can't afford to not go home to. How truly alone you are in a dangerous situation. I haven't had something to fight for in a long time, this year , and some of last, is the first in a long time where I actually give a shit (I shouldn't say that because many necessary things required effort but doing necessary things for me primarily/not out of pain fear is fairly new due to an external locus of control problem). There are a lot of mixed feelings and experiences in play here across several age and place cross-sections of my life. Things are way better now that we've finally gotten the neurotransmitter thing mostly nailed down and most of my demons killed, so yeah, I want to live. I actually crave life. I didn't use to. I don't know if any of this is of any value, but it's here. As for "you've made it this far without getting seriously injured/killed, why freak out now that the overall risk is lower?", there's this thing called survivorship bias. There are only so many times you can convince a knife-wielding schizophrenic on methamphetamine that there are in fact no demons in you or your stepmom's heads (though to be fair he wasn't like that all the time and was usually pretty chill) [also learned a lot from my stepmom].
  7. Almost got jumped; buying a gun.

    If you read what I said above you would not come to conclusion that escalating a situation to lethal force is a thing I advocate. I'm 28, started shooting when I was ten. Not saying you have lack of experience with firearms. I was saying you lacked experience with living in fucked up places dealing with fucked up people, fearing for your life, for about 22 of those years. Domestic violence, drug dealing, break-ins, actual fights in our driveway, my sister running a methhead out of our trailer with a knife, to give you an example. That was my life. Mental health issues made me graduate a year later than I wanted, but my timing for withdrawal was great because my stepmom was about to go to jail and I could take care if the house. Most of my immediate family: repeat offender felons. "Just move out of there" is classism. You think if I had the scratch to pay deposits on everything and travel for job interviews I'd still be here? "But you spent 300 on a gun". Yeah, well my appendix exploded in April and my car broke down in May so I'm in debt up to my eyeballs because my insurance wouldn't cover my CT scan. Louisville is the economic center of KY. I'm working on my shit, its just hard to get ahead when you're behind. I just don't get why your response to a person who is clearly scared shitless and doing the things that make sense to them no matter how irrational they are is to be a dick. Everything I said above says that violence is a last resort option. I am worried because 10 or 20 ft. Is not a wide margin for error and should that error have been made I probably would have gotten fucked up. Show some fucking compassion. You're flaunting your socioeconomic status, is what I'm saying, and that's fucked up.
  8. Almost got jumped; buying a gun.

    Your bitchy smug comments coming from a place of total lack of experience are helpful, constructive, and add to the conversation. You're flaunting ignorance and a bad attitude. Take pride in that if you must.
  9. Almost got jumped; buying a gun.

    @rei this Guelph, Ontario?
  10. Almost got jumped; buying a gun.

    Louisville, KY. I work in this area. The past two years have seen an increase in homicides and shootings.
  11. Almost got jumped; buying a gun.

    You work downtown at night in a city with a steadily increasing homicide rate and run into trouble and see how you start changing your priorities and behavior, just saying. I think a lightweight bludgeon, pepper spray, and single-stack 9mm are conservative, practical choices in the meantime while I wait to get transferred to a less crazy location. And yeah, mall ninjas are what they are because they fetishize weapons that are impractical and 'exotic' and don't bother to become proficient with them.
  12. Almost got jumped; buying a gun.

    Same. But I don't think that these people tend to give a lot of dialogue options based on what I experienced. Technically, I have no fucking idea what they were after/what their goal was beyond interacting with me in a way I don't want with a high likelihood of force/easily interpreted menace. If they said "I got a gun, gimme your wallet", they could have the wallet. But if they never state a demand, if they just go on the offense, their unclear motives are worst-case in your risk assessment. I would shoot someone to avoid being hurt by them, and hopefully they would stop and go away and not die or suffer permanent injury. I think the number of lumps I should be expected to take should be zero. I'm still going to open carry the bat as deterrence to reduce the chance of that being a call I have to make.
  13. Almost got jumped; buying a gun.

    I've settled on a S&W M&P Shield in 9mm and it should arrive at my LGS tomorrow. It has a stellar reputation and is a favorite carry gun for many; if I don't like it trading it or selling it will be no problem [next option would be a Springfield XDS in 9mm]. In the meantime I have taken to walking to/from work with an aluminum baseball bat while wearing a leather jacket. I got away the last time and I intend to the next; if I can't, I won't be left without an option. Gonna put in some range time this weekend to break it in [hopefully with my grandfather] and if I get good groups to start with, I'll go ahead and start the CCDW licensing process. You only have to put 11/20 rounds on target at 7 meters to qualify, which sounds easy enough. The interesting thing about a CCDW is that it allows you to also carry tons of other things that you're not supposed to even open carry normally - brass knuckles, shuriken, nightsticks, it's pretty funny really. A mall ninja's dream.
  14. Almost got jumped; buying a gun.

    Oh yeah, and if you're already in a fucked up situation, if anyone is trying to kidnap you or move your person to another location, they are definitely trying to kill you and you should attack as hard and fast as you can. Be vicious. Get away the first chance you can. Do. Not. Get. In. Their. Car. 6/7 people survive being shot with a handgun. You can't be more afraid of maybe dying than definitely dying in probably a really horrible way. In the event that any of this type of stuff happens, especially if you shoot someone, you must call the police ASAP. I called the cops as soon as I got home, because you have to wonder: who else were they trying to fuck with that night? If you shoot someone and run it's really really bad for your inevitable court case. If you have an airtight self-defense situation the police won't always press charges.
  15. Almost got jumped; buying a gun.

    Situational awareness and instinct were my weapons this time. I wouldn't have done much different because drawing a firearm is a commitment to a life-or-death action. It would mean standing my ground and killing someone. I was (barely) able to get away without a direct confrontation. I was lucky. There were several points in this incident in which I could have been engaged in a direct confrontation: -If their pace was faster, or were running at me rather than stalking. She could've run up on me if she wanted to, and dude probably could've too if he wasn't going the long way on purpose. -If I was attacked as I passed them initially; I would run to get clear distance, and continue running until I determined that a fight was necessary, if it were necessary. She was just slow enough for me to be able to get into my car and lock my doors. By the time I had my keys in the ignition and seatbelt on, she was very close to my rear driver side door. I looked carefully because I didn't want to hit her if I could avoid it. One of the things that crossed my mind was being in a disadvantageous position while entering my vehicle or shortly after (or shortly before), and that is when I would've used a gun. The point right when you are damned sure you are in harm's way and have to use it. More below relevant to subject and other posters. (I don't mean to condescend if you already know all this). Weapons are tools of absolute last resort, when all other options are exhausted or impossible. I don't want blood on my hands, even if they're trying to harm me, it's a tough thing to live with, and there are many many potential legal consequences including a manslaughter conviction, civil suits etc. But as they say, "it's better to be judged by twelve than carried by six". You are as much of a human being as your attacker is and you have the right to live more than they have the right to try to ruin your shit. Like, if you end up in one of those stupid "honorable fights" that sometimes come up between men while hammered over some idiotic conflict--a gun is not appropriate. You're not going to get killed, you're just consenting to potentially get your ass kicked. If you know you aren't in danger of serious injury or death, do not use your weapon. If you have no intention of engaging and some asshole just wants to kick your ass, fuck that, you have a right to use your weapon after you've declined violence and expressed a verbal warning not to attack. Don't just go popping off on someone over something that can solved through de-escalation. De-escalation, like situational awareness, is a tool you can always use without negative consequences to prevent violence or harm to your person and you should learn how to do things like that in case it is possible to resolve a conflict non-violently. It is much better to look like a pussy than to be a murderer. One of those things is temporary, and can be forgotten. If you can placate an aggressor in any way that will not result in harm to your person, do it. If someone wants your wallet, it's not your wallet anymore, it's potentially your life--let them have the fucking wallet. Learn how to talk people down from states of high agitation, anger, potential intoxication, and social pressure to fight. Situational awareness is simple once you know it but easy to fuck up without practice. You need to pay attention to specific things in your environment and in other people in order to act in the smartest way possible to save your life. If you sense you are in danger, do you know where all the belligerents and potential belligerents are? Do you know where you're going to run, and if you can even outrun them? Did you anticipate being in danger in this environment beforehand so you could read the behavior of the people in it? Do you know where you are, and what the potential battle space is? Chokepoints? Blind corners? Doors? Windows? Driving conditions (if outside)? Who is doing what and how they're doing it is a critical set of questions that demand answers before acting. You can hone situational awareness as a skill. You can practice it and should. It will help you do the right thing when the butterflies creep into your stomach. It is the most important skill. It tells you which situations can be avoided or de-escalated, and which ones can't. So, what I would do differently if I had a gun was feel more in control of my situation should things escalate such that I avoid escalation even further. A minor change in variables and I could have been dead. It's a wake-up call that my ability to fight is deficient, but my situational awareness is not. I may have been able to sprint to my car instead, knowing that if it provokes a chase you have confirmation that you must act if you can't get away, and that you have a course of action that will protect you. If they didn't pursue in response to the sprint, congrats, you're alive and they are too. That's ideal. That's how you win the game under most circumstances. If you're in real danger, you win the game by killing (assume you will kill when you fire, they may just be injured, but know you are using a killing tool). It's not a game, but it's a useful metaphor. I should also note that at the second your enemy begins to flee, every trigger pull is murder. You just have to end the conflict with you alive. If they are deterred by your action you have succeeded and no longer need to continue firing, so don't. Your real win condition is making your attacker stop and leave you alone, you getting away is the only thing that absolutely has to happen. I cannot say with absolute certainty that my stalkers intended to kill me. If you get away like I did you never can. I'm sure I was going to be assaulted and robbed. You cannot ever truly know this but you have to assume that someone who is willing to violate you is also willing to kill you. They didn't point a weapon at me or otherwise threaten me and express a demand "give me your money" "give me your car". That didn't happen, otherwise I'd be down a wallet.
  16. Almost got jumped; buying a gun.

    damn dude that fucking sucks, and I definitely aim to, no pun intended.
  17. Almost got jumped; buying a gun.

    I have a close friend that knows Karate legitly, and he's been teaching me some basic moves, but he's a gun nut like me so... Effective means of self-defense do not depend on you being in peak (or even good) shape, perfectly remembering hand-to-hand training, and your enemy not having a weapon. Israelis also mandate military service for their citizens and they carry Tavors and have body armor, etc. If I could just walk around with an intermediate cartridge semi-auto or select-fire rifle and class IV armor all the time, sure.
  18. why do i never think i am wrong?

    "A personality disorder is a type of mental disorder in which you have a rigid and unhealthy pattern of thinking, functioning and behaving. A person with a personality disorder has trouble perceiving and relating to situations and people. This causes significant problems and limitations in relationships, social activities, work and school. In some cases, you may not realize that you have a personality disorder because your way of thinking and behaving seems natural to you. And you may blame others for the challenges you face. Personality disorders usually begin in the teenage years or early adulthood. There are many types of personality disorders. Some types may become less obvious throughout middle age." - Mayo Clinic website. I would not be even remotely surprised if this was relevant to you, @little bug. I'm a mixed/borderline, which sucks, but once you know you have one of these it gets a lot easier to fight. You're not supposed to diagnose/self-diagnose over the Internet, and I'm not an expert, just an older mentally ill person who got a lot better with treatment. But I am 200% sure with your background that some kind of personality disorder is in play here. I have a very similar background to yours, actually. It's not your fault you got fucked up, but it is your problem to fix, and any fucking over of other people is still your fault. This is "normal" for people like us, which is not normal for other people, and it is a constant battle to stay in tune with the rest of humanity. That said, there is a lot of hope to be had. You can get through it. And if you start experiencing moral panic as your emotional intelligence improves, don't freak out--I did some fairly evil shit when I was younger and you can confront it, own it, accept it, seek atonement, and find some kind of peace--you may even get lucky and be forgiven. I sincerely recommend reading Crime and Punishment. Realize that you are, in some way, Raskolnikov. Damage can be repaired, wounds can heal into scars. You can change, and you can direct that metamorphosis, and accepting the help of others, which you need, requires humility. That you're here asking for help means you recognize the problem, so, that's huge already. If you hate yourself--don't. You're too young for that anyway. I recommend taking notes, inconspicuously. Journal/diary as much as you can. When you're able to see your thoughts later, once rage or paranoia or despair have subsided, you'll start to pick up on themes and patterns. Listen to @Gojira and @mark. If you're able to balance the two thoughts: 1.) I'm kind of bad at being a person, BUT 2.) I can learn and become better, it'll help you. Also, what you suspect is true: largely, people are thin-skinned and fucking stupid, not seeing the forest for the trees, but being an asshole makes you wayyyyy inferior by comparison. A mild level of benevolence keeps the world turning. Your intelligence is not omnipotence. You should genuflect as often as you can and be patient and polite with people. The main reasoning here is that courtesy has social value and people are much much looser with useful information if they feel respected. You need to try to learn how to be a basic bitch and do pleb things for awhile, to live in their shoes, so you can realize the sum of your humanity gaps and address the cracks. When you genuinely begin to respect others, you can begin to respect yourself. The most useful skill, from being an elitist nerd with poor relationship skills and non-existent emotional regulation, is how to shut the fuck up. You can "win" a lot of "games" by simply not moving. Other people will matter more than you in a lot of contexts, let that happen, don't seek conflict. Knowledge != Power. Understanding = Power. What's funny is, I was a Christian as a kid, hardcore, went agnostic-atheist then to antitheist, and the whole time I kept trying to figure out why people stayed, what the hell faith was supposed to be or feel like? Why did delusion have so much power? Now the funny part: learning about Christianity and what its idealized form is when practiced by good people actually has some useful values and neurolinguistic programming for people like us. Yeah, it's Bronze Age bullshit, but the techniques that 'trick' you into being a better person are effective. If not, I wouldn't be talking about it, it wouldn't be 2017 A.D. The concept of a being that no matter what is better than you, actually better than you not just mom-or-policeman-in-the -sky-better-than-you, but better in pure essence can diminish the excesses of your ego fluctuations. What's cool about Christianity is that everyone is fucked up to begin with, no one is as good as Jesus, but you're also made in God's image [more accurate translation is 'shadow' according to my theology friend], which is pretty awesome. I still don't know what faith is, but I understand that it's important to people and tiptoeing around it unless it's hurting people is fine. Save the philosophical talks with people for times when they want to do that exact thing; assume every other interaction will be marred by trying to make everything a debate. Still an atheist, but I respect people's faith, just not the belief itself, and moral relativism isn't a thing I believe in so I can definitely be like "Jesus Camp is fucked up". Assume everyone's mode of thinking is essentially their religion. People are as rigid as you are but they share a common language that we haven't been taught that makes them flexible. Look into shit like this, just eat as much philosophy and psychology shit as you can. Seek wisdom more than anything. And most of all, definitely get to a psychiatrist as soon as you are able. My dopamine, norephinephrine, and serotonin receptors were reaaaaaally fucked up from years of child abuse. Several tries, and now, two mood stabilizers and an upper later, I am slowly becoming who I want to be, who I always wanted to be: a good person who understands people and tries to help. If you can't do it now, promise yourself that you will. Seems like you have or will. You need help giving apologies? You don't get to decide if someone else is hurt by what you say. Random assholes on the Internet don't matter, but the person in front of you does. Remember that you caused psychic pain/stress, and admitting severity is the first most important part. Speech is action to most people, rather than a means of making memes battle each other or build on each other. Assessing the scale of the emotional injury infllicted helps you determine your response. Did you fuck up a little? Say something that got someone looking at you with a frown? Figure out why that hurt them, write it down, understand it, try not to do it. Fuck up big? Like, angry big or crying big or ostracization [of you] big? Be as blunt and honest about it as you can. "I fucked you over, and I regret hurting you. It wasn't my intention, but that doesn't matter because I know I fucked up. Next time I'll _______________[if you can fix it materially, or behaviorally do it. If it can't be fixed with effort well, the least you can do is admit that you know you're an asshole and don't want to be]". In no way, whatsoever, is a sincere apology ever about you. It's about the other person. Sorry if this is rambling, it's late in my time zone.
  19. Advice for younger people thread

    I'm with you but if we're going to give this advice, we can't afford to leave anything to the imagination. Specificity convinces. So here goes, with that in mind. It's not much of a stretch to point out the pitfalls of abstinence only education versus something more nuanced that accepts that some people, regardless, will do drugs, and education can minimize the harm. D.A.R.E. doesn't work. Might as well address the real addiction rates (which are contrary to hysteria, low), overdose rates (which vary by drug), risks associated with method of intake (Hep C is mainly transmitted through IV drug use these days), risks associated legally (which vary by drug), risks to health (which vary by drug) and burdens to society (which vary by drug). I've been at meth ground zero most of my life (I have lots of SWIM stories regarding transactions, fights, home invasions, robberies, etc.; knew a dude with a colorful life to say the least), and watched the last town I lived in begin its death spiral into opiate abuse. My family tree might as well have been watered with booze. Pot and psychedelics are completely different, and you have to acknowledge stuff like that. False equivocation and abstinence focus ultimately undermines the credibility of anti-drug education. It's easy to compare addictions and escapism and stop at "well this stuff is illegal and will ruin your life because the police will arrest you and ruin your life", but the general population is only law-abiding insomuch as they stay under the radar and don't do anything too big. Deterrence is for repeat offenders, not first time offenders, and the USA's focus on penalizing drug use rather than healing addicts undermines the credibility of the state as well. So, if you're going to be real about drugs you have to be completely real or you'll immediately lose the attention of your audience and be lumped in with know-nothing Nancy Reagan types. Don't do meth--by tinkering with your dopamine-norepinephrine receptors, which control pleasure and stress, you can permanently lower your body's ability to produce those neurotransmitters; don't do heroin--it feels great and you'll chase that first high until you die. Layne Staley etc. are warnings, not people to emulate; don't do PCP--you will eat somebody's face; don't abuse opiate-derived pain medication--heroin's cheaper and you'll be doing that in no time; don't abuse muscle relaxers; don't abuse sleep aids like Ambien; don't do coke but tbh the shit's too expensive to keep up; adderall is meth; do not under any circumstances underestimate alcohol just because it is legal--it is the most common date rape drug, drunk drivers kill enough people, you will do and say things you regret, and withdrawal, like with benzos, can kill you; cigarettes take awhile to kill you but are just plain expensive; pot can demotivate you enough to where you aren't chasing your ambitions in life and if it gets there, you should stop; psychedelics can trigger latent mental illness and require a lot of knowledge to do safely; there is no safe way to use benzodiazepenes even when they're prescribed (SWIM was prescribed them for PTSD and refused to take them after SWIM saw what they did to his alcoholic mother and his Afghanistan and Iraq veteran friend. He advised SWIM to use pot instead. SWIM regrets it less than if he went the benzo route, but adequate treatment would have been better. A lot of veterans treat their PTSD with alcohol, which is really really dangerous. Shit's complex, so a blanket "don't do drugs" doesn't come off as quite as sincere and informed to people who are familiar until you type all the shit I just did above. D.A.R.E. has helped push social phobias about drug users which further isolate them and prevent them from getting help. "Don't do drugs" turns into "avoid everyone who does a drug" to "drug users are subhuman". I'm not saying that you're saying that at all--I agree with you, but that's how it is for a lot of people. A lot of people hit rock bottom alone, having not dragged everyone around down with them, and still have that grind ahead of them. My cousin been trying to get off pain pills for years. He finally hit the ground so hard he bounced. No kids, no wife to lose, his homies were addicts on their own mission so they didn't really give a shit. I kept an eye on him through the grapevine but was wary. Once he got on a program I paid some court fees, shot the shit and hung out for awhile. But for how many years did I not do that? Did he have to land that hard? Is that tough love shit always the real shit? Does someone have to catch a charge before anyone cares about them? It's not like that's what made him switch to suboxone, it was that he missed himself and his aspirations, and hated his surroundings. I know a lot of people too far gone, but you can't give up on everyone. I'm knee deep in it, from a user to a clan of 'em and back out again, and all I can say is that for a great many platitude is poison. Anyone who smokes pot after a D.A.R.E. lecture rejects the rest of the lesson. "Don't do drugs" in a vacuum sounds like a thing middle class white moms tell their children before they go rail a Xanax in the bathroom, so here's some of SWIM's stories. SWIM's stepmom was a meth dealer for awhile and got busted. The thing is, she was batshit crazy to begin with and couldn't live off disability benefits alone. So she self-medicated and funded that habit, and the rest of her bills, by moving more and more of the shit. Of course, her minor kids were involved in the family business, hell, SWIM's stepmom sold to SWIM's mom. They setting up rings to purchase chemical precursors at regular dates and times to avoid flagging state detection apparatuses, then trading that shit for pot to be sold at pure profit (unless the sudafed and liquid fire could be sold outright). It's a practice called 'smurfing' and yes the authorities look for patterns like this. This is in turn opens up the market and soon pills of all kinds, shrooms, etc. come flooding in. The root cause of SWIM's stepmom's problems was insufficiently treated mental illness. She's not a bad person. She got beat up by rival dealers, allegedly stabbed a guy who attacked her, had her trailer broken into repeatedly; it's not like you can report this stuff to the police when you're an addict and you need the shit for income. There were prostitutes all over the place too. Once she got busted, she gets out of prison right? Well, she can't get food stamps anymore, and I think her social security got downgraded. Now she's a felon. So, she managed to find part-time work for awhile until she lapsed back into running her own illicit small business. Keep in mind, all this shit was going down in a tiny ass rural town in the Midwest. She's back in again as we speak, for again, possession charges. SWIM had to move some stuff while she in jail last time to keep the family afloat. A dude SWIM knew, let's call him Billy, was a schizophrenic always ranting about seeing the demons in people. He hallucinated constantly and operated under a lot of delusions. Happened to look a lot like Kid Rock. He was kind of obnoxious, but mostly harmless. Pot and meth kept him from suicidal depression, but didn't make his religious visions any better. After he attacked a woman he claimed was manifesting horns, SWIM stopped hanging out with him. Pretty sure it was the meth and the crazy combined that did shit like that. Billy didn't really have a stable environment, but fuck him, right? Read his obituary in the papers a few years later. Died in the middle of the woods under suspicious circumstances. Nothing else released to the town paper, but yeah, there went another piece of white trash. Humorously enough, a girl from school SWIM had a huge crush on happened to buy pot from said stepmom. SWIM told me he started to believe that normal people used drugs and crazy people got used by drugs. Of course, drugs can make normal people crazy. It's hard to tease out which is which sometimes. In college SWIMs crush did tons of MDMA, got kinda strung out on speed, came home, got her shit together, and is changing careers. She looks healthier now. SWIM had an acquaintance in college who was always kind of out there. He was an annoying hippie type guy who was really just in it to get laid (who really gives a shit about the environment though? I swear it's just a "secret" arrangement between douchebags who play guitar at parties and the women who tire of shaving who want to fuck them); always talked about "energy" and shit. Of course, SWIM got acid from him once or twice. One day the cops catch him dealing on campus so he hauls ass out of there. He gets away, running through a field maintained by the college. Thing is, the sprinklers were on, and he had a whole sheet of blotter paper in his pocket at the time. The next couple days he decides he's a prophet, drops out, and goes god knows where on some messianic fantasy. A year later he comes back to town with a record, but sober: "yeah, that was a fucked up time in my life." SWIM was a pothead for years, still occasionally uses. He just doesn't want to go back into the haze ; he barley remembers a few years of his own life but figures it was all he could do to cope at the time. Don't do drugs.
  20. Advice for younger people thread

    Fuck yeah, this. Also, reading books. My advice as a late 20's skinny nerd working part-time at a retail store, having fled his exploitative food safety and genomics careers [never work for Eurofins I promise you will regret it] for saner ground: -Do what you want, just don't be a dick. -Go out of your way to help people that have nothing to offer you. -Actively fight the bystander effect. -Have self-respect. Learn how to say "fuck you" and "no". -Nothing your job requires should put you at risk unless you are a first responder or in law enforcement. If your boss wants you to do something unsafe, refer to the point above. You can always get another job. Currency is currency. Don't work 60-70 hour workweeks if you like seeing friends, family, or your health. -Care for another living creature, and I mean really care for it. Veterinarian visits, proper attention, pour love into it. You will grow as a person. -If you're injured, whether somatic or psychic, get help. It's a waste of time not to. Having proper neurotransmitter ratios is like a fountain of youth for the depressed. I also worked for an entire week, doing strenuous menial labor, with a ruptured appendix because I thought I was just being a pussy with my abdominal pain. I almost fucking died.There is such a thing as trying too hard to be tough, or self-reliant. I was raised to despise weakness--and fear showing it-- by a brutal idiot and that got me in a hospital bed. When death seems close you will feel some solace in the fact that you were on the right path in your life towards what you wanted for yourself before it came to that point, however, but being in a hospital is just the worst shit ever. Better than being dead though. This is a thing you don't want to put your friends and family through--take good care of yourself. -If someone you trust tells you to seek help, trust them and do it. -Get a woman/man to be your best friend and marry her/him when you're both ready. If you are not around my age or older, you are probably not ready. You will have to make a call at some point and this is one thing I will say you shouldn't be a pussy about. Love requires courage and never stops requiring it. -Keep your eye on the ball. 90% of the shit contained in the idea of the 'real world' beaten into your head by institutions, [equally brainwashed] peers and entertainment media is bullshit and totally optional. -Be very careful with drugs. Or just don't do them. Alcohol, meth and heroin are comparable in how much damage they can do once they take hold. Legal =/= safe, and vice versa. -The only rule of being cool is respect. The lamest person ever who treats people with respect is way cooler than any disrespectful person. I have seen some really uninteresting but genuinely nice (not "nice") people go far in many social arenas. Being embarrassed to say sir and ma'am to strangers and elders is a sign of poor socialization, which is not necessarily your fault but can be fixed. -Sociopaths are better than you at everything. don't try to be them and don't fret if you are bested by one. Just try to stay the fuck away. -Learn the difference between conflicts that are worth your time and conflicts that aren't. Getting into a Facebook argument usually requires at least two idiots. -Anyone who tries to start a fight with you has less to lose. There's no shame in de-escalating a situation and people will thank you for it. You're probably not the type that can win with one punch anyway. If you don't have a choice, don't hesitate, go fast and go hard. If you can run, do, and run towards people and not away. You may want to learn a practical martial art. -Define yourself by what you do and not what you consume.
  21. Round 9: Actual Literal Nuts vs The Gentleman's Club

    Posting to confirm.
  22. Linkin Park's Chester Bennington dead

    Cried in the shower over it man. Dude was "one of us". If he could make it through, couldn't we?
  23. Psychedelics

    The drugs you can get legally from doctors are generally better than street drugs anyway. Took like 8 or 9 attempts at psych drugs (and two cases of serotonin syndrome) to get my shit right--most experiences were bad--but depression is so much worse that you're usually willing to risk melting your brain to fix it.
  24. Psychedelics

    Assuming people are going to do it anyway and I can't stop them, might as well offer information to aid in making that safer for people. Look up stuff on erowid. most (if not all, iirc) hallucinogens are serotonin analogs and will be fed through that system. do not mix with SSRIs, SNRIs or MAOIs, as serotonin syndrome is not fun and you could die. If you have a predisposition towards certain mental illnesses, like schizophrenia for example, the altered state could trigger its first occurrence (symptoms manifest in young adulthood, people experiment with drugs around this time, one thing can hasten the other). Hallucinogens can be useful against treatment resistant depression and complex PTSD, but are probably most useful in that capacity in non-consciousness altering microdoses (they alter consciousness but not trippily). I recommend [not doing drugs] using standard blotter doses and synthetics, like LSD, or mescaline (the active ingredient in peyote, which can also be obtained by brewing a certain cactus as tea). A single square of blotter paper can only hold roughly 200ng of water (the vehicle for LSD, and yes it is THAT potent) and the only chemicals on Earth that are dangerous at that dosage are shit like VX gas--even if its 200ng of lead you'd be fine. Know the LD50s of the stuff you use, don't use stuff that is easily tainted: yellow mold is a common source of illness amongst mushroom users due to poor sterilization protocol and quality control by growers. Psilocybin, the active ingredient in mushrooms, can also be produced synthetically and used in more controlled doses. Better living through chemistry. I recommend being in both a good place psychologically and also physically (a chill room with a few friends and some acid rock, or a walk in the forest [bring water, you will forget to drink]). Repeat to yourself, if your trip goes bad, that things will go back to normal in a few hours and that you will be okay; remember, for the average joe this effect is temporary. Do know your family mental illness history. Do not do deleriants like Datura (for the love of god), or high doses of phenylephrine (or whatever is in Benadryl these days, think it's that. operates in roundabout way through histamine system). Do not use dextromorphan, as the doses needed to have effect are fairly harsh on your liver. Do not do salvia or DMT as your first experiences because their effect is brief, but extremely extremely intense. It's okay to start small. Due to how quickly your body adapts to the serotonin boost, you need at least 72 hours between trips, otherwise you're wasting your time and money. Don't make it a habit to use altered states, they can be useful for breakthroughs. Tripping isn't something you do just because it's [usually] fun. You're knocking out your perceptual filter by glitching your serotonin receptors, thus your schemas, and the rearranging you do on the way back will have a lasting effect. Zen Bhuddism is not viable for everyone, as chemical stimulation differs from Kool Aid consumption, but is certainly safer (if done right, though meditation can fuck you up too). Research and supervision are useful for that as well. I've seen a few hallucinogen users lose their shit and take a year to recover. Heavy, frequent use was involved though.
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