Because sometimes I just know

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where what you feel doesn’t match what’s being presented to you?  I have and I experienced it again this summer.

We’d been introduced to a new couple via mutual friends when I experienced something that gave me pause:  A feeling of unease. Butterflies. A sudden upset stomach.  Wooziness.  (and no, I wasn’t ill and only had 1 drink).

I acknowledged my feelings but attempted to shelve them; they were insistent and kept re-appearing as the evening progressed.  The hostess was lovely, their home was beautiful but it was him that I reacted to.  I took note of my body’s reaction whenever he addressed me. He was agitated and trying especially hard to be liked.  I felt for him in that moment but couldn’t help but notice how he frequently criticized and dismissed her .. in front of all of us.  I saw the sadness in her eyes and soon I really saw what my body had already recognized: a bully.

And then I felt it again; a primitive tug, pulling me away. I wanted to grab my purse and flee, to get as far away as possible.  Emotions washed over me.  Grief, sadness…  desperation. I had to get out of there and I found myself in the bathroom trying to compose myself.  I remember thinking, “I am truly losing it!”  But .. still, I listened.  I’ve learned to do that.

Thankfully, the evening ended soon after and before we were out of the driveway I said to everyone in the car: “I don’t ever want to see or be around that man again.”

That’s fairly clear, even for someone as direct as me.

I didn’t say, “I am not sure I like that guy” or “He’s not my favorite.”

I said, “I don’t ever want to see or be around that man again.”

Not long afterward, I heard that she was injured in a household accident and a shudder passed through me.   Because sometimes, in spite of the mask someone wears, sometimes I just know … better.


I am currently reading “The Gift of Fear” by Gavin de Becker and right after I started it yesterday, this post came to me.   

In his book, readers learn how to:

  • Recognize the survival signals that warn us about risk from strangers
  • Rely on their intuition
  • Separate real from imagined danger
  • Predict Dangerous Behavior
  • Evaluate whether someone will use violence
  • Move beyond denial so that their intuition works for them


Categories: Attitude, Faith, Quotes, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , | 41 Comments

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41 thoughts on “Because sometimes I just know

  1. I refer to it as ‘gut instinct’…your’s was telling you real clear what the situation was with him. You were smart and brave to acknowledge it. My sympathy goes to the wife who is obviously in a situation that she’s afraid to or cannot get out of. Thank you for the reference to this book, too.

    • Yes — that is it exactly — the queasy/greasy/sour stomach = gut instinct. The only times I have ever gotten myself into real trouble (( dangerous situations )) are those instances when I have ignored these warning signs. I’ve learned that the situation might not make sense but that the signals always do … and that book is fascinating!! Thank you for your comment, MJ

  2. Wow – “gut instinct”, “woman’s intuition” or whatever name you put on it -can be so powerful. And we should never doubt those feelings we have. I, too, feel sorry for this man’s wife. Hope she’ll be able to get out of this situation, sooner rather than later.

  3. It is said that human beings are the only living creatures who try to ignore thier “flight or fight” instinct. If only more women listend to theirs!

    • I agree; I think we have that instinct for good reason and it’s important to pay attention to it. Thank you, Jessica, for weighing in! MJ

  4. stuckinmypedals

    Oooh, yes. I read that book years ago. Fascinating read. I hope the woman you wrote of is able to remove herself from that situation.

    • I agree that the book is fascinating – captivating, really – I couldn’t put it down!! I hope she is able to remove herself; my fear is that she doesn’t see her worth, much less her options. MJ

  5. I hope you were able to express those feelings to the people closest to the wife. Hopefully they, in turn, touched base with her so she knows of the support in the hearts of caring friends and acquaintances.

    Victims of abuse are made to feel their thoughts and feelings are out of whack. As hard as it is to hear from a beloved, tactful friend, that the relationship is an abusive one, it’s may be the one thread that turns into a life raft to freedom.

    MJ, you may be missing out on readership because the link to your blog that came with your comment on by blog was incomplete. It doesn’t contain the “.com” . Therefore, when I clicked on it, it went to an “unavailable” message. I got here by adding the .com and going through google.

    • I tried to; I don’t know that they (wanted to) hear me … and I have spoken up about it more than once… it’s bothered me ever since.

      I hope I’m wrong; I don’t think I am.

      Thank you for the info about my link when I commented on your blog .. I will fix it. MJ

  6. Yes, MJ, your are so right. We as women, especially southern women, are taught to be nice, respectful, trusting. But what we should be trusting and respectful of is our own instincts. You said it best!

    • Absolutely; most of us were taught to be nice above all else and it’s that niceness factor that can be a test for someone who only wishes to manipulate us.

      What struck me as odd at the time and since was the effort he put into me; getting to know me, wanting me to like him, getting my approval perhaps? All I know is that my “spidey senses” were ablaze and I have learned to pay attention.

      Thanks for weighing in, Renee

  7. Renee at the Boomer Lane has often spoken about the power women and children give up. This is a serious message. I believe your instincts are right.
    When I was a little girl ages 8-13, I had a friend whose father had a bad temper. I didn’t like going over there, so she came to our house. As engaging as some men are, their temper/temperament sends out a message too.

    • In looking back, think of the respite her being able to come to your house must have provided. You’re right – — temper/temperament says a lot, too.

      “Friendly” doesn’t always translate to good; in this case, my spidey-senses were tingling and for good reason. MJ

  8. Very powerful post and that book looks really interesting. No matter how much we try to ignore it, I always try to trust my gut. It’s usually always right!

    • I have found the same – it’s always right.

      There’s a saying I love that goes like this, ” Follow your heart; it may be on the left but it’s always right.” Same thing.

      Thank you for your thoughts, Leah … MJ

  9. Wow. If indeed that is what is happening, I feel sorry for that lady. I hope she can dig deep, find the strength and do something about her situation. So sad. Liked your quote of, “Follow your heart; it may be on the left but it’s always right.” So true.

    • Well .. I, too, hope I am wrong. I don’t think so, though.

      I briefly dated a nice young man in college who came from a family of violence; his father was a raging machine and I left the relationship because I could see the emotional marks his words and fists had left on his children and wife. I was too young, too inexperienced, looking back, to impact them but I knew it was toxic then and I recognize toxic when I see it now.


  10. Wow. Stories like this one need to be shared – again and again and again. Thank you for the reminder.

  11. I think that the good Lord gave each one of us a “quiet voice” to listen to, whether it be His or the “gut feeling” that everyone talks about. I’ve learned to heed it’s instruction, or face the consquences later on. It’s easier to listen, then walk away unscathed.

  12. alanamokma

    Oh man. I felt yucky just READING about your experience with this man. I have had those experiences myself and they proved to be accurate, as you mentioned above.

    Do you own the book you are reading? If so, could I possibly borrow it when you are finished? (no rush, I have 3 books I am trying to get through right now). I am very intrigued by the topic of fear. I deal with a lot of fear myself and I am trying to learn ways to cope with it – to determine when the fear is real and LEGIT and when I am just operating in fear but really there is no real danger around me. It tends to paralyze me. I think this book would be a great resource to add to my mental repertoire.

    On a totally different topic, I am working toward linking your blog and Terri’s blog to mine. 🙂 I am new to so I am still trying to figure out how to do all the snazzy things it offers.

    • Hi Alana, It was certainly something I have thought a lot about since; reading this book + instances in the opening chapter brought it right back to life for me. *Shudder*

      I got the book from the Library and definitely recommend it to others. It is not a light read or a novel – there is a lot of detail to consider but I have found it to be fascinating and can see myself in some of the examples cited. (eek!)

      To add links, just go to your Dashboard then Links and click on “Add a Link” you can type in the name of the link and then paste in the URL + add it to your blogroll. Next, to display your blogroll go to Dashboard then Widgets and add the Links widget. (( If your chosen theme supports widgets)). I like this theme (Pilcrow) because it has lots and lots of options … If you need more help just email me 🙂

  13. cooper

    Gotta go with your gut…it always speaks volumes to me (my gut does…not your obviously…). emotional abuse is ugly, physical abuse is inexcusable. if yer guy sez stay away…stay away.

    • Yes, I have learned to listen to it; the only times I’ve been in a bad situation is when I ignored or pooh-poohed it. Bad idea.
      – MJ

  14. Sometimes as humans we forget that we have these instincts…for a reason.

  15. I have felt this too, or at times, something of a less sinister feeling, but have experienced a sense that a person was not being authentic as they portrayed themselves. Made me uneasy in a way I couldn’t put my finger on. But uneasy nonetheless. Good for you for trusting your instincts!

    • Yes .. I have had the same you describe — not always bad, sometimes just a sense of unease or distrust. Other times I have had an immediate liking to someone and never been proven wrong.

      Go with your gut; it will never lead you astray. MJ

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  19. I’d never read this post before…Wife and daughter are reading this book (gift of fear) great post.

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  22. MJ, good for you for listening to your intuition. My childhood best friend got engaged to a man from Lebanon. I see that she has a personality disorder that shows up in one way as a need to create drama in her life in order to get attention. And the attention is her way of feeling like she matters. She martyrs herself, thinking that playing a victim will somehow make her righteous. And I also see that at her core she feels completely out of control. She doesn’t know that only she has the power to create her life. Because of all of this, she picks in men the opposite of what people normally look for (safe, stable, tender and caring). Before she was married, I met this guy a few times and got very bad, dark, and definitely dangerous feelings from him. I felt that if he hadn’t already, he would eventually abuse her. I had to cut myself off from her a few years ago, so I don’t know how things stand. Last I knew, he was back in Lebanon, having a hard time trying to get back into the U.S.

    I have that book you mentioned. Got it back in 2012 when a friend told me to get it. Good stuff!

    • That is a great book, “The Gift of Fear,” and was very helpful to me. I’m sorry about your friend, and I have a feeling your intuition about that man was spot on! MJ

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