This subject came up quite a while ago and I did some SERIOUS thinking about it.
What I came down to was pretty straight forward.
I think I could defend myself from a LARGE majority of my family (in fact, there are a few cousins that I would probably feel better if I never saw again) except for my siblings, my mother or my husband. As far as my Dad is concerned, I'll say that knowing him as well as I do it would be a little more understandable that I'd have to defend myself from him but he has REALLY mellowed out as he's gotten older and we've gotten a lot closer. I'm a little more inclined to say I could defend myself from him if I had to.
All that being said... My family is my life. My husband, my mother, my brother... were it not for them I would have nothing and nothing would be quite the same without them. I trust them implicitly and love them unconditionally and I would be so entirely shocked that they were trying to hurt me that I would probably watch in disbelief as they hurt me and not be able to lift a finger in my own defense.
However, since I got pregnant and I realize that my responsibility of life extends to my child I find in myself a little more of a fight response when it comes to the family that I thought previously.
If I needed to defend my child against anyone, even my husband, you'd better believe I would do it. Right now that includes defending myself as my life is directly linked to the life of my unborn baby.
I don't know how it will be when the baby is born. I don't know if I'll have a stronger drive to defend myself so I will be here to defend my child or if I will revert back to the understanding that I'd probably die in disbelief rather than raise a hand against those I trust and love most completely.
A huge HUGE part of me wants to say that none of the people listed would EVER do anything to cause me to have to defend myself but we all know that human beings are.. well, human beings and capable of ANYTHING, even the unthinkable.
I guess it's so hard because unlike some of my extended family, those people who I hesitate to say I could defend myself against, are some of the most kindhearted, loving, wonderful people on the face of this earth. They have not only never hurt me but have gone out of their way to defend me and help me, love me and protect me.
It's hardest to conceive of having to defend myself from my husband.
I look across the room at him, sitting on the couch, typing away at his computer and I think, "Could I really defend myself from him?" It feels dirty even thinking that he could ever hurt me. I not only have faith that he would never hurt me but that he would give his life to defend me and our son.
I would much rather live under that kind of trust and faith (delusional, romantic and naive as it may seem to some) than even entertain the notion that I might have to hurt him to save myself.
I do all I can to protect him, provide for his needs, make him happy, honor him.. and I'm pretty sure that if it were possible I'd give everything for him, including my life.
I don't know if I could hurt him to save myself. I don't want to know.