It’s really hard to predict how you’ll react in an extremely threatening situation until you actually find yourself in one.
Fear can induce people to do things that instinct tells them must not be avoided. Shock or fear can also result in someone simply freezing up and doing nothing at all. In either case, there simply is no self-control. Based on my own experience, I firmly believe there are some situations where self-control is simply not possible. At least not initially. Your reaction(s) may be a reflex similar to involuntarily throwing your hands in front of your face when something dangerous is headed straight for your eyes. How long can you stop yourself from breathing or from blinking your eyes? Sometimes reflex and instinct will and must win out over “self-control”.
I think self-control and/or how you react in a threatening situation is also dependent on whether you’ve ever been in a similar situation before and also on how immediate and extreme you perceive the danger to be.
Before I was attacked, I’d heard, read and learned about all the ways a woman can/should defend herself if attacked. Many, many times! But none of that information came into my head at the moment that I was attacked. “Automatic pilot” took over. My reaction was pure instinct for survival and none of the advice about what you should or shouldn’t do came into my head until my attacker was gone. I never dreamed I’d react in such a way (purely on instinct and no thinking involved at all) until it actually happened.
My attacker was not injured nor was he ever caught by the police. Unfortunately. He certainly had “earned” both. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’d already attacked other people and/or went on to attack more people. He may have even killed someone. On the other hand, maybe the guy was just some “wacko” who got his thrills out of scaring the living daylights out of women. Only one thing was clear at the time: a stranger had come up behind me, wrapped wire around my neck and was attempting to strangle me. Although logic might have “told” me the same thing, it was instinct and only instinct that “said” the guy was trying to kill me and it was instinct that “decided” how to react. Self-control and logic did not come into play for even a fraction of a second.
It would have been ideal if I’d been able to injure or disable my attacker in some way — at least long enough so that the police could have caught him then and there. Instead, I was the only one who got injured. I count myself as fortunate that my injuries weren’t more serious than they were. For all I know, that guy is still running around attacking people today. I’m not exactly sure what might have happened (from a legal point of view) if I had somehow killed the guy in self-defense. But no doubt the legal aspect would have been very difficult and unpleasant - despite what the guy had tried to do to me.