When I was seven years old in Sunday school the boy sitting next me told me to let him put his hand up my dress or he’d tell the teacher I was doing something bad. For some reason, a poor behavior report to my parents from the teacher at the end of class seemed to be the scarier fate. So I just froze and looked straight ahead.
A teacher caught him while his hand was inching closer and closer to the hem of my dress. He jerked his hand back as she asked why it was there. He gave a lame excuse and she took it at face value. My two biggest fears after that: would he try it again and would the teacher tell my parents? Neither happened.
When I was in college, a frat guy put his hands all over me and forced his tongue down my throat on car ride back to campus while I pushed him off. He left dark marks on my neck from biting me. I made jokes about it the next day and covered the marks with makeup. I was more worried that people thought I was having a drunken make out session than the fact that he tried to get me to do something I didn’t want to do.
After a work event (at a previous job) someone put his hand on my thigh, tried to kiss me, and invited me to his hotel room. I shyly said no like I was the one in the wrong. He texted me after I left asking why I didn’t want to come. I never answered. The next day, I told the story in my typical joking manner to a friend. I was shaken, but I figured (or at least hoped) it would be a one time thing. It wasn’t until he started making sexual innuendos in the office on a near daily basis and sending inappropriate texts that I put a name on what was happening to me.
I have had more inappropriate encounters with men (and boys) than I can even touch on in a single blog post. These three were the most memorable…and left the biggest stains.
I’ve always cared about what people think. When I was a little girl I was worried about what my parents might think. In college I was worried what my friends and classmates might think. As an adult, I worry about what EVERYONE might think and my livelihood.
The reality is, I blamed myself even though I shouldn’t have. So I guess I just wanted to say me too. It happened to me too.