Confused about my colleague being inappropriate, any advice/support please?

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holidayay

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Sorry for the long post but I feel so unsure that I am doing the right thing in reporting my colleague that I want to give the back story and details, in the hope that somebody can advise me as I am not sure I am capable of being rational right now.

So I started a new job over 2 months ago whilst still in the midst of my CPTSD coming back. One of my colleagues who was friendly and supportive seemed like a blessing. I had moved across the country away from my already-fragile support network and the CPTSD came up worse than it had ever done. He noticed several times I was a bit 'off'. He told me I could always speak to him. One day I couldn't keep it in and cried whilst walking to his car (he gives me lifts home). I opened up to him a bit about how horrible my mum was to me growing up and as a result, I had distorted ideas about many things about myself - my personality, my looks, my height.
His reply made me feel a bit uncomfortable, but I passed it off as cultural differences as I have noticed that men of his culture seem to have different...ideas about women. He said to me: 'you know I am married right? but I can tell you if i wasn't, I'd be trying it on with you right now, there is NOTHING wrong with how you look'. Maybe a misguided attempt to be helpful, but it made me cringe and wish I'd never opened up. I felt like he'd missed the point. It wasn't other people's opinions of how I looked that bothered me, it was how I saw myself.

Anyway, fast-forward a few weeks, he states on multiple times he 'wants to take me for drinks'. I feel uncomfortable with that and listening to my intuition (that's me attempting to put into practice the healing tools...), I always turn him down. He then asks me for suggestions on 'where to meet women' in my home city as he is travelling there for work. I was so shocked, as I had met his wife only a few days prior, that I tell him 'but you're married!'. He laughs and says he doesn't mean it that way(?!).

Anyway he then resorts to continuously asking about my love life and trying to give me unsolicited advice about where I am going wrong. That I shouldn't look for the 'perfect man'. I tell him politely I currently have bigger concerns than finding a man as I am trying to heal, thinking he would understand from our conversation in the car park. He replies with 'yes but it would help you to heal to have someone to cuddle'. He then goes on a depressing tirade about growing up believing in the perfect partner, than you become an adult and realise 'the girl with the perfect body had emotional problems' and 'the handsome guy is empty inside'. This makes me really uncomfortable and I move on to my next task hastily. I get called to assess a patient who has had a heart attack and wanting clarification on an investigation result, I ask another senior doctor who replies abruptly with 'sorry, but why are you asking me?' and 'don't you KNOW this?'. I get so upset at this point I bleep the guy assigned to help me - the guy making me uncomfortable - and he sees me in tears and unable to control my emotions at this point.

He then starts stroking my face when we are in a room alone together, laughing when I am trying to tell him I am upset, and saying 'i just want to hug you'. I get really angry at this point and tell him firmly 'I am trying to tell you I am upset and do NOT WANT A HUG, I do NOT want to be touched right now!' and laughs and says he wants to make me smile. He continuously repeats that he wants to hug me and i say NO angrily about 3 times. And then he states 'i want to get you drunk, let me take you out tonight'. I again repeatedly say no, and he goes back to stroking my face, asking me to smile and saying he wants to hug me.

I don't know whether its because he triggered something or not but I have spelt all weekend feeling shaken up, angry and hurt. I specifically told him 'I am upset and need help from my colleagues right now, I do NOT want a hug' and the way he just laughed and insisted on touching my face/wanting to hug me had me feeling like I was some kind of joke to him, or some little girl to be patronised.
Another colleague saw me distressed and insisted I had to speak to my supervisor. Which I did.

But...did I do the right thing in reporting the incident to my supervisor? Is it just a cultural difference? I'd tried to brush off the uncomfortable remarks before this final incident and had had a chat with him where we had shared our woes about fake colleagues and how they are nice to your face but horrible about you behind your back.....am I now a hypocrite and doing just that?

Sorry if this came out very long-winded and non-sensical, I am just scared about the repercussions of this and whether I did the right thing.

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Jazzy

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Sorry to hear about this holidayay. It sounds like it has really upset you, and rightly so.

You were upset, and said you didn't want to be touched, and he violated that. I would say you certainly did the right thing reporting it, and your colleague insisted you did as well. "Cultural difference" (or anything else) is no excuse for touching when directly told not to.

I would try not to worry about the consequences, except maybe you should find a new way to get home?

Hope you begin to feel better soon. Take care! :)

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Jazzy

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Just wanted to come back and say I think it is really great how you were able to say NO clearly, more than once, when you were upset. That's better than I would have done. A little positive for you to focus on in this negative situation. :)

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notalone

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His behavior was entirely unprofessional. That alone would be enough to report him. On top of that, he completely ignored your clearly stated boundaries. You did the right thing.

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Snowdrop

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:yeahthat:

This would have really shaken me. Well done for reporting it. You absolutely did the right thing.

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Three Roses

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  • CPTSD is an injury, not an illness.
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This would have really shaken me. Well done for reporting it. You absolutely did the right thing.
:applause: :applause: :applause: