Harassed on my birthday... TRIGGER WARNING concerning sexual topics

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Liliuokalani

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I posted a positive aspect of my birthday of the OOTF support forum, but anyway, my birthday was yesterday and it was... well I guess full of many emotions. And I cannot help but blame myself, thought I am trying not to feel too much shame and mostly converting it into a healthy anger as much as I can.

A friend wanted to take me out for my birthday. I recently went NC with my parents and have a very, very small support system. I thought it was wonderful that my friend wanted to take me out, unfortunately her bf she is living with, well that has become a very awkward and upsetting situation. I went to their house for a bbq once wearing a pretty dress with a slit up the leg. It goes to about mid thigh, it's not an incredibly sexy dress or anything, I mostly wore it to have a nice summery light dress to wear. Also, I am a raging feminist and believe that women are not "asking for it" by wearing sexy clothing. Well, her bf made a lot of comments about my legs that day and I was mostly brushing them off as jokes and later told him that his comments made me uncomfortable and he apologized. But his advances haven't stopped.

I constantly feel like I'm accidently leading him on, and getting really uncomfortable that my friend is going to get angry at me. He started talking to me on Facebook messenger and I was speaking to him very casually and not very much, just trying to keep it distance and polite. He wanted to talk about plans for my birthday, and seeing as absolutely everyone I invited bailed on my birthday last year and it was pretty depressing, I engaged in the conversation. At one point later in the conversation, he joked about us as a "threesome" going out to the movies together on my bday, and I make a joke about being the special guest of the threesome and how that would be cool. I was joking, he apparently was not, and then the next bbq they threw, when everyone else had left, he said they did want to have a threesome with me. Whoops. Awkward.

I like to think I'm a sexually open-minded person. I'm young, I'm liberal, and I'm all about gay marriage, sexual exploration, and generally having the freedom to explore yourself. But I know I am not at all sexually attracted to this couple. And I wonder just how much of it was my girlfriend's idea and how much of it was her bf. Not going to get in the middle of that! So I politely said I was flattered and said I would "think about it" but that in general friend of mine who have done so have regretted it. That was my polite way of saying no, I allowed a bit of awkwardness in the room, didn't want to stumble over myself to make them feel better, but I didn't want to embarass them or humilate them.

Well my bday came around and her bf basically turned into a horny little kid and it led to many embarassing and frustrating moments. He very clearly wanted some of the bday celebration to be just me and him, but I made it very clear I wanted his gf to come along, she was the one I really wanted to be there. The whole day he tried to put himself in the middle of us, tried to put his arms around both of us, made a lot of sexual jokes. As the day went on I made it more and more clear that I was uncomfortable. But at the same time I was hesitant to rage at him. He doesn't get to ruin my birthday! It's not his day! So I very quickly brushed off all of his advances, it got to the point where his gf was telling him to knock it off. At one point he kind aggressively asked me in the car on the way home what I have or have not done sexually, and when I refused to answer he told me I was either a freak in bed or a complete prude and then his gf yelled "STOP." to which the rest of the ride he pouted in the back of the car. His gf apparently felt bad and tried to comfort him, I just got angry. I hope I made it clear enough that I'm not ok with him hitting on me in front of his gf. He even, in very public places, tried to ask me about my sex life and then try to shame me for not being ok with his questions and comments. When I would comment about how good looking the male actors were in a movie I would see him turn angrily jealous. And it sucked.

I couldn't help but feel guilty, because I shot down most of his jokes and advances, but I didn't shoot down ALL of his jokes, I laughed about one or two and then I feel like it just erased all of the "no"s and put us right back to square one. But every single time he tried to touch me at all I made it clear it was not ok. He would just put his arm around me or play with my necklace and it really bothered me. I have had a few scary experiences where guys made it clear that I was somehow asking for sex just because I was talking to them at the bar. I have heard a lot of sexist comments from a previous roommate that made it clear that he pretty much thinks of every woman as a sexual object and not much more. And I write on this forum because I have been a victim of sexual assault by multiple boyfriends. To the point where, though I have a healthy sex drive, I could never have a sexual encounter ever again and be totally ok with it. I have no interest in relationships, I have one long distance bf and we're pretty much just friends, we haven't had sex in a very long time because his sexual behavior has gotten increasingly more scary, and I haven't yet gotten up the courage to break up with him.

I am not going to be hanging out with my friend's bf for a very long time. If he tries to chat with me I will ignore it. That was the final straw, no one gets to do that to me on my bday, but I feel like in my desperation and lonliness, I knew this could happen but went into the situation anyway. I have made it very clear that I am not comfortable with his advances and yet he just kept pursuing it and then would "check in" with me. Are you having a good birthday? Well even though you've been MEAN to me I hope you're having a good time. Mostly I would talk over him and change the subject when he would start to feel sorry for himself. If I didn't care about his gf's feelings I would have said some very nasty things to him, because I really am not at all attracted to him. At all. And even if he was attractive, I've developed a switch in my mind to very quickly turn myself off to guys, I think to protect myself. Until I find a very sensitive sweet caring guy that is very emotionally mature, I'm closed for business. And I'm sad because I would like to live in a world where I can openly talk about sex in general, not my own personal experiences, and not have it be taken as a flag that I'm hitting on a guy and then he should become a crazy hornball.

I am really tired of being a sexual object. Sometimes I want to be proud that I am a beautiful woman and not be ashamed of what I look like and what I wear. I want to be free to feel sexy and pretty and not be attacked. And then sometimes when I go out to the bars I cover myself in sweats and still get aggressively hit on. I stopped going to the bars, which makes me sad because I remember going out with gf's and dancing the night away happily. Not anymore. I know this sounds totally silly, but the movie I saw was the new Mad Max, and I almost cried several times because Max was surrounded by beautiful women that had been reduced to baby incubators in their society, and he never once tried to take advantage of them, never even tried to kiss Furiosa. I wanted a man like that, so badly, in my life, that I would never have to worry about. Some days, I'm sorry, I want all the men to go away. I really hope that changes someday, and that the good guys tell the aggressive guys to stop, and that women stop telling me that it's always my fault when I end up in an uncomfortable sexual situation with a guy. I get confused, am I doing something wrong or am I blaming the victim?

I'm tried of feeling trapped. I just want to be happy.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2015, 03:52:05 PM by Liliuokalani »

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mourningdove

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Re: Harassed on my birthday... TRIGGER WARNING concerning sexual topics
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2015, 06:06:57 PM »
How awful. I'm sorry this happened - especially on your birthday - and I'm sorry you are feeling trapped. :(

This guy is raising many red flags, in my opinion, including hitting on you when it upsets his girlfriend, feeling entitled to jealousy when you talk about other men being handsome, and trying to give you a guilt trip by saying you are "mean" to him. Seems odd to me that he was messaging you on Facebook, too, since you only know him through his girlfriend. In addition, it was manipulative of him to harangue you with jokes in the first place. It put you in an awkward no-win situation unless you wanted to go along with his agenda. It reminds me of the stuff that sexual predators sometimes do to "check the waters" so to speak, to see if a potential victim is likely to resist. You didn't do anything wrong. Imagine if a guy did all this stuff in a workplace. It would be illegal because it's sexual harassment.



« Last Edit: June 26, 2015, 06:16:36 PM by mourningdove »

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Liliuokalani

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Re: Harassed on my birthday... TRIGGER WARNING concerning sexual topics
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2015, 08:34:45 PM »
Thank you for your post and your empathy. Yeah he raises all kinds of red flags. Which is so odd because when I first met him he seemed totally harmless, he's almost 10 years older than me, and he just seemed like kind of childish when he's had a couple drinks but otherwise fine. This just completely caught me off guard in the past couple weeks. I think it's kind of one thing when someone gives off a creepy vibe and then it's quite another when my quite acute intuition fails me. And then I feel that my trust is shattered. He hasn't tried to speak to me at all since my birthday, so I think they may have had a talk or maybe he, hopefully, feels bad and is waiting for the dust to settle. I mean his behavior was weirdly out of control, almost manic, so maybe he's bipolar? I have no idea. Or maybe just has really low self esteem and is desperate to have a younger woman be attracted to him. I have no idea. I can't get a read on him. But despite my best efforts of telling myself it was his fault and trying to work through it, I think a combination of this and many stresses recently happening in my life (suddenly completely broke, didn't realize my mail was being sent elsewhere by USPS including checks and credit cards, may have to move very soon, no idea where I'm going next for medical school, and many more things), I found myself very depressed yesterday and found it hard to do anything else other than distract myself with TV and cry a little too hard for the characters on the TV. And then I feel like I'm wasting my life away and then I get more depressed.


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VeryFoggy

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Re: Harassed on my birthday... TRIGGER WARNING concerning sexual topics
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2015, 10:33:35 PM »
Liliuokalani - What a perfectly miserable way to spend your birthday!  I am so sorry that happened to you. Some men are just absolute jerks and I have found out the only way to deal with them is to treat them exactly like what they are: jerks!  They don't seem to understand anything except really decisive almost aggressive treatment.

I read a book recently that really helped me with learning how to deal with a lot of very unpleasant situations and people. It was called Respect me Rules and was written by a brother and sister team The Marshalls.

They try to teach one how to set a boundary of what one will and will not put up with, and to enforce a consequence.

Here's some one liners I learned that may come in handy if you ever have to deal with this jerk again:

Boundaries

I don't allow anyone to speak to me that way.
That is your opinion and I don't agree.
Stop! You are not allowed to talk to me that way!
Enough! I am not interested in your thoughts on that.

Consequence

If you persist in speaking to me with sexual innuendo and disrespect I will ignore you and not speak to you until you can treat me with respect. (Or leave, or go home, or go for a walk, or find someone more interesting to talk to, or whatever you have to do)

All of these boundaries put the burden back on THEM.  It's their problem, not your problem and you simply aren't going to tolerate it.  I loved this book.  I hope you will find the one liners useful and I wish you the best in setting clear boundaries with this jerk!
« Last Edit: June 27, 2015, 10:44:48 PM by VeryFoggy »

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Liliuokalani

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Re: Harassed on my birthday... TRIGGER WARNING concerning sexual topics
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2015, 01:44:01 AM »
Thank you! You know I am just starting to use those little phrases here and there and find out which ones I feel are best. One thing I find really effective that I used on him was that when he was trying to shame me because I was using some of the one-liners on him, was that I completely ignored him. I didn't even give him the satisfaction. He was trying to nudge me and whatnot and be like, when you say it like that it sounds bad, why are you trying to spin it that way? I wasn't even giving him eye contact. I just let the awkward sizzle. It's my new favorite thing to do, because I used to try to make awkward silences go away quickly and used to feel bad and blame myself if any existed. Now I use it as a tool. When people yell at me or try to insult me, I stare at them and say nothing, and it's interesting to see how they interpret that. Sometimes they try it back but I'm pretty good at playing chicken with it. I can feel it quickly build and build until someone has to say something. I actually learned about it as a good tactic for my psych rotations in med school. Some patients are not well, obviously, and try to test you with some sort of insult or just stare at you with hatred instead of answering your question. Sometimes you just calmly stare at someone and things very quickly turn around. But I do need some solid one liners in my pocket. Thank you!