Post # 1
I posted a while back wondering if my boss liked me “romantically.” Some bees thought that must be because I liked him, but I knew he liked me and hoped it was romantic and not sexual in a predictory way. I was his much younger assistant. I ended up quitting my job as his advances got stronger and more intimate. I’m only writing for some closure, it’s hurting me since I feel I never had a say as he was my superior and I never confronted him directly. He kept asking me to do things with just him outside of work and making sexual comments/he would come lean to the back of my chair and talk about non work related things in a gross almost purposely soothing voice trying to connect with me. He stalked me in the break room… told me I was absolutely amazing and emotional and I meant the world to him. I felt I was being groomed and I was in a vulnerable stage of life. He kept commenting on my body, clothes, makeup… asked me if I watched male strippers… said negative things about my husband to me… negative about his wife. i can’t even remember it all at this point. He would trap me in corners at work and talk to me. I almost quit so many times.
This has happened to me from various men at various stages of my life. I have not been raped but everything else (in adolescence coaches, mentors, classmates… I kept being sexually touched, their penis against my butt, my vagina…- multiple men… I don’t feel I have a lot of people to talk to about this. Men groped my entire body, my breast, vagina… treated me like a slut. I am shy by nature and wonder if I come across as vulnerable. Whenever anything happens I freeze, always freeze. I know this and I’m afraid even more. If sex with my husband gets too intense I can’t speak up, I freeze and can only seem to tell him afterwards it was too much for me.
It just feels like a slight victory being able to post I quit even though right now I still feel his effects… I binge eat when this happens… and other things. So many self harming thoughts this whole year… I’ve felt entirely worthless and powerless.
I basically am hoping to just declare some power! I finally told my husband and I feel stronger now. I want to show myself I am not a slut, I’m not worthless, and he can not hurt me/hunt me anymore!
I know this post is a mess. I feel a broken mess and thank you for listening to me so I don’t feel so alone and afraid.
Post # 2
I am so sorry you went through this. But kudos to you for leaving.
Have you ever thought about taking martial arts classes? It might help you reclaim your power.
Post # 3
I’m so sorry you’ve gone through all of that. Are you seeing a therapist? I think it would help a great deal to help you cope with things from the past. Also I agree witb looking into martial arts or any other sport that will make you feel emporwefed and strong. Weightlifting is another good option! Either way I would find some way to channel you energy into something productive rather than binging. Again, I’m so so sorry for what you’ve been through.
Post # 4
chipsandicecream : I remember your post. I specifically remember him telling you you meant the world to him, and some of us thought maybe you were taking what he said out of context. I’m so sorry your suspicions were true. No one should be put in that position. Given this is far from the first time this has happened to you, I agree with other Bees you should look into martial arts, or another form of sport to help you feel strong, and empowered. Combat sports, like martials arts; boxing, and strength training not only make you physically stronger, but give you mental strength and confidence, as well. You demonstrated strength by leaving him, and moving on. You demonstrated strength by confiding in your husband. You demonstrated strength by posting here.
Strength training may help with the binge eating, as well. When you start gaining strength, you’ll focus on foods that help fuel your workouts. I started weightlifting several years ago, and finally kicked my tendencies to starve myself. It’s amazing what strength training does for your brain.
If sex with your husband is too intense, say something. It should be enjoyable for both of you, and he should be more than happy to make you happy. By now, he should take what you’ve told him after the act (that it was too much), and remember to take it slower next time. If he isn’t listening, stop him, and speak up.
Please get it out of your head you’re a slut, or that you’re worthless, or a broken mess. Those are not empowering thoughts. Don’t go backward.
Post # 5
You must be feeling horrible, l am so sorry. I would like to say that you are not alone though. You sound as if you feel you are singled out for this kind of abuse, but the sad fact is that it is commonplace. You must not allow yourself to feel as if you are complicit , as in being treated like a ‘slut’ . No woman, sexually active, shy, whatever , should be subject to this, but most of us are at some time or another.
l totally agree with pps that you need to empower yourself, physically first of all, but importantly also, emotionally and socially . It is imperative we all speak up and name and shame wherever possible. And read, read, equip yourself with feminist theory and action plans ( l don’t mean storming the barricades necessarily, just being armed with decent arguments etc when told to accept, or that what is happening is ok etc)
You will not feel strong or unapproachable straight away, or even all the time , but you can role play it when needed and it can empower you in a tight spot. Courage dear OP, you are going to rise above this.
Post # 6
So sorry that this happened, but very glad you quit that job! That sounds like a terribly uncomfortable situation. Since it sounds like there are some deeper fears/feelings of being powerless I would really consider figuring out ways to address the things and feeling of what has happened for your own well-being. Therapy, martial arts, journaling, reading self help/motivational books, talking more with friends and your husband may really help ease the fear and give you more power over these feelings.
There is zero shame is helping yourself feel better and it is NOT YOUR FAULT that some men have taken advantage of your discomfort to try to force their feelings on you. I can’t stand men I have zero interest in trying to rub my arm, back, etc “innocently” or coming into my personal space and will move away or say something if needed. Your body and personal space is YOURS and you do not have to allow anyone to get closer than you are comfortable with. Your former boss definitely took advantage of his position – if you feel up to it you should really let human resources know about his behavior. If anything, it will at least be on record in case he does it again (because he probably will). Anyone in a supervisor position should not behave that way and I’m sure it goes against the company’s rules.
Post # 7
How upsetting, Bee. I’m glad you quit. I agree with the ideas about weightlifting and martial arts. I would also look into those women’s self defense classes where the guys dress up in protective gear and you get to do your best to beat the fuck out of them (while also knowing you won’t actually hurt them). I would imagine that you’ve got some serious rage that would enjoy that outlet and it’s healthier than turning it on yourself, which it sounds like you’ve been struggling with.
Your former boss needs to get his ass beat. I hope someone does it one day and that you get the satisfaction of hearing about it.
Post # 8
chipsandicecream : I think I remember this post – I think I commented on it – and gosh did it escalate. I am so sorry Bee!!! I think a lot of the advice you got was “maybe you’re reading too much into it”. Fuck I am so sorry. I think I was one of them. Needless to say, you were not reading too much into it and you should absolutely have trusted your gut. I hope you’re able to get some kind of peace from this, and never feel like you can’t reach out and talk to someone (like a friend, therapist etc)
I can also empathise with how you were treated though your life and for that, I just want to hug you. I was gifted (cursed) with large breasts and after years of being groped, oggled, and being commented on, I just thought that was the way it was. Accepted it. Like that part of my body didn’t belong to me so what reason do I have to complain? “Most girls would kill for it!”. You know how fucked up that is to have such little self-worth, that you believe toxic rubbish like that!?
It’s only been since I started seeing my husband in 2014 that I started seeing it for what I was: harrassment. The last time I went clubbing (when I was 27 in 2017) some 18 year old six-piece chicken McNobody grabbed one of my boobs and I straight up punched him in the face. Right below the eye. And of course, I got kicked out. Not the man who was sexually harassing someone, but the woman who defended herself. But MAN WAS IT WORTH IT.
Please know you’re not broken and even if you feel like you are, as Shane Koyczan says, “make art from the pieces”. You’ll be stronger and more resiliant from this, even if it doesn’t feel that way now.
Post # 9
I’m very sorry that you have experienced sexual harrassement in the workplace. As someone else commented, this is a common occurance and I hope that you will take my word for it, it is not your fault. Not by a long shot!
It might be useful for you to read up on the power of ‘No’, once you learn to use the word ‘No’ without being afraid of hurting the recipients feelings, you will be amazed by the power and freedom it gives you.
Post # 10
I just want to say thank you all so, so much for your responses. You’ve all made me cry twice reading and rereading the responses. I do feel a deep, dark cloud that I’ve had all year lifting up more.. I feel a bit more clarity and power after talking to my husband and posting here… getting it in the open and all your encouragement.
I will absolutely be taking your wisdom on counseling and some sort of marital arts class.
I am likewise so sorry for anything men have done to you all as well. Thank you so much for your uplifting words of wisdom and hope… it doesn’t feel so dark now.
Post # 11
OMG bee I am enraged for you! You have been repeatedly sexually assaulted. I want you to know that its not you, its THEM! I want to make sure you absolutely believe that. Please go do the counseling so that you can become empowered and I wholeheartedly agree with taking self defense classes.
Damn girl, I’m like ready to do a beat down on your ex boss.
Post # 12
You need more than martial arts and therapy. This has happened several times apparently. You need to stop being so agreeable. As soon as someone invades your comfort zone speak up loudly. Dont doubt your instincts. If it feels at all wrong to you, it is. It wasn’t that your boss liked you – he liked preying on you. It was fun and easy. Dont be prey. Work on being very disagreeable when someone invades your space or comfort zone. Dont worry about what other people might think if you speak up. It doesnt matter! You matter.
Post # 13
I feel my whole heart sink but yes. He preyed on me that’s how I felt all year long. :'( That’s why I wonder if I’m vulnerable or what is going on? I became stone faced and wouldn’t talk to him except so briefly about work but he would talk to me regardless… and wouldn’t stop anything. It was truly like a nightmare. I had trouble sleeping. I would startle going to bed. It was awful. So awful.
What do they see in me that I can change??
Post # 14
I’m so sorry that you went through that. I’m glad that you quit. Good for you!!! I think counseling could definitely be helpful.
Post # 15
“What do they see in me that I can change??”
Please don’t ever, EVER, think that there is something you have to change about yourself. It is THEIR fault, their issues and has nothing to do with you. What you can do however is understand how to react in this type of situation. Don’t silently endure it, speak up right away! Nobody has the right to touch you or make comments on your body without your permission, or speak about inappropriate subjects whether it’s at work or another setting. One move on you is one too many and should always be reported to human resources or appropriate authorities. Don’t wait for the situation to escalate, act immediately.
I’d also email the HR from your previous job to notify them why you quit, because you never know who else he might be harassing.
So basically what I’m saying is know your rights and always speak up.
ETA: ok I read you post again more slowly and I clearly missed the freezing part. This is definitely something you need counseling for. It especially isn’t normal that you can’t tell your husband to stop during sex and I think there’s a deeper issue here. I think you writing about it shows that you want things to change, but you need help. Find a therapist you feel comfortable with and work together to find what triggers this behavior.