Trying to laugh the situation, but you can’t laugh off the hurt

My friend and I had gotten on the wrong COTA bus to go to the local movie theater. Instead, we ended up downtown after business hours. The area was completely deserted except an older drunk man who proceeded to sit right next to me. When he started to talk to me, I didn’t want to be rude so we had a short exchange. But when he asked “is your hair real?,” and then started to touch my hair, I knew things weren’t going in the right direction. He wrapped his arm around me and started kissing me on the side of the face, and all I could do was quietly mumble, “I don’t know you, this is so awkward, I don’t know you.” When he began yelling at me to take out my septum piercing and verbally insulting my friend (telling her to “do more situps”,) I was terrified. I didn’t even know what to do. I was afraid to even walk away in case he would try to hurt me because he was very, very drunk and belligerent. After minutes of excruciating groping, a series of COTA buses rolled up and he just wandered away. I don’t think he was even taking a bus. He just stopped over to sexually harass me.

Right after, all my friend and I could do was laugh about the weirdness of the situation, but I was secretly uncomfortable and afraid. I still feel uncomfortable now when I am alone at night, and I am always afraid that I am the type of person that is too afraid to stand up for myself.

Submitted by Kathryn

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  1. Emma says:

    Don’t worry about not standing up for yourself, you went with your gut in the moment, which is the smartest thing to do (what if he had a weapon). You’ve already stood up for yourself by staying in touch with your feelings and telling your story. That is a terrifying situation! I am glad that you got through this encounter, but it’s horrible that this drunk guy would come over and threaten you sexually with this behavior.

    It is hard for all of us when we go through this. But you are definitely standing up for yourself by speaking out about this guy!

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