Erica’s Story: Triggered by a man on the bus
My boyfriend and I were on the 19 San Bruno bus going to Safeway. the bus was pretty full so he stood next to me in the aisle while I sat next to a stranger. the person next to me got off the bus so I moved over into the window seat and crossed my legs, putting my foot on the seat next to me to briefly save it for my boyfriend. before he could sit down, a man who had been sitting across the aisle, got out of his own seat, barged in front of my boyfriend, and sat down right on my foot! I said “excuse me I was saving this seat so my boyfriend could sit with me why did you have to get out of your own seat to sit next to me?” and also, y’know, get off my foot! he stood up, grabbed my leg hard, and roughly pulled it off the seat. then he leaned over me and literally uncrossed my legs with his hands, pulling them apart, and placing my foot on the floor. I tried to resist and keep my leg in place but he was being very rough and forceful using all of his strength to reposition me like some sort of doll. when he was done he just sat back down next to me and looked straight ahead like nothing had happened. I tried to say something but I was in shock and instead I just burst into tears. my boyfriend yelled “what the hell is wrong with you!? you don’t put your hands on her!” and then took my hand and helped me step over the guy (he made no effort to get out of my way) and into the aisle. two people in back kindly gave up their seats for us. I struggle with PTSD because I was raped in the past, and I do not like it when strangers touch me at all, but especially the way this man pulled my legs apart to uncross them while I physically resisted was very triggering to me. I couldn’t stop crying and shaking until we got off the bus. I felt so unbelievably powerless, violated, and objectified… like I was some kind of mannequin or ragdoll whose body is just an object to be posed and positioned at whim. it ruined my day.