Hello friends! I hope you are doing well ❤ today’s post is a little gloomy but necessary so please hang in there with me – it is a long one!
Over the last few weeks, as I am sure many of you know – sexual assault has been a VERY hot topic in the US. Everyone’s opinions and responses were flying around like grenades.
I get it. I do, but there is one thing (+100 others) that REALLY struck a nerve with me.
“I have no doubt that, if the attack on Dr. Ford was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed with local Law Enforcement Authorities by either her or her loving parents. I ask that she bring those filings forward so that we can learn date, time, and place!” – Donald Trump
So simple…right? You effing orange monstrosity…WRONG.
I have had weeks to digest this and I am still having issues forming my words so please bear with me while I share my tale, just like many other women…
I think I was in college, I do not recall the exact age but around 20-21. I got an administrative job at the local “family owned car dealership” and was happy to earn that extra cash! The job was super easy but as you can imagine, male dominated.
This did not bother me much though. I had two older brothers and my hobbies were motorcycles – I was surrounded by men. No big deal, I clocked in and out without issue.
I was still new to the job so I was super excited when my boss invited me to his wedding, just like the rest of the company. I thought this would be a good time to show my respect to my boss and see my coworkers in a more relaxed setting.
Like most weddings, there was alcohol and dancing. Which my shy self did partake in. I did not get trashed by any means, this was my boss’s wedding after all. The night flew by but I remember receiving extra attention from this…overly tan, slick back haired man that was unfortunately seated next to me. You know the kind, the ones who try to be young, flaunt their gold jewelry and wear WAY too much cologne. If I were to guess, he was probably late 40s but I just smiled and remained polite during the evening – but with my guard up as well, because I got that vibe.
The creeper spidey sense that women have vibe.
However, since I was pretty much the youngest and still fairly new, they did not want to take their chances on me driving home (wtf). My boss preferred that I ride along with a couple (the guy was one of my coworkers) that lived close to me. I did not know what to do, I did not want to challenge my boss…so I just froze and went along with it. I figured I would have my mother take me to grab my car when I got home. This was annoying but it was not too far – so I would manage & the couple was nice to me during the reception.
Unfortunately, the Creeper (aka Eric) was also along for this ride. The couple owned a truck, so I had the pleasure of riding in the back, on that small bench seat in the cab with him.
I felt cluster phobic and on edge with my unexpected passenger to my right. I remember sitting as close to the window as possible and tense as could be. The ride into town was probably 15 minutes, so I just told myself – I will be home soon.
I was very uncomfortable.
The next memory that I have, we were on the main road into my town – maybe 8 min out and then this jerk decided that he was going to put his hand on my knee and up my dress. I pushed him away, sternly said stop but that did not stop him. The next time he was more aggressive and made it all the way up to my panties and grabbed.
This time I screamed and pushed him away.
You would think that the couple, directly in front of us would have stood up for me, done something or anything. They let me down, people who were older than me and one was a woman none the less just pretended like nothing happened.
I was trapped, numb, terrified and shaking and thoughts were going a million miles a minute trying to process what was happening to me and why the fuck were these people just letting this happen?
I assume the couple thought they were doing me a favor by dropping him off first, so they did – I think the woman did suggest this (how nice). Luckily it was only a few minutes but it felt like a life time.
Once he got out of the truck and shut the door, the woman looked back to me and was asked “was he touching you?” Yes, I exclaimed and she followed up with “I thought so, that is why I asked that we drop him off first even though it was further.”
When I got home, I grabbed some clothes and went straight into the bathroom. The tears started falling and would not stop. I ripped my dress off and washed my body quickly and tried to get it together so I could explain to my mom that we had to get my car… and everything that followed.
I wish I could say that I remembered the conversation that my mother and I had while driving back to the damn event center – but I don’t. I also wish that I could say that my mom did or said something profound but I do not recall that either. I know she was upset and said I needed to tell my bosses.
The sad truth is, even though this was 9 years ago – this shit was not talked about in the manner that is needed. It was normal & these things happen. I do recall my mom sharing a story of something similar happening to her as well back when she was younger, but times were different then…. but obviously not much had changed.
These actions were boiled down to “boys will be boys” and it would be “my word against his.” Even though I did have 2 witnesses, I knew they would not help me. They did not help me when it was happening – which makes me furious to this day. They were easily 10+ years older than me, the couple did not try to protect me at all. Someone much younger and in need of support. Fuck them and fuck Eric.
I vowed that I would never be like them.
I felt so violated and I did not know how to process these feelings. So once I did get to my car, I blasted the radio in hopes to drown out everything that was consuming me.
It didn’t work.
The following day was Sunday, so I had to come up with my strength and game plan on how I was going to handle this with my boss on Monday. Which turned out to be the father of the groom – remember that family owned part? Yes, so my boss’s father was there – he was usually around. I knew him, he was always kind but was not the main guy anymore, his lucky son got that deal.
I remember being so anxious. I remember fidgeting and bee lining right to his office first thing – because I just had to get this out. I was ready to explode.
He apologized, was stunned but informed me that he could not fire Eric since this did not happen on work premises. I would have to work along side this creep?
No. So I quit on the spot.
They hated to see me go and wish there was more they could do. I never looked back, I felt let down yet again.
The dealership is still there and every time I see one of their stickers on bumpers while in traffic, I am reminded of that day. The funny thing is, about a month or so after I left the dealership, I received a call from the owner stating that they finally got rid of Eric and they would like to have me back. In fact they tried a couple times, I just ignored it and huff at it still to this day.
So why did I not report?
- Witnesses to my attack did not help me during
- “These things happen”
- My place of employment did not help me and even expected me to work with my attacker
No one helped me. So THAT is why I did not report my assault. I turned to several adults in this case, I followed up to the ones I thought I needed to and was let down repeatedly. If these people, would not help me and brush this off. Why would I bother my good ole’ boy police department?
So to wrap this very long and frustrating post, I have listed some of my thoughts below:
Yes. Details get blurry – but I remember exactly what he looked like and his name.
Yes. Even thought I did not report my assault, IT STILL HAPPENED. It was very real.
Yes. It was real.
Yes. I was let down.
Yes. I still think of it till this day and “I was one of the lucky ones.”
Yes. I still had to see him around my town after and the racing heart that followed every time I did see him or thought I saw his black Cadillac.
Yes. Believe them if they come to you.
Yes. Help spread awareness and teach both boys and girls about assault and educate.
NO. This was never acceptable.
NO. “Boys will be boys” is not an excuse.
NO. Alcohol is not to blame in sexual assault in rape.
NO. Clothing had nothing to do with it either.
NO. I/we should not have to work along side my attacker.
NO. It is never okay to be a witness to an attack and NOT help.
I sometimes still feel bad that my boss’s wedding is tainted with this…but then again. He was the one who made me ride home with these questionable people. Nor did they help me in the workplace…so maybe I should not feel as bad.
SO my friends, followers, PLEASE be safe out there. Remember to arm yourself with tools to protect yourself – items or training. Also help a friend who may be a little drunk, or about to walk alone at night. ❤
Thank you for reading my story & sorry for any typos! I was flowing and possibly angrily stabbing keys :D. Until next time, I love you all.