#MeToo: It has shown me I’m not alone.

After seeing this “me too” thing I thought I’d write down some of (not all) the things which I have experience in my 27 years. As a woman, there will be many more to add to this list over my lifetime, but here’s what’s happened to me (I’m no writer, so bear with me).

I’ve had unwanted dick pics (seriously, does anyone actually want to see these?!), and men flashing me in broad daylight.

I’ve had my boob grabbed in broad daylight while walking down the street, had a guy at a bar grab me between my legs, couldn’t see who it was when I turned round which was chilling. I’ve had many other groping incidents, but these two stick out most to me as they left me feeling so vulnerable, and both times I was very aware that going to the police would be futile.

I’ve had two incidents with taxi drivers, one where he started rubbing my leg and insisting my passed out drunk friend and I go to his for a party, and another where my friends boyfriend told me my friend whose phone and bag I had had got a lift home with others (which she hadn’t, he had seen her vomiting in the street and left her), so I got a taxi back to mine with him (he lived near me). Him and his taxi driver friend tried to bring me back to his and kept insisting I go to spend the night at his till I threatened to call the police (again, I should have anyway and I really wish I had now).

I had a stalker for months (possibly longer but I changed my number) who texted me at least ten times a day every day telling me how he loved me and how he had seen me etc. Even when I outright told him to stop, he just messaged more. I later found out he was later jailed for raping a woman.

I had another stalker who appeared to take a liking to me because I’m smiley, and he started following me home from work and turning up at nightclubs. Thankfully this one actually listened when I begged him to leave me alone.

I’ve had unwanted dick pics, I’ve had plenty of unwanted groping, I’ve had my drink spiked (and if it wasn’t for my male best friend making sure I got home okay I’d have lost faith in men!). In this incidence I know who did it, I contacted the bar to ask for cctv so I could go to the police, and the bar told me none had been recorded that night. The guy involved was a regular at the bar. A friend later told me she thought he had also spiked her drink too. I should have gone to the police, but everyone told me I was probably just drunk. I know I wasn’t though. I had specifically only had one drink that night due to a dental appointment the following day, and I have no recollection of anything after handing him my drink so I could nip to the loo.

I’ve felt pressured into doing things I haven’t wanted sexually on too many occasions.

I’ve recently had a man who stares at me so creepily I started dressing in baggier clothes for a while, till I realised it didn’t stop him. He makes creepy inappropriate comments to me and was turning up at my work daily at one point. I’ve been made to feel mean because I’ve said to others that he creeped me out.

I’ve been made to feel stupid for being wary of going to certain places alone.

I have had various men become nasty when they’ve found out I’m not interested in them. I know in these situations I’ve been nothing but friendly and been as obvious as I could that I’ve had no interest, but they’ve seen what they wanted to and then accused me of leading them on.

I had a man actually hit me in the face (thankfully not too hard, but with intent) in front of a bouncer at a club. The bouncer said he was “just drunk” and after letting him get some fresh air, the guy was let back in the club.

I’ve had a very close friend tell me he loved me, and be so entitled that when I’ve said I wasn’t interested he started to become really emotionally abusive and even threaten suicide and say that it would be my fault for not loving him. I am actually livid thinking back about that one, what an entitled piece of shit! He still finds me online and messages me over a decade later. He kept saying he wanted me to have his children and now that I am trying to conceive, I am genuinely scared for myself and my future children due to him.

I deleted my twitter to try to avoid him, i had quite a few followers in the field I am most passionate about, but he knew the username. I have only recently put my own name on my new account, as I really do need it. I deleted my Facebook for years and only recently got it back as I felt isolated (i live in a different country from my friends and family). He contacted me on it immediately. He contacts me then deletes his account so I can’t block him.

What adds insult to that particular one, is that he was the only person I felt able to tell when one of my best friends at the time did the worst thing on this list. This one affected me horribly for years. So here’s what happened…

I was 16 or 17, on a night out drinking in the local park with friends. I was a bit drunk, and I called my friend, M, to ask if I could stay at his that night. When I got to his, I just went straight to sleep. I woke up not long after and became aware that my trousers were down and… (this is hard to type still) he was fingering me. Obviously I was dry so he used vodka as lube, it was horribly painful but I was frozen in fear as to what he might do if he realised I was awake. It went on for ages, and he put his fingers everywhere… I was terrified. He was wanking at the same time and thankfully stopped when he’d finished. I waited awake for hours till I could get up and leave without him knowing I knew what happened. I never spoke to him again.

We were at the same college and his flat mate was going out with a girl in my class. M obviously realised I knew when I stopped speaking to him and was ignoring his calls, emails and texts. He was upset but did not tell anyone what happened. The girl on my course saw I was causing M upset and began to hate me, eventually getting my entire class to stop talking to me. All the while I was scared I’d see him, and I felt like I’d lead him on or something and that it was my fault. I was too shy to tell anyone, and I left my course. I’ve bounced about from course to course since, only now am I starting to work towards a degree I am passionate about again. I will never be the girl I was before this incident. I am painfully shy. I try to mask this, but I am. I don’t know how to connect with people. I have moved abroad and I have made no actual friends there other than my partner. All my friends are back home. I am lonely yet again, but I have had so many bad experiences with friends I don’t even know how to start.

I often feel like there’s something about me that causes all of this. I am not pretty. When the worst of these incidents happened, I wore very baggy unflattering clothes. Many of these incidents have been while in sober. The only correlation between every one of these incidents is that I’m a woman and they are all men.

Some of these incidents should have resulted in police involvement. I was bullied at school for my appearance, something I cannot change. My mum and I spent years trying to get the school to deal with it and they never did. They always blamed me, it was my fault I was being bullied. Even when a guy pushed me against a wall and threatened to beat me up (which thankfully never happened) nothing was done. I have also seen the media reporting of how sexual assault cases are dealt with. The victim is blamed so often, and mainly nothing gets done. So I have no faith in authority to protect me, or to give me justice.

This is why the “me too” thing has got to me. It has shown me I’m not alone. I don’t know what other women have gone through. Is this amount normal? I have no idea, but since posting “me too” on my Facebook, others have spoken to me about their experiences. We’ve started a dialogue. It’s a tiny thing really but it’s given me hope that things will change.

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