In light of the sexual harassment issue that has unfolded I just want to share a story of what happened to me recently. Now I’m not sure what anyone would label it -but I”ll call it “Creepy guy violating my space and peace.
Last week I was on my usual walk at the trail I always go to -which almost always has children and mothers playing at the park and walking on it too. Well, this was a rainy day-so no children playing and very few walkers, runners and bicyclists. While walking I felt a sense of uneasiness, couldn’t put my finger on it at this time-but decided to shorten my walk and head back to the park area. As I got back I went under a gazebo to keep dry and just breathe for a few. During this time a woman walked by with her dog and from afar I could see this very tall man just looking over at me. I didn’t think anything of it at the time, so I stayed under the gazebo and relaxed a little more. He proceeded to walk over and sit down at a bench next to the gazebo. I looked over and he was staring at me. An uneasy feeling overtook me so I began to walk again. As I passed him he looked at me and said “hi”, I said “hi” back because I didn’t want to come off as rude.
Well as I was walking toward the playground area to another part of the trail- I got a weird feeling that I was being watched. And sure as shit-this man who was about 100 yards away was standing up from the bench and looking right at me. So, at this time I knew something wasn’t right. He was really creeping me out. I calmly walked around a different way and went to my car. I removed my purse from the trunk and changed my shoes. What I saw at that time was a black car with very dark tinted windows and the engine running. So, I threw my purse and phone into the front seat and headed to the bathroom-but went a round about way. As I was in there I realized I didn’t have my phone-I always carry my phone. Luckily there was someone else in the bathroom-but part of me was thinking – what if it’s him. And then I was thinking maybe it’s the other woman’s car that was running while she was in the bathroom. I remained calm and did my thing… Then I left the bathroom another way as not to be spotted. Well, I saw this car still sitting outside the bathroom area and in my head I’m screaming “oh shit!” What if this creep grabs me and I have no phone on me and no one else is around to see me. Well, he started to drive away when I approached my car. And I thought “phew” I escaped a bad situation. I proceeded to get into my car and got myself together and left. Well, as I was leaving the parking lot -there he was sitting on the road as I pulled out. He rolled his window down and looked right at me and then pulled away. I couldn’t get to him fast enough to get his Plate number on his car. At this time I became very aware of my surroundings and then proceeded to go to the coffee shop to relax and write.
During this time at the coffee shop, I shared my experience with my mom on the phone, I wasn’t shaken up at the time-just “weirded out.” But as I shared my story with a few other friends the next day I started to realize that this was more serious than I had lead myself to believe. A close friend of mine was thinking maybe he was filming you from the car -taking pictures, who knows, maybe he was a “sex trafficker.” These were her insights from what I had told her.
Anyway, it’s been a weird experience and it didn’t hit me until a few days ago that this could’ve been a bad situation. This is explaining my two nightmares I had in one night, along with panic attacks that followed. I have since gone back to the park and walked-I will not let this situation dictate my life. I’m just way more aware of my surroundings, and letting people who are close to me know where I’m at. A part of me is still uneasy-but I know that I’m ok, even though he knows my car and what I look like -I’m trying to be strong and not let him get into my head.
As always: Keep smiling!!! (: