The Weekend me: anyone else completely different at weekends? And how can I move beyond the surface with people; does it all take time?

Hi ,I posted earlier in the week. I was really amazed and pleased with the responses I got. To summarize post I am 55 and have not had "conventional "life; been a lot held back by depression, being withdrawn and I believe not developing completely normally due I believe to rather dsyfunctional family set up. I also have an undiagnosed chronic pain condition which makes life very difficult indeed.

I am however on the surface, young looking attractive, outgoing, sociable (what goes on inside is different!)

So many people on here have boyfriend/partner/husband/friends/ children/ grandchildren.

I would like to know how as an older lady I may go about meeting a genuine nice man or if not get more involved with friends and their families (as I love children but don't have any myself) I look a lot younger than my age, so men of around 40 can seem to show an interest but then I am scared to tell them my age and all of my history as it is all so negative (or a "nothing" really as I was just mainly really withdrawn) and my moods really are quite negative and I would feel be "a burden" for most people. It is hard to know exactly how to put this or if anyone will understand; maybe you can't give me definitive answer. I think like this particularly at the weekends. It's fine doing things like reading, studying, "being independent"; of course it helps but then I feel I need something more:- I don't want to think of being on my own without someone to be close to for the rest of my life.

I find it hard explaining myself to other women as well. Infact to most people I say I am divorced as I don't feel they will understand I never married and I "make up" a sort of "career" as I never had one; however because neither of these things are real it is hard to "go deeper" with them as I didn't really have these experiences.

Is there a "palatable" way of explaining oneself to people and do I need to do that at every stage and in every situation? Saying I'm divorced does make me feel better than saying I never married but then it is not the truth. I have tried saying "I am on my own" but often am pressed for more information.

Going to a class later today where I have said I am "not married"; this has raised a lot more questions and I was asked if I was a "man hater" which I felt was unfair just because I have never been married.

Does anyone else make up that they've been married, or had career or make up anything when they meet people? How did all you people meet your boyfriend/ husband etc. For me I feel it would make all the difference with my depression. If i was still depressed and i had a loving boyfriend not quite sure what I would do.

I can see from reading my own post the actual problems I have in that I feel that myself as I am is not acceptable to the kind of person I want, so that is catch 22 really, I can see that. I know that some of the things I think are probably the same kind of things that a teenage girl would think ; the reason for this is I've missed out on life experience and skills, so apologies if it sounds childish for someone of my age.

Anyone any advice or shared experiences at all?

Gemmalouise

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  • Hello Gemmalouis

    BOB HERE

    Remember here you are what you are,people should not judge you here as all have some form of mental disorder.

    When out and about again you are who you are,if people do not like it they have no riallght to pressure or question who you are we are what we are,remember "Different Folks Have Different Strokes", we are all different and thank good for that

    When young I was a keen Ballroom Dancer,I qualified as an Youth Club Leader and had a very full life,

    Going out and meeting people was awkward,those I danced with were mostly friends who met in a ballroom, The Youth Leaders were mostly married or engaged. Also I was at collage so I had very little time to meet someone. So I joined a dating service that was run by my proposed Sister in Law.

    Hazel and I eventually married and now been married for over thirty years. So these type of Societies can sometimes be a blessing.

    One thing we all need to understand is that we do not need to know everything about the person at a gallop, This should be a learning process, anyone who is in a hurry to form a relationship can put you on

    the defensive, so this is where mistakes in getting to know each other are formed and can rear its ugly head. Normally,personally explanations need not be entered into until you know that person

    Over the years we still are suprised when we find out something new about each other, that is part of a long standing relationship.

    When we suffer a health problem you do not lie, you tell the person, although you may not go into it at great depth, does the other party do that as well??.Know the person first you have all the time that is needed. Remember you are who you are,best way be truthful,also you have doorways are just ajar, where if needed you can open up when you can trust that person . Ask yourself what that person is hiding from you,we all have secrets it is lies that I personally cannot stand.!!!!!

    Cannot understand why lie at the class you attend, again you are what you. Now that lie will stand all way through to the end of the class. That fib could kill a relationship before it has begun.

    Remember you are who you are a nice person,looking for another nice person. Remember set your standards, never break them,expect those from that other person and expect the same from yourself

    All the best

    BOB

  • Thank you Bob, that is really good advice and much appreciated.

    Gemmalouise x

  • I'm not sure what the class is but guess that there is probably a wide range of ages there - personally I wouldn't spend much time on anyone who asked me if I was a man-hatter just because I wasn't married - the whole thing sound really ridiculous and I'd be inclined to believe that was more their problem than yours - so don't let them make it yours.

    My experience has always been that relationships have happened for me just out of the blue and generally when I was starting to become resigned/accepting the idea that I might never have a relationship.

    Learning about somebody else is a journey that you make together - you can either try and do it by tele-transporter (like in Star Trek) and then you end up at your destination and just go your separate ways, or you can make it a real journey and do things slowly - as Bob says - and still be discovering each other years later. Don't rush into saying everything all at once.

    My boyfriend is one of those lucky people who don't get depressed and my depression is something that he really doesn't understand but sometimes he tries to and that is an absolute disaster for both of us. However, our bond is strong and we find ways through the upsets moments like that cause ... which is a way of saying that you don't actually need to know everything about someone else to enjoy travelling with them for a while.

    I've never felt the need to lie about my marital status ... have occasionally had cause to lie about my relationship status but that's for other reasons :) Don't think it would occur to me to lie about something like that unless I felt it was going to harm someone else - or potentially cause them problems.

  • Thank you for this Gambit62. I think I have a lot of problems accepting that I am where I am at my age and not maybe being entirely "age appropriate" in terms of my life experience or even my looks. Have just come back from the class. It is hard to explain everything that happens to me; there are so many different aspects.

    I was desperate to find an activity for a Saturday as I find weekends so difficult and can go completely "downhill" to the point wherein I am really "desperate". I found this class which is actually a dance class. How can I do a dance class with my pain condition? No-one will believe me. The reason is my desperation to be occupied means that I go to extraordinary lengths to try and find something which means me avoiding going into the "abyss" on a weekend. Yes I am genuinely in chronic physical and also emotional pain and the emotional pain can be helped by me finding something like this; it is all so desperate.

    Unfortunately the guy who runs the class is rather "idiotic" and keeps on with a load of sexual type of "banter" with me, all of which I am uncertain with as it feels very intimidating but everything is said with a laugh at the end. I had seriously thought about not going back or confronting/ recording him and had agonised/ obsessed over it (mainly the week before last; have been going 4 or 5 weeks now) but cannot afford not to go as is it is hard to find stuff to do at the weekend and just during the day as by the evening I am totally shattered and also don't "need" to go out then. I have tried confronting him over it but it makes him worse. (its giving him attention)

    On the other hand there is a nice guy there who I like and he seems just considerate and not all this "macho" kind of stuff like the rest of them. However he mentioned that he just turned 40. I will find it embarrassing if we get chatting and then it becomes known that I am much older than I look and then I think the way I am doesn't fit in with how he will be perceiving me. It isn't that I want to jump into a relationship or anything. Its just finding out who I am and how to present myself. This is a nice guy and I would like us just to be friendly but quite often I feel if I start telling the truth about myself such as my age then people (such as him for example) will change their attitude towards me. Therefore I present various "impressions" of myself. They are all true but just with different aspects. Well not true exactly as I do not know what I will do if anyone asks how old I am. The reality of my life is that the way I am doesn't correspond with any impression of "how I should be" for my age.

    What would for example any of you do if you were for example chatting to a guy who you thought was around the same age as you and then it turns out they were 15 years younger than you? Should I only be talking to men of my own age, but I am very "undeveloped" and not really had life experience of a 55 year old. Well I've had plenty of experience of depression, I've had plenty of experience of "holding back" all my needs, wants, opinions or anything to do with me. Don't always know "how to be" now because of this incongruence in myself and in my life.

    I don't even want to tell them my surname but do I not have this "right" over how I present myself and what I say? Do I have to tell them for example my surname or my age or anything? What could I say if they ask? I have thought about saying "its rude about asking a woman her age". Am I making it too complicated? What would anyone do in my position? If I am not comfortable giving my surname or any more personal information do I have to give it? Surely not? It is up to me but then I guess the reason why I don't want to do that is I can cope with "coming and going" from that group but could not cope with this sort of harassment full on. I am aware that even posting on this blog if they looked at it they would know who I am, which is a risk but I'm guessing its a risk worth taking as its unlikely they will look.

    I am aware that once again I sound like a teenager. Can you see where all my incongruence is coming from? Should I stop posting on here? Does my disorder belong to another classification?

    Gemmalouise

  • Try not to get to anxious about it all - we all start to over think things at times.

    I'm not sure that age really matters once you get past the 40 mark - though recognise it as a convention that we have grown up with.

    I have a school friend, who like you, looks much younger than she is and frequently goes out with men who are many years younger than she is ... I've probably had the opposite tendency - sort of looking for a father figure I guess - so tend to go for men who are older. We both agree that Mark Harman is a great piece of eye candy though :)

    It does sound as if the teacher may not be behaving entirely appropriately and I don't think it would be unreasonable to have a word with him and say that you find it threatening - or mention it to someone who is involved in organising the classes - it may be that his behaviour has actually put people off in the past without him realising.

    My advise would be to be honest if you are asked and just bask in everyone telling you that they don't believe you - get the same myself sometimes.

    To be honest we all act like teenagers at times. I'm 51 and my boyfriend is 73 and there are times when it is like being behind the back of the bike sheds at school and that is fine.

  • Hi, thanks for this. He only hires the hall to do the classes so there is no-one I can report it to really. I know what he is doing isn't appropriate and is intimidating, but at the moment i need to go. I have told him that I was going because my counsellor had told me to do something that I enjoy and that I have suffered from depression but because of the kind of person he is he has dismissed this and just sees things from his own point of view; so every attempt I have a pointing out to him how inappropriate it is he sees as further encouragement.

    He was very pressurizing today and I really think he doesn't care. I would agree there are probably other women who have left because of him in the past but he would never see that as his problem. If I were to meet him in a situation where he was "just there" and not a teacher I would be very dismissive of him but cannot afford to be at the moment.

    Thanks for all your advice. I will have to have a think about how to respond about the age thing; maybe i will be a bit vague or maybe I will have the courage to say the truth. I am on a learning curve I think at the moment. Thanks gambit62, gemmalouise :)

  • shame the class leader has a bad habit of harrasing females. He might not care about the opinion one individual, but what about the opinion of the whole group?

    I am reminded of advice given to women travelling in the middle east of loudly proclaiming ''shame on you'', in arabic, might take some courage, but if having a 'quiet word' does not work......

    Is he a problem for other ladies? if so a two pronged attack might be effective.

    might sound a bit teenage , but openly discussing his attitude within his hearing might be an easier way of getting him off your back, and if he verbally retaliates, that gives you the opener to bring his behaviour into the open.....

    Is there a semi-professional organisation he belongs to that you can register a complaint with? Has he arranged the class via the council?

    I admire your determination to continue despite such a jack ass, sounds like he is someone who homes in those who he thinks will not defend themselves.

    Whatever way you find, hope he does not drive you away from your saturday friends.

  • Thank you for this gardengnome. Actually I have just woken up really furious as I was just thinking about how on Saturday he came over in a sort of "appeasing" way putting his arms round me (which I don't like as it is always inflicted not requested) and asking was I really upset by the way he'd been talking to me? I said yes I was and I found it a bit too much really and rather offensive. Then later as I was leaving firstly he kept pressurizing me to go for the meal they were all going for( but I i didn't want to go because of the way he harassed me that time he'd persuaded me to go for the coffee with them the first time.) (He is the one who had called me the man hater and basically interrogated me in the cafe ;and last week he was trying to get me go to an evening dance and saying infront of everyone that the reason I wasn't going was because I needed an escort and that he could arrange to have me picked up.(there was no way I was getting in his car which I believe is what he meant)

    Anyway when I left yesterday I walked out of the door, he called me over and asked for another kiss (he has this ritual wherein all the men have to kiss the ladies on the cheek when they arrive; he had already kissed me and made a "joke" that I was moving nearer and nearer the lips now with the kisses (which I wasn't but he was trying to) . I said "you've already had your kiss" but then I allowed him to as he is very pressurizing and like I say everything is said with a laugh from him and mainly infront of them. (although when he had asked had he upset me bit earlier was not said within earshot of anyone) He continued with the "banter" for some time just outside the building; there were three other men there "watching on "; I think they are intrigued to see what he will say and what I will do and they are also like myself frightened of him I think and so don't "step in" in public against him ,although they have told me privately that he's a pain and he does this to all the new women.

    I do stand up to him quite a lot like I say.I told him that one of the others was my "bodyguard" and this did "throw" him a bit as he didn't have an immediate come back to that.

    However have just realised that I read that the definition of abuse is when someone knows their behaviour is hurting you and they don't stop The point I am making is he knew it had upset me because he asked and I said yes it did. His classic lines are "no-one is ever going to change me". Also asking me "Am I shy" and him saying "I'm not, so get used to it". Yes it can all be explained away as a joke but like i say the evidence for me is him knowing its upset me and then carrying on.

    This man is married by the way.

    I think you are right in that a public "shaming" of some kind may stop him. Yesterday when I was outside he was saying he won't talk to me at all if I don't want him to. I have realised that this is also manipulative behaviour (he's tried this one twice now as he said that before in the cafe) . How I took that to mean is that if I don't let him carry on like he is then he may make life very difficult for me in the class by ignoring me completely.

    I have decided that I will say that I don't want him not to talk to me but I just want him to speak to me normally instead of "targetting" me. I am trying to think up some useful phrases. I don't think things like "sexual harassment" should be mentioned as he will then probably call me a lesbian or something like that. So I need to make it more something like you said. Either shouting "Back off" when we are in the group and he is doing it or "You are a bit of a verbal bully arn't you" or indeed "Shame on you"; but of course the man has no shame or he wouldn't be treating women like this in the first place.

    He has an uncanny way of knowing saying things that are true about me which unnerves me. For example in the cafe the first time after interrogating me he said "You don't know who you are do you?" (with a laugh) But it is true and so it threw me. This week he said " On the one hand you look forward to Saturdays, on the other hand you dread them don't you?" which is also true. Dancing is one of the few things I have enjoyed or being good at but he is making it terribly difficult for me to go. You would think him knowing this he would "let up" a bit but for him it is a harmless game which of course just makes me seem ridiculous if I complain; But the reality is I am not ridiculous and he is a nasty man.

    Gemmalouise

  • Hello Gemma

    If you like someone do not read too much in the negative part of life.

    When talking to someone just chat about the dance the weather anything, They will not need your life story, or your medical history try and keep the talk in general terms. Let the conversation flow, do not lie be honest , try and make light of the situation you are in.

    Talk about dancing,hobbies and other activities that you enjoy, ask Him about his interests,where does He work etc etc, Initially keep the talk in general terms. Do not look at this as anything other than talking to another person.What will happen will happen, do not worry try just getting to know the person, doing that will help you gain confidence.

    When I was dancing many partners were older than me, I used to dance with an old teacher from my old school,no other relationship was expected,we chatted as friends I do not think we had a really deep relationship,we were friends and we would dance with other people.

    We would go home our own way.part of life is being with friends and having general conversations. Some weeks I would spend all night chatting with people that knew us on the dance floor. Enjoy the company.

    u

    With regards the instructor, just show your distaste by walking away. or tell him to back off

    One thing be honest, as below,you have to have a very good memory to make a good liar.

    Once I went out with this girl and was engaged, She was a lousy liar, I married someone else

    All the best enjoy the talk, walk away if threatened or uncomfortable, be in control draw limits that you will never cross. Show yourself respect you deserve that.

    You also expect other people to show you respect also

    This Instructor sounds a real jerk, do not give Him any satisfaction if you do not want anything to do with him He can back off. This Instructor is an adult like yourself. You are both not in school and has no sway over you. He is being paid by you, you are His customer. Remember the customer is always right especially in this case

    BOB

  • Bob, I love what you said. It is so wise. It means a lot to me to have such helpful people around on this site. Gemmalouise :)

  • Interesting post. I used to find myself lying about my past. Well not blatantly lying, but certainly skirting around the truth. I used to feel embarrassed that my children had different fathers and rather that be honest about a situation that I now know is perfectly fine, I'd tell stories that I thought made my life seem more socially acceptable. But telling lies comes with it the need to have a good memory, and it all got a bit too complicated. Now I'm open and honest with people and if they don't like me for the person I am, they are not really worth my time!

  • Thank you Lucy for sharing with me. I am finding all of this very helpful. :)

  • Hey Gemmalou.

    Ultimately - and I know this is far, far easier said than done - just be honest. If something you say puts someone else off, that's their problem, not yours. People's reactions are a reflection on them, not on you. I know how difficult it is to feel that way, believe me.

    Say you don't mention, or reduce your age a bit - you're still going to worry that when you eventually have to come clean, which you will, a guy is going to react badly. It's a stop-gap to avoid confronting your anxieties - except it's not, because you'll still have them. And if you're economical with the truth, you might create a self-fulfilling prophecy. Example: I'm 26. Say I went out with a woman who said she was 29, but later had to admit she was actually 35. I'd be upset - not because she was 35, I wouldn't give a monkey's about that. But because she thought she couldn't trust me with it.

    You get into all sorts of emotional wrangles with stuff like this. Be yourself - that is genuinely the best person you can possibly be :) And bluntly, if people can't handle the truth and who you are, f**k 'em, they're not worth your time.

    And you don't at all sound like a teenager. This stuff is a complicated mess no matter what age you are.

    Themys

  • Thank you for this. I will think on. Really I would like not to be 55 and not to be in the situation I am in but I can see there is no way of changing the past only the present and the future ,and that lying can indeed get complicated and does perpetuate incongruence (that is my favourite word at the moment so just thought I would use it again!) :) Gemmalouise

  • Hi ThemysciraDrive, not quite sure who's reply to "tag" this on to as I know really I shouldn't be sending it and I know why I feel how I feel and I know that me being like this is annoying to people, but I still want to send something just to see how angry or pissed off people get about me overanalysing.

    I think I start obsessing about things even when I know the answer and go over every possibility in my head. eg with this guy in the class who is being such an "arse" to put it rudely, I know he is being an idiot and I know what he is doing is wrong. However when I lose sleep I then become much more prone to feeling vulnerable around things and just going over and over the details. For example I have looked him up on facebook and I have looked up other people in the group on facebook as well to see mainly if there were any negative comments about this man (not the one I like; the "leader" of the class) There are no negative comments anywhere, so everything appears to be "hunky dory" but then the evidence I have against that is that these two other guys aknowledged to me that his behaviour could be considered upsetting and that he had done it to other people.

    I guess I'm fascinated with how people "filter" themselves. How do you decide how much of what you are thinking to say to people? How do you decide how much to put on here for example? I think all sorts of things. I guess I would not write anything rude on facebook so I have control there but actually I'm amazed to find all these facebook things so amenable; you'd think if he'd "pissed someone off" before that there would be a bad comment somewhere but nothing. Don't worry he doesn't have my surname; i have not "friended" any of them; just looked at what they posted to try and work out for myself how justified I am in feeling what I feel.

    I think I come across as composed and capable and possibly a bit "snotty" to them or even a bit controlling in that I don't automatically accept being treated as a second class citizen. I have really thought about this and I think I have insecurity because my mum is very controlling (but doesn't worry about it and her reply to this kind of man would be to put him down in a very "over the top" kind of way and probably storm off feeling she had made a "victory".) We are very different because she is not suicidal or lacking in self esteem (infact she is the opposite) and she has no "need" to find something for a Saturday so she feels that she still exists (sorry to be so dramatic; i admit that last bit was a bit dramatic but a little bit like how part of me does actually feel) . However I worry that I may have "caught" some of her attitudes and that these may be "over the top" but on the other hand I actually feel quite justified in how I feel about this man. Whilst I was searching I found a comment that another one had made on another forum saying that some of the women in his class were "controlling". I think he was talking about me in that he saw me as controlling because I wouldn't take shit. I guess all assertive women have to put up with being "accused" of being controlling and/or manhater/ lesbian etc. It is a controlling man's way of keeping us in second place.

    Would just like to know some men's views on this man's behaviour or my behaviour. Do I come across like some haughty feminist bitch? I get confused.I just like people to be nice and to be themselves and why do they have to play such silly games?

    A friend of mine said "Why don't i just enjoy the flirting" but to me it isn't flirting when it is one way and I don't want it. She said to lead "enjoy it" and then at the last minute to say he can't have my body, but I am not a "jokey" kind of person like that. Am I not entitled to be like I am and not find this sort of thing entertaining?

    Folks please reply to this if it interests you. Mainly I am thinking aloud and also have set myself up to cope with any sort of response or non-response. So I will leave it up to you your comments. I think I worry what people think of me and the limits that I can go with people You can be honest on here; tell me for example "I think you over-analyse" "lighten up" "you are overly negative" or any other comment you wish to make. I want to know what people think of me as that is the only way I will learn. Gemmalouise x

    PS Also I am slightly worried about how much of myself I am putting out here and looking into the possibility of keeping all the posts on for now but then deleting them in the future as I need to be "known" here like people have said but not for years to come when things I have said could be pinned to me and some of these other people could know more about me than I want them to if you see what I mean. I must admit that I find out about them but that is up to them; all the posts I have read about them are public but you can't half find out a lot about people and I don't want all of this broadcast to everyone for ever more, just for now. G x

  • Hi

    I am struck by how much courage you have! I feel for you as life is hard enough without having to cope with a dysfunctional family and the complicated feelings that will have left you with. Now you are having to deal with physical pain as well as emotional pain - you do not say what kind of pain but I wonder whether it is fibromyalgia as that is often linked to traumatic or otherwise stressful experiences, particularly from childhood.

    I think many of us who come onto this website will identify with a lot of what you have written. It sounds as though you so much want to share your life with someone, to love and be loved, but that your early experiences left you not knowing how to do that. From what you have written you seem an open person but find that when you share how you feel with others they sometimes mock or otherwise hurt you. Relationships are so complicated. It is important to be ourselves but there are degrees of openness in different kinds of relationships and it is necessary to hold back on conveying what we think or feel until we know a person and it is sometimes important to give a socially acceptable response rather than the truth - "How are you?" does not always mean 'tell me how you are' but is just a way of socially connecting and it is difficult to know the right position between truth and social rules. I imagine that, like most of us who have not had our childhood needs met, you have a strong unmet need from the past to be known as the person you really are, and from what you have said I imagine that did not happen in your childhood. At the same time I imagine you learned that relationships can be hurtful and those experiences have left you struggling to know when and how far it is appropriate to trust the other person.

    It sounds as though people are sometimes insensitive towards you - for example the person who makes sexual innuendos and those who comment on your single status. They may be rather abusive people who pick up that you have been hurt and push you back into victim mode - some people feel more comfortable by doing that and the only way I find of dealing with them is by reminding myself that they must be very insecure and feeling sorry for them. Other people may be picking up on mixed messages you give out - for example if you feel ashamed of your single status they may respond in a way that makes you feel ashamed - the feelings are yours and you want them to be known, but also try to hide them so they pick them up from your behaviour and act them out in what they say thus making you feel them. That is a common pattern in relationships.

    You do not say what skills and abilities you have, but sometimes by helping others we express the parts of ourselves that are loving and finding those of value can increase our sense of self-worth while alleviating loneliness to some extent. I wonder whether you could do some voluntary work on a Saturday and you might find you met someone caring when you were not looking! For example, you could volunteer with Childline and answer calls from their call centre, or perhaps help out at a local childrens' charity.

    In terms of meeting a partner, like you I was in my 50s and lonely, so put an ad in the Guardian Soulmates column and met my husband. Our relationship is not perfect but we are able to share life and support one another emotionally. In my advert, or rather in the phone message I left for potential partners to hear, I was honest because there seemed little point in putting on a front as then I would meet someone who wanted the person I had said I was and not who I really am. You could consider doing something similar. It is not as unusual as you think for people never to have married, so be honest about that and also honest about why, but hold onto the fact that it does not make you a freak, it just makes you lonely so say so. There are many men who are lonely and just as desperately want to find a partner but never have, the more you are able to express yourself the more likely you are to find someone who values and wants that. You may never meet Mr Right but if you continue to have the courage to be who you are you may meet someone caring and as much in need of love as you are.

    Suexx

  • Hello Sue and thank you for all the thought you put into your responses. There is a lot of truth in what you have written; I think the teacher in the class is just plain abusive really ; it is just how to handle it so it stops and I can still go as I need to.

    Thank you so much to all on this site. I am uplifted and heartened by the care and attention I get on here. I hope I can also be of help to people and support others here. Gemmalouise

  • Sorry, forgot the kisses xx I will read over these responses again and each and every one they are helping me so much.

  • Hi Sue, woke up really early seething a bit about yesterday as I had a sudden realisation( please read post I've just sent to gardengnome)

    Also it really is terrible for me as I was suicidal anyway when I decided to go to this thing to try and help me out of my depression and mix more. You are right I have courage and also I know the way I come across in public belies the way I feel inside.

    Also Sue I did thank you for your response yesterday but because your responses are always so amazing and empathetic maybe I didn't tell you just how much I valued them. You put so much thought into it and really come up with so many perceptions and observations. You've really made me think. I am sure that the reason why I haven't stood up to this man more is because he has threatened as an alternative to ignore me completely (as I said in my post to gardengnome). I have decided to attempt like Bob said to tell him to "back off" next time he does something untoward and for example to say no to a second kiss or move away when he attempts to "cuddle me" as this is making him think he is allowed to do this. I know he will retaliate with a sexual putdown of me (such that I am a man hater) but I just have to ignore that. I hope he doesn't carry out his other threat of ignoring me as that would make it very uncomfortable; but still this is bullying behaviour. It is a shame I am so desperate to go and that this is one of the very few things I can find that I would enjoy; however I will try big time to assert myself next week. Unfortunately it is a private company. Him and his brother own a chain of danceschools and it appears it is in the culture to use this as a "pulling" opportunity. They joke about "breaking women's resistance" and "training them". Yes in one way it is a joke but only to a point. I know I am a serious person but I do think that "banter" like this can cover up quite a lot of what in reality is harassment.

    I am really tired, having woken up at 6 instead of my usual 8.

    Just wanted to say you are appreciated xx

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