As mentioned above, this post may be triggering to some people so if you are easily upset by talk of sexual assault, I suggest skipping this one. I wish you well.
Last chance. *Trigger Warning*
I work at a library. Needless to say, I interact with people of all ages, races and backgrounds. For the most part, my days are filled with overwhelmingly positive experiences. Last night was different. I was scheduled to work until 9pm. No big deal, I do it all the time. I saw a patron (male, 60's) who oftentimes comes in with his daughter to study. I greeted them and engaged in polite discussion. As I was about to start shelving again, the man gave me the strangest look. I asked him what he was looking at and he said, "You have the most clear complexion I've ever seen!" I joked about good genetics and whatnot but he continued. "You would look so nice, framed in fir or something, in a dark background that's out of focus." I was getting uncomfortable so I made a stupid blurry Bigfoot joke. That didn't deter him. He asked if he could take photos of me. I was really uncomfortable at this point. I said that I didn't think that was a good idea. He pressed on and kept asking in different ways if he could take some photos, all while making the most frighteningly intense eye contact. I eventually walked away and told two of my coworkers what had happened. Luckily, the only two males that work at my library were on the same shift and they immediately took the situation very seriously. They told me to write up a report (which we sometimes have to do for negative patron interactions). I had to write up the report all while the man sat just feet away. I wanted to get a good description of him. He and his daughter eventually left. As soon as we had officially closed the library, I broke down in tears. I've been assaulted before and the way the man looked at me brought up some very negative memories. I asked my coworkers to walk me to my car. I ended up crying the whole way home. I actually took the day off today for my mental health.
I feel like a moron for being triggered so easily. Did I overreact? I am usually very strong but last night broke me. Tomorrow, I will go in and take back my library. I can do this...