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Still afraid *trigger warning*

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...

I think.

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Hi. really sorry to hear of your experience. You are right that it may be a trigger for some people, so maybe best if you write trigger warning * in the title or first off? Hope you don't mind me saying ? I hope you get a peaceful nights sleep and I can completely understand your feelings and I would be the same. I definately don't think you're overreacting.

Gemmalouise x

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Something to consider for next time! I'm sorry the opening sentence wasn't enough. :)

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Ir's easy to edit. Just click on the arrow at the bottom of your post. Up to you? Maybe I'm overeacting, so I'll shut up now! x

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Feel like a moron? Oh come on what you went through is very scary and would really upset any woman even without being triggered by a previous event. I would have a talk with your employers and get them to ban him. But if they don't and you see him again make sure one of your colleagues serves him.

When I worked in a jobcentre one guy used to hassle the female staff and he was told (and this was strictly carried out) that he only saw male members of staff, so employers can do it.

I work in a charity shop and there is a creepy guy whom I think is care in the community. He is quite strange and asks inapropriate questions such as am I married etc. It upsets me when he comes in and I always call the manager down then.

Protect yourself and don't worry about whether you should be scared or not. He sounds awful so avoid him in the future. x

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Fortunately, my district takes this kind of thing very seriously. That's a good thought though, to let someone else deal with him.

I'm sorry you've had similar experiences. People can be so dumb... :)

I'm trying to get better at protecting myself. I think I'm just too accommodating.

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That's good. Make sure they tell your fellow employees that you are not to deal with him so they know too. It's not people who can be so dumb - it's men who can be so awful and sexist and hassle women. You come across it everywhere in one form or another I'm afraid.

If he ever tries anything ever again tell him you will report him to the police unless he stopped harrassing you. Don't worry about his feelings, only yours. x

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Thanks for putting up the trigger warning. It means a lot that you took notice of me and how I felt about it. Gemma x

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Was his daughter with him when he said these things to you? Did you speak to her at all and tell her what happened?

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His daughter was there the entire time. She said nothing. Which is unnerving.

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I have to guess she was thinking it was innocent? Maybe he's a photographer and saw beauty in you as a subject for pictures? Not beyond possibility, it didn't appear if you asked him if he did that for a living or as a hobby? I don't know that I'd title this as "sexual assault". You weren't harmed, or even touched. You obviously felt uncomfortable. He may have been thinking it all as very innocent. He never made mention that you should be undressed in these photos? If it ever happens again, you should flat out ask him that is his trade or a hobby? Or next time they come in, pull his daughter aside and tell her how you felt, maybe she can ease your fear?

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I saw in another reply that you had been assaulted previously? I didn't get that from the post? Just trying to understand.

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No, you were not over reacting especially with all of the news about perverts lately.

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Thanks. I really need to get better at sticking up for myself.

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I shall laugh one day but not today.

Not the greatest of nights. Heard the shop's roller blind at 11pm and 6am so very tense this morning knowing I was going to drive and hand deliver the worksheets through a busier place.

Had a new fridge 4 months ago. Opened it no light. Couldn't hear it but freezer at the bottom still frozen Moved it put in a different socket..... nothing. Put water in the freezer.....remained wet !! Got paperwork out.. for guarantee. Went to wash up no hot water......... no boiler light. Not that familiar with gas anyway although had the boiler serviced at the beginning of Dec. Really stressed by this point as several other things not working. Lights in random rooms were so had the sense to realise it wasn't a power cut.

Rang Will.......no reply. He did get back to me actually working today. Couldn't come till about 5.

Checked fuse box normal ones in right place. In desperation went back with torch and saw a different fuse in the wrong position

Then reset the boiler. All fine. Just about managed a bowl of cereal in the middle of all this 😁.

Then had to decide whether to calm or just set off. Kept telling myself that a website said once adrenaline is released it can only go down. So I set off. Roads fairly quiet and the sun helped. Came back so pleased I had everything under control. Went to put the kettle on........ and it didn't work. Tried all sockets etc. So then had to go straight out to purchase a new one. Not that many to choose from but fairly cheap kettle purchased.

I am exhausted.

As the sun is still out I am going for a quick walk.

Tomorrow I hope to do the washing although the machine is very very temperamental. Also will have to brave the shops again as I don't think Sat morning is a good idea.

Thinking of you and hope you wake refreshed.

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I tend to be too accommodating too, afraid to "cause trouble". I think it would have been quite alright to say to this man, "I'm working and I appreciate if you keep your questions related to library services" but that said, I would have a hard time saying that because I've been assaulted before and I think I'm afraid of the ramifications of pissing off men. Maybe that's weak of me but it's also understandable too. Your previous assault was a traumatic event for you. How you reacted to the guy in the library was an appropriate response given that he made you frightened. You're surrounded by helpful people and this ever happens again feel free to say absolutely nothing to whoever is bugging you out and go immediately to a trusted co-worker or security.

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