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#430605 - 04/09/13 02:19 AM Why can't I stand up for myself?!
theIrregular Offline


Registered: 07/23/12
Posts: 52
Loc: Canada
Hey all,
I've been having some problems with one of my superiors at work. For those of you who don't know, I work as a baggage handler at the airport.

I had an workplace injury last September and I have since been on 'modified duties'. I am not supposed to lift heavy things until the tendon in my finger heals. My HR manager keeps calling me and asking me when I am coming back to regular duties and during his last phone call he said, "Come on, man. Let's go!". As if I could somehow control how fast my finger heals.

Even though I am not expected to, I still lift things here and there because I want to make myself useful. Atleast, that's what I tell myself. I often thing that may be the real reason is that pretty much everyone looks down on guys who are on 'modified duties' and I just want everyone to like me.

Anyways, the superior in question is always asking me to do things. No one in the company likes him because he's incredibly lazy. The first time I hated him was when we had to ride a tractor together. He's well over 200 lbs and I was sitting next to him, his thigh was touching mine for the entire ride. I was deeply disturbed.

One day he called me 'honey'. I was so enraged, but didn't say a word to him. Then, there was the time he said, "Can I abuse you?". I was speechless. I was sitting on a tractor and he was in front of it. He then said, "I know you are on your break, but drop this baggage cart at the gate". I wanted to mow him down with the tractor, but I said nothing and did what he wanted.

He called me 'honey' again today, but this time I said, "Don't call me 'honey'!" and I walked away. But what really derailed me happened at the end of my shift. Our shifts ended at the same time and he caught up to me as I was waiting for the elevator.
As we waited, he said, "let me show you how to throw a punch" and he proceeded to punch the elevator door. "you have to twist your body, like this". Unsure of what to say, I said, "good to know", in a sarcastic voice.
Once we got in the elevator, he wanted to show me how to deflect a choke hold. When I didn't respond, he moved in closer and took my hands and placed them on his neck.

Then he showed me how to do it. I was so caught off guard when he grabbed my hands, I looked up to see if there was a camera in the elevator, just in case something happened. I felt really uncomfortable with him touching my upper body. By the time he finished his 'lesson', I realized that I had just stood there frozen the entire time. It was like I was 10 all over again.
Once we exited the elevator, he kept on saying stuff that he thought was funny. And I, instead of saying to him, "If you ever touch me again without my permission, I will kill you!" (which is what I really wanted to say), I just pretended nothing happened and fake laughed at his 'jokes'.

I hate the 10 year old kid who couldn't stand up to his abuser. I hate the 26 year old that kid barely grew up to be, who still can't stand up for himself.

And why the f**k are some people so clueless about boundaries? It isn't really that difficult, is it? I keep thinking, if only I were slightly more 'macho', people would stop messing with me.

I am furious with myself because I can't seem to be able to protect myself from either of these people.
_________________________
theIrregular

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#430606 - 04/09/13 02:24 AM Re: Why can't I stand up for myself?! [Re: theIrregular]
overcomer4life Offline


Registered: 02/25/09
Posts: 198
Wow! All I can say is I FEEL YOU. There are times when I should be able to protect myself and have no regrets about doing so. However, if there's a chance that somebody else's feelings could be hurt or what have you, I usually sacrifice my own happiness or well-being for theirs.

I tell myself at least once every 48 hours, "This has GOT to stop".

If history repeats itself, I'll be saying it again in the next few hours. LOL!

Hoping it gets better for you.

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#430609 - 04/09/13 02:40 AM Re: Why can't I stand up for myself?! [Re: theIrregular]
genedebs Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/09/12
Posts: 283
Loc: MO
Their regular

Maybe if you were more macho... But the truth is he is aware of boundaries, and violates people's boundaries. He looks for weakness that he can take advantage of. You said he is lazy and is hated by everyone. He is probably asking lots of people to do his work for him.

He is violating you. When he called you honey, he was violating you. he was disrespecting you. When you refused then he escalated by demonstrating his physical power to threaten you.

He senses you are vulnerable and he takes advantage. This supervisor is an A--hole.

You need to tell your H R guy to talk to you doctor. When he gives you a release then you will be at regular work. You need to decide whether you want to get into it physically, or not. I assume you want to keep it non-violent, at least from your side.

You may need to take his behavior to H R and make a complaint. He has assaulted you. You don't want to have to press charges. Also you don't want to make it he said she said, so you need to use the camera on you cell phone in the future.

I would be pissed at the supervisor. You anger at yourself is because you are re experiencing the your inability to protect you or get the protection you needed.

Please be less judgemental of yourself.

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#430610 - 04/09/13 02:46 AM Re: Why can't I stand up for myself?! [Re: theIrregular]
DavoSwim Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/06/13
Posts: 313
Loc: Iowa, USA
Theirregular,

I understand your story completely. I am unable to stand up for myself as well. I want so much for people to like me, that I sacrifice my own dignity time and time again. I am afraid to stand up for myself, afraid to defend my right to exist and to be treated with respect. Each time it happens, I'm transported back in time to when I was 11 and being abused by a priest, having to comply with his demands because he was a man of God. These days, I don't feel I have the right to protest, even though the request isn't my job, and to follow instructions means I must demean myself. Afterwards, I always create a scenario in my mind where I'm strong and I tell off the offender. That loop plays over and over in my head, trying to override the truth. Yet I don't learn from this. It doesn't give me strength to stand up for myself the next time. I hate myself sometimes for letting myself get walked on - I feel I must have done something wrong and I deserve it. The same line I used to justify my abuse. I just get so furious with myself for not being able to protect myself.
DavO

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#430621 - 04/09/13 08:23 AM Re: Why can't I stand up for myself?! [Re: theIrregular]
EdfromNYC Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/18/10
Posts: 233
Loc: New York City
Hi. I've had many of the same issues my entire life but I am starting to get some relief. I was a victim as a child and carried that aura with me into adulthood. I was around people like this who sensed that I had porous boundaries and could tug and pull at me and set me off. However, I am learning to take care of myself and recognize my needs and emotions and accept that they deserve attention and protection.

When someone crosses a boundary, I have many ways to deal with it. I avoid that person. I have absolutely no personal interaction with that person. I am only around that person if other people are around. I don't react with sarcasm because that somehow adds fuel to the fire. Actually, I try not to react on the surface even if inside my body is telling me to fight or flee. I tell other people about it, people in my support groups, therapist, etc. and ask for coping strategies. If I was waiting for the elevator with this person, I would find a way not to get in it with him. This isn't about fear for me - it is about maybe not yet having the skills to tell someone to step back and stop doing a certain behavior, accepting that is where I am in my recovery/life and simply avoiding sick people.

My CSA and childhood abuse and neglect has made me emotionally/mentally/spiritually ailing and I recognize that I am working toward more "fitness" in those areas. I also recognize that there are other people out there who have no concept that they are sick and suffering people and will spread their emotional/mental/spiritual sickness if they can. It is up to me to recognize that they are "ill" and I am not responsible for making them better, for not making them avoid their own shame by dumping it on me. It is their shame and I am learning to let them stew in it themselves. It is not my burden to carry their sickness.

You are taking care of yourself by posting this and asking for help. There are possibly simple strategies to avoid as much interaction as possible with this man and keep talking about it with others.


Edited by EdfromNYC (04/09/13 08:25 AM)
_________________________
And more, much more, the heart may feel,
Than the pen may write or the lip reveal.
Winthrop Mackworth Praed

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#430628 - 04/09/13 09:03 AM Re: Why can't I stand up for myself?! [Re: theIrregular]
ThisMan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/22/13
Posts: 767
Loc: upper south
Hi, Irreg-
Your HR said... "Come on, man. Let's go!"....?
Sooooo.... go with the story you just shared. Your supervisor is obviously way out of bounds and needs a good reality check. As does his superiors. The terminology of
- being called "honey",
- hearing the phrase anywhere, let alone at work of "can I abuse you?"
- the fact that he TOUCHED you in the elevator after showing you how to "throw a punch"
...seems not only loaded with inappropriate sexual innuendos but also peppered with subtle physical violence.

These are a given.
1- he's a jerk and a half
2- as supervisor, he has placed his company at risk
3- as the employee, you have been made to feel intentionally unsafe
4- his behavior is not your problem- its the COMPANY's problem
5- the company can give you relief
6- he won't stop on his own because he wants control

In my experience, this has nothing to do with you being more masculine or younger or anything else. I view him as a predator who has found someone of a different spirit. If I were guessing, I would say you are generally a nice, polite man who hesitates to be rude or embarrass someone else. And he has picked up on that.

Not so long ago, I received some attention that was inappropriate in a professional setting as well. I listened to my instincts on this one. I received "predatory style" texts. I came to MS and shared and the guys here suggested I wait to see if more came. Guess what? They arrived four weeks later. I am waiting for one more, in silence because this individual was told she crossed my boundaries. If this "one more arrives", I will have her job, I will visit her superior, I will file a complaint with her licensing board. Listen to the advice you pick up here. These guys are wise because of experience. And make a list, make it direct, make an appointment to chat with HR, and let them know that you expect the matter to be taken care of. Then when the next harassment takes place, things are in motion to dispose of this jerky individual.

Don't blame yourself for this guy's behavior.... like everyone has already said... we have been there. My best to you.
_________________________
For now we see through a glass, darkly.



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#430633 - 04/09/13 10:05 AM Re: Why can't I stand up for myself?! [Re: theIrregular]
overcomer4life Offline


Registered: 02/25/09
Posts: 198
Sounds like ThisMan is giving you fuel for a harrassment suit.

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#430637 - 04/09/13 10:48 AM Re: Why can't I stand up for myself?! [Re: theIrregular]
EdfromNYC Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/18/10
Posts: 233
Loc: New York City
The harassment suit or going on the record can be a great idea but it really depends on the culture of the place where you work, the organizational structure, whether you will be supported for taking action or not supported, the size of the organization, etc. If you decide to go on the record, consult others outside the organization too.

But the suggestion to keep private records and to talk with others is definitely the right course of action. We support you since we understand what it feels like to be an adult and not be able to stand up for ourselves.


Edited by EdfromNYC (04/09/13 10:54 AM)
_________________________
And more, much more, the heart may feel,
Than the pen may write or the lip reveal.
Winthrop Mackworth Praed

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#430640 - 04/09/13 11:16 AM Re: Why can't I stand up for myself?! [Re: theIrregular]
focusedbody Offline


Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 313
Loc: NY
Hi, the Irregular.

Like Ed from NYC, I have lived at times with this sense that people can and will approach me at any time. It does go back to early experiences with boundaries being crossed.

You are most important here. Your safety, physically and emotionally. I have found that by respecting that first of all, I help myself be present.

When I am present, my instincts follow. They can react in whatever way that makes sense to me, not someone elsem That's important, because most abusers are looking for you to do that is a predictable reaction to their advances. I have no problem making what seem like irrational refusals to do something normal. For instance, if I see my brother acting a little dissociated when I first say hello I know he might be crossing a boundary with me in the next moment. I take my time, breathe and ask myself what I need to do or say. Sometimes it's walking away. Sometimes it's saying something that will not ignite the situation, but nonetheless makes it clear that I am present and accounted for. Even though he is not consciously aware of it, this sends a message that I know where the boundary is.

This can frustrate my brother or whatever person is trying to find a "way in". I think for many years I was afraid of where such a frustration might lead. Recently I found that if I am clear about what I think and feel, it is more likely that the abuser will bring this frustration to themself. This is because what they really want is to get their pain onto someone else. When I am present, their pain bounces off of me instead of me being its receptacle.

This has been a lifetime of learning to get here. Standing up to someone may be something like this, but real abusers are inviting you into conflict so that they can do what they want to do. So I don't think so much about standing up to someone as being present in the way I want to be.

I hope the communication here can help you find the space you need to feel safer.

Focused
_________________________
Lose the drama; life is a poem.

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#430646 - 04/09/13 02:24 PM Re: Why can't I stand up for myself?! [Re: theIrregular]
1lifenow Offline


Registered: 03/07/11
Posts: 391
Loc: west coast
I feel for you bro. most of us could have written this post too. Glad u did.

Issue 1 , get a dr's note. Just tell the sup the dr said true healing takes time. If he has any questions , tell him to talk to the doc. Ur just following dr's orders.

Issue 2, wow, this guy is totally riding you. I had that many times in many work/life settings. I felt like the pilsbury dough boy - squishy and anything but tough. Seathing but frozen. One boss said to me 'why didn't you just say stop', another saw the look on my face and said 'don't take it personally'. What bs.!

My suggestion is to try to be more like the abused whoopy in The Color Purple. That dinner scene gives me chills every time I watch it. I didn't think I could live it until I did. Not out of any sense of bravery or fortitude, I , like Rosa Parks on that bus that day was just tired. Now I know I can do it. So can all you. There is a reason they call this scene about Celie standing up for herself the best scene.



Bullies will always see the vulnerabitly in us, that's just who we are. What they wont see is the fight that has been dying to get out. Give it permission. We don't want to make waves or rock the boat but they don't seem to share that same level of respect, so when in Rome , act like a roman. Toga optional ; )

The others are right of course, he has to be reported if he persists. But in the times you are alone with him, put your phone on record and if he starts it, ask yourself if you have had enough and respectfully finish it.

Rock on brother.
Please keep us posted.
Cheers grant


Edited by 1lifenow (04/09/13 03:33 PM)
_________________________
The need for love lies at the very foundation of human existence. Dalai Lama

WoR Barrie 2011

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#430649 - 04/09/13 03:16 PM Re: Why can't I stand up for myself?! [Re: theIrregular]
bodyguard8367 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/16/12
Posts: 1159
Loc: ""
""


Edited by bodyguard8367 (02/26/14 10:45 PM)

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#430679 - 04/09/13 08:38 PM Re: Why can't I stand up for myself?! [Re: theIrregular]
BraveFalcon Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/25/13
Posts: 1087
Loc: The ATL
Hi iheIrregular. I have to say I couldn't help feeling an anger well up inside me reading your post. I HATE people like your supervisor and I have dealt with them far to often in my life. Fortunately for me, I haven't had to many of them as direct supervisors at work. I have dealt with them though, far more often than I would have liked and I, like you, have always had a hard time standing up for myself. In fact, scratch that, I've never been able to stand up for myself much at all. Saying I've "had a hard time" doing it is an understatement.

I often wonder how people like your supervisor wind up getting prompted into management positions in the first place. It doesn't make any sense, but it happens all the time. I said I haven't had to many people like your boss over me at work, but I have had a couple, although probably not as bad. I've had a few friends and family members who've told me similar stories to yours about their bosses though and it never fails to amaze me. You wouldn't think lazy, an asshole and a moron would be qualities that scream management materiel but apparently in some places they do.

I guess I don't really have anything to suggest that hasn't already been suggested. I wish there was an easy answer to your dilemma but there clearly isn't. I don't envy you here, that's for sure. If you keep letting him get away with it just to avoid confrontation, (probably what I would do were I in your shoes), you've let him win. If you find another job and let him drive you away from the company, you let him win. If you go to his supervisors about his behavior, things could get ugly. At that point you're basically going to war with the guy and working with him is probably going to be awkward and uncomfortable as shit after that to say the least. (Not that it isn't already.) If you attack him with a tire-iron in the parking lot after work, you loose your job and go to jail. That's no go either. Although, it would be a shame if something happened to him that looked like an accident.....right? cool

(Ha ha,.... just kidding about that last one.)

Anyway, keep us posted on your situation. I'll definitely be looking forward to finding out how you ultimately wind up handling Capt. Douche-Nozzle. Good luck, my friend. Peace,

Ken


Edited by BraveFalcon (04/09/13 08:41 PM)

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#430708 - 04/10/13 12:46 AM Re: Why can't I stand up for myself?! [Re: theIrregular]
theIrregular Offline


Registered: 07/23/12
Posts: 52
Loc: Canada
As always, thank you all for your kind words. I will cherish them greatly. Also, I am grateful for all your suggestions. I haven't been able to think clearly since the incident.

I will go to my doctor again next week and get another written statement saying that I am not ready for regular duties, which I will forward to HR manager.
If the supervisor keeps asking me to do things, I just have to stand my ground and simply say "No!! I am not going to go against my doctors judgement."

I really don't want to lodge a formal complaint against him though.
Even if I tell him to never do something like that again, I feel like his argument would be, "Well, why didn't you say something right then and there?".
Even if I bring this to HR, and even if they take a look at the video from the elevator camera, all they will see is me not doing anything, just standing there.
I feel like I let the opportunity slip. Things would be different if I pushed him off (or at least tried to). I don't blame myself for what he did (I blame him for that), but I regret not doing what I should have done. I should have had my guards up and seen the potential danger before I even got in to the elevator. After reading your post, Focused, I realize I should have been more present.

If I complain and HR asks me, "After getting out of the elevator, you were seen walking with him. It doesn't seem like you didn't have any problem." I have no answer to that.
The same question would be raised about his other comments, "Why didn't you report it right away?"

Plus, he's one of the first employees that's been here since the company first started. So, he's pretty high up on the seniority list and if the company has someone as lazy and incompetent as him in a supervisor position, he must have some connections. And he's got the union backing him on many things.

Now if he tries something like this again, I'll have no choice. But for now, I don't see a way out expect to minimize (and avoid) interaction with him every chance I get.
I almost called HR today to request a transfer to a different terminal. But I really don't want to move because I found a great friend here who knows about my depression and we talk about stuff. I don't want to lose the friendship because of this supervisor. As Ken said, that would mean I let him win.

If I address the issue directly with him and tell him he crossed boundaries, I fear that I would be letting him know that he can actually get to me and that would be like giving him more power over me. At the same time, I don't want it to go unmentioned because if I don't say anything now, he might try something else. I just really don't like confrontation. For reasons already mentioned, I don't want to go to HR with this.

There are still thoughts that pop into my head that say, "He wouldn't have pulled this on anyone else. It's because of the way you are that he picked you!" That's a very dangerous place to be. I've got to redirect that anger and judgement in his direction - where it belongs. I recognize that after reading your posts.

I'll be back to work on Thursday. Hopefully, I can figure something out by then. I'll keep you all posted.
_________________________
theIrregular

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#430725 - 04/10/13 06:51 AM Re: Why can't I stand up for myself?! [Re: theIrregular]
Nathan-Tudor Offline


Registered: 07/09/11
Posts: 10
Loc: New York, NY
Wow, I'm really sorry for your peril.

We seem to be socially challenged in the same way. What mostly happens with me is that I generally hate people, whether I know them or not it doesn't matter. And the way I treat them should be enough for them to realize I don't like being touched or talked at for no reason. The only person I seem comfortable with is my editor. There are times when I think people can smell that "abused" stink that I seem to ignorantly give, and those with keen sense can smell it and use to their advantage, like being propositioned for fellatio at a mall bathroom and punched for refusing, having my door barred my a hallway neighbor because "He just wants to hang out", I just can't seem to adequately explain and tell them to leave me the hell alone or as you put it "Stand up for myself". Nate
_________________________
“If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

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#430735 - 04/10/13 08:57 AM Re: Why can't I stand up for myself?! [Re: theIrregular]
Still Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 6355
Loc: 2 NATO Nations
Quote:
all they will see is me not doing anything, just standing there.
I feel like I let the opportunity slip. Things would be different if I pushed him off (or at least tried to)....

If I complain and HR asks me, "After getting out of the elevator, you were seen walking with him. It doesn't seem like you didn't have any problem." I have no answer to that.

The same question would be raised about his other comments, "Why didn't you report it right away?"


Does the above quote of yours remind you of anything?

Look at this statement in complete isolation. Could I not paste this into the transcript of a 10-yo being interviewed by Mom, Police, School Staff...?

Don't put any of this on YOU, and I see you did not by use of words, but i see it in your conclusions. YOU are not obligated to behave as a macho dude without fear (fear for ANY reason). HE is obligated to behave as a Supervisor in America. Thus, his behavior as a Super is subject to HR scrutiny and civil court...though he has crossed the line over to criminal assault by any state's measure.

If Mike Tyson were your Super, would you be writing these statements or something like "...clearly, I can't push-back or get in his face...this guy is known to eat people after beating them to near death." Again, you are under NO obligation in this nation to respond with someone else's idea of "manly behavior."

Now, no one wants to go into opening a civil case or filing a criminal complaint. These things almost always turn to shit and you will be the only one to receive it.

This turd is illustrating things to you. He's illustrating his complete desired dominance over you and as said here before, knows no boundaries. He probably speaks a language unlike your's. "Moron," or the "Fucktard Moron" dialect require careful use of words, body-language, timing and innuendo.

Turds of this nature rarely respond well to a quiet, side-bar conversation in private. They may, as you suspect, take whatever you give him in information and twist it into a weapon. He MAY do that.

DO NOT EXPECT HIM TO BE OTHER THAN WHAT HE IS! I had to learn this in dealing with my Father first, and many others later. Its a rule I try to live by and it NEVER fails me to be true!

Has he ever displayed care or reasonable compassion for anyone (especially you)? Has he ever displayed being considerate of any other human other than those with power over him? If YES, you have hope with him. If NO, then you might speak his language in a safe, informal confrontation of his personality and Moron Culture.

I've told no-boundary people like this "hay bro...you know...you gotta stop this shit. My father beat the holy fuck outta me all my life...so it kinda reminds me of that." True or not, its something many Morons can identify with. If he chooses to escalate and twist it into a weapon, I'd go to HR and remain consistent with your story.

I had to hold a private side-bar at least once where I actually cried in front of the Bully-Moron. He was a special breed of Moron and actually left me alone from then-on.

I don't know if any of this is helpful, but its all I have to offer on this. But I truly feel for you and think I know exactly what its doing to you.


Edited by Still (04/10/13 09:08 AM)
_________________________
Jesus Loves The Hell Outta Me!

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#431072 - 04/13/13 01:31 AM Re: Why can't I stand up for myself?! [Re: theIrregular]
theIrregular Offline


Registered: 07/23/12
Posts: 52
Loc: Canada
Wow!
So, the supervisor was off thursday. Today, he tried to get me to stack some bags. I said, "I can't. I'm not gonna stack for you. My flight is gonna be here any minute, I gotta go write down the times." As I walked away, he tried to extend his hand to give me a fist bump. I pretended not to notice it and he quickly withdrew his hand.

It seemed like he got the message. But, I will heed your advice, Still. I will keep my guards up at all time when I'm around him. Guys like these won't change their tune that easily. At the end of my shift, he signed out and was standing outside the crew room talking with someone. So I just waited in the room for about 5 minutes before taking a different route.

Also, I talked to a friend about this guy. Apparently, he's been known to call a couple of other guys, "honey" as well. Also, the touching was also seen before, although not to the extent to which he took it in my case.

Anyways, the other positive thing about today was I came out to this friend about my CSA (2nd person I ever told about it). She was completely supportive and understanding. I'd always been hesitant to tell her about it because I wasn't sure how she'd react, but today the words wanted to get out, barely. Overall, a good day - haven't had one in a while.

It's weird. A couple of days ago, I was sure I wasn't capable of this. Actually saying "No". I mean, yeah, I didn't say "No" today, I said "I can't". But it feels like I'm one step closer. Even if this situation reoccurs or escalates, I feel like I can stand my ground against this guy.
_________________________
theIrregular

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#431091 - 04/13/13 09:50 AM Re: Why can't I stand up for myself?! [Re: theIrregular]
BraveFalcon Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/25/13
Posts: 1087
Loc: The ATL

Hello Irregular. Glad to hear you stood up for yourself. Keep at it.

Originally Posted By: theIrregular
Also, I talked to a friend about this guy. Apparently, he's been known to call a couple of other guys, "honey" as well. Also, the touching was also seen before, although not to the extent to which he took it in my case.


Yeah, when you have a guy like him who's in a position of petty power you can pretty much guarantee he's not just a dick to one person. He's probably an asshole to everyone to whom he feels like he can get away with it. If you keep bringing up his behavior to coworkers, I'm fairly certain you'll hear similar stories out of others as well. Perhaps if you can find a few other people who have the same problem with him, you'll increase the chances something can ultimately be done about his behavior.


Originally Posted By: theIrregular
Anyways, the other positive thing about today was I came out to this friend about my CSA (2nd person I ever told about it). She was completely supportive and understanding.


I've always had a better experience telling chick friends about my CSA than guy friends. Women are just better listeners and are naturally more caring and nurturing. Guys are more likely to get uncomfortable and to not know what to say. Guys are more likely to come across as unsupportive when in some cases they just don't have the emotional tools to deal with a sensitive situation. That is a generality, of course, but does generally tend to be true.

Originally Posted By: theIrregular
It's weird. A couple of days ago, I was sure I wasn't capable of this. Actually saying "No". I mean, yeah, I didn't say "No" today, I said "I can't".


"I can't" is fine. That's it. That's all you need to say. In fact, that may be better than saying "no" forcefully. This is your work place after all and it's always best to be as diplomatic as possible, even when standing up for yourself. That doesn't mean you're not standing up for yourself, it just means you're playing work place politics, which we all have to do. Thanks for keeping us posted. Peace,

Ken

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