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New here, looking for others with similar experiences


Sky Lark

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Hi, I'm new here, nice to meet you :)

I was sexually harrassed/assaulted by a work colleague, and then there was a big investigation into it which made me feel totally invalidated and disbelieved and I'm still dealing with the aftermath of it. It had a pretty severe effect on my mental health.

I've struggled a lot with feeling like I did stuff wrong, or I should just suck it up and I'm not allowed to be upset about it because it wasn't "that bad", or that I acted wrong or reacted wrong, or like I just made myself look stupid by raising it, or... it goes on.

I know lots of people on here have been raped or suffered horrific abuse, and that hasn't happened to me, but I'm hoping to find others who can help me deal with all these feelings in relation to what did happen, through sharing our experiences.

Thanks,

Sky Lark

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Welcome to AS, Sky Lark! I'm glad you found your way here. Though I am terribly sorry for what you've experienced that brought you here. It was undeserved, and definitely not your fault. I'm so sorry. You're definitely allowed to be upset and feel anxious or angry or anything that you may feel. Your feelings are valid. It doesn't matter "how bad" the trauma was. I used to have trouble with comparing mine to others here, too. I did that all the time. My trauma was non-contact, so I felt like I didn't have it "as bad" as people who were physically harmed. Anyhoo, you're not alone...but please do know you did nothing wrong. You're not stupid for bringing up what happened to you. The perpetrator was at fault, not you.

Sending you lots of positive vibes and best wishes. ❤️ Keep reaching out and exploring all you want. We're here for you. 

-Finch

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Thanks Finch :)

It's good to hear that everyone's story here is valid, as I definitely struggle with minimising what happened and so I feel like my emotional reactions are not valid. Its something I have to work out how to overcome.

Thanks for your message.

Sky Lark

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@Sky Lark welcome . I work in construction and have had many many sexual comments made to me . Example I was painting trim and this man who I haven’t worked with before stood right behind me as I was on my knees painting baseboard trim . He said do you like what you do and I replied yes I enjoy it very much and his reply was “ so you like being on your knees “ . I also didn’t want to say anything as I was the newbie on the job and I usually am the only girl . But I did say something. The boss then pulled me aside and asked if I wanted him fired . I did not I just wanted him to understand he couldn’t talk to me like that . The boss then made sure that man was never put in my area . . So you need to stick up for yourself . You feeling safe is a BIG deal . All of it is horrible and I say this also as a rape survivor and childhood sexual abuse survivor. It all sucks. You belong here . It is a safe place and I have been so accepted and you are too. It’s nice feeling not judged or looked down on . Hugs if ok 

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Welcome @Sky Lark

I'm sorry for the harassment you have faced and the traumatizing investigation that followed. Please know that I believe you and know what happened to you wasn't your fault. Nothing good comes out of comparing traumas. All trauma is bad and all survivors feelings are valid. We are all here to support each other and help each other heal. You are welcome to take some time looking around the site. Feel free to post on the forums whenever you feel comfortable. We also have some holiday programing going on throughout the forums if you are interested. If you need any help navigating the site, please don't hesitate to reach out to myself or another staff member. 

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@Claira Thank you 😊 

Thanks for saying that feeling safe is a priority 😊 Sometimes it is hard to believe that with the way people act and react. It seems like such a basic thing that should be obvious, but sometimes it's just not the reality.

I'm glad your boss believed you and took quick action. That's really good.

Edited by Sky Lark
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Hi Sky Lark.  I'm very sorry to hear what you're going through.   You don't deserve to be treated like that.   That is really brave of you & yet traumatic to report sexual harrassment.

I  can relate.  I had never realized what sexual harrassment was at the work place. So, I just always  sucked it up.  But in my last job,  I was growing braver . So, when the married rockstar funny man started targeting me, I would tell him no  & stop & avoided him. I just wasn't assertive enough & so to him, it was a game. the more I told him STOP , & no, leave me alone, the more he'd bug me. Others saw it as his type of sense of humor. so, I thought, I was just overreacting or imaginging his flirting .Embarrassingly I tried to mention it to a manager. But, she didn't take it serious.  said, that's just how he is, Well, it escalated, so I wasn't doubting myself anymore. He'd say dirty things to me & I'd try & mention his kids & wife. some coworkers were starting to see. Their advice was either turn him in , or ignore him & he'll get bored & stop, if I didn't respond. He had started touching me & I'd pull away & say Don't touch me! And he'd wait for me to be physically in positions were  I could'nt defend myself & try to grope me , then pretend he was just going to punch me. (like that was any better?!) . The last straw, he was singing to me & started arguing with me that we belong together. Even if it was just a joke, I was horrified. So, I tried yet again to tell a manager. I guess, that finally got her attention- married man... I didn't think she took me serious. But, days later , she called me into the office, She told me she"d decided to notify HR , because if he was bothering me, he was probably bothering other female empolyees & they just won't say anything. She claimed only she & the head manager knew the complaint was from me.  But, of course it got bigger & bigger & it was awkward that I kept getting called into the office because HR kept wanting more & more info & details. The managers were very weird around me. The head manager would show up , then tell others to go away so he could talk to me. Then he freaked out when he read the things he'd been telling me.  & told me this was so escalated that they were going to suspend the guy instead of just a warning. & I was instructed that if he should figure out it was me, to not talk to him if he tried to approach me in anyway. I was so sick to my stomach & scared that others would know (very gossipy place) & worried I'd be judged or blamed. I was even next to his dept manger when the guy called in demanding to know why he was being suspended & the manager made a big deal about not being able to disclose everything at that time. I was so scared & sick. I worried about his family & started thinking what if I was just overreacting? Next thing I knew everyone was walking around asking what happened to him & couldn't believe he was gone.  I felt aweful. His manager had to cover his shifts, they were short handed in that dept until a replacement was found.  I just constantly lived in fear that he'd come find me. He was getting worse & more blatant harrassing me right before he was going to be suspended. So, I thought maybe he knew.  I was just a nervous wreck for a long time after. And my co worker had to keep reassuring me, that he did deserve it,  even if he was joking around . Because I repeatedly would tell him to stop & leave me alone  & he never did in all those months. So, it was a very stressful ordeal. I finally calmed down when I realized he wasn't as well liked as I'd thought. Co workers were inconvienced picking up the slack, but nobody missed him. Also, I eventually heard from a manager what had happened. The guy was suposed to sign HR papers for the suspension which stated why he was being suspended. But, he made a big scene , refusing to sign & instead quit. Guess, he didnt want his family to find out, even if it was "a misunderstanding". That way, he could make up any story he wanted..  So, yeah, it really sux & is extremely stressful. You shouldn't have to feel like you're the criminal, when you are the victim. 

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Hi Sky Lark.

Welcome to the community. I am sorry for what you've been thru. It was wrong and unfair. You did nothing wrong, as it is never ok for someone to do this to you. I'm sorry you have a bit of self-doubt/blame, but honestly, it is normal to feel this way. So many of us have said those same things. There is never a good or acceptable reason. Never. 

We all have our stories, and they are all valid. You and your story deserve as much support and validation as everyone else here. It crossed a line, and we acknowledge your hurt and struggles. Feel free to look around and interact where you feel comfortable. I wish you the best as you continue this journey we call healing.

Mary

:supportu:

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@Theimpossibledream Wow, I'm really sorry that all happened to you, that sounds really scary. I bet he saw the writing on the wall so quit before he could be fired.

Thanks for sharing your story. I have also been a total nervous wreck, while deciding to make the complaint, writing the complaint, the whole investigation and the aftermath... I hope you're doing better now. Thanks for sharing.

Edited by Sky Lark
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Welcome @Sky Lark to After Silence.  I’m sorry for what brought you here but I’m happy you are here reaching out for support.  Good job taking this step in your healing process.  You are not alone and what happened to you wasn’t your fault.  There's no right or wrong way to react to abuse.  However you are feeling is valid.  Also my abuse wasn't violent but I still struggle.  You are welcome here and welcome to feel however you do regardless.  Take your time exploring here and post when you are ready.  If you have any questions feel free to message me. 

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