Before I start this blog, I just want to warn that it discusses triggering themes, including sexual harassment.
I promised to update my blog more, and that is exactly what I plan to do with all the free time I have the next few weeks. I want to catch up on writing, especially since I have so many blogs planned out. However, I wanted to address this situation that happened to me on New Years Eve before working on my other blog posts I had planned out, including a decade review blog (I know that’s late but whatever) since it has been sitting in my head for days. As I always say, I write to express myself, work out my emotions, and heal, so maybe this will help.
I rarely ever go to parties anymore due to social anxiety and bad experiences. This New Years Eve, however, I decided to go to a party. 2019 was a shitty year for me, so I decided that it wouldn’t hurt to go out and have some fun to end the year on a positive note. I attended an event in Manhattan held by a group I was apart of, and I assumed that it would be fun. The moment I got to the party, however, I began to rethink my decision. People were either already in groups talking to each other or sitting by themselves and not talking to anyone. I suck at approaching people, especially when I don’t know anyone, so I just sat by myself on my phone. I was invited to another party that started later, so I was planning to go to that one if this party continued to be lame.
Eventually, a guy came up to me and began to talk to me. He was a bit older, but he was friendly and trying to start conversation with me since I was by myself. He continued to talk to me for a bit, and eventually we started to talk with other people too. He seemed really nice, and he even tried to set me up with a guy that I thought was cute. I tried to keep my distance from the guy who approached me though. I was not interested in getting to know him romantically, and I wasn’t going to trust a guy I just met so easily no matter how polite he was. After I began to chat with the cute guy (who was actually very nice, but I ended up not exchanging my number with him because as we spoke to each other I realized we weren’t vibing.) the guy who approached me left me alone for a while. I ended up losing track of time and not making it to the other party.
After midnight struck and 2020 began, the cute guy left. Some people were dancing and asked me to join in, so I did. I was having a great time until the guy from earlier came and began to dance with me. At first, it was innocent, but then he began to grind on me. I was uncomfortable with this, so I moved away. Some other guy at the party yelled out to him, “she’s too young for you!” but he kept on trying to dance on me. He also tried to kiss me, but I ducked it. I moved away from him, and he asked if he was making me uncomfortable. I told him he was, so he kept his boundaries after that. Things were fine and I hoped he got the message that I was not interested in him, though he kept trying to get me to drink. I told him that I don’t drink alcohol anymore because of the meds I take, but he said that drinking with meds makes it even more fun. (Which is not true at all. This combination can damage your liver and has severely dangerous side effects.) He continuously teased me for not drinking, which got extremely annoying and I began to dislike him.
As it neared 1am, many people were bar-hopping or heading home. I was starving since there was no food at the party, so I was going to grab something to eat before I headed home. Some of the group was going to grab pizza after stopping by a live music event nearby, so I decided to join them. Unfortunately, this guy also tagged along. I was hoping he would keep his distance since I told him that he was making me uncomfortable, but he still tried to come near me and was touchy. I continued to move away from him and tried to just enjoy the band, and even tried to stay near a group of girls. He did eventually back off again, but then when we went to go eat after the performance, he continued to talk to me. Earlier in the night, I told him that I found sarcasm attractive since I’m sarcastic myself. He decided to make offensive jokes and comments and claim that he was being sarcastic, but all he was really just being insulting.
At this point, I just wanted to get something to eat and leave. However, when I got to the pizza place, I saw that it was impossible to get an Uber. They were in high demand, and it would cost me over 100 dollars to get home. It was already almost 2am and I wanted to leave with the remainder of the group that we were with since I did not feel safe taking the subway home alone. I know I should have just went home earlier, but I depended too much on the fact that I was able to get a cab home for much cheaper going home on New Years at 4am two years ago. I was trapped downtown in a group with this guy, and to make matters worse, my phone turned itself off for a random system update.
We ate in a small pizza place where the cashier nearly ripped me off and the pizza tasted worse than school lunch pizza. The pizza place was also ridiculously small, and I ended up stuck sitting next to the creep. I voiced my concerns about travelling home to someone else in the group. The other person in the group tried to respond in an understanding manner, but the creep decided to throw his two cents in by saying that there was nothing wrong with me riding the subway at night and made fun of me for being so scared. He called me “spoiled,” “dainty,” and told me that no one would want to kidnap me. After making these rude comments, he made an offer to take me home which I declined.
After we left the pizza place, it was way after 2am. There was only one train nearby that would take me to the train I needed to go home, and the guy just so happened to be taking it too. There was another guy from the group taking the same train, so I stood near him as we waited and I called my mom to stay on the phone with me until the train came. The train took a while to come, and by the time it came the platform had gotten ridiculously crowded since so many people were going home from parties at that time.
When I got on the train, I tried to separate myself from the creep, but there were so many people shoving through that I ended up next to him, and the other guy from the group that I tried to stay near ended up further away. To make matters worse, the train was so packed that everyone was literally squished against each other. I tried to position myself so that he and I were not touching, but there was barely any room to move.
I hoped that the train ride would go quickly. Thankfully, I only had a few stops and I was getting off before the creep. However, the train decided to keep delaying as it got closer to my stop. The guy also kept making stupid comments about how close everyone was to each other due to how packed the train was. He made a dumb joke about how I touched his butt, which I didn’t, and it didn’t even make sense because we were facing each other. He then proceeded to pinch my butt and laugh. This was the final straw for me. I wanted to snap at him right there, but I ended up freezing up. After he did this to me, I said nothing for the remainder of the train ride to anyone. I kept on trying to push out the words that I wanted to say to him out, but I couldn’t get them out. I was terrified of how he might react, and how the other people on the train would react. No one saw what he did to me, so I was scared that they would think I was overreacting and no one would defend me. I just stood there frozen and with tears in my eyes. When the train finally got to my station, I left and stormed to get an Uber. They were over sixty dollars, but at that point I had enough and just wanted to get home.
When I did finally get home, I tried to shower and forget what happened. I left that group because I did not want to associate myself with a group that had a guy like that, and that had people who did not defend me even though they saw what he was doing, aside from the guy who tried to get the creep to stop dancing on me by saying that I was too young for him. I didn’t exchange numbers or any social media with him, but I remembered his name and his Facebook from when he showed me some pictures of himself. I quickly blocked him from ever being able to find me. I wasn’t sure if he remembered my name, but I didn’t want to take that chance.
I didn’t really tell anyone what happened with that guy. I felt so much shame about what happened. I also feared that people would think that I was overreacting or that it was all my fault. I felt like I was making it a bigger deal than it was, and that I deserved it for many reasons. I couldn’t stop thinking about the things he said and did to me, however, and I kept on experiencing anxiety anytime I thought about it. This was not the first time a guy had crossed a line with me, nor was it the worse thing a guy has ever done without my consent, and all those memories rushed back in my head as I continued to think back to what the guy did to me. I opened up to my mom about what happened with the guy, and she tried to reassure me that it wasn’t my fault. However, I couldn’t shake off the negative thoughts and feelings.
It is almost five days later, and I still occasionally keep reflecting on what happened. I don’t want one incident to have so much power over me, especially since I am aware that it could have been a lot worse, but it keeps on bothering me. I keep seeing his face, thinking of the things he said and did to me, and it makes me sick to my stomach. I am brought back to the many past experiences of being harassed and assaulted and the trauma I gained from those experiences adds onto the trauma I gained from the New Years Eve party. These experiences often make me think that people just view me as sex and nothing more, especially lately, and what happened with the creep at the New Years Eve party doesn’t help. I hate thinking of or speaking about it because it makes me anxious, but repressing it just makes it linger in my head ever more. I also feel angry at him for doing this to me, and angry at myself for not doing anything to stop it. I also just want to move on from the situation because I keep feeling like I am just overreacting, but I can’t seem to.
The mess of a thought train in that last paragraph is exactly what has been going through my head for days, and I hate it. I hate thinking this way, and I hate that it is so common. I also hate that women (and men on some occasions) have to be terrified whenever they go out and want to have a good time because some people feel entitled to our bodies and can’t take no for an answer. I hate that we get blamed for the harassment and assaults that happen to us and that so much emphasis is put on what we need to do to prevent it from happening to us, but not enough emphasis is put on stopping the perpetrators from doing it to us in the first place.
Deep down, I know me blaming myself completely is irrational. Yes, I could have left as soon as he began to make me feel uncomfortable. Yes, I didn’t have to hang out with the group after the party, especially when I saw that he was there. Yes, I could have told him off when he continued to be touchy and when he grabbed my butt. However, he is the one that continued to touch me when I told him that he was making me uncomfortable, spoke to me rudely, and tried to kiss me and dance on me without any consent or sign that I was interested in him. Yet here I am, still blaming myself entirely for this whole situation.
It is experiences like this that are one of the reasons why I barely go out to parties or events anymore, and why it is hard for me to trust people when I meet them for the first time.