#MeToo

November 30, 2017 in activisim,beliefs,feminism,health,life,Syracuse

I’ve gone back and forth about publishing this since the original #MeToo movement started. Truthfully, there are about a million other holiday-themed posts I should be posting right now. But this is just too important to put off for any longer.

A part of me hasn’t wanted to share this story because, well, it’s hard revisiting some of these things, ya know? Because once I opened the floodgates in my memory, the memories came pouring back in. And there are plenty of #MeToo memories.

But in light of some of the recent allegations of men in positions of power, I decided to finally share the one story that feels most similar.

...in light of some of the recent allegations of men in positions of power, I decided to finally share the one story that feels most similar. #MeToo Click To Tweet

In 2005, while I was still an undergrad, I started a sales job at a large cable company in Syracuse, New York. I loved my job, I loved the people I was working with, and I loved being part of a team. Oh — the excellent money and full benefits were a huge perk! I was leaps and bounds ahead of the job game with a ‘real job’ before graduation!

At the time I lived in a small 1.5 bedroom apartment by myself. Well, my puppy, Oscar, lived with me, too. I would wake up at 4am, go to the gym for two hours, head home before going to class, and go straight from class to my job until 10pm. I had weekends free and, since I was in my early 20s at the time, would head out with friends after work to the local pub on occasion. Basically, I was living the 20-something dream.

Since I was a non-traditional undergrad, many of my friends came from work instead of school. It was no big deal, but most of my friends were also about 5-10 years older than me.

Well one night I had a couple of friends over for wine and laughs — one school friend (female) and one work friend (male). Eventually my girlfriend had to leave to go see her boyfriend. Again, no big deal. Well minutes later, while hanging with my male friend, I had a knock on my door.

It was a male supervisor from the sales department.

He was not invited.

He looked up my address in our work billing system.

He drove to my house.

My (male) work friend and I were… shocked. I didn’t know what to do. The supervisor asked if he could come in and just hang out while he was waiting for his friends to meet up. Again, intimidated, I didn’t know what to do. So I let him in.

The supervisor asked if he could use my laptop real quick to look something up about where he was meeting his friend. I said sure.

He didn’t look up his meeting spot. He looked up porn instead.

At this point I pretended to be really exhausted and nodded to my male friend like “Dude, please get him to leave.” So my male friend suggested to the supervisor that they both leave so I could get some sleep. They both left. My male friend waited with his car running so that he could come back in and check on me, but the supervisor just waited in his car with it running, too.

My friend drove off in hopes that the supervisor would follow.

He didn’t.

He walked back up the stairs and let himself in my apartment (which I hadn’t had a chance to lock yet, as I was ‘playing asleep.’).

He came into my bedroom.

He whispered in my ear.

I pretended to still be asleep.

And I’m lucky that he thought I was asleep and decided to leave.

And I'm lucky that he thought I was asleep and decided to leave. #MeToo Click To Tweet

I’m one of the lucky ones.

But I was shaken. Visibly shaken. I called my friends and told them what happened and they were baffled.

One of them gossiped about it at work and told my coworker, Tracey. Tracey went to HR for me. I am so grateful for this gossip, because I don’t know if I would have had the courage to do so myself.

HR took swift action. They questioned me. So did the VP of the department. They made me feel safe.

But the rest of my coworkers lashed out at me. They didn’t understand why I would “try to get him in trouble.” All they saw was that *I* was doing this to *him*.

In the end, he was fired. He had to face his wife and make up some lie about how he got fired for throwing a beach ball at someone and they complained (no joke — this was his story for his [eventual] ex-wife).

But the backlash continued for me for a while. It made going into work — a place I considered to be fun and safe — a nightmare. The taunting, the verbal harassment, and the workplace discomfort was awful. I eventually transferred.

All of this is to say that my #MeToo story had a semi-happy ending with a not-as-traumatic beginning. Things could have gone way worse. But it’s still sickening that these stories are all too common. Heck, it’s likely happened to someone you know and gone unreported. Or maybe to you?

We need to continue to speak up. Certainly not all men are guilty of these crimes; but almost all women are the recipients of them. Because offenders are often repeat offenders. They use power and position to keep us quiet.

But I urge you to speak up. Speak up and speak out. Be loud. Tell your story. Heck, tell your stories — as uncomfortable as they may be. The only way to stop this is to bring attention to it as it’s happening.

Because I don’t want the next generation to be able to say #MeToo.

Because I don't want the next generation to be able to say #MeToo. Click To Tweet

Thank you for listening. xo ♥ ♥ ♥

For statistics on harassment see here

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Kate November 30, 2017 at 10:16 am

Oh my God, this is terrifying – & just so, so creepy. I am immensely grateful that he didn’t take it any further, but he took is plenty far enough by showing up in the first place, & it’s creepy as hell on its own. I’m so sorry this happened to you & that you had to withstand that treatment from your coworkers, to make it all the worse.

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Celeste November 30, 2017 at 1:04 pm

You are so brave for sharing this piece of your life! <3

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Sharon November 30, 2017 at 1:08 pm

What a horrifying story! I agree that all women have a story to share, on varying scales of the spectrum, of course. But each one is one too many. I am so glad that these stories are starting to come to light. It’s been bringing about many important conversations in my circles of friends.

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Marta Rivera November 30, 2017 at 1:12 pm

Thank you for sharing your story with us. My hope is that more women will take the steps to report things like this immediately, so these predators won’t feel safe enough to continue on.

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Brittany November 30, 2017 at 1:18 pm

Wow, that is awful. Thank you for sharing this.

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Jaclyn Quinones November 30, 2017 at 1:47 pm

what an awful experience! I’m so sorry that you had to deal with that, but it’s reassuring to know that you have good friends who have your back!

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Leigh Suznovich November 30, 2017 at 7:07 pm

That is an absolutely terrifying story and I am so incredibly sorry you went through that. I am so glad you decided to tell your story and speak up, it’s the courage of women like you who have brought this issue into the limelight to be addressed.

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Cassy French November 30, 2017 at 9:39 pm

Thank you for sharing this! I hope that with this #MeToo movement that the victim-shaming is stopped as well – that’s an important aspect to all of this! Very brave of you to post this.

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Mary Leigh November 30, 2017 at 10:47 pm

I am so sorry that this happened to you and I’m thankful that you had the support of friends and many others at the company – even if others were still hurtful and un-supportive.
Thank you for being willing to share this so that others might be empowered to share.
No one deserves this sort of behavior.

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Eryka December 1, 2017 at 8:59 am

Thank you for sharing your story! It’s so hard being in that situation and scary

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Meaghan Dawson December 1, 2017 at 2:27 pm

OH my gosh! You were victimized twice and that is shameful. First his actions were hideous and weird and scary. I would have been terrified. Second time, by your coworkers. Shame on them. I’m so sorry you had to deal with that but your bravery in sharing is commendable. #MeToo

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Shannon Peterson December 1, 2017 at 4:44 pm

Oh my god, this would be utterly terrifying! I am so glad he left when he thought you were asleep <3 all the love and hugs

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Stephanie December 1, 2017 at 9:40 pm

Ugh- I hate that you had to experience this! I’m sorry!

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Stephanie December 1, 2017 at 10:46 pm

Oh my god. I have no words! This sounds like an absolutely terrifiying situation that no one deserves. Thank you for being so brave and putting it out there. I hope it gives other women courage to speak up too. Lots of hugs!!!!

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Jaclyn December 2, 2017 at 3:45 pm

I am so sorry to read that you had to go through this! I am glad that in your case the situation was addressed and he was fired. How awful. I’m glad women are starting to feel comfortable opening up with their stories…hopefully we are raising a generation of boys that make better decisions.

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Erin December 2, 2017 at 4:57 pm

What an incredibly creepy guy. I’m glad your situation ended well and that HR handled the matter in a caring manner. That makes a big difference!

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Brittany December 2, 2017 at 11:01 pm

Wow. Thank you for sharing!! That sounds so so scary

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Mila Buckley December 3, 2017 at 11:09 am

All I can say is “I’m sorry.” I’m sorry that man was a creep, I’m sorry you faced backlash for something that wasn’t your fault and I’m sorry that you had to go through such a terrifying experience. No person should ever be put in such an awful position.

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Kate December 3, 2017 at 12:54 pm

Such a traumatic, frightening experience- I commend you for being brave enough to share your story and spread awareness!

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Britney Kaufman December 4, 2017 at 10:55 pm

That’s terrifying! So well written thought. I have too many stories from college, many I tried to block out. My one job as a parent to two boys, is to make sure they NEVER do anything like this and understand consent.

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