- I'm gonna need to vent for a few days (weeks?) until I stop having all these feelings
- This was SO MUCH LESS HORRIBLE because I had support and advice and information so I am paying it forward.
On stalking: It is never OK to do this kind of thing, it is not funny, it is not sexy. It made me feel unsafe. It meant the next day, until he was gone, that I second-guessed every interaction at that conference (of which men were probably 90% of the attendees) and wasted a lot of energy managing anxiety when I could have been benefiting from that very expensive conference ticket. I’m probably going to be having feelings about this for a long time.
On social networks: I was too busy being half awake and alarmed to have an effective response when this happened. It took time to process, it was my social network who prompted me through calling security and requesting the room change, I asked for my conference ID badge to be redacted on my own, but it took a few hours before I was thinking strategically and not just feeling overwhelmed. They validated my feelings, made me feel like it was OK to ask for what I needed, and meant I never felt alone.
Treasure the good people you meet in your life, nurture those relationships and share your strength when you can.
On scripts: Being prepared, having a response, knowing what I could say or do or expect can make a huge difference to my emotional well being, and to how I choose to act. It enables me to act rather than freeze up in difficult situations, it means I can protect myself, and it means I can stand up for myself and others.
My proposed future Script
- Complain to hotel security, that’s what they are for
- Request a room change, a different room when someone creepy knows where you are is A Good Thing.
- Complain to the police - I am sad I did not do this, awful!person could have been going home with a police record that might contribute to a future someone’s safety.
On positive action: One of my coping strategies is to try and find a positive action I can do, it helps me channel fear and anger into something that generates better feelings, and makes me feel less helpless when faced with something awful. My positive actions for this event are:
- To share this with you; may this be in some way useful or empowering for you
- To inoculate my workplace (via complaining about this a lot) in order to a) share my script with female coworkers and b) let my male coworkers know this is not OK and has consequences.
- To reflect on how lucky I am to have such excellent support networks, that there were responsive hotel staff, and supportive conference staff
Gah. The End.