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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Support Groups » URGENT creeped out

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Author Topic: URGENT creeped out
moonlight bouncing off water
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An old man came to business today and greeted me with "hey good lookin', how's it going?". After I had servered him I told him that it made me uncomfortable for him to say that and to please not do it. This just happened a monute ago.

I am shaking. I don't know whether he has any bad intentions, but it creeped the hell out of me to have him say this to me. People tell me that I look like I'm at least 25, but I'm only 17. I don't want this kind of attention.

I know it's irrational, but I'm really embarassed by him saying this to me, and I feel kind of at fault. I know I'm not but it feels this way.

I'm sorry to have put urgent in my post but I'm really freaked out and can't wait until Scarleteen re-opens. He is gone and I don't feel in danger. But I don't want anyone to find out, but I really just need a bit of support. Help please, is there anything else I need to do for my safety?

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~moonlight

I am ME and that is the only label I need.

Posts: 864 | From: Ontario, Canada | Registered: Oct 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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I'm not sure that I see you being unsafe in this situation. It sounds like this person was being friendly with you, that's all, especially if he was much older (I'd say that kind of greeting from older people -- to anyone, really -- is pretty common).

Perhaps I'm missing something?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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moonlight bouncing off water
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Okay, so you don't think it was a big deal?

I don't know. I feel safe. It just didn't make me feel good. It made me feel like he was flirting with me. But I know sometimes that older people do greet people like that. It scared me.

So, was I wrong to tell him it made me uncomfortable?

Have I done something wrong?

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~moonlight

I am ME and that is the only label I need.

Posts: 864 | From: Ontario, Canada | Registered: Oct 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
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Personally, if you're asking me, no. If an older person greets me that way, I'd simply translate that as "Hello, and I'm trying to pay you a benign compliment." (But I'm older than you, so this all might be much more familiar to me.)

Well, he might have been flirting, but if that's all he said, if he wasn't trying to touch you without your permission, if he didn't back off when you told him to, then we'd be talking about something very different.

Flirting, for the record, is really just benign things people to do express some kind of interest or warmth, and I'd say the latter is probably something more about older people than younger people. In other words, generationally now, I'd say flirting is usually much more often about expressing a sexual or romantic interest someone wants to act on, when with much-older people, generationally, it was often just a way to be friendly, even pay someone a compliment, and usually there's no intent otherwise there.

You get to tell someone you're uncomfortable when you're uncomfortable; I'm not sure how I can see how that could ever be wrong for someone to do.

But since you felt so scared, and it sounds like you still do, do you want to talk through what you're feeling scared of so you perhaps don't have to keep feeling that way?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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moonlight bouncing off water
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Thank you. Well I'm not feeling so scared anymore, you've helped to calm me down a bit. I also didn't know that about flirting, and I guess it makes a lot of sense.

I guess what scared my is that there is this stereotype out that of the "creepy old dude paedophile". I also feel a bit vulnerable here at my business, I have a very small building which I can't lock when I'm in it. People don't come in, they're outside, but still. I'm the only one here, there are other businesses on the property, but they aren't right, right next to me.

The more I think about the less sense it makes that that scared me. Sometimes I think a bit irrationally.

I'm not really sure if that answered your question?

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~moonlight

I am ME and that is the only label I need.

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Heather
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I don't know how old this giuy was, but if he was in his 50s and 60s, it might help to bear in mind that way back when, if he didn't greet a young woman that way *that* would have been an insult by many. The dynamics around all of this have really changed a lot very quickly for people around their 60s in their lifetimes.

Pedophilia is about people who feel attraction to people who have not yet reached puberty, so unless you look six or seven, I think we can safely rule that out, period, you know? But as well, someone flirting doesn't mean someone has intent to abuse, or even intent to do anything at all besides doing what they see as paying you a compliment or just being friendly.

I think had you said this made you uncomfortable and then he kept doing it, or wouldn't back off, or tried to touch you, or called you mean names, then it would have been sound to figure you had a potential or actual situation where your safety was at risk. In a situation like this, based on what you've said happened, it sounds to me like there was nothing to suggest your safety was at risk. Don't know if those kinds of lines help you at all, but that's what I'd throw out there if you're looking for some to assess your safety moving forward.

But it also sounds like maybe some of this is coming from what might be an unsafe work situation for you, period? In other words, are you there alone without the ability to ever lock the door? If so, then I'd say that's not a safe work situation, and it's one I'd discuss with your supervisor to remedy.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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moonlight bouncing off water
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Thank you, those lines do help me.

And I'm actually the owner of the company, so I guess I'm the one who needs to remedy the door locking issue. That is something I have been putting off, but I guess that this is proof that I really do need to do this.

Thank you so much Heather, I feel so much better about this now.

Gosh I just feel so rediculous right now because I didn't know this stuff.

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~moonlight

I am ME and that is the only label I need.

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Heather
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I'd agree: I think if anything, the way you were feeling tells you that you need to make basic security a priority. And I'd say you did anyway.

One other things that can help -- I've been in this situation with a couple jobs before -- is to touch base with other workers or business owners nearby, establish that you all can call each other if you need help, etc.

Don't feel ridiculous. I mean, feel how you feel, I know that's kind of silly for me to say, but I guess what I'm saying is that I don't think being concerned about your safety and having fears get triggered when a situation in and of itself was probably benign, but the larger situation isn't safe is ridiculous.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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moonlight bouncing off water
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Okay, thank you Heather. I feel a heck of a lot better now and will put a lock on the inside of the door.

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~moonlight

I am ME and that is the only label I need.

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Heather
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Happy to help. [Smile]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Heather
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(By the way, kudos to you for forging out with your own business, business-owner! I started working for myself in my 20s too, and I know both how challenging but also how rewarding it can be. [Smile] )

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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moonlight bouncing off water
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Thank you so much! It is incredibly rewarding, and an immense amount of work. But I enjoying it so much more than I ever would have if I were working for someone else, even if my basic daily tasks were the exact same!

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~moonlight

I am ME and that is the only label I need.

Posts: 864 | From: Ontario, Canada | Registered: Oct 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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