Friendly Intentions

Just a fair warning. This is a story about a sexual assault experience of mine. I will be changing identities for privacy reasons.

This is a very different kind of story for me to share, but I came across a photo while scrolling through social media and I guess one could say I got inspired to share my story. The norm of feeling ashamed that this happened to me is no longer troubling. I will continue to be mad about what was done to me, but I will not let it take away my happiness. I will use it as a strength to let others know that this is not okay and it will not continue.

I worked at a pretty run down store where a lot of unique people would show up at my counter. I worked at a deli part-time while attending school.

For the most part, I worked 15 hours a week as the closer. Eventually, I recruited friends who were also in need of work. Old coworkers and high school buds.

One day I got called in due to the fact my manager Joe quit over the phone since he had two write-ups prior. He was bound to get fired this time around for putting expired product out. I wasn’t a huge fan of him since I never saw him, but he had the worst breath all the time.

Three people showed up, Vicky, Greg and me. Vicky was the opener and barely did much of anything, but still got to be the one to leave before Greg or me. Vicky told me about the job and we worked a good amount of time together. She was always in such a sour mood.

Greg and I were friends in high school and I always had the feeling he had some sort of feelings toward me. Right after I got my first boyfriend I was pretty sure Greg was about to confess his feelings toward me over Myspace of Facebook messenger. He was talking like he was about to tell me something. He also really wanted to know who my date was for homecoming that year.

Plus there was another time he wanted to do homework together at his place so I agreed and two other male friends of mine wanted to join too even though they were a grade below us. The two friends basically messed around the whole time.

Greg and I didn’t know much of anything since we were closers so that’s all we were trained how to do. I now see the error in my manager Joe’s ways. Probably never train people strictly how to close.

Greg and I were instructed to close down the deli and go home after being there for at least 8 to 10 hours. We were there for a total of 10 to 12 hours. Of course we were teenagers so we messed around and cracked jokes while performing our closing duties. It was all in good fun at least it was.

Greg started printing off labels and snickering to himself. I didn’t pay much attention to him since we were both laughing a lot and having a good time. I was also printing labels off on our scale for some reason I cannot seem to remember.

Next thing I know Greg appeared behind me. First, his hand pats the right side of my chest following my thigh, my arm, and then my butt. Greg starts to laugh since he successfully managed to place on me the labels of chicken parts. The butt one was our daily dining special label.

The moment his hand touched my chest area I felt like stone. It was as if I had lost all feeling of movement and my body was slowly being morphed into a statue. I was in shock of what to do. I was immediately uncomfortable and didn’t know how to respond to Greg’s actions. He continued to crack up over the whole thing.

It felt like one of those scenarios where people are having a good time then something serious goes down and everyone automatically gets serious except it was just me.

I tried to play it cool and act like everything was normal. Oh, by the way, no one was around to see this taking place. The store was totally deserted. If I had wanted to report it I wouldn’t have had a witness. All these thoughts circled my head when my attempt at sleeping was failing completely.

I ended up texting Greg about how uncomfortable it made me that he did those things and to never make me feel that way ever again.

Greg ended up quitting around Christmas and I was there on his last day waiting to be able to go once he showed up for his shift. He gave me a couple of gifts and it felt super awkward. One was the Charlie Brown Christmas tree that literally broke this past Christmas and a stuffed dog that looked like it was supposed to be a gift card holder since it had a slit in his mouth that made it look like it was meant to hold something. I took them said thanks and booked it out of there. Greg wanted a hug which was probably the fastest hug I have ever given.

Years went by and I never really gave Greg a second thought. I removed him on Facebook to cut off contact. He may have apologized for his behavior, but things could not go back to the way they were.

I felt completely violated. I felt powerless.

Someone (a friend) touching a part of your body you gave them zero permission to touch. A friend is someone you can trust and feel comfortable with.

I travel to conventions with my boyfriend and we take part in nerdy things together. It wasn’t until we attended a convention and Greg called out my name and approached us. I felt that awkward tense feeling and I couldn’t move again, but I was trying to think of anything to say to get us away from him.

It was similar to a TV sitcom where someone sees their ex or quite opposite their crush and try to make some getaway to avoid the embarrassment. It was kind of like that. Greg ended up winning the costume contest when his costume did not compare to everyone else’s. Nothing like watching someone like Greg win something at an event you love to attend every year. Then you see people actually like him too.

I remember he posted to the convention group for anyone who was interested to meet him at the bar at 11pm and I thought no thank you, creep. I blocked him on Facebook after he tried adding me during this convention.

I discovered he was mutual friends with people I made connections with through conventions and it made me want to warn everyone about him. I care about my convention friends too much to see the same possible thing happen to them. But I decided everyone should have their own opinions on him and not be affected by my own.

I came across a photo while browsing Facebook that Gregg appeared in. I felt angry still angry I felt that frozen solid feeling of not being able to move or knowing that if I attend these events or places there is a possibility of running into Greg and how he will approach me because he still thinks we are friends.

Friends don’t do what he did.

Now anyone could say how this wasn’t that bad and how it was just a tap and it shouldn’t even bother you. He could have done worse and he did apologize after all. Someone could say they had it worse than me. I am very sorry that anyone experienced something far off worse than I did. I can not begin to imagine what people could be going through or how they manage to be around their assaulter.

But my experience is my own and its not lesser than anyone else’s. It all comes back to feeling violated and powerless because of someone else’s choices. Mine was a friend, to some its a relative or a family friend.