I am a ridiculously confident person. For an introvert, I find that I rarely have bouts of self doubt when entering the public scene, as long as I don't actually have to interact with someone. I can strut the street in my heels and feel just dandy. I don't care about the cat calls, the stares, the little whispered comments. I am hot. I know it.
However, I haven't always been this way. I have always looked into mirrors when they were around, but there was a time when I did not feel confident walking down the street. I tried to, but I didn't actually. I put up my "I'm so pretty and brave" front, but inside I would cave at the slightest whistle from a passing stranger. I can remember so many times from years 13 to 16 how the confrontations and suggestions from men of all ages would cause my heart to crash into my ribs, my feet to pick up and literally run away, and eventually, the sobs that would rack my entire body. I hated being made to feel cheap. I hated being pursued inappropriately. I only wanted a cute boy to think I was cute.... well actually, I only wanted Adam to think I was cute.
Over the years, I gained confidence. Mostly, I think I got good and angry and this eventually spawned into apathy and then into compassion. I stopped caring how men reacted to their first impression of me. I brushed it off and went on my merry little way because, let's face it, I don't know them, and they will most likely never see me again. I can say no, and I can move on.
However, instances do arise that tear away my entire outer shell of safety. They strip me down and make me feel absolutely vulnerable to the male species. They cause me to revert to my 14 year old self, crying on my brother's shoulder because I just cannot understand why men won't leave me alone... why they won't just treat me like the lady I was raised to be.
A few months back I was asked out by some random receptionist at my dad's doctor's office. I said no, of course, because I had just found out that my father had cancer, and that is just wildly inappropriate. You just don't ask people out when they just find out their father has cancer. That's gross. I did not give him my number or any way to contact me. He gave me his number, but of course I never used it, because I don't call jerks that ask me out on the day I find out my father has cancer.
Now, four months later, he has begun to text me. This means that he took my contact information out of my father's patient file. I feel absolutely violated. The doctor should be a safe place. A place to be healed, not hurt. I feel belittled, stripped of my confidence, and honestly, just a little scared. I am undone.
So I will go downtown tomorrow and I will file an anti-harassment order, which basically says that he cannot contact me ever again.
Tomorrow I will also file a complaint against the clinic, because one of their employees violated my HIPAA rights.
I can use the law to make me strong again. Until then I am relying on my friends to keep me safe.