rens_sanctuary: (Dalek: Destroyer of the Universe)
[personal profile] rens_sanctuary
Originally posted from: my tumblr.

Gaslighting is, from Wikipedia, "a form of mental abuse in which information is twisted or spun, selectively omitted to favor the abuser, or false information is presented with the intent of making victims doubt their own memory, perception, and sanity."

I was during a job experience from North Carolina at a resort I worked in for the summer. It was 12 years ago. I was 21. I was making $5.85 from which they deducted housing and food expenses. So it was like $3.85.

My family is from, and still lives, in Missouri. I made no friends while working there. I was young, isolated, and alone.

This 37-year-old guy started talking to me. He was my supervisor. He made me feel special. I had never been in a relationship because figuring out the sex part was something I didn’t want to do. I was naïve.

I should have known something was up when he told me beforehand, "Don't tell anyone.”

The incident occurred after work one day. It started innocently enough. He was taller than me and kept kissing my upper lip. Just my upper lip because of the height difference. He untucked my shirt and tried to remove my bra. I somehow indicated that I didn’t want that. He said, “I’m not going to hurt you.” I left.

Immediately afterwar, I told another supervisor about this. She told me he was married and had a baby. His wife was in Sri Lanka. She said my body must have wanted it. It must have been turned on.

I’m a lesbian. No such thing happened. It was more, “What the fuck?!” than anything else.

A few weeks later, I told a member of HR. She made me go over everything that led up to the incident with her and later with two male HR staff and her. Where they said I invited this. Then I had to listen to a talk about how one of the male members above met and married his wife at the resort. Who, at the time, was assigned under him. She had to be reassigned. Then they told me I had to decide whether to press charges against him.

I opted not to. I wanted nothing more than to be invisible, to get through the rest of my summer and leave. This was my worst nightmare and I was terrified of it becoming public and being spread among my co-workers.

They told me either he or I needed to leave. The HR staff made it clear that the 37-year-old guy had worked there for a bejillion years and this was the first they were hearing about this.

The thing is, working there is a right of passage on my Dad’s side. Three out of four of my aunts worked there in college. My cousin is marrying a Turkish guy she met there next year or so. The place is still open. He still works there.

I never told my parents any of this. Just my sister, to warn her against working there.

Gaslighting is a tricksy, sneaky, deceitful thing. Please share. This can happen to anyone at anytime for any reason. I’m open to talk more about it. Email me: emmapowns AT gmail DOT com.

Date: 2015-08-26 03:36 pm (UTC)
flamingsword: An octopus wraps around the words FREE HUGS. (Tentacular free hugs)
From: [personal profile] flamingsword
You were gaslighted, as well as sexually harassed.

You should not have had to fend off sexual advances from your boss, and when people talked to you about it they should have offered to reassign him or you to a different position within the company if not to fire him outright for sexually harassing vulnerable young women of his employ, while being a representative of their brand. That they pressured you into leaving by making something that happened to you seem like your decision and your fault was gaslighting.

That they chose to make his actions part of their aegis puts them on the side of rape culture, and that is shameful.


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