More than a couple of months have passed and until now I still feel threatened and traumatized with what happened to me.
I am dedicating this post for those people who were harassed, abused or taken advantaged of, sexually or not sexually. I’ve been longing to post this from the moment it happened. I felt really ashamed of what happened and whenever I remember it, it disgust me! I am waiting for the right moment to post this and I felt that the right moment came. I am composed and I am ready to voice out my cries to you or to someone who is concerned.
It was my 2nd month at my first work and I’ve been feeling at ease and adjusted already. I knew the people around me and I’ve been very friendly with all of them especially with the bosses (of course!). Little did I know that my boss has a special interest in me.
One evening, it was past 5 and my colleague and I were talking. He passed by our window and talked with us. He started talking about our tardy co-workers and their warning letters, then suddenly in the middle of his sentence, he stopped. He entered the lab and called my name, so I followed him to his office for I thought it was just a routine work related instruction. He made me sit adjacent to him. At first he complimented and gave me flattering remarks in relation to my work attitude. For all the compliments he said, I only responded a ‘Thank you, Sir’. Then he initiated to shake my hand. TWICE! After that, he asked for my mobile number and also asked who I’m living with which I thought are irrelevant and very personal questions. I responded politely and answered all his questions. Then, he started touching my hands and touching my face and it really made me felt uneasy so after a few seconds I asked if I could leave because I really felt uncomfortable but he didn’t seem to hear me. Then he asked if my ‘Thank You’s’ could be replaced by a hug and a kiss which surprised me. But since I’ve noticed from my past encounters with him, he always jokes around, I thought he was just joking though it felt really uneasy but I didn’t show him. Then suddenly, he opened his arms wide in gesture of asking for a hug, I was caught in between of just shaking his hand and giving him a hug but since I could not refuse (since he’s my boss) I gave-in in a surprised manner and I was really feeling anxious. He gave me a kiss on the cheek while he was hugging me. I was surprised. I immediately moved away. I felt violated with the way he treated me. Before leaving his office he advised me not to mention it to anyone but I couldn’t hold my silence. The moment I stepped out of his office, I was shaking and I was so scared that I didn’t know what to do. When I went back to my post, my colleague was asking me what he told me and I was speechless. I was so scared and I was about to cry but I held it all back. I told her everything! I was asking her opinion if I should tell it to my parents or not. I started asking the opinions of my friends. One of my friends told me not to mention it to my parents but the other one told me to mention it to them so I was undecided.
After 4 days of sleepless nights, I couldn’t take it anymore. I told my mother and she was furious (not the scandalous kind of furious but she really wanted to talk to my boss and I was so scared I just couldn’t let her). We debated what to do but I was really decided to leave and resign. My father was calm about it and talked to me. He explained to me that it was not my fault and I didn’t do anything wrong so, why would I leave my job? He told me to talk to the head of the lab and explain to him everything, and so I did (with the support of my mom). After that, our head told me to go to the Human Resources to report my complaint. The abuser went to my mom’s office to explain his side but my mother didn’t let him. He was like, “I need to talk to you, in front of her (pointing at me)”. THE NERVE!
What I wanted to point out is that from all the trouble, my restlessness, my depression and my anxiety, NOTHING HAPPENED! They didn’t even suspend him! Knowing that this country is very conservative (I MEAN VERY VERY CONSERVATIVE THAT EVEN SHAKING A FEMALE’S HAND IS NOT ALLOWED), we thought they’d work on it. My mother was actually expecting them to fire him out but I told her that it would be grave until when he started asking his staff to lie for him telling the Human Resources people that he was in the office while that incident happened (THE EFF!). So here’s what I’m gonna tell you people who were investigating this case:
To Mr. AB, first of all, you didn’t know how scared I was and you didn’t know what I’ve been through. If you think that it is okay here in this place to hug and kiss a girl then think again! You may not have grown up here and I may be a Christian but I know and I respect the culture and tradition of this place so I hope you do too (especially you who is a native of this place). And if you were thinking that I am making up this story then you’re wrong! Never would I make up a story to destroy someone’s reputation! I know you two were bestest friends so no doubt about it, you’ll never hear me out. YES, I KNOW! Pity your bestest friend is a sex offender. Did you even know that he has also done it to someone other than me? She didn’t complain and I think you know why. I admit, I am a weakling and you were asking why he chose me? Well, ask him! Why ask me? My theory is, I will admit, I am shy, a weakling and a gullible kid. I easily trust people and that is my biggest mistake.
To one mister and two miss, I didn’t know what your opinions were when I explained to you my side but I hope you’ve analyzed the incident. (But I think that you didn’t analyze it well). HA!
What I am only asking is protection people! From what I’ve observed, you didn’t support my side. How about those other women who were abused?!?! How could they ask for your help when you are tolerating these kinds of action?!?!?! Now I am still fighting. If you all know how hard it is for me to see him every single day. It scares me! And at the same time, it disgusts me! My heart leaps out and runs away from my body. Actually, whenever I see him, my tendency is to run away. To leave. To run far away from the lab but I couldn’t. Right now, as long as I don’t see him, I feel better.
To the most disgusting person I’ve known, I wouldn’t stress myself to you. I would continue, live my life and I would just laugh and wait for your karma.