It Happened Again and I Was Furious

It happened again and I was furious. I am furious each and every time. A woman brushed against my bum again. I swear to God, I want to slap someone so much when they do that inappropriate behavior.

I was at an activity with some family members. We were waiting in a lobby in a building. I was talking to a couple of little kids, so I was bending down just a little. An old woman came up behind me and as she was walking brushed her whole forearm, in her coat sleeve, against my bum. I literally jumped.

Yes it was crowded but there was plenty of room for someone else to walk, plenty of room, and if she wanted to demand that someone move out of her way she could have asked or asked someone else who wasn’t disabled.

You just don’t walk up to someone’s ass and brush against them for no reason, just for the hell of it! But I have experienced this a lot, usually at least once a month, and last month it happened two times. It happened at the thrift store last month and it has happened in thrift stores in the past. It also happened last month at Target.

I know that I have written about this here on the blog before. I don’t know why women do this to me and I realized recently that a man doesn’t act like this to me. A guy has never done this to me. Well I think that if a man ever did that to me he would end up in the hospital and that is why they don’t. I think that women should assume that if they do it to me they will end up in the hospital as well.

So why women with no boundaries think it is okay to rub up against me, brush their coat or purse or huge shopping cart up against my bum, or touch my bum goes way beyond my ability to figure out. I think they are perverts. I think they are sexual offenders. I have never done this to another woman, or to a man.

So I jumped and looked around, filled with rage. It was an older woman and she demanded I get out of her way, because apparently she shouldn’t have to ask people to move or be polite or anything like that. She actually tried to grab my forearm. I jumped and yelled at her, no don’t touch me. And then I had to yell the same thing at the other old sagging wrinkled old woman she was with who came up behind her and tried to grab my arm as well. I said, I don’t want you touching me! I don’t want strangers touching me.

I was the only person standing there with a walking cane, but apparently I was the only person they felt like making demands on. Yeah I’m standing there with a cane and these two think that I’m just the person to jump for them.

My adult nephew was there and he looked appalled at me. His eyes were bugging out. Too bad. I wasn’t going to explain to him, in front of everyone, that she just walked up onto my bum and did grab ass. Just because they were too old women doesn’t mean that they weren’t perverts.

I think that I will talk to my nephew’s wife and explain what had happened and why yelled at them, since it seemed like he thought I was supposed to be quiet, compliant, and a good little victim. I know he didn’t understand what was going on, but still I should be able to object to others behavior and that should be okay and they should understand that I don’t just freak out for no reason. Well I guess I feel as though I have to explain that to them.

I was very proud of myself that I was loud and direct to them, don’t touch me, I don’t want you to touch me and that I said it before they could touch me. I had been practicing this out loud to myself, because I really want to stop this kind of behavior happening to me. I don’t know what else I have to do and what I haven’t done in order to stop this behavior, but what I really do know is this; no one has a right to my body but me.

There was no excuse for getting that close to me and brushing up against my bum, that is a private part of the body that people get to share with who they want to and not share with most of the people on earth. My body is mine. I don’t have to share it. I have right to body boundaries and a right to say no.

Give A Gift to Your Least Favorite Body Part

I read this suggestion in a book on ideas for Christmas activities.

I didn’t have any trouble at all in picking out the part of my body that I liked the least. It is my bottom. It has been least favorite for some time.

It is a part of my body that is easily triggered if touched in some way by others. And bizarrely people, especially women, back up into me, my bottom, that is. I suppose that is because I tend to avoid being near men, so when it happens it is usually a woman. But I also think it is that so many women do not have proper body boundaries and are often trained that it is alright to invade the space of children and other women.

I cannot imagine brushing up against another woman’s bottom, with my body, my purse, my store cart or anything else. I cannot imagine not looking where I am going or not caring about that. I cannot imagine conducting myself like this in public, in stores.

I have to say that it happens more often now since I have moved into my own apartment, the last 18 months. It happens a few times a month. I hate that! And that is very upsetting and disgusting and triggering to me. Despite the fact that I am more diligent and do more body boundary work, it is still happening.

The fact that I have a low back disability only exacerbates this issue, as a collision into my body while I am standing absolutely still is absolutely none of my fault and hurts my body and often that pain lasts for some time, often more pain over days.

As well there is decades of being judged by others for my body and the negative beliefs I have come to accept about my body and my bottom. Well I do believe that my bottom is my business and my business alone, so I don’t accept those negative, body-hating beliefs any longer, but still I have to admit I’m not as loving and kind to that part of my body as I know it deserves. So I am going to try to work on that.

So I decided to give the gift of body lotion for my least favorite body part and to use it. I usually have lotion. I often use it. But just on a few body parts. I guess the ones that I feel the least amount of triggering and upset feelings about. I will be using it on my body and trying to think loving thoughts to my body parts when I do it. But especially I am going to buy some wonderful lotion that is creamy soft and smells wonderful.

What gift would you give to what part of your body? How hard would it be to actually use your gift?

Good and healing thoughts to all our least favorite body parts.

I’m Not Their Therapist

People who have no boundaries in their private lives have always found me. I’ve always found this deeply disconcerting. It’s like little bits of their lives were vomited into me and I still am carrying them around.

There is the woman more than ten years ago, at the bus stop, who had to tell me about her history of child sexual abuse and how that was repeated in the life of her daughter, which has always been so triggering and now that I know that was my own family history with my mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother I understand why this is so triggering for someone to disclose to me.

She vomited it all out in about two minutes, not even stopping to breathe… and then the bus arrived. I didn’t know her and I didn’t feel like I had  time to give anything resembling support, well she wouldn’t stop talking so that I could say anything. And then the bus arrived.

On the bus I wanted to sit away from her, so that it didn’t continue for the whole bus ride. As much as I sympathize and care for other survivors of childhood sexual abuse, buses are not a safe venue for sharing and support on that topic.

This summer I had an older man in a wheelchair wheel up to me while I was waiting for a bus downtown. He started out by making an insult to me about my size, which was none of his business. I told him that my body and my size is nobody’s business but my own. He muttered you’re right and then launched into an extensive disclosure about his alcoholic father, living with him after his parent’s divorced, being physically abused, until finally separated from his brother and both of them put into foster care. Throughout the story he made excuses and understanding statements about his father. This is where I got caught up, I kept saying no your father was wrong to physically abuse his children. Finally the bus came.

There was the woman in the fast food place inside Target, downtown, who told me about 50 stories, while I was just trying to eat my chips and drink my pop this summer. I also wanted to read a book on my phone, but her voice just kept droning on and on and I couldn’t ignore her.

When I said goodbye to her and got to stand up, she stood up and she actually grabbed onto my cart and didn’t let go of it while she rattled off three more stories. I had to sit down, because standing is too painful and I was concerned that she was going to make me grab the cart, with my purchases, and that is a way that I can get injured, so I didn’t do that.

I sat down, kind of dejected, and she talked some more and then I got up and left, without telling her in advance that I was leaving. She was yelling stories after me, I kid you not. I kept interrupting her and saying goodbye, trying to stop her stories, but she just kept yelling on and on.

The content of some of her stories and other things she said to me are probably better left for another long post, not the specifics and not because she was a decent human being to me, but because of the sort of person she was and the way that she treated me as I was finally leaving.

And I was waiting for a bus again recently and another older man stood by where I was sitting, at the bus stop, and started telling me this long story of being beat up and mugged. I made a couple of comments, got up, and said my bus is here. I would have got up even if it wasn’t my bus.

Two minutes of someone else’s most depressing stories is often more than I can tolerate, I have too many sad stories of my own and lots of days out in public I feel as though I am full of them and have no room for some random person’s sorrows. Even if I did, that should be my choice and I choose to give my life and love and support to others that I get to choose.

Yes I am very sweet, giving, and kind, but it is my life, I get to choose, I don’t choose random strangers and let them invade my life and my mind. In the streets I think I need a stronger persona so that others don’t think I am there for them, for free. I am not for free. I am not there for them. I am there for me.

Now I realize it is not my job to give support to strangers who cannot stop themselves from disclosing abuse. As much as my heart hurts for other survivors when they do disclose to me, I need and prefer to have some control in what others do and say around me or my life feels out of control, as out of control as their lives seemed to me.

Since it is my life I deserve to have some measure of control over my own life, it is my life, it is my body, it is my soul. I deserve to be safe in public from people who can’t control themselves and just vomit their stuff all over me. And if I can’t keep them at bay I have to start acting differently and make new rules that make me safe from this behavior.

I’ve been telling myself that it is okay to get up, move to another place, move to another block, to wait for the bus. I keep telling myself that I don’t have to be other people’s listener. If they don’t want to have a conversation with strangers, who do not really want to interact with me, or have a conversation with me, they just want to use me as a vessel to dump their own crap into. They don’t get to do that. I’m not their dumping ground.

Well I’m not their therapist. That is not my job. They aren’t paying me. I didn’t accept them as clients. I’m not their therapist.

Two Good Errand Days

A couple of weeks ago I had accumulated quite a few errands and was fortunate enough to be feeling well enough to try to fit them all into two days of errand working. One day I visited five places and another day six. One visit was to my chiropractor and two of the visits were to libraries. I was very satisfied to see that both days went well.

The nicest part, though, was later when it was all over and done; and I realized that I had been into eleven different businesses, some of them libraries, and did not have a single bad incident.Wow!

Last week I had two very difficult incidents in public, but I don’t know what I did different, just that there were jerks in public and they decided to make asses of themselves. I cannot fathom making fun of someone else while in public or mistreating them just for kicks or trying to stigmitize them because of your own narrow mind and prejudices , but it sure happens. I am happy to say that doing so is mind blogging to me.

Today I went to six different places and they all went well. That is nice. I like when that happens.

Another National Night Out

Tonight was National Night Out, my second since moving to downtown. I had an awful time last year at the nearest celebration and determined that I wouldn’t go there again this year.

Someone last year told me about a great celebration downtown and mentioned the street. I was excited to think that I would find a better celebration. But I didn’t find it this year. I rode my bike all around.

Finally I spied a police car and an officer and rode my bike in that direction, right between the Guthrie Theater and the Mill City Museum, near the Mississippi River and the Stone Arch Bridge.

They had three guys playing music, one with a fiddle, which was pretty good, and I enjoyed that.Unfortunately they took a break soon after I got there.

There was a  little free food. It looked like brats and cole slaw were still being served, but I didn’t see anything else, though I saw some people with plates with hamburgers on them, though nothing vegetarian looking. I had two brats and two bottles of water. That was really all that looked gluten free. There were some chocolate cake pops, but I wouldn’t even go near that table, too tempting to have to look at.

They had free beer and free wine, in bags, so I guess you can guess how good the wine must have been. But yeah it was free and for those who drank it, they didn’t look unhappy about it.

A guy who was about fifty or so got in my way at the food table, standing there doing nothing, with his wife and a younger couple, holding up the line, doing nothing but talking about their lives downtown, moving there, and living in lofts; old yuppies and a young yuppie couple with a baby in a body sling.The old guy was holding a beer, moving slow, acting drunk, and slurring his words.

The younger guy started commenting to me about how I wasn’t managing my bike very well and I looked like I needed help. It seemed as though he was criticizing me. I wasn’t doing anything wrong and it is none of his business what I do with myself.

I said, no I’m fine and I would be through the line already if you all were moving, instead of standing here talking, and the old man got belligerent with me and he raised his voice and slurred his words, yelling at me. I had a cane with me in my carryall, attached to my bike handle, and was leaning heavily on my bike and I wonder at a man who can be so rude to a woman, well he was drunk, that much was obvious. But on National Night Out, a disabled woman, at a come-out-and-meet your neighbors event. No thanks, not so much. I don’t want to meet you. I don’t want to know you. I don’t want to see you, ever again.

So I ate the food and then went for a lovely bike ride across the Stone Arch Bridge and then to a favorite little candy store downtown, Candyland, a store that I have been going to for over forty years; to get popcorn, a small caramel bar, and a drink. I rode my bike and found a place to sit outside, one not too close to the really bad trumpet player and not too close to the yelling “Jesus” guy, standing on a ridiculous little box, who’s grasp of the tenets of Christianity I really have to question the accuracy of. But unfortunately too close to Orchestra Hall, where this godawful cover band was singing and playing, for some company’s party on the outside plaza.

The popcorn was good. The Dr. Pepper was good. The caramel bar was excellent. Yum.

I still feel as though I missed a really great celebration. Maybe next year.

 

 

The Second Thing at the Used Store

There was a second thing at the used store this week, and it was not good and the person was not sweet and good like the two guys.

I’m writing about this here because this kind of stuff happens to me and they are very triggering to me. I’ve written and posted in the past about people in used stores coming too near me, sometimes glomming onto me, and them being not nice people at all, actually they are awful people and their vibes feel awful as well.

I’ve had people tell me rude things, tell me that all my problems are because I weigh too much when I have explained that I am disabled and move slower than some other people (yeah even that even though it is them who is the problem and my body is none of their business), tell me that I am mentally unstable (yeah even that!), yell in my ears, demand that I move, get out of their way, rub up against me or drag their heavy duty purses or carts all the way across my butt and other body parts, demand that I do things for them, even though it is obvious that I am not store staff and am a shopper, even though it is obvious that I am not related to them, owe them nothing, and am not their property.

The two kinds of places that things like this happen the most are in a certain company’s used stores and at museum exhibitions.

At museums it usually happens because I am in a small space with lots of people and it is usually rudeness when I have waited for my turn to get close to a item and someone else tries to step in front of me and get in my way when I am trying to look at it or get a good photo, walking into me or rubbing up against me, or rubbing their big ass purses across my ass. Guess which thing I hate the most and is the most triggering? Having certain parts of my body touched are huge triggers for us and we hate it, especially those parts of the body that are considered private and that society at large acknowledge that it is not normal or okay for a stranger to do to someone else.

At the used stores I’ve had plenty of awful things and tend to try to avoid people, I tend to use the carts as a weapon much like a lion tamer would use a chair against a lion, but still I tend to be draw wicked bad, boundariless people towards me, especially really funky people. People I don’t want to talk to, don’t want to interact with, and don’t want to know, don’t want to touch, don’t want them to touch me in anyway, and don’t want to give anything to.

I have believed for a long time, and blogged about, how I think that these are energy glommers who are trying to get some energy off of me, usually Reiki, without my permission. I tend to leak a lot of healing energy and that has been a part of my life, for pretty much all my life, but I’ve only really known how to describe it for a couple of years now.

At the used store this week it was a woman walking around with a big ass purse. Guess what she did? Yep and the first time I pointed it out to her and she apologized and moved away, but not by very far. That usually denotes to me that someone gets it, it is not okay to touch another person’s behind, even with your big ass purse.

I tried to stay away from her, in fact, I was in the corner of the store and she had to really maneuver herself to get her big ass purse behind me in the corner. My whole back was actually facing the back corner of the store. I told her what she had done to me, again. She denied it. I said yes you did. She said it is no big deal.

I told her it is a big deal. I told her that I had been standing still and for her purse to touch my bottom all the way across, it would have had to be her fault. I told her there is me, here, standing absolutely still, so it can’t be my fault, it is your fault. Here is me and everywhere else is the whole wide world, use it to avoid me.

While I was saying this to her she kept saying that I was making a big deal about this, yadda yadda yadda. She wouldn’t even apologize or say it was an accident or anything or move away or get a cart and put her big ass purse in the cart, anything. She actually said to me, in a sarcastic way, about three times in a row, I think someone here is taking this way too seriously.

I told her okay here is the deal; you touch my ass again in any way and I am going to give you such a fucking slap!

She was still yadda yadda yadding for about half a sentence while she assimilated what I said and then she just stopped with her mouth gaping open. Then she just stared at me and then she slowly moved away from me. I think she got the point of how seriously I took her touching my bottom.

You’re Not the Boss of Me

I tend to think this is a pretty good rule to live by, don’t boss other people around, because you are not their boss. I know that I don’t.Well, at least most of the time. I guess what I do when bossed is to usually make some rather emphatic suggestion(s).

As a bicyclist myself I realize that some bike riders, like motorcyclists, drivers of other vehicles, and pedestrians do incredibly stupid and illegal things, sometimes right in front of me while I am driving down the street. Because of this you really have to watch what is happening all around you, while following the laws to the best of your abilities, and do your best to keep yourself safe and making the best choices that you can.

Since I have practiced being calm and assertive when on my bike, I am much more in charge of myself and my life when I am on my bike. So I am confident that I am in charge of what I do when on my bike, the choices I make, and the safety of my life and body. No one gets to tell me what to do. No one gets to yell at me and order me around. No one else is the boss of me. I’m the boss of me!

It was pretty hot on Monday and most of Tuesday. But at about nine pm on Tuesday, after it had cooled down some, I finally decided to go out for a late meal at Chipotle and then to do some grocery shopping at Lund’s at their downtown store. Well I had a great meal and a great time.

Let me just say that biking home there was a lot of traffic and a lot of parked cars. There is a weird thing on a few of the downtown streets that are one-way streets; there is a small bike lane on the left hand side of the street, for some bizarre reason, instead of the right hand side. I call it bizarre because it always looks and seems unnormal and unsafe, especially since many cars park on that side of the street and half of their vehicles are parked into half of the small bike lane, making it look and seem and be unsafe. There were more than eight cars parked like this on that block, blocking off the bike lane. I’ve seen this before, and feel confident of my biking skills, and my ability to drive and steer safely, even when there isn’t a bike lane, staying on the right hand side of the street.

As I was driving through the intersection, on the right side of the street, on the one-way street, avoiding pedestrians, bikers, and cars someone decided they were indeed the boss of me and yelled, The bike lane is on the other side of the street!

I yelled a four word response, of which only one of the words wasn’t a swear word. I think he heard every word.

And hey, he’s not the boss of me.