Assaulted And Harassed

While at the grocery store earlier today, we ran into a guy who assaulted me a few years ago at a business we owned. We didn’t talk to him, but he yelled out to my husband like he does every time he sees us. It reflects the tendency amongst those men who view women as objects to do as they please. When it happened, my husband didn’t realize how much the guy hurt me. He thought he was just being overly rough when “patting me on the back”.

I disabused him of that notion after the guy left. I still had red marks on my back, and my husband couldn’t believe what he was seeing. He was in shock that the guy would have done this to me. He told the guy before he knew the extent of what he did that he needed to be careful with me because of my rheumatoid arthritis. But after the guy left, I told him in greater detail what happened, and he realized he made a huge mistake. We should have contacted the police. Simple as that. But neither of us could believe what the guy did, so I did nothing further.

My husband was unloading the guy’s bike from his pickup truck. He was focused on what he was doing and I was out there with the work order to take down mileage from the bike. The next thing I knew, I felt a hand smack me on the back, hard, pushing me forward, knocking me off-balance. When I regained my balance, I turned around to see the asshole looking at me as if defying me to say something. I know this man’s family. I’ve been to his home. My husband was the only other person who had ever ridden his bike. He had been his mechanic for nearly twenty years.

I immediately yelled at him, what are you doing? Why did you do that? That hurt! Oh my god! Don’t ever do that again!

I turned to look at my husband to see if he heard what was going on, but he was still unloading the bike from the truck. The second I turned to my husband, I felt another hit to my back. He had struck me a second time. I began to cry and said, oh my god. I ran into the building to wait for my husband and to get away from this man who I had known for years, confused and in tears.

When Jerry spoke to him about what he did, he said he didn’t feel that he did anything wrong. But the look on his face after the second time he hit me told the entire story. He assaulted me. I don’t know why he did this. Maybe it was the comments I had made to him on another occasion about young biker girls who wear Property of on their leather vests or coats. He didn’t like what I said about it so maybe he was trying to get me in line.

He clearly doesn’t know me as well as he thinks he does and we never worked for him again.

You’re in a weird place when you own a business. You don’t want to do things that upset your customers, but when someone assaults you, you really owe it to yourself to follow through with something more than a glorified, no no irrespective of the fallout. Then maybe you can go to the grocery store without having a panic attack or in fear of another assault. He forced a hug on my husband at the same store during Christmas a couple of years ago. He looked over at me while he did it, again as if defying or challenging me to do or say something. And every time he tries to talk to us it only brings up the memory of that experience.

At some point, my husband is going to have to take him aside and tell him to leave us alone and to not speak to us anymore, or we’re going to have to change when we go grocery shopping. It’s sad that the guy forces the issue because it means that I’m as expendable today as I was the day he assaulted me in our parking lot.

We’re retired now. And he’s one of the reasons.


Originally published at www.imsteppingaside.com on June 28, 2017.