Adult Bullying. Not Just for Kids Anymore…

Seriously, after this week, I need to be taken out. Either on a date or by a sniper, at this point either one would be fine with me… I got cornered by an adult bully…

Every so often, something happens to completely shift your reality. None of us realize that we kind of float around through life, completely oblivious to a lot of what goes on around us. We do this because we don’t NEED to pay attention to it all. We have our daily routines, we have our children’s routines, and most of the time we lead a completely normal day-to-day existence.

Just like everybody else, or at least most people, my family has a routine. Part of that routine is twice a week my son and I have classes that we take at a community center. We’ve been going there for three years and love it. Well, two weeks ago, I had an incident in the parking lot after the building was closed for the evening.

Before anything happened, I told my son to get in the car and wait for me. As they are locking up the building, the last eight people came out, all men. I’m standing by myself in the middle of the parking lot waiting for the person who boxed me in to come out. Next thing I know, it’s, “Ohhhhhhhh, you want to go home???” As I’m facing this guy and his 2 sons, his friend walks up behind me and says, “Yo, do you want me to hang?” I’m thinking he’s asking me, and before I can say, “Yes please,” his buddy says, “Nah, I got this…”

And it was let the games begin…

Well, this guy apparently felt that it was okay to keep me from leaving for at least 7-10 minutes. He also felt it was okay to verbally degrade me in front of his older son, who was enjoying this as much as he was, staring me down with a big grin and his arms folded across his chest. You see, I had been late for class, parked quickly and ran into the building. I hadn’t seen that my tires were on the white line.

Now there had been at least six or eight other parking spots wide open. But you see, this annoyed him enough that he purposely parked next to me with literally not a foot between us. I physically could not have gotten into my vehicle if I had wanted to. My vehicle has a huge console, so climbing over it wasn’t an option to get into my driver’s seat from the passenger side, don’t think I didn’t think about it.

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Bully with terms and words pertaining to bullying

So now I am at the mercy of this man, waiting for him to finish his little game and cocky attitude so that I can take my son and go home. Oh yeah, he had no idea that my son is in the back of my car witnessing every single thing that he said and did. And I wanted it that way, not because my son was able to hear and see everything, but because all I know is I need to protect my young son because I don’t know what this guy or HIS son is going to do. I’m just telling this guy, almost crying at this point in frustration, “Look, I just want to go home. I need to go pick up my husband.”

After he runs out of nasty things to say, it becomes, “Well now YOU can wait for ME…”  And another three or four minutes of taunting, intimidating, browbeating…

Needless to say, I leave a shaking, rattled mess. Three-day migraine kicks in. Can’t eat. Can’t sleep. Nightmares. Reliving it over and over again… Next class, I tell the teacher what happened, who directs me who to call to report it. I go to report it and get the police involved. By now, 5 people have asked me why I didn’t call 911. I don’t know why. Maybe when it started I didn’t think it was going to be anything. By the time it got rolling full throttle, I was afraid to take my eyes off them. Police reviewed the cameras, and of course I am told that the parking lot was so dark they couldn’t make anything out, and they had no idea who this guy was, but they would investigate.

I left feeling defeated, beaten. A non-stop, relentless headache like I’ve never felt before. Three days in bed, including Thanksgiving. Couldn’t pick my head off the pillow. Fast forward to the following week, go to a doctor. My blood pressure went through the ceiling and I’m now on meds. I feel like my get-up-and-go got up and went, and it’s been two weeks. I’m now going looking for physical symptoms online because I feel like hell. And then I tripped on a few articles on emotional stress, PTSD, trauma and the effects on people. And there was where I found my answer.

When something happens that causes you enough stress, shit scare and fear, when it is over and you don’t die, it rocks your reality. If you were victimized, felt helpless, you were traumatized… You now see that your cocoon, your bubble, your comfy safe routine isn’t so safe anymore. You see that your weekly family agenda is no longer secure. It is literally a reality check of a ridiculous magnitude. The one place where you felt safe, you now realize isn’t.

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So now what about the places you didn’t feel safe to be begin with? How much more dangerous do they feel now? And then comes the wrestle. Do I press charges or not? What if they remove his son from his program? What will the repercussions be?

We live in a messed up world when we have to rationalize whether or not it’s worth it to press charges on somebody that traumatizes you for fear of what could happen if you do. And one of the things that really bothered me is that this guy is showing his 16 or 17ish year old son that it is acceptable to not only corner and confront a woman, completely alone, in a dark parking lot, but also to degrade her repeatedly, intimidating her the whole way. And, by far the most NOT funny was his buddy asking him if HE wanted him to stay. Stay for WHAT exactly? Beat me up? Witness so they could make up their matching story later? Three guys against one woman.  Nice…

My young son is now looking over his shoulder everywhere we go. Is that good or bad? Depends on how you look at it. He couldn’t help me that night. I told him to get in the car and that was the smartest thing I could have done. If they had laid a hand on him, I would have gone full tilt mama bear and be either dead, in the hospital or in jail. But my point to my son later on was that ANYTHING could have happened. There, ANYWHERE. He could have had a knife, a gun. AND it could even happen in your own front yard! This guy is the equivalent of an adult BULLY.

He has now witnessed that first hand. I can only teach him to be prepared. That was the first time my boy saw me crack just a little bit. I was scared. Helpless. Outnumbered. But not stupid.

So, I guess for right now what I’m trying to say is, choose your battles. Anybody who knows me knows that I usually run with no filter, lol! But right then and there? I’m no fool. I could have gone verbally toe-to-toe with this guy, but I was clearly outnumbered, had no idea what this jackass was capable of. He intentionally did what he did knowing he was coming out to a fight, whether it was me or a guy, he was looking for it. I was not going to be the one to trigger it.

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I kept saying to the police that he had to have pulled in behind me and saw I was alone, because what if he’d come out to, say, a 275-pound man? Because I’ll tell you what, even if it had been my 240-pound husband, somebody would have pounded the living crap out of him for purposely parking like that with, no joke, 8 or 10 inches between doors…

I told the police this. I actually asked him at one point, “So let me get this straight, you did this on purpose, parked like this on purpose, just so you could do this to me? There were at least eight other parking spaces open.” His answer was, “I didn’t want those spaces, I wanted THIS one.”

Yeah buddy, I’m sure you wanted the spot  on the back row instead one of the 8 open ones right outside the front door with a ton of room, smh…. You see, the spot on my OTHER side, passenger side was HUGE, and on the end next to the grass and no curb! PERFECT SPOT!!!  Yeah, lucky me… Jackass…

Am I going to press charges? That all depends on the school. Again, damned if I do and damned if I don’t. If I do, I have to worry about repercussions. If I don’t, they get away with all of it and it’s a big joke. I guess I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it? But I can tell you this, it won’t happen again… I will NEVER let my guard down again. There will always be that one jackass. That one miserable bastard with an ax to grind. And, at the end of the day, they could have a gun. Don’t be stupid.

Be vigilant. Always…

https://medium.com/@Chris_Gerbehy/adult-bullying-not-just-for-kids-anymore-7f9331543b17

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