反響室の中と外

反響室の中と外

Twitterまとめや書ききれなかったこと、映画の感想、日々の妄言等々。

Things didn’t happen to me

*Caution*
This post describes a situation of sexual harassment explicitly. It may affect you mentally, especially if you have any experiences of sexual abuse.

 

 

It’s about a kind of #MeToo , which I underwent, or, didn’t go through.

I’d been in Toronto, Canada for a year and a half to improve my English, and to refresh my life too. It was a great opportunity for new experiences, for learning how people are diverse. I wish I could say everything was awesome, because I couldn’t.

One morning the last autumn, just before I left Toronto, I visited a couple who had rented me a room. I no longer lived there, but they were kind owners while I was a tenant, so I thought we could have a good friendship. They were Canadian. I don’t want to specify their ethnicity or background. What I’m going to talk about is a too common and too ordinary incident, especially for people who are considered women, sadly, so I don’t think I need to do it.
When I arrived at their house, there was the man alone because his wife was in the church for Sunday worship. We had brunch and updated on how each other’s things were going.
Somehow, he moved on to the topic of a relationship, especially the romantic one. I got uncomfortable slightly due to my gender identity but kept talking. You couldn’t avoid those types of conversations as long as you are closed. It was a regular situation for me and I thought I just should talk generally.
Something weird happened. He asked me for a hug. It was a farewell meeting, so I responded to his request. Then, gently, he took me to his bedroom while he was hugging me, and tried to kiss my lips at just a step inside the doorway. I politely declined it. Because not only that I personally feel hesitant with kissing, but also of confusion. Kissing lips was not normal although physical contact was much more common in Canada than in my country. He didn’t let me go. When he was about to close the door behind my back, finally, fear grew in my mind. I made an effort to say “No,” clearly, and got his arms free. He seemed to give up what he tried to do, therefore, let me leave the room.
Ridiculously, I didn’t run away from him. I stayed in the dining room where we had been just before he started that and got back chatting. I didn’t get emotional at the time. Just observed myself from a distance, like a dead person. My emotions were completely shut out from my mind and I just intensively focused on every little movement of his hands or feet, or what he would say. At least I knew I had to get help no matter what if he would do it again, yet I was still puzzled. Only wished his wife would come back to the house as soon as possible.
He did nothing further. She got back and was pleased to see me. So was I. Then I greeted her as well and left there, peacefully. Maybe she arrived there twenty to thirty minutes after it occurred. It means I was in his territory that long even he already did that. It’s absurd. I’m aware of that, now.
I remember I muttered “Fuck,” in the middle of the way home. Not even towards him. That was the all, and the only thing I could do as a resist.

I know why I could escape. It’s not because I handled the situation, it’s just because he lost his mood. He could have done anything to me even though I refused him if he would have intended to do so. That fact made me and makes me feel powerless whenever the memory comes up. More than that, I second-rape myself. You can’t stop blaming yourself when you have made a mistake. You could have shouted. You could have accused him. You could have run away. Why did you do none of that? Why did you just smile and smooth things over? How pathetic you are. It’s your fault.
The problem is, the memory can catch you at any time as I said “whenever.” You can’t predict when or how it comes to you. Depends on the degree of the stress, it is called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) if you feel your normal life is disrupted by those memories. I am not in the state so far, yet I can tell what it feels like.
I know well how Torontonians are amazing. I always hope to visit Toronto again, however, I also know I would never forget this experience and it would follow me anywhere until my life ends.
I should say I was lucky. Because there are so many people who have undergone much worse situations. I wasn’t violently attacked by the man. I was not raped. It was just like a groping. I know many, many people are suffering from more severe sexual harassment and those aftereffects. Those people have to be prioritized and treated properly. I shouldn't victimize myself more than necessary.
But, to say the truth, I don’t want to say “I was lucky.” Never. I don’t want to compare the degree of abuse. All we got is absolute abuse, without exception.
So, I ask you all instead of saying I was lucky.
Why do we have to deal with such disgusting incidents just because we are seen vulnerable physically or socially?