I was once groped on a bus on my way to meet my parents for a friend’s book release in town. I was about 18 wearing a new dress and feeling good about myself. That changed after I go groped. The shame and fear I felt was awful. Moving on the bus so I was standing instead of next to this guy and he followed me up the bus pushing himself against me. After I got off I doubled back on myself to the book store to ensure that he would get lost when it became clear he was following me. Luckily I knew the area well.
The thing that was the worst of all this experience though? Telling my mother being both shook up and angry who’s first response was to ask me what I expected looking like I did, at the book signing.
It was like a slap in the face that my mother, a full force feminist who has been the main breadwinner in our family since I can remember who also felt pity and empathy for victims of whatever news story had that reaction.
It scared me more than the guy on the bus. He was just a creep. But my mother? Shed showed me a small portion of what I could expect if I ever mad a fuss or spoke out. Even to those I trust and that broke my heart that day.