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sexual harassment on the job
April 16, 2001
2:23 am
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I have been sexualy harassed at work for several years now. I have let it go on so long now that I don't know how to stop it. Yes I know I could say stop but for some reason I feel if I try to my life would become harder at work. As much as it upsets me at times I have even engaged in improper behavior. I ask my self why? Do I like it? Am I just trying to fit in? Is your self esteen that bad? Anyone else have this problem.

April 16, 2001
11:46 pm
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grass
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Improper behavior? What type?
If you say something to the person/or to someone who can stop it, will you lose your job?
You ask yourself if you like it- Maybe you don't like what the person says to you, but you like the attention you may lack.
Yes, you may have let it go on for awhile, but it makes you feel devalued, right? And it's starting to eat away at you. yes, I think it's time to show yourself that you are worth much more...write back hun, we're listening (yes I have been there...put the jerk in his place)

April 17, 2001
3:38 pm
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Ladeska
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Search....you asked some good questions of yourself...and the answers...... are?

April 18, 2001
1:02 am
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Well lets see! Most of the time it's just ass grabing or pinching. Thats how this whole thing started, because I would pinch his ass back sometimes. I guess the part that really bothers me is he is always asking me to have sex with him. I tell him that I really like his girlfriend and I couldn't do that to her. His answer is she will never have to know. I have even told him maybe someday just to shut him up for the day. Some times I feel like I put up with this behavior just so I have something on him if he dose try to get me in trouble for something. Putting up with this behavior even surprise me. Another reason I think I put up with it is because I want everone to think Im tough and I can handle all bull [email protected] and that It dosen't bother me. I can hang, Im one of the boys, my feeling aren't very sensitive.
I hate to face conflict but untill I learn how to I guess I'll just be a doormat. I do think this would be a good place to start. I also think I am a very sensitive person but don't know how to handle that part of myself. I guess I feel if it dosen't feel then it can't hurt.

April 18, 2001
9:39 am
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grass
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There must have been some other time in your life when you decided to "shut-off" your feelings, otherwise you wouldn't be able to do such a good job of it at work. Do you know when this was? B/c if you can remember when you first started to stuff you feelings you might see a correlation to now and be able to understand your feelings a little better. (p.s I think that standing up for your feminity will show that you are brave) I hope your day goes well, talk to you later

April 19, 2001
9:25 am
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grass
You know I think your are right. I think I have or I know I have put the feelings
thing away some where. I put some thought to what you said to me and I think I started this when I was about ten or so maybe even earlyer. As far as the sexual thing at work the harder I want to say something like yesterday the more I gave into it. I would like to think that I am becoming a stronger person not a weeker one. Oh yea how do I deal with the feelings thing?

April 19, 2001
11:51 am
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grass
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sigh...I wish that I could give you some magical answer on how to deal with your feelings or make them real to you. However, there is none. You have surpressed them a long time ago and putting them in another place is a mechanism you have found as a child to protect yourself from severe heartache. You have put your feelings into suitcases and you need to start unpacking them. How is not an easy question. I know that I have had the same trouble, when I was about 10 I decided that I was no longer going to feel b/c it hurt to much. Only through counselling have I been able to finally start to get intouch with them. It may have to be the same way with you. It is important to be intouch with your feelings because they tell you alot about your identity, they also tell you when situations are good and when the are bad, they warn you of danger, and I think that yours are warning you of that right now. Your going to have to face them. You believe that surpressing them is pretecting you and making you strong, when infact just the opposite is true. They are inside of you pounding on the walls trying to get out, eventually they are and it may not feel good...but it's necessary. Maybe you should look up dissociative disorder and see if it fits you, b/c often when pl. are not intouch with their feelings they dissociate themselves from them. I hope that I made sense...I will continue to try to help you 🙂

April 20, 2001
2:02 am
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Thank you grass I think I can relate to some of what you are telling me. How are the feelings that are pounding on the wall going to get out? What do I need to do? Yes I am seeing a conselor what do I need to talk about? I do want to be in touch with my identity better.

April 20, 2001
5:59 pm
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janes
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The butt pincher.........

1. Tell him NO more and say you have realized it was wrong for BOTH of you.

2. BEFIRM about this.

3. If he doesn't stop..tell his girlfriend.

4. Yours is probably NOT the only butt he is pinching.

5. Let your counselor guide you to what you need to talk about. Tell the counselor where you think you are at and where you think you need to go...

Good Luck.

April 23, 2001
8:04 pm
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malaikau
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Dear Search,

It sounds like you are experiencing a very complicated problem. It's easy for everyone else to sit back and decide what you can or should do. But I guess living with the situation things might look very different to you than they do to the rest of the world.

I think there have been lots of helpful suggestions offered to you. If this person is supervising you, then you actually have lots of power to make this problem go away. There is a chain of command you can follow in your job and you should be able to find adequate support. At the same time of course you are always taking a chance. I know it must feel scary.

If this kind of "play" is something you have participated in also, please understand that even if you have also touched him, it's still your body and you have the right to say no and set boundaries with regard to when and how he touches you. You also get to decide whether or not to let him touch you in a sexual manner. Just because you let him do this on occasion does not give him the right to touch you any time HE wants! At the same time, I think you need to realize that he has this same right as well. Are you willing to ask his permission before you touch him inappropriately? If this is what you deserve, this is what he deserves also. It's not one way for you because you're a woman and another way for him because he's a man. We have enough double standards in this world as it is!!!

I would think very carefully before involving his girlfriend in any of this. If she is a sweet person, as you say she is, then she should be allowed to learn for herself what kind of person he is. Also, it is highly unlikely that she will believe you. First of all, she won't want to believe you. Who ever wants to believe their partner is capable of such things? Secondly, if you tell her he will work very hard to convince her that there is some reason why you are lying. He might say something like "She's the one who's been grabbing me. She's making this up because she is jealous of my relationship with you." More than likely if you tell his girlfriend, you will end up losing her friendship and his. Maybe your self esteem is more valuable than these relationships, but there are other more subtle ways to make that choice. It's not necessary to hurt his girlfriend. Besides, I can assure you if she's in a long-term relationship with this man, she already knows what kind of person he is. If she's not ready to confront that herself, far be it for someone else to try and force her to do that.

Last but not least, based on the things you've said here, you are definitely the kind of person who deserves to be treated with more respect and kindness than this man has shown you. There's nothing wrong with wanting attention, but if the ways we get that attention make us feel bad about ourselves, then what's the point? You seem like a person with plenty of intelligence. I know if you think about it you can find ways to get the attention you need--ways that will build your self esteem, not tear it down!!!

Good luck to you.

Sincerely,

Mal

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