Woman’s #metoo mo­ments lead to de­spair

The Recorder & Times (Brockville) - - LIFE - AMY DICK­IN­SON Email: askamy@tri­bune.com Twit­ter: @ask­ingamyt

Dear Amy: I have a his­tory of at­tract­ing un­kind, an­gry men. I had re­cently come off a twoyear break from dat­ing, when my mom’s neigh­bour asked me out. He is about my age, and my mom liked him. He seemed like a nice guy, so I took a chance.

I think he had been drink­ing be­fore he picked me up. He brought me to a bar and started touch­ing me and try­ing to kiss me. He also in­sisted that I drink more — and faster. He seemed to get an­gry that I wasn’t drink­ing fast enough.

I looked him in the eyes and asked him to please stop, be­cause it made me un­com­fort­able. He didn’t stop.

We then left to go to an­other bar where we both drank more un­til the bar­tender cut him off. I was eter­nally grate­ful be­cause I didn’t know how to get away. I thought about tak­ing a cab but I don’t know the area, and was scared. I thought of Uber or Lyft, but it was late and a hol­i­day. My mom can’t drive at night, and was al­ready asleep.

Af­ter­ward, we went back to my mom’s house and fooled around. He left in the mid­dle of the night. I felt guilty and told my­self it was my fault.

What ex­actly do you do when speak­ing up and say­ing no isn’t enough? How do we pro­tect our­selves from these preda­tors who won’t lis­ten?

I’m so scared I’ll be beaten or killed, that I end up al­low­ing men to just do what they want. It’s wear­ing my soul down, and I de­serve bet­ter.

How can I han­dle this?

— HEART­SICK

Dear Heart­sick: You used your voice. Good for you. But never, ever, go with a drunk to the sec­ond lo­ca­tion. What I mean is — when a drunken lout makes you un­com­fort­able phys­i­cally, that’s when you ex­cuse your­self, get the bar­tender’s at­ten­tion and ask for help. You say, “I came here with this guy, but now I’m scared. Can you help me?” (The Good Night Out Cam­paign — good­night­cam­paign.org — trains bar­tenders and servers for how to in­ter­vene when cus­tomers are be­ing ha­rassed.)

Do not leave the pub­lic place. Other women (and men) will help you. (Re­cently, I wit­nessed a drunken ha­rass­ment sit­u­a­tion turn­ing ag­gres­sive in a bar, and I called the po­lice.)

You used your own best judg­ment, but your own al­co­hol con­sump­tion made this harder for you to man­age.

The way to han­dle your fears is to learn to be strong. Never over­ride your own fears. A self-de­fence class could give you more con­fi­dence.

The next thing to work on is your own dis­cern­ment. You are right; you do de­serve bet­ter. If you say “no” and the per­son doesn’t re­spect it, the date should end im­me­di­ately.

There are great and nice guys out there. They will meet you for cof­fee as a way to get to know you.

Dear Amy: A few months ago, I re­ceived a “save the date” card from cousins for an up­com­ing wed­ding re­cep­tion, to be held six months from now.

This cou­ple has been mar­ried (with three chil­dren and a home) for the last 10 years!

This week, I re­ceived an in­vi­ta­tion to a bridal shower for this cou­ple.

When they got mar­ried 10 years ago, they did not have a wed­ding re­cep­tion or any other cel­e­bra­tion, be­cause they were wed at the lo­cal court­house.

This wed­ding re­cep­tion and bridal shower will take place as if this cou­ple is just be­ing mar­ried with­out this 10-year his­tory. No ex­pense has been spared!

Do you fol­low usual rules and amounts for gift-giv­ing, or do dif­fer­ent rules and amounts ap­ply? — AWAIT­ING YOUR AN­SWER Dear Await­ing: This is con­fus­ing, be­cause the cou­ple is al­ready mar­ried. Con­sider this party to be their wed­ding re­cep­tion, on a 10-year tape de­lay.

Given the lead time to this re­cep­tion, it sounds as if they have been plan­ning and sav­ing for this shindig.

Hav­ing a bridal shower is a strange choice, but yes, if you at­tend the re­cep­tion, you should plan to give them a gift. You can as­sume that they are reg­is­tered some­where.

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