Trigger Warning: a personal story about an experience with sexual assault.
The sun was barely out on that day at 6:55a.m. I don’t remember what day it was, but I remember feeling really accomplished.
As I walked out of my house I embraced my feeling of anxiousness. People staring at me, worrying about my hair, fears about my breathing, all of that was still there but somehow I was handling it all. That itself felt great. With a lot of determination I made my way to the station. It was slowly coming into view and I felt so good, so in-control, so glad I decided to walk that morning.
That was until I reached the bridge leading to the station.
As I walked along it, there was a man standing just at the turning. I could feel his eyes on me, but I kept my head down and maintained my brisk pace. Suddenly he began moving toward me and before I knew what was happening he had his hand on my crotch.
“Where are you going?” He had no business asking me this, and yet I clearly heard those words he had said in Hindi. His hand was still on my body, and as I kept moving in stride I slowly passed him by.
It was a really brief moment within which my assault happened but I could still hear the words echo in my head, and I could feel myself automatically keep moving forward.
Then I stopped.
I was confused. No I was angry. No I was scared. No I wanted to go back and fight him. No I wanted to cry. And just like that the moment had passed, but I kept standing there as people passed me by.
You know what static looks like on television? That’s what I felt like in that moment.
I felt scared that I was in such a vulnerable position with a man who had the audacity to put his hand on me.
I felt angry that he did something like that to me, in the morning as people passed us by.
I felt angry at those people who passed us and looked at us but did nothing to help me.
I felt burning rage at myself for not hitting him, slapping him, punching his face, and breaking his arm off.
I felt shame that I “let” something like that happen to me, and that it happened to ME.
I felt angry that yet another sexual assault situation occured in my life with yet another man.
I felt sad because of all these emotions and that I had to continue on with my day.
More so, I felt completely and utterly powerless.
I don’t really know how to end this (not just the story but also these kinds of situations). I just know that it’s never ever okay to make someone feel this way.
It is never okay that you should have to go through this either, which is why the next time I write a post it will be about sexual assault resources, support, and things you can do to feel in-control.
To anyone who has faced this in their life. Whether it’s a small moment or something much bigger, I urge you to reach out. Please share your experience with someone you trust, with me (if you are comfortable), with strangers on the internet, anyone. Just don’t let it eat you up inside.
Thumbnail Picture Credit: Alexander Krivitskiy (Unsplash)