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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Pour Your Heart Out: A Young Woman's Stupidity (II)

Welcome to Pour Your Heart Out- if you need more info on how to participate, check out THIS post. But it's personal- it's what YOU think is pouring your heart out. Please grab the PYHO button or link back in your post if you are participating.

Again, just a brief reminder that everyone linking is pouring their hearts out and we should all be respectful in our comments. ;)


 


I posted the first part of this on Monday. A Young Woman's Stupidity. Because together, the story is a little too long for just one post. And also because part one was the background and the ending is more of a Pour Your Heart Out post. 

I didn't have to work that day, so I'd gone to the gym that afternoon.  I was running late for our CIT subs meeting and thought about changing out of my gym clothes before heading in so that it wouldn't be obvious that I'd had the day off.  But, I shrugged it off. No one had needed me that day and we didn't have to work if no one needed us.

So, I bounced into the meeting and joked that I'd taken the day off because I'd had to deal with Mrs. D the Dragonlady the day before.  Nick laughed and the four of us had a short meeting in his classroom.

When the other two girls got up to leave, Nick asked me to stay.  No big deal. We talked all the time.

He sat beside me and just stared at me for a minute.  I started wondering if I was in trouble for not working as much as they had expected me to. It really wasn't my fault: I worked when the teachers called me, but I had a lot of days off and a lot of days when I only worked an hour or two.

But, that wasn't it at all.

Nick said that he was worried about me. That I didn't seem as happy as I was back when we'd first met. That he had a feeling that things weren't going so well with my fiance.

My whole body just crumpled.  He was completely right.  Things were not going well at all and because I'd moved to his town, I didn't have any friends of my own to be able to talk to this about. I nodded and tried not to cry.

Oh, how I needed a friend to talk to about this. I was so glad that Nick was there for me.

Until he started talking more.

Because he wasn't offering me a shoulder to cry on.

He was telling me how beautiful he thought I was. How I'd been like a shining light to him at the interviews, which is why he remembered me and called to check on a job for me. That it had been him to tell Central Office to give me this position so that he could spend time with me.

My head began to spin. I felt like I was watching this conversation from somewhere over near the classroom door, instead of right beside Nick.

He told me that a woman like me needed a man to take care of her.  He told me the days and times when his wife wouldn't be home and said that I could come over and he could take care of the needs that obviously weren't being met at home.

I sat there silently, not knowing what to say.  Hoping that if I didn't say a word, maybe we could pretend this whole thing hadn't happened.

Nick patted my hand and told me to think about it, that he'd see me the next day because he had a meeting at the school I was working at tomorrow.

I grabbed my car keys and practically ran out of the school. I got into my car, drove a few blocks and then pulled over and cried.

When I pulled myself together, I drove home. Immediately, I typed out all he had said. Thinking that maybe I'd misunderstood what had happened. Writing always helped clear my head. And maybe I'd need to remember what had been said.

I was in bed when X got home and I pretended to be asleep because I didn't want to talk about it.  The next morning, when he was getting up to go to work, he asked me why I wasn't getting up since he knew I was supposed to work that day.  I whispered that I didn't feel well.

He was annoyed with me and told me that I needed to get up and go.  I burst into tears and told him that Nick would be at that school today and I didn't want to see him. And then I spilled what had happened.  I could see X's hands curling into fists and I had to calm him down.

The next night, Nick called me and said that he was sorry for what had happened. That he'd completely misread the situation and didn't want to disappoint me or lose me as a friend. I didn't say much, because I had no idea what to say. And then he reassured me that nothing would change as far as work went.

Those words made me panic and think that this would change my job. It could affect my job for years to come.

While I was still in shock from what had happened, I was in fact smart enough to seek help and an attorney sent a letter to Nick on my behalf, clearly stating that he had crossed a line and that I expected that nothing like this would happen again. It also stated that I expected that none of this would affect my career in the future.

After this, the phone calls from Nick stopped. We didn't have a weekly meeting any more and when we did meet, we met at a table outside his boss's office at the Central Office.  The tone of the meetings changed and were kept completely professional.

Though Nick never again made an inappropriate comment to me, the event changed me.  Anytime I was talking to a male, I would question his motives.  I held myself back and became very guarded.

I look back now and realize that I should have seen this coming. I also realize that while Nick was in the wrong, I was not innocent: I should have been more professional from the start.


If you link up, please visit the linker before and after you. You can always visit more, too.

Labels:

81 Comments:

Blogger The Mommyologist said...

It's amazing what married men in the workplace are capable of. I never had anything go that far, but I did have some men flirt with me, etc, and I know that they would've been all over it had I been into it. Glad you were so smart to get out of that situation quickly!

July 27, 2011 at 7:06 AM  
Blogger Minivan Mama said...

I have a good friend who was just cheated on...I'm starting to think it is commonplace for many people. So sad. Good for you on setting that dude straight.

July 27, 2011 at 7:14 AM  
Blogger Jenny said...

Yes. Way to go on getting something sent to him and letting him know what he did was wrong. Hopefully he hasn't done this again!

July 27, 2011 at 7:15 AM  
Blogger Sara said...

I missed the first part of this story, but I went back and read it. That's a lot to deal with- and I think you handled it well in the end. It's hard to stand up for yourself when the line is so blurry.
I had a boss, a long time ago, who was married and he made some extremely inappropriate remarks to me. I never did anything, I just avoided being alone with him whenever possible, because I always thought that I had maybe not acted professionally. I wish I had stood up for myself back then...

July 27, 2011 at 7:22 AM  
Blogger Tara R. said...

You were smart to seek legal advice and stop it before it became a liability for your job. Nick sounds like a predator and most likely, you weren't the first new teacher (or last) he preyed on.

July 27, 2011 at 7:40 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

Oh my heavens. You did handle yourself so well once you realized what was going on. I feel like I would have run away scared and tried to pretend it didn't happen.

Hopefully you taught him a lesson and he was able to refocus and invest his time and energy back into his marriage.

A difficult thing for you to go through and something that stays with you.

July 27, 2011 at 7:42 AM  
Blogger angela said...

It doesn't seem like you were unprofessional! Maybe unprofessional in the young sense, but not unprofessional in any way that suggested you were interested in more than a friendship.

You handled it with so much grace and maturity; I'm sorry you encountered such a creep and that it's tainted your interactions with other guys :(

July 27, 2011 at 7:59 AM  
OpenID pmlevitt said...

What a difficult and emotionally tasking situation! You did the right thing by handling it legally; smart gal! I'm sorry you had to go through that.

July 27, 2011 at 8:10 AM  
Blogger Renegades said...

Isn't it funny how youth and lack of experience can sometimes get us into situations we weren't even thinking of?

Glad you handled it.

Good job for you.

July 27, 2011 at 8:11 AM  
Blogger My New Normal said...

When I was young I was often surprised when married men would come on to me. But I never had a boss come on to me. Good for you for handling it right away and not letting the issue get worse.

July 27, 2011 at 8:12 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

I would have let X beat him up. Honestly. Then I would have told an attorney. Double dose of reality for him.
You were young and we all had our naive moments that put us in weird situations.

July 27, 2011 at 8:27 AM  
Blogger JDaniel4's Mom said...

You were so smart to seek help. He sounds like someone who was unpredictable in a predictable way.

July 27, 2011 at 8:28 AM  
Blogger Kmama said...

He put you in a terrible position, but you handled it so well. I'm sorry you had to go through that!

July 27, 2011 at 8:42 AM  
Blogger finallyMom said...

holy WOW. i didn't read the first part (yet) but thank god he wasn't that friend you desperately needed. he totally could've gone about this more slowly- sucking you in. "He told me that a woman like me needed a man to take care of her. He told me the days and times when his wife wouldn't be home and said that I could come over and he could take care of the needs that obviously weren't being met at home. " <- that paragraph made me wanna hurl. ugh!

July 27, 2011 at 8:45 AM  
Anonymous molly said...

Oh dear! I really think you made the right decision in contacting a lawyer. We have to take care of ourselves and our business! Good for you for looking out for yourself!

July 27, 2011 at 8:47 AM  
Blogger Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Wow, Shell, I'm so impressed by the way you handled this, particularly being so young. You should be proud of yourself!

July 27, 2011 at 8:50 AM  
Blogger Dolli-Mama said...

Wow. I'm totally impressed at how well you handled the situation and kept it from spinning out of control. That could have gotten really bad really fast! You are amazing!

July 27, 2011 at 9:01 AM  
Blogger Evonne said...

I'm impressed with how you handled the situation. Much better than I wold have handled it!

He certainly went out of his way to seek your attention - very unprofessional! I have a feeling, too, that you weren't the first one he tried this on. Sorry!

July 27, 2011 at 9:02 AM  
Blogger Brittney said...

wow I didn't see him being married... good for you for sticking to your guns and doing the right thing!!

July 27, 2011 at 9:06 AM  
Blogger Natalie said...

Wow oh wow! I'm so glad you share this. You so did the right thing in talking to an attorney. I think a lot of people go through this more than you think...and you were brave enough to put a stop to it.

July 27, 2011 at 9:07 AM  
Blogger I'm Jennifer. said...

Ugh! I am sorry you had such a bad experience at work with that creeper. I agree with everyone that you handled it the right way and I am proud of you!

July 27, 2011 at 9:10 AM  
Blogger Jen L. said...

Good for you for taking that step to contact an attorney! What a big learning experience. Glad it turned out ok. Thanks for sharing it with all of us!

July 27, 2011 at 9:12 AM  
Anonymous Mandi Miller said...

Good for you for setting him straight. I hope he never tried that again but I wouldn't hold my breath...

July 27, 2011 at 9:13 AM  
Blogger Joshua said...

I used to work with a woman at a bookstore. She was married, two kids. And the first inventory we did after she started there, we had two guys come over from another store to help since we were short-staffed. I watched her take off her rings, and since she was new to the area, she asked me where she could take one of the guys who were helping us. I saw them all the next day when we finished inventory. She was still not wearing her rings. And they were both wearing the same clothes as the day before. Lovely people.

July 27, 2011 at 9:24 AM  
Blogger Debbie said...

Things like this are so hurtful and damaging. Happened to me once with my photography teacher at a local college. He made me feel like I had a true gift but in reality, he just wanted to date me. When I said no - the special attention and compliments for my work stopped. It left me with little self esteem and second guessing what I was "truly talented" in, verses people just throwing out meaningless comments.

July 27, 2011 at 9:28 AM  
Blogger Leighannn said...

How smart of you to get an attorny to sent him a letter.
I don't think you were in the wrong at all!
I think you did everything right!! Don't blame yourself in this situation one bit!

July 27, 2011 at 9:39 AM  
Blogger RoryBore said...

well handled Shell!
Way back when I was a bartender to make extra money during school, a married men actually propositioned me while his wife was in the bathroom!! Seriously...he had this whole speech laid out about what he could give me(apartment, car, a trip) and I could just concentrate on my studies. Except when he required me, of course.
Um, as much as I am sure it would be so special to be your little beck and call girl...I think I'll keep my dignity. thanks anyway!
But man...I wouldn't to out him to his wife so bad!!

July 27, 2011 at 9:44 AM  
Blogger Mama Zen said...

That's a horrible position to be in. I've been there.

July 27, 2011 at 9:48 AM  
Blogger ModernMom said...

There is no way you could have seen that coming! You are not resposible for his actions, he is. Good for you for protecting yourself and staying strong. How awful that there are men like that out there. Hugs.

July 27, 2011 at 9:59 AM  
Blogger KLZ said...

It's really tough to handle these situations well. I really do think most young women have a story like this - although they don't all end so well.

July 27, 2011 at 10:01 AM  
Blogger Emmy said...

You said you weren't sart but I never would have thought to get legal help, so you were a lot smarter than you give yourself credit for. Glad it didn't wreck your career.

July 27, 2011 at 10:13 AM  
Blogger Kim @ Mamas Monologues said...

Good for you for seeking help! Most women don't even know they can and should do that. It's amazing how quickly things can go too far, especially without realizing it. I'm proud of you for handling it so well!

July 27, 2011 at 10:14 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

What a douche bag. Wow. You handled it extremely well though.

July 27, 2011 at 10:23 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

What a douche bag. Wow. You handled it extremely well though.

July 27, 2011 at 10:23 AM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

Ugh! My heart sank to my stomach when I read he was married. You were so smart to seek an attorney right away, and get something in writing! Smart move! SO glad this was never a problem in the future. WE do have to be so careful. Great posts!

July 27, 2011 at 10:29 AM  
Blogger amygrew said...

What a jerk! It amazes me that people think they can to these things! You handled it so well. Good job!

July 27, 2011 at 10:31 AM  
Blogger Mom of 12 said...

It sounds like you handled the situation just right! Good for you! Lots of women would have caved to the pressure. So proud of you, Shell.
Sandy

July 27, 2011 at 10:50 AM  
Blogger Helene said...

Wow, Shell!! You handled this appropriately and I'm so proud of you for getting an attorney and letting Nick know he crossed the line.

I had a similar situation happen to me when I was very young, working at a synagogue as a secretary to the Rabbi. He was married but continued to come on to me repeatedly. I never told anyone at work but I wish I had. It was such an awkward, uncomfortable feeling. I really wish I had handled it the way you had handled your situation.

Thanks for sharing this!

July 27, 2011 at 10:58 AM  
Blogger Katina said...

WOW! Kudos to you for hiring a lawyer.

July 27, 2011 at 11:02 AM  
Blogger Ma What's 4 dinner said...

Yup...that's where I thought Nick was going. But, Shell, come on...you didn't do anything wrong. You were professional and just because you're a nice and friendly girl doesn't mean that you were asking a married man to hit on you!!!

Sorry that you had to go through this. Dumb boys!

Lots of yummy love,
Alex aka Ma What's For Dinner
www.mawhats4dinner.com

July 27, 2011 at 11:36 AM  
Blogger Jennie said...

Ick! It's just as I feared. Well, I'd say you were extremely smart in the way you handled it. Good for you. You might have felt like a "stupid girl" for falling for it in the first place, but what one of us HASN'T fallen for that crap at one point or another? I think we can all say we've been dumb a time or two.

But I will say that reading this makes me also question every man's motive (as if I didn't already).

July 27, 2011 at 11:45 AM  
Anonymous Galit Breen said...

Oh Shell! I'm glad you wrote this all out. I love that you knew to contact a lawyer and that you took care of things yourself.

I also love that you can look back and reflect how the situation changed you.

This was a wonderful PYHO.

XO

July 27, 2011 at 11:54 AM  
Blogger Roxanne said...

I think you handled the situation a lot better than maybe other women would have. Good for you.

And, truth be told, after the first part I was really worried that the second part would be...disastrous. You know? I'm glad you were able to get yourself out of a potentially dangerous situation.

July 27, 2011 at 12:14 PM  
Blogger HopefulLeigh said...

Whoa! He was creeptastic. I'm glad you were able to get a lawyer involved so there was no professional repercussion. Maybe there were things you could have done differently but he clearly tried to take advantage of your situation. Glad that's behind you!

July 27, 2011 at 12:16 PM  
Blogger Singedwingangel said...

You were not stupid, you were wounded. Like an animal hunting its prey he took that wounding and ran with it. Thankfully you were smart enough to know not to go there..

July 27, 2011 at 12:19 PM  
Blogger Courtney K. said...

Glad you were able to maintain some control of the situation and handle it with such class and in a professional matter. This story could have gone SO many other ways, but you didn't let it. Kudos to you, my friend. :)

July 27, 2011 at 12:31 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

While maybe you could have been more professional at the beginning nothing excuses a person of power (your boss) to take advantage and make such a proposition! You were awesome at handling and diffusing the situation!

July 27, 2011 at 12:56 PM  
Blogger MrsJenB said...

Stupidity and naivete are not the same thing. You handled this so well.

July 27, 2011 at 1:07 PM  
Blogger MiMi said...

Girl, he was trying to take advantage of you knowing you were from a different state and freshly out of college. He could see you as a walking "victim" sign.
And you didn't let him do it! I'd say you handled it just right.

July 27, 2011 at 1:52 PM  
Blogger Cindi said...

I think you should have titled this post A woman's BRAVERY!

Nothing stupid about wanting to think the best of people and, nothing stupid for handling things legally and responsibly once they prove you wrong.

July 27, 2011 at 2:10 PM  
Blogger blueviolet said...

You were young and naive (actually, you're still young) and with that comes a lot of trust. We get more guarded and look deeper into people's motives the more life experience we have. I'm glad you didn't gloss over it, but made sure he knew that was over the line.

July 27, 2011 at 2:20 PM  
Blogger Grand Pooba said...

You handled the situation the right way! I would have been too scared to say anything and probably would have just quit!

July 27, 2011 at 2:43 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

I think you were mature and thoughtful and professional throughout this story.

Really.

Do you know how many young, naive, insecure women would have fallen for his angle hook, line and sinker?

Seriously.

There are creeps like that everywhere but also women who eat it up.

So you? Were lovely and loyal and totally in the right.

Cheers to you, Shell. You are stronger and smarter than you realize!

July 27, 2011 at 2:52 PM  
Blogger Andrea (ace1028) said...

Sigh. What a jerk-face. I'm sorry that you went through this, and glad that you were able to get an attorney to protect your interests and your job. Definitely. And I don't think you were unprofessional, either, but I think you were just young and trying to give Nick the benefit of the doubt, or perhaps not having any doubt you were just trying to get through the day-to-day and maintain your sanity and job!

July 27, 2011 at 3:08 PM  
Blogger Oka said...

something tells me this wasn't a first for him, and most likely not the last

it sickens me how some people try to take advantage of someone's innocence

glad you took the legal route...this stuff was allowed to happen for soooo long that there are still many who think they can get away with it

July 27, 2011 at 3:22 PM  
Blogger Not a Perfect Mom said...

wow! I'm so impressed that you went ahead and had an attorney make out paperwork in regards to your career...
and what a jerk, for real...
ugh...

July 27, 2011 at 3:25 PM  
Blogger Kristin @ What She Said said...

Good for you for contacting an attorney - for all your naivete (at the ripe old age of, what, 22?), that was really smart.

I didn't realize Nick was married until this post. That skeeved me out and just made the whole situation that much worse.

But what really astounded me - and pissed me off on your behalf - was that this guy probably cost you a job as a classroom teacher by pushing for you to be part of his program. It's one thing for him to screw with his own personal life, but quite another for him to manipulate your professional life like that.

July 27, 2011 at 3:43 PM  
Blogger Grumpy Grateful Mom said...

I think you handled it perfectly. I had a similar workplace situation with a co-worker, though he didn't hire me. We were both newly married at the time. It makes me wonder why some people even decide to commit!

Interestingly enough, he moved to New York to work in the school system.

July 27, 2011 at 4:06 PM  
Blogger Katie Hurley, LCSW said...

I think young and unprofessional are two entirely different things. Good for you for getting the help you needed to set the appropriate boundaries, but I'm sorry you even had to do that.

July 27, 2011 at 5:13 PM  
Blogger Hopes said...

I think you were very brave and handled the situation beautifully. Especially getting a lawyer involved. Not every 22 year old woman would do that.

Good for you!

July 27, 2011 at 5:34 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

You did the right thing in this situation. Good for you. I hope he learned a lesson from this.

July 27, 2011 at 7:07 PM  
Blogger Sandra said...

You're so smart for having gotten a hold of a lawyer. I'm not sure I would have been that intuitive and prepared.

July 27, 2011 at 8:06 PM  
Blogger Hutch said...

You definitely handled that really well! It's amazing the situations that make us start to question...

July 27, 2011 at 8:07 PM  
Blogger Secret Mom Thoughts said...

You handled things well. It was totally not your fault he was a douche.

July 27, 2011 at 8:19 PM  
Blogger mama marchand said...

Wowza! What a situation! I think you handled it exactly how you should have.

July 27, 2011 at 9:22 PM  
Blogger KSK said...

My mouth seriously dropped open while reading this!
That really pisses me off that he was married. @sswipe.
I think you handled yourself really well!
**And may I just say: I just followed your links with 'X', and read the Gabriel story... SWOON!!
*p.s. We lived in Cherry Point for a few years while Jerk Face was stationed there... we may have been neighbors?

July 27, 2011 at 9:56 PM  
Blogger Rach (DonutsMama) said...

Shell, this had to take so much courage to tell. I had a similar situation in college. It was so hard and I felt like it was my fault, even though I knew it wasn't. I felt very alone and stupid.

July 27, 2011 at 10:38 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

Oh my gosh, what an awful situation. It is amazing what some men will try to get away with. Hard to look back on the years when we were so young and naive but sounds like it definitely made you stronger.

July 28, 2011 at 9:21 AM  
Blogger Di said...

I still say he was a creeper and I'm sure the situation has repeated itself with others. His poor wife too - not having any idea. Good for you for putting him in his place!

July 28, 2011 at 9:22 AM  
Blogger Charlotte said...

OMG, that is crazy that this happened to you! Wow, what a creep... especially since he was married! I mean, you hear these things all the time, but it still leaves you scratching your head. You handled this so well, in my opinion... you were extremely professional.

July 28, 2011 at 11:22 AM  
Blogger Missy said...

OMG - do NOT blame yourself. He's a predator. Period. And a jerk. And a cheater. Grrrr. I HATE men like that. I am so glad you handled it the way you did - by going to an attorney immediately. Great instincts.

July 28, 2011 at 1:46 PM  
Blogger Ms Bibi said...

What a creep. I am sure he just moved onto another young pretty thing that was vulnerable and looking for an actual friend to talk too.

July 28, 2011 at 4:06 PM  
Blogger Jill said...

The work place is a breading ground for romance. This behavior isn't surprising to me in the least. I've worked with men my entire career and can tell many a tale. You did the right thing by covering yourself and stopping it immediately. Good learning experience...

July 28, 2011 at 4:24 PM  
Blogger Kir said...

Stupid?? You were not stupid at all, you were not to blame either, but you know all that. Again the judgingof this is hard for me. I swore I would never go out with a married man, then I met John at work, cheated on my boyfriend with him, he cheated on his wife with me, he got divorced and we got married. He's my soul mate Shell, I love him with all my heart, he never took advantage of me but I knew what I was getting into to. I ur case, for this story that attention wasn't wanted and that is what makes it wrong and thank goodness you got legal advice and stopped it before it started...but what if...what if you were attracted on any level to Nick? Then the answers are not so clear. Thanks for sharing this, it's given me a lot to think about! Xo

July 28, 2011 at 5:30 PM  
Blogger JamieAnne of A Dash of Domestic said...

It was horrible of him to put you in that situation.

I disagree that you're to blame though. Young and full of hope is easy to take advantage of.

July 29, 2011 at 9:08 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

Wow, Shell! That's like something from a movie plot! It had to be so surreal when it happened. Thank goodness it stopped and you two could move on with work stuff.

July 29, 2011 at 10:10 PM  
OpenID mamatrack.com said...

I'm so, so sorry that you went through this. What a horrible situation to find yourself in.

I'm glad you learned from it. And that you shared it with us--because women near to hear about it to protect themselves.

July 29, 2011 at 10:55 PM  
Blogger Lady Jennie said...

Wooooow. I haven't been able to get back to your blog for a few days, but this was the first post I searched out, just to see what happened. And he was married too! That was the part I didn't expect. I'm proud of you for seeking help - I'm not sure I would have been able to do that. Way to go girl!

July 30, 2011 at 4:17 PM  
Blogger Babes Mami said...

I wouldn't have thought about having the letter sent! Quick thinking on that and very effective.

July 30, 2011 at 6:11 PM  
Blogger Lourie said...

Wow. That is the stuff the Hallmark movies are made of! Glad you got yourself out of that situation.

July 31, 2011 at 12:33 AM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

Events like this both scar and strengthen women there is no way to get strength without the scars

July 31, 2011 at 10:36 AM  

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