The Kitchen Job From Hell
I worked in a hospital kitchen as a food services assistant, I was 23 years old. My brother had died the year prior he was 24 years of age when he passed. I had so much grief inside whilst also trying to work and had just moved out of home. I was a lost women learning my way on my own. He was 28, he worked as the dishwashing man. I was instantly intimidated by him and his personality, his loud voice, and the jokes he would come up with, but also somehow extremely intrigued by him, and how he manages to charm everyone he works with, how he is so muscly, tanned, jet black hair and gives off so much confidence within himself, it was hard not to be charmed by him. Whilst washing the dishes he would ask questions out loud " anyone have wild sex on the weekend?". There was a time when I was standing close by to my supervisor (a woman in her 60's) and he came over and asked her if she would go to the movies with him. She laughed it off and told him to go back to work. I remember having lunch break with my female coworkers (They were such good friends of mine at the time) and they would tell me how he had showed them porn at the lockers. I remember them saying how they were uncomfortable but they moved subjects quickly and forgot about it. Not sure how long after but one of them came to me in the kitchen when I was working and she said that he had asked her what she thinks I'm like in bed, and asked her if she thinks id be the kinky type. When she came and told me he was not far away and I think he heard her telling me and he looked over to me, and I wanted to hide. When he left to go collect dishes with one of the girls he would say that if they aren't back soon then they are most likely having sex. He would always give me compliments, say he liked my hair, my nails, this love bombing I took like a hungry fish to bait. I remember one day just saying bye to him as I clocked out and he would just yell out I love you. When it was just me and him washing dishes, he would pretend to wank infront of me and then splashed the water everywhere. One of the older women in her 60's he would always be massaging her shoulders in the middle of the kitchen. (this confused me the most as he was 28.) He would walk past wet floor signs and say wow you must be horny. Nobody ever heard. He would stand at the door way and deliberately look the girl infront of me up and down, and then I knew I was next to walk past him. I even had one of the chefs saying to me, go have lunch with him and you'll be sucking him off in the next 5 minutes. I didn't have that one big moment of omg that was inappropriate he must be trying to harass me, it was a slow feed of inappropriate things being delivered to me like a line of IV fluids in the form of sexual harassment (indirectly and directly). At the time I didn't even realise what was happening to me, I loved the compliments and attention he gave me, because I looked up to him because he was so confident, charming and loud. But I was also so scared of him, He had degraded me and made me feel so uncomfortable with his comments, he had me and my 3 work friends on Facebook and he would send so much porn through messenger and making jokes about the other girls at work regarding porn. I felt embarrassed and humiliated for them. One of my good friends, she use to get him to drive her home, and she said they were making sexual jokes to each other and when she went to get out of the car he pulled her back in, she said she just laughed it off but when she got home she messaged us and told us because she was scared. Later on she would say nobody go in the freezer with him unless you want to be molested. then she walked over to me and told me that he had made jokes about her nipples when she was in there. I still remember the moment that I was like what the hell just happened, I was pushing the dishes on a trolley, when the trolley stopped working and he walked right up behind me as close as he could, and said come on you can do it. I literally panicked and just tried my best to get the trolley going. Once I walked around the corner I had to stop and get my breath. And my mind had shut off from that moment. From that moment I realised my boundaries did not exist. I was being intimidated, humiliated, embarrassed, degraded slowly overtime that I did not even realise it was happening to me until it was too late. Id been manipulated and persuaded to give in, I flirted with him. And before I knew it I was making out with him in his car. Completely scared out of my mind that I couldn't even think whilst it was happening. I remember wanting so badly to show him that I wasn't scared of him. But I was. I was terrified, of what he thought of me, being so unsure of him and his personality, not knowing if he was a good or bad guy. I was an absolute mess after being with him, I felt sick, I didn't eat for weeks. I didn't tell my work friends what I had done, everyday I was going to work and facing him, staring at me, feeling judged and humiliated for giving in and being with him. I wanted to feel okay again, and somehow I was in this toxic cycle of telling myself if I can get him to be nice to me everything will be okay, I asked him to talk one day at lunch, he agreed. I met him in his car and I said to him I just wanted to say sorry for how things have turned out between us. and he said so your wanting to do this again? I said that I was unsure. And then we ended up making out again. Every time it happened, the days after I would be in this faded daze, I couldn't think, I was mentally ill for a while afterwards. The going to work, feeling humiliated, degraded, and like I meant nothing. There were days id beg him to talk to me and explain why it happened, and he would say, I don't know why it happened it just did. I couldn't think for myself, I was relying on him for everything, my thinking, my worth, my reality, which he told me was that I had major issues, was awkward and obsessed with him. For months after I would vomit before going to work, couldn't eat and I was close to a breakdown, the days I went to work with him I looked at the ground, watched him flirting with other girls in the kitchen, and saw him disregard me like rubbish. Tonight I write this, its 4 years on and I have come so far, I still think of this man everyday, and the one thing that I struggle to get closure with, is trying to explain to people how mental manipulation mixed with sexual harassment is one of the hardest things ever to explain in therapy and counselling, I've had days where I've blamed myself still, and told myself that it was my fault and that I agreed to go along with it, I wanted him so badly, I ended up begging my abuser to be with me. I wonder how I ended up being the one wanting him when he was the one harassing me. I've literally had to relearn how to love myself after doing that to myself. I'm still learning after all these years. It takes so much time and effort. But I really hope that one day I will move on. I've said outload to myself that I forgive him, but somedays its really hard. I never got closure from him. And I still doubt myself whether I was sexually harassed. I remember calling him on the phone and he would say everyone knows I'm joking otherwise I would be done for sexual harassment by now. I want to stop doubting myself, I've always known wrong from right. But this man took this from me. And I've struggled in life ever since. I know I need to forgive him. I know what happened did happen. I know my panic attacks were telling me something was wrong. I know that he is a hurt person for doing this to others. God please heal my heart.