#CelebrateingtheRainbow at the workplace – share your stories of Pride!
In 2018, I fell prey to an incredibly toxic & abusive 'relationship' which left me drained. Here's my story in hopes to help others like me!
In 2018, I fell prey to an incredibly toxic & abusive ‘relationship’ which left me drained. Here’s my story in hopes to help others like me!
When does a man start selling himself by the size of his dick… and why? And what happens when he fails to impress me and still wants to do it? He sends his male friends to advertise, nay, pimp for him by the size of his dick.
Everything that I am about to write is hindsight wisdom. When the things were happening one after the other, I couldn’t join the dots or pinpoint that all of it was emotional harassment. I am writing it now as I am objective enough to describe the events and link them.
All of it was also a lesson in anger management. I learnt that I could either be compassionate and gulp it all down or I could use my anger and cut it all out in one sweep.
When I was younger, I was unaware of the term ‘love bombing.’ And neither did I know about it being an abuse tactic and a well-thought-out pattern of abusive behaviour.
The intense rush of the first attraction – the hurry hurry hurry of meeting, liking, loving and getting the excessive attention. There’s a rush of getting ‘I can’t live without you’ declarations and moving from stage one to stage ‘permanent’ in only two weeks. And just as soon it rises, a meteoric crash follows.
You are sidelined, ignored and avoided, this is soon followed by a rude breakup and a wake-up call. All of this was not love, not at all but just a lust-bomb sugar-coated-in layer of lies in the name of the union of soul mates. I call this ‘hoodwinking.’
At 48, it was very difficult to hoodwink me anymore with such tomfoolery. It is only now that I can put words to the various stages of that emotionally draining experience pattern. Call it love bombing, breadcrumbing, ghosting, being put on the back burner, gaslighting, or micro-aggression. All of it is extremely triggering.
People who have been there can spot red flags even when the charmer tries to hide it beneath layers of refined sweet-talk or pass it off as flirting. It happened to me in 2018, when I added a travel blogger photographer through some common friends. He seemed like any other normal talented 44-year-old. I started chatting casually about his blog and photographs and he offered to work on some children’s book with me. My curiosity about it was only to get more work.
Within days he started flirting and trying to break the ice. His language and attitude were that of someone on the rebound from a recently broken relationship. So, I spoke to him gently with one guard up. Not intending him to bruise him further, but still keeping my wall up.
My ‘keep watching for red flags’ intuition was on high alert. The very next day, he started the typical ‘verbally flashing’, or trying to drag me into sexually suggestive chats. “Guess how long I am?” “I sleep naked!” double entendre jokes and similar sleazy stuff to draw my attention towards his genitals.
His grandiose sense of virility and sexual projection resulted in trapping every conversation between his legs. He still hadn’t met me, knew nothing much about me, but was making grand gestures, “Hereby I declare you can do anything to me.”
Then he dropped some intrusive questions, which I refused to answer. At the same time, he kept asking for a new photograph every day and repeatedly invited me over to meet him at his home state Kerala. I replied politely with old, fully clothed, blurry, travel photos, and several “Okay will see.” He was in a rush. The neediness, the desperation was sad to read at times.
I was working with compassionate practical NVC (non-violent communication) and trying to be as spiritually forgiving as possible. So, I sensed he was looking for validation and attention for his male ego and was simply lust bombing, not even love bombing.
Sure enough the next week, he suddenly vanished apologising to me and saying he was sorry he gave me hopes for something serious. However, now he was getting back to his ex. Predictable. I was not shocked, but I was not prepared for it to happen so quickly either. In hindsight, I can say I am glad it happened suddenly with the least amount of heartache. That should have been the end of the story. But guess what? It wasn’t.
Exactly eight months later, after the demise of my husband, this guy came back, expressing condolence and to re-friend me. Once again broken up from the same ex and he wanted to re-ignite or ‘restart where we left off’ kind of pattern. No apology, no humility, no accountability, just a sense of entitlement – Okay now I am single again. You are a widow and single, so can we meet?
I had two options – one, push him away and block him. Or two, draw my boundaries, make it clear to him, hold space for his bruised male ego disturbed soul. And let this soul test and not get triggered by it.
By then he was an interesting project, a sample of study for me. Okay, I will meet. It will be a good opportunity to tell him on his face that I wasn’t really happy with the way he was behaving. A good way to put things to end and have a closure. He set up a date and I made arrangements for my ailing parent to be taken care of.
He didn’t turn up. Predictable. Then he vanished again for three months. Checking out some other options in Kerala.
Once again he surfaced, a third time now, this time, totally triggering me with his same attitude and masculine entitlement. I had to literally control my language and anger. Patience, patience, I need to get past this roadblock, meet and tell him to get a life. So it was decided we meet for tea at 6, at Oxford book store. Since I had an ailing parent to take care of, it was decided I will be meeting only for a couple of hours.
I met him, saw every red flag flashing out of him, had a hurried dinner and came back home by nine. That’s where I made my point very clear to him and gave him the option to remain a friend and nothing more. But he was already upset about it.
What followed was the micro- aggression over the next three months. Little niggling things which were so petty that I didn’t even pay attention in my busy schedule. Finally in March 2020, I decided to confront him and asked him to take himself out of my life. Literally insulted him, nagged him, and burned all bridges, so that he has no option to come back to my life.
Soon after that, some of his friends started messaging me. I couldn’t join the dots that they were all linked to him. One of his friends from Dubai, started push-selling him in May.
Trying to sell him by the size of his dick. “You know he has a big one, women fall for him all the time, he is an Adonis, I am really sad that it didn’t work out between you.” This kind of infuriating stuff. I was not sad, I was glad he was gone.
It was a disgusting conversation when the friend just couldn’t get it in his head that I am not interested in the size of his apparatus. I refused to be humiliated repeatedly and refused to get triggered.
So, I kept removing blocking deleting archiving everything. Simultaneously talking to close friends, sharing my irritation, indignation while investigating the friends, his background, gathering evidence. I was trying not to get triggered every time. He was upset and was looking for vengeance. Predictable again.
And he finally took it all out in October. It was an obnoxious post full of lies, in a lame attempt at character assassination and smear campaign. Things got way out of hand. That is when I gave in, I had the evidence with me. I contacted all his lackeys, got his evidence in public and displayed his antics out.
I shouldn’t have done that, was a constant niggling guilt trip on my mind. Anger is what I was trying to avoid. Compassion and forgiveness was my goal. But in my attempt to understand that everything is a trauma response or projection, I was putting myself out as too kind, gentle and vulnerable for an emotional attack. I felt my spiritual progress was being stalled by a negative whirlpool.
Ignore, don’t react, don’t get triggered, forgive for he has his own issues, practice NVC, be compassionate. He is not worth your anger, awaken your feminine energy, open your heart chakra. These are the many things I told myself to handle an entitled bully, a toxic masculine and a harasser.
But ultimately, it was necessary for me to lash out and be rough. Use rough language and push him out. To show him the mirror of how his emotional atyachar is not acceptable any more. His nauseatingly juvenile, patriarchal entitlement that makes him think he can come in any time in my life to seek benevolence and go out and spew venom about me. It had to finally end.
Hence I wrote this down. Also I wrote this to let other women know how to identify the pattern of love bombing. How it feels to be in the churning wheel and how not to get sucked into it. Spiritual compassion and forgiveness should not be a reason to tolerate abusers. Finally boundaries need to come up.
I am fine now. But it was quite a ride.
P.S. — I have tons of text messages as evidence but I am still in two minds to publish it. I would rather focus on the behaviour pattern.
Picture credits: Still from Amazon Prime Series Four More Shots, Please
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
Stay updated with our Weekly Newsletter or Daily Summary - or both!
Can you believe this bloke compelled me to wear only saris - full time at home- till the eighth month of my pregnancy?! The excessive heat coupled with humidity made my life miserable.
Recently when I browsed an interesting post by a fellow author on this very forum I had a sense of déjà vu. She describes the absolutely unnecessary hullabaloo over ladies donning nighties and /or dupatta –less suits.
I wish to narrate how I was in dire straits so far wearing a ‘nightie’ was concerned.
I lived in my ultra orthodox sasural under constant surveillance of two moral guardians (read Taliban) in the shape of the husband’s mom and dad. The mom was unschooled and dim-witted while the dad was a medical practitioner. But he out-Heroded the Herod in orthodoxy.
My supervisor introduced me as a valuable member of the team, emphasizing my skills and contributions rather than focusing on my gender identity. This simple act set the tone for my experience in the workplace.
As a transwoman navigating the corporate world, I had encountered my fair share of discrimination and challenges. Transitioning without the support of my parents and having limited friendships in my personal life made the journey difficult and lonely. However, when I stepped into the office, something remarkable happened, I left behind the stress and negativity, embracing a space where I could truly be myself.
Joining the marketing team as a graphic designer, I was initially apprehensive about how my colleagues would react to my gender identity. But to my surprise, the atmosphere was welcoming and respectful from day one. My supervisor, Sarah, introduced me as a valuable member of the team, emphasizing my skills and contributions rather than focusing on my gender identity. This simple act set the tone for my experience in the workplace.
As I settled into my role, I discovered that my colleagues went out of their way to make me feel comfortable and included. They consistently used my correct name and pronouns, creating an environment where I could be authentically me. Being an introvert, making friends wasn’t always easy for me, but within this workplace, I found a supportive community that embraced me for who I truly am. The workplace became a haven where I could escape the stresses of my personal life and focus on my professional growth.
Please enter your email address