Thanks everyone for your input and a useful discussion on male/female dynamics.
First, to answer a few of the questions I recall:
1. DejaVu is correct. The guy has his own company and had very good reviews. I've moved to a new area, so was going by that rather than a personal recommendation.
2. Traveler I'd say it is rare to set off my bells in this way. I've had lots of vendor type males in the house since I moved in--the guy who sold it to me; a crew to install a new door; a plumber; several electricians; an HVAC guy; pool designers; appliance installers, cable guys, pest control, landscapers, etc. Not a one gave me such creeps and nor do I recall now ever having felt this way.
3. BL42 nailed it. Too many compliments, too much attention. And definitely socially awkward, but I know lots of people who are. And then when coupled with what felt a nastiness to the mother of his child, perhaps that reminded me of someone else and brought a feeling there. But I think D is correct, that was a false correlation my brain made in the moment when it was heaping on. Lots of people, of all sizes and genders, bad-mouth their exes and don't go on to harm strangers because of it.
I take D's points very well and they were the basis of the thought work I needed here. Was I ever in danger? Likely no. Why did I feel that? I think bttrfly, Andrew, DejaVu, and Ginger all hit that one on the nose. Size, power, and having grown up in a patriarchal society that reinforces these types of concerns. And to Andrew's point, there is no ideal circumstance for violence. Whether in that moment or a later visit, I felt concerned.
Would I have been similarly concerned by a women? No. Would I have been similarly concerned by a small-statured male? No. But many of the men I've had in the house have been large statured and I was not concerned. I even had an experience with an ADT salesman who would not leave my home, would not take no for an answer, but I was not fearful, just annoyed.
I legit felt scared. In thinking on it further, the word lascivious pops into my head. I've had men flirt before, this did not feel like that.
I also realize I do not particularly care for male attention. It is not something I'm used to. I'm smaller now (and feel physically weaker because of it) and I guess more attractive than I used to be because I'm taking care of myself now (which seems to have ramped up the unwanted attention), so perhaps that makes me feel more vulnerable, although I realize rape and other forms of violence against women are not crimes of desire, rather power.
I have reminded my brain that I am safe, that I have cameras everywhere recording everything, I have very good locks, and live in a very safe neighborhood with lots of nosy neighbors constantly strolling by. But I hope I don't experience that kind of feeling again.
And I'll just report my post from the end of your thread so the guys see it:
D is so far off track with this I don't even know where to start. But I was right in my prediction that the men would start freaking out and trying to tell OWN that she was over-reacting. Honestly, men have zero idea what women have to do to be safe in this world. And no, that's not being paranoid. Heck, I'm pretty NOT paranoid - I come home late at night alone, I don't call to tell anybody I've made it home safe, I only have my keys held like a weapon as I go to my car if I'm in a sketchy neighborhood, I don't carry pepper spray. BUT - telling a woman that her instincts are wrong and she should be nicer is BS. Women have a lifetime of experience telling the difference between a nice guy who is just awkwardly flirting and a creepy guy who might be dangerous. TRUST WOMEN when they tell you this stuff. You have no idea what you are talking about.
I’m still very curious about where the thought process that “professional” men wouldn’t risk ruining their career and lives by sexual assault when it has been so prevalent among public figures, politicians and professional athletes.
Holy heck, I just caught up on this. And oh wow. The one person saying this is irrational fear is not the person I'd expect that from at all ever. Also just because a person has a job that seems more refined like a piano tuner vs a plumber doesn't make them less likely to commit a crime. Plumbers have unions and multiple back ground checks from apprenticeship upward. Piano tuners don't and are likely self employed. You know how many serial killers were cops? How about BTK? Well respected ranking member in his church, father, husband, gainfully employed? It's honestly a far worse thing to assume some one is fine because of what they do then to listen to your gut regardless of what profession they're in.
Women are trained from a very, very early age to keep an eye on our surroundings, our friends, our drinks and our bodies. First and foremost we are trained to listen to our gut. Humans have the ability to pick up the seemingly imperceptible. It's how the not as big, not as strong, learned to survive. The fittest doesn't just mean physically.
Own, on the off chance you're gut is wrong the worst you could've possibly done here is fire a guy who didn't deserve it. The worst that could've happened had you not listened to your gut is much, much worse than losing a job. Your gut tells you things for a reason, listen.
People who bad mouth their exes to complete strangers are not mentally or emotionally healthy people and it wasn't any internalized reaction or a false correlation. That is a normal reaction. If you were checking out at the grocery store and the female checker started spouting off about her POS ex would you try to be friends with her or avoid that checker from there on out? People who lack boundaries in everyday typical social settings are atypical, maybe it's a neuro thing, but more than likely it's a person who you probably don't want to talk to because they don't know what boundaries are.
As to the male attention. I'm an SA survivor. And my weight fluctuates for a lot of reason. As I'm nearing the end of my 30s I've realized I like have a little extra to me. I don't like being the thinnest version of myself that my body can tolerate. I get way too much very unwanted attention. When I take up more space physically I seem to take up more space just in general. People are less likely to say out of pocket things to me. They are less likely to do really uncomfortable things like stare or make gross gestures or cat call. I've made a decision about what's a good size for me that splits the difference between healthy and comfortable. But this smaller version of yourself is the body you're living in now so you'll have to make peace with all that comes with it. Do what you can to come up with strategies to maintain your power and confidence in dynamics like this. You also need to come up with strategies that keep you safe. There's lots and lots on the internet about dos and don'ts with this stuff that you might want to peruse.
But I think D is correct, that was a false correlation my brain made in the moment when it was heaping on.
Originally Posted by OwnIt
I take D's points very well and they were the basis of the thought work I needed here.
I’m glad I could help.
However, wow. What an eruption.
I wondered just how much did I write. Where was all this irrational fear and such I was going over board with. And where did I invalidate you and your feeling of fear.
Originally Posted by DnJ
I agree with your assessment of being gripped by fear. Fear provokes such strong irrational feelings.
Your fear was completely real. Fear caused such subsequent dread and anxiety, that gut-wrenching feeling you experienced. Dread about a possible outcome. That is the irrational part, being uncontrollably focused upon an unwanted possibility or outcome. As I stated, fear provokes strong irrational feelings. Fight or flight reactions. Even though the reason for fear is completely rational.
Own, I am sorry if my post hurt you. I truly effort to not read into, more than what people actually write and share. Any minimizing from me was very much unintentional.
Now: Me54 XW51 S25 S23 S21 D19
Oct 8/17-BD, Moves in w/OM, Leaves Kids Me49 W46 S20 S19 S16 D15 M26 T29 Dec 9/17-Legal Separation Oct 3/18-W Files Apr 6/19-Divorced