Realizing a cry for help would get me nowhere brought home just how vulnerable I was. And at that moment, I saw that he was actually following me. The cheeky *****er! As I walked, he was creeping up slowly behind me, stopping every so often, so as to keep his distance. But I was on alert. I could see what was happening.
What did I do? I crossed the roundabout (at this point I was only 2 minutes away from the Manhattan apartment) and stopped in the middle. The silver car also stopped. I stood and I looked at him. I wasn’t running, no ****ing way! I stood and showed that I was on to him. I didn’t know how clever a move this was, but I didn’t need to run and approach anybody else for help either. Then he slowly drove off down a different street. So I walked the rest of the way, still on alert, as it was the darkest part of my route. And sure enough, out of no where, the silver car appeared again. But I’d reached the entrance of the apartment complex, so I was ‘untouchable’. I went to the security guards but of course they didn’t understand me when I said someone was following me. So I made some gestures, I pointed to the silver car that was already doing a u-turn… and that was that. The car had gone, the guards looked dumbfounded and I, for just 10 seconds, felt upset. But quickly I thought: “No! **** that!” I wasn’t going to let that creep get to me! But I was feeling very unsettled and once again: invaded…
Afterwards I sat in the apartment. Space invader number 1 (Irish-rooted roomie) was trying to take away the concern I’d been feeling, in regards to space invader number 2 (Chinese dude in the silver car). I didn’t need this… I needed peace…!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Still Thursday. Overthinking: I’ve never ever been followed before. EVER. As a white girl, walking the streets at night in any Asian country, means that I’ll of course stand out and people will notice me. But never ever, even when I was in India, has this felt to threaten my safety. I’ve never felt that others were giving me any attention that wasn’t well-intended. Not until last Thursday night.
Have I been ignorant so far? Or is it true what they say: whatever’s going on in your life, will bring into your life more of that particular thing – whether it’s good or bad. My space was being invaded in every sense of the word and, for such a short evening, I wasn’t feeling too happy about being in China. This ‘just so happened’ to be the only time for cruel-intended gestures from others around me, to be brought to my awareness. I was followed home. What were the chances? Ever so slim, I reckon and therefore I know that there’s a valuable lesson in this incident. It’s not the lesson others might think: stay off the streets after dark. Nope. Instead it’s to learn to stand-up for myself in every situation, whether it’s a brief encounter or regular association. I have to always say ‘no’, if saying ‘yes’ makes me feels physically sick, overexposed and claustrophobically pressurized (what a phrase!!!!).
I said ‘no’ to a stranger, I looked him in the eye and didn’t feel massively afraid, even when I had a fair idea what he was up to. I knew it wasn’t for the good of me, to get into that car. Why didn’t I say ‘no’ and face what was happening, when dealing with Irish roomie? Ever since he arrived, I was saying ‘yes’, when meaning ‘no’. I wasn’t doing myself any favours by ignoring the gut-feelings I had, from the first moment his came falling out of the sky and landed himself in our apartment. Those gut feelings were telling me to keep my distance. And not wanting to hurt his feelings or to act as a bad person, were my reason for constantly letting my space vanish.
I can’t believe how much easier it is to look a stranger in the eye and confront him with his bad intentions, and how difficult it can be when it comes to telling someone who’s a lot closer, pretty much the same thing.
This was Thursday night. And regarding space invader number 1 and I, the time soon comes, when we both lay all of our cards on the table.
To keep this incident real… The next day Matt offered me his pocket knife (as protection.. haha… But I’m not going to be using it…). As well I got some extra contact numbers to call, should I find myself in any other kind of trouble again…