Thursday, January 10, 2013

One-sided snowball fight

I had a bit of a negative experience today while on my way to my hair appointment. It started off with me running a bit late for my hair appointment and having trouble finding a parking space. After circling the block once, I decided to park in a lot across the street and about a half-block away from the salon. When I got there, I drove quickly but carefully through the parking lot to a space close to the intersection I had to cross..

As I was walking towards the light I heard a guy start yelling and swearing and making a lot of noise behind me and moving in my general direction. Another guy started yelling at him and their conversation devolved into a "f*ck you" "no, f*ck YOU" exchange. I didn't really pay attention to either guy beyond because I don't want to get involved in situations like that.

While I was waiting for the light to change, a snowball hit the ground a few feet in front of me and then another one hit my feet. I turned around, saw a guy looking at me, and said, "what's your problem?" The sam guy who'd started yelling before said, "you f*cking asshole, you should drive slow through a parking lot!!" I knew it was the same guy because he used the same language and had the same voice. I didn't say anything in response and just continued to my appointment.

The person at the front desk in the salon had seen the guy throw a few snowballs (as in, more than the two that I saw) but didn't know that I'd been the target or that the guy had yelled at me. We laughed it off and I got my hair cut. Afterwards, I checked the car to be sure that the guy hadn't keyed it or slashed the tires or anything and picked up a few things at the grocery store. I'd planned to do more errands but started feeling really tense and upset so I went home instead.

It wasn't until I got home that I realized that I was freaking out because this guy had yelled and made noise, followed me for half a block, and thrown snowballs at me just to get my attention so that he could yell at me. Although clearly the guy had issues that have nothing to do with me, he had behaved in a threatening manner by following me and had assaulted me both verbally and with snowballs. It was a scary situation and even now as I write about it, I'm feeling stressed and upset and I want to curl into a ball.

Ian said that I should have called the police from the salon and he's right: I should have been reported the guy when the incident was fresh in my mind. At the time, however, I froze and made a joke out of it because that's been my coping behaviour in situations where I'm threatened. Telling someone in authority that someone has done something to me just doesn't occur to me. I'm going to talk to my psychologist about this because I think it would be healthier (and safer) for me to contact the authorities when someone does something to me.

Hopefully I won't run into the guy again... at least until I've figured out how to deal with situations like this when they happen. For now I'm going to cuddle our dog and let some of her calm energy wash over me.

2 comments:

none of your beeswax said...

wow, scary situation. the last thing you want to do is make him madder. i dunno if there is a "right" or "wrong" think to do in a situation like that, we just have our instincts to tell us how to react. was there a close call where you almost hit him or something? he sounded like he was making it personal. glad to hear you had people in your corner as he was clearly out of line whatever the circumstance.

love,
vicki

Chantelle said...

Thanks for reminding me that there's no one best way to handle a situation like this.

I didn't almost hit anyone, including him, in the parking lot - there were no close calls. The parking lot was more than half-empty, too. If I had almost hit him his anger would have made more sense to me.

Love,
Chantelle