Inconvenient Truths


Last edited: 2nd April 2020

This post links with If You Know, You Know; Dear Dubai Ex: Closure; Cyberstalking: A Protest; In Control: Warning Signs of a Controlling Partner; How To Date An Arsehole; It’s Not Me, It’s You; Get Lit (Not Gaslighted…); Invisible Scars and Gaslighting Survival Guide.

Note: To protect myself and others in my life, my solicitor has advised me not to reveal my current location or workplace. I can confirm that I’m safe, well and happily getting on with my life. I will also not reveal the identity of my ex/boss. He knows who he is and all that he has done. As of April 2020, my ex/boss continues his attempts to communicate with/contact me, though he has been warned that my solicitor will proceed with legal action if he does not stop. I would like this chapter to finally close so we can all move on in peace…

Watching the movie ‘Bombshell’ the other night, it got me thinking about the way women are often vilified when we have the audacity to say the things out loud that others don’t want to hear and the strength that it takes to stand up for yourself against vehement opposition. I can relate, though my situation was not as straightforward as the workplace sexual harassment presented in ‘Bombshell’ and unlike in the movie, there has been no ‘victory’ at the end of this story.

In October 2015, I agreed to a consensual relationship with my married boss. Yes, you read that correctly. Consensual and he was married. I told you it was complicated. I did not know that he was married when I met him but I did know he was married when we began the relationship a short while later. He was the initiator, beginning with flirtatious work emails, progressing with sliding into my FB DMs and later, asking for my phone number to chat on WhatsApp as FB was apparently not as discreet for him. After being called to his office for a work chat, he told me he had been happily married for 16 years and he was not leaving, but he had feelings for me he wanted to explore. At the time I was touched by his honesty. I know now it was manipulative bullshit, designed to get what he wanted without appearing to be an arsehole. That is the moment I entered into a relationship that took me a long time to get out of and nearly destroyed me. We agreed we would take things slow and thereafter messaged constantly. I struggled with the morality of the situation, disappointed with myself at being involved with a married man. For that reason I refused to sleep with him but we did kiss in his office. In a hot and heavy moment, he asked me to take things further but I declined. I was stupid to get involved with him but not stupid enough to do that – not with my married boss in Dubai, where adultery is illegal. We were off and on for years. One of us would get an attack of guilt, usually me, and end it. There would be periods of not speaking which probably would have led to the end of the relationship had we not worked together, but when you are seeing each other almost daily, within a few weeks, one of us would begin messaging again. It was an emotional affair. I was pestered for more intimate moments, with him messaging to ask if I was still at work as he wanted to see me but I never allowed myself to be in a room alone with him again without other people around to make sure we didn’t cross the line. I was loyal and faithful to him, and always understanding of his personal situation. I respected the times he couldn’t chat as he was with his family. I didn’t call him. We WhatsApped when in work then switched to work email out of work hours to ensure we weren’t caught. There was no intent to cause harm to his family or his marriage. It is a situation that should have fizzled out eventually with no consequences.

However, we worked together and over time, our personal relationship became toxic, which negatively impacted our professional relationship. He allowed his personal feelings for me to impact the way he treated me as a colleague and it is for that reason I reported him to our CEO and eventually went public. No one should tolerate working in a toxic environment. In the beginning when our relationship was good, he was very supportive of my teaching career aspirations. He was complimentary, encouraging, and spoke highly of me to others. I was on track for a promotion and he told me I was obviously next in line. But then there were times when he would bring his personal feelings into the workplace. For example, he would get upset with me if he thought I was being flirty with male colleagues and there would be some sort of punishment – a snarky WhatsApp or refusal to reply to messages. I had to speak to male colleagues for work but he would watch me when I was speaking to them, making me feel uncomfortable even though I was doing nothing wrong. Then there was the time we had a huge row as I had told him I wanted to end the relationship. A few days later, I needed professional support for a work matter but he completely refused to support me. Had that been any other colleague, he would have supported them. When I spoke to him about it, he admitted that he was upset with me due to our row, he thought I would know that, and he knew he had gone too far on the spectrum by not supporting me at all when he should have. Unfortunately this was not a one off. It became a pattern in the relationship. If he was upset with me, he would find a way to punish me at work and would undermine me to students, parents and colleagues. I felt I always had to keep him on side and please him to be able to work in a happy environment and progress in my career. In the final year I worked for him, there were work matters I needed his help with. He would give me advice, tell me he had my back, but then he didn’t. Contradictory statements were made which caused conflict between myself and my colleagues. He threw me under the bus with parents when there were issues. Nine years working in a school with excellent results for the subject I led gave me a certain amount of autonomy. In the final year it all changed. The quality of my work was questioned. I was told I had become difficult to manage and unsupportive of the kids – anyone who was not a yes person was perceived difficult to manage and I worked tirelessly to support my students. I had gone from being the golden girl on track for the top – called a ‘passionate and inspirational teacher’ by a school inspector in my final year of teaching – to a problem that needed to be forced out. I was only a ‘problem’ because I knew my boss was not the good guy devoted husband and father he likes to portray to the public and I’m a strong woman unafraid to speak her mind. The constant rows and perpetual mind games I endured from my ex/boss took their toll and I had a breakdown, leaving Dubai for a week to get my head together. He had done something particularly cruel and when I asked him to leave me alone at work, he didn’t. I felt trapped. Like I was being smothered with no way out. The only way I could get some space was to leave for a week. He was full of apologies, knowing he had gone too far, but something had broken in me and I knew I couldn’t take it anymore. I had to go back to finish the year for the kids I taught and to get the money I was owed to be able to go travelling – my ticket out. I resigned, intending to leave at the end of the school year and make a new life for myself. I didn’t make it through the year. His behaviour didn’t change, no matter what I did privately to try to sort out the situation between us. I was desperate for it to stop. For three years I kept my mouth shut (only confiding in a few close friends) and put up with his manipulative and controlling behaviour at work. I considered reporting him when I still worked for him but he is a very popular man and I didn’t think I would be believed, though I had collected evidence (emails, Whatsapps, a voice recording) throughout the relationship in case I needed it; I knew by getting romantically involved with my boss I had put myself in a vulnerable position and one day I might need to defend myself. I was right.

I wrote blog post ‘How To Date An Arsehole’, to get him to realise what he had put me through, to hopefully get him to stop (the original version included more specific details about the relationship). As a result of writing that post, I lost my job and home. I had to leave Dubai immediately to avoid arrest (for using inappropriate language and contravening the moral values of the UAE). I told the company we worked for why I had written the post and that I wanted to make a formal complaint about my ex/boss. He needed to understand that his treatment of me had been unprofessional and it’s not OK for a boss to abuse his position of power by mistreating a colleague due to an inappropriate relationship. I was asked to write down some details, ‘though you might feel differently about making a complaint once you go travelling’. It was clear from the get go I was being manipulated and fobbed off. I sent a long email attaching some screenshots that proved the inappropriate nature of our relationship, giving specific dates, details of incidents, and names of people we worked with who knew about the relationship. I was told by HR to ‘trust us to deal with him’. Despite the fact I had had to leave my job immediately after being suspended, I was open to agreeing to a fair resolution for my complaint. An apology from my ex/boss and his resignation (not necessarily immediate – I would have agreed to him working an extra year to wrap up his affairs) would have suitably dealt with the situation. However, no one called me. No one followed up my complaint. I was expected to shut up and go away. I didn’t. I stopped protecting him, for the sake of his family, when I realised he had lied and scapegoated me to keep his job.

Operation Cover Up went into action to try to stop me telling inconvenient truths and to let my ex/boss get away with all that he had done. Unknown to me at the time, there was a plan in place for his progression within the company and me opening my mouth was problematic. I was threatened with defamation (though I can prove what I’ve said), I was lied to (told they would deal with him) and I was forced to sign an NDA. To stand up for myself and protect other women, I blogged about my experience and publicly proved there had been an inappropriate relationship. He was excused and promoted; I was villainised just for telling the truth. It was all my fault apparently.

People hated me for going public and the online abuse has been horrific. They don’t seem to understand the ordeal that I have been through since I met this man. Getting involved with him was the biggest mistake of my life and all attempts to deal with him privately always failed. Even when I went public, he continued to find ways to contact me, and try to manipulate me. I didn’t even sleep with this man yet the relationship proved disastrous to me. I refused to suffer in silence and I will not apologise for that. It’s one thing to go through a bad relationship; it’s quite another experience for the person you loved to exploit his position of power and damage your career because you don’t want to be in a toxic relationship with them anymore. No one is above accountability. The relationship began consensually but it was not consensual by the end. I emailed him privately to ask for closure in July 2019 but I didn’t get it as I have written about in blog posts Dear Dubai Ex: Closure and Cyberstalking: A Protest.

So how did this story end? My ex/boss kept his job and he is still married, living in Dubai, like he has done nothing wrong. As of April 2020, he continues his attempts to communicate with/ contact me. On the day he first declared his feelings for me, he told me he ‘prided himself on appearing to be a good husband and father’. Note the use of the word ‘appearing’. Despite all that he put me through when I worked for him and all that he has done since I left, I can say with certainty that he is a loving and protective father. I hope his daughter is never treated by a man or an employer the way he treated me. Perhaps then he would understand why I fought so hard to stand up for myself and be heard, and why I blogged about the emotional abuse in our interlinked personal and professional relationship to help others who may be in similar situations. After a year of travelling, I am settled in London (*see note above) and have changed career from teaching to hospitality. No doubt his version of events is very different to mine. Evidence speaks for itself. Meeting with a police expert in cyberstalking/ coercively controlling relationships and a solicitor in the UK was a game-changer and confirmed for me what I always knew – that I was right to speak up and take a stand. I was brought up to have integrity; taught that when you do something wrong and cause harm to others, you have to take responsibility for that. I have made mistakes in my life and I own them, making apologies when necessary. Decent people don’t lie and talk their way out of situations they are responsible for or scapegoat other people. I am only responsible for my actions, not the actions of others. Everyone has the right to work in a safe workplace free from abusive behaviours and discrimination. If that is not your experience, speak up for yourself and for others. Even if you don’t get a ‘victory’, like we see at the end of the movie ‘Bombshell’, living your life free from abuse, knowing you told the truth, is the real victory.

The world needs to stop treating women like villains when they tell truths that are inconvenient. Stop expecting us to be good little girls who shut up and go away just because what we have to say does not suit your agenda. Don’t silence us with NDAs before listening to us; we will only shout louder to be heard. I rest my case.

Get Lit (Not Gaslighted…)


Last edited: 13th January 2020

*Trigger warning: this post discusses gaslighting, narcissists, and emotional abuse.

This post links with Inconvenient Truths; If You Know, You Know; Cyberstalking: A Protest; Dear Dubai Ex: Closure; In Control: Warning Signs of a Controlling PartnerIt’s Not Me, It’s You; How To Date An Arsehole; Invisible Scars, and Gaslighting Survival Guide.

Early in 2018, I was reading an article online about gaslighting when I had a profound realisation. The sense of clarity I experienced was so strong, I felt sick to my stomach. Gaslighting is a tactic people use to gain power over someone and used in romantic relationships, it can be highly effective and completely insidious. The penny finally dropped. My ex was a narcissist and throughout our involvement, he had used a range of gaslighting techniques on me to keep me attached to him and to try to control me. This realisation was an absolute shocker to me and was the catalyst to me fighting my way out of the relationship and finding happiness away from him.

Handsome, clever, charming and witty, we connected immediately. I was flattered when he began pursuing me: asking for my phone number, sending me flirtatious work emails, DMing me on Facebook. We messaged constantly, always watching out for each other, and it felt like us against the world, with shared jokes and confidences. I would light up with joy whenever I was around him. I could feel when he walked into a room, even if I couldn’t see him. It was like the air changed. I’m very empathic, an ‘emotional sponge’, so I’m sensitive to others’ moods and emotions and I’m an emotional person – I wear my heart on my sleeve and don’t hide my emotions. Apparently empaths and narcissists are frequently drawn to each other and it is not uncommon for relationships between the two to become toxic, as it did in our case. From what I’ve read, the attraction arises because narcissists thrive on being given attention and like to be worshipped whilst the empath loves to give and tends to be too forgiving, letting the narcissist get away with poor behaviour. Narcissists feed off the emotions of empaths and empaths will often give until they have nothing left, leaving the empath drained, which is why such relationships can be very damaging to empaths in particular. As long as the narcissist gets their own way, it’s all good. If you challenge them in any way, point out flaws or try to stand up for yourself, that’s when the trouble starts. He met his match in me.

A few months into the involvement, there had been a couple of red flags, such as hot and cold behaviour (often rapidly changing between the two), his actions not matching his words, and some sharply worded messages (a sudden slap in written form), but he always had an explanation and I was in too deep by then to see that the gaslighting had begun. To me his good qualities outweighed the aspects I didn’t like, he was very persuasive, and I was accepting and made excuses for him because I loved him. We are all human, flawed, irrational, and contradictory sometimes. My friends were worried for me and advised me to leave the relationship. However, I can be incredibly stubborn. I will always follow my gut instinct and do what I think is best. Unfortunately, in this situation, I completely ignored my gut instinct and continued with a relationship that was ultimately to prove highly toxic and harmful. In the last year or so I was aware that the situation wasn’t good for me and was negatively impacting my health but I couldn’t seem to break away. This is where the gaslighting had worked its magic.

Abuse in relationships can take many forms. I am fortunate that I have never been in a physically abusive relationship or been called derogatory names by a partner which people typically associate with abusive relationships. However, today there is greater awareness of emotional abuse and the impact that can have. Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse. An insightful article about gaslighting written by Stephanie A. Sarkis can be found here Gaslighting can happen to anyone. I’m a smart girl but he completely suckered me in. I definitely experienced the blatant lies, being told things to appease me that weren’t true, promises made that he had no intention of keeping, and manipulation. He was also possessive and would watch me when I was chatting to other men; he was prone to jealous sulks if he thought I’d been flirting with them and there would be some sort of retaliation as punishment. When you get involved with someone you make yourself vulnerable and in a healthy relationship, the other person will take care not to hurt you or do things that they know will cause you pain. In my relationship with my ex, there were times when he did things to deliberately hurt me if he was displeased with me. I could also suddenly be ignored either in person or he wouldn’t reply to messages – withholding affection was used to control and assert power over me – as he knew I hated being ignored and that it would drive me nuts if he was cold and distant with me. To stand up for myself and give him a taste of his own medicine, I would then do the same back to him as I knew he also didn’t like being ignored. I knew exactly what to say or do to provoke him – you get to know each others Achilles heels when intimately involved – though most of the time I tried very hard to please him. I had to take him off my Facebook three times because of things he posted; he removed me once – when I posted I was going on a date to annoy him in response to him going cold on me once again. After the first year I had to block him on Facebook for good. We were always falling out and making up; like trying to stand upright on shifting sand, I felt constantly unbalanced. He never seemed to understand my side and would often emotionally invalidate me, dismissing my feelings and being defensive if I tried to explain how his behaviour impacted me. 

I am an honest, direct, person and I think it’s important in relationships for you to be able to communicate openly and honestly without fear of retribution. When I did call him out on the things he did, he would often turn it back on me, make me feel guilty, telling me it was my fault I had misinterpreted something he said, implying I was over-sensitive. Some of his behaviour just didn’t make sense – once I was sent a sharp email and a sweet WhatsApp message at the same time and another time I was sent a kiss emoji but then blanked by him when he saw me. I was always trying to puzzle him out. At times it wasn’t OK how he treated me but if I complained the situation between us was toxic, a headf*ck, and I wanted out, he would become indignant, calling me nasty and abusive, and sulk. If I asked for space, I wouldn’t get it. Rather than seeing that I was trying to do the right thing for both of us (who wants to be in a miserable relationship with frequent conflict?), it was like he felt how dare I not want to be with him and he had a ‘F*ck her, I’ll do what I want’ entitled attitude. For some reason, he just couldn’t let me go. I was an uncontrollable force of nature that he wanted to control. It changed me as a person over time – I became anxious, needy, snappy, paranoid, couldn’t sleep, and cried all the time. My relationships with others, friends and work colleagues became negatively impacted. Eventually I had a breakdown. I couldn’t take anymore. My head and heart were totally f*cked by the time I ended the relationship for good.

So many people stay in toxic/emotionally abusive relationships because they think if they just love the other person enough, it will get better – especially if the other person promises that it will, like my ex did with me – and it can be incredibly difficult to leave the relationship. It’s painful to walk away from someone that you still love, even though you know the situation between you is doing neither of you any good. The good news is you can break away if you are strong enough and believe that you deserve better. Of course I had moments of nostalgia after I left when I missed him, especially if I heard songs we shared, but I also felt a lot of anger towards him for everything he had put me through. Toxic relationships can bring euphoric highs and lots and lots of bonecrushing lows. The drama can be addictive and you tell yourself that you must really feel strongly for each other if you keep going back to each other. That’s not true. It’s just a bad habit. An abusive cycle that can be broken. On-and-off relationships are NOT healthy. Can’t-live-with-can’t-live-without relationships are NOT healthy. Relationships are not always easy but they shouldn’t be painful or harmful or bring out the worst in you. No one who really loves you would ever use gaslighting techniques on you to manipulate and control you, to punish you or make you stay in a relationship with them.

If you are in a toxic/abusive relationship, do yourself a favour. Detox your life. Block them and commit to withdrawal from your relationship addiction. Get counselling if you need it – this has been invaluable to me, allowing me to articulate my experience (to hopefully help others) and has helped me to let all the anger go. Focus on self-care and doing the things that you love, and in time you will find that you are so much happier without the relationship in your life. You know you are at that point when you glow – people keep telling me that I look happy and I am. No longer gaslighted (or should that be gaslit?), I’m lit on life with my arms open to embrace all the possibilities/opportunities coming my way.      

Take care, Lisa.


#MeToo My Stories


Last edited: 13th January 2020

*Trigger warning: this post discusses sexual assault.

Proving once again the power of words to unite, I have watched in awe at the global rise of the #MeToo movement, and subsequent linked campaigns such as #Time’sUp, etc. The tidal wave of stories proves that this particular zeitgeist had been a long time coming and importantly, it has made all women and men pause, reflect, and acknowledge their own experiences; myself included. 

I used to think that I was someone who was fortunate to have never experienced sexual assault. Sexual assault was something that happened to other people who were perhaps in the wrong place at the wrong time or had been deliberately targeted by a predator but #MeToo made me realise that there is a spectrum of sexualised behaviour and none of it should be acceptable when it is not consensual. #MeToo made me realise that I was also a part of this movement and I too had stories to share.

When I was six years old I was a pretty little girl with long blond hair, dimples, enjoying a carefree childhood. However, when I was also six years old, I had two lucky escapes, one more serious than the other. My dad was in the British Army and for a time we lived in an army barracks when dad was stationed in Ballykinler near Downpatrick, Northern Ireland. One day when I was walking home alone from school, a car pulled up and a man I didn’t recognise but knew my name told me to get into the car as my dad had asked him to give me a lift home. I remember that he seemed young, friendly and smiley but something didn’t feel right and I ran off, and ran all the way home. When dad got home, he didn’t mention anything about asking someone to pick me up and I didn’t say anything about what had happened. A few days later though, when walking down the same road with my mum, I blurted out the encounter and she was horrified. There had been no arrangement for me to be picked up. It was reported to the police, I didn’t hear anything more after that and I never saw the man again. Who knows what he had in mind but thanks to my gut instinct, I didn’t have to find out.

The more serious incident I buried for a long time, dismissing it as childhood exploration, and involved my neighbour’s son, Nicholas, who was nine years old. Mum had a difficult pregnancy with my little brother and she was in hospital, it seemed like forever, on bedrest until he was born two months prematurely. Dad still had to work full time so after school everyday I would have to go to my neighbour’s house to wait for my dad to pick me up. On the day concerned, I was playing upstairs with Nicholas and his little brother when Nicholas asked me to go into his mother’s bedroom with him. With trust and no fear whatsoever of anything sinister, being a naive six year old, I followed and did as I was asked. There was a small TV with a video player attached sitting on the chest of drawers in front of his mother’s bed and Nicholas opened the top drawer, took a video cassette out and popped it into the machine. After a couple of seconds of the cassette whirring and fuzzy images on a screen, a pornographic video began to play. I had never seen anything like this before. The closest I had come to seeing naked bodies before this was seeing the bare-breasted pictures of ‘The Sun’ newspaper Page 3 girls. I was fascinated. Nicholas then instructed me to lift up my school skirt, remove my underwear and lie on the bed. Being an obedient little girl, I did as I was told but had no idea what was going on or why I’d been asked to remove clothes. I assumed it was a new game. Nicholas was in the process of taking off his school trousers when his mother called up that my dad had arrived to collect me and it was time for me to go home. He told me to quickly get dressed and that I shouldn’t tell anyone what we had done. As far as I was concerned, nothing had happened so of course I wasn’t going to tell anyone. I didn’t understand what had happened or what could have potentially happened had we not been interrupted so I kept it to myself. Nicholas was my friend and he had asked me to keep a secret so that was that. Mum came home not long after so I didn’t have to be in the neighbour’s house anymore and we moved to Northern Ireland – where the ‘attempted abduction’ occurred. Only when I was much older did I comprehend the reality of the situation with Nicholas and how lucky I had been. I wonder if I had told someone about it, would it have been taken seriously or would it have been dismissed as two kids ‘messing about’?

When a flasher exposed himself to myself and my fellow ten-year-old giggling school friends as we played with abandon in the school playground, we found it hilarious rather than frightening. He was a middle-aged gentleman, clean-shaven (I’m talking about his face… ) who seemed perfectly respectable as he approached the railings, there to protect us from such paedophilic predators, until he opened his raincoat. On top he wore a neatly-ironed shirt and tie, down below, he was naked and when he knew he had our attention, he proceeded to shake his flaccid member around, windmill-fashion, with a leering look on his face. He looked pathetic. We laughed at him, ran away, and reported him to a teacher.

As an adult, newly graduated from university, I was living in beautiful York in the north of England and working as a waitress in a cocktail bar (spot the song lyric)… One night I couldn’t get a taxi home as it was a busy night and as I knew it would only take me twenty-five minutes to walk home, I decided to risk it. I set off at 2 am – we had had a few drinks after work to wind down. About fifteen minutes into my walk, in quite a dark, isolated area, I became aware of someone walking briskly behind me. Something about this put me on edge. I quickened my pace and after a brief glance behind me, saw it was a man wearing a hooded top, jeans and scruffy trainers. He could easily have been just a lad from one of the universities making his way home from the pub so I told myself not to panic. However, when I sped up, so did he. I crossed the road to see if he would follow me. He did. My heart was racing and my mouth had gone dry. Fear had set in. I crossed the road. He followed. When I crossed the road for a third time and he followed, I was freaking out and knew I probably wouldn’t be able to out-run him so I turned round and confronted him. I asked him what the f**k he thought he was doing. Stunned to have been challenged, he said “I’m so sorry” and ran off. I was shaking and cried the rest of the way home. I never walked home late at night again. 

My final story was a close encounter of the non-consensual kind. I was in LA for the summer doing work experience (a four-week internship) in Hollywood, working with two university friends at the California Film Commission. The office was in a building on Hollywood Boulevard and as we made our way to work each day, it was not uncommon to see a celebrity getting their star unveiled on the Walk of Fame. One particular mid-morning, as we strolled to work we saw a crowd gathering and being nosy Brits, we stopped to see whose turn it was today. James Brolin was today’s recipient and I was excited about this as I am a massive Barbra Streisand fan. She had recently married Brolin so I knew there was a high chance that she would be escorting him for the celebrations. We decided to wait, found a good spot to watch the proceedings and we ended up striking up conversation with an elderly couple who were also hoping to catch a glimpse of the legendary Barbra. Gloria and Bob were a retired couple from Ohio who were in town to visit their son, a film producer. They fitted the stereotype of devoted grandparents, as they proudly displayed photos of their beloved grandsons and granddaughters and shared anecdotes. It was a pleasant way to pass the time and I enjoyed their company. Eventually Brolin and his entourage arrived and I was delighted to see Barbra. I faced forward to take it all in and get as many photos of the occasion as I could. Unfortunately Bob saw this as his opportunity. He moved forward to stand directly behind me. I was uncomfortable about the close proximity but he had seemed harmless and I was caught up in the moment. Bob grew braver; he inched closer and rubbed himself up against my pert bum. I was restrained by the crowd of people but attempted to move forward to escape him. Not taking the hint, he just moved closer and perfectly positioned himself to enable his erection to sit between my buttock cheeks. I couldn’t move so I turned my head to glare at him and he grinned at me, clearly enjoying every moment. I felt paralysed. I didn’t want to cause a scene as I didn’t want to upset Gloria who seemed so sweet. So I just stood there and let him press himself against me until the unveiling was over, the crowd dispersed and I was able to escape. I felt nauseous and too stunned to cry. When I told my two friends what had happened, they were surprised and upset for me but we just laughed it off, went to work and I put it out of my mind. I didn’t think about reporting it. I just let him get away with it. How many times had Bob gotten away with this kind of behaviour before? How many times have things like this happened to people, things that are not OK and cross the line, and have just been dismissed as they don’t seem serious enough to report?

Despite these stories, I know I am one of the lucky ones. I have never encountered some of the horrific acts of abuse and sexual assault that many women and men have gone through and my experiences, when gauged on the spectrum and put into perspective, are not that serious. However, they all could have been more serious than they were and are examples of blurred lines and predators acting on opportunity. Regardless of your gender, it is not OK for anyone to take advantage of you without your consent and we must educate our children from a young age about how to respect and protect their bodies, what behaviours to watch out for, what is and isn’t acceptable, how to keep themselves safe, and about consent. I remember learning about basic ‘Stranger Danger’ when I was a kid but that wasn’t enough, and isn’t enough for the world we live in today.

#MeToo has caused a revolution and I am proud of those who have spoken out and been brave enough to share their stories, allowing people like myself to share theirs too. Thank you.    

Take care, Lisa.