Posted by: Marie | January 19, 2010

(229) Keeping it aboveboard

Post #229
[Private journal entry written on Wednesday, September 23, 2009]

I saw Ron again today – for a few quick minutes. We were both in the middle of fulfilling our employment duties, so our conversation was brief . . . but intense . . .

He said he wanted to follow up with me concerning what I told him in our previous conversation – that my historical willingness to engage in risqué conversation and behavior came from a desperate need to be seen and approved of by men . . . by any man.

Photo by Martin Chen

He said that, since I told him that, whenever a woman responded to his risqué comments, or initiated that type of dialogue with him, all he can think about is, really, she is in pain – that she really doesn’t want to be having that conversation – that, instead, she really wants to be seen and heard and respected – that it is really a cry for acceptance and love.

Of course, I responded with an emphatic, “Oh, good! I’m glad!” He grinned and jokingly (half jokingly?) disagreed with my enthusiasm, saying that I had “ruined” his fun. I’m not sure he was joking, although his facial expressions relayed a teasing attitude.

I told him that I really appreciated that he took the time to have a meaningful conversation with me on that day of our first meeting. I told him that I had felt heard and seen and appreciate that day – that he had indeed made a contribution to my healing. I told him that I had written a blog post about our conversation and that I’d be willing to share it with him – if he wanted to read it.

He told me to email it to him . . . but not to use his personal email because his wife shared that account with him. He expressed concern about me sending it to his work (use of business email for personal reasons is taboo), but said that would be the less risky option.

I felt rather strange after his comments about his email accounts – it is important to me that any friendship I have with him be aboveboard and respectful of his wife and marriage. But, I let it go without further ado . . .

I also followed up on something he said earlier . . . in our first conversation, he had asked me if I was putting myself at risk of losing my job by publishing a blog about my abuse – even though I use a pseudonym. He had said that employers might not want to deal with the publicity that might come if someone figured out my real identity. He said I was putting myself at further risk by talking to some of my co-workers about my blog.

My response to him had been that I didn’t do anything wrong – that I was the victim of a crime. I emphasized that I was currently doing my job, fulfilling my employment contract . . . and doing a very good job of that, by the way . . . what reason would my employer have for firing me for talking about a crime that was committed against me?

In the days since that earlier conversation, I had thought of an additional response – and I shared it with him today. I asked him if anyone would bat an eye if a person who had been robbed at gunpoint openly talked about the crime at work . . . ?? He said, “Well, no.” I asked him why it would be any different for me . . . ? After all, I had been the victim of a “mental strong arm” robbery!

I tried to be gentle in my asking of those questions . . . I wasn’t trying to make him feel bad or chew him out . . . I just wanted him to continue thinking in a new way about childhood sexual abuse – and women in general. He didn’t say much; he just looked at me thoughtfully and nodded his head.

We ended our quick conversation by exchanging email addresses and phone numbers. I’m not sure what will happen from here. Time will tell.


  1. It sounds like it was a really worthwhile conversation.

    • Hey, Evan –

      It was most certainly one that made me think!

      – Marie

  2. This is the type of post where the time delay is particularly interesting, since you already know how this played out in the long run. :-)

    He said that, since I told him that, whenever a woman responded to his risqué comments, or initiated that type of dialogue with him, all he can think about is, really, she is in pain – that she really doesn’t want to be having that conversation.

    Mmmm-hmmmm. Well, how about not making risque comments then, Randy my boy? Especially since they’re completely unnecessary in any context except one in which both parties are flirting consensually? And *especially* unnecessary when you’re already married?

    Randy seems quite disingenuous and manipulative to me, as does his interest in continuing to interact with you on this topic, while worrying about how his wife will take it.

    Then again, this kind of thing is one of my hot button issues, as I believe that men continually push and violate boundaries of good taste and fidelity.

    • Hey, David –

      The time delay thing is really weird to work with . . . I’ve done a few presentations on my blog to blogging groups/classes and it is fun to watch the audience members work to grasp how the time delay affects me (the blogger) and my readers. It’s like working inside a time warp.

      I like your suggestion that Randy not make risqué comments — very good point!

      Stay tuned for the rest of the story . . . LOL.

      – Marie

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