Yesterday I took my daughter to see the play Cinderella and something happened in the theatre and it was really intense and I handled it and let it go. Then, last night I could not bring myself to write. I could not think of a single thing to write about. I could not stop wasting precious time online. I finally spit out an unfocused piece and posted it. Then I remembered why I was so hazy. I needed a day to process everything. Funny how the brain works.
I took my daughter to the theatre to see Cinderella. I sat between my daughter and a stranger, a man. As the show began someone tall sat in front of my daughter and I switched our seats.
During the show the subtlest thing happened. My daughter turned her head twice in the direction of the guy she was sitting next to. So subtle. I immediately got a pervert vibe from him. During suspended reality events like films and plays, we are not randomly drawn out of the show. The only reason one would bother to notice the audience around them is if something were happening to draw their attention.
I immediately looked over at the guy who was innocently sitting there in the dark next to my daughter with his program on his lap. I scanned him from head to toe and never took my eye off of him again for the entire act. I put my arm around my daughter and held her close, making sure his body and leg and hand were nowhere near her.
At first, I felt trauma come up in my body and then I remembered who I am. I checked in on my body. I got present, grounded, fine. I felt comfortable and protective. I made sure he knew I had my eye on him. He knew. He was not going to get a chance to accidentally move his leg near my daughter’s, he was not going to get to move his hand under his program. He was not going to get a chance to do whatever subtle movements certain men did in the dark, in a public place, near a child. He stared straight ahead, never meeting my gaze. Funny how I stared intensely at him the entire act and he never turned his head to look at what the hell was going on, like anyone else have done. He didn't look because he knew.
I had no hard evidence, just a feeling, just a tiny head turn and I was on it. It was not lost on me that I was seeing this children’s play and I was having to deal with him. Ah, yes, just another opportunity to heal. Life loves to give you opportunities to revisit your experiences and change the way things went down.
It was a drag to have to be so vigilant, but I weighed the options and did not want to upset my daughter and put her back in the seat with the blocked view and have to explain why during the show. I made my best choice. I also somewhat enjoyed letting him know that I was onto him and watching him like a hawk.
At intermission I dared him to look me in the eye but of course he would not. I took my daughter for a walk and asked her if the guy next to her was bothering her. She thought it a strange question, and said no and asked why. I said I saw her look at him and I wondered if he bumped into her or was snoring too loud. She laughed and said no. That was that.
Then I got a booster from the usher and when we went back to our seats we switched seats, I sat next to him and she sat on the booster, able to see over the tall person. She was curious why we switched. I made up a casual answer. I never looked at that man again. Once I was there the vibe completely changed, he was done. I got to watch the second act without a single thought about him. My girl was safe.
Onward and upward. xHolly
PS, in case you ever find yourself struggling with uncertainty and don’t know what to do, when in doubt, my rule of thumb is: suspect the worst and handle it. At the end of the day it is way better to be wrong and have to apologize than to be polite and allow something bad happen. (but, alas, I was not wrong).