I quit my very toxic, very FUCKED UP job in October of 2017. Like, I could go to court TOXIC, but broke, normal people cannot afford the convenience financially or bureaucratically to do that. If I could hire Gloria Allred…fuck yes I would. Two men came in to the office I was Office Manager at and harassed and accosted me, under the guise of ‘wanting to know what businesses were in this building’. They verbally and physically threatened me when I asked them to leave. Standing over me, aggressively speaking to me. They followed me into the back hallway and refused to leave. I called building security, they sent up a maintenance guy, the two men would still not leave even when the Dr. came out of his office and a fucking asshole client was sitting there too, and still the men would not leave until I took out my phone and started filming them.
They were not solicitors as they claimed. They had zero information or business cards. A few weeks later an office nearby was broken into and nothing was stolen but the whole place was ransacked. I’m pretty sure they were just looking for drugs, and pretty sure these incidents were related. Although not after the maintenance guy went out of his way to talk to each office on our floor, found out these men went in there too and did the same thing to every woman; but I stood up to them and asked them to leave so I was discredited and demeaned in a letter from the building that the doctor used to discredit me in his Unemployment letter statements.
I have every right to feel safe. I was alone in that office. They followed me in the back hall, I knocked on the Doctor’s door and he did not come out. I left the office completely and called for help. What I hate most is I was in the frame of mind that I Didn’t Want To Get In Trouble. Fuck you.
With a great attorney I could sue for losing my job. I asked for some security or changes with the office protocol or the door or SOMETHING. I just kept picturing being shot in the face one day if these guys came back; obviously out for the woman who spoke out of turn to them. All over my $13 an hour job. I freaked out and was a nervous fucking mess and he said if I quit it would be job abandonment and that he didn’t think the whole incident was that bad. He trashed me in his letter to the Unemployment Office, using my daughter and my personal problems with her in the last year as evidence that I was not ‘stable’. Although I did not miss a day of work due to this. So on top of worrying about my daughter in and out of ER’s and rehabs, I now had this.
Not to mention that the two men, AND the 2 male clients that were present, the male security guard and male doctor all treated me like nothing happened. I was openly shaken and visibly crying and upset. They all went back to acting as if nothing happened, blame shifting and minimizing the event. One even giving me his credit card and paying for his appointment while I was crying at the front desk. And I’m no slouch, I used to be a bouncer and a roller derby queen.
In the middle of it, I called my boyfriend because I had no one there helping me, and GOD FORBID I LEAVE THIS AMAZINGFUCKBALL of a job (not) and I hung up the phone to start filming so he just drove over. He sat with me until I got off work. The Doctor also made fun of this in his statements. I was so afraid to leave, quit, get fired, do something wrong, as this is the environment of gas-lighting and victim blaming the wonderful Doctor had created there; constantly letting clients demean me and talk down to me as well as him belittling me in front of them and by stepping in during appointment setting to book them when I had just told them there was no availability. It was fine if everyone treated me like a complete idiot, and it was my problem if someone was belittling me, I needed to work with his clientele. It was all ME.
Inside of this year as well, I began calling out the Denver Comedy scene for being sexist, and misogynistic, siting posters with tits being grabbed, no women being booked, an article written in the Denver Post clearly siding with the white males of this community, a club staying open despite reports of abuse and harassment to women from the owner and major players, a show put on just to harass a local female comic, and someone telling me they were scared of being associated with me due to their ties to the local (shithole) comedy club here and me being booked on one of their shows.
This town took something I loved and spit it into my face with venom and hate and spite. If you are over 40, female, starting out, creating a space for yourself and speaking out about abusers, there is no room for you here. I had just come down off an AMAZING female comedy fest in Madison WI and started an all female space to do comedy and when I even posted events someone would step in to post THEIR shit. The complicit women on this scene are disgusting, the men circle jerking each other constantly is sickening and I just didn’t want this bad enough I guess, to put up with this SHIT. I took myself out of three major, paying shows.
Those women in Hollywood fighting this fight have my kudos for putting up with this shit just to be able to work in their passion filled dream of a job and I imagine, all the while, watching their male counterparts win awards. The #metoo movement is mindnumbing and heartbreaking to watch and be a part of.
A year of this will wear you down.
A lifetime of this will just fucking snap you.
I left the job and I left comedy. I had anxiety attacks nightly, couldn’t sleep, went into a huge depression and have pretty much stayed in bed if I wasn’t at work or going to the bathroom. I eased into work with a part time job. Still dealing with rich, obnoxious assholes at the coffee shop, but it was a job.
I took my time healing mentally and physically with yoga, walking, sleeping, changing my diet to include more veggies and less BEER, bread, sugar, and quit smoking and by also dumping toxic people and places. The biggest thing I did is to quit beating myself up. I have the most wonderful supportive man in my life who said ‘Do YOU. Take some time to see what you like. Do nothing, do everything, just do what you want.’ And I have. And I thank you Michael.
Now, I have found a job I love, with friends I love, I am writing, I am working on creating films with my friend, I am signed to do a play this summer, I am painting/drawing again and I am still taking this all very, very slowly. This healing only started four months ago. Although I miss performing, I will find a way to get back to the stage. Until then though, I am sick of taking all the blame, I am sick of listening to gas lighters and victim blamers, I grew up with this shit so no wonder I found it all so familiar. I am spending a lot of time forgiving myself, and giving back to the abusers of my life, the responsibilities that were never mine to take care of.
I refuse to live in survival mode any longer.
This is just LIVING. I highly recommend it.