I’ve composed a letter to send to the women of my class:
I won’t be coming to class anymore. I thought you should know why.
Tuesday the 16th, I ended up being the last person to be out drinking with Teacher. We were talking about chronic pain, and after I came back from the bathroom (before I sat back down), Teacher asked if I could sit by him for a second and share a hug; he felt really good about the chronic pain talk that we had.
So I did. And then he started kissing me. And groping my breasts. And telling me what a wonderful lover he was and how he’d always been attracted to me, and how he had an “understanding” with the person he lived with.
To my everlasting shame, when this started, I totally froze. It was so completely unexpected, and shocking, and…I’ve known Teacher for over ten years. Where the fuck did this come from?
When he asked if it was OK, I said yes, mainly because I was freaked out, in a really bad place mentally, and still frozen by the whole thing. Was my work in class actually any good, or was this inclusion into class just a front to get into my pants? Did I do something wrong to bring this on? Could I still BE in class after this? I didn’t want to give up our wonderful class.
Unfortunately, what I realized after this happened is that I would have to give up class because I have no respect for Teacher as a person anymore. I don’t want to see him ever again.
I am taking responsibility for the mistakes/difficult part on my end, which was freezing, and then saying that I was OK with what was going on, when I was completely NOT OK with it. I already have a really good therapist, so we’re going to work on that together and I’ll see what I can do to have a reaction that protects me better, should this ever happen again in the future.
In the meantime, after a lot of debate, I decided to let you all know this. At the very least, I’d caution you to be aware of what might happen after Teacher has been drinking and asks for a hug because he feels close to you. That’s the part that really pisses me off. I thought that was a totally innocent hug, and we’ve hugged before on parting, so it didn’t occur to me that it would be anything more than a few second hug before I sat back down on the other side of the booth.
But for this “innocent hug” to turn into kissing and groping…that feels pretty fucking premeditated. And even though I might piss people off, and will probably create some division in the class by sending this email, I thought it best to send it, because if I heard later that any of you had the same experience that I did after this happened to me, I’d feel horribly guilty for not saying something.
I will miss you all very much, and am deeply sorry that this happened.
I also sent it to Robert, and asked his thoughts. He wants to show it to Andrea, and get her thoughts, which I’m fine with.
Robert said that he and Andrea had already had a general discussion about this. Once Robert told Andrea what happened to me, after she got over the general shock, she worried about telling the other women in the class. She also wondered if any of them had already had this happen to them with the teacher.
I’m not a hundred percent sure if what I’ll send, but the more I think about it, the more I think that I really need to send something. This isn’t all about making it entirely the teacher’s fault. I still think I should have reacted better, told him no, slapped him. Walked out. But even so, he should have never fucking lured me in for a hug and then used it as a springboard to make out with me and grope me.
As a teacher, as someone in a position of authority, if he had actual feelings for me (instead of just wanting to try and see what he could get by springing himself of me), then he could have fucking told me. While I sat on the other side of the booth. And also being emotionally intelligent and made it clear that a relationship would be completely separate from class (though frankly, I wouldn’t have believed that, though I’d have been clear on his sincere desire to keep them as separate as possible).
But that’s not what happened, and here we are. I think if nothing else, I would like to warn the women of my class, so that they’re not surprised the way that I was.