I was on translink about a year ago, reading a newspaper. When I put it down, I noticed directly across from me, a man was covering himself with a backpack and masturbating. He gave me a creepy smile. I looked away and felt somewhat paralyzed to move.
I eventually got up to the front of the bus, and then eventually got the courage to say there was someone masturbating on the bus. The bus driver was sympathetic and wasn’t blaming me (thank god) and I think he mentioned something about the police, but by the time I was trying to point him out, the guy in question had ran off. By the time I got off the bus, I could feel myself shaking.
I remember afterwards being at a computer at school and re traumatizing myself, thinking that a guy across from me was masturbating. Looking back, I don’t think he really was, at that point I was just hypervigilant and hyperaware of guys and their actions. The trauma I experienced and felt was real, both on the bus and at the computer. This time, I was more conscious of the fact that afterwards I was shaking, and I felt so angry towards the guy. But since that anger was not resolved or spoken about, I could feel the anger at myself, for allowing this to happen, hating myself, wanting to hurt myself. I had never felt those feelings before. I could understand how survivors sometimes internalize things.
I now have dog spray and specifically got a phone that can take pictures so I can be prepared for the next time.
I have fantasies of ripping off his backpack and throwing it across the bus, causing a lot of attention and commotion and using the bystander effect to my advantage. I would then accidentally on purpose pour steaming hot coffee over him, saying in a loud voice, “OH, I’M SORRY. I’M SOOOOOO CLUMSY. BUS DRIVER, YOU NEED TO STOP THE BUS SO HE CAN GET CLEANED UP”. I would repeat that until the bus driver stops, comes over, gets disgusted and then calls the police.T