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Author Topic: Socializing with someone who makes you feel unsafe  (Read 27675 times)

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JoieGirl7

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Socializing with someone who makes you feel unsafe
« on: September 11, 2013, 12:47:13 PM »

I think I was OK on this.  Maybe not a social butterfly or super fun to be around but cordial.

My husband has a friend Tom who has a place out in the country.  Itís very rustic and they have a shooting gallery where they shoot in the afternoon.

The rest of the time is taken up by cooking on an open fire and drinking lots of alcohol.  (Alcohol is never involved during shooting sessions, btw.)

My husband usually goes up there with another friend Hal and itís a lot of guys hanging out.  My husband and Tom were always pestering me to go.

So, finally, I went.  Hal was not going to be able to go so it was even better.  I donít really like Hal enough to want to spend a few hours in a car with him let alone an entire weekend.

And I must say, I was a little resentful of the constant pressure to go.  A message on FB from Tom to me said ďYou better come Missy!Ē  I donít like being called ďMissy.Ē

The people who go up there for these weekends changes.  This weekend I was told that it was going to be Tom and a friend of his Jon.

So, we get up there and Tom is already three sheets to the wind.  He is barely stringing sentences together but is a happy drunk and is saying that according to the rules we all have to do a shot of vodka.

My husband who never does shots is totally into it.  I decline citing medication issues (which was true).

So, while not completely at ease with Tom being so drunk, that is not really the problem.

The problem is that in addition to Jon, there is also another man there.  Weíll call him Rusty.

When we arrive, Tom is not the only drunk one.  Jon and Rusty are pretty drunk too and are continuing to do shots.

It starts to dawn on me that  I am very, very uncomfortable in the situation.  I think about the fact that I do not know Jon or Rusty at all.  We are in the middle of nowhere, no cell reception, no phones at all.  We have a small arsenal of weapons and everyone (but me) is drunk and getting drunker.  And as the only female in the situation, I do not feel safe.  We are all staying in the small 3 bedroom house there.

I figure that the main source of my discomfort is the extra man.  My husband has met Jon several times before, but he doesnít know Rusty and we are not sure if Rusty is Jonís friend only or if he is also a friend of Tomís.

My discomfort over the weapons is not that they are weapons but that I know they are worth a great deal of money and not really trusting at least one of the guys who was there, my mind was spinning a Lifetime movie in my brain, if you understand what I mean.

So, my behavior was essentially to be invisible.  I stayed in my room all day and read, going for a walk later on when the men had left the house.  I told my DH about not feeling safe so he made sure to come up to the house if Jon or Rusty did so that I would not be alone with them at all.

I just kind of ignored both Jon and Rusty the whole weekend.

At one point, the first night, Tom made dinner and it was really simple but it was something I liked and I was happy with it.  Rusty slid up to me and said ďThis is the stuff you get when Tom makes dinner.  But, donít you worry, Iím gonna cook for you tomorrow night, babe!Ē

I said nothing.  It was not an appropriate comment, particularly the "babe" part.*  I thought that saying anything at all would only give him traction for more interaction which was something I wanted nothing of.  So, I didnít.  I didnít look at him even when we were sitting around the campfire.  (*And he didn't cook at all either--it was never in the plans for him to do so, so I don't even know why he said that.)

Jon was easier to ignore because he was kind of jumpy and always everywhere at once.  I doubt he even noticed that I didnít interact with him.

I did interact with my host Tom throughout the day and in the evenings.

Also, the second night up there, I was fixing something for dinner up in the house by myself when Rusty came up there.  I don't know why he came up there--maybe to get something from the kitchen.  But, he came into the house with a lit cigarette which was definitely a no-no and he lingered for a few minutes.  I again did not encourage any interaction and was very uncomfortable being there alone with him.

So, I guess the question is, under these rather bizarre circumstances, was I required to do more than be cordial to a man who made me very uncomfortable, even if he might not have really posed a threat to me.

Iím thinking no, but there is a part of me that thinks I should have given the guy a chance.  Although, my more sensible side kicks in and suggests that that would have been fine under different circumstances.

I wonder if I upset my host but its really hard to tell because he was drunk for much of the time.

And let me be clear.  I didn't refuse to talk to anyone or ignore them if they addressed me directly (which they really didn't do to any great extent) but I definitely put off a vibe of "don't bother me" to Rusty and to a lesser extent, Jon. 

I can't even really put my finger on exactly what set my detectors.  I just know that I didn't feel safe.

snowdragon

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Re: Socializing with someone who makes you feel unsafe
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2013, 12:51:10 PM »
Oh, heck, I would have left when I saw folks were drinking around firearms.

No, you are not required to be any thing but polite to someone you don't know or who makes you uncomfortable.

Goosey

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Re: Socializing with someone who makes you feel unsafe
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2013, 12:57:32 PM »
Quote
The rest of the time is taken up by cooking on an open fire and drinking lots of alcohol.  (Alcohol is never involved during shooting sessions, btw.)
Were they drinking around firearms?

OP, I guess I'm confused. With all the information you had before you went, it's a little strange to me that you were surprised that the weekend was pretty much exactly as it was described to you?

I don't think anyone was rude here. I think they may have been more familiar than you liked, but they weren't aware they were doing so unless you communicated it to them.

TurtleDove

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Re: Socializing with someone who makes you feel unsafe
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2013, 01:02:32 PM »
OP, I guess I'm confused. With all the information you had before you went, it's a little strange to me that you were surprised that the weekend was pretty much exactly as it was described to you?

I am also confused.  I also think it is a bit strange to not trust the judgment of people you and your DH consider friends.  If it were me, with limited exceptions, I would either trust Tom's judgment that Jon and Rusty are decent people or I would not be friends with Tom (because he would not be the type of person I could trust).

snowdragon

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Re: Socializing with someone who makes you feel unsafe
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2013, 01:08:49 PM »
Quote
The rest of the time is taken up by cooking on an open fire and drinking lots of alcohol.  (Alcohol is never involved during shooting sessions, btw.)
Were they drinking around firearms?


  The Op, said that there was a small arsenal there.  whether they were shooting at the time or not, the arms were where there, available and folks were drunk enough to make the OP nervous enough to mention it. 
  This is not what I would call a safe situation. Even with people I trust.

poundcake

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Re: Socializing with someone who makes you feel unsafe
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2013, 01:09:24 PM »
The second you told your DH that you were feeling unsafe and uncomfortable, the two of you should have left.

lowspark

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Re: Socializing with someone who makes you feel unsafe
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2013, 01:13:17 PM »
The second you told your DH that you were feeling unsafe and uncomfortable, the two of you should have left.

This is exactly what I was going to say. I would not have stayed there, especially overnight, feeling the way you did. I'd have left. If DH wanted to stay and could get a ride home, fine. But I'd be outta there.
Houston 
Texas 
USA 

JoieGirl7

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Re: Socializing with someone who makes you feel unsafe
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2013, 01:16:58 PM »
Quote
The rest of the time is taken up by cooking on an open fire and drinking lots of alcohol.  (Alcohol is never involved during shooting sessions, btw.)
Were they drinking around firearms?

OP, I guess I'm confused. With all the information you had before you went, it's a little strange to me that you were surprised that the weekend was pretty much exactly as it was described to you?

I don't think anyone was rude here. I think they may have been more familiar than you liked, but they weren't aware they were doing so unless you communicated it to them.

I'm not concerned as to whether they were rude.  I was thinking  that I might have been rude for being so cold to them.

I was not aware that Rusty would be there.  I was told that it was Tom and his friend Jon.  DH had met Jon and was familiar with him.  Neither of us knew Rusty or what the relationship was--if he was Tom's friend or Jon's friend, or both.

Goosey

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Re: Socializing with someone who makes you feel unsafe
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2013, 01:20:32 PM »
Quote
The rest of the time is taken up by cooking on an open fire and drinking lots of alcohol.  (Alcohol is never involved during shooting sessions, btw.)
Were they drinking around firearms?


  The Op, said that there was a small arsenal there.  whether they were shooting at the time or not, the arms were where there, available and folks were drunk enough to make the OP nervous enough to mention it. 
  This is not what I would call a safe situation. Even with people I trust.
Sounds like you and the OP both, which is why I'm confused. She knew that there would be drunk people. She knew that there would guns. She knew that the people who go aren't consistent. So, to use that as a reason to leave would be weird to me.

OP, I think the only solution to this would be at the very beginning - when you were feeling resentful about the pressure to go. Your husband obviously loves going to these things, but they're not something you're very keen on. So, you should have said, "I'm really not interested. Please stop" to both your husband and Tom.

Did you discuss your feelings of discomfort with your husband at the event? Would he have been willing to leave early and come back by himself a different weekend?

I don't think were rude, technically. You're not required to be friendly.


JoieGirl7

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Re: Socializing with someone who makes you feel unsafe
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2013, 01:21:34 PM »
The second you told your DH that you were feeling unsafe and uncomfortable, the two of you should have left.

This is exactly what I was going to say. I would not have stayed there, especially overnight, feeling the way you did. I'd have left. If DH wanted to stay and could get a ride home, fine. But I'd be outta there.

I did a lot of thinking about that.  DH would not have been able to get a ride home.  I would have had to convince him to leave and that would have caused a lot of problems.

Dh was kind of mad at me that I was not having a good time.   :(

Goosey

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Re: Socializing with someone who makes you feel unsafe
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2013, 01:27:07 PM »
The second you told your DH that you were feeling unsafe and uncomfortable, the two of you should have left.

This is exactly what I was going to say. I would not have stayed there, especially overnight, feeling the way you did. I'd have left. If DH wanted to stay and could get a ride home, fine. But I'd be outta there.

I did a lot of thinking about that.  DH would not have been able to get a ride home.  I would have had to convince him to leave and that would have caused a lot of problems.

Dh was kind of mad at me that I was not having a good time.   :(

Well, hopefully he'll stop asking you to go now!! Silver lining!

But, I think you should talk to hubby about why he was mad you weren't having fun. He shouldn't be angry with you :-/

Redwing

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Re: Socializing with someone who makes you feel unsafe
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2013, 01:28:15 PM »
I think cordiality is fine in this type of situation.  You didn't feel comfortable around Rusty and that's fine.  Trust your instincts. 

Also, you mentioned that your husband is always pestering you to go with him.  Well, now you have and you've learned it's probably not quite your cup of tea. 

In my opinion, you did nothing wrong.

TurtleDove

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Re: Socializing with someone who makes you feel unsafe
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2013, 01:28:26 PM »
Dh was kind of mad at me that I was not having a good time.   :(

It sounds like your DH was also confused about why you were uncomfortable.  Did he know you were uncomfortable?  Did he tell you not to worry becuase he trusts these people?  I am a loyal person, but I know in past relationships there were times I thought my SO was being oversensitive and irrational and I would tell him that.  Is it possible that your DH thought you were trying to create drama where there was none?  I am not saying you were, just that I don't understand your DH's lack of reaction unless that were the case.

I would also add that none of the described situation would make me uncomfortable, but I am a pretty unflappable person.  I also know how to shoot a gun and defend myself should a situation get out of hand, but that's neither here nor there because I would not have gone on a trip with people I did not have reason to trust.

WillyNilly

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Re: Socializing with someone who makes you feel unsafe
« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2013, 01:28:36 PM »
I think you were fine OP. and I get your discomfort. It wasn't the drinking or the guns that made you uncomfortable, it was Rusty - a total stranger. You know Tom and that he's a happy drunk and that he doesn't shoot when drunk. Obviously you know your DH. And your DH vouched for Jon. Had that been the party you would have been cool, right?

It was Rusty, a stranger, and you don't know if he's a happy drunk, an angry drunk, an aggressive drunk. You don't know if he told a ton of his buddies about this house in the woods full of super expensive guns being minded only by a bunch of jovial drunks.

I think you were fine. You responded when spoken to, you participated as appropriate, you weren't mean just not overly social. I think it would be fine for you, or your DH to have a bit of a word with Tom though and let him know you were uncomfortable so the situation never repeats itself. As a guy he might not have thought anything of the situation, you being the only woman you of course are going to see things differently, in a way that might not ever occur to Tom. Perhaps in the future if Tom has a girlfriend, going up for a couples retreat would be a good way for you visit the house in a safer seeming environment.

SCMagnolia

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Re: Socializing with someone who makes you feel unsafe
« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2013, 01:32:15 PM »
At some point when they all sobered up, someone should have introduced you and DH to Rusty.   I'm thinking maybe that one small gesture might have eased your mind a bit. 

But I'm also of the theory that if you get a strange feeling about something, you need to go with your gut and not try to rationalize the ehell out of how you feel.  There's a reason we get our hackles up about things, and if Rusty made you feel uncomfortable, there was some reason for it, even if the reason was not knowing who he was and who he "belonged to."



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