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About three years ago I was kicked out of a club while I was in Las Vegas with my friends and my ex boyfriend. I got too drunk and threw a drink on my ex and tried to attack him, because he was bad mouthing me to my best friend. While I can admit that issue wasn’t that serious to react that way, that reaction steamed from about a year of dealing with his shit. He was clearly cheating on me, he would constantly disrespect me and I damn near failed my last semester of college trying to please him. I was working two jobs, I had an internship and I was taking 16 units, but he didn’t care. He insisted I go back and forth between San Jose and Berkeley and made me feel like “the worst girlfriend ever” when I explained to him that I was tired or had to study. However, this post is not about that. I only bring it up, because tonight I almost did something that would of got me kicked out the club again due to emotions brought on by a man.

Tonight I hit up my sister to go out. She is always down for the cause so I thought we’d get a couple drinks at Hello Stranger, a popular venue in downtown Oakland that I had never been to. Initially we were having a bomb ass night, dancing and interacting with people. However, the whole mood changed when my “ex” walked in.

I put the term “ex” in parenthesis, because this nigga was never actually my boyfriend. We talked tough for about five months, but everything went left when he left his phone at his “ex girlfriend’s” house and she contacted me to let me know they were still involved. He had been lying to me the entire time we were talking and I was so disgusted.

Before I cut his ass off, I met with his “ex” and his mother who revealed some disturbing information to me. It turns out that everything he had told me about himself was a lie- he never went to UC Berkeley on a football scholarship, he didn’t have a sister who passed away, his ex didn’t abuse him… he was a pathological liar who obviously had some mental health issues. I was glad the truth had come to light so I subsequently cut him off cold turkey and moved on with my life.

Tonight was the first time I had seen this man in two years. When I saw him, I prayed to God he didn’t notice me and approach me. I could tell that he was drunk, because we had gone out a few times while we were talking. When he was drunk he would dance his ass off and become the friendliest guy ever. Nothing had changed.

All throughout the night, *Omar was pestering women. He would grab them to dance or start talking to them and if they were uninterested he wouldn’t take no for an answer. I observed this man make his way around the club in a drunken daze and for the first time I felt regret. Regardless of all the mistakes I’ve made in life I’ve never regretted any of them, but seeing Omar behaving this way made me feel pathetic for how I had once lowered my standards for someone like him. Before I met him, I was never really a drinker. He drank so much and I was always around him so I couldn’t help but grow more accustomed to it. Even though he and I stopped talking about two years ago, I still have those unhealthy habits I developed. Not to say I am an alcoholic like him, but I met him when I was 23 and I had barely drank at all. Now I am 26 and I drink regularly.

In addition to pestering all the ladies in the club, Omar was pestering me. I am not sure if he knew who I was or if he was just being his drunk self, but there was multiple times Omar came and grabbed me or got in close proximity. At first I just pulled or moved away, but he was so aggressive that at some point I had to knock his hand away. Everyone in the club noticed Omar’s aggressive behavior so when I motioned for the guy next to me to pretend to be my boyfriend he played along. However, Omar was so drunk that he didn’t notice or care. He proceeded to harass me and follow me around the club. I hadn’t looked him in the eye, but it got so exhausting I looked him directly in the eye and said “Please stop, seriously.” He didn’t.

Apart of me thought of leaving the club, but I didn’t want to give him that power. If I left that means he won, so I stayed in the club until closing and dealt with the sporadic harassment. I brought up how I got kicked out the club three years ago, because I contemplated on acting a fool tonight. At one point, Omar randomly walked by and aggressively pushed my hand as if in retaliation for me knocking his hand away when he tried to grab me to dance 30 minutes prior. I contemplated throwing a drink on his ass and attacking him just like I did my ex. At this point it was different than him being in my vicinity and dancing against me he had PUT HIS HAND ON ME and no one gave a damn. I felt like I had to send him a message that I wasn’t the one and that he couldn’t just do whatever he pleased and get away with it.

However, I walked away, collected myself and came to the conclusion that I am classier than that and there was no need for me to embarrass myself over someone who clearly wasn’t worth it.

The entire night I felt extremely unsafe. I know other women felt the same way, but the men around us just stood and laughed at Omar’s behavior. No one intervened and that is the issue I have. People need to stop exemplifying the bystander effect and intervene when they see erratic/ aggressive behavior. I didn’t feel safe, because I knew that someone was seeing all this and they ignored it, because it didn’t affect them.

Black Kings make sure you protect us Black Queens and vice versa! At the end of the day all we have is each other and I never want myself or anyone else to feel the way I felt tonight ever again.

 

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