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I Should Have Said Something

I Should Have Said Something
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Don’t be a chicken. Use your voice.

It was all a mistake. I was expecting a woman for the massage, which my tense body so desperately needed. My sister in law was so generous and booked a session for me. When I arrived and realized it would be a middle-aged man, I could have said “no thank you,” and walked out. Why couldn’t I just use my voice?

I was left in privacy to undress and hide under the sheet. Completely naked and feeling utterly vulnerable, I told myself I was overreacting. “Relax,” I ordered myself. “This is normal.” Indeed the therapist knocked politely and acted quite normal as he began the massage. He asked where I need help, and I told him neck and upper back. I didn’t tell him my hips and legs were fine, but that is where he spent most of the next 45 minutes. I don’t mean my lower legs, either. One hair closer and I would have been screaming, “Rape!” Also, the whole pecs thing, which involves massaging a significant amount of upper chest and yes, side boob. Eww. He never asked me if I was comfortable with it, or even warned me where his hands were going. I steeled myself with the thought, “maybe this is normal. That’s how they do full body massage. Don’t ruin your chance to get your upper back fixed.” I was hurting and I felt desperate. Also, 30, not 45 minutes had not been booked. I had to wonder if he was generous or just enjoying himself. I felt beyond humiliated. I should have said something.

In his defense he could have been totally innocent, although I have since learned that message therapists are taught to ask before moving to “risky” areas. The usual no-touch zones can be legitimate parts of a massage, but I didn’t know that. And if the sheet slips, or fingers accidentally graze the wrong area, which definitely happened, they should apologize. I could understand an honest mistake. But when he didn’t ask or apologize, I should have ended the session.

When he did focus attention on my upper back and neck, I was so nervous that it just made my knots worse. My uptight neck muscles between my shoulders ended up feeling like hamburger. Why didn’t I say something?

When it was over I made a little small talk and quickly left, leaving a tip and trying to be invisible. Only after reaching the safety of my vehicle did I give credit to my gut feeling. Maybe he had innocent intentions, but that was wrong.

I showered hard trying to remove the icky feeling and took ibuprofen for the next couple days as I nursed my painful neck and upper back. And you know what I did? I called manager and said something.

I told management what I am telling you. I don’t think the therapist will be in trouble, (unless it was a repeated offense and he in fact wasn’t innocent) but I think he might learn to show more respect for vulnerable tongue-tied clients who don’t know what to say. As for me, I’m going to get better at using the voice God gave me.

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About westernwoman

"To find adventure where it exists, and create it where it does not." This applies to the love relationship with Jesus, stewardship of finances, family, and decluttering the home! Rejoice in the day-to-day. My purpose is to empower women in their daily joys and challenges. My message to women everywhere is, "Smell the flowers and drink your coffee." Cheers, Western Woman

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