To the men in my life

This is a short appreciation post for the men who helped me get through a stressful point in my life, because I seriously don’t know what I would do without these people. I didn’t want to write about this while the issue was still ongoing because it’s very sensitive, but now that everything has been settled, I think it’s time that I shared it with everyone.

A few months ago, I had the misfortune of having a weird and creepy guy as my neighbor. At first, everything was calm and normal at home but after inviting this neighbor to my house for a Christmas party1, everything went nuts. I don’t want to elaborate anymore but basically, he was hitting on all the young women in the party and was acting very inappropriately towards everybody, including me. Then, from that point on, he started acting too familiar towards me as if we were close friends. At first I just ignored him and avoided any interaction with him, but things got worse and I started hearing loud, angry screams at times from his unit, to the point that I don’t even want to go out of the house anymore for fear of encountering him.

Those weeks were very, very stressful for me. I was working on my thesis and studying for my final exams, surely I didn’t need another thing to stress me out! Of course, everyone around me really tried their best to help me but these men stand out because they did everything they could to protect me, even if it was inconvenient at times – and most importantly, they helped me feel safe.

My dad

From the very start of this fiasco, my dad did everything he could to make sure that my neighbor doesn’t get any opportunity to interact with me. Whenever my housemate wasn’t home and I needed to go out to the hall or to the common areas, he would always take my call and talk to me until I finished everything I needed to do outside my unit. He was very patient throughout everything. He was constantly reminding me of the things I should do to ensure my safety and even gave me advice on how to defend myself just in case I was left alone at night.

My brother

When my creepy neighbor was starting to hit on my female guests, he quickly stepped in to prevent any interaction between my neighbor and my friends. He made sure that the guy wouldn’t even get the chance to sit beside the girls, either by forcing the guy into a seat at the very end, or asking the girls to sing in front, making them stand up and leave their seats before he could even get closer. He would also talk to my friends and do his best to entertain them just so that my neighbor will never get the chance to talk to them. My friends still enjoyed the party because he made them feel safe and comfortable.

J

Even though he wasn’t with me physically, he was my go-to person whenever I needed to vent or express my anxiety over my neighbor’s weird screamfests. He kept me calm and functional during those days. To be honest, without him, I don’t think I would have been able to do anything at all because of the immense amount of anxiety I was feeling. Sometimes you don’t need to be physically present to help. Even moral support helps loads, so I’m immensely thankful that I had him during those times.

P & M

Why don’t we have a decent photo together? LOL

They say you never truly know who your friends are until you need them. I’m glad these two guys went out of their way to help me and make me feel safe during those times when I couldn’t even bear to be alone at home without my housemate. They stayed with me at home on nights when my housemate was away, and they constantly checked on me and called me during the day to make sure I was alright. They also made me feel at ease whenever the crazy neighbor was throwing those scary tantrums late at night.

When they weren’t able to come to my house for several days due to some commitments, P even let me stay at his place, thinking I would be safer and would feel more secure away from home. His gesture lifted so much weight off my shoulders and helped me focus on my final exams.

So guys, thank you very much. I don’t think I’ve said this but thank you for helping me get through this stressful time and you don’t know how much all your effort means to me. I’ve said this before and I’ll say this again: I’m very lucky to be surrounded by wonderful male figures and friends who are always there for me when I’m in need. Even though I was too embarrassed to ask for help at first, you stepped in as soon as you noticed something wrong. You found ways to help me even when it was inconvenient or seemingly impossible, and you never left my side until you were sure I was alright. I will forever be grateful for that.

  1. It’s good manners for Filipinos to invite neighbors to your party, so after some prodding from my family, my antisocial self gave in and invited him.

18 Comments

  1. That sounds really traumatic *hugs* I’m glad you’re through it now and that you had the men closest to you during this hard time.
    Your dad and brother looks really dapper in the photo! And it’s very touching that they helped you get through the creepiness of your neighbor. Especially your brother, who went out of his way to block your neighbor from interacting with you and other women. You two seem really close, and I relate well because my younger brother and I are the same.
    I’m also glad you have guy friends to lean on. My guy friends also make me feel secure when we walk down dark streets after a night out.

    1. *hugs*

      Yeah, I really admire my brother for staying sharp during that party and making sure that my female guests were alright. I was too busy protecting myself so I couldn’t really look out for them as much – he stepped in at just the right time!

      Aww, it’s so nice to know that you have great guy friends who make you feel safe too. You’re lucky for having them <3

  2. OK that sounds horrible. I’m so sorry that you had to go through that. It angers me that certain people – men more than anything – think that it’s OK to invade space, be overly confident and familiar with girls and just act like dogs. This reminds me of a time late last year when I was being followed home by a guy that I spoke to at one event, I was so scared and was also on the phone to my dad to feel safer. He went away eventually. But I spent months being paranoid on the way home/whenever I was walking anywhere near campus alone. It’s so horrible, but I’m so glad that you had these men in your life that have helped you feel protected and safe. Having guy friends that are close to you like that is such a great thing <3

    Biggest hugs Claudine! <3

    1. Oh my, I didn’t know you had an experience with creepy guys too! I felt the same way as you at first: even though the creepy guy went away eventually, I still got a little paranoid whenever I walked home alone, especially at night! I used to phone my dad on my way home too, especially for the first few months. Even though they’re not physically present, the fact that we’re talking to them still helps us feel protected and sometimes that’s what matters <3

  3. Wow how terrifying and creepy! It’s great that you have family and friends who are there for you and understanding and want to make sure that you are safe! I can’t even begin to think how I would handle a situation like that but would hope my friends and family would step up like your did!

    1. It’s definitely a situation I wouldn’t wish for any other woman, it’s as terrible as it sounds D: But if you ever find yourself in a similar situation, I can definitely say this: sometimes it can be embarrassing to ask for help or sometimes we don’t even know how to start asking, but go ahead and ask anyway, your friends and family will definitely understand and will want to do their best to protect you <3

  4. I’ve been in a similar situation too, and my family has helped me especially my husband. Had guys stalking me in stores and they either gave me eye contact or didn’t. One guy was so close that he was practically breathing right next to me. I could feel said breath and then I ran to my husband across the store and he protected me.

    I am glad the men in your life have been wonderful in this situation and in general, and I too, thank the guys in my life, too especially my father in law and the good he always sees in me.

    1. OMG that sounds terrible, I’m so sorry you had to experience something so creepy! I don’t know why some guys feel it’s okay to do this – clearly they don’t know the meaning of respect and personal space! It’s so nice though that your husband and father-in-law are so protective of you <3 It's really comforting to know that there are good men who respect us and who would do anything they could to make sure we're alright 🙂

  5. Whoaaa, I’m sorry you had to deal with such a creepy guy. That sounds scary that you could hear angry screams from his unit, and that he had no issues acting familiar with you and your friends. Some people seriously don’t know proper boundaries.

    I’m glad you had people you could count on for support! They all sound amazing to watch out for both you and your friends. Big kudos to your brother for noticing that something was up and stepping in to protect the female guests! That’s also great that you had friends who would stay with you and check in on you. Signs of a true friend for sure!

    I hope you don’t have deal with your weirdo neighbor anymore! Stay safe!

    1. Those angry screamfests were terrible, and I remember losing sleep over those because I was just freaking out and wondering what would happen if he runs wild! I even remember hearing sounds as if he was throwing and breaking things… That was so scary! I’m so glad he was evicted!

      I really don’t know what I would have done without these guys, to be honest! They’ve been really amazing and they were also very patient with me during those times <3

  6. Ugh I’m sorry that happened. But its great that you had loads of help during it! I especially found how your brother tried to protect everyone very sweet!

  7. Scary for sure! I’m glad you had so many wonderful people to help and support you during this. I pretty much have a grandpa that says if a guy hurts me (and I mean physically) he has no problem killing him because he has lived enough of his life. Of course, I would never want him too but knowing he cares so much is a nice feeling.

  8. Ugh. Just reading this gives me creeps. I’m so sorry you had to have him as a neighbor. I’d probably just hole up in my room if I have a neighbor like that. 🙁 I hope everything is going much better now. I’m so glad you have people helping you be safe and making you feel safe.

  9. It is NOT COOL that you had to go through this situation. It’s disgusting when guys think they can go around and be so inappropriate towards people. Hopefully he will learn to piss off sooner than later.

    I am happy that your father, brother, J, and P&M were there to support you the whole way. Oh man, your brother is such a hero for stepping in! Creeps are so annoying and after all of these people, he still didn’t get the point?! Sending you some positive vibes!

    Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

  10. That sounds awful. So sorry that you had to go through that! It’s awful for anyone to make you feel unsafe in your own home and I hope things are a lot better now. What a creep!

    Glad to hear you have such wonderfully supportive people around you. It’s great that there’s always someone you can call if you need anything. I always call my mum when I’m walking home alone, and it makes me feel a lot safer. Glad they were all there for you!

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