Tainted Love

I love London. I have talked a lot about London, both as a destination for family visits, and also my adventures. There is nothing I don’t love about London.

Well. There wasn’t. Until last Saturday.

As my regular readers know, I go to London a lot. Since my change in attitude and style, London has become like a fairytale land that I love to visit. I feel happy,  safe and invincible when I travel in the City. I know my way around very well, where to go and not go and also what precautions to take.

But I am still strangely very naive. As with most people, I never imagine that bad things will/can happen to me. Given the work that I do, and some of the examples of how society can be, I guess I should have known better.

Saturday for me was a happy event. I joined up with a lot of my other curvy cuties, and ventured off to Hackney for The Curvy Convention 2016.

PSX_20160604_130502

Spending time with friends is always great, and when you have the added bonus of lovely clothing and catwalks, well it can’t be bad.

We spent time in the gardens of the location, in the sun, eating ice cream and having a general giggle. All was right with the World.

And then we left the venue.

PSX_20160601_175224

Leaving Hackney wasn’t a problem. The tube from Highbury and Islington was a little more problematic. In all the time I have been travelling solo across the City, I have never had a bad experience. I know I am a large lady, and I know I dress differently to most people. But I have only ever been met with positivity.

People have stopped me, told me that I look lovely, or they admire my style. That my dress is nice, or how stylish my handbag is. This happens every time, without fail. It doesn’t matter where I am in London, or what I am wearing. But it always happens.

This time, my 4 friends and I were met with sniggers, stares, laughing and prodding. This was by a group of 5 teenage boys, who I estimated to be around 15 or 16. The kept looking and blatantly laughing. Trying to get pictures of the group, and generally making me really uncomfortable and self conscious. This is not something I had experienced previously, and I didn’t like it very much at all.

PSX_20160601_175128

Little did I know, the evening was going to get worse. Arriving in Kings Cross, there was a heavy contingent of football fans, due to a big match that had taken place earlier. And where a lot of alcohol had been consumed. This never makes for a good combination, and it certainly gave a lot of Dutch courage.

Now, I am pretty sure that the man who came up to us and shouted right in one of the groups faces, “F***ing Hell what are the size of your Tits” would NEVER dream of doing that to a woman when he was sober. Well, although I can’t say that for definite, (he could have been a disgusting pig who does it all the time) but I would hedge my bets.

He probably went home, possibly to a lovely partner, maybe even children and didn’t think about it again. Sober in the morning, he probably didn’t even remember doing it.

He didn’t see the effect that this may have had on any of the party. Didn’t see what the behaviour has done to the confidence of one in particular, Me.

PSX_20160601_175040

We went into a pub, one I have been in probably 20 times or so. I love it there and have spent some happy times, eating and drinking in there. And again, we were accosted by a drunk male. Who was very leery and kept coming over to our table, jumping in our pictures and making inappropriate comments

Feeling very shaken by the negativity and sheer ridicule that we had faced, I started to question my safety and confidence. Only that afternoon I had shared with my friends that I always get the First Class train back home from London.

Very smugly I pronounced that I felt so much safer and secure in First Class, as it isn’t usually filled with drunken sports fans, you have a guaranteed seat, and there is an attendant on duty. As a woman travelling alone, I had made the decision to always travel this way, for my own peace of mind.

So how did it come to be, that as I was standing by the door to depart the train, an unknown male felt it perfectly within his rights to fondle my bottom, giving it a couple of squeezes and a stroke?

In my head, I always felt that if I was ever put in this situation, I would swing my hand round, connecting with the persons face, whilst loudly proclaiming “What the bloody hell do you think you are doing?”

In reality, I just froze. I stood there, thinking, did that just happen? Then the second squeeze came and I knew It hadn’t been a mistake. Yet still I was frozen.

PSX_20160601_175400

Thankfully in the split second of this happening, the door opened and I jumped off the train. My husband was waiting at the station to drive me home, so I knew I would be OK.

Getting into the car, did I tell him it had happened? No, again I didn’t. Mainly because I was concerned that he would go and punch his lights out, and I didn’t want him to get into trouble. But I should have.

I went home, and went to bed. But when I woke up, it was still playing on my mind. I don’t particularly mean the bottom fondling, but the whole evening. Why didn’t I speak up for myself, or make a complaint about the things that had happened?

Speaking to a very good Police Officer friend, he was disgusted by what had happened. He was also quite angry that I hadn’t reported the fact that a male had “felt me up”. To him, it was totally unacceptable, and that a crime had been committed against me. Why hadn’t I told anyone? What if this person did it to others?

To many, they would have the same response as him. Anger and disgust that all of this had possibly happened, in this day and age. The sheer amazement and these people behaved in this way.

His advice was right. As silly as it may sounds, that man HAD done something that was illegal, and very much unwarranted. But I didn’t want to waste anyone’s time. I didn’t know the man. I didn’t know if he got off at the same station as me. Probably wouldn’t recognise him again.

PSX_20160601_175156

Given my job role, I know how stretched the Police are. What exactly was I going to tell them? An unknown male who I probably wouldn’t ever see again in my life, had fondled my bottom? They really have far better things to do that deal with that.

For me, that isn’t (although it should be) the effect that it has had on me. Far worse things happen to people every single day of the week, and this was mainly words and attitudes.

The effect that it has had though, it is even more far reaching.

My confidence has taken a hit. A big one. I don’t feel as comfortable in my skin as I was a week ago. The blase attitude and carefree way I had of popping to the City, whenever the feeling took me has been shattered.

At this point in time, I don’t know if I will go back to London on my own. With events and activities planned, London is a necessary part of that. But I don’t know if I want to face that.

Will I face more negativity and ridicule? It has never happened before, but perhaps the honeymoon period is over. I do know that I am not willing to test that out quite just yet.

People have said that I shouldn’t let these events affect me, and I have had far more positive experiences in London, and they should outweigh the bad ones.

PSX_20160601_175327

But, when I started changing my style and clothing, the biggest thing that frightened me, was the thought of people laughing and mocking me. Finally, my biggest fear came true.

And it was everything I worried about and more.

My love affair with London is on the rocks, but I am not just quite ready to give up on her yet………

Leave a comment

  • Melissa Korthaus McCulloch

    *hugs*

  • kitty kaos

    I am so sorry you had to go through that T! Everything that happened that day was wrong the boys in the park to the man and the inappropriate touching. Sadly there are horrible people everywhere but it can just seem like more in London sometimes because there are so many people. I was physically attacked and almost sexually in London so I sadly avoid it as much as possible but like I said it can happen anywhere don’t let the actions of someone else impact what you do but do make sure you do so safely xx

  • I am so sorry and so angry about what happened to you. I know its easier said than done but I really hope you will be ok and back to having some amazing fun in London soon. And don’t worry that you dont remember that man or those teenage boys – karma is sure to get them. (Thinking this always make me feel better!)

  • Jane Fiander

    Oh Tanya 😢🤗. There are two things from your horrible experience that remind me very much of Leeds (Plus North). Firstly, that men are ‘pack animals’; mixing alcohol with safety in numbers spells bad news. Secondly, we larger ladies seem to become more open to attack when we are in groups. While having photos taken outside the awful venue during the day, and while waiting to be let into ‘our’ area of the venue in the evening, ladies seemed to be harangued from all sides. But…when I pottered to the shops by myself and to and fro between hotel and venue, I was either ignored or treated kindly.

    With regards to your “honeymoon over” feeling… I think we need to discuss that one over dinner ☺️❤️

    • That seems to be exactly the same response that I usually get! Dinner sounds good x

  • BixxBoxx

    Oh Tanya, this is just a knock back. You don’t dress the way you do to impress 15 yr old boys (who probably have their own confidence issues) or drunk football fans! You dress the way you do to make yourself feel good and happy. You look amazing. You are beautiful. You are confident. You Inspire loads of us! It’s amazing how quickly that bubble of confidence can be shattered. But try not to dwell on it. Remember all the positive things that have happened in London… Give yourself some time to heal but don’t let wallies ruin a true romance for you. What would you say if this had happened to someone else? Your advice is generally brilliant so follow your own advice. Sending love and hugs. Xxx

    • Awwwww thank you SO much sweetheart! Your words, and those of others have inspired me and made me realise their attitudes shouldn’t break me xx

  • Beautyqueenuk

    Tanya do you know what my first thought was before reading this post? How much I absolutely love the dress you are wearing and how fab you look in purple! Don’t let the words and actions from a few knobheads change who you are x

    • Thank you! It is a lovely dress, and I did feel really good in it. I won’t let the incident ruin the dress!

  • Oh wow. That was so sad to read 🙁 You look amazing in those photos. I am so shocked with what had happened, you don’t deserve that! I really despise people who try and humiliate others in public. My opinion they only do it because there is something going on in their lives but they want to take it out on others, little do they know, they hurt them in the process!!
    I really hope you are ok lovely xx

    • Thank you Beth, I will be – I just need to think about all the great stuff that has happened on my travels

  • This made me so sad reading it – I cannot understand what goes through the mind of these people. Do they even think before the do, do they care?
    You looked beautiful, you inspire people like me who aren’t confident (in any way) in themselves. Perhaps try going again with a friend – don’t give up completely but take it slow maybe.

    • That is so lovely of you to say, Sarah. I am just going to take it slow, and get back on that horse some time soon!

  • Angela Milnes

    what a experience. I remember walking down the street and someone shouted out fat pig as they drove past.. sad thing was when they realised who they were shouting at and i realised who it was it was my friends son and he had no idea he was shouting at someone he was friends with and respected.

    • I hope that this incident made him realise the error of his ways, and that he never did it again! It would be nice to hear he apologised too xx

  • I’m so sorry that happened Tanya. The sad thing is a lot of women will have experienced similar at some point. I know I have. It’s not right, it’s not fair and it’s not effing on, for anyone it happens to. Hugs. xx

    • Thanks sweetheart! I guess it happens a lot, and at 42 I have been lucky to not have it happen before x

  • Some people are beyond disgusting, how dare they! You are bloody gorgeous my love and don’t let anyone tell you different x

  • What a horrible incident! I hate how men continue to objectify women on the tube, it’s awful that they think they can act like it. As for the comments, you shouldn’t listen to what others say, you look great in that dress and the colour looks gorgeous on you x

    • Thank you Emma, you would think in this day and age it really wouldn’t happen! Thank you for the lovely comments too x

  • oh no! sorry to hear that has happened to you. don’t let the low life idiots knock your confidence down. do what you do best and always shine though

  • Stan Hope

    I’m saddened to hear of the harrassment you and your friends suffered. I have encountered similar behaviour when both young and slim to ‘neither young nor slim’! I can remember coming home from work on the tube; shattered, a bit dishevelled, depressed, hearing a group of schoolboys sniggering and making remarks about ‘Pamela Anderson’. Sadly the tube does seem to leave you vulnerable, especially when everyone else is trying so hard not to make eye contact.
    Don’t be put off visiting London, just use taxis!

  • Melanie Edjourian

    I’m sorry to hear you had such a negative experience. I must confess I won’t go anywhere in central London alone for safety reasons and won’t consider venturing to certain parts of outer London at all.

    • Most of this was with a party of 4 other ladies, so even a group can be vulnerable 🙁 x

      • Melanie Edjourian

        That’s true I think it can happen anywhere really not just London you just need bump into the wrong type of person and that’s it unfortunately x

  • I can’t believe it how dare he be so inappropriate I hope you are ok? You look gorgeous by the way and keep smiling xx

    • Thank you Ana, I love the dress and felt great in it. Unfortunately idiots like spoiling things for everyone xx

  • I’m so very sorry that this happened to you! Some folk are just horrid! 🙁 Don’t give up on London just yet though.

  • Hungry_Healthy_Happy

    I am sorry that this happened to you! I definitely would have reported it to the police though. There are cameras on the train that could spot him and it isn’t a waste of anyone’s time. He might do it to someone else, but take it further.

    • Indeed, and I have spoken to someone about it now. I hope it was a random one off though x

  • Leanne Dolan

    Not sure why people think its okay to act like that! What a horrible thing to go through! 🙁

    • It could have been far worse, I guess. It’s just unfortunate that it tainted a great day x

  • That was bang out of order. Wonder why some men find it hard to keep their silly hands to themselves. I am so angry. Good you are ok.

    • Thank you Stella, it will just take a bit of a while to get back to how I feel about travelling in London, I think x

  • I’m so sorry you had to go through that, that’s completely out of order! I hope this doesn’t put you off future trips to London or how beautifully you dress xx

  • Hannah Heartss ❄️⛄️

    That is completely out of order I am so sorry! A similar thing happened to me in London once and I haven’t been back since!

    • I am sorry that you had to go through this too, Hannah. I hope that I can rekindle my Love affair with London though. x

  • Sarahjane

    OMGH! That is such disgusting behaviour on their part! I don’t understand why people think it’s okay to act in such ways! If the shoe was on the other foot they would not like it. You look absolutely beautiful by the way!!

    • Thank you very much Sarahjane. Isn’t it funny what alcohol can do to a person? x

  • I am so sorry that happened to you, and after such a lovely day too. You looked absolutely gorgeous and I really hope you are okay. x

    • Tanya Brannan

      Thank you Zoe, I am okay and will just need to think positive again x

  • AesopFableMonster

    I’m sorry that happened to you. You looked beautiful and radiant. Keep your head up.

    • Tanya Brannan

      Thank you very much! I am trying x

  • Toni Yendell

    Don’t give up on London. You are a credit to everyone, the confidence you have and the style you pull off is an inspiration to everyone. It was unfortunate that you went on a football day where you do get the odd obnoxious idiot that can’t handle a drink and think that any female is fair game, but the good experiences you have had far outweigh that one. It will be hard the next trip solo but you will do it and do it with style hunny xxx

    • Aww honey, thank you so much! That means the absolute world to me. I will try my best! xxx

  • Oh T, you wonderful, amazing woman. I’m so sorry you went through all that, one of those alone would have been hardgoing, I’m not surprised your confidence has been knocked.

    I just want to remind you that your reaction was completely normal, so please don’t blame yourself for freezing instead of reacting. So many of us torture ourselves for not doing something to retaliate, when actually it’s completely normal to react that way.

    I love you T xxx

    • Thank you Honey. It was a strange day, all round! I will be putting it all behind me though,
      Lots of love xxx

  • Jessica

    You will surely move on, dear. Charge to experience. I guess more positive things still happened in London.

    • They usually are totally positive, so I hope next time I go, it is like it used to be. x

  • When I starting reading I was hoping for a happy post, I totally didn’t expect a story like this. I am glad you are well and I hope it will never happen to you again.

  • Viki Rhodes Bradford

    Sorry to hear of your bad experience. Sometimes the combination of hot weather and alcohol makes some men act like that. I’m not by any means excusing their behaviour because the way you were treated was way out of order.
    I lived in London for years and the only time I felt threatened was the occasions when I had to share a tube train with drunken football louts on their any to/from Wembley (I lived on th Jubilee line). Hope you can put it behind you.
    BTW just found your blog and I really enjoy reading your writing. Keep up the good work!

    • Thank you for taking the time to comment Viki. I have to agree with you, it always seems during football match days that issues occur, sadly.
      I am glad you like the blog and hope you keep reading, and commenting of course!
      Txx

  • I am so sorry to hear about you awful experience and I agree with you police friend it was totally unacceptable but I can also understand how when it happened you froze. Most of us think if it were to happen we would react but it’s not until it does that we realise its not the case. I hope you don’t lose your love for london like this.

    • I am trying my best as I really do love London. I am down over the next couple of weekends, so we shall see!
      Tx