We've all heard the old adage to always trust a gut feeling, and it's a saying heard time and time again for a good reason. Being a woman in this world poses its own set of challenges, and it is even more important to trust a gut reaction when dealing with the opposite gender. The following women know this all too well, as they share tales of when trusting their gut concerning a guy saved them in the end. Content edited for clarity.
"Some dude got off the bus at the same stop as me. It's about 8pm and October so it's quite dark out already. He had spoken to me on the bus, just one quick line about the nice weather.
Anyway, he gets off the bus after me. I cross the road and make a mental note of him walking the opposite way as me. I make sure to watch him walking away. Something in my gut says not to trust him.
To get to my house I have to walk up a hill with a path alongside a high stone wall. It is secluded. Usually I listen to music as I walk. I decide not to this time.
I'm about halfway up when I get this awful feeling. I take out my phone, dial my mother's number and as I do I hear fast steps of someone running up behind me.
I know it's the guy before I turn around and as I do he is literally running full speed towards me. I look him dead in the eyes, ready to fight for my life. As I do this, my mother answers her phone and I say 'hi mom'.
He slows right down to a light jog and says 'evening' as he jogs past me. I ask my mom to stay on the line. Her boyfriend comes out to meet me at the top of the hill. The guy is nowhere to be seen.
He was definitely running up behind me to strike me and by turning to face him I'm certain it threw him off."
"I knew there was something off with my stepfather. He's my Mom's third husband. Mom met him at a bar (a country bar she used to go dancing at) and saw him there for a while before deciding to introduce him to her kids. He took us all out to dinner that night and we had a relatively good time. Then we ALL went back to the house.
We weren't home long before I heard him and my mom giggling in the hallway and suddenly I just felt sick. (I was about 12 at the time, by the way). I'm not sure what it was but suddenly I just hated this guy. My mom asked what was wrong and I just said I didn't feel good and went to my room.
Imagine the surprise of all of us kids when we woke up to see that this guy was still there. He moved in that very night. I tried to make the best of a bad situation though I avoided him for some time. No more than a week later he offers to brush my hair for me. We're all in the living room watching TV. I'm hesitant at first but my mom encourages me. Apparently he had sisters and knew how to brush girl's hair. I kept my hair about waist length back then and it was hard to get the knots out so I caved and let him brush my hair.
He just brushed it, no big deal. So when he offered other times I let him. Then one day he offered while no one was there. Because my hair was so long why don't I sit up on the edge of the chair in front of him? Oh, hey, would you like a back rub? I rub your mom's back all the time.
I should mention this wasn't my first interaction with a creep and I actually was very bothered just by being that close to someone. I hated being touched back then but because everyone obviously liked this guy I told myself I shouldn't cause any problems.
Next thing I know he says, 'Can I rub down a little further? In front? It's your decision, you're completely in charge here.'
Thank God I had the courage to say no. I avoided him for AGES after that and didn't have to sense to tell my mom or my brothers. This guy proceeds to find ways to get both of my older brothers out of the house by the time I'm 15. He goes long periods of time seeming to be a perfectly good guy and then out of nowhere hits me with something creepy and horrid. Sophomore year comes up and we get our class rings. Well, these things are not cheap and we've always been fairly poor. My mom says I have to ask him for the money. I ask him to buy my class ring and he says, 'What's in it for me?' I go silent. My mom is RIGHT THERE. She innocently says, 'She can bake you a cake.' I'm good at baking. He's quiet for a while and has to think it through. Then he says, 'Okay, but there are rules.' I forget what all of the rules were, stupid stuff mostly, but his final rule was 'If you lose this ring you take your clothes off.'
'This is an expensive ring. It's a lot of money so you better not lose it or you take it off for me.' My mom tells him to stop but only half-heartedly. When I try to talk to her about it later she says, 'Well, I guess you better not lose it.'
At that point I kinda figured I couldn't count on my Mom for help. Over the years I've learned she was messed with a lot when she was younger and has convinced herself that all men are this way. I love my mom to death but it kills me that she believes this.
He's never stopped being a total loser. I lived with them until I was 20. I was very shy and having a job was very hard for me. I tried moving in with my oldest brother to help him take care of his kid but after three months I was asking to come home and once again got the 'what's in it for me' response. I got to hear all about how he'd lived the past few years just for me and mom. Bought us a house and everything and how ungrateful I was. I came back to what was essentially a prison. I had my nephew with me at first as my brother was going to give my Mom custody of him. That is, until my stepdad got mad at him and kicked him hard. A three year old little boy who hadn't done anything more than annoy him probably by making noise. So mom calls up my brother and tells him to come get him because she's afraid to have him around my stepfather. Then once he's gone she convinces herself that he never did that.
Finally I met my first boyfriend. By this time I'm 20. I had gotten two part time jobs and he worked at one of them. I was hanging out at his house a lot and my stepdad got jealous. He decided to give me a curfew of midnight and said if I break it then I'm out of the house and can't ever come back unless I sleep with him because he knows I can't be a 'pure' anymore (I was) so there was no excuse now.
I cried to my boyfriend and he told me I could come live with him. This was after we'd only been seeing each other for about three weeks. That night I didn't go home. My stepfather called me and screamed, called me a 'stupid little ho,' and I screamed back and told him how he made my life miserable. An hour later he and mom pull up with his truck full of all of my stuff. He dumped my stuff in the yard telling my boyfriend I was his problem now. I will never forget the smirk on my Mom's face when she hugged me and I apologized for everything. She said she wasn't mad at me at all but was proud.
Apparently I'd had the guts to do what she couldn't. Of course, not long after I left he finally proposed to her and they got married. It's messed up to realize that the reason your stepfather didn't marry your mom is because he wanted a shot at you first.
What gets at me the most is that everyone who meets this loser LOVES him. They do not know who he is. I never forget that first night when for no apparent reason I just felt sick at the thought of him. I always knew there was something off about him and he just continued to prove it throughout the years."
"A 'guy friend' came over to my apartment late at night. We had gotten way closer because our mutual friend had just committed suicide. He asked to 'sleep in my bed and cuddle.' I said I wasn't comfortable with that, but that he could sleep on my couch. He got mad and said, 'I just want to cuddle.' I said, 'I said no. Sleep on my couch or don't.' He left. I told my friend and she shrugged.
A few days later same 'guy friend' comes over and is hanging out with others in my friend's room. I tell her I'm tired and ask if she wants me to tell the guys to leave so she can sleep because she doesn't like to ask. I offer to stay if she wants to hang longer. She thanks me and says she'll tell them to leave and that it is ok if I leave her to go to sleep. I don't feel great about it, but she's sober and they're friends so I leave.
She comes into my room the next day and tells me she woke up to 'guy friend' on top of her pulling her pants down. She explained that he used the same line of being sad and wanting to cuddle as he did on me the other night. She was noticeably shaken about the whole thing. I still feel guilty for leaving."
"Worked as a Shot Girl at a pub. One night I rejected someone who attempted to get my number. Not unusual and he didn't seem that bothered. The whole exchange wasn't strange to me. In the early hours after the bar closed I went to leave through the back door into the car park like usual when I saw the sensor light outside was on. Someone was stood just outside the door. I felt uneasy so went out the front and asked one of the bouncers to walk me round the back to my car. As we rounded the corner we spotted this guy lurking outside the door holding his belt like a makeshift garotte. When he saw us he started screaming that I was a horrible person and I should die. He scampered off into the road and never came back."
"When I was in my teens, my parents met this much younger couple who were in their early 30s, and became really good friends with them. They went to religious functions together, and this young family with their 1 young child (who we will call the Smiths) were the picture of perfect Christians. I always liked the wife, but occasionally I would get a weird vibe from the husband.
Fast forward a couple of years, and I decide to go to college a town away from home, and my parents suggest that I live with them. I'm cool with that, I do a bit of cooking for them in exchange for free use of their guest bedroom. Also, right around this time I started dating my now husband.
Their house is an old fixer-upper that they liked to work on, and the windows and doors all seem to have little gaps and spaces in them. Mrs. Smith worked in the medical field, and was gone quite a bit, while Mr. Smith had a more flexible job, and was often home alone with just me, or me and his daughter. I always felt super uncomfortable with this, and he would talk and look at me in a way that just put my guard up. He would often make these possessive jokes to my boyfriend about me, which we just credited to his slight social awkwardness.
I lived there for a little over 2 years, then one night his wife came home in a panic. She said he never arrived at work despite leaving the house at 5 am. I start calling local emergency rooms, and she is driving one of his routes to work. I head to my parents house 45 minutes away to have them help with the search. My parents and I get an ominous call 2 hours later from Mrs. Smith, just stating that she found him, with no other details.
We are all speculating what could have happened. Was he cheating on his wife? No, that's crazy, he is too nice of a guy. Maybe he got arrested for something really minor?
Turns out he was arrested for stalking, spying on, and taking pictures of a 16 year old girl. He would watch her as she got up and dressed for school. He did this for over 6 months before he was arrested. Once he was released on bond, he had to go to a psychologist 2 times a week, and his psychologist told him that he had to tell Mrs. Smith every other instance of voyeurism.
Turns out he was doing the same thing to me for the 2 years I had lived there, and may have even had a camera set up in the bathroom. He would come home, and if I was the only one home, would stand outside my bedroom window and look in the crack between my curtains for hours.
He was sentenced to 5 years probation, only had a weeks worth of jail time because he had 2 young children, and got off pretty scottfree. I ALWAYS trust my gut now."
"When I was in the eleventh grade, one of the classes that I took in the first semester was biology. I had ended up with a teacher who was universally adored by all of the students - he was the fun teacher, the cool teacher who would recruit students to help him perform flashy chemistry experiments at the beginning of every class. Very flashy and buddy-buddy with the student population.
Another reason why everybody liked him so much was because his course average was about 85%. However, evidently none of the staff were aware of exactly why it was so high. Essentially what he would do was, if we had been neglecting our homework and assignments all year, he would allow us to do one giant make-up assignment at the end of the semester to atone for it. He also allowed all of our tests to be open-book. The open book part was particularly useful because he never actually taught us anything during that class. We didn't open our books a single time; he literally spent more time talking about himself and bragging that he could 'teach evolution to a gopher' than he did actually teaching us.
Despite being universally acclaimed by students, I couldn't stand him. I could never put my finger on exactly why, but he struck me as incredibly superficial and performative. He didn't want to teach; he wanted to have access to a crowd of impressionable young people who would be easily dazzled by his carefully crafted displays of charm and charisma. I saw right through him, and I knew he knew it, too. He always treated me with an edge that he didn't treat anybody else with.
That's when I began to notice other things.
One day near the beginning of the semester, I had stayed after class to ask him a question about the source material, because he wasn't teaching us anything. Two other girls - let's call them Robin and Alyssa - had also stayed after class that day to talk to him. I stared on in horror as what had begun as an innocent attempt on my part to ask him a question quickly became a half hour long, overly intimate conversation in which this 52-year-old male teacher was telling a story to three of his 16-year-old female students about a time that he had counseled one of his former female students what her first time would be like with her boyfriend. Not in the capacity of a coach or a guidance counselor about the emotional consequences, he expressly explained to his adolescence female student various positions to try. The story was very much told with an air of 'I'm so wise, you know you kids can confide in me about anything, right?' with a hint of narcissism on top.
What grossed me out the most about this conversation, however, was the fact that one of the girls - Alyssa - was lapping up every word he was saying. I could almost see the stars in her eyes. He made no effort to make eye contact with Robin or myself.
Over the rest of the semester, I caught them 'casually' hanging out together a number of times. I would walk to the bathroom over lunch period and see her and her friends eating lunch with him in his biology lab. He began training her in cross country running after class and I spotted them on the field a few times too. Coupling my observations about his narcissistic character with my observations of their social interaction, it wasn't hard for me to figure out that he had groomed her and was being intimate with her. I told all of my friends about this, and nobody believed me.
Fast forward a year. I'm now in twelfth grade. I had come home early from school and was chilling out on the couch when my brother and our mutual friend walked through the door, staring at me in silence.
'How did you know?' said my friend.
'How did I know what? What do you mean?'
'That Mr. V was sleeping with Alyssa.'
Yep. Mr. V had left his wife and three sons after Alyssa had pressured him into being exclusively with her only. I was right the whole time.
The kicker to this story? She ended up cheating on him two years later with her college professor, who she got pregnant by."
"A guy everyone worked with was deeply loved and respected, and had a fatal neurological condition that caused him to walk with a limp. It was progressive and was going to kill him probably in his 30s. Despite this he always seemed off to me, and I chalked it up to ticks from his condition and my own personal fears of being wheelchair bound. Turns out the guy was a major part of a child smut video ring, who gave substances to and assaulted his own nephew on camera while watching him. Everyone I still know from that job still almost cries when we talk about it."
"There was a youth pastor at my family's church that always freaked me out. He ran the youth programs and everyone loved him. My younger siblings were heavily involved in the group. He was divorced and in his forties and always gave me the creeps.
I was 18 and in college. I would come home in the summer from college and I was always pretty lonely because I didn't know anyone in town. During a visit he offered to take me to a party a family was having with a bunch of people my age. I agreed thinking I could maybe make some friends.
The first red flag was when he stopped at a gas station along the way and bought a fifth for the party. He kept encouraging me to drink more and then wanted to show me the hotel he managed after. I ended up driving home under the influence because I didn't know how to get away from him. My stepmom was too concerned with appearances to confront him or say anything to the church.
Here is the kicker: a few years later it turned out he was trading electronics for suggestive favors from the youth group. He's in jail now for soliciting from minors and other related, terrible charges."
"When I was growing up, my uncle always freaked me out a little. My mother told me it was because he was so cool, and I just had a real weird vibe about him. When everyone else laughed at him teasing us kids inappropriately, he just seemed.....predatory, I guess is the only way to describe it. I could never let my guard down around him.
Remarks about how well the girls would fill out, how big the boys would get, grabbing/patting the girls butts, etc.
I made sure that if he was babysitting me, I'd go disappear behind the fence-line and into the woods. He made my family think I was being rude towards him, so I came up with other reasons. I became very, VERY good at lying.
The funniest memory I have of my uncle is when he and my mother and grandparents followed me into the woods, and I...'accidentally' pushed him off a small cliff and into a cactus.
Fast-forward by so many years. I'm 24 and my mother calls me to ask if anyone touched me inappropriately, ever.
Surprise surprise, my uncle had been abusing so his step-daughter, his neighbor's daughter, his biological daughter, and some of my aunts, and a few other girls.
I should have pushed him off a bigger cliff back then."