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Did That Just Happen?

131 replies

AMemeByAnyOtherName · 19/09/2020 11:01

I figured I'd create the thread that @Dastardlythefriendlymutt quite rightly suggested a section for, I think it has traction!

I'm thinking it's a good place to vent, even if it's 'just the small stuff', as is the nature of microaggressions.

I'll start

I've been going for long walks with DTs for the past couple of weeks. I often take them into shops to pick up refreshments to keep things interesting. Last week, not once but twice, I was followed around both a co-op and a Sainsbury's local by a security guard. Literally from the door in to the checkouts to the door out. On the one hand, I could say that it was simply because I had a double buggy and perhaps people with buggies thieving is rife. But you know when you just feel that the intentions aren't right? I absolutely felt as though if I'd been white, it wouldn't have happened.

Another one was walking in to a private medical facility with DH. DTs were in the car with a friend, I just needed the loo. We were in Tunbridge Wells so it was a fair drive. The women at the front desk both looked horrified when I walked in with DH. He noticed it too. They told me I had to disinfect my hands, not him. They asked if I had a mask, and I didn't (which was my own silly fault) so they got a disposable one and put it on for me Hmm I felt really uncomfortable because she had to tie it round the back of my head and I felt like she'd be judging my hair. I used the loo as quickly as I could and got the hell out of there.

Feels good to write it down Grin please share any of your experiences and thanks again to Dastardly for the brilliant suggestion.

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Ablackrussian · 19/09/2020 11:10

Yes, to being followed around the store.

Ablackrussian · 19/09/2020 11:12

so they got a disposable one and put it on for me Hmm

But why couldn't you put it on?

AMemeByAnyOtherName · 19/09/2020 11:29


so they got a disposable one and put it on for me Hmm

But why couldn't you put it on?

I have no idea. I reached out to take it and she said no she'll do it. Maybe she thought I'd do it wrong Hmm
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Dastardlythefriendlymutt · 19/09/2020 11:59

Ahhh Meme I'm so sorry you went through that. Definitely I have also been followed with a buggy but also been the only black woman with a buggy but not the only woman with a buggy in store so I know for some reason I was the "suspicious one".

The horror on their faces when you walked in with DH is telling.

You didn't imagine anything.

(Thanks for tagging me)

Dastardlythefriendlymutt · 19/09/2020 11:59

And your kind words

AMemeByAnyOtherName · 19/09/2020 12:41

@Dastardlythefriendlymutt I think you've hit the nail on the head there! I remember on one of the occasions that there was another woman with a buggy in the shop. I can't remember the other one, I just remember how uncomfortable I felt. The annoying thing about that is when you feel uncomfortable for those reasons, I always feel like I have to buy something to prove I had good intentions or something. But I don't want to buy anything because I a) want to leave and b) don't want to give the shop my custom. Does anybody else ever feel that way?

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Dastardlythefriendlymutt · 19/09/2020 13:01

I don't buy either. I used to feel so uncomfortable and rush to leave but maybe it's anxiety or depression that I went through where I just didn't care or feel anything and when I got better, a part of my brain now just doesn't care so I carry on browsing and take my time to make sure I finish what I wanted to do.

I always keep my hands clear and keep receipts so often will them to search me.

I had a horrible experience coming out of a shop one day having spent a considerable amount of money and was accused of stealing. They literally manhandled me and pulled me back into the store. The security guard started yelling at me asking what I didn't purchase and to confess now. I tried to remain calm and told them to check the items against the receipt. The items corresponded and then they started to accuse me of having more expensive items than the price on the receipt (sale items). Eventually everything checked out and they let me go with a weak apology. I had burst into tears at this point and made quite a scene asking why they were harassing me I had done nothing wrong.

This is why I always keep receipts. The shop was over £500 so I'm sure it would have been a criminal case and my word against theirs. I always always keep my receipts.

PonDeReplay · 19/09/2020 19:39

My gran was accused of stealing a pint of milk (she hadn’t but couldn’t find the receipt under pressure). The stress of the event triggered a mental breakdown.

Micro-agressions may be individually micro, but they can add up to a major impact.

Ablackrussian · 19/09/2020 19:58

AMemeByAnyOtherName that is just so creepy. I can bet she didn't have gloves on?

Ablackrussian · 19/09/2020 20:04

PonDeReplay, yes, exactly that.

I don't feel pressure to buy anything and, on occasion, when I have felt I have been followed, I will ask if there is a problem Hmm

Yes, it's confrontational but, you know, sometimes, it's nice to shop in peace.

C130 · 19/09/2020 20:04


My gran was accused of stealing a pint of milk (she hadn’t but couldn’t find the receipt under pressure). The stress of the event triggered a mental breakdown.

Micro-agressions may be individually micro, but they can add up to a major impact.

This. Sorry this happened to your Gran. Do you think it was the build up of years of stress caused by racism, and this incident was the straw that broke the camels back?
Dastardlythefriendlymutt · 19/09/2020 20:08

I'm sorry about your gran PonDeReplay

You are right - microaggressions can have a major impact, they are only micro to the people perpetuating them but not so much to the people they affect

creativecringe · 19/09/2020 20:55

A while ago, I debste came up online. I don't remember the site, twitter or fb. It was about the need nowadays to not take the receipt becuase its environmentally friendly. This only applied to small shops and supermarkets where you won't get receipt emailed to you.

You should always teach your black kids to take their receipt and always request one. Whether here or America. It's a habit which will save them when stopped while walking out of the shop.

I had got into the habit of just walking out and say no. It very common now yo not take the receipt.

Ablackrussian · 19/09/2020 21:21

creativecringe, yes, I think you're right. But now they ask if you want a receipt whereas, back in the day, you'd just be given one. When I'm not thinking/ in a hurry, I'll say no.

PompomDahlia · 19/09/2020 21:57

PonDeReplay so sorry about your gran. I had a grandparent with terrible mental health problems as well and it was triggered by how they got treated - having to take a low paying job despite being qualified and having money worries. My experiences at school have made me very shy and unwilling to put myself forward.

I always take a receipt. I got grabbed leaving a store once by a guard. My local Waitrose is the worst for me being followed.

AMemeByAnyOtherName · 20/09/2020 01:33

Oh my goodness @Dastardlythefriendlymutt that's disgusting! I'm so sorry you had to go through that. I can't believe they couldn't even give you a sincere apology after all of that. I can imagine they would have been far more forthcoming with apology gifts had you been white things been different 

@Ablackrussian nope, no gloves. It was one of those creepy moments that will stick in my memory. Another one was after I had DTs, I was regularly told off for not looking after them properly by the midwives. One night, well about 4:30am, a midwife came in to "do the babies' observations", and instead just stood there staring at my son. Then walked away. DH was there with me, otherwise I would have thought I imagined it, it was so weird. Shortly after that I broke down and demanded that they discharge us from the ward and allow me to take them home. I was there for over a fortnight.

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Dastardlythefriendlymutt · 20/09/2020 02:44

Yeah I know Meme. Tbh it's only when writing these things down and recounting them (usually as a funny story) I realise just how horrific they are. I think I do tend to compartmentalise them to just get on with things but reading them back they sound terrible and when someone acknowledges how bad it was I tend to minimise them.

It's no wonder mental health in the community is where it is. It's trauma that we minimise or file away because

  • it's just the way it is
  • noone will listen to you anyway

-can't see it changing anytime soon etc

That's why these spaces are so important
Ablackrussian · 20/09/2020 03:08

I was there for over a fortnight

Where they premature/poorly? And what were the MWs telling you off for?

I had DTs (90s) and I was in there for a day and a half. However, my DDs birth was v traumatic, but perhaps that's another story was another day.

I'm so pleased we have this space to discuss issues without being belittled/gaslighted/told we are making it up 😊

Dastardlythefriendlymutt · 20/09/2020 03:58

I'm sorry about your DTs Meme.

It's so good to share isn't it Ablackrussian

Ablackrussian · 20/09/2020 08:16

It's so good to share isn't it Ablackrussian

For sure Smile It doesn't feel so exhausting.

AMemeByAnyOtherName · 20/09/2020 12:13

It really is good to share. They were premature, and weren't gaining weight. I really wanted to BF and I started to with DD while DS was in NICU, and she was feeding very well. I was trying to express so that I could give DS milk while he was away from me but it wasn't working. In the end they put both on feeding tubes and forbade me from breastfeeding them. I'm not even exaggerating, if I tried I was told off, and DH was told to go out and buy cow and gate formula specifically as anything else 'would make them sick'. The first time I fed DD formula I cried, because she screwed her little face up and I didn't have that beautiful eye contact with her that I'd developed while BFing. I couldn't sleep at all as one of them was always up, and they just weren't settling on the ward. Funnily enough, as soon as I was finally free to take them home, they started gaining weight and sleeping. Thinking about it now still makes me feel unwell, but they're only 2 so I imagine that will pass in due time.

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Ablackrussian · 20/09/2020 14:05

Thinking about it now still makes me feel unwell, but they're only 2 so I imagine that will pass in due time.

You poor thing. Well my DD is nearly 24 and when I think about the way I was treated before abs after birth, and not just my the hospital but other organisations, it still, to this day, makes me cry.

I really hope you can put it past you. MW are meant to encourage breastfeeding not forbid it!

Ablackrussian · 20/09/2020 14:06

*'cuse typos! Smile

SandyY2K · 20/09/2020 16:20

I was out with a couple of friends and noticed the waitress giving a basket of a pre meal snack to a other guests.

I beckoned her over, as I thought she had forgot about us and she said, they're not free..they are £XX.

Not long after a party of guests came in. They had just about sat down and she took off and brought them the pre meal snack....whilst trying to whisper (except not to well, that it was on the house)

One of my friends was, free for white people, but not for us.

As we were leaving, one of my friends told her that we knew other guests weren't charged and the only reason she treated us differently is because we are black.

The waitress started shaking, but had nothing to say in her defence.

We certainly won't be going there again. Apart from that, we received a poor service and could see her pandering to other customers.

AMemeByAnyOtherName · 20/09/2020 16:28

@Ablackrussian thank you. I never really thought I'd have a place to talk about it in the way I experienced it, if that makes sense. Sure I could create an AIBU and everybody would say it's appalling, but if I said I thought it was something to do with my race then that's where the support would fall flat. I'm sorry you had such a horrible birth experience. I hope you can work through it here :) maybe we can together!

@SandyY2K that's vile, do you think she decided to exclude you or do you think she was told to? Either way of course I would never set foot there again! Was it a chain restaurant? I'm really sorry you had that experience Sad

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