This was a tough one to write. Reader discretion is advised.
@kev Geez, that got my blood boiling just to read it.
You've clearly done so much to repair things after the fact, for your kids especially, that it would be a huge stretch to consider you a "bad man" in this.
You had good intentions to protect your family and those around you. I think it's unfair to put such a burden of good behaviour on yourself when you're confronted with such a disturbing situation.
Thank you for sharing this Kev.
@kev Thanks for the account - all the good, the bad and the ugly - and how it turned out. It is definitely a situation that would be hard for almost anyone to handle without forethought and maybe even planning.
You've been careful to help anyone else traumatized - you've also been traumatized and I hope you'll take care of yourself as well, and let yourself be comforted.
@kev Have been thinking about this - you know - out of all the Dads out there - I'd probably rather have you than a bunch of others.
At least you are
- humble. Willing - even eager - to learn from mistakes
- straightforward. Much rather have straightforward than manipulative.
I don't think you did so badly.
I like that your first thought was to try to communicate with your wife about the situation.
So don't beat yourself up about it. Look at both:
- what you did right.
@kev wtf, men…
While I understand why you doubt your course of action and reflecting upon it might help you in other aspects, you did the best you could in an extremely shitty situation that nobody should find themselves in.
Know this shit happens. A lot.
Most women I know have some story of sorts (think: perspective of the cafe ladies). Heck, it's so common, it happens in some form in Sex Education (Netflix) and the main affected person suffers from PTSD afterwards.
@andyc I'm not sure he did at that point - honestly, I don't know when he put it away. He was shuffling as he left, so maybe then. I dunno.
@kev to be honest the guy is lucky you didn’t lamp him one. You did nothing wrong and shouldn’t feel bad for challenging someone else’s transgressive behaviour.
The old man:
I don't think you did anything wrong. You made sure he was doing what you thought, you gave him an escape route, he didn't retreat, so he is evil.
Next time you might try to take a photo when sneaking up, the police would be happy with such evidence.
I am quite strong so I would have twisted his arm and displayed him to the employes, evidence hanging out. But I know this approach is questionable.
In any case you did it right. The police can't be everywhere.
@kev Your son(s).
Of course your son(s) were scared. But your sons need to learn that dad sometimes need to be agvressive. Excusing your actions is the wrong message, it teaches your son(s) you were wrong. You were not.
I would explain excactly what happened. This guy had his dick in hand in the public, that is a crime. You told him to stop. A child can understand that. Telling only half the story leaves a child that doesn't understand. If your son understands, he will not fear your acting.
The pedophile aspect.
Nowadays there is a big focus on pedophiles. But not every questionable person is pedophile. This guy may have enjoyed exposing to grannies.
Tell your sons that anybody behaving like him are criminal. Tell them to speak out loud if they experience such, just like their dad did. But don't give them the feeling that every old person is a danger. Teach them the boaders of friendliness vs. touching, and that they are right to speak out if they are not comfortable.
@kev The good part is how you reflected upon this and having humility. You can't learn without mistakes. To me you are trying to improve and that is what matters. Don't be too hard on yourself. Remember to love yourself. Thanks for the story.
Cap'n Hindsight says the cafe owners are responsible for your health, safety and welfare whilst you are there so quietly reporting the guy to a member of staff would be the correct action. If, as you suspect, he is mentally unwell he may also have been armed so caution would have been better for all.
The real me admires your restraint, and the way you dealt with the aftermath.
Just my point of view as a father of two, you behaved exactly the way I would have. I don't think you did anything wrong at all.
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