Yesterday, I had a rather upsetting moment as a disabled person. I was targeted, cornered and forced into a stranger putting their hands on me to perform a "healing". To preface, I'm incredibly familiar with strangers coming up to me, saying they'll pray for me, Jesus will heal me, they want to bless me or assure I'll get my miracle. There are a million problems w/ this (a conversation for another day), but I know how to navigate these experiences. THIS was unlike anything I've ever been through and took me hours to even find my feelings -- which were very not okay.
I went to get my hair cut and there was a man there when I arrived. He was leaving soon after, and the salon was running behind. They're personal friends so I was okay w/ chilling for awhile to help her catch up. An hr and a half later, we're getting ready to leave, and this guy comes back in the door and is just staring at me. If he didn't seem to be friends w/ the shoppe owners too I would've outright panicked. Out of discomfort I made a joke he just couldn't get enough of us and wanted to see me again. He goes, "Actually yes, but more than that. I want to pray for you. Perform a healing."
I turned cold and the room went silent and I was just SO caught off-guard by this total stranger being this intense, that I couldn't think clearly. He said he just felt this calling to come back and help me. ...an hr and a half later than expected and EXACTLY as we were leaving(?). My mom was w/ me and her discomfort was immediate. She came to rescue w/ excuses, that she needs to be home, we need dinner, hands me my coat -- and he didn't even register or acknowledge them, just stood there, waiting, blocking the door, not letting me leave. That's when I felt genuinely threatened, and also hyperaware *we* seemed like terrible people (in a room of faith-driven folks; in Trumpville, mind you; staring) if I turned down this great, selfless service. Even my mom changed her tune to a "we have time for a quick prayer" bc the intensity in his face and the room was SO clear that "no" wasn't an option. We were trapped. I was trapped.
He put his hands on me, I started to shake (uh, trauma survivor, cult abuse) [cont'd]