Thank you so much for reading and for adding to the discussion. I’m so sorry you’ve carried your past traumas for so long. You know, trauma is a hell of a thing. I experienced lots of trauma, but somehow I was able to detach and move on. I don’t know how I did it. We all are different, and we heal in different ways. I’d say I’ve had a number of negative interactions with men as well in public places, but I don’t punish all men because of the bad ones.
I didn’t write this to convict, but I wanted to detail how the fear and insecurities of women like Elevator Ellen create real anxieties for lots of innocent elevator riders, falsely accuses others, and makes living life a little more stressful. The mental gymnastics we endure to prepare for women like Elevator Ellen is too much to detail. We each have our own thing we do to accommodate her fears. We didn’t do anything to her, but she reacts to us as if we were her perpetrators. It happens frequently enough to people of all walks that women should really take note of the emotional injuries others endure because of them (legitimate or hypothetical). We don’t want to discount your trauma, but we also don’t want to pay for someone else's sins. If this essay has given you and other women something to reflect on, my job here is done.
Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences and I hope one day you’re able to heal from your trauma.