***Everything expressed in this blog is my personal experience or opinion. ***
I’ve fought anxiety and depression severely since my twin sister passed away in 2011. Like everyone fighting, I’ve had my good days and I’ve had my bad. This year was especially hard for me. After last October and being sick, it was hard to get back on track and in the swing of things. I’ve overcome all that, well for the most part. I still have some set backs, but not as bad. Then everything happened in my career, meaning everything that went on in my ex-publishing house. I’ve had to see therapist to get over what has happened, even putting me on some medicine to help combat the depression and anxiety.
Today, I wanted to touch on cyberbullying and harassment. In todays age, technology runs the world. Unfortunately with all the cool bells and whistles comes the threat of hackings, viruses, and anonymous people attacking you. Like everything you take the good with the bad. Today, anyone can make a profile and say they’re someone else. It’s scary. Please be aware of your friends and if you have kids, watch them closely. With the internet age, you can’t be to sure that “Joy Loves” is actually the cute little twelve year old your child says. It’s scary, isn’t it?
It’s just so damn easy to sit behind a screen and play with someone’s heart and mind, and today’s social media is a playground for these idiots. What they don’t realize is on the other side of the screen is a person. You don’t know what that person is capable of. You harass them, bully them…. hurt them. It’s easy to grow a pair of balls and straighten your spine behind a screen. Be someone you might not be in real life, or perhaps they are a bully in real life.. who knows. But some aren’t that way. They’re passive and will take the abuse you dish out, but did you ever stop to think what that person is doing to themselves? Is it worth it? Being kind is easy…. being mean, selfish, and idiotic takes so much more effort.
I’ve seen the affect cyber bullying has on people. I watched a friend of a friends son kill himself because he couldn’t get away from it. I’ve watched people slip into deep, dark depressions. “Just stop talking to them.” “Disconnect the FB or Twitter.” Seems easy, right? But people like this don’t stop at social media, they find other ways. Phone calls, emails, texts….. each slicing more into the person’s emotions and mental wellbeing.
Be the change. Stop the abuse. Watch your friends online for signs of this happening. They might not come out and say it. Maybe they’ll post a vague status, signaling a cry for help. Offer your ear, sometimes it’s all it takes to turn around someone’s day. It could actually save someone.
I always try to be a good person. Like everyone, I fail at times, but I would rather be known as a nice, caring person than anything else. I’ve spend lots of time just checking on online friends. I want to be engaged in their lives….because when I help or see people happy, It makes me happy, and I need happy. 🙂 Don’t be one of those people that preach one thing on your FB wall for show and act totally different behind the scenes. I always laugh when I know the truth, but it actually makes me sad. I know these people think they have to act like this. To be someone they’re not. They can’t be true to themselves. Sure, there are some that are better off acting 😉 but overall, be you. Screw what others think.
So on my FB, I complain, I cry, I laugh…. I’m me. I don’t ever hide that from any of you. What you see if what you get. With that said, it makes me an easy target, but like everything you learn. And I did. I learn, but it doesn’t mean I wasn’t affected by it. I’m human. This past year I have battled depression the worst since my sister’s death. It’s taken everything from me. A lot was brought on by circumstance, like the cyber attacks my ex publishing house put me through. I’m not going to lie or hide it. It’s the truth. Being mocked, laughed at, belittled to the point I was made me want to crawl into a pit and never come out. I tried being strong. I fought it, but it doesn’t mean I wasn’t affected. And the fact that it was continual, made it worse.
I’m not going to go on and on about that…. not the point. The point is this, if you or anyone you know is being harassed online please seek help. If you are doing the harassing, please think about the person you are targeting. It may seem innocent. It may look like they’re okay, but on the other side of the screen these people could be hurting themselves or worse. Do you want that on your hands? Perhaps you don’t care….. shame on you then. But there is help for those suffering. You are not alone.
FB makes it easy for the cyberbully. They can spread their hate anonymously, report you and do all sorts of shit. It’s a cowards way and it has been for too long now. When I was reported back in March, I remembered seeing something circulating on FB. “How to see who is reporting you.” I followed those steps…. IT works. It will list who is reporting you and help you stay safe from the haters, bullies, and idiots doing this. Mine added FOUR people to my list. I’ll attach the steps. I worded mine different because at the time, I couldn’t remember the exact phrase, but it still worked.
This is a great tool if the harassment gets more serious. It is against the law to stalk someone. Having someone follow you online is the same as someone walking down the street doing it. Follow these steps, and get your proof. I did! Now, if I ever wanted to legally pursue something I have it.
~~~Sigh~~~ I wish I could be more articulate about this, but I just wanted you to know I care and I understand. If I can help, please let me know. Everything suffers when this is happening. There are days that I can’t even write because it consumes me. It’s a battle overcoming this, but I know I’ll get there. I know you’ll get there…. we will win.
In the mean time, lets take one day at time. Be happy with what you’ve accomplished even if it’s a simple step…. because those will lead to bigger leaps.
Hugs you all tight. Don’t let the bullies win.
Oh, an update on my last post. I posted that open letter to Encompass Ink. I wanted to let you all know, for the time being it’s working. I have not heard a peep from them. 🙂 Thank God for small victories. ❤ ❤