“She Can’t be an Adult,” “She’s Disgusting,” and Other Words I Can’t Forget

“I have never met this person, and I already hate her on a deeply personal level.”

“We dont want to see how much her ugly face doesnt care in yet another blog post. Youll give me nightmares”

” She is an awful person.”

“the financial and aesthetic disadvantages she faces that don’t impede others.”

“Uggg she’s disgusting.”

“she is just a run of the mill average jane nobody dumbfuck”

“She is the very definition of delusional.”

“Is she an adult? She can’t be.”

“I don’t know that woman, but reading one single page of her blog makes me hate her.”

“holy fuck she looks like a mess”

It’s almost been a year since my 5 minutes of “infamy” on Reddit. Someone decided that my blog wasn’t worthy of a copyright notice, and decided to plaster my blog on Reddit Delusional Artists. And a few other places (those just didn’t get the traction he was looking for). I responded the best way I knew how, with a big fat fuck you. And they came back in droves to find new ways to hurt me. Regardless of what those people thought was fun and games, what they were doing was bullying.

CYBER BULLYING ON REDDIT

And yes, I tried to make light of it. Because that’s what I do. I had fun responding. But that doesn’t mean that I didn’t cry for the better part of a week. That doesn’t mean their words aren’t still haunting me. That doesn’t mean Brian didn’t want to hunt them down and destroy them for making me cry. I was bullied when I was a little girl. It sucks. I escaped relatively unscathed, albeit completely socially awkward (probably one of the reasons I didn’t want to talk about my period, MOM). And as an adult, they say we’re supposed to be able to push through it, but that’s a dirty rotten lie people who’ve never been bullied tell you.

Because bullying hurts.

It stings. It burns to the core of your inner confidence, taking away everything you think and feel and replacing it with vitriol. Throwing gas into that inner flame of self-doubt.

And that sucks.

I’m lucky to have the real life and digital support that I do, as I was able to get through the bullying relatively unscathed. But that isn’t always the case.

Cyber bullies can destroy people. And they do it behind screen names and anonymous posts. Words hurt, people. Bruises heal. Words haunt you forever. I know those insults above are long forgotten by the people that wrote them, but they’re ingrained in my memory forever.

9 months after my Reddit bubble, I’m still getting the occasional hit ftom the Delusional Artists thread. A thread that exists to bully people (despite its context to only comment on people who are “delusional artists”). Each time I see a referral from Reddit, I’m reminded of the things they said. Just in case, for even a moment, I has forgotten.

One of the bright spots of the whole mess was reading responses from the few people who stood up for me. Maybe not the ones who laced it with an insult, but the ones who genuinely said, “hey, this is wrong.”

Nice people on reddit 2

Nice people on Reddit

So the next time you see someone talking shit online about someone else? Leave a comment or send them a message offering your support. You’d be surprised how much you can help.

Have you ever been cyber bullied? Bullied in real life? Have you ever been a bully? Or stopped one?

1000Voices

I’m writing today for #1000Speak with the mission to build from bullying. This is my story. What’s yours?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Life-Gaming: Trolly Want a Cracker?

I’ve finally arrived.

This past weekend was my birthday weekend, as well as my two-year blogiversary, and the blog was overloaded with visitors. Particularly visits skyrocketed to my copyright notice page. When I say overloaded, I mean it was a serious birthday gift of JOY to discover thousands of page views on my little ole blog.

Someone on Reddit came across pictures of me playing around in a cardboard box like a kid. Because it was fun. Apparently, that person thought that my blog was SO BAD that it wasn’t worthy of a copyright notice. I made it into the “delusional artists” subreddit. For those of you who don’t know what Reddit is, it’s kind of like…a message board version of Pinterest.

I chatted with some of my friends immediately upon noticing my recently-discovered infamy, and I realized quickly that being targeted as a “delusional artist,” put me in an excellent position to meta game the fuck out of Reddit and the trolls who think it’s worth their time to talk about how crappy they think I am. Oh, feel free to read about why I’m a delusional artist. If you agree, go ahead and join them. I won’t mind.

As you can imagine, with comments like, “You are not good enough” and I have never met this person and I already hate her on a deeply personal level,” I began my journey through Reddit in a state of confusion. 

I'm sorry, what?

I’m sorry, what?

Trolls are kind of like bullies, but they don’t have the balls to say shit to your face, using their real names. Wait, so you’re saying that strangers who are so proud of their work they hide behind screen names like “nilleftw,” “stormchaser” and (my favorite) “bangwhimper?”

Then I thought to myself, REALLY? Really? 

Are you kidding me?

Are you kidding me?

They couldn’t even find anything valuable to criticize. I could have done a better job of talking shit about my blog. Bangwhimper went to the trouble of creating an Imgur picture with a screen shot of my goal to read 16 books this year, commenting on my “gargantuan cultural appetite.” I, of course, had it removed from Imgur shortly thereafter for…wait for it…copyright violation.

At this point, I started to laugh.

Laughing at trolls

And laugh.

More laughing at trolls

And laugh some more.

Laughter is the best medicine

I was getting well over my norm for blog traffic, and 15 of the several THOUSAND people who came to my site could think of something negative to say…and even those comments made little to no sense.

Screenshot 2014-06-01 20.47.37

I especially liked the comments that talked about how weird I am…or that I’m chubby. I don’t think there has been a post on this blog in which I make any claims that I’m not weird or chubby. In fact, I’m pretty sure I own the fuck out of weird and chubby. That’s a part of who I am. I’m not offended, but I’m certainly baffled.

Oh, and then there was that one guy (or gal) who thought that commenting on my blog would be fun. He must not have realized that I had the power to edit anything he said and turn it into a lovely message.

I’m pretty sure that in the world of trolls and internets, I won this round. But you know, in case you ever want to feed the trolls, here are a few pointers to really get them going.

I was the victim of Reddit bullying. This is how I combatted them. Sort of. Really, it was just a way to poke them with a stick and get more views. They were mean and I cried...but poke poke poke.

How Trolls Win on the Internet

  1. Trolls make you sad. They want to feel better about themselves, so they aim to tear you down and make you cry the ugly cry.  And who’s crying the ugly cry? You. Who’s laughing? Trolls. They’ve won.
Cry the ugly cry

You don’t want them to see you like this, do you?

  1. Trolls make you angry. They want to start something. If you get angry and fight back, they think to themselves, “oooh, this is fun. Look at you squirm!” And then they have more to play with. They’ve won.
Angry Face

This might make you look bad ass, but does it really work?

  1. Trolls trick you into trying to please them. They want you to want them to love you, but they’ll keep moving the goal posts. Fix what they’re criticizing and try to chase their approval? Boom! They’ve won.
Trolls trick you into trying to please them

Please love me… (no, really…don’t love me. I don’t need your trolly love.)

How You Win on the Internet

Keep on keepin’ on. Ignore what some pimply kid or 40-year-old virgin on Reddit thinks. You’re the only you that will ever be. Whether you’ve got 2 followers or 20,000, there is someone out there who gets it. And gets you. Make friends and have fun. Forget about people who aren’t or don’t like you. They’re never going to be your target audience, and you don’t want them anyways. Continue doing what you’re doing and own it. You win.

Of course, if you ever have problems with trolls, feel free to repeat the following:

“So, this is what I say to fucking trolls. Fuck you. Douchebags.”

Then smile. Because you're fucking awesome.

Then smile. Because you’re fucking awesome. Even when you want to fuck around with a cardboard box.

Have you ever had problems with bullies? Cyber or real life? How did you handle it?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

I Got Bullied by the Intern

OK, so my plan has always been to keep my workplace shenanegins off the blog. You know, separate church and state.

Except that I just can’t keep the humor of the best job I’ve ever had away from you guys. Because you’re missing out and only getting the scraps of my life. And that’s not fair to you. Especially to those of you who braved two rounds of unemployment with me over the last year and a half.

Because my co-workers say things like: “I can’t get to hotlegsusa.com. What kind of workplace is this? I just want to look up pantyhose!”

Without further ado, welcome to my workplace.

I work at a pretty huge company. In one of their boutique satellite offices in the city. I am a part of a small, but growing team and this summer we have the pleasure of hosting an adorable intern. It’s like in college when you hosted a scooter (wow, never wrote about that…give me time friends. A scooter is a high school senior that spends a weekend in the dorms and you “scoot” them around and get them to do fun things) only with less peer pressure. Well sort of.

Although I think it’s supposed to be the other way around. You see, this morning, I purchased a pair of these:

wheelie sneaks

Shoes. For grown ups. With wheels. (Source: 6PM)

And it’s ALL BECAUSE OF THE INTERN.

We were talking about shoes with lights and wheelie sneaks and I found these shoes on sale. And the intern was all, “Monday morning. You better be rolling in on those babies.” And I told her, “It’s going to hurt…” And she said, “I feel like this is going to be some high quality entertainment. Mostly because you’re probably going to fall…and I want to be there…to catch you, of course.”

And with that logic, I couldn’t say no. Because you guys love a good falling story, you sick little sadists, you.

Brian’s response (he doesn’t know I have already bought them yet…): “That just… seems like a bad idea for you…”

So…Blog Friends. I’m taking bets. What do you think will happen when I roll through the city on my new wheelie kicks?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

The Bald Elephant

When I was in the fourth grade I did something unbelievably stupid. One of those things that you sit there for hours looking back on and think to yourself, why in God’s name did I do that? It’s even worse, when you don’t remember how you did it.

I vaguely remember being downstairs in our powder room, but after that it’s all a blur of nothingness. But I know that I did it. I remember the aftermath. I remember my mother SCREAMING at me for what I had done…but when she asked me why I did what I did, I told her (quite truthfully) through sobbing tears that I didn’t know.

I had no idea that I had even done it, let alone why the hell my stupid ass did it. I mean really, what nine-year-old cuts a giant bald spot in the crown of her head? And doesn’t even realize it. I had really bad bangs back then (it was the early nineties, so cut me a little slack), and was likely making some valiant attempt at trimming what one of my college best friends lovingly dubbed “the radar dome.”

Proof of the “radar dome” bangs

All I know is that with scissors in hand, I ran upstairs to my mother and informed her of the unfortunate situation that was my lack of hair in a circular section on the top of my head. It was bad. Real bad.

Luckily, moms are known for their quick thinking and improvisation skills. Not to worry, I had plenty of thick banded headbands to hide this silly spot. No one would ever know. Well, until I told my grade school best friend, Kelly. My mistake, I know…but I was nine.

Now, I can’t confirm how this happened for sure, but since kids are mean, even to their friends, and girls love to gossip, even when they’re nine, I’m pretty sure it went something like this: She told one girl, and several boys overheard, and before the day was out the entire fourth grade knew about my stupid bald spot.

I don’t remember much else, other than an out of body experience watching the events unfold in the lunch room and the unfortunate small blond child by the name of Taylor Smitty (whose real name has haunted me for years whenever I think of the cruelty of children in my own coming-of-age, but I have created a pseudonym for-because I am nicer than he was).

Young Taylor, the clever little boy that he was, decided that because I was the chubby kid, and I made a huge judgment error as a result of my then too-trusting nature, this would be the perfect opportunity to bring me to the front line of teased and taunted children at Madison Elementary. So, that day at recess, in front of the entire class, he proclaimed me the bald elephant. (I told you he was clever–because obviously a bald eagle wouldn’t make additional commentary on my small weight problem.) I vaguely remember my headband being torn off my head to showcase my new ‘do.

This teasing went on for several weeks, and not once did I cry. In fact, for years after this torment, I neither cried, nor trusted a single soul with a secret. I was done with the miscreants of grade school.

Were you ever bullied? Did you ever do something ridiculously stupid without realizing the repercussions?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!