“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!

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!