It was in June of 2009 that I experienced, for the first time, what it was like to sort of slip, without realizing it, into a Matrix-like, other worldly third dimension replete with bullies, bullets and bytes that pierced my unsuspecting soul.
When I was under attack, it felt like I was plummeting down that proverbial rabbit hole. A rabbit hole without a bottom. Spinning and spinning and reeling from these written attacks via email and in a chatroom about the Casey Anthony case.
My bullies were a group of women who I didn’t know, but who I chatted with on the Internet about the Casey Anthony case. They grew slowly to be so vile and ugly. So devious and prank-ish with a clear intent to hurt me – actual death threats against me and others – using childish pranks and curse words the likes of which you just don’t hear in polite society.
And now, over a year later, they are back taunting me again.
They’ve been emailing me threats, posting cruel and viscous taunts here on my blog. It’s so startling to see; so ugly, so utterly without grace that they do this. I find it difficult to grasp how they live with themselves.
I wrote a story about my experience with these bullies in a posting in 2009. For a bit of history on this story, please read my post titled “This my friends is no game, this is cyber-terrorism.”
In that story, I referred to them as “Judge and Jury.” Their first names (I think) are Debbie and Trish. And, sadly, they have a new devotee bully named Marie. Marie was once a target of theirs. They attacked her with such a vengeance once upon a time. But clearly she’s forgotten that now. Now, Marie has joined their platoon and is a fierce bullier herself. She is just as cruel and vile as they are, if not more so.
These particular bullies have threatened that if I so much as DARE to mention them again here on this blog, they will retaliate against me and cause me so much harm that I won’t know what hit me. Hah! I am not in the least bit scared of these blowhards.
Yes, these woman who have called me names, have written vile hyperbole on my blog, which I won’t repeat here – gutter talk that only people without consciousness would write…. These women call themselves “well adjusted!” Now, I thought that was actually quite funny! Between the threats, the sophomoric curse words, and the taunts, one bully told me how well adjusted she was! Isn’t it rich?
But, seriously, they are cruel. Demeaning me for having an education (they have none); calling me a stupid a__wipe. Discussing the fact that because I have never married, I am a sick Lesbian (I am not – but I am single), a spinster who should join a lonely hearts club. They claim I am psychotic and they have decided my mother did a piss-poor job raising me. Oh there’s more gross talk; it’s just too ugly to repeat.
A Definition of Cyberbullying
So how do people cyber-bully? In this digital age, it is easy to get your hands on the tools of the trade. The venues include: Internet chat, Internet sites like MySpace or Facebook, text messaging or any type of technology to deliberately demean, harass, frighten or threaten harm to another person. The reason it’s so insidious is due to it being anonymous.
The Cyberbully Personality
Bully’s believe that because they sit behind a computer monitor they are safe and can spew as much hate as they can muster. Cyberbullies seek out prey that appear weak or vulnerable to them.
The most bizarre thing about most cyberbullies, they will turn off their computers and turn into normal people who go about their business without a care in the world.
Cyberbullies come in all shapes and sizes. They are young, old, educated, uneducated, smart and bold. They are out there and they are dangerous, especially to young people.
Recent cases in the news
You may remember the recent cyberbullying incident at Rutgers University in which a student committed suicide after classmates supposedly filmed him engaging in a gay sexual activity. A bright eyed, intelligent Tyler Clementi jumped off the George Washington bridge as a result of the taunts and the pressure that these bullies imposed.
And there’s the case of Megan Meier, the pretty young Missouri teen who chatted via the internet with a mother of one of her friends, all the while thinking it was a boy she adored. When the “boy” turned on her, Megan, so distraught, killed herself.
Sadly, there are hundreds of stories out there about teen suicides resulting from both bullying and cyberbullying. It is a serious, serious problem.
And, it’s a tough crime to solve. Slick, Internet savvy bully’s can hide their identity with no problem. But, here on WordPress, it’s not so easy for the bully.
WordPress captures the I.P. Address of the poster. The I.P. address is your internet fingerprint, traceable back to you. Now, it’s not that easy, mind you, and it’s very expensive to trace an I.P. address, but I’m told that lawyers, FBI and local police have a way of connecting an I.P. address to an individual.
I do take some comfort in knowing that I need only to bring these posts and I.P. addresses to the authorities, if needed.
I will do it, too. That’s not a threat either. It’s just a promise I’ve made to myself.
The article above (link) includes excellent advice for those of us who are or who have been victims of cyber bullies.
The video below pertains to young people, who are the most targeted group. Adults bully too – sometimes relentlessly. More on this topic to come.