The World Wide Web can be a really scary place. Boogeymen do live here and they are very real. I am writing this for bullies to read, because I am being bullied and most importantly, I am writing this for their victims. And I am writing this for myself as a way to face my fears and take back my life. I choose to speak up and not be a victim anymore and I hope if you are being bullied, especially in cyberspace, that I can help you take positive action to end your nightmare. Bear with me. I have a few things to say first before I tell you the legal steps I am taking to end my nightmare. Scroll down to skip to those steps.
The Web is a Scary and Beautiful World
The reason why the Internet is so scary is because it is full of human beings and human beings can be really mean, especially when they are broken. I understand. I once was broken, too. The World Wide Web is also an inspiring place and miracles of kindness happen everyday. Families video each other from around the world, soldiers get to Skype their children, children get to write and publish stories, people share knowledge and wisdom freely. We can provide aid to tsunami victims or spread information for safe havens in a war torn country. It can be the place where you get to spread kindness and help millions. It can be a place you choose to spread a message of hope, strength, passion, and love.
My Mission, My Passion, My Story
When I first began spreading my message of inspiration, kindness, and passion years ago, I knew there were battles to be fought. I knew there would be people who would hate my work, energy, and fire so much that they would threaten my life and my reputation. I knew and I prepared myself and my mind for battles. Bad things don’t happen, because people deserve them or because you are on the web. Bad things happen, because that is life and that is what living is about. If you choose to spread good and fight the negativity in this world, guess what, you’ll have even more battles, more hardship. If you do it online and your life is an open book then your attackers can get to you, pretty easily.
I remember reading about the heroes of our world, Martin Luther King, Jr., and others. They died for spreading their passion and even for trying to help those who attacked them find peace. Millions of others throughout history who dare to transform the world have not met the best outcomes. I’m not afraid. Bullies don’t get to stop my good work. They don’t get to shut me up. And they don’t get to make me change the way I live my life. Spreading positivity is important work. And those who decide to spread hate and violence just fuel my fire for how important my work is needed. Too many broken people have the power and strength to ruin lives, create nightmares for millions. There are millions of bullying victims. There are millions of families who have suffered at the hands of criminals and violent acts.
One day I woke up….
I was my attacker. Not that I was a bully, but I did feel broken and I allowed myself to focus my energy on misguided things. I kept thinking why is the world so cruel to “me”. And yes, I have had dear friends pass away way too young, including someone I loved quite deeply. And yes, I have faced abuse. And yes, I have faced poverty. There’s a lot I have faced and none of that gives me any excuse to wreck havoc or cruelty. People, somewhere in the past, have faced way more than most of us will ever face and those people have chosen to help others and spread good.
I changed my thinking. I began to read about the millions of ways I could make others feel my misery, thinking that would make me whole. I prayed, fasted, joined religious institutions, etc and couldn’t find my peace. Then, suddenly, the prayers worked, probably from my family and loved ones. And I realized that instead of working so hard on focusing on my misery, I could put all that energy into doing the easier thing, focusing on my passion and filling up my life with what I believe is important. We all have purpose. We just have to stop wasting our energy on things that won’t fix us. We have to stop wishing we had what we “imagine” others have and begin to focus on what inspires us. If you, bully, would take all that strength, passion, energy, and action you put into making others miserable and put that to work in your life, to make positive steps to make you whole, then you would see your life improve. You would find the inner peace you look for.
I’m Speaking Up
I have a cyberbully and I’m not the first person to have one and sadly enough, millions of the people I help, including my students, will also face many bullies in their lives. Too many people who are not whole, who have not taken on my challenge for them to live inspired lives, will create misery for others because they think it will fix their brokenness.
If you try to break someone and you succeed, you will not fix what is broken in you. You will continue to foster that brokenness in you. However, if you face your fears and take “your victim” mentality and take the steps to achieve your dream, then your life will be so much different than now. You may not be the next pop star or even have millions. However, you will feel much better about yourself and you will have helped others and more importantly, you will have been part of the solution to ending all the negativity and cruelty in this world.
Enough is enough. Stop being part of the problem why this world is full of broken people. Stop being someone’s nightmare. Achieve your dreams. Try to find peace. Try to be whole.
If you have a bully or someone who is harassing you, this is what I am doing:
- Document everything- take screen shots of conversations. Search their Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. when they think you aren’t and take screen shots of what they post to show their mental state. I have found bullies like to brag and usually publicly. This has helped me take a stand against mine.
- Don’t give in and be mean to your bully. Don’t take the cheap shots that will give you brief moments of peace. Instead, talk to friends, family, a hotline. Go running, take kickboxing, or work it out. Turn on the music really loud and scream to the top of your lungs. Just try not to engage. You can not make people who have a vendetta against you change their mindset. That usually takes a professional and a mediator.
- Get a lawyer. Try to raise money for one or ask your friends and family for support. They might know someone. There is in some states a Victims’ fund and you may later get to sue your bully to pay for those costs.
- Join a support group. It helps to know you aren’t alone in this and to hear how others survive. Usually you can find this in your local newspaper or Google “bully support group” and your city.
- Put a CHO into place. This is a Civil Harassment Order and here is one guide with steps, but you will need to follow the laws for your area. Google this and your state or you will find the information in the Attorney General’s page. This is your first legal step.
- If your bully continues, they may not realize some of the words and actions they have taken are considered “hate crimes, assault, etc.” Document everything because this will be your next step as well as slander, etc. A good lawyer will help you take the steps you need, one day at a time.
- Don’t be lenient legally on your bully if he/she continues and doesn’t stop, especially if your bully involves your loved ones and friends like mine is doing. The law will help, it just takes time but someday you will wake up and you’ll feel safe again.
- Remember, you don’t deserve this. No one deserves to be a victim, not even bullies. Most bullies were the victims of others. I understand this but that doesn’t mean we get to choose to perpetuate the cycle. We can choose, instead, to break the cycle and perpetuate new cycles just by deciding to use our lives to be a positive force in the world.
Thank you reader for listening. Thank you for sharing my projects. Thank you for participating. Thank you for the messages I get daily that tell me how much I make a positive difference in your life. I truly love and appreciate each of you. Your words are powerful support.
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