October is National Bullying Prevention Month. I know some people are scared to share their story, but I thought if I shared mine, it would want people to open and defend themselves.
I was never bullied in school. I personally could not relate to 13 Reasons Why or Mean Girls or any other TV Shows or movies where kids were bullied at school. In High School, I pretty much got along with everybody. I mostly hung out with my childhood friends if we had the same lunch, or hung out with friends I’ve made throughout high school, or go to the library during lunch to finish some homework or study for a test. As we were approaching the last month of high school, I found myself drifting away from my friends. I purposely attended a different university from everybody and wanted to be far away from everyone. I don’t really have a reason why I drifted away. We all wanted different things in life, I was also tired of acting immature and wanted to branch out and meet new people. As much as we were all friends and hung out after school, there were times I wanted to meet new people and end friendships. I was not the most popular kid, I was also not a loner, I was not the smartest in my grade, I guess you can say I was in the middle. I got along with pretty much everyone. I’ll be honest, my high school didn’t have cliques you see in American shows and movies. We all talked to each other, regardless of your “rank” in the popularity scale. At the age of 24, I only have one really good childhood friend, she’s one of my best friends. We talk everyday, and she’s been with me through everything.
At 18, I got a really good, well paying job while in school. My boss liked me so much that I was able to work on my own hours. It was great. I was able to work around my schedule and not depend on my parent’s money. I got to work from home sometimes and I loved it. I also met my first bully at that time. I’m not going to mention names, so let’s call her Sally. Sally was nice at first. She was helpful and helped me out a lot since I’m a pretty shy, sheltered person. She taught me a lot. After working with each other for almost 2 years, I found her to be taking advantage of me. Sally took advantage that I was vulnerable and do not know how to say no. She took advantage of my kindness, but she was also nice at the same time. She took advantage of my money. She called me London Tipton. She called me Paris Hilton. She said I would become a stepford wife. I was a valley girl to her and got others on it. At first, I went along with it, but then it stung, it hurt me. She did not believe I got into a good university or that I was also in a competitive program. She didn’t think I was made to cut it in the medical/science world. She would say that I’ll drop out and change into a “Mrs. Degree” instead – I graduated from a good school, a high GPA and will be getting my PhD in a couple of years. She made fun of the way I talked. She called me spoiled. She demeaned me as nothing but a spoiled child. She made fun of me saying that I would not be qualified to become a doctor, unless my parents paid my way in. While she would make fun of me, I still felt myself hanging out with her, because she also taught me a lot. I come from a sheltered childhood. She taught me that being sheltered isn’t going to get you anywhere. She told us about her experiences and you have to be tough in the real world. It was a love-hate relationship. I left that job in 2015.
I didn’t experience the bullying again until I was 23. I don’t remember the exact date in August, but I just remember it was one of the longest homestands we had that season, I was getting 3-4 hours of sleep because not only was I working at my day job with the Blue Jays, but my designer and I were also working on the theme and launch of ALSL. The game ended later than usual, therefore meant I would be staying longer than usual (I usually leave after I’m done all my work and can take up to another 45 minutes – 1 hour +). I left, walked home, got home and got ready for bed since I had an early morning that day. A few days before this nightmare started, I saw some unusual activity on my accounts. I say unusual because my blog was not launched yet and had not posted a blog post since January/February 2017. I was confused as to why there were a lot of page views and follows on my blog’s Instagram account. I brushed it off thinking it was just spam accounts. I did not know what was going on, until I read every message. The messages I received telling me to “KMS,” “I’m ugly,” “embarrassing.” I got called a “gold digger.” I get creeped out and scared easily, so my first instinct was to make my accounts private and to delete any photos and videos off my accounts. The messages kept coming in, so I resorted to deactivating all my accounts. I was scared to go to work that day. I remember shaking in bed. I was scared, numb and was crying. I remember wearing a hat to work that day, not because it was hot, but because I scared that they would find me. I actually feared for my life. I was paranoid that day. I’m still paranoid to this day. This was not a one time thing, it kept happening. It keeps happening.
This past year was nothing but full of hateful words, harassment and violation of my privacy. I’ve done nothing to deserve any of this. The people that wrote me hateful words and called me names. I was told I was “ugly.” I was called “an attention wh*re.” I was labelled “a gold digger.” I was sent threats. I was called “pathetic.” I was called “a joke.” I was called “a liar.” I have no reason to hide anything. I have no reason to make anything up, I’m not gaining anything from this besides mental health issues. Nor do I have any reason to make it up. I have no reason to mislead anyone – did you want a copy of my paystub? My work ID? My sin number? My taxes? I thought everyone finally got bored and left me alone until I checked one of my messages and someone sent me a message saying that my portfolio/resume was leaked. Three people downloaded a personal and confidential document off my blog, they then proceeded to send it in to a gossip website (thank you for the individuals who sent me a DM regarding this and screenshots). Imagine how pathetic one has to be to do that???? Imagine how pathetic of a human being you have to be to create an account for the sole purpose to bully, criticize and gossip about people you will never meet or have???? How bored must you be???? One out of the 3 individuals also said they would leak this document if I didn’t do something. Why? Why would someone do this? What did I do for someone to do this? To say these things? To gossip about me? To spread false and misleading information. That said document was not updated. To the people that posted that information and to the people that sent that information, everything and anything you post online can easily be traced back to you – it does not matter if you are using a VPN or you are not using your personal wifi/data, everything and anything can easily be traced back to you.
If I wanted to be as disturbed, as petty, as immature, as disgusting as these human beings who hide behind their phones, their computers, their tablets to bully, criticize, gossip, demean people, I would have posted the usernames of all the horrible humans I’ve had encountered. It’s great having someone on your payroll who can easily track these individuals – they can track everything about you and I can know everything within an hour or less. It happened again last week. All the people that have sent me hateful messages or the screenshots people have sent me, why? If my parents did not raise me right, I would be exposing all these hateful, disgusting, pathetic people. But that’s not how I was raised. That’s not how God would want me to act. That’s not my purpose on this beautiful world. I also don’t want to do anything to embarrass my loved ones and my future children. “Forgive, but never forget” is my motto at times like this. My Mom always said I have a gift for forgiveness. I don’t easily get angry. But if I do get mad or I’m not in the mood, give it a couple of minutes and I forgive – but I never, ever forget. The people that downloaded and sent that confidential information to a gossip blog, I know who you are – your name, how you look like and your Instagram, the time you accessed my blog, what device you viewed it on. It really does pay to have an IT expert on your payroll…. I don’t know, but if I was at school and my parents were spending thousands of dollars on my education, I definitely wouldn’t be stalking a stranger and going/running on gossip blogs. Have you ever heard of Netflix? Homework? Trying new food? Going out with friends?
In a way, everything happens for a reason, and in this case it was nothing more of a learning curve – a lesson. It taught me to stand up for myself. I’m not someone you can easily scare away. I am going to fight. I did not do anything wrong and will not be easily quiet. Yes, it is a free country. A lot of these internet trolls easily mistake “freedom of speech” with the “freedom to be an a**hole.” You have the freedom to fight for what is right – the right to have an opinion, the right to do good. What people don’t have the right to do is make someone feel uncomfortable. No one in this world has the right to demean, demoralize anyone. You do not have the right to stalk someone where they work to the point they have to leave. You do not have the right to spread nothing but slander. These screenshots I received, there were a lot…. I don’t know how this started and I don’t know why people care. Why do people create accounts like these disgusting accounts? Why do people create accounts to only gossip, bully and criticize people? How could you look at yourself? How can you sleep at night? What’s your purpose? It’s easy to hide behind a computer or phone screen, isn’t it? It’s easy to show your true self behind a technology device. How would you feel if this happened to your future children?
My question to these individuals who do nothing but gossip, spread hate, who are not using their time wisely, why? What did I do to you? You don’t know me, I don’t know you. You have never met me and probably never will. Why do you feel like you have to do this? What is your purpose? How would you feel if someone/people did this to you? Over and over and over again. How would you feel if your information was posted online without your knowledge? It’s 2018, women should be supporting each other. Men and women should be supporting each other, instead of tearing each other down. How would you feel if someone was trying to find you where you work? How would you feel if people called you names? How would you feel if people created multiple accounts on social media to stalk you and your family and friends? How would you feel if people messaged you saying there’s accounts that gossip and criticize you? How would you feel if this happened to a loved one? If this happened to your parents, your siblings, your cousins, your best friends? How would you feel? How would they feel? How would they feel that this person in their life is living a secret life online that demeans strangers? How would they feel if they learned that you were stalking, gossiping, threatening people? They say humans have multiple personalities. One, when you are with your family, two, when you are with your friends, three, when you are out in public and four, when you are by yourself. They say that the person you actually are is when you are by yourself. When you are out in public, with your family or with friends, you put on a front – you are behaved or responsible. But how you act when you are alone is actually how you are. That’s your real, true self. The people you are hating on, the people you are gossiping about, the people you are demoralizing, the people whose looks you are critizing, the people you are stalking – they are real human beings. They have feelings. They have a heart that you can break. They may have anxiety. They may have an eating disorder. They may be depressed. They may be seeing a therapist because sometimes too much is too much. Sometimes, no matter how much a person tries to be strong, how much they try to appear happy and cheerful, how much they fake a smile, sometimes it’s just too much. You want things to be done, don’t feel the pain anymore.
There have been multiple times I’ve thought about deleting my blog and social media accounts altogether. My loved ones and everyone that mattered all agreed that it would be better if I just delete everything and I agreed, sometimes. There were also times I didn’t want to go through and launch my business altogether. I was scared. Because I know they will be there to criticize my hard work. The amount of work I put into creating this brand, the amount of my hard earned money I’ve invested, it would all go to waste. But then I thought, if I do that, then that means they’ve won. That’s what these people want to see. They want to ruin things. They want to break you down. They want to ruin something so beautiful. They don’t care what they say or do. They want to ruin your mental health. you as a person, your relationship, your comfort zone. So no, I’m not going to “shut up and go away.” But I am second guessing myself if I actually want to open a retail store in downtown Toronto or just hire security in store. I’m here to stay, because you know what? You helped me make stronger. Yes, you’ve ruined my confidence, my comfort zone, my mental health, but I also want to thank you for making me stronger. Every time you gossiped about me, threatened me, sent me hate mail, criticized me, you helped me grow and become stronger. I don’t blog because I want to become the next GOOP/Gwyneth Paltrow, or the next Lauren Conrad, or the next Martha Stewart. I’m doing this creative journey for me. I don’t make money on my blog and other accounts, I’m not selling out. When I changed my blog domain, I wanted a name that aligned with my goals and why I was doing it. A Life She Loved is just that, a life I love. This journey not only made stronger, but more aware. All these things have taught me valuable lessons. It definitely taught me that privacy is the only way to go and to not talk about my new employer, or where I’ll be going to school in the future, or what I’m studying. Anyone who knows me personally know and will say I’m very shy and I do not like being front centre. I love being in the background. I don’t want attention. If you want to follow me because you like what I write on my blog and you are interested in seeing my designs, then by all means, follow me. But I don’t want your attention, nor would I want your business because of other reasons other than liking what I do and nothing else. I don’t care for having thousands of followers, or thousands of likes, I don’t care for your “goals” comments. I sound like a broken record, but I know I wanted my story out there. I’m not writing this post because I want your sympathy, I’m writing this post because I just want people to understand that I am human, I have feelings, I have anxiety, I was depressed, I did have an eating disorder growing up. A lot of people are afraid to speak up for themselves, but I’m not. I’m not afraid of disgusting human beings who hide behind their phones/computers. I’m not afraid of people who create accounts to talk, criticize and gossip about others. I know what’s true and I know I did not do anything to deserve this. I’m just a simple girl, living (trying) her best life, trying to do something in this world and be surrounded by people who matter most. I don’t know you, you don’t know me, no one deserves to feel uncomfortable and scared.
For all those that are being bullied or getting harassed or you feel alone and need someone to talk to, please know you are more than welcome to send me a message and I will talk to you. You are not alone, you are loved, you are enough, you are everything. Forgive, but never forget….
I’m going to end this with a couple of my favourite quotes. Whenever I’m feeling sad, depressed or after a panic attack, I just like to be myself and look at quotes. I like to read them and create my own graphics. We all deal with things differently, and this is how I calm down.
Be nice and smile to everyone you meet. You don’t know what they are going through and they may need that smile 💙