After our post, Sarah Daltry Cries Bully, we were asked by some how to tell the difference between someone who is truly bullied and someone who is just crying bully. In this post and the next one to come, we will show you the difference.
Just recently, we received a message from an author who was truly bullied. She had just read our post on Sarah and wanted to tell her story. What happened to her is a prime example of real bullying (note: “the site” she refers to here is not Goodreads):
I’ve just seen the post about an author crying wolf over bullying. I have this to say on the matter.
I would hate to think that it is true as I have been the victim of cyber bullies on several occasions, but it was like ‘flash fires’ that quickly ran out of steam and was usually a bunch of spiteful teens getting their mates to help them bash me. I was called old, fat, ugly, virgin (apparently that is because I was too ugly to find anyone to have sex with me) etc. I was called fugly and must have had plastic surgery on my lips, etc.
They created fake accounts when I blocked them and pretended to be new readers so I would accept the new friend request or follower. Only to wait for me to go to offline so they could leave me very public messages saying things like: ‘I wish you would just get cancer and die, that way your husband and kids can be rid of you’ etc. I’m not married, but still waking up to read messages like that was terrible and it makes your blood run cold as you read the words. Every sentence is carefully constructed to be a direct shot. It stings, no matter how hard you try not to be affected by it. You get to the stage where opening your account feels like letting a sniper get their sights on you, it takes the fun out of writing. You have to stop writing sometimes as your mood could affect the storyline and characters.
The majority of the time I was bullied, I only got to read the messages sent to me in the morning when I got up for work. Several people had already replied with intent of defending me and reporting them. I was 37 when I got called old and a pedo for writing romance novels. The weird thing was, my trolls had gone from being readers who loved my work to haters. Why? Because I wouldn’t allow them to control me? They then forced others to stop ‘liking’ me or they would bully them.
The site warned them to leave me alone and whilst they didn’t continue on the site they used every other avenue e.g. FB, Twitter, Gmail, blogs, chat rooms, to abuse me. Sometimes disappearing for months and then reappearing under a new name to have another pop at me. Posting almost identical messages as before. I started saving screenshots. Most victims will now. If this person was bullied, where is the proof? Plus the bullies would follow her as that is what they do, like sharks on the scent of blood. They hunt you down, no matter where you go.
I wasn’t a victim in respects of sitting there and taking it. I defended myself from being ‘victimised’ and whilst we say ‘don’t feed a troll’, it is hard not to react when they are bashing you. They will run when confronted. The only issue it, they run towards someone else. With trolls that means a new victim and that person might not be as strong, or have the network of support that I did. That is why they need to be stopped or at the very least, have it made more difficult so they think twice about it.
My bullies moved on to bully others and I heard they got suspended from the site on several occasions, but just opened other accounts. There was nothing the site could do, as they couldn’t prove it was 100% the same person. There was no proof of who they were given ‘user names’ and apparently they were doing the same on Goodreads. This is where anonymity plays a large role in enabling these people. Like the person in your post. It is too easy to make up a fake profile. When they get found out, they play the victim.
I would also be be concerned that the work this woman is selling is her own. I would check it for plagiarism.
I was lucky. My bulling finally stopped. I don’t remember when, or how… it just did. Then a new bully came on the scene for a few weeks, but again that stopped.
I’ve never said ‘I’m giving up,’ or even thought about it because I am a strong person and no doubt it would have affected others differently. Yeah sure I got to the stage where I was worried to go to sleep because I would wake up to another round of comments, but I wouldn’t upset my readers with ‘I’m quitting’. I am far too stubborn and there is no way I was letting the bullies stop me. I just carried on writing and with ever chapter their spiteful words began to fade and lose the power it used to have to hurt me.
I realised something the other day. I was never bullied throughout my entire life, until I became a writer and started posting online. I have just turned 40. The bulling started in late 2010. The only reason I was victimised was because I started to become a success. Trolls like to come over and take a dump on your work. It’s like a smear campaign. However, one of the trolls wrote me an apology last year. Saying she was bullied into it and was actually a big fan and used to sneak to read my work. Then a few months after that the ring leader actually tweeted about my work as a recommendation, I was stunned. Maybe from 2010 to 2014 they have grown up. Maybe they regret their actions. Either way I ignored it and focused on writing,
As you can see, it has not been smooth sailing for me and it was definitely not something I was expecting to deal with when I started to write as a hobby. It was a bit like a pothole in my road to publishing. On one hand, I can’t believe someone would pretend to be bullied, but I’ve witnessed it before. I’ve also seen trolls go from tearing strips off people to playing victim themselves. They seem to convince themselves it is true. It is narcissistic behaviour and pathological lying. It is mental health issue. They get a euphoric rush from the attention they receive from it.
I am just grateful that here in the UK we now have to power to take someone to court for cyber bullying. I hope this person is never truly bullied as it is a very haunting experience. It goes with you everywhere like a cloud hanging over you.
Thank you for creating this site. I hope it works in stopping bullies.
What caught our attention the most was her sentence:
I was never bullied throughout my entire life until I became a writer and started posting online.
This is very telling. It shows just how critical a problem online author bullying has become and sadly, this author’s story is one we have heard over and over from authors who have truly been bullied. When it happens, the bullies ALWAYS leaving a trail if dung behind that proves what happened. In this author’s case, the ringleader of the attack was an internet troll operating under the name of “Diebitch”.
Okay, so… a word to the wise. If you ever see someone online who calls herself something like “Diebitch” or something like:
Turn around and RUN! DO NOT look back. DO NOT have anything to do with people who use these kinds of online monikers. Nothing good can ever come of it. These people are self-proclaimed internet trolls. It’s glaringly obvious, inherent in the names they choose for themselves.
Anyhow, here is the dung trail Diebitch and her friends left to prove that they bullied this author:
This is a friend of the author sending a warning about one of Diebitch’s buddies who sent this author a nasty message:
And here is a message sent to the author by the fan who apologized for participating in their smear campaign:
So, how can you tell when someone has truly been bullied?
This. Everything in this post. You see how the author had solid evidence of what happened to her? You see how she didn’t give up? You see how she didn’t broadcast what happened to her and say she was quitting just to gain attention? And then plug her books once she did get that attention?
This is a sad story, but what makes us happy about it is that this author didn’t give up and wallow in self-pity. She stuck it out and kept going.
Yes, the bullies need to be stopped, but you’re never going to stop them if you let them stop you first.