Monday, May 18, 2009

My greatest sorrow

I have never spoken words that came more directly from deep within the place in my soul that I keep hidden from the world.

I am a victim of cyber bullying.

I was tormented by a group of people as a sophomore in college. Their hateful actions derailed my life in ways that destroyed my relations with my family and obliterated my self-confidence. The nightmare that my life has been because of the lingering effects of the cyber bullying is something people only imagine happens in books and movies. I was always a happy trusting sunny child, but the events that unfurled in the early part of 2001 on the Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, campus reduced me to a walking corpse that feared every shadow, every whisper, every glance. I fought to recover from the horror and the shame, winning the battle somedays and plummeting to failure the next, until yesterday when a friend made me realise that what had happened to me now has a name because it is an alarmingly common crime today.
The memories of those events have never left my consciousness. I have dragged them with me like an invisible rotting carcass on my back with its rigor mortis grip caressing my heart for almost a decade now. The toxicity of it seeped through into every human relationship I ever formed, every desperate thought that ever crossed my mind, every nightmare that made me revisit old ghosts. I feel like it happened just last month, it never leaves no matter how much time passes by or what achievements I make. I never thought I would talk about it openly because I had been convinced by people I trusted that I must've done something to attract such vile attention to myself in the first place, that I am a chemically unbalanced creature that must spend my life atoning for my sins. But after I started reading about cyberbullying, I saw that the patterns are always the same, and they always involve the victim becoming a recluse and inching towards suicide. I have been down those putrid alleys many times myself, but God held me back each time.

The people who did this to me have moved on in life, and everytime I hear about them, it feels like a knife slicing through wounds that have never been allowed to completely heal. I forgave them with great difficulty two nights ago, in the dark at night with only God and myself in the room, so I could move on. Then in twenty-four hours God used an old friend of mine as a tool to set me free by showing me that it wasn't my fault, so I could forgive myself.

Everyone had jumped on the bandwagon to judge me through vicious lies and half-truths. Everyone had a chance to talk and be believed. Now it is my turn. My story will be told, if not for me, then for the countless other faceless victims that have no voice.

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