Several years ago I was watching an interview with Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor on 60 minutes and she stated that while she enjoyed being a judge, the most upsetting thing for her was to learn that there is true evil in this world. Some people are dark, extremely dark. Up to that point I am certain she felt that everyone had some redeeming quality, that people make mistakes, as I felt the same, but I was confronted with true evil myself a few years earlier and I knew her words were true and it’s a very scary situation.
Before anyone had an online profile, way before facebook or, GASP! myspace, yours truly had a website back in 1997. I was stuck at home with a sick child and I wanted to do “something” to spread the word about EB. One of the pages on my website was a series of pages about my baby Alex that was stillborn at full term, including a handful of photos of my baby. While 99% of the comments were nice and kind and supportive (The Wall Street Journal even did a story on my website for Alex, it was such a novelty back then!), there was always that smart ass that had to say something nasty about it. Ugh. Isn’t there always a “smart ass” that has to say something stupid, ugly, or mean? But “true evil” didn’t visit my website until several years later.
A group of nasty, truly disgusting individuals targeted me big time. One day, out of the blue I received messages that were out of a horror flick, images of my baby surrounded by the devil and aliens. Someone told me they wrote a song for Alex, and when I opened the file it was a bunch of screams and cuss words. Since my website showed me the referring links (basically how they found me… was it google, yahoo, or a link from another website) I was able to find this horrific bulletin board. These assholes had great fun sending horrific messages to grieving mothers. Oh yeah, apparently they had nothing better to do, they were laughing like a bunch of children, so proud of themselves. I tried to fight back and call them out at first but in turn they only got uglier and nastier (if that is even possible) so I tried to block them all but they kept emailing me somehow. It went on for months. MONTHS!!
About a year later I received a message from a detective from Scotland Yard. Apparently one of the people that targeted me was arrested for murdering a nurse in London, England. When they took possession of his computer they found all these horrible messages he sent me so the police wanted to know if they could use these emails as evidence of his character in the trial. What followed were many conversations with this detective over the phone, I signed all kinds of affidavits and such, even agreeing to go to London for the trial if necessary. The detective kept me abreast on the events on the trial and he stated to me that the emails he sent me were all read out loud in court. He told me the audience in court was aghast hearing what he wrote me. I must specify that these were extremely crude messages, ranging from downright evil to tasting the bones of my baby, I mean… to call them disgusting it’s a total understatement. Suffice to say, this evil man is behind bars. Good riddance.
If this experience has taught me anything is to completely ignore, delete, block any negative, nasty or disgusting message I receive. This is on ALL pages, websites, anything I run. And let me tell you, I’ve received many over the years. There are people out there that have targeted me for all kinds of things. People that made up forums just to bad-mouth me. People that invented things to make me look bad. People that have used me as a punching bag over and over again, for years! I wrote at length about this in my book “Butterfly Child”. I realize this is par of the course because I’ve made my struggles so very public, but that does not mean I am going to put up with it. I have no problem unfriending, blocking and whatever I have to do to keep my sanity. Lately as a matter of fact, I’ve learned to find it kind of amusing, because if experience in dealing with online harassers has taught me anything is that the reaction of people has nothing to do with “me” per se, but with “them”.
Yes, Taylor Swift has it right. Haters gonna hate, hate, hate. So, I’m gonna shake it off!!
Love & Light,