I've answered this before I believe, but I'm just going to post this in general, my thoughts on what is bullying?
So what is bullying?
Bullying is the use of force, threat, or coercion to abuse, intimidate, or aggressively impose domination over others. The behaviour is often repeated and habitual. One essential prerequisite is the perception, by the bully or by others, of an imbalance of social or physical power. Behaviours used to assert such domination can include verbal harassment or threat, physical assault or coercion, and such acts may be directed repeatedly towards particular targets. Justifications and rationalizations for such behaviour sometimes include differences of class, race, religion, gender, sexuality, appearance, behaviour, body language, personality, reputation, lineage, strength, size or ability. If bullying is done by a group, it is called mobbing. "Targets" of bullying are also sometimes referred to as "victims" of bullying.
(from wikipedia btw)
I'll say it again--bullying is not a word to throw around lightly.
It is something quite serious, one that affects every victim differently. Or rather everyone in general that are involved and/or aware of the situation. I can't say how many times I've watched others simply ignore it and accept it like its an everyday life thing or something that kids do--it is not normal nor something ANYONE should be doing, regardless of the reason.
I've been victim for several years and yeah, it got to the point where I was forever repeating a mantra of "survived another day...only x more days until graduation".
Hence most of the time, I was like this daily.
On my constant guard, and not really knowing what was going to happen next or when it would happen. It's a terrifying experience in a nutshell that no one should even be bestowed upon another. And quite frankly, I've lost count how many times this has happened to me...let alone how many actual bullies I've encounter in my lifetime.
It's also ridiculous with how things are handled. Most people that do state they'll do something about it are mostly all bark. At least from how I witnessed and experienced it firsthand. Any signs of trouble there's a mentally of "fight or flight"--most always did choose the easier way, while I stayed and defended victims myself. There was nothing really for me to lose, I was already a target regardless, I wasn't about to let someone else become a constant target.
Despite this, I did survive, and it was thanks to reading and writing along with my family and what little friends I did have.
It's hard and its traumatic and it leaves behind invisible scars, but you'll survive and find the people that matter the most and are worth all those years of torment.
That's probably one of the most beautiful things about being human, at least to me, is surviving.
And the most bravest thing sometimes is telling your tale, regardless how painful it is reliving those memories, because there's a warmth waiting at the end of it--one that reminds you how lucky we are to be alive.
Now onto the ugly stuff of this post.
This is largely why I just get angry and frustrated when "omfg im being bullied by x" is thrown around so easily these days, especially on the net. Anonymity is both a gift and a curse combined. There will always be the good and the bad. The best you can do is hold your ground because for most of these "trolls" its because they're bored and you're an easy target.
I know this because of an experience I had not too long ago that was really serious.
This happened on a chatsite that is now gone, by the way.
There was this "troll" that was being a major pain, and heckling everyone--especially some friends of mine, and I had enough--and all sorts of nasty stuff, so naturally I stepped in. And it worked...for a while. I was able to fend off said troll, until something happened. Something was said and he grabbed onto it. Before I knew it, I was being harassed to the four corners of that site. And others joined in the "fun".
Oh the irony.
The fact that others joined in like it was a game shows how corrupted we've become in terms of bullying with anonymity.
I've read somewhere on tumblr that really struck a cord with me. Lemme see if I can find it. EDIT: I cannot find the post, BUT it went something like this:
"Anon hate that truly affects you happens because it reflects your own insecurities"
or at least something to that affect.
The fact that this rings so clearly in my mind is truly frightening. Sometimes you're told something so many times that you begin to believe it. This is psychological trauma people. And something found highly common in regards to bullying of any kind. I've never gotten anon hate on tumblr or anywhere (except that random time on one review that was like out of nowhere, and that was due to a conflicting opinion and I was the unlucky sucker to get the punch, oh well).
ANYWAYS back to the story, so sorry for my ramblings. >_<;
I'm sure you can guess what happened next with all this.
If you guessed: It got worse --you're right.
Entirely worse and worse to the point I was reduced to tears. I did everything I could. I blocked (but they'd relog in under a different name). I ignored, which allowed them to go after other people that tried to stop it. I tried to leave...but I didn't want them to shift their attention to someone else, and I was stubborn, I didn't want them to know they won. So I hung in there. Even when it hurt to breathe and my shirt and my surroundings were wet from my tears. Experiencing it, reminded me of my own years of torment that I endured on a daily and constant routine.
I remember asking myself--was it really this terrible?
I had forgotten how it felt--no, I never did.
But the truly, raw pain you experience when you are harassed and you can't seem to stop it no matter what you do.
That--that is what I had forgotten in the last something years, and it just merely ripped open the scars from the past, causing them to bleed anew.
I had nightmares after this by the way.
Especially since the "game" continued on for nearly 9 hours.
Yes, 9 hours, at least, of pure unadulterated hell.
And by the end of it, I was ready to leave for good. I had never felt so discouraged and worthless...among other things. It was horrid.
But its experiences like this that make me realize exactly how dark and traumatic the underground of the net truly is armed with anonymity. It is terrifyingly real.
A friend of mine attempted (and when I say "attempted" I mean he really did try with good intentions) to stop it, unfortunately his plan backfired. He hadn't realized exactly to what extent this devil spawn was hellbent on completely destroying me. Like holy smokes.
And the primary reason?
Said troll was bored.
LIKE ARE YOU KIDDING ME.
WHAT KIND OF SICK TWISTED KID DO YOU HAVE TO BE TO LOG ONTO ANY SITE AND DO THAT KIND OF NASTY SHET?!
JUST HELL NO.
And was targeted mainly because I had said that I was cute (which it was true, considering so many people state that whenever they see me, HELL my friends that are girls would be constantly going on about how cute I look and whatnot), which apparently pissed off this troll something major, calling me an arrogant conceited little beyotch. My reaction was pretty much utter shock. Mostly because it just came out of nowhere. And what unfold was completely ridiculous. He just grabbed on and never let go.
He also somehow got some personal information from some douche and used it against me. I was just stunned, mortified even. Drowning in words. As an author, or anyone that uses words on a daily basis or speaks or sign or draw or however to communicate with one another, you should realize something major here.
This is only one of the countless stories of my personal experiences of being bullied, I have so many that I've lost count.
And if that's not truly bullying or cyberbullying or sheer harassment on whatever level, then I don't know what is anymore...