I’m really feeling bittersweet right now. For the first time since 7th grade, I’m going offline. I deactivated my Facebook and deleted my Instagram app. I’ve been pretty connected on both of those social media sites for years but it’s time to go. I made blog posts that made me a target for criticism, nastiness and just pure bullying.
If you’re from Ruskin, you know the story of Hope. If you’re not, let me clue you in. In September of my 18th grade year, When I was 14, my best friend ended her life. She was a victim of having her nude photos sent around, but also of massive amounts of cyber bullying. It shook up the lives of everyone who knew her, as you can imagine. I did therapy for a good 6-8 months before I felt stable and healthy enough to stop going. That was a really hard time! I moved on though. Hope’s mom, Donna, is one of the most amazing women I’ve ever met and she was so helpful. So was my family. My parents took such good, tender care of me when I was that fragile. They handled everything to the best of their ability and they did so well. ❤ I’m so lucky to have them.
Senior year, I ended up back init therapy. The summer before, I stopped being friends with my friend group. (It wasn’t for any one particular reason other than normal high school girl drama). The biggest issue with that was the fact that we were both varsity cheerleaders and we couldn’t avoid each other. It made being on my cheer team being very stressful. I decided to cheer for one more year and just do the whole shebang. After cheer camp, I started getting really mean texts from an anonymous texting app. It talked about how I was worthless, disgusting, nasty and didn’t deserve my spot on the team. After talking to my mom about it, we reported it to my coach.
While my coach did nothing, the texts continued. My team left me feeling isolated, the texts continued and I was miserable. I made it through Senior Night in October and then quit. My parents would never let me quit anything but they knew how miserable I was and they supported my decision to quit. I was dealing with that rejection, the lack of authority figures handling the bullying and the utter disappointment of my love of cheer being gone. I did more therapy, just to deal with all the things I was getting used to.
This whole situation at Saint Leo is so similar but also so much worse. I made a blog post about Greek life and got some nasty criticism but nothing that I couldn’t handle. I made a post being sardonic about Saint Leo and mentioned “Greek life” TWICE and shit has blown up. I’ve had everything from being called stupid, being told that I’m horrible, talking about how I’m going to hell MULTIPLE times a day and dealing with countless Facebook statues and comments that talk about how it’s all my fault that I’m the most hated person on campus. It’s 20 guys in a fraternity commenting on a post about how I’m a mean, miserable person. It’s 15 other Greek life members liking every status posted by another Greek. It’s overwhelming. It’s harsh. It’s the mob mentality. It’s too much to take on.
To all of the people who contributed to this, I hope you are happy. I hope that by getting me off of social media, you got what you wanted. If you are all held to a higher standard, that is sad. So, so sad. I’m sorry that you’re so defensive of your organization but I’m more sorry that you had to cyberbully to defend it.
With that being said, I will be off of Facebook and Instagram for an unknown period of time. For now, I’m focusing on my very small group of friends who love and support me.