My Experience with Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying is a real thing and it can happen to anyone and you don’t need to be a public person, it happened to me and my family.

You hear all these stories about online bullying and they seem so distant, you feel sorry that these things happen but you would never expect that it will happen to you. Because you lay low, you don’t ruffle any feathers, you are a nice and respectful person and you expect nothing but the same in return.

One of my fears is the fear of being hurt.  

I thought cyberbullies will never find me; if I play it “safe”, I won’t be the subject of any bullying and I won’t get hurt. It may feel safe but it isn’t; mostly because my heart still hurt when I see stories like Constance Hall (video at the end of this post) and more so when I read teenagers not coping and losing the battle. I hurt. Most of the time you are only aware of these issues when it is too late. But no more! We all need to come forward, share our experiences and support each other. 

Lay low and you won’t get hurt is a lie.

Here is what happened

Last December my husband commented on a post in one of his industry’s Facebook groups and everything went wild!

It doesn’t matter who this person is or what was said because it’s not about taking sides. Just for the sake of being fair, I’m posting the whole conversation (I’ve blocked names and pictures to avoid further complications)

I wasn’t annoyed by what he said. What annoyed me is that he went the extra mile to keep his threats after he was banned from the Facebook group where all these started. I'm listed as his wife so he contacted me via messenger. He didn't hesitate to send me screenshots of the whole conversation and include further threats of contacting my husband’s employer so he can be sacked. He took it too far.

But the real problem was when I downloaded the screenshots he sent, I was really scared, my heart sunked!

He had posted pictures of our son.

and he made clear threats.

That day it was real for me: the online world is not a safe place.

My husband didn’t say anything wrong, we were not in fear of him losing his job over this issue. He just gave his personal opinion and everyone should be entitled to that and someone that can’t deal with criticism, well, shouldn't be posting in a public forum asking for one.

What scared me the most is that everything is online, our contact details, email addresses, home address, everything. A person going through that amount of effort is capable of more things or maybe he just let his emotions controlled him.

This is just one example of what a person’s derailing emotions are capable of doing. I still don’t understand this kind of behaviour and I probably never will.

And it’s never about you, it’s about them

I can only assume that my husband’s opinion of his work triggered some hidden insecurities and that was why he reacted how he reacted. I’m not sure if this person is good or bad or a troll or he just had a bad day (or week)

Facebook did the right thing, he couldn’t contact me any further and after becoming aware of this issue, we blocked him.

Facebook knew that something was going on and put protective measures. I didn’t accept the message, blocked and reported him.

Unfortunately, we can’t stop this from happening.

We can’t stop people from being nasty. I do all sorts of meditations and self-care to keep my vibrations up and keep these kind people away from us but still, some people filter through.

Mean people exist and that good people behave badly sometimes and bad people can behave well sometimes too. The online world just exposes to all these in a broader way.

Ignoring the bullies, banning them, pretending they don’t exist will never work. They are real!

Shouting from the rooftops “be nice” will create a hypocrite society with people smiling at you while talking ill behind your back. The change has to come from within, from inside us, a real change. Think before acting. Breathe, if it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it.

You, me, everyone deserves RESPECT.

Cyberbullying can be a crime. The NSW Police Public Site lists these actions to take if you are a victim of cyberbullying

  • Block the person who is doing the bullying
  • Keep a record of threatening or intimidating messages
  • Contact police about any threatening or intimidating messages
  • Report the person to the social media platform
  • Don’t reply to bullies – that’s what they want
  • Check your privacy settings
  • Talk to someone you trust about the situation

What did I do?

  • Mindfulness helped me cope with this situation. As you can imagine my imagination flew and showed me all sorts of scary situations that were not real. I defuse myself from those thoughts and didn’t let them develop any further. If I let these thoughts escalate then anxiety will kick in and it will be downhill from there. I used the “Leave on a stream” technique.
  • I didn't take it personal and I didn’t blame my husband or myself for any of these.
  • This happens and the internet may not be the safe space that I used to think it is, but I also met wonderful people and the ratio is still favourable, there are more good people than bad. I decided to focus on the positive and be grateful for the good people I met.
  • I evaluated my options, contacting the police was one of them.

PS: Constance Hall’s video about cyberbullying inspired me to write this.

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Listening to Music: an easy way of self-care

Do you know that listening to music is another way to care for yourself? Have you noticed the effects on your mood after listening to a song you like or to an upbeat one? And of course, your preferences may differ from mine, but music has the same impact on every one of us in a personal and distinctive way.

Music is primal and exists since the very beginning of humanity. A mum singing a lullaby to her baby have soothing effects and helps with bonding. Cultures around the world tell different stories through music, some ancient ones prevail until today.

Studies have shown that music creates peak emotions and a study from the University of California in 2009 showed that there is a part of the human brain that “associates music and memories when we experience emotionally salient episodic memories that are triggered by familiar songs from our personal past.” meaning that music connects us with deep and meaningful memories. Based on this, it is not surprising that listening to music increases the amount of dopamine released by the brain translating into a feel-good state.

Music increases the amount of dopamine, the feel good hormone, released by the brain in response of a rewarding stimuli.

I recently asked in some of my Facebook groups suggestions of feel-good commercial music to add to my playlist. Macklemore is a favourite, and I certainly know why! His songs and collaborations with other artists are spot on. Here is the list of all their excellent suggestions, my favourite part of the songs and also, of course, my favourite ones.

Flames - Sia & David Guetta

David Guetta and Australian singer-songwriter Sia bring this awesome, vibrant, feel-good song. Can you tell it is my new favourite?

"One foot in front of the other babe
One breath leads to another yeah
Just keep moving, oh
Look within for the strength today
Listen out for the voice to say
Just keep moving, oh
Go, go, go
Figure it out, figure it out, but don't stop moving
Go, go, go
Figure it out, figure it out, you can do this"

Just take it easy, we are not perfect but as long as we keep on moving, that is what counts.

Claudia – Wellfulness

Moana How Far I'll Go - Auli'i Cravalho

“One day I’ll know how far I’ll go”

Felicity said she may have watched this movie more times than her son. It's a beautiful movie, very empowering, follow your dreams and push yourself to achieve what you meant to do in this world.  Felicity, one day probably you'll know how far you go (when you finally publish your blog, just saying, lol! no pressure! LOL)

Felicity Green - Wellfulness blogger

This Is Me - The Greatest Showman

Have you seen this movie? Wow! and I meant WOW!  It is great, mood lifting, a heartwarming movie in a non-cheesy way. Even if you don’t enjoy musicals, it is a nice watch. Thanks to Kelly Webb – Live Well. Be Well for this great suggestion and I watched the movie after seeing this video on Youtube and I wasn't disappointed. I think this movie will be added to my collection of "Best movies to Watch"

"I am who I'm meant to be, this is me
Look out 'cause here I come
And I'm marching on to the beat I drum
I'm not scared to be seen
I make no apologies, this is me"

Glorious - Mackelmore

Song by American rapper Macklemore. I seriously couldn't stop listening to this song after it was suggested by Natasha Stewart from Business Jump. It got me going for days and still is! Motivation at its best, as always!

"I feel glorious, glorious
Got a chance to start again
I was born for this, born for this
It's who I am, how could I forget?
I made it through the darkest part of the night
And now I see the sunrise
Now I feel glorious, glorious
I feel glorious, glorious"

One More Time - Daft Punk

Suggested by Mel Driver from Embalm Skincare, awesome song, definitely will be listening to this while doing the skincare routine you shared in the Barefaced & Beautiful Facebook group the other day.

Music's got me feeling so free
We're gonna celebrate
Celebrate and dance so free
One more time

Run the World - Beyoncé

Rani, you run the world with your time-saving - yummy recipes.

The beat is very uplifting, I love Beyonce and her #GIRLEMPOWERMENT

Suggested by Rani Hansen - You Totally Got This

Hold On - Wilson Phillips

This is an oldie but a good one. It always gets me signing from the top of my lungs (sorry world, I know I am not a good singer - know yourself: weakness and strengths, right?, but I can't help it, I love this song)

"I know that there is pain
But you hold on for one more day and
Break free the chains
Yeah I know that there is pain
But you hold on for one more day and you
Break free, break from the chains

Don't you know?
Don't you know things can change
Things'll go your way
If you hold on for one more day yeah
If you hold on"

Shared by me, Claudia – Wellfulness

Good old days - Macklemore

Another good song from Mackelmore, recommended by Cynthia Torok from The Intimates Collection

Maybe I've been missing what it's about
Been scared of the future, thinking about the past
While missing out on now
We've come so far, I guess I'm proud
And I ain't worried about the wrinkles around my smile
I've got some scars, I've been around
I've felt some pain, I've seen some things, but I'm here now

These Days - Rudimental & Macklemore

Thanks Marissa Towndrow from Renovating Mums for this great recommendation!

I love the message of this song! Nothing is permanent, and all is relative. Even when things are not great sometimes, it is called life, and maybe one day we will look back to that moment and smile because the days that may have looked a bit rough were the best because they helped to shape who we are.

I added these and a few more to my Youtube playlist (press here to check it out) and listen to all and turn the music up.  Listen to it while working or at home, when doing some house chores like cleaning, washing up the dishes, tidying up or take a break and dance around your place (take the chance and dance like no one is watching!). Not only will you get your heart rate up, but it will also lift your mood.

What's your favourite song?

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