Jump to content

What do you think about this? I don't want it to happen again!
Online bullying, harrassment, etc


  • Please log in to reply
15 replies to this topic

#1 redjellybeans

Posted 21 November 2012 - 02:30 PM

Hi everybody,

Have you ever been a victim of malicious gossip and harrassment from people in your local area who have only met you once or twice, or maybe not even at all?

This happened to me when I was pregnant and trying to meet new people.  I started a group on FB sometime back, and it was a pretty okay experience.  I friended everybody who joined the group, just to get people excited and enthusiastic about this group.  I wanted people to feel included, and chatted to them and met them in public - even opened my home up to them.

I got onto this crusade I guess.  I didn't want any other mums to feel lonely in a new area.  I wanted to be a friend.  And sure enough, the group grew and grew.

But a few people joined who had been in the area sometime, and they had gripes with others in the group I started - to the point where they started to post negative material all over the group wall on FB.  I was told to avoid certain people, and basically found myself on the receiving end of their whingeing about people I didn't even know.  I found myself just zoning out when they said this and also attempted to change the subject of conversation, because I did not want to be associated with this sort of thing.  Unfortunately, these people were posting inappropriate comments and negative stuff on the group wall, so something had to be done.  By this stage, I had a number of people I had made admins, and together we decided to post a little note encouraging people to not fall into the trap of gossip, harrassment, etc.

The people who were doing this saw the notice on the group wall, and because they were only in touch with me as the founder, directed their vitriol at me.  They demanded to be removed from the group, etc.  And that was fine, it was their choice.  And that's where it should have ended.  Unfortunately though, it continued for them, to the point of them sending me abusive text messages on my phone, and even calling my home phone the day I returned home from giving birth and harrassing me over the phone.  I didn't know these people, but because they were annoyed that the group I started was responding to their posts by discouraging gossip, they took it out on me to that extreme.

A few other fallings out happened because people didn't like certain aspects of the group, so their displeasure was directed at me...again with relentless emails, text messages and gossip directed at me even in one case.  It's a small town, and I was told the ringleader had a bit of a reputation for this sort of thing.  I would get messages every few minutes.  Unrelenting.  I had just had a baby and was in tears, not knowing what to do or how to make it stop.  

So I pulled the sim card out of my phone and threw it out.  It was the only way I could stop it.  The offenders were blocked on FB, so couldn't get to me there either.

It was so upsetting for me, because I just retreated totally.  I didn't want any of the hate directed at me.  I cut off from the entire group and left altogether.  I just disappeared and as a result, lost a lot of friends (new friends I had made through the group) because they couldn't understand it.  But I just did not want to be associated with any toxicity at all.  I left the group in the capable hands of the admins, who unfortunately are not in touch with me anymore because I disappeared from them too.  It wasn't helped because I was being stalked online as well from this group.  That plus the phone calls and messages telling me everything I said or did was being monitored, etc, etc...it really made me just literally close the blinds and not come out.  

But yeah. It's an experience that really ruined it for me in this area - to the point where I won't go to the local shopping centre or accompany my husband grocery shopping because I have seen the trouble makers in public before since all of this happened, and it really intimidated me.  Nothing was said, but it just made me feel so distressed.

My close friends here have seen first hand how this experience really affected me - and sent me into a depression for awhile as well.  I was crying every day, and felt like my life was over.  And I was told that basically, I was the subject of bullying.

I guess after half a year of pretty much alienated in my own home (lucky for me I work from home!), and with all these no-go zones in my area, I'm really looking forward to a new life in a new state altogether where I know nobody.  But I am a social person and long to be connected again to local people in my area.  I just won't do it by setting up a group again.

Has anybody else had this experience before?  How do you get beyond it and how do you not let people get to you, so much so that you literally stop living and barricade yourself in your home??  I'm looking forward to a new start, but at the same time scared that I could come across people who like to make stories up just to stir trouble and create entertainment for them.  

It's really hard to not feel afraid that this will happen again.  But I really, really want to make friends in my new city.

How do I avoid this sort of thing??  I definitely don't think not having a life, and just barricading oneself in their home is healthy for one's wellbeing at all.  So how do you avoid this sort of thing happening?

Edited by redjellybeans, 21 November 2012 - 03:06 PM.


#2 Funwith3

Posted 21 November 2012 - 04:15 PM

Wow that sounds seriously full on! Can I ask what the group you started was all about? Must be something quite emotional and close to people's hearts.

You know that constant unwanted attention, phone calls, door knocking, texting etc is considered stalking and harassment and can be reported to police? You can get restraining orders fairly easily if you feel that its necessary.

I assume you're off Facebook for a start? Facebook is vicious.

#3 Mousky

Posted 21 November 2012 - 04:20 PM

Sounds like it turned into a police matter.

#4 girltribe4

Posted 21 November 2012 - 04:25 PM

Sounds awful sad.gif

Maybe try a few playgroups in your new area , community centres tend to run playgroups and other mum/child activities .

Library story times can be a chance to meet other local mums or start up a conversation in a local playground with a friendly mum.

We moved in to a new area about a year ago and I had googled all the local facilities/playgroups prior to the move so I could get out and about meeting people .

#5 redjellybeans

Posted 21 November 2012 - 04:27 PM

Hi guys,

It was just a social group and not a cause or anything like that.

It's a small town though, and unfortunately some people have nothing better to do with their time.

Thankfully, it didn't become a police matter, because I shut things down quickly.

It really upset me, but it was just the one call to my home number and thankfully, that didn't happen again.  The other incident was text messaging, that I ended the day it started, by cutting my sim card up.

I blocked the offenders on FB as well, and that removed the platform for them to get to me on.  

Because a number of the offenders knew where I lived though, I always felt uneasy.  Add to that the fact that it appeared a fake FB profile was set up, just so it could contact me with weird, cryptic messages and follow all of my 'likes', etc, it really rattled me as well.

But yes, very upsettting.  To go through an anxious last few months of pregnancy and the first few months with my newborn, and to have all that happen was hell.  Those who know me though put it down to small town syndrome.  It really was a case of a few people ruining it for me.  So happy for the three good friends I have here, who did look out for me.

The group still lives on as far as I know, and it has changed people's lives positively, because they have made great local friends through it.  I'm really happy about that.  But yeah, it's not easy starting something and having dissatisfaction directed at you, even when it's not your fault.  

It hurts though to know that people come to their own negative opinions though about me disappearing like that though.  I came across at the time as emotional and upset, but they didn't know the extent of what was really happening and the affect it was having on me.  

Not easy being bullied online.  And when they are locals doing it, it adds a new dimension to it.

I am on Facebook, because I have a lot of lovely friends old and new on there.  Most have known me for years, but all except say two or so are local.  I just retreated from the locals because of what happened, and the offenders told me that I couldn't trust anybody and it appeared that way because of the things they were saying to me.

I've learnt to keep Facebook to real friends and family, and to not shut things down quickly if somebody becomes stalkerish.

Edited by redjellybeans, 21 November 2012 - 04:35 PM.


#6 RCTP

Posted 21 November 2012 - 04:27 PM

That sounds horrific and I don't blame you for shutting yourself away to escape from it.

What sort of sad cases would do that to someone??


Maybe stay away from the online thing in your new home. Try some face to face groups to meet people?
I know how hard it is as I am from Ireland with no family here and if you aren't currently out in the work place (I am on mat leave) it is hard to make more than a nodding acquaintance with people (and sometimes people are too snotty to even do that!).

Good luck in your new place.

#7 redjellybeans

Posted 21 November 2012 - 04:30 PM

QUOTE (RCTP @ 21/11/2012, 05:27 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
That sounds horrific and I don't blame you for shutting yourself away to escape from it.

What sort of sad cases would do that to someone??


Maybe stay away from the online thing in your new home. Try some face to face groups to meet people?
I know how hard it is as I am from Ireland with no family here and if you aren't currently out in the work place (I am on mat leave) it is hard to make more than a nodding acquaintance with people (and sometimes people are too snotty to even do that!).

Good luck in your new place.


Thanks so much and hope you're settling in well!  I can only imagine how hard it would be in a new country.

Yeah that's the thing.  This was a local social group that I set up.  I just used Facebook as the platform to set it up with.  

I've decided I definitely won't do a group again, and will stick to professional groups.  I'll meet people one-on-one.  

I'm in my 30's as well, so I wasn't expecting to have this sort of thing happen.

I've actually already began making some positive new contacts in the city I'm moving to, so pretty happy about that.

original.gif

#8 steppy

Posted 21 November 2012 - 04:33 PM

This is why you should choose friends carefully.

#9 redjellybeans

Posted 21 November 2012 - 04:39 PM

QUOTE (steppy @ 21/11/2012, 05:33 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
This is why you should choose friends carefully.


Totally agree!

I was trying to be everybody's friend and was of the thinking that, "Nobody will hate me, because they will see that I'm genuine and doing a good thing in the community."

Unfortunately though, it doesn't stop it.  

I would not wish this situation on anybody else.  It's a horrible thing to act in such a way that causes another person to isolate themselves.  It really felt like I was being alienated. Some will say I chose that though, but I emotionally couldn't take it and had to retreat into my home pretty much.

The experience though won't stop me from being a friend.  It won't stop me reaching out to be a real friend to another person who is feeling sad, alienated and alone.

#10 SophieBear

Posted 21 November 2012 - 04:44 PM

Wow OP, I'm so sorry it turned so badly for you.
I think the PP's advice of meeting people face to face.

All the best in your search for a social group. Those people who bullied you sound like very sad and pathetic individuals.

#11 redjellybeans

Posted 21 November 2012 - 05:57 PM

QUOTE (SophieBeagle @ 21/11/2012, 05:44 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Wow OP, I'm so sorry it turned so badly for you.
I think the PP's advice of meeting people face to face.

All the best in your search for a social group. Those people who bullied you sound like very sad and pathetic individuals.


Thanks!  I think I just came across some bad apples so to speak, but it's not the norm.  Most people aren't like that I don't think.

Definitely going to meet people one-on-one and not do any Facebook with new people I meet. original.gif

Cheers!

#12 Unatheowl

Posted 21 November 2012 - 06:08 PM

It's a shame that happened to you because you tried to do something nice for everyone.  People just suck sometimes.  It sounds like those people were troublemakers even before you arrived.  Don't let that put you off.  At least you had the initiative to begin the group and try unlike anyone else!

#13 Red Cabbage

Posted 21 November 2012 - 06:15 PM

If you are moving to a small town, take it slowly. In my experience the women who are quick off the mark trying to make friends with the new people in town are usually the ones you might like to give a miss

#14 HurryUpAlready

Posted 21 November 2012 - 06:16 PM

Nasty situation OP. Some people are so pathetic!!

How old is your baby now? I would definitely suggest joining a mother's group via your local council. A couple of girls in our MG have babies who are 3-4 months older than the other bubs, but they joined to meet people as they were new to the area. It worked a treat! We all get along well and enjoy our weekly catch ups with the babies, as well as the occasional night out without the kids!!

#15 redjellybeans

Posted 21 November 2012 - 06:16 PM

Thanks guys.

Yes Red Cabbage, that's a good point regarding those who are quick to want to meet those new to town.  I can see why it's good to give people like that a wide berth, in the event that they may be trouble.

#16 redjellybeans

Posted 21 November 2012 - 06:44 PM

QUOTE (HurryUpAlready @ 21/11/2012, 07:16 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Nasty situation OP. Some people are so pathetic!!

How old is your baby now? I would definitely suggest joining a mother's group via your local council. A couple of girls in our MG have babies who are 3-4 months older than the other bubs, but they joined to meet people as they were new to the area. It worked a treat! We all get along well and enjoy our weekly catch ups with the babies, as well as the occasional night out without the kids!!


Hi there!

He's almost eight months old.  Really appreciate that suggestion, so thank you! original.gif

So happy to hear that you've got a great mum's group!




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

'I will defend my son's right to wear a tutu'

Three-year-old boy Roo likes to wear tutus and, until now, it hasn't been a problem.

Chinese sign up toddlers for chief executive classes

CHILDREN as young as three are being enrolled in "chief executive courses" in China as pushy parents become obsessed with giving their offspring an advantage over their young peers.

Free ticket offer

Pinky Mckay joins us again at the Essential Baby & Toddler Show presented by Blackmores with her expert baby settling advice. Register now for your free ticket.

The 'best little baby' and the police officer who rescued him

"And just in my head, I'm a father myself, and I couldn't sit there and let him ... I couldn't let him sit in that."

Olympian sells medal to pay for child's cancer treatment

An Olympian has sold his medal to help fund cancer treatment for a 3-year-old boy.

Family of mum who took her own life speak out about PND

From the outside it looked like Allison Goldstein was blissfully happy. She had a new baby, a loving husband, and was part of a close knit-family.

For the festival lover in all of us

Pre-book & Save 50%. Get your tickets now for Kidtopia Festival. 7-9 October 2016 Parramatta Park, Sydney.

BuggyCart solves the dilemma of shopping with a pram

Ducking to the shops for some groceries is a whole other ballgame once you have a baby.

Viral photo shows powerful moment before second baby's arrival

While our second baby was very much wanted, I wondered if I could love another baby as much as I loved my first.

What does a baby with whooping cough sound like? Sometimes like this

It's a heartbreaking video that's difficult to watch, but that's just what Sydney mum of two Sandra wants people to do.

Cheers! Why we're all happy to be bad mothers now

A new generation of mums is resisting the pressure to be "perfect" - and revelling in their naughty side?

Dealing with mealtime fussiness: mums share their tips

It can be frustrating, worrying, and turn into a battle of wills - but it doesn't have to be like that

Why having a puppy is like parenting a child

Despite being a dog owner and a parent, I've never been able to relate to the idea that the two have many similarities – until now.

Baby Joey is sleeping star in adorable photos

When photographer mum Laura Izumikawa puts her baby daughter down to sleep, the last thing on her mind is rest.

The necessity of 'Do not disturb' signs for napping babies

Needless to say, the last thing any mum wants is for someone to loudly knock on the door and wake their sleeping cherub.

Mum's brutal truth about c-section: 'This is not the easy way out'

A new mum has shared photos of her caesarean section scar to prove she did not "take the easy way out" when giving birth to her son.

Twins give birth in same hospital just hours apart

Leanne went into labour on July 28, and remarkably, her twin sister Natalie soon followed.

Goki Ride-On cars for toddlers

Toddlers just love to ride on anything with wheels but will often reject the pram once they can walk.

Letting your health slide as you look after the kids? Here's how to get out of the trap

It's time to start prioritising our own health, as well as the health of our children, to avoid longer lasting health challenges.

How to child-proof every room in your house

A guide to making your home a safer place for little ones.

Portable pool safety reminder after toddler's death

The drowning of a Hobart toddler has prompted a coroner to remind the community that even inflatable and portable pools must be fenced.

I have a clingy toddler - help!

"Nothing stops the clinginess - he cries when I put him down, no matter how long I hold him."

Woman sues after botched termination leads to motherhood

A 23-year-old mother is suing her GP and the public health system for thousands of dollars to support her son after her termination went wrong.

 
Advertisement
 

Top 5 Articles

Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

For the festival lover in all of us

Pre-book & Save 50%. Get your tickets now for Kidtopia Festival. 7-9 October 2016 Parramatta Park, Sydney.

Ex-Perth model stuck with 12kg leg after limb doubles in size during pregnancy

"I often have strangers coming over to me when I'm out asking bluntly what's wrong with my leg. I often just laugh now and tell them I've been attacked by a shark and walk off, it definitely stumps people."

Same sex couple 'blessed' with triplets via surrogacy

They feared they would never get to be parents, but a same sex couple is now adjusting to life with newborn triplets.

Should children be given antibiotics in their first year?

Here are the the pros and cons of giving antibiotics to young babies.

Baby born on mum AND dad's birthday

The birth of a baby is always a special occasion, but one couple who welcomed their first child earlier this week had more reason to celebrate than most.

The joys (and benefits) of show and tell

Show and tell has been around for donkey's years. Well, at least since I was a kid, and according to my own children, I'm pretty old.

Loyal dog dies saving baby's life during fire

A baby was rescued from a house fire after her family's loyal dog used his body to shield the little girl from the flames.

How having a young baby or toddler changes your home decor

What to expect when living with an older baby or toddler - and how to manage the chaos.

I'm trying to keep my child-free friends in my life, but it's tough

I tried to prove to my single friends that I was the same I'd always been. But marriage did change me - and motherhood has, too

'There's a giant picture of BOOBS but I can not feed my child'

A mum was ushered out of an US department store's underwear section after discreetly breastfeeding her baby.

How baby Evelie was saved after being born without a heartbeat

Bethanie Millar didn't believe in miracles - until baby Evelie was born, that is.

How an Aldi staff member made one exhausted mum's day

It was a simple act of kindness, but one that made an exhausted mother's day.

OvuSense: the new internal monitor helping predict ovulation

When a couple is trying to conceive it is easy for a woman to become obsessed about when she ovulates.

Mum-to-be surprises husband with big news in joy-filled photoshoot

When Bri Dow learnt that she was expecting, she immediately knew she wanted to break the news to her husband Brandon in a special way.

How a homemade wheelchair is giving baby Evelyn freedom

Like all one-year-olds, Evelyn Moore is keen to get moving and explore the world around her. But a battle with aggressive cancer left the little girl paralysed from the waist down.

Adorable: App captures special moments of pregnancy and motherhood

There's something about motherhood that turns even the most reluctant photographer into a keen shutterbug as they strive to capture all the best moments of life with a baby.

Dad shares horror tale after Roomba's run-in with dog poop

It's the poop story that's been shared hundreds of thousands of times around the world.

What I miss about commuting

A recent long commute for a job reminded me there are some potential positives to the experience.

 

SYDNEY SHOW - 23-25 Sept

Essential Baby & Toddler Show - Sydney

The Essential Baby & Toddler Show, presented by Blackmores, will be held in Sydney on 23-25 September. Register for your free ticket now to save $20!

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.