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Honeybadger40 Offline
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Unhappy Coping with online abuse - March 3rd 2018, 11:52 AM

Hi all,

Recently, I posted a thread on a different online message board about a problem I've been having with my long term partner. I don't want to go into detail about that, however, as we've resolved the issue now.

I'd hoped to get some honest advice about the problem, but instead I was bombarded with some rather unkind, harsh, and very judgemental responses. Some of the posters said I seemed like "a nag" and "an immature idiot." Some people there also said they were surprised that my partner hasn't left me already, and that my career plans aren't well thought out and are unrealistic (I would like to become an English teacher in the near future, and I'm studying English and Linguistics at University at the moment).

Furthermore, a lot of the posters seemed to think I was some kind of catfish/troll. I wasn't trolling at all, it was a genuine issue I wanted help with. But I received an awful lot of nasty messages because of that. I felt as though I was being attacked for no reason. I tried to defend myself and explain that I wasn't trolling, but they just ignored me and continued to taunt me.

The worst thing, however, was that someone on the website said that I must be a catfish of some kind because they'd "expect better writing from an English major." That really hurt me, as I really struggle with low self esteem, and my writing and my success at University so far are some of the only things I truly feel proud of. It's really made me question my skills and my abilities as a writer, and my chances of achieving my long term career goal.

I'm not sure what to do to deal with this now. Their words have really cut me and really damaged my confidence again. As aforementioned, I already have trouble with my self esteem, and I'm not sure if I can really cope with any more set backs. I feel like such a loser. I already felt as though I wasn't good for much, but now I feel as though I'm not good for anything at all.

Has anyone got any advice on coping with online abuse? All the advice I have found else where has been centred around avoiding engaging with them and reporting the people involved. I've already quit the message board and stopped responding to it, and reporting it isn't really something I think will help me. Has anyone had any experience of this sort of thing? If so, what helped you re-gain confidence and move past it?

Thank you in advance,
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cynefin Offline

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Re: Coping with online abuse - March 3rd 2018, 02:27 PM

Hi there!

I do have experience with online abuse. About a year and a half ago I posted about something that occurred during my childhood (sexual abuse) and people got really nasty with me. They said I was lying and things of that nature. The things they said hurt me a lot and it took some time to heal from that.

The things people said to you recently are very unkind and it is unfortunate that you had to experience that. Some online platforms are quite unkind but TeenHelp is a very healthy environment so we're glad you're here!

One thing I did was step away and you said you've already done that so that is good. Another thing I did was kind of 'talk back' to the things they said to me to counteract things. Perhaps you can try that and see if it helps your self-esteem over time? For instance, when you hear them telling you that you're an "immature idiot" you can replace that with "I am mature and intelligent." Over time, these positive statements will help to replace the negative ones.

Something else you can try is listening to guided imagery or affirmations that help self-esteem. You can find these through different apps or on YouTube to name a few. Here is an article in guided imagery and its benefits if you'd like to learn more about it.

Continue working on yourself and your self-esteem but know that time will help you heal from this as well. It may seem intense right now but as time goes on, this incident will slowly turn into just a blip on the radar.

Here if you need anything. Remember that you are stronger than those words they used.

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