Student Experience: My Harassment Story

Anonymous teenager in mask on internet at night. Photo via Getty Images.

Anonymous teenager in mask on internet at night. Photo via Getty Images.

I’ve decided to share this story. It is an apology. I want the world to know that I am sorry, but I can’t reveal my identity for fear that it would compromise him or anyone he is associated with.

By telling this story I am not justifying my actions, but providing some sort of an explanation for them. I doubt the person this story is about will ever read this, but if he does, at least he can see that I am regretful for my mistake.

I met a man, I fell in love. We parted and I let my hurt overpower my sense of right and wrong. I did an unkind thing to someone who was/is so important to me.

I had let myself become so bitter. I lost my mental health in my grief over a man. I did this. I had tied myself irrevocably to a man who didn’t want me.

While I know that this is not an excuse, the pain I went through needs to be acknowledged. The rejection, the feeling of complete worthlessness carried me. It absorbed itself within the walls of my chest, every day, every night. I was broken.

I needed to feel closer to him, to have something else to focus on. Watching him, stalking him online,people he was involved with, made me feel closer to him.

Even writing those words disgusts me. I knew it was wrong, yet my desire to hold on overwhelmed me more then can ever be accurately explained.

I am unwell. I did a sick thing. I tried to harass someone I love. I wanted a reaction; a response instead of the indifference, the passiveness he’d shown towards me. I’d lie awake sobbing, thinking, how could he not know that I am in pain? Why has he not tried to help me?

I was so utterly heartbroken I couldn’t understand that my pain was not for him to heal. He did not belong to me. Yes, I’d had time with him, yet it didn’t make sense for me to be so in love with a man after so much time had passed.

Nobody understood. I kept watching him, watching his involvement with others online. Hoping one day I wouldn’t have to watch; I could be a part of something with him again. I could see that he carried on life as if my absence had no effect on him, while I struggled to get through each day without vomiting from anxiety.

I could see that he didn’t care; it upset me to an awful degree. The anger I felt at myself for feeling this way worsened my mental state too. I felt ridiculous for wanting a man who no longer wanted me, who had moved on.

I’d lost my body, my heart and someone I adored, while he was ok. I watched him have a romantic relationship, devastated that he could while I struggled to go on a date. I tied myself to him even more, the anger at my pain, at myself, manifesting physically.

I vomited uncontrollably at least once a week from seeing this relationship unfold online. I was devastated that he could have a relationship with someone else.

Being nasty towards him online, under many different accounts was my way of getting a response. I wanted him to act, to be angry, to be annoyed, irritated, have some feeling toward me.

However, I never, ever wanted him to be hurt by me, or my actions. Despite my actions, I never wanted him to be harmed. I didn’t think my actions online would hurt him emotionally, because I believed he didn’t feel strongly enough towards me to be hurt.

Honestly. I would be devastated if someone hurt him in any way, though I can completely see how that’s hard to believe. I tortured myself by watching him. I never enjoyed observing him in this way, or being abusive toward him or anyone else. I was trying to get closer to him, which is just so disturbing. It made me feel creepy, obsessed and totally pathetic.

My actions were cowardly, ridiculous, illegal. My bitterness had festered into vitriol, conveyed through the mediums of Twitter and Facebook. I was shocked that I could be this way. I had become so mean, cruel, and senseless. I lost my true personality. I lost the girl who fell in love with him; the happy, kind girl.

When I stalked him online, I kept thinking, if he saw me now he’d be revolted by me. That version of myself was too warped even for me to understand. It frightened me that I could be this way. There was no pleasure from it.

To see my personality being overpowered by my anger was just soul destroying. I never understood what people meant when they describe themselves as lost, until I found that I was. I didn’t know who I was anymore. I was just sick. I was guilty from the feeling of depression, isolated by it and completely consumed by it.

I tried to involve his partners too. I didn’t know these girls; it was nothing personal. I was resentful that I could not share their privileges. That I could not kiss him, share jokes, moments, milestones with him as they could.

I watched their online interactions with him, remembering my time with him, remembering who I was. The real me; I wanted her back too. It was a safety to think of my time with him through them.

I attacked them too. I had never been a jealous person, I didn’t wish them ill or anything like that, I was only jealous of their closeness with him.

There is no excuse for my behaviour. I regret it beyond expression. I regret that I dragged him into my pain, that I forced him to become a part of it. It was selfish, unkind, inexcusable.

I love him; that must be said. Yet this is not a sane display of love. But I did love him. And I couldn’t handle it. I couldn’t cope with the hurt from the rejection I felt. He did not love me, so I wanted him to see the extent of my hurt.

It is so unfortunate that I used something as wrong as harassment to convey real pain. By harassing him online I devalued my pain, our relationship and the memory of our relationship. I was too cowardly to tell him; too afraid to admit to him.

I thought he’d never understand; he’d think I’m crazy. Now he thinks that anyway, having discovered that I was the online personas attacking him so unfairly. While I never made threats, I made unfair accusations designed to anger, annoy him.

Now he will never believe that I truly love him; that I regret how much damage I’ve done. He’ll never see how sorry I am. You can love someone and do unkind things to them, but that is still wrong.

I’ll never get to tell him how special and important he is. He was the first man that kissed me, the first to make me laugh, the first to move me. He touched my heart irreversibly. I am so sorry I’ve done this to him, to anyone he cares for. I truly mean that.

He’ll never know how much. He’ll never forgive me. I’ll never get to kiss him, to be in his arms. I will never have the privilege of being with him. He’s repulsed by my actions. I am ashamed that I’ve let this happen.

When he left I was eighteen and he was twenty four; in two completely different stages of our lives. He did the right thing by distancing himself from me; I believe he was trying to protect me. He tried to protect me again by not pressing charges for harassment.

All I’ve done is harass him. I’ve loved him from afar, but that makes no difference. I let my anger affect the power of my love. But the fact that I love him cannot be denied; I truly adore him, I had no contact with him, no way of showing this.

So I projected all feelings into negative online outbursts, because that was easier for me to handle then to tell him. He’ll only remember that I harassed him; he won’t see that I love him. He didn’t see how broken my heart was when we stopped seeing each other.

He is the best man I’ve ever known. He is my hero. All I’ll ever be to him now is the unwell person who harassed him and other people in his life for a time. He won’t remember the person he knew once who was normal and healthy. He won’t see that that person still exists; she’s just buried under her illness and despair.

I’ll carry this guilt and regret with me for as long as I deserve, even if it’s for forever. I’ve been seeing a counsellor and focusing on getting healthy, it will take some time for me to be completely normal again.

I have been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder and Depression. While BPD is not an excuse, it causes reactions and responses that are not in tune with a person’s original personality patterns.

The fact that he has seen me in this state is beyond upsetting. That I could be so ugly is just truly terrible. I’ve let him down. I’ve disrespected him. I’ve damaged everything. I lost a year of my life. I became someone I am not.

Maybe one day he’ll see my regret. I’m so utterly sorry.

Harassment is wrong, it is cowardly. I lost someone I love permanently because of it.

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