I'm not some emotionally fragile child who's vulnerable to be bullied into suicide. Indeed, at some point, you have to factor in a bullying victim's already-existing emotional state and make a risky judgment call as to how responsible a bully is for a tragic end result.
Suicide is obviously an extreme reaction to bullying and stalking, one usually arrived at after the victim comes to the conclusion that there's no way out and no advocates to whom s/he can turn for help and advice. She could've deleted her Facebook page, weeded out and blocked certain people from commenting, chosen to ignore the taunts of her classmates in the real world. But 15 year-old Phoebe, tragically, thought she had no way out and hung herself from a banister in South Hadley, MA on January 14th.
I'm not Phoebe Prince or that emotionally vulnerable. I'm a tough-as-nails SOB with a thick hide but there's only so much even I can take, especially when innocent victims are getting created.
I've had my share of trolls at Pottersville (explaining why this is a Brilliant at Breakfast exclusive), especially since I got thrown out of my house over a year ago. My ex and her alarming change in personality and attitude toward me had inspired a herd mentality in which I literally cannot do or say anything right. For the last several months, when I threatened to contact the Attorney General's Office and swear out a complaint for online stalking, they went away and stopped commenting. They moved on.
Or so I thought.
Yesterday I got a photo from my grandson's aunt of Gavin opening the Easter basket I put together for him this month. There was no prohibition on my to not publish the picture on my blog (which I've done before, many, many times), so I put it up. It's an adorable picture and he's obviously happy with his presents. Below that I put up a picture of our dinner table and our Easter dinner. I enumerated what we had and then asked, "What did you
have for Easter dinner?"
A nice, inoffensive post, you would think, right? I just wanted to show people that I could still make a little boy happy on Easter and that I had managed to somehow find happiness with my new SO on a holiday that I'd otherwise be spending alone.
An hour and a half after I put up the post, I got a panicked phone call from the aunt pleading with me to take the picture down. Ingrid's family was enraged that she'd sent me the picture and even more enraged at me from putting up a pic of a little boy that I've been strangely prohibited from seeing.
The police then came to my house at about 7:13 and started banging on the door like they wanted to beat it down. I saw the cruiser from my kitchen window and refused to open the door. It had already been the third time they've been sent to my home since June 8th and I had no wish to be yelled at for having committed no crime. Despite my refusal to take down the picture, I did so after the first visit just to take the heat off us.
But they came back exactly two hours later and this time were more insistent, banging hard on the door at two different times and even shining a flashlight through three of our four windows. Poor Barb was curled up in the fetal position in bed shaking and crying, looking for all the world as if we were under siege.
And perhaps we are.
I've already begun collecting information on resources can best help me file harassment charges against the local constabulary that, strangely, seems to be emotionally involved in this matter while completely lacking context. They've now been to my house at least four times that I know of, have called my cell phone (provided by Ingrid) three times (twice last night) and left a voice mail message.
That constitutes harassment, IMO. It apparently didn't matter to them that the first comment I got on that post was from someone in my ex's home who threatened to take Gavin's Easter basket from him and throw it through my window. To the Hudson, MA police department, I'm only a perp, never a victim.
So posting at P'ville will be light to nonexistent for the time being. I haven't been home since 7 AM because I can't stand the thought of them coming back and harassing me. I actually have to avoid my own home by ducking into an internet cafe.
If anyone can give me advice as to how to proceed, please tell me. I've already contacted the AG's office, the county DA's office and have reported this to at least one civilian agency. I know the fallout of my daring to defend myself will be enormous but I have to take a stand even if it means suing the Hudson PD and enduring even more harassment or worse.
I'm sick and tired of playing by bullshit, schoolyard rules and still getting kicked around. I'm fighting back.