Was falling asleep but somehow woke up. Not sure what the exact train of thought was, but I suddenly remembered how, in middle school, someone had hacked my email account to write awful things to a girl I knew in elementary school.
I don’t know how long it had been going on because this nasty person who hid behind my username would delete all of the messages she sent to the girl, as well as all of the messages she’d receive. So I never saw any of it.
In the meantime, the girl she bullied had planned a school-wide attack. They thought it was me. They slandered me, and as rumors spread about me, they were getting ready to hit me hard with school authorities and maybe even legally.
By God’s grace, right before their reckoning, I saw the nasty exchange this coward had made one day when I incidentally logged into my email account. I noticed that there was an email in my Trash bin, clicked on it and was shocked at what I saw. It was the nastiest things you could possibly say to someone at such an impressionable age–things like, “you’re ugly,” “you’re fake” and “I hate you.”
And the girl, who thought it was me, said, “I don’t understand why you’re saying this to me. In person, you are so nice, quiet and sweet, but here you are so mean.”
I was so shocked. I clicked out to see if there was anything else, and then the message was completely gone–purposely deleted or erased so that I’d never see it; so that this coward could continue hiding behind my username to attack a girl I hardly even spoke to.
I changed my password and sent a message apologizing profusely. I thought it was my brother because we hated each other (It did not occur to me at the time that someone at school had hacked my account; I was naive), but also because he stated that he wrote those emails because I deserved it (my dad picked our passwords for our emails and when I told my dad that I wanted something more unique, he absolutely refused; no surprise, the passwords were our names. THE EASIEST PASSWORD YOU COULD POSSIBLY GUESS. I later criticized my dad rather harshly for it, saying, “That’s THE EASIEST password to guess for an email account, dad. Were you born just yesterday? You didn’t think someone would hack my account to bully a girl at my school under my name?! And she was going to sic the authorities on me.” Note: I was 12.)
Although I apologized in email and in-person, the damage was done. That girl and those people will never feel the same about me again, and she will always hurt inside over what she experienced. The emails had been going on for months.
I can’t take that back. I was 12 then; I’m 32 now, and I think a part of me will always hurt for that girl and what she experienced.
When I think about it, nasty rumors have always seemed to swirl around me. There’s things I’ll never know about myself–like when a girl one day said to me, “I need to apologize to you. I need to say that I’m sorry.” I asked why, and she said “I can’t tell you, just that I’m asking for your forgiveness.” ??? Even in my professional life as an adult in my mid-20’s, rumors have swirled.
People will always lie, gossip and say bad things about other people. At some point I decided that I didn’t care and would do my own thing.
However, eventually I had to learn that perception really matters; it affects who gets promoted or fired, for instance. And I’m not really sure what to do about it–Deep down I don’t believe that I have the political savviness to navigate people and I just want to be alone, away from the world, nestled in some cabin in the woods watching society tear each other down, or at times raise each other up, at a far and safe distance.
Nowadays I always carry black obsidian with me; a crystal believed to deflect “curses” such as those obtained from nasty gossip. I feel safer with it around my neck.
Last updated January 13, 2021