“Grabbing a text bull(y) by the horns”

This isn’t exactly a Recovery Writing 101 writing exercise, but in a way, it fits.

With technology out there today, I find it absolutely amazing how many people there are that indulge in the deplorable act of bullying via text message.

It used to be that the big kid would threaten to meet you on the playground at high noon.  The sweaty, snot-nosed bully versus the small, nice child.  Something about milk money, or looking at them wrong that day.  It didn’t matter.

“It’s butt-kicking time.  Just you…and me… and whoever happens to be watching at the swings,” he sneers.  “You better show up.”  And you, the small, nice child, is sweating bullets, fervently praying for a fire drill or a natural disaster to wash the school off the grid by 11:59.

Now, it’s different.  The bullies are older, and they all possess a SmarterThan iPhone that can remotely knock the wind out of you just as hard as when you were a child.

Every minute out there, someone is threatening another with words.  Words escalate into physical.   It is the nature of abuse to (d)evolve until the threat is removed or a life expires.. whichever comes first.

Abuse comes in all forms- whether it’s physical, emotional, sexual, discriminatory, or in the sheer power of the written word.  Texting is an alluring tool that abusive people use to keep others under a suffocating blanket of fear.

Text harassment is defined as a way of stalking-   “the activity of sending text messages to mobile phones which insult or abuse people.”

For a person with PTSD, receiving text harassment from an abuser is nearly as frightening as the abuser chasing you down the street with what looks like a machete in hand.  

So what if it’s really a Blackberry, or an iPhone?  Hey, it’s just as sharp, and just as dangerous- because the words are meant to hurt you, and the threats need to be taken seriously.

There are some ways to protect yourself to stop the threats.

~ change your phone number or,

~ cancel your texting altogether or,

~ report the issue to the police (I highly recommend this one).

eHow put together a little blurb on how to be safe in a texting harassment which is worth reading.  There are always varying degrees per state of what constitutes texting harassment.

For nice people (especially ones who’ve been through major trauma) it feels so much better to just avoid the stress and change their lives around simply to avoid the triggers of another conflict.  I’m definitely one to talk.  I did this for three years- altered my life as much as I could to avoid the drama, the stress, the mess.

It doesn’t work.  You have just enough time to relax.. and then it starts all over again.   Fresh triggers with re-victimization turns us into emotional wrecks that jump at shadows and the vibrating of a new text message.  It’s done on purpose, folks.  It’s meant to hurt, meant to frighten, meant to demean and/or humiliate.  It’s intent to harm.

It won’t stop until action is taken.  Studies show that verbal threats have a moderate to high risk of escalating into physical violence.  Take the necessary steps to protect yourself and be free of the fear.


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