cyber bullying

Dear girls of the world: this is what cyber bullying did to me

Dear girls of the world,

The strongest and kindest people I know are the ones who are given the biggest challenges in life. The adversities that we go through serve as a stepping stone to a truly extraordinary life. These challenges make us stronger, more resilient, so we should learn to embrace and cherish them.

Earlier this year, I was accused of copying and plagiarising a somewhat influential blogger. The issue could have been resolved quickly if the matter were handled in private, since I assumed that’s what classy and well-educated adults do. Sadly, the other person took it all out on Twitter for the public to speculate upon on. It resulted to cyber bullying.

Soon enough, people—most especially the ones whom I’ve never interacted with—started to post hateful tweets about me. The tweets escalated: from describing me as ugly and insecure to claims that I had a personality disorder. I did my part; I unfollowed and blocked anyone who caused me pain. But it wasn’t enough. Some weren’t happy that I blocked them, so they decided to create multiple dummy accounts on various social media channels in order to harass and humiliate me further. It was horrible. I never thought I would be a victim of cyber bullying.

“Why me?” I asked.

The way others humiliated and shamed me made me feel like I was this super horrible person who was beyond redemption. The bullying not only affected my self-esteem, but it also changed my outlook on life. No one deserves to be treated this way. I have been through many adversities that were far more difficult than this, yet I still found myself wanting to die. I was in a state of depression.

“No one deserves to be treated this way. But I am being treated this way, so do I deserve this? Does that mean I am a bad person?”

These were the questions looming inside my head. I was no longer engaging in any conversations, yet I was still receiving a lot of hate. My detractors, in fact, openly admitted that they go to my YouTube channel just to dislike my videos. I couldn’t comprehend it but I tried to focus on the fact that I can’t change the perspective of other people, can only change mine. It was hard to ignore them and focus on better things, but I tried anyway. Weird as it sounds, I tried to see the positive side of the situation. While people were busy hating on me, I diverted all of my energy into the things that mattered to me the most.

Fortunately, I was planning to move to Europe for a few months to pursue graphic design and illustration, a passion that I have always had since I was a little girl. I knew that moving abroad was not the solution to my problems, but I hoped that being 6000 miles away from the people trying to hurt me would be enough to help me heal my broken heart.

 

 

Three days after arriving in the United Kingdom, I went to see the famous Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge and the majestic view just blew me away. Right then and there, I knew that things were going to be alright. It was a reminder that the world is a lot bigger than I think it is and that I will be okay. I focused on my art and on pursuing my dreams of becoming a professional designer. I traveled more and explored as many cities as I could while I was in Europe. I took a ferry to Lille, a train to Prague, a bus to Vienna, and a plane to Copenhagen. I even celebrated my birthday in Indonesia (all thanks to Trisha!) and had been granted a five-year visa for both Japan and South Korea. I also got myself a cute puppy who always brings joy to my mundane life. Life was good, and it felt surreal.

My bully said that she was only doing this for a cause: to inform others. But I disagree. Cyber bullying is no way right. Just because you think you are a “right” is not a cause, it is simply an act of hatred and thinly veiled self-righteousness. Hate doesn’t change people, kindness and empathy do.

As painful as it was, I did learn three important things that I want to share with you.

A post shared by Kisty Mea (@kistymea) on

The first lesson is about originality. With seven billion people in this world, there’s a high probability that you will meet someone who shares the same aesthetics and has traveled the same cities, but we all see and process things differently. We all have our one-of-a-kind stories to share. In short, we are all real and original. And instead of trying to claim that we are “first” to come up with an idea that’s been used a million times, we should just celebrate the fact that people are trying, exploring, and finding ways to express themselves. Let us pull each other up to success, not drag one another down.

The second lesson is about bullying. In a world where the expression of our thoughts is sometimes limited to 140 characters, we shouldn’t be so quick to judge people. Bullying someone because they do not share your point of view is not only wrong but also prevents an opportunity for a healthy discussion. Bullying can also hurt people and their future. Words have power. Words can hurt and pierce people. Words can also kill. So, please, be kind and mindful of your words.

Last but not the least – pain. What I had to go through was devastating, and I wouldn’t wish that to happen to anyone, even to my worst enemy. But it’s a learning experience I am graciously embracing. Having failures, making mistakes, and getting hurt are just some of the things that make us who we are today. And who knows? Embracing and sharing hardships might also change and inspire lives.

When things get rough and hopeless, always remember what the late Carrie Fisher said (as quoted by Meryl Streep), “Take your broken heart, make it into art.”

Love,

Kisty

who is still painting the world with pastels
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If you have a chance, what will you say to girls all over the world?

This post is a part of the P.S. I’m On My Way’s Ambassadorship for Girl Rising – a global campaign for girls’ education and empowerment.

Girl Rising uses the power of storytelling to share the simple truth that educating girls can transform societies. Our mission is to change the way the world values the girl and ensure that girls’ education is part of the mainstream conversation.

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Kisty Mea is a 20-something traveling creative based in Southeast Asia. Born with messy curly/wavy hair, this illustrator/designer has an affinity for pastel colors, minimalist design, and a cup of vanilla ice cream. Blog | Instagram | YouTube

Comments

  • JM Cruz
    March 31, 2017

    Hi. So, did you plagiarise?

    Yes or No.

    reply
    • G
      March 31, 2017

      Question of the century

      reply
  • Monica Ramirez
    March 31, 2017

    If Kisty Mea is not guilty of copying/plagiarizing Camie Juan, then why delete posts in her IG /blog? I’m just wondering…

    reply
  • Marie
    March 31, 2017

    You dragged yourself into this pithole and you’re blaming other people for your own doing? Do a reality check and see that the world doesn’t revolve around you. Own up to your mistakes, it’s not that difficult.

    reply
  • Dani
    March 31, 2017

    Yes. You deserved it. Yes. You’re a bad person.

    reply
  • Pau
    March 31, 2017

    I cackled when you referred to Camie as “the bully”. Really? She reached out to you privately for your plagiarism then you have the audacity to write this post?

    Girl, you’re cancelled

    reply
  • a fed up girl of the world
    March 31, 2017

    GOSH WHY CANT YOU JUST ADMIT DOING IT THEN APOLOGIZE HOW FAR CAN U SERIOUSLY GO

    reply
  • Karen
    March 31, 2017

    Stop digging a deeper hole upon yourself, Kisty. We all know you plagiarized Camie’s work. Move on if you must but you gotta drop this whole pa-victim act. It ain’t inspiring and it certainly ain’t cute.

    reply
  • Katze Tyler
    March 31, 2017

    I’m sorry but this is likely to backfire on you, Kisty. Straight up gaslighting the situation, like you didn’t do anything but be yourself. Word of advice, dear. People will like you better if you just owned up to it and showed everyone who the real Kisty is. Not the combined version of all the online personalities we come across.

    May hope ka pa naman siguro.

    reply
  • MC
    March 31, 2017

    Hi Kisty. No, you weren’t bullied. You were called out. People, even your closest friends tried to reach out to you but you always show them the victim card, brush them off and claim that you aren’t what they think you are.

    I say be the classy and mature person you claim to be, and stop this self-pity and start owning up to your mistakes and admit them. Camie is forgiving, we all are. We just need you to take that step and prove that you WILL change. This is tiring. So please, just stop this bullshit you are telling everyone.

    reply
  • April 1, 2017

    I’m so sorry this happened to you! You’ve done such a great job of explaining the effects of what happened. Unfortunately, bullying of all kinds exists. But, as you wrote, it’s important to keep going and to realize what a big place the world is and how small these comments truly are. Best of luck with your career goals!

    reply
  • April 1, 2017

    I hate cyber bullies and they need a good slap, but in real life, that ain’t going to happen. I been cyber builled as well but not to what you had to endure. And your right, you gotta keep going. Forget the idiots and carry on during what you do best. 🙂 Sending you all the love and positive vibes from Utsjoki, Finland (Way up in the Arctic as I write this)

    reply
  • evr1toKISTY
    April 2, 2017

    But you literally copy-pasted Camie’s blog post. Most of us who’ve been following this Camie-Kisty issue saw that, y’know that right? You never made an apology for that and you wonder why you were bullied?

    Also, why didn’t you talk to her when she was trying to reach out to you privately?

    You’re evil!

    reply
  • April 2, 2017

    Oh I am so sorry to hear that this happened to you! In a world of pictures and captions, its easy to be quick to judge people but you have shown us the important to think 10 times about our words and actions and how they could affect others!

    reply
  • April 2, 2017

    I read your title, sighed and thought ‘spend some time in travel FB groups’ not knowing what the article was about. Sorry you went through all that, devastating

    reply
  • April 2, 2017

    Social media and the internet are all extremely powerful tools in todays world, however, they are often abused. I have found (most recently w/ the election) that everybody HAS to voice their opinion (often as “fact”) and that nobody is willing to just listen to anyone anymore and even attempt to hear other people’s sides 🙁 We need to re-learn how to actually step in others shoes again and be a more kind society for sure

    reply
  • April 2, 2017

    This is the scourge of social media. People seem to be prepared to cross over many boundaries they would not in person and the hate I see in many feeds is incredible. It’s no wonder how world is in such turmoil when there is a platform for so many ugliness. It seems a bizarre way for someone to deal with an issue

    reply
  • April 3, 2017

    Yikes, sorry that happened to you. I don’t understand why people don’t just talk to someone else instead of posting everything on social media. Public shaming and bullying are not cool.

    reply
  • April 3, 2017

    I’m sorry that you had to experience this. I can only imagine the pain. But I admire you for telling your story. Not many people have the courage to tell their story but you did it. Glad that you found strength after this whole incident though.

    reply
  • April 3, 2017

    That was a tough feat to overcome. Sorry to hear this happened. I totally agree, words are very powerful. They can either inspire or destroy. Sending good wishes your way.

    reply
  • April 3, 2017

    You definitely don’t deserve this. No one does! But hey, remember that how others treat you is a reflection of who they are. You are better and stronger than this, Kisty! Chin up! 🙂

    reply
  • April 3, 2017

    I’m sorry that this happened to you. The ‘influential’ blogger who prompted the twitter attack should be ashamed with themselves.
    It can be hard to get past any form of bullying, but cyber bullies are the ultimate cowards.
    Good for you for sharing the effects of bullying, hopefully those in danger of slipping into such behavior read this articles and understand how damaging it can be.

    reply
  • April 3, 2017

    I loved this quote in your post: “Hate doesn’t change people, kindness and empathy do.” Nothing could be more true! I’m just so sorry you had to be the victim to learn such beautiful truths!

    reply
  • April 4, 2017

    So sorry this happened to you, but I am glad you made it to the other side. I have always taught my girls never to write anything negative about anyone on-line. I hope it is a lesson that sticks. As for that Irish bridge. There is something really special about that location. For me, it was where I realised how much I miss out on being scared. I just go of the fear and easily crossed the bridge.

    reply
  • April 4, 2017

    I’m so sorry to hear this. It baffles me when people can generate hatred and harbour negative things about someone on the internet even when they can type in just 140 characters. I’m glad that Kisty came out of this. More power to you girl!

    reply
  • KISTY PA-VICTIM
    April 5, 2017

    DON’T FEEL SORRY FOR HER PEOPLE

    SHE’S PLAYING THE VICTIM CARD AGAIN. SHUT IT KISTY, YOU HAVE BEEN PLAGIARIZING CAMIE’S WORK FOR A LONG TIME NOW. YOU WERE NOT BULLIED, YOU WERE CALLED OUT.

    reply
  • Concerned
    April 5, 2017

    Kisty is guilty of plagiarizing. She copies everything – blog posts, photos, tweets, heck come to think of it, she literally copies Camie’s personality (can u believe this girl)! Please don’t twist the truth, Kisty. You are the real bully here.

    You’re lying to yourself. Maybe you got some sympathy messages from writing this story but guuurl, the Filipino blogging community knows the truth. As I’ve said 4 years ago (see? you’ve been copying Camie for how many years now!!!), you are creative Kisty. You just have to produce your own content. You have the potential to do amazing things but you’re so blinded with your Camie obsession!!! Girl, feel ko napapaniginipan mo si Camie gabi gabi! You will never be Camie Juan. Don’t act like you’re the victim here.

    P.S. Camie, I hope you take legal actions na! See, Kisty is so blinded by the truth that her version is soooo crazy!!! Creepy na. She needs help – legal or psychological – whatever comes first.

    reply
  • April 6, 2017

    That sucks! But, it’s great that you’ve shared your story and helped put a face to the people folks interact with on the web. It’s super easy to attack someone when you don’t have to see them face to face. Thank you for putting a face to all that is going on and sharing your story.

    reply
  • April 6, 2017

    I feel very sorry for you, Kisty!!!! Not because you were bullied but because you are so blinded by the fact that you are the victim. You are called out by your own doings but you’re so obsessed with copying that you can’t even see that. Anyways, I just saw receipts of you saying nasty things to Camie. I thought you were just obsessed by Camie but turns out, you’re worst. I can’t believe you have the audacity to write something like this, for what? To gain even more sympathies? Are you that desperate? Get some medical help.

    reply
  • Chelsea
    April 8, 2017

    Are you for real, Kisty? How can you cry foul when you were the one who plagiarized someone else’s work? You aren’t being bullied, you are being called out because what you are doing is ten kinds of f*cked up. And lol, the audacity to make the comments visible again just because you garnered few sympathies from people who are non the wiser of the reputation you’ve created for yourself in the Philippine blogging community.

    This post only proves how vile and delusional you are.

    reply
  • eve
    April 8, 2017

    your bullies are obsessed about you kisty 🙂 they’re here commenting against you. just ignore them.

    i have been blogging since 2008 and i never heard of camie juan and kisty mea 😀 now i got curious and searched about the two of you .

    one thing, you look the same. i mean … hawig and maybe the style. but i don’t believe you plagiarized her. parehas lang siguro kayo ng taste at style. but that’s just it. and if you would really search the entire blogosphere, marami pang bloggers na kaparehas ninyong dalawa. camie juan is not unique. kisty mea is not unique. sorry to say that. dami ko na nakitang bloggers na kaparehas ninyo eh 😀 at yung mga pictures ninyo na kino-compare? marami din namang ganun sa pinterest eh. hindi nyo rin original yun.

    for me, the plagiarism issue about you is non-sense and so immature. i hope that camie juan would tell her followers to stop harassing you. somehow she is responsible for this bullying issue. kasi for me, it shows na insecure din sya sayo 😀 imitation is the best form of flattery. unless the imitator is better than the one being imitated. LOL.

    reply
  • April 17, 2017

    This issue seems unclear. I mean you said you’re accused but you didn’t at least post a screenshot of your post which that Camie girl accused you of plagiarizing for, so you have a proof. Anyway, if you really didn’t plagiarize, then I hope those who bullied you will realize how bad they’ve been to you. However if you did, then I hope you’ve apologized.

    reply
  • Chrysoula
    April 18, 2017

    That is awful I do believe that if someone had an issue with you, they should try and resolve it privately. Bullying the other person online is not right.

    reply
  • Lenny
    June 18, 2017

    OMG you poor thing! Now I don’t know the story between you and the other lady but just looking at the comments from her followers has me feeling deep sympathy for you. They’re after blood. It’s a lynch mob and they want your head on a stick. They should be extremely ashamed for the torment they’re causing for something that doesn’t involve them. MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS PEOPLE!! Get back to your lives.

    reply

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