Anonymous: Southern USA

Parties in my league mean lots of of drinking and partying at a local bar sponsor. One night a very drunk skater from a different team in the league decided I had stolen her drink (I didn’t) and she rushed up to me grabbing my throat and squeezing while demanding I find her missing drink. This person has a history of damaging property and making others uncomfortable when drunk, and people in the league usually laugh it off. I played nice and didn’t complain about the incident, because I didn’t want her mad at me next time she was drinking at a function. The next morning I had bruises on my neck and I’d never experienced that before. I shook it off and tried to focus on some positive things going on with my teammates.

A few weeks later, a photographer shared an album of photos from that night. There was a photo of her choking me. It was really disturbing. A few people commented (“hey! be nice!, lol” type things). This was a public photo of a league member wearing the league’s branding, attacking another league member in a public league-sponsored event. The board didn’t say or do anything. I didn’t complain, so no one did anything.

The league had a consistent history of mob mentality bullying from leadership. I realized staying around wasn’t going to be productive so I left. A little over a year later, an incident led one of my old teammates to call me crying. I was sad and frustrated for my friends and decided to repost the old photo because the board was acting like no one could challenge them. I just wanted to rattle their chains.

After about an hour I hid the post, because of the insane amount of aggressive messages and comments I started receiving. People that I thought were friends told me I was a terrible traitor to my old league for sharing that image. I was floored, I shared photo evidence of a woman representing the league assaulting another woman, but everyone was saying that I was responsible for making the league look bad. People said was drunk at a party so it was my fault I got assaulted. I was told I probably did something rude to bring on the violence. Someone said I was lying and made everything up (WTF this is a photo?!!). To make this even more ludicrous, all this was going on while the league was doing fundraising for a battered women’s shelter.

Being hurt by a dumb drunk women was irritating but I’m fine. The thing that really messed me up was the cyber attacking I received from former friends. I had no idea people would be so cruel and judgmental, it hurt more that I ever would have expected. I feel weak for being so upset by words on a screen. I always saw myself as a strong person. I would love advice for getting over these terrible feelings of betrayal.

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