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Hate hides in plain sight, yet is driven away by the light.

So much has happened since my last post.

I have a lot on the horizon. I was accepted into grad school and I'm staring down the barrel at a move as well. I am feeling so many emotions all at once, but overwhelmingly, I am at peace. I'm very excited at continuing my education because it means so much to me personally, but also professionally. I have been dealing with a lot in terms of bullying lately and I want to speak on it while it is still very fresh in my mind. Several weeks ago, a former Facebook acquaintance of mine posted a status that coincided with my feature in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette's June 18th edition of Healthbeat. I was thrilled and I released a teaser trailer on instagram, and followed up with a full video on Youtube. (below)

I was on a high and feeling blessed because the day I got into grad school was the day that I was asked to be featured in the paper, and I was approached by a local attorney about a job opening that he had. While the job did not prove to be the greatest fit for me, everything else has progressed nicely.

Though I was on a high, and blissfully minding my own business, it seemed that there were others in the world that were also minding my business as well. One day, I logged into Facebook to see a status that seemed like it could be about me and I thought, "That can't be about me, can it?" So I started looking at my posts from two days prior to try and figure out if I had posted anything that prompted a the hateful and venom laced diatribe. I don't know what it is about me, but people have long since confused my confidence with self-absorption or narcissism, when, in fact, about whom else would they, could my profiles and other SM platforms be?

In any event, being a lady, I didn't feel that she deserved my direct response or acknowledgement, but the more I thought about it, the more indignation I felt. So I posted a picture of a simple salt shaker with the admonishment that being salty (i.e. jealous) is bad for your health. she responded by removing me as a friend on Facebook, but inexplicably, did not do so on Instagram. I was so grateful that she had removed herself from my Facebook feed that I posted a status designed to get back to her via mutual friends.

She responded by posting a screen shot sent to her to Instagram and proceeding to unleash a torrent of profanity and vitriol. I responded with calm and rational responses to her while watching people either appeal to her supposed better nature to stop her irrational behavior or join in on the hate-Alia-fest. Some of these people were my own Sorors! After expressing her true feelings towards me, hate and jealousy, she refused to unfollow me on Instagram. I just couldn't understand why--if she disliked me so much--she refused to unfollow me, electing instead to attempt pushing me towards blocking her by posting memes about how little I mattered, how unbothered she was, how I "looked better fat," how she "used to think I was pretty, but not anymore." It was both cyber bullying AND pathetic.

Finally, I pushed back by tagging her in every single post that I could until she unleashed her bitterness and vitriol once more. This time, I was armed. Because I requested several times that she unfollow me, I now had a very cut and dry case of harassment/bullying to take to the local prosecuting attorney, I reported each comment to Instagram, and finished by reporting her account as well. Because she works in a mental healthcare facility, I also took screen shots, prepared to send them to her employer. Eventually, she retreated, unfollowed me, and made her profile private; I was so glad to finally be rid of her!

I said all of that to say this, PROTECT YOUR OWN HAPPINESS from all external forces that seek to take it away from you. You deserve to be happy, you deserve to take pride in your decision to make your life a better one. No one has to deal with the consequences of your health decisions more than you do, and no one stands to gain more than you do. Sometimes, the people most jealous of your happiness are the miserable people on your friends list. Your misery means that they can always judge themselves superior in comparison. When they can't any longer, they get upset and think, "what does she have to celebrate? She's not that special!"

Just today, I was approached by someone who had noticed and was inspired by my weight loss journey. She thanked me for my courage and, when I got done crying, I thanked her for her support. You don't know who is watching and needs your example. Be the best example of a well-lived life that you can be.


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