Trolling, Twitter and him

18 Jun

This is going to be a long post – apologies but I have to get all my thoughts down.

In Internet terminology a troll is a person who starts arguments or upsets people, by posting inflammatory or abusive messages in an online community – such as places like Twitter or Facebook –  with the intent of provoking  a target into an emotional response often for the troll’s amusement. Media attention in recent years has equated trolling with online harassment. For example, the mass media have used “troll” to mean “a person who defaces Internet tribute sites with the aim of causing grief to families.” 

I have been on Twitter since its early days. I enjoy Twitter, it has put me in touch with people who can help me career wise, I’ve learnt about my job from Twitter and I’ve made friends with people on Twitter. I have fantastic EA/PA friends who I meet up with in London every few weeks. I have other friends who I met through there and we catch up at least every month in London, Bristol, Birmingham and Gloucester.

In November last year, a Met Police Officer, Jamie started following me on Twitter and started to send me private messages within an hour of us following each other. Over the months we exchanged a lot of messages. We talked about anything and everything, work, life. I told him about my job, my mum,my past. He told me about his job, his 2 boys and how ill the youngest one was. He told me about his previous life in Liverpool, his move to London, his on/off marriage. That’s how much trust we had, we could talk about anything and everything. Suddenly in late January 2017 I started to get “troll” messages about him. They weren’t nice, they weren’t pleasant and they actually drove me off of Twitter. I was being told nearly every hour, I was a slut, a slag, I should die, I should kill myself. I was a whore for talking with a married man. They kept telling me about other women he was talking to, what this account thought of me and him and how much this account hated me and him. I had messages from over 30 different accounts in a month, every time I blocked one, a new one would appear.

I left Twitter for about a month, I was fed up with the abuse. I hadn’t met this guy, nothing had happened between us and yet I was getting abuse about him. I didn’t know what to do. I hated myself. I’d done nothing wrong bar talk to someone on Twitter and I was being told I should die/kill myself. I deleted the Twitter app off my phones so if I got any messages they wouldn’t show up on my phone. I talked ‘off the record’ to a Detective Constable who explained what could and couldn’t be done. The difficulty they had is that this person changed accounts sometimes 2/3 times a day, probably had loads of email addresses set up, probably used a cheap PAYG phone to use the mobile number to set up Twitter accounts. Twitter itself apparently can be a pain to get information out of on accounts – and if they were using fake accounts, a fake number etc.

I hide away from everything, I wasn’t on Twitter, Facebook or Whatsapp. I avoided anyone and everyone. I didn’t know who was behind the accounts and I didn’t know who I could trust. I hid away at home and in London. I didn’t tell anyone unless I had to where I was, what I was up to. I was suddenly acutely aware about everything I did. I once thought someone was following me in London that I changed tubes three times. The account had made me so paranoid.

Suddenly a month later he sent me a WhatsApp asking how I was. To be honest, I had partly wondered if he was behind those messages – I’d never got them before he messaged me, tbh I still sometimes wonder if he’s behind the messages or if he knows the person who is. I’d never been bullied/trolled/harassed on Twitter to that extent until I talked to him. Yes I’d fallen out with people on Twitter before, but to be told to kill myself and to die?

Things carried on, we laughed, we joked, we talked, we flirted. we argued. He told me there was no one else, then admitted there had been but that she was no longer around. However within days the messages started again. I was called all the names under the sun again, they said things about him that suggested they knew things about him, kept naming three women – one was who he’d admitted about. We argued over them. Turns out he’d lied to me about them and this account was right. Yet I still carried on talking to him.

Then we met up. We spent the day together. We didn’t argue, we didn’t fight, we didn’t want to kill each other, we actually got on with each other. We talked, we laughed, it was actually a nice day, I enjoyed it. Ok, we didn’t leave the hotel room for 6 hours and I don’t know if he did, I still don’t but I enjoyed it.

And the messages had started again,  I was now getting messages on Twitter and Facebook. Then bizarrely I got a message on Twitter from one of the other women asking me about the messages we both were getting. Turns out he was still talking to her, still talking to her like he was with me, and also arranging to meet up with her and had lied to her about where he was the day he spent the day with me!

By early June, I’d been messaged by over 40 different Twitter accounts, yet no one seemed able to do anything. Or no one seem prepared to do anything or give a shit. The PC certainly didn’t – he just seemed to care about everyone else. I was the person he’d met and ‘shagged’ but I seemed to be lowest in his list of priorities. I tried everything I could to stop the messages – I ignored them, they carried on bombarding me with tweets; I blocked them, they closed the account down and opened another one; I replied, they ignored my replies and carried on; I said I didn’t know who they were talking about, the abuse continued; I told them they were right, they carried on. Nothing stopped them. At one point, 4 different accounts messaged me on the same day. It got to the point I was scared when either of my phones pinged to tell me I had a tweet.

We rowed something bad at times, fueled by this troll account and lies, others on Twitter made it clear he told them I was the enemy and he was innocent. I got blocked, I got abuse. I was being made out to be the ‘bad girl’. It got to the that there was no point telling him what was being said, as his main concern was her – I got over 30 accounts sending me messages in a month and it drove me off twitter for a month, she got 2 and he closed his accounts – that told me all I needed to know about how he felt about me vs her. I was – still am – the person that got abuse over him, yet he’s blocked me to carry on talking to others. I get the abusive messages, I’m the one who actually went through with things and meet him, yet I’m the one being punished!

At the start of this month, we had a horrible row and I said something really nasty to him. I was lashing out at him as I was struggling with it all. I felt really isolated over the abuse. I didn’t know who to talk to, who to tell. I was struggling to sleep, was losing my appetite. He was really distant with me, like he’d got what he wanted and had moved on. Except the troll hadn’t. The only difference is that now they seem to go quiet for a few days before something seems to rile them and they send another message. As I said we had a horrid row at the start of this month, I was struggling like hell over the messages, I was failing at work because of the lack of sleep, I was tired all the time, I was making mistakes. I couldn’t concentrate. I took it all out on him in one message one Saturday night. I was nasty to him, I have tried apologising to him, but I guess he no longer wants to know. On the Sunday night I turned my phone off before bed, turned it back on just after 5am I had 9 messages from 2 different accounts over night. I couldn’t deal with it any longer. I wanted it stop and sadly I thought the only way I would ever get them to leave me alone was if I ‘went somewhere I couldn’t be contacted anymore’. I actually looked at the painkillers in my cupboard. I really thought the only way this “person” was going to stop and leave me alone was if I wasn’t here anymore for them to be able to contact me.

That thought scared me, I picked up the phone and called someone who I knew would understand. Within 20 mins they were banging on my front door. I opened the door and crumpled into them and they just held me whilst I cried. Then they sat with me for 3 hours, while I told them everything and they never judged me once. They listened, sometimes they asked questions, and sometimes they gave advice. They made me promise not to get to the point again that I felt this was the only option to get it all to stop.

It’s been two weeks since I last tweeted and last spoke to the PC – who incidentally kept saying he didn’t hate me and that he cared about me, yet blanked me when I texted him that morning. I’ve had 13 tweets from the troll. I don’t know why they’re still targeting me, why I seem to be the focus for their attention. Twitter needs to do more about troll accounts and people who just use Twitter to send abuse to people. Twitter and Facebook both need to do more.

Me? I’m exhausted mentally and physically. I’ve spent days hidden away again in London, I’ve lost weight, I’ve lost some friends because I’ve blanked people.

The PC? no doubt he’s still on Twitter and WhatsApp carrying on like nothings happened, probably blocked me from everything, not caring how it’s all made me feel, hating me and flirting with other/new women like I never existed.

The troll? No idea who they are or what their issue is. I just wish they’d go away and leave me alone. Maybe one day they’ll grow up and realise what they’ve done, I don’t expect an apology or an explanation even. I just wish they’d focus their energy on something more positive than what they do now.


Most people who are thinking of taking their own life have shown warning signs beforehand.

These can include becoming depressed, showing sudden changes in behaviour including withdrawing from events they’d normally participate in, talking about wanting to die and feelings of hopelessness. These feelings do improve and can be treated.

If you are concerned about someone, or need help yourself, please contact the Samaritans on 116 123 or Mind Charity on 0300 123 3393.


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