Not just a death threat, but a graphic, detailed account of how this person would like to brutally rape and then kill me.
I cried. Then I felt like crawling under my desk and hiding for the rest of the day. Then I became angry. And then sad. And then scared. And then I cried again. And then I called the police, went down to the police station and filed a report.
I hesitate to write about it. To give this person any semblance of satisfaction for writing such horrific things.
But you know what? Screw it. There should be no pride in being a disgusting human being.
I’m not even sure how everything turned so ugly. I blogged about a Foursquare creeper incident. Some people tweeted it. It was a cautionary tale (hence the title) about what can happen when you aren’t careful (because, admittedly, I wasn’t careful enough). And then mainstream media picked up on it. And then bloggers. And that apparently opened up the floodgates for everyone to chime in with their two cents.
I had to turn off blog comments because reading insults all day long gets old really fast. Call me crazy, but I’d rather not read about how I am an idiot and deserved what happened to me and how I must really suck at my profession. Since comments were removed, I started receiving emails. Most were harmless. Hateful at best. And then it turned really ugly and really scary.
This has certainly made me think about what life must be like for people who actually live the spotlight for more than, say, two weeks. I’m just a random girl from Kansas City who had an unsavory experience and tried to warn other people about the dangers. But somehow my attempt at doing what I thought was the right thing backfired.
When there is a comment thread on a website that actually asks the question, “If Shea had been raped, was it her fault?”, hasn’t this gone too far?
Somehow the whole message that I’d hoped would get across is lost. Be careful. Pay attention to who you let into your online world. Don’t assume you’re immune to danger.
And don’t let the bad guys win.