An extremely thorny subject for me to discuss however, I want to try to help warn girls out there against those who may try to use such tactics,that are basically, forms of sexual exploitation.
What I find most disturbing is that this form of sexual exploitation can occur at any age but perhaps the younger they are, the more vulnerable. However, adults are victims too, without realising it.
How many times has a person be it a friend or online asked you for a photo of yourself? This is otherwise known as ‘Sexting’. They will send you a photo of themselves, and pester you for a photo of yourself. You refuse to send one yet the pressure increases in their coercion tactics because they have sent you several and declare it is only fair you send them one in return. One fully clothed innocent photo will only give way to the next, and the next, and the next… They see their chance in this test of theirs and seize that path in exploiting you further. Where would it all end?
They ask to meet up with you, make you their best friend, their rock. Tell you they like you and make the first move, engineering a sense of love and happiness. Despite your being so guarded due to past experiences and fears of being hurt yet again– they realise this and reassure you they are not like that, tricking you into bringing down your defensive walls. They eventually enter your heart with their charms and constant attention. The intimacy is gradually geared up, making you believe it is all consensual. Any doubts are swayed by illusions and their desire to control and dominate you. They may expect favours or sex in return, without you having any immediate recognition. Except, once they are satisfied and no longer have any need for you, their true colours are shown.
Where would it all end? I ask once more. In heartbreak, of course but the worst kind ever. Weighed down even more so by the losses of confidence, appetites, faith, trust and heightened fear of people – especially those in authority. Depression, withdrawal and mood swings. Disliking shows of affection or invasions of personal space such as being hugged or touched once more, simply because they cannot handle it – it becomes too much. Loss of sleep and/or nightmares. Increasing levels of frustrations and resistance – people are kept at a distance and a degree of aggressiveness is displayed when any personal connections are attempted in order to push them further away. One may even turn to drugs, or more having had potentially their souls destroyed by being built up to mean something so special only to be trampled upon.
These are some of the warning signs associated with not just sexual exploitation and grooming but unfortunately the broader spectrum of exploitation in abuse or neglect also.
Be strong, do not be afraid to speak up or report people for their actions and the consequences of which they are responsible for. My only regret is that I let far too much time pass before I found the confidence and courage to be honest, with myself and others. I most certainly am not willing to lie or cover for any one else.
Please, keep your wits about you and guard your virtues 🙂
Upon tidying up my hard drive, I stumbled across a folder and foolishly thought I could clear it out. Yet having gone through it all, being the evidence of what bullying I had previously endured and subsequently saved, it left me reeling once again with such utter disgust at the world – especially those who wish(ed) to behave and present themselves quite despicably. As I was not their only victim, I can wholly sympathise with the others too, this weighs my heart down even more so. It has been what seems to be a never-ending, extremely painful experience to undergo all that nastiness at the hands of such evilness.
“The good writers touch life often. The mediocre ones run a quick hand over her. The bad ones rape her and leave her for the flies.”
~ Ray Bradbury.
You can only imagine how elated I felt the other day, to learn that someone, Sean O’Brien, he who had been targeted via social media for his size and confidence was in fact being supported against his bully. His predator’s attempt to feed his own ego was thwarted. Big time. People’s attitudes and perceptions of today are changing, for the better and this means sociopaths are gradually being exposed. People are standing up, taller than ever before, having their voices heard, against the bullies – they are no longer following the flock of sheep but their own conscience for peace of mind and heart.
Please, do not be afraid to walk alone, to be yourself – ‘tis way better than letting them walk all over you – they are potentially manipulating, exploiting, engineering and compromising you for their own gains with little or no regards for your feelings or any consequences. Do not be afraid, to speak up – to anyone. Think of it all as a good test because in the end it will help you to find out along the way, whom you can trust and who you are or want to be since they are showing you, who not to be.
I have taken measures to prevent any further undesirables from entering my life for my children, and my family comes first. They are why I do not dare let the sadness, heartbreak, past memories and any thoughts of “them” creep in. Feelings are deceiving and extremely compromising.A true friend would never abandon your side in your time of need, through thick or thin or even encourage the thought of compromising you – in any sense. Anyone that does can effectively “Do one”…
“Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk besides me and be my friend.” ~ Albert Camus.
I am more than certain you will believe me when I say I know who my friends are, they may be rather few at that but I do not mind because with me, it is a case of “Quality Rather Than Quantity”. On that note, here is a token of gratitude for those selected few who manage to stay true, for not looking down on any one except to help them back up. For they are the ones who know how it feels, to be felled.
It is oftentimes like this when I have to remind myself not to let “them” win and to soar even higher up above with an abundance of courage and positivity.
Social media has unfortunately become quite the tool for adults to manipulate others on what was intended to keep “Friends” in contact – socially. However, if one falls out of favour, it becomes quite the playground for those to bitch, backstab and sometimes publicly, but for sure privately, defame characters.
People have approached me asking me not to allow certain people into my FB group – who are they to tell me what to do? Just because their experience with them was more or less negative does not mean my own experience will be the same so to avoid being influenced by hearsay and rumours, I gave those concerned the chance that no one else would and I am so glad that I did because every being deserves respect – regardless.
Social media has otherwise become the perfect platform for deaf people to visually keep in contact, real-time wise. However, the deaf community is oh so small so when one doesn’t get their way, they will stamp their feet and go one step further to manipulate friends, even mutual friends away from the person who stood up to them and held their ground. Is this behaviour acceptable? No! In a school playground, this would be extremely petty and childish… So much so, they would be laughed at and frowned upon by their teachers. Now, let us apply the same perceptions on people’s (mis)behaviour albeit via social media.
Do children ever actually grow up, learning to respect others and behave accordingly or is this actually an evil trait that is being compounded by desires, jealousy, greed and god knows what else? Not that long ago I posted on my FB wall that I would be removing those (on my friend list) who appeared to take to social media like wildfire, to publicly bully and joined the (m)asses in embarrassing themselves, over some poor woman’s appearance. How dare people laugh at and pick on someone else’s misfortunes, beliefs or who they may choose to be?!
There was a time when I was an admin on another group and on that admin board; the other admins were taking the mickey out of a member’s level of intelligence. I was appalled to say the least and put them on the spot by making them look at how they were behaving. Nevertheless, because I am not afraid of saying things as it is, seeking justice for all, I am relatively made out to be the aggressor when in fact, they are the ones who have defined their true colours, by instigating and encouraging others to join ranks with them. Thank you but no thank you – one would very much rather walk alone than be associated with the likes of them.
What I find extremely sad is the fact that no one else is able to actually SEE what is happening before their very own eyes, who is influencing them – who exactly is being the manipulator thus becoming the manipulated. This I find annoyingly frustrating. Unfortunately, people can be rather trivial and lose perspective in the ways of life, unable to correct themselves and respect others. Perhaps most importantly, unable to resist these undesirable traits / people. I say, let them continue to (mis)behave in a childlike way for what potentially goes around, comes around.
I truly sympathise with those who dislike using social media and understand where they are coming from – even their untold reasons why which no one should ever have to explain, for life should not be about trolls and bullies who have nothing better to do but destroy those in their paths. They deserve to be labelled as sociopaths and exposed for who they truly are. Shame on them. You know who you are.
It is about time “adults” take responsibility for their own actions and for the consequences of such actions by treating people like pawns in what is a backwards game – competing for popularity. Seriously, social media platforms need to clamp down on such people abusing their intended services and for turning it into one of the biggest playgrounds – ever.
A word of advice into the ears of those being abused – take comfort in knowing they have shown you who not to be and please, do not be afraid to be yourself – remain patient, courageous, stand up and tell them to “Do one!”. Meanwhile, keep all the evidence and report them, to the social media moderators, the police and their employers. For if, they want to behave in such a despicable manner then so be it – let them be despised.
I am not one to speak openly about my religion due to prejudice or my family since I am a private person so please consider yourself rather privileged in this sense and respect this personal post of mine.
When I was born, my parents could not agree on whichever religion they wished to introduce me to and bring me up by since my paternal grandmother originated from Italy but resided in Egypt, which meant my father was automatically Roman Catholic. My maternal grandmother was a Christian and quite a righteous person at that. My parents soon became weary of arguing so they decided to let me grow up and choose myself, which of their religion I wished to follow.
Growing up, I was aware of the different yet similar religions but it was not until I left school that I started to develop a keen inquisition, to find answers regarding who we are and why we are here. I could not understand at the time why people were calling Jesus, the son of God and the wearing / use of a cross. I could not understand why the Jews were so stubborn and seemed to use stratagems. I could not understand why the number of Muslims seemed to be growing so fast. I decided to let my heart decide during the course of seeking further knowledge, for answers.
There was a time during my childhood while I was in Italy visiting family, I knew they were Roman Catholics but this plague on their wall caught my eye since it was in Arabic. Intrigued, I asked my cousin what it said and why they had it. He told me that it said “Allah” and they had brought it back from where they lived in Egypt. Noticing I was still perplexed and not yet satisfied, he went on to explain that Catholics have one God and the Muslims have one God and that “Allah” was the Arabic name for their God. It did not matter what language or religion, there is only one God… That memory and defining emotion has stayed with me ever since then. Based on this experience, my heart seemed to be more inclined towards seeking answers from Islam than the older religions before it.
I wrote to the nearest mosque to me at the time, for any leaflets they could provide me with and to my surprise, I received a book along with a letter from the Imam. I could not believe the level of such kindness and generosity that I immediately wrote back thanking them so.
This book became the very first book I thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated. It all started to make a lot of sense, logically and scientifically. It was not just a hippy, peaceful religion for sandal wearing people. This fuelled my desire for more knowledge, and even more answers. Twenty years on, I am still reading books and sometimes, I even correct my husband who is a devout Muslim. They say converts tend to make better Muslims since they seek information in order to quench their thirst for knowledge and to be the better person they could possibly be.
One late evening, there were two young men who were trying to chat up my friend and I, in passing as we made our way to catch the last tube home. I could tell from experience, which country in North Africa they came from. I asked one of the men who was trying to pay me some attention, if he was a Muslim. Whether he lied or spoke the truth would only determine his character. He chose to speak the truth so I asked him in all honesty, why he was consuming alcohol and looking for attention when it was forbidden to him. He took a moment to reflect on his would-be answer but knowingly smiled instead. At that precise moment, he had every respect for me, for reminding him of whom he is, where he came from and to do good. I too relatively had respect for him as I sensed he would potentially cherish that moment, to help him become a better person.
Every being is born a Muslim but family life and peer pressure dictates otherwise so paths tend to deviate. If only people were able to realise the hand of Satan in all the engineering of situations and lures to increase ones desires. All of which is a test, of faith and character.
With Christianity and Judaism, the bible and Torah has been edited accordingly to fit around their ways of life, to make what was not permitted to them, permissible. The bible even more so. Each time certain people try to elevate themselves, they are actually debasing themselves. Not even one word has been changed in the Quran since it was first spoken, memorised and prescribed for the people to follow. When I first started to read the Quran, bits of it made sense and others not, of which I knew I would understand with time and patience. Upon reading the last page of the Quran, I cried a river! I did not want this unique experience and relationship to end. I then took to praying five times a day.
Within a month or so of praying, whenever I prostrated there was a dull pain in my stomach and I would remark on this pain to my husband. The pain continued for another month – especially each time I prostrated. Certainly, my body (and faith?) was trying to tell me something – that I was seriously unwell. My husband came to realise this too when he was told by the hospital over the phone that I had a ruptured appendix of which my body managed to seal off and turned into a mass, causing an abscess also. This meant an invasive surgery to clean up, drain and separate the organs from inside my stomach.
Prior to the operation, I did not think I would survive so I privately said my goodbyes albeit mentally, leaving my life in Allah’s hands by saying “Insha Allah” repeatedly until I was under the effects of the anaesthetics. This verse and my faith, gave me the courage I needed, to face the operation. An operation that saved my life, gave my children back their mother, my husband his wife. The doctor told me that I am extremely lucky to be alive today – I should not be here. At times, I very much struggle with that fact alone and I have to remind myself how I felt before that life changing experience and how much I trusted Allah with my life when I trusted no one else. In particular, it was not yet my time. Yet most importantly, my faith was reconfirmed.
As always, there is a reason for everything, behind every nature’s designs. Only those in a similar situation will come to understand my reasons for writing this and I can only hope that I have helped guide another by sharing how and why I became a convert. My conversion progressively occurred over a number of years as I researched, asked questions and experienced life and psychology from an Islamic perspective.
I would like to thank you for your patience and for sparing a moment of your valuable time to read something so personal.
Furthermore, extremism, terrorism, transgression of the limits and exaggeration, is not permitted in Islam.
“People of the Book, do not go to excess in your religion.” (4:171)
“These are the bounds set by Allah, do not overstep them.” (2:229)
“Do not waste by excess, Allah does not like wasteful people.” (6:141)
“Call on your Lord humbly and privately, He does not like those who transgress His bounds.” (7:55)
The Prophet Muhammed said:
“Avoid going to excess in religion. The people before you were destroyed by their exaggeration.”
Ahmad (1/215, 347), Nisa’i (3057, 3059)
He also said:
“Do not be harsh to yourselves, lest Allah be harsh to you. It happened to some people who adopted the harsh way and Allah treated them badly.”
Abu Ya’la (2427, 2472), Tabarani in Kabir (12/156)