Culture / Members Exclusive

"You never know what someone is going through in their own lives, or how much someone can take." A true story of trolling

By Natalie Salmon
Night and Day

Photo: Peter Gehrke

After our Digital Editor was 'trolled' she decided to find out how widespread the problem really is

If you have mental health issues or are dealing with online bullying please visit this website, which will provide you with telephone numbers for trusted mental health services in Denmark, Sweden, Iceland, Finland and Norway as well as around the world.

Have you ever received a message and your whole body starts shaking? It’s quite an intense and visceral reaction: the adrenaline pumps through your body, your face feels hot. Your heart drops into your stomach. You breathe quickly.

“Please eat something your face looks skeletal.” I was so ashamed. Are people going to read this? Were they going to think something was wrong with me? Do people think I am doing this on purpose? I had posted a photo of myself during London Fashion Week in September and this had elicited my first ever ‘troll’. The weight loss was caused by stress. (I was going through a divorce at the time - out of respect for my former partner I will not go into any details.)

I wanted to power on, put on a brave face and act as I normally would during that time. My work has always been a coping mechanism and at that time it was a very welcome distraction. Of course, the troll didn't know any of this. For all they knew I was just a vapid Insta-attention seeker, flexing about Fashion Week on the gram. I get it. You have an open Instagram profile, and you leave yourself open to criticism. What I wasn’t prepared for was the relentlessness of the ‘troller’ - something I now look back on a few months later and realise… I probably couldn’t really handle.

She looks 40 easily and if she’s not careful she’ll have the ovaries of an 80 year old and ruin her fertility.

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