Saying Goodbye to Robert

Okay – my chums – I have something pretty important to say, so sit back and relax for a little because this might be a long one. I’m going to start by offering an apology: I’m sorry I’ve lied to you, and I’m sorry it took me so long to confess this.

Since starting this blog, you all know that I wanted to remain anonymous – partly because I don’t really want to face judgement from my family for sharing things with “strangers online” – and partly for the sake of diplomacy. I knew going into this that I would be writing about my flatmates, our filthy kitchen, the fact that they never emptied the bins, and all of the little things that wound me up about them. I knew that should any of them find themselves in the highly unlikely scenario of finding my blog, I wanted to make sure that it couldn’t be traced back to me too easily because if they found out I was writing about them, it would make living with them much harder.

About a month in, someone noticed my twitter thread was attached to this blog at the very bottom and they noticed that the name on the account was Robert, which isn’t my name.

As to why the name on the account was Robert is a long story, so please feel free to skip this paragraph if you don’t want to read something too depressing. In high school, I was picked on and bullied by just about everyone for just about everything, and I knew that a lot of the bullying went on behind my back on social media. My parents had prevented me from having Facebook in the hopes that this would shield me from the worst of it; we were all working on the idea that if I didn’t read or see what was being said, it couldn’t hurt me. There were days when I would contemplate self harm; I would want to scratch and claw my way out of my own body just for a little peace from it all, and then one day I just got to curious. I knew most of the snide comments and bullying remarks were made on twitter, so I created an account but I needed a name that couldn’t be traced to me. If I were to accidentally like or follow someone with my own name, that would only add fuel to the fire so I used a fake name that would allow me to silently observe what was being said about me, rather than being the centre of attention. The name I chose was Robert: my middle name.

That was the twitter account I used for the blog and I never bothered to change the name because it was serving the same purpose: a kind of anonymity. But now, having moved into a studio, I don’t need to hide behind that name anymore. In truth I feel disconnected from you all – I feel disconnected from my writing – and sometimes I feel downright lonely, so I hope that in removing that name to hide behind, I can start to reconnect with all of these things. And, if someone I know finds the blog and comes to me, I’ll just tell them that I have some amazing readers who I know will pick me up if I’m having a bad day. Besides, the odds of anyone finding this blog are quite slim as it is.

So, from now on, you can call me Sam.

(P.S. please forgive spelling/grammar errors. I’m writing this post on my phone before I go to bed and I’ll be fixing it all in the morning before work!)

Advertisements

27 thoughts on “Saying Goodbye to Robert

  1. Yay you!
    For blogging I’ve chosen a name based on my name. Primarily because of the topic of my blog I didn’t want people to know it was mine, although now I’m thinking that maybe I should share my blog with a couple of friends. Maybe.
    You’re brave and courageous.
    Happy blogging Sam!
    E

    Like

  2. Hello Sam. I was partly browsing through posts here on WordPress when I came across this post from you. Thank you for sharing your experience with bullying here with us on WordPress. Reading the stories of others is an enriching experience. I am so sorry that you had to experience bullying. I can tell that you started this blog with fear in your mind, and understandably so.

    To be completely honest, Sam, I think you are giving your bullies and also your roommates too much of your time. If you suspect that people are saying bad things about you, there is no point in following them with a different name just to see what they are saying. Chances are high that whatever it is, it is something hurtful. Why would you want to expose yourself to something like that. I find that many people do this, including me sometimes, but I have felt best when I simply ignored those people and their comments. So long as you know that you are releasing positive vibes, treating them well despite their attitude, and working on making yourself a better person, you should not dwell on what they say about you. Concerning your flatmates, there is nothing wrong with calling a room meeting and talking to them about the need for you all to clean the room. You can cite the harms of not doing so by telling them of the possible illnesses that can be brought about by lack of proper hygiene in this department. If they change, that is good. If they are unwilling to change, you should speak to the school residence department, they may be able to switch you to another room. You can also look into affordable off-campus housing if you want to get away from all the campus drama.

    I do not know whether you believe in God or not, but you need to know that your value does not come from what people say about you or what they think of you, your value comes from God. God is the creator, he is the only one who has a final say on our true value. Therefore, you do not need to be so afraid of other people and their opinions of you. Especially when they are not your family members, they can only say so much. I do not know whether you have a relationship with God or not. If you already have a good relationship with God, congratulations, you are on the right path. You do not need to read this comment any further. Chances are high that if you have a relationship with God, you probably already know everything that I am about to tell you. I would say this, keep praying, keep obeying him, and keep trusting in him, and he would come through for you. However, if you do not yet have a relationship with God, you are in luck, here are some exciting details about God that you need to know:

    You may have heard that God is the creator of the universe and everything within it. This claim is 100% true. God did create everything in the universe, including us humans. Like a good father loves his children, God loves each and every one of us dearly. He likes to provide for us, to bless us, and to help us. His intention is to provide for us in this life and to also grant us eternal life. Eternal life is the life after this life that we are currently living, you can simply call it the after-life. Eternal life would last forever. Not everybody would gain access into the eternal life. Since that life would last forever and in it people would not die, it would not make sense to allow in violent people, liars, thieves and others. Since these people would not die, there would be no end to the problems that they would cause. Therefore, only the purest people are allowed in. We humans cannot be pure by ourselves. We are prone to envy, lying, cheating others and so much more. We learn to do these bad things from such a young age, by the time we reach adulthood, we are already too far gone in it. For this reason, God sent his son Jesus to die for our sins. So that we can be easily redeemed and saved. The blood of Jesus has made us pure and worthy. After the death of Jesus, all we need to do is to believe in Jesus and obey the Word of God, and those are the core for gaining access into eternal life. Like I mentioned earlier, God loves to bless us, and he desires to give us everything that we need. However, because God exists in the spiritual realm and we exist in the physical realm, we need to learn to understand how God communicates and to build a relationship with him in order to understand him. Over the course of building a relationship with him, you would understand how he works and how to locate the blessings that he has sent to you both in this life and for the next.

    God wants you to inherit eternal life, and eternal life is God’s greatest gift to us. Nevertheless, God cares about how we fare in this life. He wants us to be confident and trust in who we are. He has instructions and guidelines written in the word of God (the Bible), that serve as a guide on how to deal with difficult people and difficult situations. God is real and he is still in the business of attending to our needs, whether mental, physical, financial etc. You need to be aware of the full extent of God’s love.

    God says in Jeremiah 29:11
    “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”.

    God says in Isaiah 41:10
    “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
    Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
    I will strengthen you and help you.
    I will hold you up with my victorious right hand”.

    God says in Isaiah 43:2
    “When you pass through the waters,
    I will be with you;
    and when you pass through the rivers,
    they will not sweep over you.
    When you walk through the fire,
    you will not be burned;
    the flames will not set you ablaze”

    The Bible says in Philippians 4:6
    ” Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God”.

    If you wish to build a solid relationship with God, I would include below a lengthy and detailed suggestion on how you can do so. However, I find that many people get scared at the length of the suggestions. I want to say this, it is a step by step process, do not feel the need to execute it all in one day. Go at a pace that works for you and trust the process. Some people also get the impression that I am judging them or trying to tell them how to act or how to be, No! I do not want it to come across that way, because that is not my intention, I am simply giving friendly suggestions. Some people also get the impression that i am trying to say that if they do not do everything on my suggestion list that they would be doomed. I am not trying to say this. Also bear in mind, that although my suggestions seem lengthy, they would quickly become second nature to you. If you struggle with any of the steps, you can ask God for assistance and he would it make it easier for you.

    If you are ready, here are my suggestions:

    1. Confession of faith: you need to find a quiet space. Imagine that Jesus is in front of you. Ask him for forgiveness of your past sins and the sins of your ancestors. Ask him to give you the strength to forgive those who have offended you. Honestly, I suggest that you forgive the people who have offended you, because whatever they did to you is now in the past, and upon a confession of Jesus as your Lord, you become a new creation. In addition, God commands that we need to forgive others, before he can forgive us. You can also get a deliverance before your confession of faith. Deliverance will rid you off any ungodly spirits that have taken residence in your body and mind. A pastor with a deliverance anointing should be able to help with this. There are also videos on YouTube, where pastors with a deliverance anointing pray directly for people through the videos. You just need to search “deliverance prayer” in the search bar to reach these videos. Now, you need to tell Jesus that you want him to come and be your lord and personal savior, and surrender to him. You need to know that Jesus died for you. He died on the cross so that you may have a chance at salvation. The minute you give your life to Jesus, you need to know that you can no longer live as you wish, you shall live according to the stipulations in the bible. Believe in your heart that Jesus was risen up from the dead by God, and confess with your mouth that he is the messiah and your personal savior.

    2. Prayers: ask Jesus to bless you with eternal life. Tell him to make a place for you in his heavenly abode. You need to understand that praying for heaven is the best prayer that you can ever pray. Life on earth is so short, you need to be worried about eternal life, which is so much longer. God knows that you need clothes, food, shelter etc. He is your creator and he knows your every need. The bible tells us to pray for eternal life and God would provide our other needs (i.e. clothes, shelter etc.) according to his riches. If there is something bothering you, tell God in prayer, commit it to him and ask him to do it for you. However, bear in mind that this life is temporary and so are the things in this life. When you are praying, the devil will try to disrupt your prayers by bringing sudden disturbances such as sudden phone calls or loud noises and evil thoughts. An example of an evil thought that the devil tries to use to stop people from praying is by bringing the thought that Jesus is not present and that they are simply wasting their time. Jesus is there with you when you pray. So pray like you mean it. Pray the same way you will if Jesus was right in front of you because he is. You need to understand how prayers work as well. You see, when you pray, God answers prayers. God usually has three answers to prayers Yes, Yes but Wait, and No. God has a reason for every answer that he gives. He loves you and he will make sure that everything works out well for you in the end. When you get a No from God, sometimes it is not because that thing is not good for you at that point in time, but it may be because God is trying to draw your attention to something that you are doing wrong in your life. When you get a No from God, you need to evaluate yourself, what is the motive of your prayer? is it pure? Is it Godly? Is there an area of sin in your life that you need to work on? When you reflect on these things and you find something in yourself lacking, try to fix it. When God says Yes to prayers and sends you his blessings, trust me, there are spiritual forces of the devil in high places that work against people so that their blessings from God would not reach them. You need to pray against these spiritual forces. Rebuke them by the power and the name of Jesus. This way, your blessings would be able to reach you. Lastly, some people pray lazy prayers. For example, someone might pray for a job, without actually applying to any. God does not reward laziness. When you are praying for something, you need to be putting some work in as well. God rewards hard-work and we ought to strive to be hardworking. God’s role is to direct, bless, and make your path clear. However, bear in mind that sometimes God answers even lazy prayers and gives us undeserved blessings, that shows you the power of his love. He would always be with you. You need to make sure that you are close to God in prayer. Do not cease to tell him about what you are struggling with. If you are struggling with sins of the flesh that you believe are hindering your spiritual growth, you need to make sure that you tell God. Make sure that you pray for an increment in faith. Faith is important, you need to have faith in God. When we pray, we need to have faith, God does not like it when we doubt his ability to provide us with what we want, he is mighty and nothing is impossible with him. When you are low in faith, pray to God for an increment in faith. Remember to pray for your family, your city, your country and the world in fact, no prayers are too big for God. Pray that unsaved people would be saved. Pray for your non-Christian family members, pray that they see the light and become saved. When you pray, make sure that you take care of sins. The bible says that we need to forgive others if we want our sins to be forgiven. Make sure you forgive others, ask for forgiveness of your sins first before praying. Sins can block your prayers from getting to God. Try to avoid sin, but pray for forgiveness of sins everyday, because sometimes, we are not aware of the sins that we are committing. When you get answers to your prayers, remember to thank God.

    3. The Bible: You need to make sure that you are reading the bible and that you are obeying it. I suggest you begin with the New Testament because the coming of Jesus changed many of the things that were practised before. However, bear in mind that the old testament is also important. You can find free bible apps on google play. You can also find free bibles online. The New Living Translation is an easy to read bible version. However, the most popular one is the King James Version.

    4. Hearing from God: Trust me, God would speak to you. He would speak to you through dreams. Through people, through situations, through the bible and so much more. You need to practice and perfect the art of hearing God’s voice. Dreams contain a lot of symbolism. When you possess an avid knowledge of what the bible says, you would understand the biblical meaning of all the symbols in your dreams. However, for now, you can search online bible dream dictionaries for the meaning of things you see in your dream. You also need to know that although there are general meanings for some symbols, some interpretations are based on context. Take context into account. God does communicate via dreams. Sometimes, you might be asking God for direction on something. Pay attention to the words all around you during this time i.e, the things people say, words you see when reading the bible etc. Sometimes you might even just turn on your TV and the TV anchor would say something that directly relates to what you are going through. Pay attention to these things. You would know it is God’s voice when whatever is said is not in contradiction to the bible and God’s nature. If it is in contradiction then it might just be something random that popped up. You can also hear God’s voice by meditating on him. You can do this by finding a quiet space, you can play some background Christian music if you want. During this time, close your eyes and focus on God. Do some praise and worship in your heart first, then invite Jesus to come to you. Ask a question and pay attention to any bible verses that are brought to your mind, inner voices that you hear, any general feelings etc. If what is said is in line with the bible, then it is probably God speaking. It might take several weeks before you begin to hear God via meditation. If you keep trying one method and it does not work, try another method, like paying attention to the words around you. As you practise the art of listening and hearing, God might give you the gift of seeing visions or the gift of hearing an inner voice, and take you to deeper depths of hearing.

    5. Fasting: fasting is an effective way to get God’s attention. Fasting is a way to spend time with him. You deprive yourself of food because what you seek for is more than food. There are different types of fasting, and you need to plan what works for you. There is the:

    A. Avoidance fasting: This is a fasting form where you avoid something that you cannot do without i.e. Coffee.

    B. Daniel’s fast: In this sort of fasting, you only eat fruit and vegetables and drink water. You do not eat anything cooked or anything other than fruits and vegetables.

    C. Water fast: In this sort of fasting, you do not eat anything, you only drink water. No food, just water.

    D. Total fast: In this sort of fasting, you do not eat or drink anything. You do not drink even water.

    Make sure that you work out what works for you. You can pray to God for directions on the timing of the fasting to follow. However, as a general time-frame, on fasting days, many Christians fast from 6am to 6pm. Many Christians also use those moments when they feel hungry/ feel cravings as prompts to pray. You need to have increased prayers during fasting periods.

    6. Temptations: When you believe in Jesus. Trust me, the devil sometimes would throw trials and tribulations into your life, the goal of this is to get you to denounce your faith. The goal is to frustrate you. You need to pray and fast when trials and tribulations strike. God would never leave you or forsake you. He would be with you and with God, you will overcome this if it ever happens.

    7. Spreading the gospel: Now that you know the truth, you are chosen. It is now your duty to share the truth in the bible with others. Make sure that you save people from falling prey to Satan’s tactics. You need to join the fight to depopulate the devil’s camp, while populating God’s kingdom. With spreading the gospel, do not feel the need to finish reading the whole bible before you begin. You can teach people the little you know.

    8. Read: There is a lot of material out there. There are ministers of God who have practised for about 40 years. These people have a lot of stories about their ministry. Some of them have the gift to heal others, others see visions, some of them hear God’s voice. Many of these people have written books about how they accomplished what they have accomplished, and how they got their gift. Buy these books and read them. If you do not have money, some of these ministers have shared their stories for free on YouTube, take advantage of that.

    9: Reform yourself: begin to watch Christian movies and listen to Christian music. Make sure that your thoughts, actions, and words are in obedience to the word of God. Make sure that you are not doing anything sinful in your thoughts, actions or words. Refine your world, the space around you, the things you see and hear, make it all about God. You can also join a community of bible believing Christians. However, I need to tell you that there is sectarianism in the religion. Do not pay attention to sectarianism, pay attention to the bible. The bible is your authority. If a church seems to have too much sectarianism issue going on, if they are more focused on promoting their denomination than promoting God and the word in his bible, you need to stop going there. Get a water baptism, and pray so that God would baptise you in the holy spirit.

    (I know I have written this list in the order of 1 to 9. It is crucial that you begin with Step 1. Prayers are something that you need to do constantly, so is bible study, hearing from God and reforming yourself. However, you can start small with fasting and spreading the gospel. You can start by preaching to your family members in the beginning phase of spreading the gospel, but you need to expand on these over time. I know this list seems long and all these seem deep, but trust me, you would blend into it so easily and it would become second nature to you. Pray to God to make all of these easy for you, and he will. The devil would try to trick you into believing that God’s standards are too high and that you would never overcome sin, when in actuality, you can. So therefore, pray to God and believe and he would help you overcome sin).

    If you ever backslide and fall back into sin again while trying to follow God’s word. You need to ask him to forgive you and try to get back on track. You should also ask him to strengthen you, so that you can have more strength in withstanding and blocking off sin. God would hear your prayer and he would send help according to his will.

    If you have any questions, feel free to let me know. If you need to talk, I am here for you. God bless you. Have a blessed day 🙂

    Like

  3. Hi Sam, I’ve started a student blog! I had an awful first year so I thought I’d try to help others and give people a reality check. I like to remain anonymous because it makes me feel like a super-hero! I’m not bound to conventional blogging forms and can say whatever I want! I loved your blog and I thought I’d say Hi.

    AS

    Like

  4. Thank you for being so open about your experiences with bullying.
    Bye, Robert! and hello Sam!! Looking forward to learning more about you through you blog and following along your journey 🙂

    Like

  5. I totally get what you mean, I don’t know why but I kept my blog away from my friends and family as I felt that the blog was something for me and only me however, some of my friends know about my blog and I am actually okay with it.

    So goodbye Robert and hello Sam.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Definitely – I won’t be using my last name yet either. I think it’s just that anxiety of knowing that not everyone is going to be as accepting of your writerly side that people online – I know my family certainly wouldn’t be! But thank you so much for that comment. Already having read through them all, I love that people are now calling me Sam; it just feels so right! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This was beautiful tbh. Hi, Sam! I’m Allison. You’ve created a wonderful community here that benefits so many more people than yourself. Keep doing and creating good things in the world.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Sam,

    I’m HistorianRuby as my husband’s nickname for me is Ruby, but everybody else calls me Ruth. Here, I’m called both as I wasn’t so clever with the old anonymous stuff and failed to hide my name so well – plus it’s linked to my personal email account instead of setting up a new one – so I failed at that!
    Not so sure why hubby started calling me Ruby, he can’t remember, but I prefer it to Ruth. It’s possibly something to do with my name and initial. Ru B, who knows?
    Chin up, two fingers to the bullies and good luck with the rest of your studies. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for that Ruby/Ruth! I’m well past the days of bullying now and – more than anything – I think the bullying really helped me learn to be myself and embrace my silly side. Life is to short not to have a laugh!

      Like

  8. Hello, Sam! I absolutely love this post and I’m glad you feel you can introduce yourself to us! I’m almost completely open about myself in my blog so I understand how it can be hard. Kudos to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi Sam.
    As someone who has also experience a lot of bullying and can fully understand the desire to create a shield of anonymity, I do not think you have anything to apologise for.

    I hope you feel a new freedom from being yourself and this helps you to connect with your writing from now on.

    All the best.
    🙂

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s