After the incident, my husband pulled over to a safe spot, called 9-1-1 and filed a police report. He only had a partial plate number for the man who vandalized our vehicle. The officer said that my husband's experience wasn't an isolated incident.
Because of the partial plate number, I thought it would be a good idea to post in some community Facebook group to see if there were any witnesses who might be able to help identify the rider. This idea backfired on me, as I was met with hostility in every group. The worst was the Port Orchard group. I don't understand why individuals like Kimberly Durham, Matt Antrim, Stephen Lamm and Joey Coulter felt the need to write such hateful comments. These are cyber bullies that you read about in news articles -- trolls who haunt forums just to be mean. This is what happens when people become adults but don't necessarily mature. You can find the post here. At the time of publication, this Facebook group is a public group, so I am not sharing any secrets.
I am posting screenshots of the thread below. After having enough rocks thrown at me, I turned off the comments to my post. I deleted the posts in the other groups because they were just a waste; not worth anyone's time. I didn't delete the post in the Port Orchard group, per the administrators' request. I am very grateful to those who stood up for me despite the possibility of getting stuck in the crossfire. After I turned off the comments, I learned that one of the individuals who defended me reported Kimberly Durham to the group's administrators. They banned her from the group. This is too bad for her. She might be an otherwise nice person who made the mistake of showing the worst side of herself publically. Or, maybe she's just a mean, hateful person. I don't know. It doesn't really matter.
So, why am I posting this screenshot? For revenge? No, I don't gain anything from it. To make the bullies look bad? No, they do that on their own. I am doing this to demonstrate that when you are online, you are not anonymous. The words you post will follow you forever.
When someone is mean to you online, you have the choice to react in-kind. This is too easy. The better yet harder option is to show grace and respect. After all, I posted because I wanted help. Being mean would have defeated the purpose. In the end, I couldn't end the thread of posts with a bully having the last word. I had to speak up and take a stand against violence and the poor behavior of my fellow community members. I don't know if my comment was effective or made an impression, but I posted it in the other groups. I hope that it gives others the courage to stand up for what it right.
My final comment reads:
To those of you who added helpful comments and stood up for me, thank you! To those of you who felt the need to show the ugliness in your hearts, I hope your lives aren't as miserable as your words. I hope that if you or a family member ever needs help and you reach out to the community, you are not met with the same hostility or blame that I received.
My husband and I know that a person on a motorcycle will not generally act aggressively "willy nilly." We also know that some people have road rage that is triggered by innocent actions. Even if a drivers makes a mistake, violence and aggressiveness are unacceptable. No one deserves it. No one (l hope) would say that a person attacked on the street while walking around town deserved the abuse. This is a similar situation. Justifying a motorcyclist's actions because you assume the driver inadvertently did something wrong gives the perpetrator of this crime POWER. You are telling the community, your children, the world that it is okay to act violently (much different than defensively) toward others if you have a good enough excuse. This is what bullies do. It is wrong.
Sometimes bad things happen for no good reason. The next time someone reaches out for help, please consider how you can set a good example and shine a positive light on your community (and yourself). All the hostility related to this post did was show the worst versions of the respective commenters. It is unfortunate that this is the side of them that they chose to make public.
The following are screenshots of the thread in sequential order. I tried to do one big screenshot, but the text came out too small. (Warning: The comments contain obscene language.)