A few days ago, I stumbled upon the hashtag #savemarinajoyce. I could never have expected the roller coaster of emotions that I had experienced that night.
If you aren't caught up, Marina Joyce is a popular YouTuber.
Her fans were worried sick when they realized she wasn't acting like herself. Her latest video titled Date outfit ideas was wildly disturbing. Many fans heard in the video what sounded like a whispered "help me." She also appeared distant, distraught, and terrified, with various bruises on the back of her arms. You can check out the rest of the clues here. There were fans saying she was being abused by her boyfriend and held captive. Others were saying that she got kidnapped by ISIS and they were using her to lure other girls into a terrorist attack. Several fans also claimed that she was just on drugs.
I found myself refreshing the #savemarinajoyce hashtag about 50 times a day, terrified for some girl that I never met, wishing there was something I could do to help her. I even got some of my friends involved, discussing with each other as we found more clues. I even cried with my mom and became more aware of my surroundings when I went out the next day.
It wasn't until I was laying in bed at 5 a.m. in the morning, stiffened with fear that I realized why the thought of her being kidnapped really struck a chord in me. When I was a child, my biggest fear was being kidnapped. I wasn't able to sleep in the dark, I had to be facing the door at all times, and I had to walk along the walls so my back could always be covered. Even to this day, I have dreams that someone kidnaps me and I'm powerless to stop it.
In the span of two days, people from all over the world had read so much into her videos, that we finally found out the truth. Although she was not being kidnapped, she was dealing with personal problems and most likely suffering from mental illness.
I have learned that even if I feel like I'm in a position where I am powerless to anything, I will always have the power that I need to get through it. If you or anyone you know is suffering from abuse, please don't hesitate to get help. You are not alone.