wheelchairMost people have heard the heartbreaking story of Rachelle Friedman Chapman, the 27-year-old bride who was paralyzed from the neck down after a bridesmaid jokingly pushed her into the shallow end of a pool. To say that Chapman's story is gut-wrenching is an understatement. It's a tragedy that can pretty much bring anyone to tears. I mean, could you imagine? Becoming a quadriplegic right before your wedding because of a joke your friend played on you? Awful.

Chapman hasn't let the incident get her down, though. She's traveled all over and made countless appearances, sharing her story, in the hopes that it will not only help with her emotional recovery, but that it will inspire people.

It has. Mostly. Other people have used Chapman's appearances as a cause to attack her anonymously online. Isn't this a wonderful world we live in?

According to Chapman, she, like pretty much anybody who is in the public eye, has been the victim of Internet trolls. People have called her "lazy", "a parasite", and someone who's "working the system". Chapman said: "When you put yourself out there like I have, you'd be silly not to expect a few negative comments. But, honestly, I think I was a little naive as to how ignorant some people could really be."

You and me both, sister. I work on the Internet. A big chunk of my job is getting mean comments from anonymous people. But I truly am shocked that there are people out there who could say such nasty things to you.

I'm not quite sure why trolls would feel the need to more or less harass someone like Chapman -- someone who is trying to turn a horrible situation into something positive -- but I do know one thing: These people would never in a million years have the balls to say these things to Rachelle's face. When people are behind their computers and don't have to show their faces, they're big shots. They're protected by anonymity and that gives them a weird sense of power. But at the end of the day, trolling someone like Chapman really only shows one thing and one thing only: These people are deeply, deeply unhappy with their real lives. Sad.

What do you think of this?

 

Image via man pikin/Flickr