I could do into detail here about the numerous, NUMEROUS trolls I've dealt with over the years, some not quite as bad as others (a couple I actually managed to have decent, mature convos with after getting past their a**holery--still would never trust them as decent people since they didn't initially approach me in a mature manner, themselves), but eh, nobody reads it. Suffice it to say that it's still technically ongoing, as long as I'm posting online it'll be ongoing, because I'm a perfect target (gullible and overemotional), the only reason it ever "stops" (enters a lull) is because the current troll gets banned for a while and/or gets bored with my lack of response (I've learned to usually trust my intuition about who the trolls are and not take the bait) so moves on for a while. I think the only reason it's in a lull right now is because this is the only site I'm really active on anymore (I'm completely ignored, ridiculed, and/or, yes, openly trolled everywhere else
I've tried to fit in) and it's mostly dead here. One of the trolls I'm most familiar with (he was really persistent targeting me a few years ago) did show up here recently, though, and I was tricked into responding to one of his threads though I caught on fast. I think he or a similar troll also attempted to trick me into chatting on Reddit but 1. I don't do chat, and 2. details in the message made me 90% certain it was a troll and even if it wasn't, by now I don't bother responding to most people, troll or not. I've learned. Plus anxiety.
I do occasionally respond to others in a manner that doesn't reflect my real feelings--i. e., sarcasm--when the other party has said or done something to deserve it. I've never considered that trolling, though, because I'm pretty obvious about it (I'm not good at detecting sarcasm in others, so I'm surprised if I pull it off, myself), plus it's momentary/occasional in nature, not ongoing. I try (sometimes fail) not to make it an ongoing thing because that opens me up to accusations of harassment and, having been on the receiving end, I really don't want to be like that.
The exception is my commentary on subjects that irritate me, for example, politics (lately--I never cared before, in fact I hate politics, most political posts here are way over my head), or others' mistaken views on romantic/social prospects of people like me (I gave up my sarcastic posts about that because I irritated people too much, but it still bothers me), I remember posting some stupidly sarcastic stuff about my cable company long ago, etc. I react with extreme sarcasm when things bother or frustrate me. It's my way of trying to emotionally deal with overwhelming things, while also hoping to amuse others (I'm always writing for an audience--writing just for myself doesn't benefit me, why else post it publicly?), but I'm apparently terrible at it because the usual response I get--if I get one at all--is a dead serious "Why are you letting this upset you so much?--you really need to chill." (Back in 2000, this was phrased as "It's only the Internet! Log off and go for a walk!" I've actually tried going for walks, BTW, but the frustration comes right back afterward. :/ Sleeping on things helps sometimes.) Nobody ever understood that my sarcastic posts WERE my attempt to get it out of my system and "chill."
So...since sarcasm is my only way to deal with frustration online, but everyone hates how I do it, I don't really have a way to deal with my frustration aside from trying to hold it in. I get bitter seeing so many other people pull off sarcasm successfully and entertain others with it, get admiration for being hurtful trolls while being kind gets ridiculed or ignored, etc.
...I seem to have written myself into a circle indicating that maybe trolls do what they do out of misplaced frustration, but I don't believe that. The trolls I've dealt with genuinely seem to revel in just being malicious a-holes who feel better tearing down total strangers for no reason. I don't understand that. At least go after the actual people who hurt you
, huh? That's still being an a-hole but at least it makes a bit of sense. I hate when people don't make sense.