Saturday, September 3, 2011

Dear Bully

It’s here! Dear Bully arrived yesterday in the mail, just in time for the start of school—check it out:

I’m so very proud to be a part of this amazing book that has 70 awesome authors telling their own personal bullying stories. I really hope by reading what others have gone through many kids and teens will gain the strength to deal with their own situations.

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a very slow writer. Super slow. Like an hour a paragraph. But this was different. I usually write paranormal, fantasy, horror—but this story was so real, so personal, that it just poured out of me. And though it happened a lifetime ago, when I began writing the piece, it was as though I was right there again, feeling the same pain and shame and anger all over again.
Bullying hurts. And even when it’s done it leaves scars.
Now everyone knows there are three parties to most acts of bullying—the bully, the victim, and the bystander. Most people will tell you to stand up to a bully. I believe this is true, however, by doing so the bullying doesn’t magically end. In fact, standing up can sometimes mean things gets worse before they gets better. That’s what my story, My Apology, is about—my final stand and why I shouldn’t have done what I did, but how I’d simply had enough.
I wish I could tell anyone reading this that that was that—that I never encountered another bully in my life, but sadly, that’s not the case. Bullies are everywhere. Some overt, but most subtle. Learning to recognize a bully is one step. Learning how to stand up to them is another. But first and foremost you need good self-esteem. You must like yourself. You must believe in yourself. Self-esteem is your best protection—your shield against the nasty things bullies can throw at you. But this doesn’t come easily for some—it takes practise. My mother always told me to wake up every morning and look at myself in the mirror and tell myself I liked who I was. Try it. Even if you don’t believe it, after about 5000 times you may begin to. And always remember, your-self worth should never be determined by what others say or do!

Dear Bully: if you try this exercise too you may like yourself enough to not need to seek your self-worth from the destruction of others!

Here's wishing everyone a great, bully-free 2011-12 school year!