Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Where do I start? ISWG post for April


This week's post is about getting back in the game. I thought I would start by first of all writing again, which is always a good place to start when you want to be a writer. Then I've been tossing around ideas such as children's books, a memoir (but our story is not finished yet), short stories to get established, and so on.

I had started to try a build a platform about my subject on facebook, twitter, and a blog but that was slow to get off the ground. An interesting thing started to happen too. I began to realize that although my topic, bullying, has been a top story in the news lately, most internet sites against bullying aren't very popular. I found a book in my local library by an author called Odd Girl Out, and looked up her website. The book hit the New York Times bestseller list but on facebook she only had 12K followers.

With my story and others that I began hearing through social media, I realized that society was prone to re-victimize the victims by placing blame on them vs. the bully. It was disheartening to say the least. I found even friends assuming when they heard our story sound sympathetic towards the bully, having come to the conclusion that she must be from an abusive home to act the way she did. The truth is- she came from an upper middle class, educated family that refused to believe her capable of such things, let alone take responsibility.

I've decided I do need to tell my story. Most people feel shame when their child is the target of bullying, but I am proud of my daughter. I taught her to be a kind, compassionate person. She's beautiful inside and out, and she's intelligent. She did nothing to provoke the bully, who had begun as a friend and turned into her worst nightmare. It's a story that parents and educators need to hear, and a story of hope as I will never give up on my girl. She will survive and succeed in recovery.

My daughter found a song on the internet called a Wanderer's Lullaby, which reduced me to a pile of tears. In part the lyrics say you are a "masterpiece in the making" and that is how I see her. I will do anything it takes to heal her and help her reach her potential.

16 comments:

  1. That's just twisted they would side with the bully. So what if the bully did come from a broken background? Someone has to be responsible for those actions.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know. I hate the fact the girl and her parents have such blatant disregard for others and won't be punished for the suffering caused by their actions. It keeps me up at night.

      Delete
  2. Hi Tess Julia! I read your post with great interest because I taught 7-9 year olds for 25 years. Bullying is never acceptable! Being bullied is a horrible experience, and sometime the incidents can haunt you your whole life. Kudos to you for standing behind your daughter. You need to tell your story!!! And I hope that you do! I've been working on building a platform too, but I can only handle blogging. Stumbling across the IWSG has been a wonderful help to me. So much so that I'm co-hosting for the second time this month, and I'm having great fun visiting blogs like yours! Good luck and hang in there!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The support here is amazing. It's always been positive and has in many way inspired me to keep trying as a writer.
      I've heard from many teachers and parents how hearing our story was a wake-up call. The damage done by bullying can be as bad as what a combat soldier copes with after the fact and I am NOT exaggerating. My daughter is in a hospital homebound program for school now because of the severity of her PTSD.

      Delete
    2. My heart breaks for your daughter and you! Thank goodness she has you standing behind her. That will make an important difference for her!!!

      I didn't say it earlier, but I experienced traumatic bullying in my last three years of school. It had a devastating impact on my life, and I struggled with serious depression and thoughts of suicide for a long time. I'm still bearing the emotional scars. The love of my parents and siblings and husband got me through to a happy and confident place, but it wasn't easy. I don't for a moment believe you are exaggerating! Hang in there! Be strong for your daughter!

      Delete
    3. Thank you for sharing that with me. In such a "civilized" society it's hard to comprehend how people can act like such savages. Parents are failing to teach the most basic moral lessons in life like kindness and empathy.
      I'm glad you're happy now and the world is clearly a better place with you in it.

      Delete
  3. It breaks my heart to hear your daughter is having to deal with bullying. Keeping reminding her that it does get better and that you've always got her back. I'm sure she knows that already, and it sounds like you're doing the very best for her, she's lucky to have you. Hugs to the both of you!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Elise! It has been the most difficult and heartbreaking experience I have ever been through. While the damage was psychological- I compare it to watching your child in the ICU at the hospital and not knowing if they will pull through. Honestly, I still don't know, but I will never lose hope.

      Delete
  4. I've run into some of that too. When my son was bullied in kindergarten (albeit on a fairly minor level), little was done about it for the same reasons. You sound like an incredible mom. It's good that you're going to so much research about the market and what types of stories are already out there before you start, so you know where your story is going to fit. No matter how you tell it, I'm sure it's going to be amazing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you- It's just beyond comprehension that these bullies are getting the best of the situation. I think adults are naive in how manipulative and evil a small child can be.
      Thanks for the encouragement with writing too- it helps keep me motivated!

      Delete
  5. A story that probably needs to be told again and again and again until we get it as a society that bullying is not okay

    ReplyDelete
  6. I think there are so many people who care about the issue, but it's hard to break out of the pack--tell your story with more heart or in a unique way and the followers will come.

    ReplyDelete
  7. It's so true that the victims of bullying usually do nothing to provoke the bullies. Bullies may be victims themselves, but that's not always the case. I remember walking into 7th grade gym class and having a girl I had never met before walk up, spit at me and call me a name. I didn't know why then, and I don't know why now. However, at our twenty year reunion, we made peace with each other. Forgiveness can be freeing, but at the same time, bullies need to be stopped. I think you can bring new light to this issue with your story. Keep at it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is hard to comprehend the motives behind these incidents. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your support.

      Delete