Friday, 5 June 2015

My experience with Bullying and a giveaway

By Jenny Blake

I was talking with Narelle Atkins about this book and how I believe it should be in every library and then was telling her a little about my story. She suggested I do a blog post about bullying. 

When I was in High School I suffered from bullying. It started in year 10 but thankfully a teacher saw what was happening and stepped in and stopped it. Then year 11 was a nightmare. I was bullied by one boy in particularly and while he included others he was the ringleader. I wasn't the only victim but as the class got smaller the others left so I became the main target. A lot of this was sexual harassment which escalated at the year went on. It didn't end at school either as it included stalking by phone calls, following me home and even throwing rocks on our roof. Being a christian and from a very conservative family just made it worse. 

I often wondered why some of the other girls didn't stand up for me or why others didn't step in and do something. I knew a couple of teachers knew but they were scared of this boy so did nothing. It wasn't until almost the end of the year when something happened and I got trapped and when I left I was so upset and crying a Christian teacher asked what had happened and I broke down and told him everything. He did enough to let it be known if it happened again there would be trouble and I was left alone. It also stopped the bully from picking on anyone else. 

We are looking at having a school year reunion next year and since talking to some of the other class members I have realised the reason they didn't stand up for me was the fact they were getting bullied themselves when I wasn't there. I also now realise if they had stood up for me they would then been the target. Another reason for not speaking up was seeing how one person who did tell suffered more, as back then telling wasn't always helpful depending who you told. Its sad that this is the case in so many incidents of Bullying. I have also heard from some who said he didn't stop at my class but also targeted people from other year levels. I have also been assured at the reunion people will protect me from having to deal with him.

My bully had a huge impact on my life which has been with me most of my life since high school. It has caused a lot of issues and up til the past year or so I could not be in the same store as he was in. (Yes he still lives in the same town). I have heard he was sorry for what he did but he has never said sorry to me and I am not sure how true it is. He has had chances to say sorry. In all reality he probably hasn't given it a second thought while I have had to live with what happened and been scarred because of it. It has only been through counselling when mum passed away that I was able to bring many of the issues up and was able to start to finally put some closure on what happened.  I am hoping my story will help others who have been bullied or are being bullied. Speaking up really can help and if you see a friend being bullied help them. If you are like me and still dealing with the effects of being a victim don't be afraid to seek help from a counselor as for me being able to forgive him has helped me move on as I was the one being hurt not him.

A book like Melissa wrote is a book that deals with bullying and would be an ideal book for teachers to use as a tool to combat bullying. It could also be used as part of initiatives to combat bullying. We need these books in the system and I would encourage every parent and school to get a copy of this book as a tool to fight bullying. I am including my review here also. 



My Review
Swallow my, Now! by Melissa Gijsbers

Spoilers for children in this review.

This is a lovely book. It should be in every primary school library in Australia. The book deals with bullying. Sam starts a new school and wants to make friends. Right from the start things are not working out how she wants. She does connect a story which gets out of hand but things were bad before this happened. When She makes up the story it just makes things worse and the bullying gets worse. It gets to the point she lashes out and then is the one in trouble. Finally she does tell someone and the 2 grade 5 classes have a joint class on what is bullying and how it happens. This is where we learn the different types of bullying and how it can happen so easy. I could see this book used in an anti bullying campaign to show what it is to be bullied and how to deal with it. I hope this book will make it to school libraries and places were children who are suffering from bullying will read it and know they are not alone and will know how they can make it better. Telling someone does help. Great book.


I am giving away a Kindle copy of this book to one reader. This is open to all including blog participant's as I believe this is a book that is a great resource for everyone. The drawer will be open til next Friday June 12.


JENNY BLAKE (aka Ausjenny) is an avid reader. When not reading she enjoys watching cricket, in fact you could call her a cricket fanatic, scrapbooking and jigsaws. She volunteers at the local Christian bookshop where she can recommend books to customers. Her book blog is where she reviews books and interview authors. Her goal is to help promote new books and encourage authors. Her blog is athttp://ausjenny.blogspot.com and is Co-Founder ofhttp://acrba.blogspot.com

12 comments:

  1. Hi Jenny Thanks for sharing your experience and for your review on Michelle's book. As you say, it is an important issue that affects many people, and, as in your case, can leave scars that haunt people. It was good to hear that you have been able to find healng that through counselling. My daughter was isolated and then bullied through Grade 2-4 and, while we reported it in Grade 3, it wasn't until a teacher was proactive in Grade 4 that the issue was dealt with in a decisive way. We were very thankful for a teacher who was willing to believe my daughter and confront the class about it. (In my daughter's case it was a large group rather than a single person.) Melissa's book sounds like a great book, and one that could be in every school library. Brisbane author Karen Tyrell also has a book about bullying (Stop the Bully).

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    1. Thanks Jenny, I still am having issues which I have come to realise in the past little time. I will be having more counselling to learn to deal with the issues and also another as my dr thinks some of the unresolved issues could be affecting my health and contributing to the chronic head pain I have.

      I am glad your daughter got the help she needed from a proactive teacher. I am not sure if telling mum would have helped but I know when they tried ringing and my brother was actually home for that weekend it stopped it from happening again. There was a group but one ring leader. The others on there own were quite ok but I know wonder if they too were being bullied by him.

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  2. I have a long history of being bullied at school too, and it continued right through to the senior years. Often, people would do it in large groups, and I still get tears when I remember the trauma to this day. I'm convinced that bullying takes its toll on our later lives. Thanks for sharing this post, Jenny, and for writing the book, Melissa.

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    1. Paula its a thing that takes so much to get over if we ever get over it. I think for many of the bullies they get on with life and don't spare a thought for the trauma caused and we are left to deal with it. I know some are sorry and have heard stories where the bully has gone to find there victims and apologise later in life.

      I am so sorry you too had to endure it.

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  3. I had a male teacher who bullied me with cutting remarks. That can be devastating for a young ten-year-old. And guess who mimicked him, why the rest of the class in lunch breaks. However, I had one staunch friend who stood up for me. I'll never forget how brave she was.
    When I recall that time, I shudder to think he probably picked on other sensitive children throughout his life. Someone with power who bullies those beneath him is nothing but a coward.
    This sounds like a great book for children. Thanks for sharing Jenny & Paula.

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    1. Im sorry it happened to you also Rita but I am glad you had a strong friend. That's the problem they pick on who they think are weaker and they know they will get away with it. I agree he's the coward.

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  4. Hi Jenny, I'm glad you had the courage to share your story. School yard bullies often continue their abusive behaviour in their adult lives eg. workplaces, domestic situations. It's very sad for everyone involved. I also loved the positive and inspiring message in Melissa's book.

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    1. Thanks Narelle, I have heard that and I think if they can be caught early they can be reformed. Which is where speaking up really helps. Back in my day speaking up was seen as bad now its seen as good which is a good thing.

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  5. Jenny, thank you for such a brave post. I was fortunate not to experience bullying as a child, however, have been challenged by it as an adult in various circumstances. However, it took me a long time to appreciate that in essence that was what it was.

    Melissa, wonderful that you've written a book on it and I trust will receive lots of attention.

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    1. Thanks Ian, talking about the issue now and getting help is helping me deal with it. We have a reunion next year and it brought some issues to a head for me but in a good way as I am going to be getting help for it. Yes bullying can be subtle, we often don't realise its happening, being excluded from a group, being made to question what we have done with a comment like "you sure you want to do that". It doesn't take much even a comment like "should you eat that" can really affect someone and been seen as bullying. This book opened my eyes and helped me understand why people didn't stand up for me.

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  6. Thank you for sharing your story Jenny. Bullying can have impact for years, I know my bullying experiences has stayed with me.

    Thank you everyone else for your lovely comments about my book.

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  7. Thank you for sharing your story Jenny. Bullying can have impact for years, I know my bullying experiences has stayed with me.

    Thank you everyone else for your lovely comments about my book.

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