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.
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