Happy Book Birthday to everyone who helped make DEAR BULLY: 70 AUTHORS TELL THEIR STORIES a reality. A special thanks to Megan Kelley Hall and Carrie Jones for all their hard work. YOU GUYS ROCK! Words can't describe how proud I am to be a part of this project.
After I sat down and read it from beginning to end, I realized something: I could identify with almost every single story.
Bullied and ostracized? Of course. I was there. But that's only the tip of the iceberg.
Teased because I was new to a school? Been there. Because I was fat? Been there. Because I was "different"? Been there.
Riddled with guilt because I watched someone else be bullied and didn't speak up out of fear of becoming the next target? Been there.
Trying to stand up for myself, only to have my complaints either ignored, minimized, or ridiculed by a teacher? Yes, it happened.
Saying something mean to someone else for no other reason except that person was there, and vulnerable, and an easy target? Yes, been there, too. And no, I'm not proud of it. It bothered me for years and I've never forgiven myself. If I had a way to contact that person and apologize, I'd do it in a heartbeat. In fact I often wondered if the reason I was later bullied myself was nothing but simple karmic payback.
Having my heart broken when I realized my own child was also a victim of bullying? Torn between whether or not to step in, or allow him/her to work it out by themselves out of fear that the bullying will only get worse...and worse...?
Yes. I've been there. And that's a terrible dilemma to be in.
There is a story for everyone, because bullying happens everywhere, to everyone, in many different ways. It's time for all of us--without exception--to take a stand and say NO MORE.
We are not alone. We are not alone.
Each and every story touched my heart. Thank you, all of you, from the very bottom of that heart.