I feel like I am being called to write. And while it is fun to write about sexy men and innocent girls getting jiggy wit it, that may not be all that I am meant to do with my abilities.
You may have noticed that Troll Gurl and the Cursed Kingdom had an undercurrent of living with bullying, and how to try to find your place as a person beyond it. If you missed that, then obviously you have led a charmed life, because I feel like everyone experiences it at some level some time.
I experienced bullying since I started school. Back then it was brushed off as teasing. While it got better in high school and college, I still experienced it, even as an adult. But episodes are fewer and farther between. I have a specific experience at one of my places of employment that I can’t forget. And she got written into a story. So did all the others. Because that is what writers do.
“ Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life, but define yourself.”
– Harvey Fierstein
Bullying touches every one of us. Either you have been bullied, you have bullied, or you have been a witness to it. Yet, until recently, it wasn’t talked about. It was just like acne. It was something that just naturally happened to you, that you were forced to live through.
Even now, my viewpoint can shift like an empty swing in a strong wind: Are we meant to be left to survival of the fittest, as happens in the animal kingdom? Or are we as humans more evolved than that? Are we meant for more? What would the world look like if we all offered each other a hand up instead of pushing those we view as weaker down?
“It ain’t what they call you, it’s what you answer to.”
– W.C. Fields
Ginny’s story is the first of three stand-alone books I have planned that will illustrate three different women and how they deal with the bullying and the after effects…badly. Because, let’s face it, that is more interesting to read. And you may find it cathartic.
(For those of you who have read Troll Gurl, know that I will eventually publish a sequel, but that is not one of the future books I speak of here.)
But I want to point out very clearly that I have taken the (semi) healthy approach and chosen to express my own feelings in writing. I don’t want to leak too much about my upcoming stories. But you need to know that just because a character in a book may use violence to deal with the situation, even if it is blowing up a witch, you should never do that in real life.
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt
The characters in my books feel very alone, isolated. I want that to feel relatable, especially if you currently know or have known in the past the symptoms of anxiety and depression that feel as though they are draining your soul. But Ginny, and the others, all find SOMEONE they can relate to, someone who reaches out a helping hand for them.
I allowed bullying DEFINED ME for 38 years.
I want better for you.
I want you to know that you are not alone. That is why I would like to list a few organizations who can assist if you or a friend or family member is in a time of need.
NOTE: I have not personally used any of these organizations.
This may be the best suicide prevention article I have ever read.
This site was suggested to me by an author friend. This is a movement started by an awesome young girl named Belle who has her own blog called Belle’s Beastly Book Blog. There is a great video on there where great authors, many of whom I have met, tell their deeply personal stories of bullying and their journey since. I am not there yet. Maybe, someday, but not now. I tell my stories in tiny bits in my books and disguise them as fiction.
Bullies Keep Out
I stumbled across this site on accident one night and it seemed like fate was pointing me to it. I found the video featuring Michael Raymond-James, who I absolutely love. I liked him on True Blood, Once Upon a Time, and Terriers. So much so, that I based the character of Josh Tucker on him in the Riley Sisters books.
And then I decided I needed to speak out about bullying.
Do you see now how this felt like cosmic intervention?
It Gets Better
I had to include this organization because I just love their name. And they are doing some great work. They are geared toward LBGT youth. But I think even if you don’t fit into one of those categories if you poked around their website, there is plenty of helpful information.
As always, if you somehow stumbled on this page and you are having thoughts of suicide, even ones you think are casual, please Please PLEASE call:
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Boy, do I wish I could have just Googled that number and had it at my fingertips when I was young.
But I am living proof that it gets better.
We just need the bullies to keep out.
Because I’m an author against bullying.
From the broken mind of Jennifer Friess, the joining of hearts & souls…
NOW AVAILABLE! Troll Gurl and the Cursed Kingdom