Say NO to Bullying

Anti-BullyHave you ever been bullied? Do you remember the humiliation you felt while being bullied, or perhaps even the feeling of seeing someone else bullied?

Imagine yourself back in the gym locker room at school when that bigger, older kid comes strutting in. You cringe. You know it’s coming. Will it be a simple wedgie? Or, perhaps he’ll rub your sweaty, stinky gym shorts in your face. Or, maybe today will be the day he will physically pick on you until things take a turn for the worse and poking and jabbing become punching and kicking, and blood and tears mix as the shower water washes your courage down the drain.

Imagine sitting in the cafeteria, the smell of food and happy conversation in the air. You’re perfectly content enjoying your homemade sandwich with your friends when she approaches. The last time she came around, she smushed your peanut butter sandwich to the point of the jelly smearing all over the table and then made you lick it up. Embarrassed and your eyes swimming in tears, you did it because you feared ultimate humiliation in front of the whole school if you didn’t.

Now let’s flip that question around. Have you ever done the things described above to someone else?

That may be a tough question to answer. Your answer may be “yes” even though your actions weren’t quiet that extreme. Maybe instead, they were insults to a fellow co-worker all in the name of “fun” to impress your colleagues. Beyond childhood and school halls, bullying can happen even in corporate America.

Perhaps the toughest question of all is: Have you ever witnessed this sort of behavior and did nothing to stop it in fear that the ridicule would then be pointed toward you? Standing by and letting it happen is a horrible thing. Even if we don’t throw the punch, we allow the punching to continue if we do nothing to stop it.

Say NO to bullying and YES to standing up for each other.

I’m hesitant to say too much about the story in “Monster Girl” because I don’t want to spoil anything for future readers, but I think it’s important to mention. I’m proud of how how Viki, the main character, handled her bullying situation within the story. As someone who gets furious at the thought of bullying, it would have been so easy to take the story down a dark path of revenge. Instead, I think Viki’s actions bring a positive message. And what’s really neat about that, is that the character told me – the writer – that was how she wanted to handle it.

I want to take a moment to say THANK YOU to everyone who has supported “Monster Girl”. Obviously, I can’t list everyone by name, but I’ve received some lovely stories from readers over the first month of the book’s release that I’d like to share.

I have a cousin whose 9 year old grandson read “Monster Girl” and it got him talking about a “mean kid” on his bus. Another reader thanked me for writing about bullying because it helps keep that topic fresh in young minds. Hearing stories like these pleases me because it means people are talking about it. I’m no authority on the subject of bullying, but I do know that most of us have experienced bullying at some point in our lives whether directly or indirectly. I feel it’s important to be brave and stand up for yourself and others when we see it happening.

Thank you again for reading and sharing your stories. Together we can stop bullying.

Val O. Morris likes to pretend the monsters aren’t real. She is a filmmaker turned author who writes Urban Fantasy, Horror, and YA. A Monster Kid since birth, she loves all things ghosts, goblins, slashers, demons, monsters, zombies, madmen, werewolves, vampires, and freaky little kids who live in the corn. She invites you to come for the monsters and stay for the story.