If you are a victim of bullying, the most important thing to accept is that you are not alone. Easier said than done, I know! But it’s true.
When you are being bullied, no matter what form it takes, you often feel alone and isolated. That feeling of being ‘On The Outside Looking In’, was the inspiration for my young adult novel, OTOLI.
It’s the feeling that you are watching society pass you by, that you want to be a part of it but your experiences have made you too scared to try and join in.
But you are not alone – honestly. There are countless organisations who are there to help you, who will not judge you and will suggest ways of coping. ‘Bullying UK’ is one of those and is tremendously supportive, as is ‘Childline’.
Then there’s school. As a teacher, I know that we are always stressed, rushing around and seeming to have no time for you. We do have time, though. Talk to your form tutor, class-teacher: whether you hang back after a lesson, slip a note on the desk or give a ‘look’. We will make the time for you and we will take your problems seriously. Many schools have a superb team of caring LSA’s (Learning Support Assistants) or TA’s (Teaching Assistants), who will talk to you. The support staff where I actually work are amazing at providing a safe haven for children who are in need.
With regard to coping with bullying the best advice I’ve ever heard is to write down it down. If it doesn’t stop, then you have a record of evidence to present against the person ‘who couldn’t possibly do anything like that’. Writing is also wonderfully cathartic. You can write down everything you feel, using whatever weird and wonderful spellings you like, and no-one can judge you or tell you it is spelt wrong.
OTOLI was written partly as a cathartic exercise. I’ve personally seen so much bullying as a Mum, teacher and a person, and I still hate it. I want the bullies to see what long-term effect bullying has on its victims. As well as preaching, I wanted OTOLI to entertain its readers. I hear a lot of moans of ‘reading is boring’ in my job and I want that to stop too!
If you haven’t read OTOLI please do get a copy. It’s available in Kindle eBook and paperback formats and the publisher is also making the book available in further eBook formats very soon so that it can be even more accessible to readers. Regardless of what format you get, 5% of all sales proceeds are being donated by my publisher on a permanent basis to the charity ‘Bullying UK’ to help combat the effects of bullying and provide support and help to those suffering.
Title: OTOLIAuthor: Bryony AllenPublisher: Pneuma Springs PublishingPublication Date: 28 April 2011Synopsis from Amazon
OTOLI – Have you been there? Social outcast ALICE TURNER went there to escape the constant bullying from the Populars. She is befriended by Jenny; an enigmatic waitress who seems to be stuck in the past. As the Populars begin to reap the wrath of a faithful friend, suspicions build in Alice’s mind. Why does Jenny keep mementoes that are four years old? And why does Alice feel that she is to blame for the downfall of her enemies? But friendship is a two-way deal as Alice soon discovers. After breaking her promise to Jenny, she faces a far worse foe than before. Alice is forced to make choices on which her future and that of others will depend; whether or not she knows it. Moreover, she will have to find courage to escape the ultimate bully – her best friend.