Bullies. Haven’t we all dealt with at least one, at some point in our lives? Bullies are the worst kind of people. They find someone they consider different and torment them, for no good reason other than to make themselves feel more important. Maura encounters a group of these heinous tyrants in my novel, Rising Tide.
When I started writing this book, I had no idea the bullies would pop up—and they did in the first chapter. I wanted to write a story about a particular type of character and the paranormal change she was going through, but as I was writing, Katie Parker insinuated herself into my sentences, almost as if of her own accord.
My writing kind of flows like words on tickertape and the story just comes out—without my knowing what is going to happen next! I know the basic outline of my story, the elements of my characters and where the plot is headed, but sometimes idea work their way in, and I haven’t seen them coming. This happened with the whole first part of the book for me. Not to give too much away, but I was kind of shocked when I saw what this group of bullies was going to do to my poor Maura, as it came forth from my imagination onto the pages of my book.
It was obviously there, in my sub consciousness, waiting with baited breath to make its way out into the world. I remember being a very quiet kid. I was a bookworm and that in itself drew a lot of negative attention my way. During my birth, one of my legs was twisted, affecting my hips and causing me to walk with my feet turned in, until special shoes finally took care of my little problem. I remember the name calling and how much it hurt. Luckily, this didn’t persist much past the first grade.
There have been other times in my life when I’ve had to endure what the bullies are dishing out, even during my adult life in the workplace and with a few people in my personal life. Luckily, as adults we can usually find a way to remove the bullies from our lives—but not without losing something ourselves, whether it be feeling forced to find another job, carrying with us that awfulness the bully placed in our heart or even having physical manifestations like nightmares or illness from the stress and anxiety.
As far as my stance on bullying goes and the way things worked out for Maura, I say this: The person being bullied is the ultimate winner. That person is not the one dishing out destructive behavior and hurting another human being. The tormented may suffer, but they can at least live with knowing they are a better person than the bully. When a bully is acting out, they are putting on display to the rest of the world the most hateful, mean, immature and selfish tendencies human beings possess. They think that by putting someone else down, they somehow make themselves look more strong or capable. All the people observing them are really thinking is about how debase the actions of that bully are, and probably what a waste of space their existence is in our world. One can never build up his or her character by putting another down. All they do is bring a negative cast to their own reputation and invite Karma to claim justice for the malicious act.
Maura does the best thing she can do in her case. She wants to forget about it and put what happened behind her. That takes power away from the cruelty the others inflicted upon her—it doesn’t even matter enough to be remembered. Maura moves on to better things that she wants to hold onto in her memories. She wants to concentrate on the boy she’s falling in love with, the mother who treasures her and the genuine friends she is making—not the mean-spirited people who wanted to hurt and alienate her just because they saw her as different. What kind of a person does that anyway?
And I did mention Karma…well, Maxwell has returned and he is death walking when he wants to be. Maura may be the forgive-and-forget type, but in book two Maxwell will show us that he is not quite as forgiving as his daughter.
Bullying.org defines bullying as:
“Persistent, offensive, abusive, intimidating or insulting behaviour, abuse of power, or unfair punishment which upsets, threatens and/or humiliates the recipient(s), undermining their self-confidence, reputation and ability to perform.”
Bullying.org gives some reasons behind this that may bring some small comfort to the object of the bully’s abuse:
“The purpose of bullying is to hide inadequacy. It has nothing to do with managing: Management is managing; bullying is not managing. Anyone who chooses to bully implicitly admits their inadequacy.
Some people project their inadequacy onto others:
Check out more at bullying.org to see more on the topic. They offer valuable information, which includes a list to check against to see if you are being bullied and they even offer very helpful suggestions as to what you can do about it. One section talks about the ill health effects that can pop up in someone who is being bullied, and that is one of the most important considerations. Nothing is more important than one’s health. Bullying is a major topic of concern we should all take more seriously, so we can work toward its eradication. I’m proud to give it presence in my book, so that my readers can hold it up for moral consideration.