She was running down the corridor, late for a lesson after an accident… As she was running, a sharp kick had forced her ankle; there was a flash of white shirts and black blazers. She hit the floor face first. Her notebook flew from her hands. Caelara lay stunned as pain slowly pounded through her jaw. She tasted her own blood, metallic and warm. Then, gingerly pulled herself up, still dazed.
Her vision recovered. Two boys and two girls surrounded her like killer-ants on the warpath. They were all Elites – she had seen them at meals. They were in Bernay order.
The Sacerdos Mysteries – Chapter Four – ‘Colours’
The excerpt above, from my debut novel, illustrates the experience of its main character, Caelara in her first few weeks at the Sacerdos Institute. I can think of so many novels with incidences like these. And they are important, because they mirror what we experience in life, growing up.
Somehow, bullying is a rite of passage, one which has grown in terms of scope and longevity with the emergence of social networking. Now the bullies don’t just wait behind the school and in corridors to trip us over, they seem to call us names on the internet, on Facebook, send us BBM (Blackberry) messages and through our computers and phones get further and further into our lives.
And the damage they can cause us can be truly horrific. For example, this post I wrote a few months ago was to support a musician who was attacked for ‘no longer being fat’, for growing older and wiser, changing his style and maturing as both an artist and a person. It seemed to me that the writer of the article which caused him to go on hiatus, off-the-back of a stunning album and to retreat into the shadows was someone who was actually angrier about the fact that time brings change and change is a must.
They were angry at Patrick for not being who he had been in ‘Fall Out Boy’, half-a-decade ago.
Last week my best friend was acquitted in court for a crime she had not committed. And again, she was attacked by bullies who tried to turn the blame back on her. Even the cyber-bullying I have experienced in my role as a lecturer. It shows that it doesn’t really end. The bullies get bigger as you get bigger.
But what can bullies teach us?
· They can teach us to be strong in a way we never would have been without them.
· They teach us why we shouldn’t be bullies ourselves.
· They mould us and shape the world we live in.
And yes, sadly, sometimes they crush us. Sometimes they make us feel small, insignificant.
So there are many stories in the news about young people who, in desperation for escape from the torment of being bullied, do sad and irreversible things. But there should be more stories in the news about young people who survive the bullies of their youth, and go on to face and beat the bullies of their adulthood. Because we can, and in the end, we’re better for having mentally fought the bullies and won.
THIS BLOG POST IS PART OF @teamTEENauthor, follow us on Twitter.
Please read some of the other teamTEENauthor posts – they are all absolutely brilliant!
Pip Harry–I”LL TELL YOU MINE
Janci Patterson–CHASING THE SKIP
Jessica Corra–AFTER YOU
Suzanne Lazear–INNOCENT DARKNESS
E.C. Myers–FAIR COIN and QUANTUM
Kimberly Sabatini–TOUCHING THE SURFACE
Don’t forget to say what you think! Your opinion matters!