While I have written about a lot of amazing women, most of whom have fought and won against some form of adversity or another in their lives and are now reaching for the stars, I have also found that people are asking how I find these people and if I am practicing what I preach. In other words, was I a victim of bullying and how did I cope? So I thought that I’d make a slight detour here and tell you all about me!
And the answer is: Yes, absolutely! I was a bullying victim for six nightmarish years at a boarding school during my teens , so I endured it 24/7. I am going back about forty years. In those days, bullying seemed to be a lot more acceptable or normal, so I really never considered calling out for help. Except once. And in answer to that one call to staff, I was told that it was probably my fault and that I should try to get along with the other girls more! I did also try calling to my parents and was completely ignored. I never tried again.
My nightmare was physical (two memories were of being locked in a cupboard and pushed down a very steep and long flight of stairs) and verbal. Absolutely horrible. And it wasn’t only the students, I was also victimised by the teaching, ancillary and boarding staff. And, yes, if I had not been so naïve that I did not really even know about suicide, I definitely would have tried it. But to cope? I just put up with it and looked immensely forward to the school holidays and that WONDERFUL day when I left that school forever.
But these days, I look back and think that, really, I can thank my tormentors. If it had not been for them and the torture inflicted upon me, I would have never found the path on which I am now. I have virtually turned my life around. Please don’t get me wrong, I am enjoying the most fantastic life now, but it wasn’t until about a decade ago when I really started to do exactly what I have always wanted to do: Try to help other victims of bullying and to write and have books published. Now I am doing both.
My second book – a compilation of some thirty six case histories written and submitted by victims of bullying from around Australia and then my anti-bullying blog Bullseye were the catalysts which triggered my combining new entertainment talent (ie amazingly inspirational women) with this fight. Meeting and interviewing these wonderful women (and men) really began following a request from a PR firm in the USA – asking me if I would be interested in publishing the bullying story of one Meredith O’Connor, fast rising actor/singer/songwriter and model. After meeting this incredible young girl and her gorgeous Mum, I then found other new talent, also victims of bullying, were recommended for interviewing and publishing – and so they were.
I began searching for sites where I thought I might find other new entertainment talent in order to make the same offer to them and, after finding one and registering… well, let’s just say, it has been a fantastic success with a constant stream of inquiries since. It is all free publicity and exposure for these people along with helping in the fight against bullying. I have remained in contact with a few of my people, after their interviews have been published and gone live. Meredith is actually about to do a world tour which is the best news for her fans internationally. I am helping with the PR in Australia which is an incredible honour for me.
So there you have it. I hope this sheds some light on why and how I started this and will continue as long as Kellie and Women’s LifeLink will have me. I feel incredibly blessed.