Not many people realize that words can be hurtful. What is once said can never be taken back and is engraved in a person’s mind forever.
Bullying used to be about using physical force to harass someone, but over the years, this atrocious act has also become about including hurtful and derogatory words. Those who have never been bullied, will never understand the pain the victim feels when they are constantly harried and barraged with insults until they begin to believe them.
The sad truth of bullying is this: many victims develop low self-esteem because they are placed in an environment where people are constantly telling them they are worthless. Some wither away into loneliness while others unfortunately resort to taking drastic steps such as self-harming.
Yes, it is unfortunate that words can hold such power to destroy a person’s self-esteem forever and it doesn’t help that bullying someone has become easier with social media. As there is a lack of moderators on several popular sites, the bully usually gets away while the victim is left with several hurtful messages and comments.
Cyber bullying is unfortunately convenient for the bully as he also gets to hide behind a username to protect his identity. And the convenience with which anyone can start a page or a group on Facebook doesn’t help, as it has given bullies a platform to constantly harass their victims.
My book ‘Aadita’ was actually based on a few incidents of cyber bullying, though I decided not to go into that much detail. This was because, during my research I found horrific instances of bullying where the victims ended up committing suicide.
The worst was the comments under each of these articles, shaming the victim and calling them a loser for giving up so easily or for taking someone’s words that seriously. What they will never understand is what it feels like to feel all alone in a world where everyone is trying to make you believe that you will never accomplish anything.
My heart goes out to those who could not stand the pressures of bullying and I wish there were more people around them who encouraged their growth and gave them courage.
In my book ‘Aadita’, the protagonist Raina does try to stand up to her bully but realizes that she cannot win that easily. Her bully starts a hate-blog after her where lies and disparaging comments and photoshopped pictures are posted of her.
I hated writing the scene where Raina finds out about that site, especially since she actually believed that she had stood up to her bully and won. It breaks her completely along with the other instances that throw her life into turmoil.
But this is a story and fiction, so she did find people who stood with her instead of against her (I can only hope that happens in real life as well). She does stand up to her bully once again and I can only hope that I wrote that part as believable as possible.
In the end, I have to say that my book is essentially about bullying and not all of it comes from Raina’s high school classmate. Sometimes the people closest to you can be a bully and it takes great strength and courage to rise against that.