I've read through my book once again, going over all of what I'm now considering the "basic" edits. Nothing about this process is basic, but that was the easy part. Now, the hard part. The rewrites, shuffling, deleting, adding new chapters... etc.
In all honesty I was a bit of a bully to myself in that while I wrote it I didn't give myself enough credit for my ability to pull you into a scene of my life. I didn't add enough detail because I have felt worthless, unimportant, so I tried to focus on only the pieces that would be important to the story, but as my editor has pointed out, I've left out a lot because of it. I haven't allowed myself to be important, and made little or nothing of some very important things in my life.
One of those things being my fifth grade bullies.
Thanks to Facebook I've taken the liberty to search for their names. One in particular, because her name was so striking, has stuck with me over the years. The others, her friends, not mine, were less striking but through my very minimal efforts in Facebook stalking I found them. I found my bullies. I found their faces, and they mostly look exactly as I remember them, if not also a bit aged.
In fifth grade, as my life was just beginning to fall apart, their words and taunts were incredibly damaging. They were trying to be cool, and probably had their own insecurities. One of them, the one with the striking name, she apologized to me a year later. She knew what she had done. The others... well, they were just her followers.
Now I'm an adult, and I'm reflecting on these hard moments in my life. It was a pivotal moment in my life to have bullies. I was in a new school trying to make new friends, and missing my old friends. Missing my old life. Everything changed, and these girls... they used me. They damaged me. Maybe now it all seems silly. Kids are kids, and I've seen it even with my preschoolers, they don't have filters. Kids are mean. What do you do?
Bullying can cause people to do crazy things like end their life! Were my bullies that bad?
No, but because of their words it shifted how I viewed myself. It began the process of me thinking less of myself, when before those moments I hadn't really second guessed my own existence.
I can't even fully recall every conversation. If I can't recall their words, were they really that damaging? Yes. Yes, because it's not about what they say, it's about how they make you feel.
I never felt worthless until they pointed out to me that my father never loved me.
Among other things, but I ended our friendship, came home sobbing, and told my mom I can never go back to that school again.
What they did to me was spark an internal dialogue about my own self worth.
And now I have to figure out how to write about that, because all of these years later, their words made a difference in my life and how I would handle everything to come.
The thing that I'm scared of now are the bullies of the internet. When this book is released they are going to make my fifth grade bullies look like my best friends.
Why do we do this to each other?!
For my sake, go say something positive about someone right now! Lift them up, so that they can write the story of their life and feel worthwhile enough to make a difference in the world. ♥