Our Global Community Partnership with Stand for the Silent offered a platform and a voice to children and adults standing against bullying by helping them get what is on the inside …out in a whole new way. Through our #writeforthesilent Project, we collected stories, poetry and art and then published them as a compilation in Pieces of Me: The Bully Diaries Volume I. Recently, we released the Second Edition which includes stories from the disabled community in St. Louis and youth living in South Fort Worth, Texas. They submitted their stories while attending Writing for the Soul Workshop™.
Our Writing for the Soul Workshop™ philosophy is based on the fact that powerful emotions have a powerful voice; and that when we get what is on the inside out, we take control of those feelings. Self-confidence is one of the best defenses against bullying. Our community partnership empowered students and parents standing against bullying with real resources to:
1. become published authors
2. be a voice for the silent
3. earn commission on book sales
4. save for college, or buy a car and so much more.
Many of our Writing for the Soul Workshop™ participants have shared their stories of bullying. Through our experience, we understand how sharing our stories’ helps the healing process. Stand for the Silent is a proven and impactful way for our communities to raise awareness about the harmful effects of bullying.
This project literally prevented a student in Perth, Australia from becoming the victim of bullycide.
Here’s her mother’s story:
In May 2011, I was at work when the phone rang and my mum told me the unbelievable sad news that my dad passed away. A heart attack ripped my dad out of our lives so fast.
My daughter Zarah and I were always very close to him. He was Zarah’s rock. A dark cloud started to build upon us. It’s always hard to deal with the loss of a loved one, and only people who have experienced this for themselves can relate to this pain. Zarah was very good how she dealt with my dad’s passing (that’s what I thought), she was my rock. It felt like a blanket was put over my head and I concentrated on work to escape and to turn the switch off from any sadness.
That was my biggest mistake.
What I did not realize was how unwell my beautiful daughter had become. How sad she was, and how much pain she carried inside her. It happened around the same time she’d gotten bullied very badly. She went through hell every day, and out of her concern for me -she did not want to worry me. So she hid it behind a fake smile and kept her battle and pain inside her. Her grief was and still is today very present. My dad was her best friend. Where was I in her darkest hours, when she needed me most?
She went through so much agony inside her soul. So much pain that she felt there was no way out and she struggled to find peace. In September 2013 she planned her very last day. She said goodbye to everyone. She was ready to return to heaven. But it was not meant to be.
Everyday I am so grateful that she did not succeed.
(These sentences took a lot of tears to write.)
I feel like I left her alone when she needed me most. I am so angry with myself for not being able to protect her from all this. Each time I see new cuts on her wrist, thighs, belly or chest …I’m lost. I feel like I failed because I was not able to protect her from her pain. Will I ever be able to forgive myself? Not sure, but I hope what’s more important is that she can forgive me.
I quit my Job and focused on her, trying wherever I could to help her recovery. It is still present. It happens that one day at school, they watched the movie” Bully” and in this movie (she related very much to) she came across the organization ” Stand for the Silent “. She liked them on Facebook. They had a project running with TGIM to submit “their story” for publishing in The Bully Diaries, I did not know Zarah submitted her story until I received an e-mail from TGIM Digital Publishing saying that Zarah’s story had been chosen to be published. Once the The Bully Diaries was released, Zarah shared her story and promoted the book at an anti-bullying seminar in Perth.
Wow! You cannot imagine how proud I was and still am. When I read her story my heart ripped apart. Never ever had I imagined the pain she carried inside.
As time goes by, Zarah is slowly getting better every day. We hold on to every baby step forward. Her wounds in her soul are deep and the scars on her body will be left forever …but she has a story to tell. A story so deep and meaningful that it will help others to survive and find hope.
I witnessed one of the most horrible things a parent can ever go through: the suicide attempt of my own child. It has changed a lot for me.
Every one deserves to be happy, to be recognized and to be someone. To be heard when spoken. The silence has been far too long. I’ve found strength and I want to break this silence. Through all my experiences with Zarah, I saw how writing can heal. I decided in my heart to fight for the ones who are still invisible and to offer them a place to be seen, understand, heard and welcomed.
I want to raise awareness and to fight the astigmatism of mental health and suicide. I want to do everything possible in my life to help to reduce children and teen suicide. No child or teen, nor anyone else deserves to carry so much pain in their soul. It’s time to be free. -Caroline Nowotny
Here’s how you can help end bullying:
Purchase a copy of The Bully Diaries or download it to read from your favorite device. It include Zarah’s story (Caroline’s daughter). When you do, a portion of the proceeds goes to Stand For The Silent. Your purchase also ensures that participants like Caroline’s daughter can continue to access Writing for the Soul Workshop™ at no cost to them, and our Global Community Partner can continue to travel to schools across the US to spread their message of hope.
Another way you can help is by visiting www.standforthesilent.org, and pledging to stand against bullying. Today, Stand For The Silent has reached over 1, 295, 000 kids in over 1,202 schools.
About The Bully Diaries:
Chances are that you experienced bullying in your life. Whether your experience was as a victim, a bystander or the bully, if you search your memories, you will probably find instances when bullying was a part of your life. For many of us, these experiences have defined us and shaped us. Our experiences made us stronger, and helped us become who we are today.
When you are being bullied, it is hard to think about much more than getting through today. For others, there is no today. Their experience being bullied was too overwhelming, and drove them to a devastating and permanent solution to the temporary pain.
Through a community partnership with Stand for the Silent, Writing for the Soul Workshop collected stories, letters and poems from youth, teens and adults from around the world. These stories are pieces of lives impacted by bullying; written to show everyone affected by bullying that you are not alone, that you can survive the experience, that you are somebody.
A portion of the proceeds from book sales goes to support Stand for the Silent.
Black & White on White paper
Purchase a copy of the book or download the eBook and enjoy it from your favorite device today! Stay connected with updates about The Bully Diaries on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/TheBullyDiariesOfficialPage