Tag Archives: Bullying

Haiku Friday – Tyrant & Hope

15 Jun

“The common mistake that bullies make is assuming that because someone is nice that he or she is weak. Those traits have nothing to do with each other. In fact, it takes considerable strength and character to be a good person.” 

~Mary Elizabeth Williams

Trolls

by Vacuous

Trolls,
a mythical creature now real.
They roam the internet looking to eat.
Looking to eat emotions.
You get a kick out of pain from another.
You kick them down on the ground while they are already under it.
Using technology to get into their brains and heart.
You find it funny to bring suffering to someone who can’t take anymore and has already taken it all.
You let them slip farther down into the hole when they confide
in you something they won’t tell others.
You think it is funny, cute, fair to treat others with the disrespect you have honed.
You practice day in day out to make those around you
feel less significant.
Unequal.
Lifeless.
No matter how far a person thought you could push
you always found a way to push a little farther.
That’s all you’ve known.
That is all you will ever know.
Because at some point in life,
you decided to become a
troll.

How much does bullying hurt? If we don’t know by now, after all the school shootings, teen suicides, mass murders in public places . . . The effects of bullying are painful and can sometimes lead victims to suicide as an alternative to pain. Bullying has a negative effect on everyone involved; the target, the bully and the bystanders.

We see the effects of bullying on the news almost every day. We read about it on social media. I don’t think anyone can turn a blind eye any longer. So what do we do about it? Spread awareness of the negative effects of bullying. If you see someone being bullied, try to do something to stop it. If you are a bully, and many adults are, stop bullying others. When you bully someone you take away their self-confidence. Bullying makes children feel lonely, unhappy and frightened. The effects of bullying can be devastating and lead to depression and suicide. In order to grow, we need to learn to lift others up, not tear them down.

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She yelled hopeless words

Like an old edifice, I

crumbled to the ground

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“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”

~ Mark Twain

Tyrant and Hope are this week’s prompt words chosen by Ronovan Hester of Ronovan Writes.

Ron hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge every Monday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your haiku poem. He is an author and poet and also does author interviews and much more on his blog. Be sure to check it out. Read Ron’s Haiku Prompt Challenge Guidelines for more information.


I’m almost done with my self-edits for the 2nd installment of my Fantasy Angels Series. Tomorrow I will be sending it off to my editor. I am also working on revising my first book, The Basement, which touches on the subjects of bullying and verbal abuse. So stay on the lookout for that one. 😉

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Illustration by George Miltiadis for The Basement

Have a great day, everyone!

Don’t Turn Your Face Away

16 Feb

Hello! Welcome to my blog! My name is Vashti and I’m a writer of fiction. I plan to entertain you with my short stories, articles and featured writers, artists and poets, but once in a while I will get serious about the issues I care about. I have zero tolerance for any kind of bullying or child abuse. I believe creating awareness of these issues is an important first step to stopping it. I also believe that the people who stand up to bullies and abusers are real life superheroes.

 

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Don’t Turn Your Face Away

by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

Don’t turn your face away.
Once you’ve seen, you can no longer act like you don’t know.
Open your eyes to the truth. It’s all around you.
Don’t deny what the eyes to your soul have revealed to you.

Now that you know, you cannot feign ignorance.
Now that you’re aware, you cannot pretend you don’t care.
To be concerned is to be human.
To act is to care.

Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence and Abuse: Signs of Abusive Relationships (Click on picture)

1 out of 7 children are abused . . .
How many do you know?

stop-child-abuse

Child Abuse Prevention: What You Should Know and How You Can Help (click on picture)

Don’t turn your face away.

woman-abuses-man

Domestic Violence Against Men (click on picture)

If my post were made of paper it would be wet with my tears. Have you ever confronted a bully? If you saw a woman beating up a man would you interfere?

Brave New Bullying: Goodreads Gangs, Amazon Attacks—What Are Writers to Do?

13 Jan

Is there no end to bullying? Please read the above article by Kristen Lamb and let me know what you think.

Stop cyber bullying

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Today is a tad of a touchy subject, but in this New year, I want everyone to have a the greatest gift any of us can have…peace. Bullies, in my opinion, are among the lowest known existing lifeforms. I wouldn’t want to insult cockroaches and fleas by drawing a comparison.

Kristen’s History With Bullies

I grew up most of my life being bullied. I switched schools at least once a year and there was always a new gaggle of Mean Girls to make my daily life a veritable hell. I think this is why I grew to love books. I skipped school so much (to seek sanctuary at the public library), that I’m fairly certain I’m the reason for the current Texas truancy laws.

I couldn’t get out of bed. I became ill at the thought of even walking through the front doors of my school. I was poor and…

View original post 2,086 more words

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Bullies – Broken People

30 May

Bullies - Broken People

Illustration by Toon Hertz (Little Sad Boy II – deviantArt)

Hello! Welcome to my blog. My name is Vashti Quiroz-Vega, for those of you visiting for the first time. I am a writer of Fantasy, Suspense, Thriller and Horror. I do, however, have a tendency to mix a little Romance or humor (among other genres) into my stories.

I love art, creativity and beauty, and I know these come in many forms. In my quest to build my author platform, I have met and befriended a group of incredibly talented individuals. Writers, poets, artists and even singers who are masterful at what they do. I feel blessed to have found them, and I would be selfish if I kept the beauty, artistry and creativeness of their craft all to myself.
So for the next few weeks I will be featuring their art, writings and music along with my own work on this blog. I guarantee you will enjoy every bit of it.
In today’s post I will feature the talented writer Jackson Baer.

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I’m the father of four children, three of whom are in elementary school. There are few subjects that I care about as much as bullying. I’ve always been someone who stands up for others when they’re being picked on, and I have tried to instill in my children the following principles:
• Be a friend to everyone because you never know what others might be going through.
• Accept people who are different because you are different, too.
• Don’t judge anyone based on race, religion or sexuality. People are who they are, and if any of those things bother you, that’s your issue—not theirs.
• Be kind, and treat other people like you want to be treated.

Often, a bully acts out in response to a tough home life or other difficult circumstances, reducing emotional pressure by heaping abuse on a victim. If you stand by and do nothing to intervene, you send the bully the message that this kind of behavior is acceptable. The victim, meanwhile, might feel the whole world is against him. That’s why standing up for those in need is one of the greatest virtues. I have tremendous respect for my kids when they tell me about how they stood up for a classmate. Over the past year, there have been a handful of incidents where my kids have told a bully to stop picking on another kid, or where they’ve had to ignore bullies to avoid becoming targets themselves.
We have to pick our battles in life, and not everything is worth fighting over. Standing up for and befriending those who are vulnerable, however, is worth pursuing and is a message worthy of sharing with our kids.
“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”
~ Mark Twain

Jackson Baer’s Links
http://JacksonPaulBaer.com
http://www.facebook.com/JacksonPaulBaer
http://twitter.com/JacksonPaulBaer
http://www.goodreads.com/JacksonPaulBaer

Great quote Jackson! Marvelous words to live by. If only every parent would teach their children the principles that Jackson so eloquently stated here, the world would be a much happier place. Unfortunately the world is filled with broken people searching for victims to torment.

 

Robbie_The Basement_Bullies

Excerpt from The Basement

“Look at Robbie jumping rope with the girls! What a sissy!” one of two boys yelled.
“I bet he’s too chicken to play flag football with us! Aren’t you, Robbie?”
“You’d rather play double Dutch with the girls!”
Robbie remained silent. Natasha and Cleo’s faces grew pink, and they exchanged awkward glances. Robbie whisked his head to read Natasha’s face, but she quickly tilted her head with a downward gaze.
“Yeah! Real men don’t jump rope!” the second bully shouted.
“Real men DO jump rope!” Robbie finally yelled in a brittle voice, his cheeks burning.
“No, they don’t!” the bullies hollered in unison, making Robbie jolt.
One of the bullies approached Robbie and shoved him. Robbie staggered, but did not fall. His face flushed beet red, and he wondered if the girls could hear his heart pounding. He stared at his feet so they wouldn’t be able to see his face. Cleo glimpsed timidly at Robbie, while Natasha regarded him with tightly pressed lips.
“Only sissies jump rope,” the bully hollered.
“Do you think I am a sissy?” said a deep masculine voice.
Wide-eyed and openmouthed, the bullies shook their heads. Natasha and Cleo smirked to see them tremble before the superintendent of their building, a tough, strapping man the neighborhood kids called Superman.
“We don’t think you’re a sissy, Mr. Superman,” one of the bullies responded timidly. The other just continued to shake his head, the heat rising in his cheeks.
“I jump rope all the time. All fighters do, even the retired ones. It is a good way to keep your endurance and burn calories. You boys should try it,” Superman said, wearing a grin.
“Yes, sir! ” The bullies nodded and ran away. Natasha and Cleo chuckled.
“Come on, Robbie, it’s still your turn,” Natasha called.
“I don’t think I want to play anymore,” Robbie said, kicking an innocent stone on the ground.
“Why not?” Natasha asked, scrunching her forehead.
Superman lifted his palm and spoke gently. “Wait a moment, Natasha. I need to speak to Robbie.”
Superman led him to his building’s basement, where they sat at the top of the steps.
“Why didn’t you want to continue playing double Dutch, Robbie?”
Robbie shrugged.
“You’re very good at it, you know.”
“It’s just that those kids called me a sissy in front of Natasha,” Robbie muttered, smiling faintly.
“That doesn’t make it so,” Superman told him.
“Yeah, but maybe they’re right. Maybe playing double Dutch isn’t for real men,” Robbie fretted. Superman’s facial expression became grave.
“Robbie, I’m going to tell you the characteristics of a real man. A real man has integrity. He is the same person whether or not others are watching. A real man has sympathy for others. He helps those who are hurting and works to make the world a better place. A real man has confidence. He has faith in his abilities. A real man is brave. He stands up in the face of hardship. And, Robbie, real men are humble. They realize that humility is more endearing than arrogance. Did those two boys have any of those traits?”
Robbie knitted his forehead in thought and then shook his head.
“So what could they possibly know about real men?” Superman asked, grinning.
Robbie smiled, and Superman patted him on the back.
“Why do those boys act that way?” Robbie asked, frowning again.
“Some bullies are just looking for attention. Others might think that bullying is a way to gain popularity or to get something they want. Certain kids may be copying actions they’ve seen someone else do, or they may have been bullied themselves.”
“But why do bullies always pick on me?” said Robbie, frustration etched on his face.
“Most tormenters pick on kids who they think they can upset easily or who have trouble sticking up for themselves. Every time a bully gets a big reaction out of you, it makes him feel powerful.”
“But what can I do if they start to call me names and laugh at me?” Robbie asked in a wobbly voice.
“Ignore them. Pretend you don’t hear them, and walk away. Acting as if you don’t notice and don’t care just might stop the bullies’ teasing.”
“What if I can’t leave?”
“Stand up for yourself. Pretend to be really brave and confident. Tell the bully to stop in a loud voice.”
Robbie bit his lip and frowned.
“Don’t show your feelings to the bully,” said Superman. “Count backward from a hundred, or sing a song in your head to keep your mind occupied until you are out of the situation and somewhere safe where you can show your feelings. Do you understand, Robbie?”
Robbie nodded.
“Anyway, I don’t think those two boys will be bothering you again. ”
Robbie put on a brave face for Superman as he thought, But what if your dad is the biggest bully of all?

THE BASEMENT is now available for purchase in paperback and ebook. (Nook, iBooks, Kindle and more..)

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Robbie

9 May

Robbie

Illustrated by Jessica-Art

Hi everyone! Welcome to my blog and thank you for taking the time to read my post. Today I am sharing a short excerpt from my novel “The Basement”. This snippet will give you a little insight on the main character Robbie and his father Robert. I hope you enjoy it. There is also a short poem written by Adrianna Joleigh written specifically for The Basement.

 

Robbie’s Problem Parent

Excerpt from The Basement

 

Robbie’s dad, Robert, was a quiet, serious man with a rough exterior, which intimidated most of the neighborhood kids. Many had seen him lose his temper with his wife, his son, and even his neighbors on more than one occasion. It was never a pretty sight.
His eyes resembled two large, shiny, black pearls suspended in yellowing ice, bordered by bushy, black eyebrows. When he glared at you with those eyes, it was hard not to tremble.
Robbie was nothing like his father. He was an intelligent, sweet boy with delicate features. He was quiet and bashful except around his friends. He was a bit clumsy and awkward at times, which always made the kids laugh. Robbie was a self-conscious, timid and insecure boy perhaps because of the constant berating he suffered at the hands of his father. However, he was also good-natured, considerate, clever and courageous when he mostly needed to be. Although most of the kids in the neighborhood pitied Robbie, some poked fun at him.
His dad was very strict with him—sometimes downright ornery. At least it’s what most people in the neighborhood believed. Robbie was a small, fragile kid who had more in common with his wife’s genes than his own, and Robert didn’t like it. He didn’t appreciate that his kid was more brain than brawn and often belittled him. It seemed no matter what Robbie did to please his father, it was never enough. All of Robbie’s achievements in school—his straight As, awards, and honor roll certificates—weren’t appreciated by his barbarous father. Robert often got drunk on beers, and when he did he was obnoxious. He loved to pick on his son when he drank, which embarrassed and saddened Robbie and his friends.

Excerpt from THE BASEMENT

 

 

Unaccepted

Blood tears rain down his face.
His chest bloated with poisonous words.
His eyes pitch black and hollow,
Beaten by the mouths of cowards.

Sitting alone in dark shadows
Of the bullies who murdered his wit.
Stabbing his life one day at a time
‘til nothing’s left but an abysmal pit.

Fearing the presence of strangers.
Fearing the judgment they pass.
Fearing the abuse and lies that are fed
Into a child’s life that shall not last.

Desperate to make sense of the pain
Injected daily into his veins.
Killing any expectation he’s ever had
Without fervor, his aches remain.

Foolishly coming to you for acceptance
Into this world of yours.
Desperately clinging onto the niceties in life
Prospects vanish behind barred doors.
What is there in life worth living?
What is left but pain and degradation?
What does he have that’s worth giving?
What’s the point of surviving abomination?

–A. Joleigh

Actor Joshua Rush

The Basement is available in paperback and ebook
(Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks)

“Within this entertaining and frightening tale is a good lesson to be learned.”

 Get The Basement on amazon.com

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The Fog

3 May
The Fog

Alone in the Fog

The Fog

There has always been something truly eerie about a fog—the way a dense, gloomy fog rolls in and covers everything in a shroud of mystery.
The way it creeps in, spreading its misty tentacles over all.
Why does the image of an ephemeral wall of mist chill us to the bone? Perhaps because a fog is mystifying, dim and wet. Or maybe because everything we see inside the cold, thick fog resembles dark and ominous shadows.
A fog blurs our vision, it blinds us to what’s coming and makes us unsure of the destiny that awaits us on the other side. It conjures feelings of vulnerability, despair and fear.
Don’t get caught in the fog!

I beg your pardon…that was just the rambling of an over-stimulated writer’s mind. Welcome to my blog! Actually, a fog is defined as “a collection of liquid water droplets or ice crystals suspended in the air at or near the Earth’s surface.” – Wikipedia
…but what if a fog has infiltrated your brain?

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The Fog

Illustration by phantomphreaq (deviantArt)

Excerpt from THE BASEMENT


Cleo pounded repeatedly on the door. She knocked as hard as she could to no avail. She rubbed her knuckles, which had begun to ache. Just as she decided to give up and turned to leave, someone finally opened the door. It was Robert. He looked a mess! His hair resembled a bird’s nest. Apparently, she had woken him.

Amidst all the drama the night before, as he tried to teach his son a lesson in manhood while his wife interfered, Robert had become very upset. After his wife left the apartment to look for Robbie, he drank heavily. He gulped down one beer after another and passed out on his easy chair in the living room. The banging on the door shook him from a deep slumber.

Cleo wore a concerned grimace. “Something’s happened to your son!”

Robert, who was a bit disoriented, gawked at the girl, his forehead crinkled in confusion. He wore a bewildered expression, and his eyes darted to and fro. He winced and rubbed his head. He had a terrible headache—one of the disagreeable aftereffects of drunkenness.

“What are you talking about?” he asked in a gruff voice. “My son’s sleeping in his room.”

Cleo watched as he staggered forward like a drunk, expending huge amounts of energy just staying in one place.

“Your son’s downstairs sitting on the sidewalk in front of this building!” Her voice was shrill, and her eyes were opened wide. “He could be hurt! He’s covered in blood! You need to come downstairs right away!”

Roberts’s hands flew to cover his ears, and he grimaced as his head throbbed from her screams.

“You sent him down to the basement last night!” she added with reproach. Then Cleo rolled her eyes at him, spun, and zipped down the stairs.

“That doesn’t make sense. His mother went down to the basement last night to get him!”

Robert was ranting, unable to focus, until a light bulb went on in his head and burned the infiltrating fog. Panic surged through his body and seemed to sober him up.

“My poor son!” he gasped.

He shambled to Robbie’s room. He needed to check for himself whether or not his son was there. He pushed open the door to Robbie’s room and saw he was indeed gone. He proceeded to his bedroom to wake his wife, but when he looked inside, he was shocked to see the bed had not been slept in. Dread overcame him again.

“What happened last night in that basement?” he asked under his breath.

His pulse began to race, and he breathed heavily. He did not bother to brush his teeth or fix his messy hair. As he bolted out the door, he was still wearing the same unkempt clothes he wore the day before—the very clothes he had soaked with foul perspiration, and which now stuck to his salty flesh. He had the appearance and startling, offensive stench of a vagrant. At the moment, he did not care about such things. All he could think about, as he rushed down the stairs, was getting to his wife and son.

What happened in the basement? 

Click to purchase The Basement at amazon paperback and eBook (Kindle)

Click to purchase
The Basement at amazon
paperback and eBook (Kindle)

Click to purchase  The Basement in paperback or eBook (Nook)

Click to purchase
The Basement in paperback or eBook (Nook)

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She was your daughter too.

26 Apr

She was your daughter too.

I had an entirely different post for today, however, I ran across this article on Tumblr, and I was compelled to share it with you.

“My daughter wasn’t bullied to death, she was disappointed to death. Disappointed in people she thought she could trust, her school, and the police. She was my daughter, but she was your daughter too. For the love of God do something.”
— Glen Canning, father of Rehtaeh Parsons

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“Knowing what’s right doesn’t mean much unless you do what’s right.”

~Theodore Roosevelt

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Words!

5 Apr

Verbal Abuse

 

Hello! If you’re like me you can’t tolerate any kind of abuse. Verbal abuse is a serious type of abuse. Yet, I feel it is the most tolerated and less reported. Why? Maybe because verbal abuse does not leave marks on your body like physical or sexual abuse. But don’t be fooled by the lack of physical evidence. Verbal abuse is just as damaging and could lead to death––even if it is by the victim’s own hand. Choose your words carefully. Especially when talking to a child. 

 

 

WORDS

by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

Words! What power they hold. Once they have rooted in your psyche, it is difficult to escape them. Words can shape the future of a child and destroy the existence of an adult.
Words are powerful. Be careful how you use them because once you have pronounced them, you cannot remove the scar they leave behind.

 

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What would you do if you witnessed a child being verbally abused? What would you do if you saw a child being physically abused? Would you intervene? Call the police?

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SUPERHERO

1 Apr
SUPERHERO

Portrait of my family as superheroes

Hello everyone! Welcome to my blog. Today I’m going to share a little slice of my childhood. Please feel free to leave a comment with your opinions and thoughts on the subject matter. I really enjoy reading what you think. I hope you enjoy it.

 

SUPERHERO

As a child I wanted so badly to be a superhero. I loved Superman, Batman, and especially Wonder Woman. In elementary school I tied towels, throws, blankets—whatever I could find—around my neck to wear as a cape. I ran around the house, leaped from my sister’s top bunk bed to my bed, jumped from one sofa to the next, and basically drove my parents insane. Needless to say, I was a hyperactive tomboy.

In sixth grade I had a friend who was half the size of everyone in the class, very frail and petite and also wore glasses. A bully, whom I will call Godzilla, a tall, big-boned girl twice the size of the rest of us, picked on my small friend relentlessly.

Whenever Godzilla hurt my friend, I sensed a piece of me withered and I grew weaker. I was terrified of the bully, as was most of the student body.

One day, the fire alarm in my school rang. We did the usual: filed in straight lines down the stairs to exit the edifice, crossed the street and stared at the flameless, smokeless windows of the school building, while listening to our teacher talk about the dangers of not following instructions during a fire drill.

As we clambered up the steps on our way back to class, Godzilla stood behind my petite friend. The bully shoved her into the kid in front of her, yanked on the baby hairs on the lower hairline on her neck and slapped her on the back of the head, while my poor friend moaned and sobbed.

Something came over me that day as I watched my little friend suffer in silence while everyone stood idly by. I could no longer laze while Godzilla tortured my friend. When we reached the top of the stairwell I grabbed Godzilla’s arm, turned her around to face me and yelled at her to stop hurting my friend. The tormenter snickered at me and shoved me with all her might. I tumbled down the stairs. When I reached the bottom, I leapt to my feet and dashed up the stairs. With a Bruce Lee-like move I kicked her square in the abdomen, knocking her against the wall, taking her breath away!

At first, I didn’t understand what had come over me. I felt no pain after falling down the flight of stairs. I had never moved so fast, and what I felt was a tap of my foot turned out to be a karate front snap kick. I was charged on adrenaline.

Godzilla stood motionless against the wall, wide-eyed and panting while I gave the ninja death glare, and the other kids cheered me on. From that day forward, I believed I was a superhero in the making. Whenever I saw a kid bullying another, I was compelled to interfere. I would call out any teachers who I thought ignored bullying or did nothing to stop it. I was the anti-bullying superhero.

After a few black eyes, busted lips and detention hours I learned that fighting, yelling and accusing were not going to solve the issue of bullying.

In high school I made it my business to go to the principal whenever I saw a schoolmate bully another. I was quickly labeled a tattler and became very unpopular for a while. Not much changed as far as the bullying.

I was frustrated. What kind of superhero is unpopular?

As an adult, I finally realized that the best weapon against bullying is awareness. Spreading awareness about all kinds of bullying will help decrease the abuse. At least my inner superhero very much hopes so.

Original story by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

Illustration by Vashti Quiroz-Vega
(Superhero Family Portrait)

Superhero_Vashti Quiroz-Vega's Blog

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Bullying builds character like nuclear waste creates superheroes.

23 Mar

Bullying builds character like nuclear waste creates superheroes.

Illustration by Vanessa Nadia Moylan

 

 

Hi! Thank you for visiting my blog. I’m in the midst of editing my first novel, The Basement, so I don’t have a lot of time. An issue I feel strongly about is “Bullying” and I try to create awareness whenever possible. Today I thought I’d share one of my favorite quotes.

 

 

“The common mistake that bullies make is assuming that because someone is nice that he or she is weak. Those traits have nothing to do with each other. In fact, it takes considerable strength and character to be a good person.” ~Mary Elizabeth Williams