Invisible Scars – My Experience with Bullies by Author Kelly Risser (Plus additional entries into our huge giveaway!)

Author Kelly Risser talks about invisible scars and her experience with bullies. 
I can distinctly recall several instances of being bullied as a child. I was shy, awkward, and overweight, which most likely contributed to me being a target. I know for a fact one case of bullying was born of jealousy – I transferred into a school and “took” someone’s friend away when I became friends with that individual. Name-calling and spiteful rumors ensued…that was fifth grade, and I transferred schools the following year and was much, much happier.
Other times, I was the victim of a bully for no other reason than I happened to be in the path of that individual’s destruction. One girl in middle school spewed venom at everyone she encountered. No one was safe from her relentlessly teasing and ridicule. In some ways, it was a relief to know that you weren’t being singled out, you just happened to capture her attention at that moment. I did my best to avoid her, and her family moved away the following year. 
Freshman year of high school, I was sitting on the bus talking to my friend when a boy in my class, who I didn’t really know, boarded the bus and proceeded to slam his stack of school books into my face. I distinctly recall the pain, the bloody nose and the chaos immediately following his actions. He was banned from the bus, and I was left bewildered. To this day, the only thing I can determine is that I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. There is absolutely no other explanation for his violent outburst toward me.
Yes, I’ve got the painful scars from being bullied. The sad part is that it doesn’t go away when you graduate, when you grow up, or when you have children of your own. I’ve seen a male manager push a female employee up against a wall and scream in her face, I’ve heard mothers of young girls encourage their daughters not to hang out with a particular girl, and I’ve read the cutting comments online. Cyber bullying: It’s rampant, and it’s a real problem. Being anonymous seems to give some individuals a sense of power and righteousness that allows them to destroy the lives of others. It is so wrong and unbelievably unacceptable.
I happen to be a mother of two amazing children. Those same amazing children also happen to be in the autism spectrum. Their schools do an excellent job teaching kids to recognize and accept the differences between them. I see how supportive and friendly most of their classmates are toward my children, and it warms my heart. But when we’re out in the public, whether it’s a restaurant or the mall, you would not believe the looks my children sometimes receive, often when they are not doing anything but being themselves. This summer, my daughter and I were watching a dog trick show at a county fair. She was laughing and having a great time. Two girls in front of us, close to my daughter’s age, turned and stared, actually stared, at her through most of the program. Really? Where are those girls parents? Where is the compassion for differences? Why should I have to sit and watch my daughter get analyzed by complete strangers?
I’m thrilled that Clean Teen/Crimson Tree Publishing has chosen Anti-Bullying as a cause to support. It’s about time that our society focuses on this issue – we all know the scars of bullying, both the visible and invisible. It warms my heart that schools are starting young, teaching the message that bullying is wrong. While I’d like to think that they are creating a new generation of more sensitive, understanding individuals, it takes more than a determined teacher to spread that message. We also need to take a long, hard look at ourselves. What message are we teaching our children? Are we quick to compliment or criticize? Do we recognize and accept the differences in others, both the physical differences and the unseen ones? The golden rule still stands. Treat others as you want to be treated. If we all did this, perhaps bullying would stop for good.


Kelly Risser knew at a young age what she wanted to be when she grew up. Unfortunately, Fairytale Princess was not a lucrative career. Leaving the castle and wand behind, she entered the world of creative business writing where she worked in advertising, marketing, and training at various companies.
She’s often found lamenting, “It’s hard to write when there’s so many good books to read!” So, when she’s not immersed in the middle of someone else’s fantasy world, she’s busy creating one of her own. This world is introduced in her first novel, Never Forgotten. Never Forgotten, a YA/NA Fantasy, will be released by Clean Teen Publishing in the Summer of 2014.
Kelly lives in Wisconsin with her husband and two children. They share their home with Clyde the Whoodle and a school of fish.


(Never Forgotten is FREE!)


Before you enter this giveaway, let’s add an extra 5 entries to this Rafflecopter today for just saying something nice to someone! Easy right? All you have to do is say something nice to someone to encourage them today. It can be a compliment, a few words of appreciation or whatever you think will bring a smile to their face. While it’s not a requirement, we encourage you to look for someone who may need those extra words of encouragement today. Maybe it’s someone going through a tough time or someone you don’t normally speak to. You can write an encouraging post on their Facebook wall, Tweet them a message, send them a text, call them or tell them in person. It’s up to you. We would even dare you to take this a step forward and do this every day. Make it a habit and make a difference. 

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