My journey as a writer and reader has led me to many places and to many books. These books are gems, priceless because their meanings in my life are infinite but there are special books whose words weave around my soul before becoming a huge part of me. Sometimes, I have found them on a dusty old shelf and sometimes, I have found them on a tablet or phone. That is where I found The Bullied Series by Vera Micic… On a phone, while scrolling through Wattpad.
At first glance, these books may be interpreted as love stories or a story about bullies and their victims and they are both of those things. However, as I read through these books, I saw them as much more, a journey through the trenches of mental illness and the lasting consequences of actions as well as healing that comes with support. It is not simply a journey of healing for the bullied but the bully also and that is important. The fact that these books did not rush straight from the victim being harmed to forgiveness is something that should be talked about because no matter the reason, being a victim of bullying is damaging. Vera Micic took her time and made sure that it was a journey from something that would seem unforgivable to healing that is ongoing. It didn’t happen overnight. It was a process that continued well after the apology.
Also, it is important to note, these books show the act of bullying is not always someone with an evil mind intent upon hurting those they view as weaker or lacking. There are often underlying issues with the one who hurts another that can be healed. In other words, the act of bullying isn’t always straight forward. It is often marred with a past trauma which indicates that there is a need for the bully to heal also. Then, there is hope if the bully can be healed, they will no longer intentionally harm. The Bullied Series gives a clear picture of how that can happen.
With these books there is darkness. There are acts within it that will make the reader cringe, but it is needed. Vera Micic seemed to understand that to write a book about such a hard, cruel subject, she had to delve into that darkness without holding back. For these books to touch the reader, she had to show that gritty, painful cruelty that would grip the heart of the reader and make them pay attention and she certainly did that with me, leaving me with raw emotions that ripped through me making me experience the pain of her characters but I also experienced the healing.
I would also like to point out that the author did accurately show how some of the responsibility of bullying is on school officials, parents, and the students. If they are ignoring it or ignoring the mental issues of the bully, they must also share fault. Also, the students who join in the bullying must take responsibility. She shows how ignoring the problem makes the acts worse.
I would also like to point out that Vera Micic wrote these books without glorifying the acts. The bully and bullied both know every act inflicted was wrong and though they are on a journey of forgiveness, there is anger, guilt, and pain. The bully’s issues are not a reason for forgiveness but something they must treat. The actions themselves must be forgiven and those actions are often shocking. After all, being bullied is traumatizing and shouldn’t be sugarcoated.
The truth is that books like Vera Micic’s should be read. They are an important, honest look at how there is hope if people are willing to help and realize there may be underlying issues that should be fixed. Though I realize this is not a perfect world where treatment can fix all incidents of bullying, I also realize it’s certainly a start and books like The Bullied Series will open many reader’s eyes to that.