Would Maggie have?
Someone recently complained to me about Unlovable, claiming my main character Maggie would not have done some of the things she did.
I beg to differ. I can say wholeheartedly, she would have. Maggie is very typical of an (emotionally) abused person. She was based on two girls I knew growing up, and Maggie acts exactly as they did. Now, I do agree that not everyone will react as she did, but many do.
They willingly accepted the abuse heaped upon them by others, mostly because they were used to it. The abuse seemed to "rolled off their backs," if you will. Although personally, I believe it sank deep inside them, reinforcing how they viewed themselves.
Another reason they accepted the harshness of others was because they felt they deserve to be treated cruelly. Isn't that what they were told daily?
To an abused person, kindness is often viewed as suspicious. "Why would someone (insert adjective here; cute...rich...all-together... popular...or whatever) be nice to me?" They "lie in wait" for the insult, the verbal punch to hit, because rest assured, in their minds it will.
Sadly, there are many Maggie's (and her male counterparts) in the world. I wish there weren't. Maybe we as a people should stop looking inward as much as we do and start looking outward. We will not have to look far. It may be within our own families: an aunt, a cousin, or a sibling. It may be a neighbor or a classmate or someone at work. Usually it is obvious who needs a friend, or a compassionate ear, but not always. If you are earnestly seeking to help others, you'll know. A feeling will spark inside you, an overheard conversation will catch your ear, something will let you know.
Bullying of any kind has no place in this world. Those who believe in God, have no right to judge those who don't. Those who don't believe in God, have no right to bully those who do. Bullying someone because they are fat, thin, short, tall, gay, straight, the "wrong color" (this holds true for ALL races, African-American, Caucasian, Hispanic, Asian and whomever else) is wrong. I am Caucasian, my youngest son is part African-American part Puerto Rican (we adopted him), and my daughter-in-law is a Chinese-Malaysian, and I love them all equally. Not that I'm setting myself up as the perfect role model, I too have my prejudices. For one, I really hate stupid people who work at phone-in help centers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But I digress;}
We can make a difference. There will always be Maggie's out there, but they don't have to be alone. They don't have to "fight the good fight" all by themselves. And WE will be all the better for helping them.
Now, back to writing book 2-Unbelievable. Poor Cole!