Callie Holley felt the isolation, fear and depression of being the victim of bullying.
Like countless young people and teens who have been bullied, it left her questioning herself, asking “why me.”
“At first I thought there was something wrong with me,” shares the 10-year-old first-time author .
But soon God moved Callie to share her experiences to help and encourage others who also were victims of bullying.
“At the time I really felt it was just me, and then God opened my eyes and helped me to be able to see that I wasn’t alone and that it was happening to other students,” says Holley.
Mignonne Anderson, her mother, initially tried to encourage her daughter to focus her writing efforts on a “happier topic,” but her daughter was undaunted in her efforts.
“She has a strong faith and is quite an encourager. Ever since she was a tot she has always prayed,” says Anderson.
When children would fall on the playground, Callie would go over and lay hands on them and pray for them, shares Anderson.
“She just was what we call an “old spirit and old soul.” There has always been a difference about her and I just think that maybe children didn’t understand it. On the one hand she was so well thought of and so well loved and so many people wanted to befriend her, but it would always be these situations that would come up from time that were clearly unexplainable,” says Anderson.
Callie’s first encounter with bullying occurred in second grade involving an incident of bullying on the playground and later on a school bus.
Initially Callie confided her challenges to her older sister, Ollie, but later expressed her concerns to her mother, who rallied to support her daughter and help her understand it was not her fault.
“I thank God that my grades did not suffer. I was able to focus and was not afraid to go to school because I knew that if anything happened my Mom would take care of it, My Mom also assured me that God really had my back and he was watching me and she was really just pouring all of this good advice and comfort into me,” says Holley.
But Holley admits that the bullying was difficult to deal with and initially made her very cautious with others.
“I knew that God wanted me to write about this for other children to help them to deal with bullying and be able to move forward.” ~ Callie Holley
“It was very hard, because I would be guarded about what I said to people and what I let them know about me. Before I did certain things I would think about it. I would be self-conscious and would watch the way I walked and watch the way I looked at people, and what I said. I really wanted to make this image that everyone would like and would be comfortable around, so that I wouldn’t get made fun of and bullied,” shares Holley.
When God moved on her spirit to write her book, she was hesitant at first, but once she began the process realized that she had been holding a lot inside of herself.
“I remember giving it a deep breath and just thinking to myself that there is so much piled up inside of me and through the book I was able to release those feelings and able to truly move past that phase of my life,” says Holley.
Her goal is to shine the light on the negative impact that bullying can have on victims.
“I have said many times that some parents, teachers, staff and administrators, even the world, doesn’t understand the impact that bullying can have, and they think that is just a phase, and children will grow out of it, but it does travel into adulthood. It is very important that we think of these things, because if they are not dealt with immediately, they can lead to very harmful, hurtful things,” says the 10 year old.
Holley spoke at the memorial service of a young man who committed suicide as a result of bullying. The foreward to Holley’s book was written by the young man’s parents.
To combat bullying Holley plans to speak at churches and schools to share her story.
“I knew that God wanted me to write about this for other children to help them to deal with bullying and be able to move foreward, says Holley.
Since writing the book she has talked to many young people who have been bullied.
“They tell me that actually the words hurt more than physical bullying, because they say that the physical pain can go away, but the pain from verbal bullying is forever, because they remember,” says Holley.
Her goals for her book are three-fold, shares Holley.
“I hope to help kids know how to deal with bullying and put it behind them, help the parents who are experiencing this along with their children, and three, to be able to help the bully understand that there is another way, so that they will be also be able to move past whatever is hurting them and be able to make friends with people and know how to interact with others,” says Holley.
Holley recently spoke at a bullying rally at a Houston-area school and has been featured on KCOH and also has been approached by a local community college regarding placing her book in all of their facilities.
But her ultimate goal in publishing the book is simple, shares Holley, to have a chance to have an impact on just one life and “help them to know they are not alone and they can move forward.”
No Bullying Zone
M.J. Anderson & Associates
By Callie Holley
To purchase a copy,
visit www.callieholley.com or by mailing a check or money order to Callie Holley to P.O. Box 300391, Houston, TX 77230.
Cost—$15 & $5 U.S shipping
($10 international shipping)
To recognize the signs
of bullying visit