New book shines light on bullying

After years of being bullied Christy Heather Roberts has written a book called Unbreakable.
Christy Heather Roberts

For four years, Christy Heather Roberts was bullied. Taunted and teased, the bulk of her high school career was ruined by people who simply wanted to make her life a misery. Now in her thirties, Christy has purged all of her bad memories into a book, ‘Unbreakable’. She shares her story with Zoe Arnold.

“It’s over a decade since I left school, and I am still stinging,” Christy says from her home in regional Victoria.

“Almost from the first day of high school I was teased – mocked for being slightly different, I guess.”

Christy, a self-proclaimed “outspoken nerd”, says she is not afraid to have an opinion. “That doesn’t bode well at high school where everyone is trying to fit in with each other,” she says.

Written in just two months, Unbreakable tells the story of Britney Louise, who at the age of 12 is sent to an all-girls high school where she is mocked for her height and isolated from her peers.

“This does not mirror my story exactly,” Christy says. “Unbreakable is a work of fiction, based on my experiences of being bullied.”

Despite having a literary agent, Christy has made the unusual decision to self-publish this book and profit share with anti-bullying foundation, Bully Zero Australia Foundation. The foundation was formed following the death of teenager, Allem Halkic, who ended his life in 2009 after being relentlessly bullied online and through text messages.

“I was really attracted to Bully Zero because I think they have a fantastic charity model,” Christy says. “Their CEO believed in me from the start, and recognised my book’s potential.”

Bully Zero CEO, Oscar Yildiz is equally effusive about Christy.

“I get a lot of people offering me books for the foundation, so I probably wasn’t as enthusiastic as I could have been,” he admits. “When Christy first handed me the draft it hadn’t been published yet, and it was scrappy and coffee-stained.

“Luckily, I didn’t judge the book by its cover – I read it overnight and was blown away by how good it was. I called Christy the next day, and we’ve worked together ever since.”

As well as being a published author, Christy she has journalism and law degrees; and spends her days looking after her two young daughters.

“I just want teenagers to understand that bullying is not ok. It is terribly damaging – and I really didn’t have a ‘teenage hood’ as a result. I was completely ostracised from my peers – both in and out of school – my name and number scribbled on toilet blocks as a form of punishment for being different,” she says.

“It has taken me a long time to recover from my experiences with bullying, but I want to give kids who find themselves in a similar situation a message of hope, and turn my negative energy into something much more positive.”

You can purchase the book here.

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