Saturday, October 13, 2012

Empty

I can honestly say that I've never been so angry, upset and frustrated over something that doesn't directly or personally involve me than I am right now over the situation involving Amanda Todd, here in Canada. 

Amanda is a 15 year old girl who made a stupid mistake judgement call more than a few years ago when she was in GRADE 7.  (For f*ck sake she was 12.  Twelve year olds are allowed to make mistakes.)  A mistake that some man (I use that term loosely as I feel he's a pathetic excuse of a human being.) has continued to haunt her with, torment her with, used as ammo to enlist the help of many others to torment her, basically destroy her life with.  He has found her and stalked her on Facebook each time (3 times in total) she switched schools to get away from her bullies there.  He just couldn't let it go, she was an easy prey. 


This is Amanda's video (her story, seeking help) that she posted the day before she was successful in yet another attempt on her own life.  She died on October 10th of this year.  I am heartbroken for a girl I do not know, nor will I ever get the chance to meet.  I am saddened and left with a feeling of hollowness for every single kid in this world that is suffering at the hands and actions of others.  I am scared for the future of our children.  I am feeling helpless that there seems to be nothing I can do and I feel hopeless because nothing seems to be being done by those in a position to do something.  I am sickened that these bullies continue to get away with their actions and choices, and those who are the victims and their families are left to suffer. 

I know that my reaction is not right, but I wish great harm on those perpetrators and their families.  I hope nothing good comes their way.  I hope they suffer from the hands of another.  I hope they feel pain every single day of their life. I wish I could physically maim them.  I wish I could torture them and laugh in their faces when they cried for mercy.  I wish every single horrible thing that I would often say I wouldn't wish on my own worst enemy happens to them.  I know it's childish and doesn't make what happened any better. I know by wanting those things I just stoop to their level, but I don't give a shit.  They have, in a round about way, taken another girls life.  They have destroyed a family.  I hope they get to experience the same pain.  They walk around all smug in their actions, they have created Twitter accounts to still torment and berate her after her death, they are still posting photos of her making a mockery of her .  They make me ashamed to share a species and a nation with them.  I am disgusted that Twitter and Facebook allow this behaviour to continue.  (Today I filed a report to Facebook asking them to remove a mocking photo of Amanda that is circulating on Facebook and they have denied my request.  I am sickened.  Yet another fine example of how those in some sort of power are failing our children.) 

The RCMP states that they are lodging a 'full investigation' and maybe it's the cynic in me but I can guarantee that NOTHING will be done about this.  For once I hope with every fibre of my being that I'm wrong.   I'm experiencing crazy mixed emotions when it comes to her parents as well.  My heart bleeds for them right now.  I cannot imagine having to sit with them to make funeral arrangements.  I hurt for them, as a fellow parent, as a human being.  However, I can assure you had this been my child they would have been stripped of any social media outlets, and home schooled if this still carried on following a school change.  I wouldn't let my kid out of my site if they had previous unsuccessful suicide attempts.  I would be in the police station asking why this man hadn't been charged with distribution of child pornography, I'd be asking why they weren't at the schools charging these kids with harassment.  I wouldn't have allowed my child to make the decision to not press charges.  As a minor that choice should fall on me, not her.  I suppose this is all hindsight at this point, but there are so many other choices that could have been made. 

Please take the 8 minutes to watch her silent video.  And then do yourself, but more importantly do your children, a favour and watch it with them.  Talk to them about Amanda's story.  Let them understand the consequences of their actions should they decide to bully another human being because of a stupid judgement call.  Let them know that bullying does hurt people indefinitely.  Let them know it isn't right even if all their friends say it is.  But also let them know that if someone is bullying them that you'll be an advocate for them, that you will do everything in your power to protect your children from another's harm and then follow through with it.  All of it. 

This whole situation has been eating at me for two days now.  I shudder to think about how much my own situation in high school could have escalated if my bullies had had the power of the Internet and social media like Facebook existed.  My bullies eventually got bored and moved on, but Facebook just continues to add fuel to the fire.  I sit here and think about those I went to school with who were bullies and I wonder if they look back with remorse or if they are truly oblivious to their actions and how they've affected others.   I can't stop thinking about this.  I wish there was a way to help.  I'm feeling helpless and hopeless for our kids futures.  I could go on and on about this situation.  Right now I'm just empty. 

Words can hurt or heal.  What did yours do today? 

3 comments:

  1. http://www.readability.com/articles/vskdetpb

    Those are her mother's words on what's happened to Amanda. I feel more peace with her parents role in this whole tragedy after reading Carol's words.

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  2. Hi Holly, An extremely sad and scary story, that can happen to any of our children. It terrifies me to think of all the errors in judgement my daughter has already made at nine, and to think she would be tortured for an error she could make in the future for years, is just unthinkable. Thanks for your take and honesty and for also sharing Amanda's mother's words, they also brought me some peace.
    Melinda

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  3. My heart aches for that girl and her parents. And I fucking hate bullies.

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