The Redneck Princess

When suicide seems like the only answer…

When suicide seems like the only answer…

When suicide seems like the only answer…

Please take the time to watch Amanda’s video.  We all need to step up and be responsible for our lives, our children, our friends….

Amanda Todd, was 15, nearly 16 years old. My youngest son’s age.

She killed herself on Wednesday after three years of bullying. From a mistake she made online when she was 12 years old.

Twelve years old.

She was online and someone asked her to flash him. She did. That one action changed her life for the next three years and inevitably ended it far too soon.

The boy or man, at this point they still have no idea who he was…stalked her from then on. Found out where she lived, made a facebook page and posted the picture of her. He followed her, when she moved schools. More than one time. Her reputation followed her wherever she went. She couldn’t get away from it, or him.

Kids are cruel.

They will run with something if it is thrown at them. They don’t think.

Allegedly some  of the kids that were involved in Amanda’s bullying have posted on her memorial facebook page, saying they will miss her and loved her.

Seriously. What the fuck is wrong with people? Do you think that no one knows who you are? That no one saw you bullying her?

We need to make our children understand that it is not ok to let this happen. That they need to step up and stop it.

I was bullied in high school.

I was smashed into the lockers pretty much every single day by a girl far bigger than me. Any opportunity she had, she used to make sure I knew she hated me.

Back in those days there was no internet, no social media. It was hard then, I can’t imagine how much harder it is now to cope. I really can’t.

I never told anyone that I was being bullied. I thought she would just beat the crap right out of me if I told anyone, because she promised me she would.

Living in fear sucks. I just kept my mouth shut and waited for the day when she would graduate and finally not have the opportunity to pick on me anymore.

Years later, when we were both far out of high school, I asked her why she used to pick on me…what had I ever done to piss her off so badly…you know what she said?

“You  were there. I didn’t have a reason.”

I just looked at her and walked away. She still had no idea what she had done. How she had taken two years of my life and made it hell for 6 hours a day, 5 days a week.

I have no idea what her story was, whether she was picked on herself by someone, what her home life was like, if she was abused by someone.

I just knew it made me sad. Sad that there was no reason, no explanation, no apology.

I have only one other time in my life let myself be bullied. I walked away from that after way too long, but I walked away. Since then I have vowed to never let myself be bullied again. By anyone.

To not let it happen if I see it.

I have also had my child involved in bullying. When the school called, I thought it was him being picked on. It wasn’t.

He was part of a group of kids that was videoing a kid being picked on.

I was mortified.

I had no idea how he would not know to stop that. But when you get in a situation like that, sometimes you don’t know what to do. He knew it was wrong. He regretted it. He understood. He apologized to the boy for not helping him.

I told him about my high school years, and how it felt to have no one stand up for me and stop her. I want him to be part of the solution, not the problem.

Amanda wrote this just before her death…

 I want to tell my story to help parents, so they can be aware, so they can teach their kids what is right and wrong and how to be safe online,” she said. “Kids have iPads, they have smartphones, technology is much more accessible than it was even five years ago — that is the dangerous factor.”

She was trying to start over, trying to make a difference.

She will.

But unfortunately, she had to die to do it.

Please, talk to your children. Really talk to them, make them understand…make sure it isn’t happening to them. Our kids live in a world that we can sometimes not even fathom, and they need to have the doors open to talk to us, to come for help, to get help for other kids that need it.

RIP Amanda Todd…your life DID make a difference and you will not be forgotten.

 

8 thoughts on “When suicide seems like the only answer…

  1. Susan Bachelder

    I will never forget the evening I discovered this story… my home was filled with teenagers the same age as Amanda Todd. My son’s friends. One of the girls stopped to ask me what was wrong, she noticed the expression on my face. I told her what I was reading about.
    As I was telling her, the rest started to gather around us.

    It turned into a long discussion of what they were experiencing themselves…

    It then turned into a number of articles I wrote for the purpose of reaching out. I thought, if I could help just one teenager, it would make a difference…

    You see, right at that time… my son, the same age as Amanda Todd was battling teenage depression. I had taken him out of the public school system just 6 months before because of bullying. That group of teenagers that gathered around me that evening that I learned of her story still come to me to talk. The article I wrote did reach a few teens that needed to read what I wrote.

    I wish Amanda could at least know, that her story has been heard. Even if she wasn’t heard. Her story is helping others. I think that may make her smile. I wish she would have known how amazing she was, yet a few more teens know they are amazing, because of her story.

    1. The Redneck Princess Post author

      I totally believe she made a difference. I believe we can all try and change how we help our children deal with bullying and make more of a difference…it is so sad she had to die to make that happen :(

  2. Bionic Dee

    It just breaks my heart that kids have the ability to be crueler than they were when I was growing up. I thought kids were mean then, now they have social media to help them do their dirty work. It makes me wonder how involved her parents were in stopping this person that stalked her. Did they know? Did they go to the police? Did she tell them she was being stalked? Or did they find out the hard way after she died. You may not be your kids best friend, but you need to be their shelter when things go wrong. It sounds cheesy but taking the time to talk during dinner, or when you’re doing laundry together or going shopping. Those are the times parents need to reach out to their children and make sure their kid knows they’re a part of their life and they’re not alone.

  3. aurora

    Nice piece, TRP :) Going to share now. I think it’s good we try to keep it in the minds of others who, in our electronic banner shiny life mentality, are already twitting and facebooking silliness I don’t give a s**t about. This matters. Good job.

  4. Brenda

    How horrible! That video is just so terribly sad. My goodness. Kids are terrible cruel. Sorry that you were bullied as well. I too, was bullied in my younger years. By a so called friend, twice my size. Bullying is a terrible thing. Unfortunately for this girl, no one was there for her. Absolutely terrible :(