Enjoy the video, sugar pie.
OK – today’s going to be difficult, so bear with me. I have been asked to mention Carol Todd’s dreadful campaign to win the ‘Me to We’ award, and I have also been asked to do a post on Norm Todd. Can I get both in?
Let’s begin with the Norman Todd story.
People seem to think that I have concentrated too much on Carol Todd, which makes me look as if I have some sort of personal thing against her – maybe even based along gender lines. But there are reasons.
Norm has remained very quiet. There is hardly any information about him to be found. It has remained impossible to pin down any facts or any quotes that portray him as anything in particular, so any character sketch would have to be based on opinion alone – something readers will know that I spend a lot of my time steering clear of (apart from the odd angry slip!).
Here are just two observations. They are simply my opinion, nothing more.
I find it odd that he and Amanda were planning to get a tattoo together when she was sixteen. I find that incredibly common, as my grandmother would say, but that’s just my snobbishness showing through. Perhaps it’s the done thing these days. But, whatever current fashions dictate, I still find it a bit weird. It just reeks of someone desperately trying to be the cool dad. ‘You know what we’ll do when you’re sixteen. We’ll get tats’. OK. Maybe I’m just too old school. We’ll leave it there.
(We won’t mention getting Amanda’s ashes in the ‘Stay Strong’ tattoo ink. My gag reflex won’t take the strain. I mean – seriously? I don’t quite know what to make of that).
We only have one video interview to go on, really. But there’s something really odd about that too, in a similar way to those of Carol Todd. Has anyone noticed that neither of them ever show any type of self-blaming regret? Many, many parents blame themselves – ‘If only we could have done more. If only we could have changed things. Where did we go wrong?’ But with the Todds, it’s always someone else – the school system, the bullies, predators, stalkers, Facebook, social media, school friends – you name it, they will blame it. They never address the central core – that they were flipping useless.
Norm Todd speaks of Amanda being victimised, but he never speaks about where that came from, or what caused it. The entire Todd family love to see themselves as victims. I don’t think the Todds are into self-analysis. Norm Todd is quick – yet again – to point the finger at the bullies. But not at himself.
In defence of Norm, I think he’s thick. Sort of man-thick, if you know what I mean. If he is a ‘typical’ man, he simply would not have had a clue about what to do with a wayward daughter. That’s one of the reasons why I leave him more in peace – he has a slight excuse, whereas mother has none. But if he had any guts, he would now stand up and say enough’s enough – take down all my daughter’s videos and let her rest in peace. He won’t of course.
I have encountered Norm. It was quite some time ago on a page of mine. He left the comment ‘Your fucking discusting’ (sic). That sort of sums up his inability to argue a point. I advised him to steer clear of Facebook and everything else if he didn’t want to get upset.
Again, I’ll defend him slightly. Men of his type see themselves as knights and dragon-slayers. They can fight, but they can’t reason. His impulse would have been to kill the threats to his daughter, to punch them out – but you can’t invite the Internet outside for a man to man showdown. Nor can you come to terms with the fact that it was girls who attacked Amanda most. How does a ‘man’ sort that one out? I’m guessing that Norm will be inwardly broken. A father’s duty is to protect his child. He could have fought against bears, wolves, and other men – but not against 21st century webcam watchers.
I will end with closer observations from someone I know. It has been edited to protect the person’s identity:
‘I don’t trust you, but just to lay to rest some of your hypothesis and your misinformation I felt the need to respond to your blog.
Basically, what the public has seen and what those involved in her life know, are two very different stories….you picked up on that obviously.
Anyways, the story line is not that complex, but what Amanda went through in the years before her suicide was very complex for her. …..her mother Carol was an educator and held academics etc in high esteem and yes, Amanda had learning disabilities and could not excel in school as she would have liked. She had very low self-esteem and was not able to apply old lessons to new situations. She was reaching out ( often to people she thought she could trust ) for true friends, finding very few. And yes, this guy whoever he was did “stalk” her online and even sent her pictures to her teachers at the second school she was at. Her parents tried to have him tracked down by police unsuccessfully. If she were my daughter, she would not have been allowed on facebook or computer for years…seriously, it was a big part of her downfall, being a constant part of the cyber world slander.
She had a beautiful side and a side that had a lot of learning to do…she lashed out at people that hurt her causing them to lash back. She reached out for attention and love in the wrong ways. She craved the limelight, and no you did not see her sing well on you tube, but boy that girl could sing. She was in a Music Academy ….and performed to a wowed crowd months before her death. She became agoraphobic in her later months, her world shrank. …he (Norm Todd) was very very strict and tried everything to “control her”. It backfired. She was out of control ….he spent many nights trying to talk with her…trying to teach her how to handle herself with self respect. Mistakes in parenting were made mainly in the sense that Carol and Norm did not know how to handle her or to give her what she needed. Her dad is old school and a “tough no nonsense parent”, but I think he lacked the ability to nurture and support her along with the “tough love” approach. Both parents allowed her too much cell phone and laptop/facebook time. Both parents accepted her wild ways as part of being a teenager. I’m not sure that they had the faith in her that she needed them to…they assumed she would make bad choices. Sadly, she was starting to grow up and make better choices. Despite Carol’s unusual response to the death of her daughter ( yes, she found her dead in her bedroom ), Carol was always a devoted mom. I think her inability to connect emotionally with the death of her daughter is likely akin to her inability to connect emotionally with her while she was living. Her reaction or lack of it is part of the stoicism she learned in her tough adopted traditional Chinese family – work hard, really hard, succeed, don’t bring shame to the family etc.. Norm was an “absent” father much of the time and could get very “angry” with her, but he did love his daughter, and no, there was not anything “creepy” or “strange” going on in their father/daughter relationship.
Anyways, not much more to say but that you can’t pigeon hole people into all or nothing, black and white roles…most have good qualities and bad, strengths and weaknesses…The Todds had all of these too. They were just parents who were unable to pass on to their daughter things that they never received growing up themselves. They did their best. Amanda was a tough girl to manage, strong but sensitive, sweet but vengeful, thoughtful but careless…’
‘Hi Philip – as I said, we will let it go for now. It is unsettling to me that you do follow this so closely and with so many details…too unsettling for me….not sure where you are coming from….hopefully you’re doing good things out there in the world Philip.
Amanda made a lot of bad choices, but just couldn’t stay out of the limelight – good or bad – that is mental illness, she had mental illness and that is where the focus needs to be…not anti-bullying. If a kid is healthy, they can handle the bullying or any other crap that comes their way. The Social support systems for messed up youth are overburdened…parents gotta do their jobs!! period.Take care.’
These communications are interesting. I’ve left in things that go against what I say (I still believe, for instance, that the ‘stalker’ was very different from how the media and the Todds want him to be perceived, and I’m not sure that being a show-off is a ‘mental illness’). For now, you can make your own minds up. I may return to this later.
The publication of these communications is, to a certain extent, a betrayal of trust, but I have kept the identity secret. I also believe that when people get in touch with me that they do, in a sort of confessional way, want me to repeat what they have said. It will be interesting to see what people make of this post.
Blimey – this is long! We couldn’t leave without a quick mention about Carol Todd’s campaign to win the ‘Me to We’ award. She truly is quite vile. Up against two candidates who really are worthy of winning, Mrs Todd has resorted to drumming up support from all the Amanda fans – never one to miss an opportunity to exploit Amanda further. But hey, she wants to win for a good cause – her trip to Las Vegas depends on it.
Joking aside, if she played fairly, I would congratulate her (through clenched teeth). But hold on – what lovely ploy has she suggested for her supporters? Vote twice, vote three times, vote as many times as you can. Really, this woman just shows herself up every time. I have commented a couple of times to combat her campaign – using truth as always – and of course, her supporters have picked up on my ‘lying’. But that’s all part of the show, now. Truth versus lies. Me versus her. But I think I’ll lose this little skirmish. But I won’t lose the war! (OK, I probably will lose the war, but I have to try to rally myself sometimes!)
So it’s been a fair old read today. Thanks, readers. I wish you all love and peace. Even the ones who spam my inbox with 997 messages; or the ones who persecute anybody who comments here; and even the Todds. Everyone deserves love and peace. Just some more than others.