Laura Lynn Edwardson (continued)

OK – so I’m not going to win the award for the best blog post title in the world. And maybe it won’t even make the ‘Top Ten Most Interesting Posts’ either, but I guess I’ll continue where I left off yesterday.

So I received the next email from Laura.

Philip-

I post, and then must ponder my continued participation…
In her grade 7 year, Amanda went to live with her father and was there for 2 years +. Carol and her were not getting along, Carol was trying to set boundaries and ground rules that Amanda would not accept. She asked to live with her dad. She had only returned to live with her mom in the spring of 2012 by which point she was Agoraphobic and spent most of her time locked up in her bedroom. During the years of her interet nightmares I think her dad thought, like many parents,  that a daughter locked up in her bedroom quiet is better than one out on the streets hanging out and getting into “trouble.” THERE IN lies the rub…parents think because their teens are home “safe and sound” in their rooms that they are just that, “safe and sound” – couldn’t be farther from the truth and that is the lesson to be learned. My own teens are home each night in my eyesight and interacting with family…yes, some attitude flies here and there, and sometimes I wish they’d give me some  space, but better than the alternative. 
 Narcissistic behaviour is not “confident” behaviour, and many narcissists have VERY low self esteem whilst commanding attention to themselves…it’s a proportionate formula – the bigger the need for “grandiosity” the lower the esteem. Amanda’s is a story of extremes – trying to help her was tough, her friends and those that tried to support her saw her suffering terribly, curled up with a blanket on the bathroom floor for  3 days wrapped around the bathroom toilet through Christmas 2010, lying in ditches and running away in winter with no shoes or coat, she would call for help, talk honestly and with clarity, then turn around two weeks later and do it all again. Her father tried taking her off facebook and cell phone for a month here and there -forms of punishment. She would sit in her room in depression-serious withdrawl from an addiction that like many addictions in the end can ruin you. She didn’t have the skills to fight it…we have to arm kids with understanding about the ultimate ruin that can come from the internet draw. and FYI …
….Carol drove out to Surrey in her pajamas at 2 in the morning to get Amanda on this night you speak of…in fact, she drove to pick up her daughter many a time at ungodly hours to rescue her from yet another “bad scene” she had gotten herself into…) = as I said before , these are not things the public knows about…anyways, that’s all for now.
My response.
Briefly, I still don’t get it. You talk of agoraphobia, then her being out; of her depressed Christmas 2010, but online with Shylah January 12th – getting ready for a ‘show’. But I have photos of her with Shania out in the open. And Cassidy said she was always going out with Jessica, Quinn and Brandon. None of it adds up.

And I just don’t get the driving out at ungodly hours. If she knew Amanda was vulnerable….I just don’t get it. Are you saying that Amanda was COMPLETELY out of control? Why wouldn’t Carol keep in touch via mobile, and say ‘If you’re not in by 12, there’ll be trouble’?

Why would a mother allow the weed smoking without any criticism? I find it all too much to believe. This isn’t an 18 year old we’re talking about.

Just how much are you aware of? You must know about the videos, I guess, but that’s another thing that shocks me – is Carol unaware of the fact that the more she seeks publicity, the more people search for the videos?

There is too much in this story that is contradictory. Staying in/going out; all alone/plenty of friends; and I’m still not sure about the self-esteem thing. A low self-esteem cheer leader who seemed to spend most of her time in front of a camera flicking the fingers? I might give you bi-polar, but not low self-esteem.

Quotes from ‘friends’: Not exactly agoraphobic, wouldn’t you say?
‘Secondly, at the time Jessica posted that I don’t think Amanda was too fragile. Her and Brandon went to parties and there are many photos of Amanda drinking on Facebook, going out having fun with friends. I believe the visits to the hospital came after the comment, I dont ever recall hearing Amanda Todd was in the hospital.
If you want to hear what I believe, it’s that the fact Amanda and Brandon weren’t together anymore was why she killed herself. I have had sources tell me that Amanda and Brandon talked all night the night before she passed. She really wanted Brandon back, she even made a video about it and how much they had together because he was one person who always listened, cared and loved her a lot and when he didn’t want to be with her anymore, her world came crashing down. You have to remember that she was 15, and when your best friend/boyfriend wants nothing to do with you, it feels like everything is gone and you have nothing and you get sad and depressed and of course she had a lot of other problems. So she decided it wasn’t worth living, or she was suffering too much and that’s why she killed herself not because of bullies.’

See what I mean? Anyways – whose version of the truth will we believe?

Then Laura responds.
Amanda –
birth to 2010 – grows up in active normally dysfunctional family ( like most ) but is ADHD, impulsive and emotionally “unstable”
2010 – makes bad choice as young teen by posting what she did – was already struggling with major difficulties in learning at school
2010-2012 – pays for this bad choice and for the many other postings (which I have never seen and do not wish to) through extreme cyberslandering/bullying  that branched through all schools and communities in her region and  school yard bullying as well…despite her many bad choices Amanda went through a degree of torture and ostracization that no adult could have tolerated
2012 – becomes Agoraphobic and depressed, doesn’t know how to handle her difficulties any more
2012-  meets boy that seems to care about her, all the while battling depression, many reach out to help, she doesn’t see the love and caring from the good people, boy hurts her badly, she ends her life.Yes.

Oct 10, 2013 – something about her story and message touches the world – her straightforward and creative delivery of her message on the internet? the way she looked? her courage to say “to hell with this place, I am out of here”? her need for “fame” and “attention” that she couldn’t get in life, maybe thought she could get in death? …a mother trying to redeem herself/her daughter’s life and find purpose for her daughter’s death through an unmatchable committment to change the things that contributed to the loss of Amanda.This is a multi-layered and                 complex story…sadly, there are many more teenagers out there going through the same things…how as an individual or as a society we are to help is a big mountain to climb…but you have to admit, through Amanda’s death and Carol’s outreach, the waters are being churned…   people are talking and searching for answers at all levels…and in my world, most people are looking to do good, not “looky looing” at naked  pictures posted by a young girl who was “very messed up”….and I will move on in my world of “do-gooders” where my soul rests calmly and thoughtfully unfettered by the nauseating few who for whatever reason choose a different path.


That’s all folks.
This is all getting a bit bollocksy by now. So I respond.
Laura,
I think – and hope – that you are a reasonable and rational person, so perhaps you need to re-think your evaluation of the story.
Firstly, you write:
‘ boy hurts her badly’ – that’s nonsense. Brandon was just an ordinary boy, in an ordinary teen relationship. Whatever he did, he never set out to hurt her. In all of the Carol Todd sanctimonious behaviour, she has never reached out to him to forgive – it is likely that he will always have the worry about how much he was to blame. Do ALL Todd people seek to blame other people? Even 15 year old boys?
You talk of cyberslandering – yet you don’t actually know what she did online. I think that if you knew the extent of what she did online, you might understand why people reacted in the way they did. I think you prefer to think that she maybe did only a little online, and that the backlash was over the top. In fact, she did a LOT online, and the backlash was not so big.
Agoraphobia? Give it a rest. All the pictures and performances show otherwise.
Now – why doesn’t Carol admit it was teen heart-break that really did for her?
Why does Carol insist that Amanda was 12 when she first flashed?
‘Courage’ to say get the Hell out of here? You must be insane. Tell all the suicidal kids that it’s courageous? You really have no idea, do you?
You are severely misled if you think that the Amanda story is doing any good whatsoever. But you seem to be severely misled in just about everything else about this story.
There’s a big difference between being a Pollyanna and being ignorant.
I suggest this. I guess that you and Norm must be flabbergasted by the hatred, and can’t understand why people responded so vehemently. But you will desperately try to form a version of the truth that makes everything seem better, rather than one that will make you realise the truth. Fair enough. But maybe finding out the whole story would be better? I don’t know.
As for Carol doing good – why didn’t she fight against online porn? Why does she espouse the laissez-faire attitude to parenting (don’t bother if they smoke weed and so on). Didn’t it ever occur to her that weed-smoking is incredibly dangerous for teenage depression?
So….I will continue the fight for truth.
Laters!
Laura responds.
 Philip –
 All your points are valid…I do appreciate your insights. I poorly phrased the “hurt by the boy” sentence, I fully understand that this was just a young teen romance gone bad…totally get that, and contrary to Norm and Carol, I have stood up for Brandon and reminded them that yes, he too must be hurting bad.
By courage to commit suicide, you are right, the act of suicide should never be termed a “courageous act”,  I am simply saying that while she was messed up she was also a very strong and determined young girl – she told her father she wanted to die, she did not want to live anymore on many occasions the weeks before her death. Her parting words on her phone video were very casual…and happy go lucky…see ya, …smile. We will never know the thoughts that she had at that point…I have pondered that she knew the fame and notoriety that would come from her suicide, the impact it would have on those she wanted to hurt back…so I am not oblivious to the idea that her suicide may not have been just about a despondent teenage girl, but a girl planning to send a  BIG “FU” message to many!
Agoraphobic – yes – Phil, I do know what I am talking about –  no more outings to restaurants or Mcdonalds, no more movies, no more shopping at malls, no more camping or cabin trips, basically she confined herself to her room and home…anything she did on the net during this time was obviously all that she had left. Literally, her friends and family struggled for over 1/2 year to get her out of her home for anything. ….so call that what you will?
For Carol, I think she thought at this point that the mistakes Amanda was making outside of the home were “beyond her ability to control” – backwoods Surrey, parks, hangouts etc, and felt that if she needed to “party” in her way, better in the home with friends where Carol could be watchful over her…I didn’t agree either with giving liscence to pot smoking etc, not something I would ever encourage with my kids…I think Carol was just choosing her battles at the time.
Anyways, I appreciate your honest confrontation, and yes, Norm and I do know the depths of Amanda’s internet world, and the really bad choices she was making, but we do need to hang on to the sweet side of her too, the side that many perhaps did not know…she once found and bought my favorite CD and wrapped it in 25 different layers of wrapping paper for Christmas. She sat with me on the couch smiling from ear to ear as it took me 15 minutes to open it…I will never forget that morning, our hugs and laughs, and that’s what I choose to hang on to.
Take care, Philip, I hope have given you some insights to help settle your angst … I am guessing we will never know all the answers.
Laura.
OK – this is getting far too stupid. ‘Literally, her friends and family struggled for over 1/2 year to get her out of her home for anything. ….so call that what you will?’ Give me a break! That theory is, of course, blown out of the water in my reply.

Then we have Amanda shopping in the Mall with Sophie. Out with her mom in September.

And you speak of a Music Academy performance?

And many more. That agoraphobia thing seems to be way off kilter.

And surely – it HAS to be Shania or Sophie in the double flash video? My money’s on Shania.

There’s something not right here.

You haven’t seen her pics (writing: ‘many other postings (which I have never seen and do not wish to)‘), yet you say ‘Norm and I do know the depths of Amanda’s internet world, and the really bad choices she was making’.

Are you aware of what ‘bate’ videos are?

There are just too many contradictions. Am I the only person on this planet how has a true inking of what went on?

You know I’m getting angry when I say things like ‘how has a true inking’ LOL.

Laura, who has basically run out of lies by now, simply responds.

Anyways, I have said my piece. Cheers.

Was this the end of the discussion? No, not at all. It still goes on, with Laura getting even more batty as time goes on.
So what do people think?
Ta ta for now.

3 thoughts on “Laura Lynn Edwardson (continued)

  1. Philip – I am very pleased that you picked up on the two points that completely shocked & angered me here the most:

    ‘Boy hurts her badly – she ends her life’

    She had the courage to say “To hell with this place, I’m out of here”

    Unbelievable. Totally & utterly unbelievable.

  2. Philip,

    First of all, you have a highly informative blog, it helped me to finally understand this Amanda-puzzle, really. That said, you write several times that this story told by Laura does not add up, etc. Unfortunately, it adds up way too well, especially if you also search on the internet for what her ex-schoolmates told about Amanda’s behavior and treatment of other kids (I think there are 3 such brief testimonies, probably you know them). It does not add up for you, because you are lacking some knowledge on personality disorders. This girl very likely had BPD, with strong narcissistic elements. I agree with Laura’s assessment: although this is a complex story, this is primarily a sad story of a child suffering from mental illness. Do some research on BPD, and you will understand that you can finally rest your case, you pretty much solved it.

    • Thanks for the comment. I didn’t deal with Laura too well.
      I’m not really a believer in mental illness as being the only answer to things, as other things can exacerbate it all.

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