Good morning all! Well, Brighton has a cultural event today:
But I won’t be doing it – wouldn’t want to get things tangled up in the spokes, now would I? (The other joke is, of course, ‘You can sit on the crossbar’…’It’s a girl’s bike.’) And no – I won’t be going along as a spectator, either – what sort of person do you think I am?
So – it looks like Laura Lynn has hogged three consecutive days now, but I must admit, it’s relatively easy just to cut and paste stuff. So here we go – a continuation of the past couple of posts. Next week, we’ll be getting some humour back, I hope.
Philip – Well, bravo, you have me talking to you again, contrary to what I am being counselled to do.
If what you want are confessions from the caregivers in Amanda’s life about how we let her down…and this will lay your angst to rest, then here goes. I cannot speak for Carol, but I can speak for Norm and myself.
We did let her down. She was extremely vulnerable and in a lot of trouble. I was deeply involved for many years trying to support and help Amanda. Yes, here is an excuse, I am a single parent of my own three teenagers and trying to raise them up right is a full time job already, not to speak of working with troubled teens in the education system each day. I did what I could for Amanda with the time resources I had – the rest was up to her parents – insert so called “backslap” on my back here -.When she moved back to her mom’s in the spring, I did lose touch with her. I actually felt good knowing she was back with her mom and felt that Carol was taking good care of her…she wanted to be with her mom.
Please note, I don’t know if you have teenagers or have parented teens before, but you can “lead a horse to water, but you sure as hell cannot make them drink”…parenting a troubled teen can be a lot like this. You can inform, discipline, listen, guide and all the rest, and ultimately if they are going to make their bad decisions, they will make them…regardless of your involvement. In retrospect, all of the adults in her life needed to step in, in a much more “intervention” like way – shut down her electronic world completely, be with her 24/7, have her in a daily supported counselling program. This is where we let her down, the intervention with Amanda needed to be a severe one – quit the job, leave everything else behind and help her. I agree with your suggestion that we let her down in this way Philip. You see this, and you are right. Unfortunately like so many things in life, hindsight is 20/20. Her call for help on the internet was both alarming, terribly sad and distressing.
With hundreds of teenagers a day calling for help and statistically 11 in 100,000 kids following through with the suicide they talk of, it is disgusting you may think to bring it down to the logic of numbers, but most parents believe that they will get their kids through…Amanda was one of the 11. Is there something that does or doesn’t happen between the cry for help and the decision of a teen to take their life or not….THERE IN LIES THE QUESTION TO BE ANSWERED…many kids stray, many have suicidal thoughts, what makes the difference between a child who follows through and one that doesn’t…we all have our thoughts on this, but we bloody well better figure it out…that’s a big area where the time and money needs to go for our youth …in the white space between the Call for Help and the decision to end or not end their lives! It seems the numbers are going up, its so sad…and I am not an activist Philip, I have had to shrink my world down to helping in small ways in every moment I can in a day, I haven’t the means or the character to make global change….so perhaps if you really want to help, get off the back of someone who is doing this. Carol may have made her mistakes as a parent, WE ALL DO, but she is seizing the opportunity to make other parents so conscious of the journey she had, that we will snap out of our adult worlds and do what we need to for our kids. In fact, one of my own sons was suicidal after Amanda’s passing…I quit my job, on a short term leave, we have done a lot of work together with professionals and family…my son is doing great right now. The truth of the matter is Philip, I may not have taken my own son’s shout out for help as seriously as I did, if not for Amanda…so yes, despite anything negative you might say, in this way, her story will help in a HUGE way.
Thanks for listening, you helped me process a lot of my own stuff.
Well, you know I won’t fall for ALL of this. Carol Todd is seizing the opportunity to get a trip to Las Vegas – simple as that. And until she tells the truth – all the stuff online, the imaginary stalker (I know virtually all the story about that, thanks), her appalling uselessness – it will not stop.
I ask you to envisage this situation:
Carol Todd encourages mothers to basically go ‘meh’ when your teen becomes a lover of Mary Jane. Other mothers take this as a piece of lovely advice.
No way can I allow that to continue.
If Carol Todd in ANY WAY whatsoever hinted that weed-smoking might be dangerous and contributory, then I would leave it.
Carol Todd encourages mothers to say ‘meh’ when their teens drink. See above.
Carol Todd ignores video suicide note with another ‘meh’ – see above.
Look at Carol’s blog – all me, me, me. Rehteah Parsons – all about me really.
You know as well as I do that Carol Todd is a self-serving publicist (rockstar mom? give me a break)
And get this – she allows Shania, Amanda, Sophie and co to smoke weed and so on not because it keeps them within sight, but it makes them all say ‘Oh Carol, you’re such a wonderful mom, not like my mom who would tell me off’. Seriously, Carol disgusts me.
Let’s chuck in another thought for you: Carol Todd throttles daughter for the shame and the worry. Bruises and injuries blamed on hanging and attempted CPR. That might explain the lack of any grief whatsoever. LOL.
Do you seriously believe that Amanda’s story brings good? When, in my country and others, it has been politely stomped on? When it creates such huge waves of hatred and malice online? When people deify her to the point of beatification, making her an INCREASER
of suicidal tendencies?
Really – you are somewhat in denial.
‘but she is seizing the opportunity to make other parents so conscious’ – of what – according to Carol, it was all down to one photo and a stalker; of schoolgirl bullies; any old nonsense that she can point at; she has not done ONE thing to highlight the dangers of places like cameracaptures, leaving it to ME to get her precious Princess’s video off the site.
Who’s counselling you not to say anything, by the way? Norm and Carol?
(OK – so I’m getting some of my tetchiness back again. But this is mild compared to a recent communication).
Actually Philip, I have a lot to say to you, but am hosting a dinner for some friends and in the middle of preparing food..I will respond fully later, when I have more time. I hear what you are saying, I really do…despite the hurt that you are capable of imposing with your sometimes harsh words, I applaud the fact you question everything so deeply, honestly, it has helped me face some things more honestly that have been floating around in my head for months. I will talk to this more later.
Laura – I think you are, to a certain extent, rather embroiled in this by now.
You would think that the Amanda story would have shown at least one thing – never get involved with strangers online.
I tell you what’s going on in my mind:
You approached me saying you would be honest.
You then gave me the story which, to a great extent, I expected, but it didn’t appear to be truthful. For instance, you spoke of agoraphobia, when there is a huge amount of evidence proving the opposite; you said you hadn’t seen the full details of what Amanda was doing online, then you said you knew completely what she was up to.
So I begin to see you as being dishonest – and you know that I hate that with a vengeance.
You know that I believe that, in order for the Amanda story to have its full impact, the truth has to be told. There are simply too many dangerous examples set by this story. I can give you just one of them:
Carol has allowed the story of ‘older man’ predator to take hold. She allowed the ’30 year old Kody Maxson’ story to flourish – it’s all lies. What she should have admitted was that Amanda was addicted to the Internet, but she went for a story of a one-off trick by some dirty pervert. This has at least two drawbacks:
1. Kids will be alert to these ‘older’ predators. Unfortunately, they will be completely unaware that most interest for Amanda came from kids in her own age group plus or minus two or three years. So they won’t recognise the possible threats.
2. Parents will be unaware of the existence of Omegle, Stickam etc., and ignorant of the fact that their daughters are acting like dancers at the 21st Century online burlesque. The people who have come to me with most support have been those who have been shocked by what goes on – they had assumed Amanda was indeed tricked, not that she was virtually a professional.
So until ALL of this is told truthfully, so many other things will get overlooked. Carol is not addressing problems, she’s exacerbating them. Why do you think so many experts wanted her kept away from discussions, and wanted the video taken down because of the problem of suicide ideation?
At some point, you will see that I am doing this for a good reason. Maybe then you’ll sit down and give me a more reasoned and truthful response to some of my questions.
I am intrigued by how I could be helping you process things, but if it makes you feel any better, you weren’t to blame, and you know it.
On one of Amanda’s friends Facebook profiles, there was a very mature comment. It said something like ‘Amanda wanted to do it. It was in her destiny, and nobody could stop her’. Maybe that’s true.
And one more thing – just in case I haven’t said it before – I have quite an experience of all this. I won’t bother you with details, but I know a lot more than you can ever hope to. And that’s not meant to be enigmatic – I’m just sick and tired of people assuming that only they experience things.
Anyway – enough. I will alter today’s post, as it achieved what it was meant to achieve.
Like I said, I’m still intrigued and puzzled as to how all this helps. But if you do want a proper ‘conversation’ about all this online, then go ahead – maybe both of us could benefit. But don’t go down the lines of utter unfounded codswallop. Just be honest.
Chill. Relax. Maybe forgive yourself? I don’t know what you need.
At this point, I discover that Laura has been up to mischief. If there’s one thing that I can’t stand, it’s two-faced, sly and hypocritical behaviour. And I respond to it quite viciously. Unless I do it, of course. Then it’s necessary. LOL.
Then (still from me).
Oh Laura! I thought you might be a bit more private than that!
Laura – your profile is wide open to everyone. Really – you have to keep a lid on things, Good pic of Amanda though – was this before or after the crippling agoraphobia?
You really should lock down you profile. And for Pete’s sake, you should never have let me find out who you are.
Oh Laura – what are we going to do? You do realise this put an entirely new spin on the story, don’t you? Pics of Amanda in Idaho, eating cake, having fun. Not what we were led to believe, now, is it?
Not sure where we veered off the straight and narrow of conversing about Amanda’s story…you think I am being dishonest with you? you think I have something to hide? The reason you are able to access my pictures etc is because I have nothing to hide, that’s how I live my life…so have at er, I am pleased that you were able to see Amanda “enjoying” her life…she didn’t have a lot of that in the later years – the pics you saw were from years ago anyways.
So in the matter of “TRUTH” – There are truths that lie in straight undeniable facts, like in mathematics, and there are mundane truths, like an apple is a round edible fruit, and there are controversial truths that no matter what, subjective views will come in to pull out the truth that best suits the observer.
So, an apple is red ( sometimes other colors), round, edible, and grows on a tree. For today, I choose to focus on the truth that “it grows on a tree”. You cannot dispute that truth. You may choose to focus on the fact that it is a round fruit, I can’t dispute that truth. So in my convuluted way, I am saying that “THE TRUTH” may have many underlying “mini” truths that support it.
I think in the end Philip you may drive yourself crazy trying to come up with “THE TRUTH” – those of us who knew Amanda and her family well cannot wrap it up neatly with a bow and deliver it to the world….why have you given yourself this very difficult task, from trying to do this from afar, from heresay, from media representation etc.? from people like myself who against their better judgement continue to converse with you. Amanda is gone, we will never have her back. The rest of her family moves on to deal with their lives and the aftermath in the best way they can.
I think I have said all that I have to say, it is my truth as I see it.
I do not choose to delve into the “ugly” underpinnings of the out of control part of Amanda’s life, I do not choose to delve into how Carol channels her energies after her daughter’s death – believe me Philip, everyone around her knew what she was doing, neighbours, Aunts, Uncles, parents, teachers…everyone in our community – it was not pretty, no one is trying to paint a pretty picture of it all – for as many people who have channeled her story into good energy, there are as many who have done the opposite – we need both sides for good learning – IT IS IMPORTANT that everyone know all sides – no one is denying what you are saying – she was not an angel, she was not innocent, she was as much a victim as an instigator, those of us who knew Amanda knew this well, and still loved and tried to help her. Don’t worry Philip, the truth is out there, even the Pollyannas have likely hunted down her history in the dark corners of their computer rooms at night, but it doesn’t change us wanting this not to happen to another teenager….
Now – regarding truth. If you want to bake a flapjack, take some oats, some butter, and some Golden Syrup, mix it up together and bake it in the oven. It doesn’t matter what proportions of ingredients you use, you will end up with something roughly like a flapjack. If you take some onions, some cement mix, and an old shoe and bake it, you’re not going to come anywhere near close to a flapjack.
My version of the truth is like the first flapjack; the Todds’s version is like the second.
Laura – you must be aware that this is more of an emotional response than a sensible one.
The reason I think you are being dishonest is that, really, you want the legend of Amanda to survive, not the truth. And we have already spoken about how important the truth is.
You or the family could quite easily say to the world:
she wasn’t 12 years old when it started;
she flashed and worse multiple times, it wasn’t a one-off;
she was allowed to smoke weed and drink;
she was out of control;
and so on.
If you want to remain in your own world concerning Amanda, don’t keep ranting about it in public. Simple as that.
EVERYONE is denying what I am saying. She has pictures of her with angel’s wings, for Pete’s sake; she is the Princess Snowflake; she is in Heaven; she is an inspiration; in reality, she was none of the above.
And stop the bollocks about all this happening to another teenager. You know and I know that suicide ideation soared after this event; you and I know that none of the kids really give a fuck about bullying any more; and basically, you’ve ended up making Amanda the slut look like Amanda the hero, e.g. the next time a kid flashes online, she’ll be beyond reproach because the great Amanda was such a role model!
But one good thing is – all the hoo haa HAS had an effect, but not the way you thought it would. Amanda Todd, by being such a gormless twat, made it uncool to self-harm and go on YouTube. Nobody wants to be like Amanda Todd – the dreadful bore!
Something must have really got me, as I up the temper switch.
Sod it – you, Norm and Carol have contrived to have Kody Maxson unnecessarily persecuted, to have ‘bullies’ still threatened (Carol has never extended any forgiveness), to parade the litany of lies, not to protect and help Brandon Reid. I thought you might be sensible, but you’re not unlike the Todds – tell a story, any story, but not one that makes us look bad.
So now, to a certain extent, you lot can experience what the Maxson family must have experienced. No mercy, basically.
No more nasty than encouraging ‘Kill Kody Maxson’ Facebook pages; no more nasty than allowing Brandon Reid to flounder; no more nasty than wishing terrible things on so-called bullies who are just kids; no more nasty than letting kids think that suicide is brave and inspirational; the list is almost endless.
I hear you Philip – I do. I just have to remain loyal to my team as deeply as you remain loyal to yours. I have to say, I am the sort of person who would be kind to my greatest enemy in knowing that somewhere they too have had big hurt in their life…but that’s me. I pretty much judge no one too harshly as I know everyone has a story, but I am a grey area person, a “waffler”, a yes I see both sides of the story person, it’s rarely black and white for me, usually a mixture that may have me looking apathetic or misinformed, but really, I have come through hours upon hours of thought to come out with a conclusion that may look half baked to some and oddly, it often has taken me a long time to process and get there. I admire people who stand strong on opposing sides of a fence without wavering, not to say I agree with them, but it does keep us all honest, it does make us all think more deeply than we might have before. So thank you for that Philip, there is a place for people who challenge mainstream thought …so keep it up…but you would/will get more listeners and followers to your truth page if you can state the truths without namecalling or slandering others, really…you seem very articulate and intelligent…I just have to sign off when the slanderous words come out, sorry, not good for my soul. Take care.
OK, that’s probably enough for today. The Laura/me conversation will finish tomorrow, when I resort to the f word a few times.
Was that too boring? I’ve published every email to give balance. Was I too horrid? Let me know. My personal view? When it comes to the Todd clan, it’s impossible to be too horrid.
Have a good day, hope you enjoyed the video! And love to all!