This is it. The final true story of Amanda Todd. I’m not going to cross-reference with evidence too much, because all my regular readers will know how thoroughly I do my research, and most of the proof is already contained within this blog. And I want this post to be as short as possible.
Some things to understand:
Shylah, Amanda, Bianca and all the rest could have walked out of the scene of a brutal mass murder, covered in blood and holding knives, and the British Columbia police would have immediately announced that the prime suspects were young males with a bit of a record, preferably black, and would have arrested people who were 300 miles away at the time. We are conditioned to believe that young girls, especially if they are pretty, are innocent.
Amanda was what could be termed a ‘drama queen’, like a ton of teenage girls. She lived in a fantasy world where her online encounters were love affairs, all her viewers were adoring fans, and fame and fortune were just around the corner. She was capable, as seen in her September video, of making up an entirely fake story. She was an endless attention-seeker.
Amanda was way, way out of her depth. She knew all about capping, and she was fully aware of the risks. She could deal with whatever the online world threw at her, because it meant that she was getting that craved-for attention, yet the amount of it all would eventually overwhelm her.
Teenage girls are like a vicious pack of wild dogs. Boys are too thick, too emotionally unaware to know how to totally destroy someone. Boys think that a few well-aimed fists will hurt someone; girls know that a few well-aimed words will kill them.
Amanda went online, as she said, very early on – from 2008. She encountered all the other kids who swarmed to sites like BlogTV, and it was great fun. There were no rules, no parents, a realm ruled by children. She would, at that time, have no idea of the ‘other’ types of people who she might have met.
Around 2010, she met ‘Tommy’. I will not name names. She was becoming more outgoing. She began to realise that people were interested in her boobs and that, even though she sang and danced, a flash would see the attention rocket. Other kids might have backed off, but Amanda made the most of it.
Then came the first major error. Amanda’s antics were getting slightly worse. But she was not alone. Her little coterie of associates were at it big time. Amanda was at the level where she had her own show – regularly, at 7 pm British Columbia time, every Friday. The Amazing Amanda. With guest stars Shylah, Celine, Celia, Tessa and Bianca.
By the end of 2010, Amanda was known throughout the Vancouver school circuit and, of course, further afield. Then came the first big storm.
A prime rule. When you are a member of the Mean Girl team, whatever you do, keep on the right side of them. There was a falling out with Blabbermouth Bianca. People will know that Amanda and Bianca appeared together. Not many will know that this was for ‘Tommy’. Bianca wanted Tommy. Amanda wanted Tommy. Hullabaloo! Bianca unleashes the first wave of hate, and the school kids spread news of her videos.
There was no release of a video by a predator. Amanda displayed to hundreds and hundreds of people. Her displays – judging by the plethora of copies online – were everywhere. The spread of the video was purely down to her popularity and the fact that so many people knew what she was doing.
Evidence of Amanda’s activities spread like wildfire amongst the kids, egged on not by some mystery predator, but by all those who knew her. She already had a fair share of haters, and when her ex-friends joined in, she was doomed. Amanda’s actions had gone beyond playground joke material. At the same time, her fame was spreading amongst the Cappers.
Shylah and company still hung around after the December ‘photo’ revelation, but it was all going downhill. Being a friend of Amanda was not a good thing, and the final straw was the Glowsticks episode (around March/April 2011).
Meanwhile, in the background, we had the parental split. In so many stories like this, there is always something crucial going on in the family. Carol and Norm had long been aware of their daughter’s activities, but in Harper Valley no one really cares unless it all goes public, which it did in December 2010. Norm’s reaction was one of ‘what the Hell can I do?’; Carol’s reaction was to ostracise and shun her daughter.
Amanda had nowhere to run, except to the wide-open arms of the Internet. It truly is tragic. One minute, she’s swimming in the waters of the web, next minute she’s drowning – and there’s no one around to help.
By now, not only is Amanda a semi-pariah amongst her peers, she is a pariah to her own mom. Absolutely classic destruction scenario.
If you are virtually an outcast, there are only certain types of people who will accept you – and they are not the best. And if you truly want to be accepted in this environment, then you have to be the worst amongst the worst. You have to put out more, you have to drink more, you have to smoke more weed, you have to fight for that attention. And each step along the way brings more disapproval, more hatred, more trouble and worse – more self-loathing, manifesting itself as a mixture of extreme bravado on occasion, and self-harm the next.
Amanda was locked in to the self destruct path. Instead of backing off, she got worse. By this time, she would have been encountering the mad world of online heroes and villains, running through the whole gamut of chancer-pedophiles, haters from amongst her own circles, and the type of blackmailer that no one seems to have understood – the ones who were using threats of exposure to get her offline. However – she didn’t care. Amanda was by now a professional webcam user. She knew exactly what she was doing. Every threat she received, be it from the cops, her parents, blackmailers, predators, would have been met with ‘Bring it on’. Indeed, there is proof of this from Amanda’s timeline around March 2011:
The threat: ‘its me again bitch, you didn’t answer my hate message again, your going to be in for something tomorrow.’
Reaction from Amanda: ‘OMG IM SO SCAREDD 😉 SMD’
So we’re roughly at April 2011. Amanda is increasingly isolated, and increasingly arrogant – an arrogance born from complete despair. When someone is low, there’s not much anyone can do to make them lower. Her responses (like the one above) to any threat would only make things worse.
By now, a whole lot of people know about Amanda, and she revels in it. She’s not that fussed that she’s called Glowsticks. On the surface, she’s thriving on it. Inside, she’s emotionally distraught. She is well and truly hooked to the Internet. Her not going out is interpreted as self-imposed isolation, whereas it’s just more and more an opportunity to go online.
It doesn’t matter how many times she moves school, or where she goes. Her legend is pervasive. Over and over again I hear names of schools – Glen, Kway, Pitt, Fox. She was known throughout Vancouver. The Austin Collins attempt to create a ‘shitfest’ would have been pointless – pathetic mischief-making – because everyone knew. Even Tyler Boo’s dim-witted hero attempt is met with disdain – if the whole world is calling you ‘Glowsticks’, it’s all so empty.
With her regular Friday night online show, the perves and the chancers didn’t even have to hunt for her. One of them writes to her to complain, and she promises to be back next Friday (an interruption caused by the cops on the snoop). Tyler Boo warns her about the risk of producing child porn but remember – Amanda doesn’t care.
Apart from being in a complex psychological turmoil, all of Amanda’s actions would have had one real aim. All acts of self-harm, suicide threats, dangerous attention-seeking are essentially a cry for love – in this case, the love of a mother. Here’s the cycle: Amanda is a bit lost and gets in trouble. Carol Todd is emotionally disconnected. Amanda wants mom’s attention, so she creates a ruckus. Carol Todd cuts her off completely. Amanda begs for forgiveness and is ignored. Result? A double whammy: Amanda feels she might as well go the whole hog now, as she has nothing left to lose, but I suspect that she also felt that if she went totally over the top, mom would eventually be forced to show some care. How wrong could she be?
From April to October 2011, I lose track of Amanda. The next occurrence is the second police intervention which we know is October/November. It’s the second time that the public contact Cybertip due to Amanda’s actions, and the RCMP send the ‘get Amanda offline’ email to Carol and Norm. What is astonishing at this point is that it’s not enough. There is a major clampdown. Amanda loses all of her accounts, all her Facebook pages (that people know about), and her twitter account.
But blow me! Within a matter of days, Amanda is back online on twitter, desperately trying to regain all the followers that she had so carefully acquired. There simply is no stopping her. She isn’t locked in to porn displays, she is addictively locked in to the quest for fame. Her popularity is measured in followers and likes. Without them, she is nothing.
Meanwhile, back in the real world, Amanda’s world is out of control. Indeed, she was out of control. I imagine her as the ball in a pinball machine. She is caught. Every time she tries to be positive, she gets knocked back. Every time she responds by going further, the knock backs get greater. She would not have understood that a one-night stand was not the prelude to a long-term relationship full of love and romance, and every time she felt rejected, so her need for love grew, and as her need for love grew, so did the amount of rejection. Teen Hell, basically.
But she is tough and resilient, far more than people think. She wouldn’t have been worried by the showdown fight – it wouldn’t have been the first time. Remember – when someone feels as emotionally beaten up a she does, a physical beating is just another event in a world that is against you. And remember, Amanda had verbally dished out as much abuse as she received, if not more. Not only would the kids have thought that Amanda had it coming, Amanda herself may well have thought that way.
I strongly suspect that the ditch and bleach reports may have been more fantasy, but for now we’ll assume that these events are partly real.
Amanda was drama queen supreme. Every single thing she did was mined for its attention value. But this wasn’t so much look-at-me attention, it goes far deeper than that, and I will not enter into cod-psychology talk. Suffice to say that very often, the biggest attention-seeker is the weakest soul. The toughest exterior masks the saddest interior.
So Amanda, as usual, milks the bleach episode. Deep down, she wants people to feel sorry for her, but she knows, as does everyone else, that it will be seen as attention-seeking on a massive scale. Remember – Amanda is known as an unbearable show-off, a terrible online exhibitionist, a serial sleep-around. And she still has those enemies – Bianca and the rest of the tribe. Who else would write, in amongst the hatred, that she would never be like Amanda Todd because:
I will never lie to and backstab my friend.
Surely only an old pal would write that, some close friend who she betrayed? For anyone wondering what that was all about, when Amanda was caught by the cops she named names. And let’s not forget Tommy.
Holey moley, let’s try and wrap this up.
Amanda was beginning to fall apart. Jesus, she was completely lost.
Imagine Scenario Number One: Amanda goes for therapy and medical help. How does she maintain her innocence? Think. Do you seriously imagine that she will sit down with a therapist and say ‘My nickname is Glowsticks, I have my own channel supplying child porn, I take drugs, drink and have sex regularly’?
Scenario Number Two: Amanda wakes up one morning with that ‘Today is the first day of the rest of your life’ positivity. But it’s too late. People might forget about what you did in real life, they might even forget all the ins and outs of past indiscretions, but all that Internet stuff is there forever. Her past would have been inescapable. Today would have been just another day of a future in which you would be perpetually known as ‘Glowsticks’.
Scenario Number Three: Amanda desperately needs/wants friends, or more specifically, love. She won’t find that from parents, so a boy would be the answer. She needs to heal. Sure, she can find a few girlfriends to go down the Mall with, to take selfies with, to blaze with, but she desperately wants to be loved. But she has that dreadful reputation. For some, it might have been attractive – a good-looking sexually active girl is a dream For some, they might have liked the idea of being a knight in shining armour for an incredibly needy girl. But it would have failed in the end. No guy wants to have to deal with sniggers behind the back regarding his girlfriend’s past; not many guys can handle extreme and problematical neediness for very long.
So Amanda hits upon what, at first glance, looks like a brilliant answer – the September video. Note that, at the back of my mind, I can’t help but think that she was aided in this masterpiece. The September video would have fulfilled Amanda’s desperate needs – on one hand, it guaranteed the attention that she just couldn’t live without, but most of all it would have made her look like an innocent victim. It wasn’t BlogTV appearance after BlogTV appearance, it was ‘one photo’. It wasn’t insane narcissistic exhibitionism, it was all forced upon her by an evil predator. It wasn’t masturbation with glowsticks, it was one little flash.
But it failed drastically. She would have received a tsunami of hatred and indignation from all those who knew her. The lies would have caused a ton of trouble, and she would have been attacked almost immediately. And she overloooked one crucial aspect. Most kids have short memories. Her flashing would fade into obscurity. Kids get bored quickly, and there would have been plenty more things to talk about than Amanda. Perhaps she knew this.
But the September video simply revitalised her reputation. Even her friends would have been dismayed – why remind everyone of what happened? Even those whose patience was almost infinite would have been angry. It should never have been allowed, to be honest.
She followed up with a song. Oh Lord! All her peers would simply be thinking ‘Why can’t you just get offline and stop the incessant attention-seeking?’. But Amanda was Amanda. Instead of moving forward, growing up, listening to warnings, she remained the 13-14 year old centre-of-attention fame-craver.
The video, in Amanda’s circle, would have failed miserably. Any boyfriend, burdened not just by his own problems, but by Amanda’s, and potentially becoming an object of ridicule, would have had all the strains doubled after the September event.
Time was running out. She had alienated her parents. She had alienated just about everyone else. And now, really, she had alienated a whole new group of people.
She pleaded and pleaded for that last drop of attention, but she had exhausted everyone around her. She spent the last night on her phone, trying to keep her hope alive. She sent one last text. It was ignored.
Note: the temptation to go back and add to this account was huge, but it would have grown out of all proportion had I tried to explain everything in detail. Later on this week I might attempt to cover events from October 2012 to the present.