June 5 – Heart of Gold and Tears of Crystal

Another sunny day.  Another early interview.  But it was easier to talk about it this morning for some reason.  I think that my brain was able to process the information about the Beyond the Hurt program and also the format of the outlined project as described by the press release yesterday.   I am still interested in seeing how the program works.  I think that is just the curious teacher.  The question always comes back full circle. Is this enough?  I think it’s only a piece of the puzzle to help counter the bullying/cyberbullying/mental health that goes on.

Have you ever heard of a poem titled ‘I am just a boy”.  It was written by a 14 year old  boy who was bullied.  “I am just a boy” is an account of his life. His mom has kept her promise to be active on the anti-bullying front and formed the Guelph (Ontario) anti-bullying Coalition.  It is posted here on BullyingCanada.ca – http://www.bullyingcanada.ca/content/249251

I am Just a Boy – by M. MacIntyre age 14

I am just a boy who didn’t have any choices about the hell I have endured 

I am just a boy who couldn’t wait to go to school and learn and be liked 

I am just a boy who wanted to make friends and be part of the team 

I am just a boy who didn’t get to realize this dream 

I am just a boy who would walk around the playground, alone and sad, as I watched other kids play soccer and wished they would call me over to join in – just once 

I am just a boy who never got picked for a team and was always last picked in gym class 

I am just a boy who was teased for lacking in athletic ability and mocked for the way I run 

I am just a boy who desperately wanted to share my story but had to suffer in silence for fear of more torment 

I am just a boy who had to suck it up and pretend I was fine and it didn’t matter 

I am just a boy who wanted a friend and a confidant 

I am just a boy who wanted to be accepted for my differences but liked more because of them 

I am just a boy who looked forward to ending my primary school years better than they started 

I am just a boy who wanted to go on the year end trip with my classmates feeling a sense of belonging 

I am just a boy who just learned that I am not accepted and I don’t belong 

I am just a boy who won’t be victimized anymore and will make choices that will not subject me to the constant messages of you don’t matter or you are a freak 

I am just a boy who will leave elementary school the same way I started, wanting a friend, wanting to feel accepted wanting to be “one of the gang” 

I am just a boy who had to be brave and pretend that none of this hurt 

I am just a boy who is funny and kind and plays by the rules 

I am just a boy who doesn’t understand why subtle yet constant badgering isn’t considered bullying – yet it hurts just as much 

I am just a boy who is tired of waiting for it to stop, waiting for adults to make kids accountable, waiting for a better tomorrow 

I am just a boy who is wishing his childhood away because I hear that adults don’t behave that way 

I am just a boy who loves life, and laughter, and all the things that other kids like and for that I am not different 

I am just a boy who hopes that one kid understands the impact of being so mean, so unkind 

I am just a boy who wonders if they think about the cruel things they say, the cruel things that they do 

I am just a boy who wonders if they are being mistreated and that is why they are so careless with their words that cut through my soul 

I am just a boy who promises to never ever treat anyone like this 

I am just a boy who promises to raise children to be kind and thoughtful and tough enough to stand up to those that don’t 

I am – just a boy.

The words are hauntingly so true.  I don’t know how kids who treat others like this can live with themselves when they wake up the next morning.  Do these children not think or feel?  What would there parents think?  I was on the Roy Green Show with Mac’s mom on the weekend.  And then tonight, we had a phone conversation.  It is great to talk to people who understand and have the same passions.   Fortunately, Mac is now a strapping tall boy.  Probably taller than the kids who once bullied him.  His mom and I had a great conversation about the anti-bullying efforts in Ontario.  We also talked about her son and how he was bullied at school and now how he is with his PTSD.  I am just glad that his story wasn’t as tragic as Amanda’s or Rehtaeh’s or Jamie’s or Jenna (and the list goes on) ….  Which brings me back to the real topic at hand?  And I get asked this alot… WHAT MAKES A PERSON BEHAVE IN A WAY THAT THREATENS ANOTHER PERSON?  WHAT MAKES A BULLY?  I have gone to numerous websites and read about bullying and cyberbullying.  How to identify it?  What to do about it?  When I was talking to Lynn tonight, she was telling me about the many groups that have programs and resources to combat the bullying type behaviours.  And we asked ourselves, why are there so many.  Its it people trying to make a business to endorse their program.  Why can’t we (as a nation) find a good fit for all?

As I watched the Shinedown video of their concert where  Amanda’s You Tube video is displayed while they sang Bully, it is only the second time where I have gone through all the cards.  I have seen them intermittently over the past (almost) 9 months. What struck me tonight were the cards that said ‘I moved to my mom’s and wanted to just forget and move on’ and ‘after 6 months, they still posted pics of her with bleach and wanted her to die’.  She let them off.  She didn’t press charges.   She could have.  They are lucky that they didn’t have to be processed in the court system.  Those kids haven’t even shown their names or faces to me.  Do they feel remorse?  I have no idea.  Do their parents realize what their kids did and followed up with?  I wish I knew the answer.  As for the pics that were posted after in August of 2012 from kids saying that Amanda should drink another type of bleach and try again.  6 MONTHS LATER.  Amanda had moved away.  They didn’t give her peace.  Those pics and notes were posted on Facebook.  Did it not go through Facebook filter?  So many people saw it.  It started the snowball effect of harassment again.  Amanda was able to show it to her safe adults but she didn’t want us to take her to the police station.  Once again she said – she wanted it over.  She wanted everyone to forget about it and bringing it up would bring more attention to herself again.  If I COULD CURSE OUT LOUD, I WOULD.  TO THOSE KIDS WHO WERE SO SPITEFUL!!  TO FACEBOOK WHO ALLOWED THOSE CRUEL PICTURES AND WORDS ON THEIR SITE!!  AND TO THOSE THAT DIDN’T THINK AMANDA WAS A REAL PERSON AND CONTINUED TO HARASS HER!!  Amanda moved away from Maple Ridge to start a new life and no one let her.  In the next few days when I am ready, I will post an open letter to those kids who thought it was funny to torment my daughter.  I want them to think about their own life, the life of their friends and family and then about how it would feel to have their future children treated that way.  And I know that there are already future children present!!

OK… this has done me in as I sit her in tears.  It just makes me so mad that I sit here without my daughter and there are people out there who thrive on being AH’s.  It seems to be easier to write when I have anger than when I am happy.  The summer days are seemingly harder for me right now.  I see the sunshine.  I see  young girls everywhere laughing and having fun in their short shorts and neon tees.  That was my daughter.  She should be here to enjoy the sun and slurpees.  To fight with me about taking the bus or walking or me driving her. She wanted her drivers licence and that’s what we would have have been doing this summer — driving practice.

It’s 5 days until June 10th.  My moods are a bit darker even though they may seem brighter with the sunshine and when I am seen on media.  In other words, LIFE SUCKS!!!   but I still love all the people who surround and support me.

The hoodies and tees are in but there was a glitch ….

Love you all xoxo

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About Carol Todd

Being the mother of Amanda Todd has lead me on this journey shortly after Amanda's death on October 10, 2012. Amanda's prolific You Tube video has been viewed over 33 million times. Through this video, there has been an increased awareness about cyberbullying, social media safety and mental health. www.amandatoddlegacy.org
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16 Responses to June 5 – Heart of Gold and Tears of Crystal

  1. bewytched says:

    Get angry. Sometimes it’s better to let it out than to hold it all in. This world is full of ugly but people like you, who are trying to make a difference for others even though you are going through tragedy, are the most beautiful people in the world. Only with our voice can we make the change we want to see. Thank you Carol. If you want any info on the original trolls who made many of the hate pages, just ask. Enjoy the day and remember you are never alone. Amanda will always be there with you. xxx

    Like

  2. Renée B. says:

    What a moving and troubling poem, and written by such a young and sensitive person!
    I am relieved to hear that he is doing okay today, I wish it was the same for all the others…
    I really think that the kids, and people, involved in harassing Amanda, both physically and online, should be identified and prosecuted to the fullest extent possible. They will continue to hide as they are all a bunch of cowards.
    And Facebook, Twitter and other similar types of social media also bear responsibility in this. Funny how they are quick to react when copyrights are involved!!

    Like

  3. Hamsi says:

    When I see young teenage girls enjoying themselves I too think of Amanda. I cannot decide if the world is much more crule today than when I was growing up. Has technology desensitized us to normal human feelings?
    As one of the early letters published in a newspaper said, Amanda will be loved more than you (the bullies) have the power to hate.

    Like

    • merle48 says:

      To Hamsi, Your last sentence is ALL I really wanted to say, but I got carried away! Amanda, Forever loved…so much more power in love than hate!

      Like

  4. Savetheworld says:

    Carol, you are allowed to be upset and mad! You have every single right. I think it is imperative that you express these feelings! I think it’s the best way to heal quicker. We are here for you. We understand and we hear you. Honestly Carol, I would contact every single one of those kid’s parents. These parents need to know what their kids are up to. If you are not up to it, send me their phone numbers! I’ll do it for you. Shame on these heartless kids and shame on these parents for being so oblivious to their kids actions? Its actually sad how very little supervision there currently is, with kids and the internet. I guess it’s parents not being computer savy, coupled with the fact that they are so darn busy and stressed out these days. There a lot more demands on us, in todays’ society. I don’t believe that most parents are truly there for their kids today. This is a bigger issue we have and it started when women started working. Life got more expensive, our lives got a lot more stressful. It was great it gave women freedom but at the same token it helped in the demise of the family unit. Divorce is a problem as well. More work for each parent more stress, more financial strain. This stress also affects the kids. Kids also seem to be raising themselves. They are on their own an awful lot. Kids need to feel safe loved and supported. Maslowe’s theory, it’s a basic need if you don’t have that you cannot move to a higher level of happiness. Another big problem is that people are afraid of the reprecussions of complaining, to their parents, the authorities etc. I understand that too but their safetly and happiness should always come first. Looking back to the bullying I endured, I truly believe that you have to just deal with it head on. The faster it comes to light the faster you could nip it in the bud so that it doesn’t destroy you. Rermember it’s also the good kids, the ones with the big hearts, a concious, the kind ones, they will usually pick on. Its their sensitivity that ends up destroying them and the fact that they cannot believe the extent of peoples cruelty. You kind of give up on the world and humankind. Amanda will never hurt again that’s the good news. Educating and enlightening people is a great start, but the biggest change needs to come from our government and the internet companies. They truly need to be held more accountable andthey truly need to implement many more safeguards. Carol please fight for these changes. We feel your pain thats why we are here! We love you tons ! stay strong! I used to always think about being there for Amanda too! i wish I could have done something to help or prevent what happened. we all do. I keep thinking if only I had seen these comments etc if only I could have spoken to her etc we know what an amazing mom you are we know you did everything you could its just sometimes kifs listen more to an pitsider thsn their own family. unfirtunately we can’t go there. wish we could turn back time! 😦 be well!

    Like

  5. merle48 says:

    I’ve never read a more emotional blog from you.ever! I’ve never been driven to tears from the first words to the last. I’ve always watched as you “held your tongue” and rode the rough waves. You have also been bullied in a sense, and I see you’re just not gonna take it anymore! The bullying you receive is subtle, and goes deeper then any physical assault could. So your kettle finally let out the steam, and your words in here are sharp and precise. I wish I could show that boy what he’s worth through words and actions, I wish…oh God how I wish over and over again that I could
    have done the same for Amanda…hugged her, talked to her, shown her how much she was worth, I want to change time…go back to before October 10, 2012..I still do that sometimes and pretend to have the answers for her…but no one really did, not even you Carol who along with her Dad, were the loves of her life. How long will it take to really understand all that has gone on the past year…made that much more difficult by unbridled cruelty from so called human beings? What I want to say is you really need to shout out your feelings of pain, disappointment, and anger…if you don’t, then you build an invisible brick wall. It truly is an injustice to you, Amanda and your family to have to/or be expected to absorb all this as you have thus far! I conclude that many of us are intolerant hypocrites who lack empathy and understanding of each other…what a travesty! My tears have turned to displeasure, and that is an understatement.

    Like

  6. la Punisher says:

    Your little girl will be in the hearts of millions of people for eons to come
    and I know thats not the answer for her not being here,
    She had every right to be here to experience and realize her dreams
    Your anger is both good and justified and you should express it every chance
    you get. There is no forgiveness for those who done this horrible crime.

    Hugz 2U

    Like

    • la Punisher says:

      Footnote: In the picture, I see what looks like a cell phone in that flower bush, If that is true, what a wonderful idea!!!!

      Like

  7. H.I.D. says:

    We LOVE YOU CAROL !!!
    Just went outside,
    Amanda said it in her own words………
    How Everything Touches Her Soo Deeply.
    You Are Forever And Forever LOVED AMANDA !!!!
    You were born with a Heart Of Gold Amanda.
    ALWAYS REMEMBERED.
    EVERY SINGLE DAY.
    You have helped me Stay Strong Amanda, I have been there many times before.

    Like

  8. H.I.D. says:

    Beautiful Princess Snowflake.
    Heart Of Gold.
    Beautiful, Precious, Innocent, Child.
    You Are Forever Loved Amanda !!!

    Like

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