June 13 – What gives strength? And weakness?

Good question … one that I am still searching for the answer to.   There are two other Facebook pages that are good ones that are dedicated to Amanda Todd and provide good resources and reading material.  Amanda Todd Official  and Amanda Todd Safe Haven.  I have posted on both sites, including my own.  Subsequently, I have gained many people in my message box.  Some comments are good.   Others are strange.  I get the usual ones that ask if I am Amanda’s real mom.  Then the others that ask about her death.  Different people. Different personalities. Different questions.

The comments that I enjoy reading are the ones where people share a story.  There was one today that was posted in this blog.  I find that when people share their stories in written form and post it on the internet, they are showing strength.  Strength to tell how they feel.  Their emotions.  And the value of their life.

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What I don’t like reading about are the ways people can be treated as if they are insignificant.  How in the world does this happen?  I remember being in the McDonald’s play area with my kids.  My girlfriend was with me with her kids. My 2 plus her 3 = 5 rambunctious kids.  But also — mannered children.  As many of us mothers were doing, we would watch from the sidelines.  There is nothing worse that those indoor play areas sometimes.  (I once heard about a child throwing up in the black tunnel at Crash Crawly’s … ewww).

So from the sidelines, we sat and we watched.  There was always the kids that pushed.  And yelled.  And was the big bully.  I think they liked to be recognized as ‘king of the castle’.  Do you remember that rhyme?  “I’m the king of the castle. You’re the dirty rascal.”  Now what does that truly mean?

One day, it was either myself or my girlfriend who had a heated discussion (or confrontation as you may) with another parent/guardian of a child.  The other child was pushing the kids down the slide when they weren’t ready.  Now picture this.  Amanda was not a big child growing up.  She was actually smaller than average.  She probably wore 12 month old toddler clothes when she was 18 months old.  She didn’t really grow out of her clothes quickly.  When she was 5 years old, she weighed abt 38 lbs.  At Kindergarten age, she was still supposed to be in a regular carseat.  Thank goodness they made fancier and more ‘older children’ish’ looking ones.   So anyways, Amanda was one of the smaller children getting pushed down the slide.  Well .. remember I said that I was with my girlfriend and we had 5 kids between us.  4 boys + Amanda.  The older boys told us moms what was going on.  As moms, we didn’t really attack but we went in for the protection of our young.  One of us, I don’t remember who, went towards the child and told her that she was scaring the younger/smaller children by pushing them down the slide too quickly.  Did this child listen???  Nope.  Next step.  Talk to this child’s parent who we think was the grandmother.  Remember the saying … apples and trees.  That was it.  The grown up didn’t see that anything was wrong.  We tried.  Eventually we had to leave.  Funny thing is that the next time we bumped into this child and her grandmother again, another parent had to speak up.

As watchful parents and as bystanders, it is up to us to speak up and make wrongdoings better.  I know that ‘fear’ will often get in the way.  That is why incidents have to be gauged.  Kids feel the same way.  They are fearful of retaliation.  But if all bystanders would speak up or if youth spoke up in groups, then the fear would lessen.

I read a blog tonight where the boy (who is now a dad) was bullied.  His best friend didn’t know to help him after he became quiet and isolated.  That’s because when his best buddy was around him, the instigators didn’t bother teasing or bullying the boy.  How is it that children become targets? What makes bulliers choose their victims?   If you have bullied someone, can you be truthful enough to share your thoughts?

It goes back to ownership.  Can you own your behaviours enough (good or bad) to speak up about them?

We will wait and see …

Please read this blog post from the dad who was a picked on boy – Memoirs of a Bullied Kid –  http://www.danoah.com/2010/10/memoirs-of-bullied-kid.html

Love you princess!!

Wish you were here to tell all those who have bullied to stand up and share why they did what they did.

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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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12 Responses to June 13 – What gives strength? And weakness?

  1. namedallas says:

    What gives strength ? And weakness ?
    I truly believe the measure of one’s strength is not in what one can dish out, but in what one can take . I think the victims are the strong one’s . If the aggressor was put under the same load would they be able to handle it ?

    Like

  2. Hamsi says:

    Psychologists have conducted experiments to show that the level of empathy is decreasing among newer generations. So yes, there was always bullying but it is becoming more widespread. Sorry to have to say that!

    Like

  3. merle48 says:

    I’m sorry but I can’t think about anything but the letter above from this beautiful soul…because when we die, that is what we have left(my belief) our souls…beautiful or ugly. It’s never too late to change our ways as long as we breathe. Sometimes I find myself wishing I was one of these beautiful souls, because I know they got the First Class ticket to heaven already, and me? I’m working on it. Thank you Carol for reminding us of the beauty that still exists in the world. In answer to your question, seeing a person such as Gary, with such a positive attitude, or watching you persevere through heartache and BS, THAT gives me and others strength. I believe weakness comes from having no faith, and being surrounded by negativity all the time, after all, look at so many people who have suffered the worst, and they come through shining in the end like a diamond, ready to give back more then they ever got. It helps to have solid gold people in your life that support, and believe in you also.

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    • Savetheworld says:

      @merle74 beautifully said!! Yes everyone has the opportunity to change their ways. Everyone makes mistakes its about learning from them and not repeating them. I also feel that stress is taking its toll on our brains. Things need to change. I live everything Carol is fighting for. It’s everything this world needs right now. Peace and love

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  4. Savetheworld says:

    The weakest are also always the strongest!

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  5. Renée B. says:

    Reading the posts from these two individuals was very moving. It brought me back to elementary school when I tried to defend some other kids, even if I was bullied myself on occasions.

    Sometimes it feels like there is no solidarity anymore, no compassion. I always thought that people were naturally good but there are some rotten apples out there too. It seems to me that if parents were teaching their kids to respect others, the problem of bullying in any form would not be so widespread. I always told my daughters never to say mean things to anyone, to avoid hurting anybody’s feelings with their behaviour or words, and to be very careful with social media.

    I often wonder if the boy who led Amanda to believe he cared for her, and who couldn’t keep his yap shut, I wonder is this jerk feels any remorse for his behaviour. He played a major role in the ensuing bullying and harassment that Amanda was subjected to. I know it’s pointless, but I wish him HELL, him and the others who took part in it. I would also like to know WHY they did that. Did they have such miserable lives that they had to ruin someone else’s life to feel better?

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    • la Punisher says:

      To Renée B:.. basically… that’s what bullies do, They feel their own worthlessness and than turn on others to make themselves feel good… But it all starts at home, We are born innocent, nothing in our minds, and are taught what we grow up to be.. So it doesn’t say anything good about the parents of these useless pieces of waste, Maybe it’s not the kidz fault they are that way but it sure the hell is the parents fault, If parents were held accountable for their kids actions you can bet bullying would stop now… Maybe??? Than again some parents are quite brain dead when it comes to rearing kidz.

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  6. la Punisher says:

    You have left some really good questions to think about, And I think that today these questions will be with me all day cause at the moment my feelings are totally confused, and today I really want to be a bully and bully the crap out of the parents whose children bullied Amanda, Be it right or wrong, it all starts at home, So in reality, I blame the parents for this cesspool of crappy kidz. ( I do want to say, I have never bullied anyone in my life and always fought for the underdog )

    Hugz 2U Carol

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  7. Savetheworld says:

    Bullying has been around for a long time its just getting worse with the advent of the computer. It so much easier to pick on people. This is a serious problem that has never really been addresses until recently. Thank God we are finally exposing this big huge problem! Bullies will pick on anyone who doesn’t put up much of fight they go after the good the innocent the smart the talented etc because they are envious of those traits especially if they dont have those qualities themselves. . They also gather others around them for support do they could seem cool (cool in who’s eyes though -not a very cool think to do) I will always speak my mind if I see something that’s not right I will even fight other people’s battles for them. Its gotten me into trouble a few times but I will never back down. i think it’s imperative that we all get involved. A bystander is just as guilty as the bully! Yes I also blame the parents!! Keep the faith and stay strong! We are here for you xoxo

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