I was just on Angel Rehtaeh’s Facebook page and read one of the posts there. I felt saddened by what I read and how individuals can condemn so quickly for a life they know nothing about. The saying of ‘walk a mile in the shoes of’ goes a long way. It is sad how people are so quick to judge without knowing.
Both of these beautiful girls (as well as other young youth) took their lives due to exploitation, bullying, cyberbullying which turned to mental health related illnesses which eventually became too much for the girls to overcome. They were way too young and had so much to live for. Us as parents wanted to see our beautiful girls grow up, graduate with their prom dresses, date, get married, have our grandchildren. Now that won’t happen. Because of the callousness of some other person or persons.
We keep being told – ‘Be patient’ – ‘Justice will be served’ – ‘We are still investigating’ ….. How much patience should we have? It’s like the game of SORRY at the end. You roll the dice and have to get the exact number to win. But if you roll more than the number of spaces left, you go forward and then move backwards. That’s how it feels in this new life of ‘normal’. We move forward only to move back again. Back and forth. Our emotions swaying.
I look outside and see a full moon. As I was on and off Facebook today and the last few, I have seen some direct messages and posts from moms/dads whose children have taken their own lives due to situations of bullying/cyberbulling and mental health conditions. These parents (like myself) struggle with the day to day. It feels like it is getting better. We know we have to move forward. But then the bricks hit again like a barrage of ping pong balls. The memories. The flashbacks. The tears. Unless one has lived this part, it is hard to imagine and understand. It is so much easier to share, talk and message those we know who have been through and are going through the same emotions.
We encourage each other. We listen to each other. We try to pick each other up, brush off the dust and say ‘Here you go’. Much like what we did with our kids when they fell. KISS THE OWIES AWAY!!!
Amanda used to say that to me last summer. Why can’t there be a group of kids around here that have the same problems as me that I can talk with? Now that was a good questions. I still don’t know the answer. I have asked about this. As parents, did we need to go find and make the group ourselves? As much as Amanda was able to talk to her counsellor/clinician about her depression/anxieties, she wanted to talk to other teens. As one reads the posts on sites like Amanda Todd Official – Facebook, you may see the same thing. Teens and adults eaching out and talking to each other.
Unfortunately, there are those that are uncaring and selfless and selfish, that are quick to judge the parents of Amanda and Rehtaeh because of things our children might have done. To those who judge, we only hope that you are not the ones who pushed our girls to the edge of hopelessness? That you weren’t the ones that continued to make fun of them each day? That you weren’t living the days and nights where our girls felt like their bedrooms were the only places they could go to be safe in? These rooms that were their safe havens also became their prison cell which they had troubles coming out of to face the world of judgemental people.
For as many as there are trolls and hurtful people, there are more that work so hard to want to make it better and more right. They are helping for themselves, for other kids, for young adults and for the older adults.
Social media can be a good thing. Like everything else, it needs some policing. Hopefully, the amount of that will eventually decrease. Staying informed on what the David Cameron, Prime Minister U.K. has to say about social media networks has been very interesting.
For all the people who continue to be hurtful — WRITE A JOURNAL ENTRY AND SAY IT TO YOURSELF!!!