As we have stated before, teenagers can do some stupid things. But what’s supposed to happen is that you do the stupid thing, everyone realizes it’s a stupid thing, and it gradually fades from memory as you find something else to worry about.
For Amanda Todd, that didn’t happen. It never went away.
A Vancouver-area teenager, Amanda last month posted a video to YouTube about being cyber-bullied.
She would go on webcam in 7th grade with her friends to meet new people. At one point, because she was a 7th grader, she was flattered by a stranger into flashing the camera.
A year later, a man contacted her on Facebook, threatening to send the picture to everyone she knew if she didn’t “put on a show.” And this guy knew everything about her — address, family members, everything.
Mentally, she spiraled out of control. Alcohol, drug abuse, depression and anxiety — the works.
She went to another school. Bullying started up yet again, and she started to cut herself. She went to another. A boy flirted with her and she got beaten up by a gang of girls for the trouble. Other kids filmed it.
She and her father moved to a new city. Counseling didn’t help much. Anti-anxiety medication didn’t have much effect. Because it’s difficult to cope with something that doesn’t stop and let you process it all.
“I’m struggling to stay in this world,” she says through notecards in the video, “because everything just touches me so deeply.”
The original video seems to have been taken down, or at least is hidden in the pile of videos that is YouTube, but many supportive people have reposted it. We’ve embedded one up above by a helpful YouTube user who simply reuploaded it in its entirety. It’s tough to get through.
Just keep in mind: It was tougher for Amanda.
Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you’ve got about a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies — “God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.”
Question: Have you been bullied? A friend? Share your stories here.