Sunday, October 14, 2012


Recently on Facebook, I saw a post about Amanda Todd, the teenage girl who committed suicide, provoked by bullying. Most of the comments were sympathetic and supportive. However, there were a few that lashed out, not at the bullies, but at the teen's parents, asking where they were through all this, while their daughter was hurting The story in itself is heartbreaking. But to attack parents in their time of grief and heartache, in my opinion makes them a monster of a special kind. MONSTERS.

I remember being a teenager. It was hard. And let's be honest, it sucked. You are going through a major growing phase of your life, physically, emotionally, and mentally. If that's not hard enough, you are crammed into a school with others going through the same changes. Throw in a small town and it's worse. I remember that everyone knew everything about everyone in my school. Rumors flew left and right. Throw social media into the mix, and there goes your escape at home.

You know what else I remember being about a teenager? Your parents are the enemy. You think they don't understand. I was a happy teenager, and I still holed myself up in my room to avoid parental contact. My parents probably still don't know half the stuff I did.

So how were the parents of this poor girl to prevent this from happening? Did they do a lesser job of parenting, then oh...say, the parents of the bullies?

I'm teaching this upcoming generation, what is it now, Z? This generation relies too heavily on this sense of entitlement and lack of accountability. "You didn't email me to remind me that the paper was due". No, but it was on the printed syllabus you took in your hand.

They hide behind this shield of false anonymity that comes with email, facebook, and twitter. They are growing up in a world that basically discourages face to face communication and makes them think they are invincible. If I spoke to teachers or other adults the way some of these kids do, my mom would have smacked me silly. And if Isaac spoke that way, I would do the same. You know who else hides behind that anonymity? Trolls on the internet who say parents should know when their children are hurting. What do you think the parents of those trolls would think of that? Would they be proud? Doubtful.

I don't condone suicide. I don't ever believe it is the answer. Ultimately, it is the decision of one person only and that person is the responsible one. No one else is to blame for that. Do I believe that other people can influence that decision? Yes, because I have been that person. I have been the person that hurts someone. Did I know that I was hurting them? Yes Did I know that they were suicidal? No. No I didn't. And to this day, I still don't see the signs that everyone says you should see.

Suicide has hit my life too hard, twice. I don't wish it upon anyone to deal with it. Death, especially of a child, is hard enough to deal with. Death of your child knowing that they were in such unimaginable pain that they saw no other escape...I can't even fathom. I love my son so much it literally hurts sometimes. I hate it when he falls down and hurts himself. I hate it when he cries. How could I deal with knowing he was in that kind of pain? I couldn't. When suicide hit my life, all I needed was compassion. If anyone thought that the person killed themself because of me, they kept it to themselves. You're looking for a reason, but you don't want it to be you. You want answers, but ultimately you don't get one better than the person was unhappy and in pain.

Monsters. They are monsters. No matter how it happens, death needs to be grieved. Those parents are in a kind of hell that no one should ever have to be in. Those parents need compassion, support, and love. No matter how their child died, they need compassion. It's not normal or right for a parent to bury a child. It  goes against  nature and sequence.

They probably also want to smash things. I suggest the fingers of those saying they should have known what was happening.

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