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Struggling, Bullying, Suicide, Self-Harm: Amanda Todd

This morning before breakfast John and I watched a video posted a month ago on You Tube by Canadian 15 year old Amanda Todd. Amanda’s video was a cry for help and she described in detail how she was taken advantage of by an internet predator and then subsequently bullied relentlessly by her peers at different schools. On October 10th, Canadian authorities found Amanda dead in her home and believe she committed suicide.

I’ll never understand how young people, or adults can be so cruel to another person. Amanda was bullied, beaten up and ridiculed. She attempted suicide by drinking bleach, and when her peers found out, the encouraged her to try harder next time. I’ll never understand this kind of cruelty. How can people be so heartless? In some ways, Amanda’s bullying, particularly the name calling and taunting, remind me of my own experience. I wasn’t 15, and I never actually saw my tormentors, but I still had to fight back against incredibly relentless insults, mocking, harassment, and threats. This is no easy feat, and for a young girl, it destroys self-esteem and results in feelings of misery and wretchedness. I only wish she had more people she could turn to for help.

I feel very fortunate that the destructive voices and symptoms of schizoaffective disorder have not similarly destroyed my life and who I am. I very easily could have succumbed to the insults, threats and harassment just as Amanda did. Why is it so difficult to be kind? Why are so many people cruel? I wish I knew the answer.

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