This post goes out to Kim Sisto-Robinson (http://myinnerchick.com/) in thanks for sharing the quote that inspired me to write today, something I am trying to keep doing as it is akin to breathing for me but have not been able to as of late. Also to Amanda Todd, bless her young angel heart and soul wings wherever she may fly.
“No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow.” ~ Alice Walker
Sick with flu for nearly two weeks now, I have managed to get done what I must and not much else. Today this quote inspired me because I cannot stop thinking about Amanda Todd and how many people there are like her in the world. A world that appears to be so much more “connected” to one another than ever before but don’t let appearances fool you. It’s actually quite the opposite. This great land of wireless connection has merely provided many with one more method to abuse the abused. Yes, I know about all the goodness, too, and am not at all ungrateful for those connections, just want that clear – even now, I am GLAD to be HERE. Here are some forms of those abuses (don’t be afraid to ask how I know, I WILL share gladly and if you want to share, I welcome your experiences):
This takes many forms but is cruelest when those who profess love, caring and/or support ignore you as if you are already dead. Angels bless Amanda Todd who needed a life line 24/7 and, from what I have read so far, no one gave it to her. During all my family/friend’s struggles over the years, I have said call me anytime, night or day, whatever you need to get through this. I know how Amanda feels. FELT.
Dr. Phil (no I am not an avid follower but I do own a couple of his books) said it best: withholding the medicine you know your loved one needs is a choice. A terrible choice that many employ on and off the internet that results in a public display of their lack of concern. I wish I knew about Amanda Todd before she left us. I would have reached out to her. My heart still does. Amanda can you hear me?
Blaming others is often employed by those who will not accept responsibility or be accountable for their own horrific verbal or physical choices. The world is rife with them. Haters abound all over the pages meant to honor Amanda and raise awareness about ways we can stop losing people who have lost their way due to abuses, victimizing, control, lying and blaming. Sadly, I have endured same and still do. Why did you stay so long, people accusingly ask. Why didn’t he/they STOP, I ask back. The abuse I have endured and still do, is verbal, mental and emotional and much more insidious, much harder to see than bruises. It happens to you before you KNOW what has happened to you. Just like being born into familial or other systemic abuse happens to humans all over the planet daily. But I am no longer a fifteen year old girl clawing her way out of the dark, impenetrable sack people want to pull over her head and shut her down with. I am writing for my life. And for the lives of those who know exactly what I mean. Making others WRONG does not make you right. It actually proves how very WRONG you are. Blame they may and I will continue to right my way. Today my motivation comes from a girl I never knew and I don’t care what malicious things people say of her, it only exhibits their shallowness, Amanda’s heart was alive and well, she was a human being doing her best… until her warm heart stopped.
When abusers can’t find fault with you or feel badly about themselves, they will PROJECT their negativity by lying about you just to make themselves right. How anyone can ever make death of a desperate, isolated feeling young or old person right in their own minds, eludes me. I hope it always will.
5. Forming “gang” mentality
Bullying takes many forms but gang mentality appears to be the most common whether cyber bullying, school-yard bullying or family bullying. Bullying IS bullying. All it takes is one tall person to make a choice outside the circle of illness, to stand tall, walk proud and say NO NO NO! If there had been just one such person, Amanda might still be here, her potential future not as dead as she now is.
6. Assuming without questioning
Don’t believe everything you hear. It’s simple. Ask questions. If you ask enough questions and do enough critical thinking, I am sure you will find that things just don’t add up the way others claim. Ask if there is anything you can do to help. Don’t assume anything about anyone. The most shocking suicides are those where no one had a single clue because the successful looking person was too isolated to tell ANYONE. Amanda told the whole wide world! What went wrong???
7. Criticizing without any provocation whatsoever
I neither support nor defend destructive criticism of ANY sort but if someone beaks off at me unjustly, I am prone to react as I’m sure we all would as humans. Especially where their criticism is founded on lies or assumptions. Sitting here today, alive, I cannot fathom why anyone would see fit to criticize ANYONE in such terrible pain, struggling daily merely to breathe. Amanda will never breathe again.
What I have observed over the years is a pattern of denial whether it be systemic or among families. It appears the great river of denial is the preferred shield from the FACTS they do not wish to acknowledge. Denial does not EVER make the TRUTH go away but it can make some people go away. Forever.
I thought it was just a little tap. I didn’t see it, like I told the cops. I was drunk anyway, I can’t really remember. I only saw the blood and red urine for days after (she kicked you). That is how he fools himself into thinking my former bestie is still a good person. Imagine. I dread to imagine the minimizers in Amanda’s world. Amanda’s former world.
Silence kills. Read Kim Sisto-Robinsons pages if you don’t believe me. Her sister is dead. Amanda Todd is dead. I almost died at 11 in Ontario, 13 in BC and 15 in BC. People say it’s because of what we suffered when we moved west. Really? Why did I want out of my life at age 11 on High Street in Whitby? Were you there? Did you see? Do you know? Did you ask questions? Did you offer your support? Did you have some crystal ball I did not have? Why didn’t you reach out to me? Keeping your own lid on tightly for the sake of false pride has no meaning when someone dies for that chosen silence. I actually wanted out earlier than age 11 but couldn’t see a way. Now much older, I see the ways but am choosing not to choose them……today. Amanda did not feel she had a choice. Silence kills as much as bullying or any other form of abuse, neglect or negation of a living, breathing human being. Amanda is dead. She will never be able to tell us her whole story again. Let those of us with voices tell our stories. LOUDLY.
“Once you witness an injustice, you are no longer an observer but a participant.” ~ June Callwood
NOTE/DISCLAIMER: In no way am I a psychologist or anything of the sort. I am merely a writer who has been abused, continues to be abused systemically, by former so-called “friends,” and/or birth family/sibling coalitions founded on ill grasses browning and withering as I write this. Being myself is all I know how to do. Today I dragged myself out of my cozy flu bed to write this and hope I can reach just one person who needs an ear. I have two of them. They are all yours anytime here – you can make your privacy wishes known and I will respect them if you don’t want your story/experiences known. I want mine known. I’m tired of staying silent to “save face.” It is NOT saving anything. Or anyone. It is contributing to the sickness. Above I have listed just 10 forms of abuse but there are many more and I have endured the above ten as well as many more. Someday I will be strong enough to write about all of them. Right now I am only strong enough to write this in the hope others know they are not alone in the challenges other humans toss at them, treating breathing, heart-beating humans as if they are already DEAD.