It's hard to believe that it has been a year since Amanda initially posted her video to YouTube. And even stranger to see that with combined views from different sources, that there have been over 28-million views. I continue to receive comments from people all around the world about having seen the video for the very first time. I also keep hearing about the positive impacts it has made on those who have watched it. They felt a connection with the video. They thought about their own lives and decided on a change. It opened up discussions in homes. Girls and boys talked to their parents. Some confided that they were self-harmers. Treatment and care were then sought out. All these are good things that have come out of this.
Just last week, I received a phone call. When I answered, there was complete silence, I knew that the call originated from California because of call display. A hesitant voice spoke and asked if I was Amanda's mom. When I said yes, the phone went quiet and I heard a click. The phone rang again shortly. The boy said he was sorry for my loss and said he had relatives up here in B.C. He asked about flowers. I mentioned she had a bench. The boy told me his name and age. Then the phone went dead again. So that was the second time. About 10 minutes later, another call came in from him. He once again apologized and said that the battery on his phone had died. We talked for a few more minutes and in reflection, it must have took a lot of courage to call my number.
For Amanda, it took much strength and courage for her to make the video and then decide to share it with the world. In reflecting upon the year, I wish that Amanda had been mentally healthier after she posted the video for her and I to have a sit down talk about it. If this had been able to happen, both of us would probably have learned things that would have altered our thoughts and probably our behaviours.
The day after Amanda posted her video, she must have felt some form of new inner freedom. After spending two months in the house with agoraphobia, only going out for her medical appointments, Amanda woke up the day after posting and told me she wanted to get her nails done, her hair trimmed and she wanted to go to the store for snacks and pop for her friends to come over. Everyone out there won't realize or understand what a big achievement that was.
Unfortunately something occurred that evening to set her into another spiral. I have been able to speak my thoughts to the persons involved. I can never change occurrences or moments but I sure wish I could have.
The next month for me will be one of extreme sadness. September 10 (there's the number 10 again) is World Suicide Prevention Day. It is a day where we all need to take notice of what goes on in your communities about suicide preventions and the mental health that surrounds it.
The following month on October 10 (which is also the day Amanda passed away) is World Health Organization -- Mental Health Day. There is a campaign to "Light Up the World in Purple for Amanda Todd." It's not about just remembering Amanda. It's also about NOT forgetting about all the other children, youth, young adults and older people who are presently suffering from mental health illnesses and also those that unfortunately aren't with us to help us understand better how the internal pain might feel. Mental health distresses caused Amanda and so many others to leave our arms.
Someone who I met in the past year on Facebook wrote this tonight on one of Amanda's Facebook sites...
"Today marks the one year anniversary since Amanda Michelle Todd uploaded her video onto YouTube wanting the world to know the torment and cyberbullying she dealt with for the last 4 years of her young life that was taken away from her way to soon. Amanda was also sexually exploited over the internet. So I am asking for everyone to please watch Amanda's video and please learn from the points Amanda is showing the world to be safe from. The internet can be a goodthing as well as being ur worst enemy. So be safe that is what Amanda has shown the world.
As sad as it sounds if Amanda hadn't shown the world just how evil of a place we live in no-one would have come together like Amanda Todd Official and Amanda Todds Safe Haven. A big thank you goes out to Renee for turning this group arround from being trolled beyond believe. And the other big thank you goes out to Crystal for getting Amanda Todds Safe Haven up and running. Together we have started to make a difference in the world.Amanda has touched the hearts of many and opened the eyes to 1000′s if not millions."
"My story: Struggling, bullying, suicide, self harm www.youtube.com I'm struggling to stay in this world, because everything just touches me so deeply. I'm not doing this for attention. I'm doing this to be an inspiration and..."
It is hard to understand how much I truly miss my Princess Snowflake!! xoxo
Follow Carol Todd on Twitter: www.twitter.com/c_todd