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O/T... soapbox moment

StickAFork's picture

Sigh. I have a heavy heart, partly because I cannot believe how evil kids can be, and partly because this hits close to home.

My DD is on an allstar, competitive cheerleading team. There was another squad out of Canada that was their "nemesis." Smile Allstar cheerleading is like a big dysfunctional family...think Abby Lee and the Dance Moms. Blum 3 Word went out first thing this morning that a young lady (fifteen!!) from this "nemesis" team killed herself.
The story is heartbreaking.
She drank bleach. Survived.
She overdosed on depression meds. Survived.
This time, she succeeded.

Why, you ask? Because her parents beat her? No. Bullying. While I'm as "anti-bullying" as the next guy, I want to stress that the bullying began as a result of a dumb choice she made in middle school. In 7th grade, she and her friends were "meeting people" via webcam. By 8th grade, she agreed to flash someone.
That picture will live on the internet forever.
While I'd like to take the bully and beat him senseless, as well as the others who joined in, I want to shake the PARENT and ask... where were you?? How was your daughter able to flash a webcam at 12 or 13 years old?
I know we cannot watch our children 100% of the time. I know they do things at a friend's house, or even at school, and we really can't know.
But, please, parents, and those stepparents who feel led, be vigilant. Know what they do online. Get passwords, check, monitor, and monitor some more. Don't send them to their rooms with laptops. Get software that records everything, so clearing the history doesn't work.
I know, I don't think stepparents should do this stuff. I think parents should parent. Steps are there as support to the parent. I, however, did not operate that way with the SD I raised. I was on her like white on rice. Period. But I also consider her one of my kids, and make no distinction between her and my bios.
My heart just breaks. This girl had divorced parents. She went from house to house. They tried... she went to counseling and was on meds. They had her involved in a very time consuming sport. They don't sound like bad parents.

Just, please, parents...the internet is a scary place and it means SO MUCH to these kids. Be aware. Know what's going on. Before it's too late.


ecgirl's picture

Wow, that is really sad. I know this is a weird question, but do you know what team or where? I have a few friends who do allstar still, or coach it.

I can't even imagine how it would feel to be her parents, especially when they tried everything they could to still have this sort of outcome is heartbreaking. I think kids and teens just don't realize the impact that the internet can have on you later in life. That every time you apply for a job as an adult, you are googled and looked up on facebook. These things follow you forever. Sad

BSgoinon's picture

That is so very sad.

My girlfriend and I were just having this conversation the other day about a 15 year old girl that had been "raped" by a 24 year old man. She had met him online and had an "internet relationship" with him for several months before she ran away from home and was found sleeping under a tree with this man, who is now in jail for "rape". Not statutory rape... RAPE.

I don't understand why parents aren't having these conversations with their kids. There is SO much bad out there these days that you can't ever be too careful. Can you imagine what a little TALKING could have done for this young girl the "nemisis"? That ONE conversation about modesty could have saved this little girls life.

I understand that some kids are going to do it anyway, and some parents HAVE done all that they can to protect their kids, and sometimes things happen anyways. I get that. I don't ever want to have to look back and say "if only I had warned her". I will warn her every time she is on the computer if I have to.

Annanymous's picture

This is exactly why I am so vigilant with my 13-year-old's internet and cell phone. I even talked to her about Skype and webcams and flashing when she was 12. She thought I was stupid, but reality is tweens are stupid and do not think before they act, and then those actions can haunt them or hurt them.

My heart breaks for that little girl and what she suffered as well as her parents. I can attest to the fact that no matter how much you watch them, they WILL sneak and do things when they spend the night at their friend's houses, all we can do is talk to them, educate them, and try to monitor best we can, but be fully aware that GOOD KIDS do stupid things too and just because a parent things MY kid is a GOOD kid does not mean that kid will no do something like this girl above did thinking it is funny at the time and "no big deal".

I thought my kid would never be stupid enough to accept a friend request from a stranger or have a conversation or GIVE HIM HER PHONE NUMBER, but she did. It was shut down, but smart, good kids are still going to do stupid things.

Thank you for sharing. Very sad for this family.

StepX2's picture

This is so very tragic and I thank you for putting out a very good message for parents and kids alike here...although, do you realize that you yourself is seen as a bully on this site? Many times I've seen you come off very strong on someone here and not fully knowing what these people's situations are, you have said some very cruel things. Have you ever thought about the fact that you yourself may be the contributing factor to a suicide? It has happened from this site before.

StickAFork's picture

I know some people think I'm a bully.
Usually, I shoot too straight for people. I don't call that bullying.
However, there have been a couple of posters who have borne the brunt of some unkind comments. I've said things I shouldn't have said, simply because they were highlighting a perceived weakness of the poster. I choose to believe we are all adults on this site and can handle comments as such.
I was even going to add in my OP that people can write that I'm wicked beyotch sent straight from the bowels of hell, but it rolls right off my back. I'm old enough and mature enough to realize that this is the internet, and those people don't know me. I don't sit and stew and let it affect my self esteem. I think that is something that separates adults from kids... we have the maturity to see past an IP address.
If someone were to post something "mean" about me on FB, I'd block them. If a group went on the attack after me, I'd simply delete my page.

StepX2's picture

"I choose to believe we are all adults on this site and can handle comments as such.
I was even going to add in my OP that people can write that I'm wicked beyotch sent straight from the bowels of hell, but it rolls right off my back. I'm old enough and mature enough to realize that this is the internet, and those people don't know me. I don't sit and stew and let it affect my self esteem. I think that is something that separates adults from kids... we have the maturity to see past an IP address."

As it should be but not all adults are mature and/or strong enough to hear what you consider straight shooting, even though it is only though an IP address. I guess what I'm trying to say is that the manner a person writes their words is all important. I know it's not up to anyone to tell someone else how "they should" do anything, but I've noticed that you can hit a nerve for someone on here and instead of backing off once that has happened, you sometimes become more relentless in your "shooting straight" messages.
Most people can take very direct words, but for those that are evident they can't, wouldn't it be wise to back off from those?

bi's picture

"I'm old enough and mature enough to realize that this is the internet, and those people don't know me."

perhaps you should keep that in mind when you are telling people how horrible they are. you don't really know them anymore than they know you. you know one little part of their day or their life that they chose to share. being a sm is not all that we are. it is a part of who we are, and for a lot of us, it is a small part of what we are. that part of my life sucks and i'm bitter and angry. that doesn't mean i'm a bitter and angry person overall.

oncechoosetosmile's picture

yes, Bi nailed it.It feels to me a bit like bullying if people are named "evil stepmothers" from other stepmothers when after all they came here to vent and this is what this page is for, SAF. It seems a lot as if you know it all better and do all the right things and I don't really understand how calling people name is supposed to help them.Because that is why they are here for.If you are dealing with it all so well , I am really happy for you, but please show some respect for those who are trying but finding their situations and their step kids difficult and want to leave some steam out.
Please rather share your wisdom of coping so well instead of kicking others in the curb.
One word of understanding can help much more than telling them how awful they are!
(SAF, the other day you posted something short and nice on my post, that made me feel good and understood, thanks)

StickAFork's picture

I'm pretty sure I've said that I can see how "evil stepmothers" get that title.

Really? I think I said that about a woman who didn't want to feed her SD and kept her - literally - locked away in her room all weekend.
You can call that "bullying" the poor SM, but I call that "bullying" the little kid...who I think was all of SEVEN.
Sometimes, I just call a spade a spade.
But there have been times I've gone too far, also.

IAmALady77's picture

ugh, girls are sick little brats aren't they? I did cheer in highschool and the girls were ASSHOLES. Started out besties, ended the season frenimies. Oh and of course I was pregnant my entire senior year (rumors lol). Poor girl though Sad

Jsmom's picture

Thanks for sharing this.

Stickafork you annoy me sometimes, but I think you are pretty much a straight shooter like myself. I think the only thing is sometimes you don't let it go and that is what annoys Op's. That can be a little bullying. But, I think we need both sides in order to look at an issue and evaluate it fairly. I know in the past, sometimes I may not get an opinion I like, but it does make me reflect on my position....I know I have changed my position on a situation with DH and SD thanks to conflicting opinions on this site.

Thanks for telling us this story. It always re-affirms my helicopter parenting of BS and SS. Very sad story and hopefully the bullies get a clue and stop....

Great Mom but horrified Stepmom's picture

We live in the area and this is a horrifying story, unfortunately true. I cannot for a moment believe that people would have done what they did to this girl as it is so incredibly sad. My heart just breaks for her and now for her poor parents.

No, it isn't because she was from a 'broken home' as my hairdresser would say. It IS because first and foremost there are some rat bastards out there and they got ahold of her. Secondly, I agree with the point some posters have already made - WHERE WERE HER PARENTS?!!

If my kid drank bleach and was so damn depressed and people were bullying her you couldn't hold me back - I'd be out on the FRONT LAWN of the bully's house, I'd be calling the school, I'd be right at the bullys and their parents, I'd be talking to lawyers, I'd be relentless because it is my jOB as my kids parent to protect them from this type of horror. I'd rally friends, family, sports associates, EVERYONE to strike the bullies down.

But this poor girl didn't have parents who were able to do that, for whatever reason. I wish they could have but they must have been pretty beaten down my life themselves or they might have been able to help her.

StickAFork's picture

I agree. It's so crappy. By the time she had moved away, why not just have found a way to keep her off of all social media? How much better would this have been if she didn't see the crap they said about her?
Mean people suck.

RedWingsFan's picture

Very very sad indeed. I was also a cheerleader in my freshman year of high school. I decided to quit because I couldn't stand the girls on my squad. They were all fake, barbie-doll rich girls who picked on anyone and everyone they could. I didn't want to be associated with such idiots.

Of course, after I bowed out of the team, the rumors started. I had a raging STD and was afraid the other girls would see while changing in the locker room. Or I was pregnant and scared of having a miscarriage by doing tumbles during our routines. Then it was I was dating the cheerleading coach's husband...yeah, all at age 14!

Girls can be horrific. I tried warning SD14 that once she hits high school, those girls are gonna eat her alive because she had no backbone and ended up losing her virginity at 13 and giving her boyfriend a bj in her mom's room. Then she went to middle school and bragged about it, and also that we took her to the woman's clinic to have her tested for pregnancy and STD's and she wanted birth control pills but we took them from her. So yeah, all the girls in 8th grade are going to be in high school with her next year and they already have her pegged as the school slut...