I think I have learned more in this last week and a half than I have in a long time. There have been great days and some not so great days. Yesterday was a not so great day, but I would like to go back for a moment to tell you about our night Friday November 2, 2018. Because that is when our world changed and most importantly my baby girl Pressley’s.
Obviously learning what we did that night, about her sadness, not wanting to be here on earth was for sure the most heartbreaking thing I have been through as a parent. But honestly what else we discovered has changed me in so many ways and I feel it needs to be addressed, that this is a HUGE problem in our world today. I had Leighton that night go through her phone, as I knew she was faster and would know what to look for… I honestly did not know you could have your own private snap story, one that I could not see unless she added me on there. Yes, as a parent we should know this, we should know all the ins and outs of all the apps our kids are on, but I guess, I really never thought she would be apart of anything that would or could be damaging. I really believed she knew right from wrong, but reality is peer pressure is a BIG problem for these young kids, more than when I was growing up. So that night I also learned there is a private part of SnapChat, called My Eyes Only. We had to have Press give us the pass code for this and honestly I did NOT like what I saw. The very first picture that was on the screen was one of her arm from hours earlier when she was home alone, before I even got home from work. She had taken a pair of scissors and was trying to cut her arm… I know it was for the reason she was caught doing something she should NOT have been doing, but when you throw in what she had been feeling for awhile, it just made it that much harder to take. There was a message from one of her “friends” and it said “Pressley go kill yourself”. I literally had all I could do to contain myself, I am a calm person, but this… This made me so very angry, yet it showed me I was right in my knowing that these “friends” were NOT friends at all, they are actually just lost souls, who do not have a group of people in their lives who are there for them, to teach them, to maybe even love them.? There were messages from a few boys, one telling her to get her football pads on as he was threatening to hurt her. These are 11-12 year old kids, this is NOT ok!!! Where are the parents??? Another boy also telling her to kill herself, a few others calling her names, slut, hoe, etc… I honestly could see how my girl didn’t want to be here anymore, that being in an environment like this could be so incredibly harmful. I honestly bet more than half the people she has on SnapChat and Instagram are people she has never even met. But, to be cool, popular, you just add people, accept requests, because the numbers show how popular you are. This has become a sad world, one that teaches our young kids the power of social media, but not in positive ways. I think back to early September where her phone was used for creating posts about her favorite Youtuber, Adelaine Morin who I might add uses the slogan “Girls supporting Girls”, something I love and feel this world needs more of. So if you want to say I am naive in thinking she would NOT go down a path that she did, yes I guess I was, but I do know I knew all along the way things were going wrong, that I listened to what my heart and soul was telling me. I just didn’t think all that came about would be all of this…
You may be asking if I have gone to the school, since this is bullying and other things that happened which would be grounds for maybe suspension or other penalties. Yes, me and my ex were going to go… But I guess we decided for now that we would take matters into our own hands and for me all I cared about was getting my girl back to being herself. Last night, I texted her as she was at her dads and I asked her how school was, like I do everyday. Usually I get it was fine, or good, but last night she said “meh, it was school”. I knew right than something had happened. I had told her after that Friday night to promise me IF anyone said or did anything to her, so obviously I was worried that was the case. What did happen yesterday was her seeing these “friends” in a whole new light. That their lives were just going on as normal, planning a big sleepover with all the people she was hanging out with, while she sits alone, with NO phone and has yet to be with anyone outside of school on the weekends. She was sad, hurt and angry, all valid feelings for this age on how to deal with all of this. This morning I had Leighton look at her phone and there was a snap from one of her “friends” it said “Back away from Hallie”. I instantly had Leight FaceTime Press, to find out what that meant. She started crying and said I do NOT want to go to school today or ever again. I then got on and said “Have you said anything bad about her, or why would this other person threaten you? She said, MOM, I didn’t I promise. Leight said to me, mom I can’t see Press actually speaking her mind to a friend, that the phone was a place where all of these girls felt free and unafraid to say things that they would NOT say in person. I believe her, because even though she lost all of my trust with what occurred, I knew my girl. Needless to say, she is home today with me. I told her it is a mental day. 🙂 I have to say this, my son and daughter have been nothing short of amazing people during this process!!! They have made me more proud than I have ever thought possible. They have shown up, been there for her, showing her just how much they truly love and support her. That is all a mom could ever hope and dream of. Also, Leighton did text one of those boys a week ago and pretty much said if you ever say another word to my sister, your parents and the school will find out. Yes, maybe a threat, but it wasn’t a harmful threat, she wasn’t saying she was going to go and beat him up… She also texted this “friend” back this morning and said ” I would like you to take a look around at who you surround yourself with”, thank God I have a mini mom, who will also do anything for her little sister.
I know this has gotten long and I always try to keep things shorter and to the point, but I just am to passionate about this subject. I do believe schools need to do more, not allow phones in class, this is just astounding to me that they do. Parents need to be INVOLVED in their kids phones!!! Even if your kid isn’t being bullied, what if it is YOUR kid being the bully? Either one is not one anyone would wish for. I do believe it all starts at home. I believe phones should be a privilege for kids, not a material thing. I honestly do not know when Press will get hers back… She has been asking and I simply say I do not know. I would love for her to never have it again, but I know that is not being realistic. I do know when she does get it back it will be limited and starting with NO social media. Some time I will allow it again, but that will be when I know she has surrounded herself with good people, when she is a stronger person to stand up and be true to who she is. This past week and a half have given her many life lessons, I do know this all happened for reason, it sucks, but honestly I know it will just make her stronger, better and a much more loving person. Our kids grow up too fast as it is, social media and peer pressure just accelerate this to faster speeds. I challenge all parents to start breaking the speed, to get more involved in their lives, to know what and who is on their phones. Isn’t it scarier to NOT know? Than to know???
Thank you to all who have texted, sent messages and reached out during the last week and a half. It has meant SO very much to me, knowing I have so much love and support!!!
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