In September 2012, this fifteen-year-old Canadian high-school girl, posted a nine-minute black-and-white video on YouTube called My Story: Struggling, bullying, suicide and self-harm. She speaks not a word in the video, instead letting her story unfold through a series of flash cards. She tells of how when she was in seventh grade, a male stranger—after much coaxing—convinced her to flash him her naked breasts during a webcam discussion.
A year went by before the same stranger contacted her on Facebook threatening to go public with a topless photo he’d screenshot of her if Amanda refused to perform a live sex show for him on camera. She says she refused, at which point the man sent her topless photo “to everyone.” Amanda claims this sent her spiraling into depression and seeking to blunt the humiliation through alcohol and drugs.
Her family moved her to another school, but the stranger kept stalking her. He opened a fake Facebook account in her name, using her topless photo as the profile picture. This led to taunts from kids at the new school and a new habit for Amanda—self-mutilation.
After being shuttled off to yet another new school, she was tracked down by female bullies from a prior school who beat her up en masse and left her lying in a ditch. After her dad rescued her and brought her home, she tried killing herself by drinking bleach. She was rushed to a hospital and survived.
Her parents moved with her to another new city and another new school, yet her depression persisted. This is the description she posted under her video of September 2012:
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 to show that I can be strong. I did things to myself to make pain go away, because I’d rather hurt myself then someone else. Haters are haters but please don’t hate, although I’m sure I’ll get them. I hope I can show you guys that everyone has a story, and everyone’s future will be bright one day, you just gotta pull through. I’m still here aren’t I?
Yes, she was still here—although briefly. A month after posting the video, Amanda killed herself.