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11/29/2008

Spiteful, hateful, vengeful

Posted by Gwen |

I grew up in an extremely small town where every citizen knows every detail of every other current and former citizen's indiscretions and bad choices.  It has the potential to be idyllic but rather than coexisting peaceably with kindness and understanding and support, most citizens choose to use this knowledge to judge and torment in order to make themselves feel better about their own poor choices and station.  I moved away from there as soon as I was old enough and never looked back.  I put it behind me and moved on to greener, more compassionate pastures.

But watching the Lori Drew case develop and close over the past year or so brought those hard, hurtful memories back to me like a spectre.  You see, Lori Drew and her husband are from my area.  For over a year now I have listened to the story of how she oh-so-maturely concocted a plan to punish Megan Meier for having a typical teen-age falling out with her daughter.

You see, the two girls were friends and then, as scripted in the teenage girl playbook, they weren't anymore.  Instead of talking to her daughter about how friendships will come and go and using the event as an opportunity to teach her daughter empathy and personal worth and impulse control, Drew concocted a devious plan to punish and torment Megan using the Internet.

It infuriates me when I read things like this:

"Angered that Megan had been "spreading lies" about her daughter, and eager to "expose" her, Lori Drew together with Grills and Drew's daughter concocted a plan to humiliate Megan and to find out what else she was saying online.  They came up with 16-year-old "Josh Evans", a boy who had recently moved to the area. They created a MySpace profile for the fictional boy, and even included a picture of the tousle-haired "Evans" posing bare-chested. Megan, a young, impressionable girl prone to depression, was hooked.
The two began to exchange messages. At one point, said Grills, Drew suggested arranging for Josh to meet Megan at a local shopping mall. Grills, Drew and her daughter Sarah would then "pop out" and tease Megan.  But what may have started as a prank soon turned sinister. Possibly motivated by a desire to end the deception, Grills sent Megan a final message from Josh on October 16 2006. It told her that "the world would be a better place without you" and to "have a [lousy] rest of your life".
Megan's response was poignant in the extreme: "You are the kind of boy a girl would kill herself over," she allegedly wrote. Shortly afterward, she hanged herself."
And this:
"Drew bragged about the scheme and continued to talk about her involvement after Megan's death. He cited the testimony of hairdresser Dawn Chu, who told the court that Drew had come into her salon on the day of Megan's wake. When Chu asked her why she was going to the wake given the allegations against her, "Drew responded, "It's not like I pulled the trigger."
(emphasis added)
Let me make this abundantly clear:

THIS 49 YEAR-OLD WOMAN INTENTIONALLY TORMENTED A TEEN GIRL SHE KNEW TO BE TROUBLED TO THE POINT THE GIRL HUNG HERSELF AND THEN BRAGGED ABOUT IT AND TRIVIALIZED HER INVOLVEMENT AFTERWARD.

While it's true she did not act alone, she was the only ADULT involved.  She may have escaped felony charges but is still facing a potentially steep come-uppance.  Prosecutors did what they could to find a law that she'd broken in order to mete out some sort of justice but the reality is that this kind of spiteful, hateful, and vengeful bullying happens every day.  There aren't laws to protect us from it and there shouldn't be.  Social mores and personal and familial standards for behavior should be enough.  I guess I am most heart-broken and angry that it seems they aren't.

24 comments:

That damn expat said...

wow I just talked about this case in my class the other day.
I also come from a small town. Nothing like this has ever happened there but I'm holding my breath.

Renaissance Woman said...

Well said! I work with teens and their parents on a daily basis and it breaks my heart and makes me sooo angry that social mores and personal and familial standards no longer guide so many decisions. It makes me sick that this women doesn't get it! But if it had been her daughter...she would understand 100%.

SouthernBelle said...

Horrifying. It boggles the mind how awful humans can be to one another.

Moe Wanchuk said...

If someone ever did that to my kid, I can't even write what I'd do to that person.

Giggle Pixie said...

Remember a few years back this same type of thing happened when two cheerleaders got into a miff or one of them didn't make the next year's cut or something or other, and one of their mothers killed the other cheerleader out of spite.

How sad that these surviving daughters will continue to be raised by people without morals or standards or normal HUMAN sensibilities.

And how scary, as well.

Dr Zibbs said...

This story sickened me.

carolyn said...

Well said Gwen. As the mother of a 13 y/o girl, this has horrified me from day one. I am angry that the Feds had to step in to prosecute Lori Drew and that our lovely state of Missouri did nothing. And, I am angry that she was only convicted of misdemeanors and will only serve 3 years.

Son of a Thomas said...

Well said. Well said.

Complete side not here, you used the word "station". You are too cool.

Suze said...

I feel the exact same way. It's sickening how evil some people are.

RW said...

We've seen people like this on the internet from the start. they're the ones who argue something unto abstraction, start discussion boards and lead a pack of sycophants to ostracize anyone who doesn't go along with the game or challenges her "leader status", use three or four aliases in the same venues to make themselves look like a trend, and usually end up having affairs with strange men they mey online.

This is that person. This is what they look like.

RW said...

MET online, dammit.

Kelli said...

I couldn't agree with you more.

Since I became a mother stories like this affect you in a much different way.

Also, ditto Carolyn. I can't believe the Feds had to step in because Missouri did nothing.

I firmly believe she will get what is coming to her. Even if I have to help give it to her.

Gwen said...

Carolyn, Kelli, and others: Missouri didn't do anything because Drew didn't break any Missouri laws. Cyber-bullying, heck, bullying in general, isn't against written, codified law. To date, I suspect, there hasn't been a need. All prosecutors interested in this case had to search to find a law Drew had broken in order to find justice. The only law they could find is related to falsifying your identity on the web, hence the LA jurisdiction. I have to believe that if MO prosecutors had been able to find one, they'd have prosecuted her.

Scope said...

I'm not a parent, so I don't get the whole "live your life thru your kids" thing.

Lori Drew. The Texas Cheerleader case, Patsy Ramsy (you'll never convince me she wasn't involved). It is so far outside my realm, I almost can't get angry because I just so don't understand the mindset that it HAS to be a psychosis, right?

And while the examples I used are women, I know it's not a gender thing.

I don't get not keeping score in sports.

I don't get everyone gets a trophey.

I don't get registering kids in preschool before they are born.

I get wanting your kids to win the game and be the best student.

I don't get not teaching your kids about losing and having people wrong you. And how to handle it with dignity.

-- Eric

mike said...

I never even heard of this story until here. That is really awful. Regardless of her intentions, the worst part was how she reacted after a young girl took her own life. Very sad.

Sausage Mechanic said...

If I remember correctly, in the wake of this tragedy, there was a lot of talk about enacting laws against cyber-bullying. The St Louis suburb of Florissant considered it and I believe it was discussed in the Missouri state legislature. In the end I think it was dropped because it would prove too difficult to enforce, given the global nature of the internet.

I think it's sad that we have to consider laws to protect us from monsters like Drew. What happened to families instilling the idea of right and wrong in our children? What happened to societal mores holding it’s members accountable for their actions? A few generations ago the bitch would have, in the very least, been ostracized from local society. Even better, she might have quietly disappeared one night and no one would have bothered looking for the body or even acknowledging a crime may have been committed. That’s because everyone new the asswipe deserved it.

Fancy Schmancy said...

Parents are supposed to shield their children from bullying on the internet, not take part in it. I hope she burns in hell for what she did to that poor girl.

Miss Alex said...

People like this make me sick... and She will get hers when she dies... worse than anything anyone here could do to her that's for sure.

pistols at dawn said...

I can't imagine having this much free time or this kind of interest in my childrens' lives. Or having children.

Still, in the big local news story here, last week, my grade school science teacher and her husband, a lovely, eco-friendly couple who volunteered for no end of righteous causes got beaten to death by friends of their former foster daughter looking to make a quick robbery. It just goes to show, people are irredeemable douchebags.

Happy holidays!

LYDIA said...

What a horrible woman! I can't believe that story!

Mermanda said...

This story has turned my stomach from day one. I hope this woman gets what she deserves.

Stacie said...

how sad. seriously.

H said...

Great post Gwen.

words words words said...

I saw some newsmagazine show about this a while back. You can sort of understand if this was just the woman's daughter doing it. Teens are cruel and have little judgment. But I can't believe a woman got to that age having raised a child of her own and still managed to exercise the awful judgment to not only engage in this behavior, but to involve her daughter in it.

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