Writing Prompt (10)

Into the double digits now!!

I’m going to get into something a little controversial this time, and that’s because I’ve started reading the book after watching the television show, 13 Reasons Why. Which prompts a multiple part question this time around. I’m genuinely curious about other people’s opinions on this matter. I will also be posting my thoughts, and I apologize in advance if it seems graphic, and dark. We’re getting very personal in this one, folks.

Do you feel, with all the changes they made, the show did the book justice? Do you feel this show glorifies suicide? Do you think it was too graphic?

Let me know in the comments below how you feel about the show.

And before I get into my take on this, I’d like to thank Imdb for the Netflix photo of Clay and Hannah, played by Dylan Minnette, and Katherine Langford, respectively.

I loved this show. L-O-V-E-D it. I thought finally, FINALLY a show that depicts the feeling of worthlessness, and graphic nature that is bullying and sexual assault, the lack of help from adults, and ugliness of being pushed into thinking there was only one way out. Only one way to find peace.

I was sexually assaulted multiple times. I was raped by someone I trusted. I was bullied in school, by my peers and adults. And I wanted to kill myself.

I don’t feel that the show glorifies suicide. The scene that they showed was not pretty. You can see her first hesitation mark, as she tried to not pull away the razor from her wrist. She screamed. She cried. But the hopelessness had already overtaken her too much to turn back, and she continued to do what she felt she needed to do. Then the moment her mother finds her.

That. That was the reason I didn’t do it. My father would have been the one to find me… and I couldn’t do that to anyone I love, especially him. A parent should never outlive their child. Or find their body. No. I couldn’t do that. But I still wanted to. So, I resorted to other means of self destruction. Abusive boys. Reckless driving. Not eating. Cutting. And just the general not giving two shits about anything. To this day I have no idea how I graduated high school, because I hated being there, and I definitely didn’t want to take it home.

13 Reasons Why was absolutely difficult to watch. It left me a blubbering mess like no other show or book had before. Because I could relate so deeply to the situations that show never delicately depicted. And even though it made me anxious, or sick to my stomach, I’m so glad they showed those terrible things. Those dark and disgusting things that are usually underplayed. Those things shouldn’t be blanketed because some bleeding hearts think it’s too hard for them to watch. They NEED to be shown, because they NEED to be talked about. They need to be brought to light if people will ever be comfortable enough to talk about it. If you can’t talk about it, because of shame or ridicule, you can’t find peace. You can’t know that you’re not alone. You can’t know that IT DOES GET BETTER.

I was a teenager. I didn’t know. I couldn’t know that it gets better. That there are people out there who went through the things I did, or worse, and turned into good people, who learned to love and respect themselves. I couldn’t talk about it. When I tried, my feelings were criticized, which only brought more hurt and shame.

I think this show opens a dialogue. For parents and their children, as well as conveys how little schools do to stop things from happening. I know, I’ve been there. Maybe this show can bring some sort of education, open some eyes. Show bullies that YES you can impact someone’s life so much that they are willing to end it. YES your words fucking hurt, and have consequences! Maybe you aren’t affected by these consequences… but your victims sure are. Maybe not drive them to actually kill themselves, but they might cut. Or starve themselves. Or rely on substances to get through the day. Or not go to school, damaging their education and credibility. Or just think about taking their life over and over and over and over… and I feel that this show was able to represent those affects through the eyes of the victims.

Parents need to stop downgrading their children’s feelings, and pay more attention. Stop saying “you brought it on yourself”, “it’s just a phase”, “it can’t be that bad”, or just blatantly ignoring it, and wait for it to go away. They can handle more than you know, but they need dialogue, connection, understanding, and most of all- respect.

I’m not placing 100% blame on any one person in particular, because blame from when someone decides that suicide is the only way out is distributed between so many things– mental health, bullies, parents, pressures (peer, school, societal)… and it all eventually becomes too much when it gets ignored. But people don’t just decide to die for no reason at all…

How do you feel about it? Are you willing to share your story?



3 thoughts on “Writing Prompt (10)

  1. There’s lots of controversy around this book and show, but the goal was to get people talking, and that’s working. My son’s school district sent out emails to all the parents in response to the show, that’s never happened before. Now, my history is different than Hannah’s, but the way she responded to situations and her thoughts mirrored mine in so many ways that I felt a deep connection with her. I was so sad when she died. Now, the suicide itself wasn’t supposed to be easy to watch, nor was the scene when her parents found her. There’s nothing romantic about suicide and I think it did a good job of doing that. In terms of making the tapes, it was therapeutic for Hannah to get everything off her chest, even if she was only talking to a tape recorder. It was reason #13 that was the final nail. Not only did the guy drop the ball when she dropped some big hints, but he handled her assault in the worst possible way. There was hope, and he crushed it. I think that was what solidified her resolve to go through with the plan. Sure, the show probably could have been a little more forthcoming about where people could go if they needed help if they felt triggered by the content, but, in the end, I think it fulfilled it’s purpose.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I completely agree. Victim-blaming had become all too common place, I think. Or just ignoring things.
      I also think that there definitely could be some programs listed for people, and if I’m not mistaken, Netflix is planning on adding more “warnings” (beyond the few episodes that had them), and possibly contact information for those affected.

      If you don’t mind my asking, how do you feel about the school sending it letters about this show?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think they’re trying to do the right thing, tell parents to be aware, to watch with their kids and talk to them about it if they are going to watch it. The thing the irked me was a line about trusting the people at the school district (counselors included). Now, not every counselor would have missed the red flags Hannah threw up, but I’ve been in her shoes, where more than one guidance counselor dropped the ball on a serious issue. They treated me as though my issues were an afterthought and didn’t even offer any assistance in dealing with the abuse I suffered. So, based on my experience, my trust was already low, and this sort of drove the point home. Reaching out to someone is a good step to make, but if you reach out to someone who isn’t qualified, then you could end up like Hannah did. Luckily, my son is in kindergarten, so I have plenty of time to try to raise him to be a good kid and know how to behave. But I am hoping that parents understand the real limitations of guidance counselors, and the letter was worded in a way that was suggesting parents have complete faith in the school to take care of their kids. It wasn’t that long ago I was in high school. I was around when computers and chat rooms were what kids did in the evenings (before social media was born), but those issues Hannah faced were all still there. I’m not that separated from that time to remember what it was like, and I’m guessing with phones being in schools and social media as powerful as it is today, those issues are only magnified. In the end, it is still getting people to talk about it. And it’s enough that an entire school system (I’ve heard plenty more have done the same) is emailing parents about it. So the end goal has been achieved. People are talking.


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