So, I have just spent the last 3 days watching the Netflix Series, “13 Reasons Why” based on the book by Jay Asher. My original post can be found here. Again, I warn you — “SPOILER ALERT!”
Based on the novel, it is a bit different in that it adds details that were not part of the book, such as the way those involved now interacted once each one received the tapes for listening. It also involves a lawsuit involving Hannah Baker’s parents, in which they are suing the school because she was bullied.
It all starts with Clay Jenson, the 11th tape, who receives the 13 sides (7 tapes) in which Hannah Baker tells what has led her to take her own life. In this version, Clay gets all kinds of grief from the others involved; because the young man has a conscience and a good moral code and standard. After each tape, he confronts the antagonist with their part and causes them to all begin to question their roles in the end of this young woman’s life.
Let me tell you something. It is not fun to be bullied. It is not fun to be teased for being different and it’s not fun to be beaten up or raped. Your actions have consequences. What you do, you are accountable for and responsible for the fall out. Life does not give you an easy way out when you have wronged another. You may not see it right away; but eventually, it comes around.
Young men have to be crystal clear on getting a YES before having sex, because rape is a horrible thing. Of course, a man can also be raped and the same rule applies.
The ripple effect. When one action leads to another, bringing on another, etc. resulting in an end action that could have been prevented or maybe having a lasting effect on another. You see, we’re all ripples and we effect the lives of all of those around us. I have a bad day. I run into someone and lose my temper with them, causing them to have their own ruined day and the effect moves ever onward. OR Someone having a bad day, runs into me and I decide to NOT allow it to ruin my day. It can go either way.
Eg. Several years ago, my neighbor’s son parked his car on the street, and while I was backing out of the driveway, I hit the door and dented it. I immediately contacted the neighbor of the incident. He was upset; but understood, accidents happen. His son parked it illegally and there wasn’t enough room for me to back up; but I was still in the wrong and admitted it. The police came and we were both faulted for the incident. However, my neighbor’s wife was another story. She came out, ranting and raving about it, calling me names, making me more upset about making an error in judgment.
Anyway, I digress. The 13 episodes, based on the book, sent a powerful message and I would recommend it, if you read the books or not. It’s a powerful story; but it makes a person think and consider their actions. I hope that those who watch it, know that they have other options in this life. Suicide is not an option.
Teens, especially, are vulnerable. Hormones, emotions gone wild, not understanding or knowing how to talk about what is going on, fear, embarrassment, a multitude of reasons we adults can’t remember feeling “way back then” will assault a young mind into believing that they are unworthy, too far gone, afraid, whatever!!! The worst thing, is being lost and alone.
BUT, You Are NOT ALONE!!! Someone loves you. Mom, dad, best friend, cousin, aunt, uncle, etc. Someone out there loves you. Just reach out. Someone will take your hand and if, for some reason, you feel you can’t, call a hotline. There IS help out there.
http://13reasonswhy.info has resources to assist you!
Don’t give up! YOU MATTER!!!
Addendum: I’ve just read several articles from parents who are totally opposed to this movie and it’s book. Reason? It deals with a dead girl, who killed herself and that is NOT the way to deal with this subject and teens. Or they say that it glamourizes suicide. WOW!!! Really?
Okay, so several year ago, a teen in our town killed herself for the same reasons given in the book. I know kids who were friends with this girl. Kids that were upset, knew she was bullied and did nothing to help her. The fall out from that suicide was horrible. What did they do? Counselors were available for those in need; but for the most part, it was a non-issue for the school district. Oh and an anti-bully rally was had, with miserable attendance so as to have no real effect.
With that being said, I have to wonder what is the right approach to this subject? We discuss the issue in school. Most kids think it’s a joke. They make fun of those who are on their films, posters and the stories when they leave the auditorium I’ve seen it. I’ve heard it. What will it take to get through to teens? I don’t have the right answers; but I do know that sometimes it takes a book and series like this one to wake people up.
I don’t have the answers. What I do have is a desire to save the next person who wants to do so. Sometimes it is no ones fault. Sometimes the fault lies with persons who a no longer in the picture.
I also know that the guilt of the survivors is hard. When my friend tried to kill himself several years ago, he was suffering from the horrors of childhood, which he’d never fully dealt with and a 20 year marriage that went down the tubes, the still births of two daughters and his 2 lives sons telling him to screw off. That’s a lot of baggage for someone. He attempted, I called the police and ambulance and then I was left with the repercussions. In his mind, he was the victim and I had no reason to feel anything. I did, though. I suffered.
No matter the reasons, the hurt is long lasting. We need to face this issue head on. It happens. It hurts all involved. We need to wake up and IMO, this series/book does not glamorize suicide, it shows the fall out and how it leaves the people behind feeling. We have to stop sheltering our kids; because we’re raising generations of people who are weaker and less able to handle everyday stress, let alone major crisis.