So I am sure everyone has heard or seen this show on Netflix by now. I mean c’mon, it has been all over social media and is at the top of the list whenever you go into your Netflix account. I wanted to write about this show because I wanted to share my experience about it and my perspective about the show. The only reason why I started to watch the show was because it had been deemed as a controversial show and said to have been promoting suicide. I read one article that said the show was glamorizing suicide. I personally beg to differ with that article but after watching the show, I did have a better understanding of why people would say it was a show that was saying suicide was “ok”.
It was a little difficult to watch this show because it is something that I have personally dealt with myself. The show goes through the life of Hannah as she starts her Sophomore high school year at a new school. It talks about the different ways that she was bullied and how different students did different things throughout two years that eventually led to a feeling of no control, no emotion, void and emptiness inside of Hannah. I do not want to share all the details of the show in case some of you have not watched the show but I will share the part where I can see why some may say that the show may promote suicide. Even though I do not believe the entire show is promoting suicide whatsoever, I do feel that the lines used during Hannah and Mr. Porter’s conversation would be the part where the show changed my perspective. This was Hannah’s last chance for hope as she looked for a reason to live after everything that had happened to her. She went to visit her counselor in search for hope or possibly just to have someone to talk to. Mr. Porter was supposed to be Hannah’s last chance to stay alive. The show has the two of them talk and almost reach the point where Hannah confesses the last act that caused her to loose her soul. This of course does not happen because Hannah does not open that conversation and Mr. Porter does not posses the skills needed to get the answers. Hannah has just been raped and is trying to find a way to tell Mr. Porter but cannot seem to put the words together and is too afraid to even speak them aloud. Mr. Porter senses that something really bad has happened to Hannah but eventually tells her that if she is not willing to talk about it, press charges or let him help her, her only choice will be to move on. THIS IS THE WORST LINE OF THE ENTIRE SHOW! I get that the writer had the overall goal to have Hannah die since that was the point of the whole show but I still hate the line. Hannah was not ready to talk about what had happened to her at that exact moment and because she was already walking towards the point of no return, hearing those words out of Mr. Porter’s mouth allowed her to cross that finish line.
I myself was once in a position where I too had suicidal thoughts. People who know me now may find this surprising. It is not something that I have shared with many but think that it is an important issue to talk about. As a teenager, especially ones that are not in the best home environment or even the ones who are (like Hannah was), tend to feel that the feelings that they are feeling are going to last forever. I remember sitting at the dining room table, in a dark room, in a dark place in my life debating on whether to do it or not. I can’t remember exactly how old I was at the time but I must have been around 14 or 15 years old because I was in high school. I had been a victim of sexual abuse since the age of 5 and was tired of my life at that point. My entire life was a big secret and I did not really care what happened or what did not happen. I was just living an empty and very pathetic life. I had no say or control of my life and suicide felt like the only thing that I could control. I can sympathize with people who are going through thoughts of suicide because it feels like at that moment, the only thing that is right is to make it all go away. When Hannah got raped, that was the last straw for her and she says that it was like her soul had been taken away. It is hard for people who have never had suicide thoughts to understand where people who have suicide thoughts are coming from. Many people would call those individuals weak and cowards for ending their lives but one should never judge someone or their actions until they have been in their shoes. I like Hannah, never gave the impression that something was going on inside of me because, I don’t know… I just never did. I was always hiding my emotions and like Hannah ignored the bad moments in life and tried to find the good ones that made me smile. Unfortunately, Hannah was not as lucky as I was to have survived that suicidal moment in life but hope that if people watch the show, they will speak to someone.
There are so many people and even online resources that people can talk to now a days. The internet has become a way to find easy ways to communicate with others. 13 Reasons Why is not glamorizing suicide but rather showing how people can influence someone without even knowing it. Kids in school are mean and that is the honest truth. Not all of them of course but most of the time, kids are influenced by each other and it only takes one person to stand up for someone else who is being bullied for things to change. I have added some links for anyone who may be thinking that suicide is the only way to end their pain. I know from experience that it gets better. It takes a lot of work to get better and there will probably be more bad days ahead than good but when the good days finally get there, it will feel like the bad days never existed. Sometimes I can barely even remember the bad days I had as a young child. I have a little thing that I am doing called my count down. I lived in misery and abuse for the first sixteen years of my life. I have been out of my childhood home for 13 years now. I have 4 more years to go to be able to say that I have lived more happy years in life than bad ones. I don’t know what I will do when that time comes but I do know that if I would have ended my life when I was that empty teenager, I would not have the pleasure to find out.