Obvious trigger warnings*
I was awake all night due to ongoing symptoms of the grand mal seizure and its after affects. I watched all 13 episodes of 13 Reasons Why. My daughter told me it was not anything like the book. I have read reviews that said the series “glamorized” suicide and that it was far too triggering to watch. I have read reviews that it was targeted to teens who were vulnerable to suicide and many boycottted the series all together because they felt the show took the scenes of rape and suicide too far.
I find it interesting that individuals will watch horror movies like Saw where people torture each other, or zombie movies where the gore is profound, but watching a rape scene is off limits. It seems ok to watch the Law and Order Special victims unit on tv but not a series whose intent seemed to be to educate.
The series was very hard to watch. No one wants to watch someone attempt suicide or to be raped. This series was very real life. I felt its sole purpose was to show where everyone went wrong in saving a life. I felt it summed up exactly why individuals commit or attempt suicide in a very deep and profound and real way. It is a difficult but very real topic.
I felt exaclty how many of the characters in the show felt. I have felt that there is no escape from the pain. I felt hopelessness. I felt that nomatter how hard I try I keep getting hurt. I have felt unheard, invalidated, and abandoned. I felt the exact same feelings the girl in the series felt when she killed herself and those were the reasons I attempted suicide as a teenager. I have felt similar feelings of wanting to not be alive anymore in the last few months. I have struggled with self harm and suicidal thoughts that have waxed and waned. I have been very open with my therapist and my psychiatrist about these thoughts. I had no plan to kill myself. I simply feel overwhelmed, hopeless, and as if I do not have the coping skills I need to handle the challenges I am facing. The accumulated stress and the amount of medications my doctors were trying me on to help to stabilize me all contributed to the grand mal seizure, along with a trigger of PTSD. So yes, I watched the series and felt like they hit the nail on the head with absolute accuracy of why someone wants to end their life and what circumstances can push a person to end their life. I could relate to the victims.
The rape scene I watched. It was the most real rape scene I have ever watched and the actress portrayed how it felt and the after affects very accurately. That person easily could have been me. Yes it would be hard for anyone to watch but unless you have seen it you may not know what a girl who has been raped feels like. If you have been raped it will be very triggering. If you know someone who has been raped it will show you the sheer terror of how it feels to be raped.
The suicide scene was brief and I don’t know how it could have been filmed any differently. It shouldn’t be easy to watch something like that. People can watch brains being eaten and they are numb to it in horror shows but they cannot watch something so real because it is a reminder that this happens. I understand why it can’t be watched by many whole heartedly. I also believe it can educate many on the depths of depression, on the depths of suffering and hopelessness. I also believe the show can teach adults how to stop being robots and plug in to their kids, listen to their kids, watch for signs with their kids, and act on it. The show focuses on why there needs to be a change in how we handle rape, ptsd, suffering, etc.
The actor who loved the girl who commited suicide said he believed she could have been loved enough and held enough to have been saved. I believe that 100%. Throughout the series he was a stark contrast to the others who were stuck in their lies, secrets, bully roles, and coverups. He reacted with rage at the knowledge of every bad thing that happened that pushed the main character to end her life. He reacted appropriately. There should be rage over rape. There should be rage over bullying. There should be rage over accountability. But there is not. Even in this suicide prevention awareness month I have not seen a truly honest thing writtten yet. The series talked about that too. Putting up a sign is not going to stop suicide. It’s going to take more than that. This series is about showing the world that unless things change, reactions change, and rape stops being a secret to cover up, then this will be a probable outcome. The show is not just about rape. It is about bullying, secrets, lies, and the power of all of those things combined. A person can only be pushed so far, take so much, and not be heard and then the outcome may possibly be a suicide. Not always, but there is that possibility. Which is why there needs to be awareness. Which is why that starts with honestl. With everyone walking around with blinders on I am not surprised at the number of suicides. Not at all. There are many opinions on the person who has commited or attempted suicide that they are selfish. I have heard this everywhere. We are looking at the wrong thing. It is not about if they are or are not selfish. It is about saving a life that could be saved. I believe all lives can be saved. I do. I know how it feels to ask for help, seek help, reach out for help, try medications, and come home feeling like there is no way out. I know how it feels to be hopeless. I also know how it feels to be loved and how that love can transform hopelessness.
Those are my thoughts on the subject. My blog is about real feelings and real emotions and absolute truth. I felt the series captured the truth in many stages of my life and I could have easily myself written 13 reasons why I attempted suicide as a teenager but mine would have been more like 100 reasons why. To prevent suicide and bring awareness, there has to be honesty as to how that person got to where they are and why. As I was watching the series I wrote 25 reasons why I liked how the series was made:
1. Accurate depiction of rape
2. Accurate depiction of ptsd
3. Accurate depiction of the harm in secrets
4. Accurate depiction of those capable of cover ups
5. Accurate depiction of how a secret can tear you up
6. Accurate depiction of how bullies can affect an individual
7. Accurate depiction of how a person choosing to do nothing can affect everything
8. Accurate depiction of how many people stand on the wrong side and don’t stand for the victim
9. Accurate depiction of suffering
10. Accurate depiction of the after affects of rape and trauma
11. Appropriate rage at the discovery a rape happened and accurate depiction of those who will fight with everything they have to deny it.
12. Accurate depiction of the power of keeping secrets and how those secrets destroy lives
13. Accurate depiction of how the signs of a depressed individual are missed/ignored/ not acted upon
14. Accurate depiction of being conflicted on telling the truth and how hard others make it for that to happen.
15. Accurate depiction of a low income teen living in a domestic abuse household being overlooked and the consequences of that.
16. Accurate depiction of accountability or lack there of.
17. Accurate depiction of suicidal thoughts and how they get there and how life circumstances accumulate to create those suicidal thoughts.
18. Accurate depiction of a predator
19. Accurate depiction of how it feels to have your parent care more about their life than your suffering.
20. Accurate depiction of the consequences of rape.
21. Accurate depiction of the way it feels to be raped and the actions an individual may do after being raped.
22. Accurate depiction of pain
23. Accurate depiction of how it feels to be a victim being a victim. Oh maybe I already said that but it cannot be said enough.
24. Accurate depiction of how you think revealing the truth will set you free but after a repeated offenders, repeated bullying, and feeling abandoned, it does not always set you free but it just makes it all so real how badly the secrets and lies have destroyed you. So by the time you reveal the truth, you feel beyond repair.
25. Accurate depiction of how devastating it can be to try to get help one last time but to be shrugged off as if you don’t matter.
26. Accurate depiction of why things need to change for victims.
27. Accurate depiction of how powerful and life changing the truth can be
You may have a completely different opinion on the topic than I do and that is ok. I just wanted to share my own thoughts on this very hard subject in as honest and real format as I could.
My psychiatrist asked me a few weeks ago if I thought I needed to be inpatient. I said no. I had not come up with a “plan” to end my life I simply hated being alive. I was very honest about the crisis I felt I was in and my inability to cope with the stressors that were before me. Why be inpatient? For me, I cannot take antidepressants because they all have made me worse or sick. It would make things worse as it would take away the little control I have left in my life. I have been inpatient before and it did not stop further suicide attempts because I always went right back to the same complications that I did not know how to cope with. My therapist simply said my life was hard. My situation and circumstances were hard. They are. I have a very ill daughter. I am very ill with a myriad of symptoms, diagnosises, and diseases. I have severe PTSD and do not handle stress or anxiety well at this time hence my grand mal seizure. I mean, what does it take to see that I am screaming for help? My therapist saw I was screaming for help. She watched me sob uncontrollably at the lack of control I had over my life and the suffering I was feeling. It took a person in the waiting room to hug me tomake me feel like there was hope. My psychiatrist is trying to hook me up with a new therapist. She also wants me to reach out to others for help. She doesn’t understand that fundamentals of that. I am a person who cologne triggers a seizure. I have smell triggers. I have found only a few recently that I can trust will take that seriously. So, no, I don’t need to be put in a mental hosptial but for real life people to see the suffering I am going through and the strain that has put on me and show kindness. How hard is it to show compassion, love, and understanding? It seems very for many. It leaves those of us in the depths of depression very alone, very isolated, and very hopeless. So it is up to us in most cases to advocate for ourselves. Medications are not and have not helped me. Therapy has not helped me. I am still right where I was one year ago in fact I would say I am worse. I am aware. I know what I need. So I am seeking it out. I am actively looking for a new therapist who will help me cope with a life that I absolutely cannot change or control or manage on my own. There is nothing I can do about my circumstances and what brought me to this point. I can only look for someone to help me cope with it and move forward.
I watched 13 reasons why becasue I wanted to know if anyone could ever truly know how I felt. How it feels to be raped. How it feels to feel trapped. How it feels to want the suffering to end. How it feels to want to be saved and want people to listen and care. This show made me feel understood. It did not make me feel suicidal. It made me angry at the 13 reasons why she felt suicidal and the 100’s of reasons why I have felt that way. It made me angry at those who could have chosen differently and save me instead of burying me. But I cannot focus on them and to live you cannot focus on what they didn’t do. You have to focus on what you can do.
I don’t want to commit suicide. I want to find a way to live in this life that I have been given with this hand I have been dealt. I need a good therapist that can help me navigate. I need the love and understanding of those around me with unconditional compassion as I try my best to just find my way back to myself. After the seizure I felt like the world stopped and everyone kept on moving. It is how I felt after I attempted suicide as a kid and came home and nothing stopped. It is how I felt each of the hundreds of times I was molested as a child. Like my world had stopped but no one noticed. Sometimes, you have to stop. Others have to stop maybe just briefly so that the one suffering knows they are worth a moment. My husband stopped. My daughter stopped. They have been showering me with vigilant “how are you” questions and “is there anything you need” questions for the last few days. It’s not very hard to make a person feel like they matter. It is not very hard to make a person who is suffering feel loved. I think that was the point of the series. Had just one of the 13 made her feel like she mattered and was worthy of being loved, she would still be alive.
So my thoughts on this month deemed suicide prevention awareness have been spoken. I could close the comment section so as not to receive any negative feedback on my feelings as negativity right now would only add to my stress. But I would then stop the ability of those to share their stories and their truth and I will not do that. To prevent we must have truth. So please speak your truth whatever it may be and you will be heard.