No spoiler alert, I promise. I will only share with you as much as you would learn if you googled the title on the internet. I heard about the show and it took me two days to watch it. Part of me wishes I wouldn’t have watched the show at all.
The story is about a high school girl that commits suicide. Instead of leaving behind a note. She leaves a series of tapes that tell her story. I will stop there.
I heard that many middle school children have already watched the show. I was told by many that Harrison should watch this before high school next year. 13 Reasons Why was difficult to watch. As I was watching the show, my journal was also in my hands. I took notes on things that surprised me, brought back memories and helped me capture my thoughts to help me write this blog.
Harrison may have already watched this for all I know. When I asked him he said he hadn’t heard of it. I asked him to watch the first episode with me and he didn’t last long. It was at that moment, that I knew that I needed to be the one to talk with him about bullying, and suicide. We already had the talk about rape, sexual abuse and consent. I thought the tough conversations were over.
Now I am not judging anyone who has watched 13 Reasons Why, with their children. As a parent I made a choice that was best for my household.
The first thing I thought about was my high school experience at Bishop Foley. I’m not sure which “group” I fit into. I was friends with everyone. Everyone knew my name. I think being the only black person in my graduating class may have helped a bit. My high school memories are great. I was even on the Homecoming Court in senior year. I wasn’t bullied in high school. But I was bullied in elementary school. I will get to that part later.
Watching this show made me see how high school sure has changed. Is it social media and everyone carrying a cell phone? Kids are mean but I am sure they were mean when I was in high school back in 1990. Where would Harrison fit in when he enters high school? Who will he eat lunch with? Would he be the student that everyone knows or the kid that prefers being alone? Will he find his passion with drama or another club? I pray that he will find the right path for him.
This show talks about bullying, the signs of suicide, and the dark side of mean kids. So how do we stop this? We talk to our children and ask questions. No matter how difficult the situation might feel. Never turn a blind eye to a situation involving your child.
This show made me think back to when I was bullied in elementary school. I can recall the times that I ate alone. I can recall the times that my friends spread rumors about me. They told other kids not to talk to me and play with me. It hurt because I wasn’t sure what I had done to deserve this kind of treatment.
So I read my books and wrote in my journal. I dreaded going to school for fourth and fifth grades. My mom knew something was wrong. We talked about everything and we also spoke with the school. I did my best to make it through each day. I was glad that I was an altar server. During the school day if there was a funeral I was asked to be the altar server with another student. It was okay to cry at the funeral. Everyone thought I was sad seeing a casket. I was actually crying tears of joy because I was away from my classmates for over an hour.
Was I being bullied because my family was active in the school and church? Was I bullied because the lunch lady was sweet and a good family friend? Was I bullied because I read my books and wanted to include everyone? I’ll never know exactly why.
My parents decided that I would change schools for sixth grade. I immediately thought that changing to a different school in middle school would be tough enough. But I survived hell so I was up for the task.
I forgot to mention that I will share my reason in tomorrow’s blog. Don’t worry I won’t stretch this out into 13 blogs. Maybe 3, but not 13.