I have already read 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher circa 2014/2015 and I had just finished watching the series.
Nothing broke my heart more than this.
I felt the struggle and and suffering of the characters: Clay’s pain, the Bakers’ grief, the remorse of most of the bullies.
But I have never related more to anyone, fictional or real, than Hannah.
Although the experiences I had never matched up to hers, I had bullies and people I hate, too. Everyday they would tease me, pair me with people, get mad at me if I didn’t do stuff they want me to do.
I was the silent kid in our class, which made me an easy target. I never put up a fight because I think it’s stupid and there’s no point in arguing, but it doesn’t mean that I don’t get hurt.
Because I do. A lot. And it is just so painful to be treated that way, and it still makes me cry just thinking about it.
Those people would just say that I should “stop being a killjoy and just go with the flow” when I am not actually a killjoy; it was just that I enjoy some kind of fun that is different from theirs.
I had friends during those times, but I had never had someone who I can call a “best/close” friend. The ones I thought who were just told me to “cool off” when I finally complained to them of being picked on.
I was hurt because I thought I could trust these people with my feelings but it was a big no. Ever since those people I called “best/close friends” told me that, I just shut my mouth and never spoke a word about it; I would just write all my thought and feelings at the back of my notebook or on a piece of paper and all of my anger and pain will slowly disappear until the cycle repeats.
One example was when I was 13 years old where our PE teacher divided our class into 4 groups and instructed us to make a dance routine to be performed on our next session. Our group leader made up some steps that I don’t want to do in front of my classmates, as I can’t dance to save my life and I was trying my best to avoid embarrassing myself in front of them.
During practice, my group mates noticed that I wasn’t working with them so they began to encourage me to do it but I didn’t budge until the point that one of them began to half-yell at me irritably and continuously at me to just dance already. I wasn’t able to hold it in and after a few minutes of tolerating the half-shouting, I broke down. Our teacher saw me crying and asked my group mates who made me cry. They pointed at him and our teacher immediately reported the incident to our class adviser, who was at the Faculty Office at that time.
Both of us were called in by our adviser. We talked (even though I barely said anything because of how hurt and mad I was) and he made him apologize to me. He did, although it did not feel sincere, but I just accepted it. That apology didn’t last long, though, as he, along with his buddies, would continue to pick on me on the following days, months, years.
I never got the chance to stand up for myself. I wanted to tell them to “piss off” but I couldn’t bring myself to, because I was afraid that they would view me as another being: as someone who talks back in a negative way.
Because of these things that I have experienced, I started to have suicidal tendencies; I have thought of different ways that I wanted to kill myself: cut my wrist open, jump in front of a speeding vehicle, fall off a building, anything to end whatever I was feeling.
Now that it has happened to me so many times that I’ve lost count, I’m already beginning to lose the feeling of being emotionally and psychologically hurt. The pain comes occasionally but I had somehow taught myself to just feel incredibly infuriated or nothing.
They said that life is too short to not forgive people but I think that’s bullshit. You can forgive people but life is too short to tolerate people who made, make and will continue to make your life a misery and living hell. If you think they deserve a chance give it to them but never let them abuse that chance.
To all who have been hurting out there, don’t be afraid. There are a lot of people who are like you and who are willing to help you. Call someone you know who can be trusted with every secret, thought and feeling you hold.
To all the bullies out there, there’s still a chance to redeem yourself. If you know someone you have repeatedly hurt, stop bullying them and talk to them. Like actually talk to them with all genuine sincerity you could muster. Gather up your courage to honestly say sorry to them.
To everyone who knows a victim of bullying, don’t be afraid to talk to them. They need someone who will support them, will keep their secrets and will stick with them. You’ll never know how much it would mean to them and it might turn their lives around.