Part 3 – Karma

I just want to take a minute to let everyone know that everything I post is my opinion and my opinion only. I don’t try to force it on anyone, in fact I encourage everyone to have their own opinion.

I got a letter sent home from my daughter’s school the other day stating why “13 Reasons Why” shouldn’t be encouraged to watch at home. Clearly the people that came up with this letter have never faced bullying or sexual harassment. This show by no means was meant to ‘glorify suicide’ or ‘romantize suicide’ or even to make her look like a hero for carrying out the act. It’s about bringing awareness to bullying and the consequences of it. It’s to teach people that for every action there will always be a reaction, and sometimes, it’s just not a god damn positive one. Congratulations on shutting down awareness on such an already taboo subject (note the sarcasm in saying that).

I understand discretion needs to be taken and I’m not saying the show is perfect and everyone should watch it, but to say “it’s a fictional drama with many unrealistic elements”, like no, this shit is real and it happens. People need to know about suicide, the signs, the impact and everything surrounding it.

Again, I will emphasize that I understand this show is not meant for everyone and we do need to clarify that there are other alternatives, but why add more taboo on this subject and take away from the meaning and lessons behind it?

Now, as to why this blog is entitled karma…. I will admit that when I was in grade school, I was a bully. Now I didn’t go stealing people’s lunch money or shoving them in lockers or anything. But there was this one girl that I didn’t didn’t like, and to be completely honest, I had no reason not to other than I simply thought I was better than her. I was so rude to her and continuously made fun of her. I tried to make sure nobody would associate with her without being shunned by everyone else. This still haunts me to this day. I never realized how it impacted her, until one day, I got what was coming.

Note, this girl is doing fantastic in life and I’m so happy for her. And I have apologized for my wrong doings. Just to clear the air. And had she done what was portrayed in this show, well to be honest, I probably wouldn’t be living anymore myself.

In high school, I was bullied. For all 4 years. I was a wreck. I ended up becoming suicidal. I started becoming bulimic and I hated myself. Every aspect of myself. But my karma didn’t end there. I still feel like I am paying for what I did to this girl. The bullying stopped when I went into university. But from there my karma came in the form of many abusive relationships. Most recently, one where I was abused physically, emotionally, mentally and sexually. Did you know you can be raped by your spouse? I for one didn’t until recently. But thats a story for a different day.

The point I’m trying to make, is if we keep suicide being so hush hush, bullying will never stop. Now, I’ll clarify that I know suicide is not only carried out by people in high school being bullied. But I think it’s a good starting point for breaking the silence.

And for the record, being so low that you feel the only way out is suicide, that’s a feeling nobody should live with. And for myself, I never did carry it out obviously, but sometimes I do still think about it. It’s a sickness and people need to understand that by treating people poorly, it will never go away for that person. The damage will never fully be undone. And I for one, stand by ’13 Reasons Why’ especially after being on both ends of the spectrum and every where in between.


11 thoughts on “Part 3 – Karma

  1. This is an awesome piece, and resonates very highly with me. In my younger days, I was not so much bullied- as got involved with a particular male that took me down to such a level that I thought I was such a burden to everyone. I thought long and hard about the suicidal path. And to be honest- those thoughts have reared their ugly heads even into my adult life. That is a huge part of what inspired me to start my own blog- and all the other avenues from that. I hope that in some way, I can help motivate and inspire others to transform their own lives. Keep up the great work here my friend…. it’s these voices that truly need to be heard in order to help stop the rising number of suicides. There is a way out of those depths….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I teach in a middle school, and I’ve been hearing my students (girls mainly) talk about the show and how much they love it. One of the girls, I know, was in the midst of being really hurtful to another girl that she thought had told on her about something. I know for a fact that she didn’t. Any other student told me. I did pull the mean girl aside and explained that the other girl wasn’t the one who told and that it wasn’t cool what she was doing. My point is, it’s so sad to me that the same students who are always voicing their opinions about the badness of bullying are often doing it themselves. It’s like something doesn’t click. They don’t see the “villain” in the story as being anything like them. And parents are even more clueless. They defend their “good kid” without question because kids are good at being one way in front of parents and totally different at school. I’ve even been shocked to find that students whom I felt were beyond reproach were saying or doing terrible things to other kids. It always breaks my heart.
    This is why shows like this are important for them to watch, and not just alone. With their families.
    Often, the ones who need the wake up call miss the point or the connection to themselves. The ones who already abhor bullying are the ones who watch and sympathize. When we sit with our children, we can ask them questions to help them reflect and make connections to their own lives and their own thoughts and behaviors. We can use these shows to open up nonjudgmental discussions, or pose questions like, have you ever done that? Be honest. Something about tv helps relax the atmosphere. For schools to spread a blanket of ‘No’ across the whole thing is excessive. It was probably one person who told administration its bad and they went with it. I doubt they all watched the show, or more than a single episode. This is a long comment. My apologies!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Don’t apologize! It’s a very relevant comment with pertinent information. At the time I was the bully, it didn’t click in until I actually saw her completely alone and very sad. At that point I had an insanely guilty conscience. I’m not proud of what I’ve done in the past, however I did my best to make it right. And watching the show definitely helped me see both sides more clearly even though I’ve gone through it. I can assure you at the time I didn’t realize what I was doing, although it is no excuse. That show sends a clear message if you watch it for what it’s purpose is.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree 🙂 I thought it was brilliant … not just the suicide aspect but the sexual assault element … that it happens … that we need to talk about … openly and honestly!

    I intend on watching this show with my grandchildren eventually … right after we’ve watched ‘I’m Not Your Negro’ 😉 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Excellent post! I wrote about this as well. I watched this series and thought it had excellent speaking points to our youth as these are all scenerios they go through, even in middle school. I decided against allowing my daughter to watch it. As a parent of a child who has a child who has been diagnosed with a mental health diagnosis, we have these needed talks regularly which I think should be had regardless of the label or not. I do agree the intent of the series was great, just may not be suitable for everybody depending on circumstances. We like to think that even as young adolescents, they are able to handle certain things not realizing​ it can plant a seed not intentional, which is what I didn’t want to occur, personally. I think every parent should watch it however, to touch a nerve hopefully. And from there decide if it is something they feel their child(ren) can actually handle without finding glorifying moments in something so serious.

    Liked by 1 person

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