By now you’ve all heard about the new Netflix series, “13 Reasons Why” and the praise/awareness it is bringing forward to suicide and the impact of bullying. Although I haven’t seen the series and I probably won’t watch it, I did read the book when it was first released in 2011. (Personally, I prefer books to movie/tv series remakes.) Anyways, I’m glad that this series is touching so many people, both younger children/adults who may be struggling with similar situations and even older adults who may have gone through this as well.
As for me, it brings back the harsh realities of my experiences throughout elementary to high school. I began experiencing bullying at an extremely young age when I was about six. As I go older the bullying got worse. Especially in middle school, when you’re already self-conscious about yourself and experiencing puberty. That’s also when I began getting physically assaulted from peers. My personal life has always been tough, and use academics and art as outlets which made me an easy target – add in the fact I went to new schools every year so I mostly was always a longer.
The bullying became so bad that I did become suicidal. I was 12 when I first wanted to die. I cried every night and became incredibly depressed, I started to believe the things other kids said about me or to me. As 25 yr old me writes this, it breaks my heart to know that I WAS A MERE CHILD AND WANTED TO DIE. I’m so glad I chose not go through with it. I’m so thankful to be here now and I’m in such a better place, the things I’m accomplishing and will continued to do – I chose to live and love.
Bullying is harmful. It’s dangerous and life changing. Adults used to chalk up my incidents as “kids being kids.” BUT NO, THAT IS WRONG – THAT IS DANGEROUS THINKING. A child shouldn’t tell another child to die, and a child shouldn’t feel unwanted and self-inflict that pain. Even if a child doesn’t physically hurt another child, words will stay forever. As an adult looking back, I can still remember the things that were said and done to me. I was able to use that negative output to become a better and kinder person. I was able to resist ending my life and break through barriers of insecurity and pain. Unfortunately for a lot of children and young adults, they cannot and social media is only amplifying both bullying and suicides.
“13 Reasons Why” is proving to be an impactful series and book of suicide, slut-shaming/bullying. We need to continue to have these open conversations and realize that being mean to someone else is not going to make you a better person, especially if they end their life over what you say and do to them.
Be a better person and be kind. And you may save a life like someone saved mine.