Missy is a unique writer who enjoys inviting her readers into her thoughts through her poetry and other topics of discussion.
How I Decided to Watch This Show
The poem at the end of this essay came to me and was inspired oddly enough by the show that has reached Netflix called “13 Reasons Why.”
I was reluctant to watch this series, because I am 45 years old now, and it seemed to be a young adult show with plenty of scenes of high school crushes and parties. I was obviously not going to be into that type of re-creation anymore.
However, out of the blue one day, my fate pushed play on this show after several reviews I had read on social media; some from teenagers, and surprisingly some from adults. I thought it had to be something that maybe had a valid script with lessons to be learned or at least inspiration to life. Inspiration is something I have always tried to find through my own journey through time. It became a necessity for me somewhere along the way for survival purposes.
Hannah Baker Played by Katherine Langford
How I Related to the Characters of This Series
As I continued to watch show after show, I realized how much things do not change when you are growing up and cast out into the public-school system. I have a teenager myself now, and I knew this already. However, she is somewhat different than I was in my confused years. Which is a funny way for me to describe that time, because life never really becomes crystal clear, does it? Even so, schools have the same protocol of the mean jocks, the nerds; the Goth; and the normal misunderstood, as the main characters were in this story of Hannah Baker and Clay Jensen.
I, myself, started recalling my past as a high-school student, and how difficult the years were for me - the strange thing was; I did not relate to one specific character here, but a few in different types of ways.
I related to Hannah for her undeniably bad luck at keeping dedicated friendships, and how lonely that can make a person feel. I did not, however, relate to her giving up on life and ending her own. Even though, I understood the velocity of circumstances, which could lead-up to that - the things we go through that happen to us, and live with us even as we make it to adulthood. Some of us are stronger than others and learn to block those things out. In that way, I related to the character of Skye Miller (Goth girl), who stated that "only the weak would give into suicide." Those are the thoughts, I, to this day, bury in my psyche when life just seems to overwhelm and remind me of who I am.
Clay Jensen Played by Dylan Minnette
Continuing the Comparisons
In continuance through this series, I related to Jessica Davis at one point. This was my least favorite character; the popular one that plays the blame game for her own insecurities. Well, that was the way I saw her. Even so, I did relate to her after the scene of her party. I will not go into detail to what happens to her, but will say – unfortunately, experiences are the same for some of us during those sad years of youth.
There were plenty of kids like Justin Foley, that I knew, who had a less than normal home life, and covered it up with athletic success and rich friendships. I know this type still exists today as well.
All in all, this movie brought back memories and sprang me forward to realize my own life past and present. It is the paths we take and sometimes the bad choices we make that carry our luck through the years. I realized the adolescent years are one of the most crucial parts of life that can create our futures, and it can be so sad for some. I hope I have had plenty of talks with my own daughter about these types of pressures right now at her age. I think I have, because she really is a very grounded, and a kind person. Although I know she has parts of herself and her life in high school that she also struggles with. In this way, I related to Hannah’s mom.
Hannah’s mom was not bad. She cared so deeply for her daughter, and tried her best to help her in any way she could. She worried about her. She doted on her, and encouraged her through every interest Hannah had. She didn’t put any pressure on her, and then she wondered if she didn’t do enough. And that is the scariest part. Now, at this age, this is where I am at in life with my own children. Knowing all that may happen privately in their lives, and realizing that I can only be there if they let me, but darn it…I will keep trying every day, even if they don’t want me to.
My Ending Views and My Personal Poem
My poem is about life as, I, and I assume more people out there in this great big world, know it - forever trudging through with complete awareness of knowing who we are, but not being appreciated for individuality. Yes, I know there are many of us here, and I believe that this show inspired me to write all this down today, because the teenage years are supposed to mold us. They are crucial to our choices regarding the future. It is told to us that going to school, learning, and making friendships help us grasp our journey to adulthood. Yeah, but for some of us, it only creates further distortion to our reality. Confusion sets in and never leaves. It is sad but true.
Take care everyone. Learn to love yourself. Enjoy the little things in life and forget the aspirations that others may have for you. Believe in yourself and don’t conform to society in a way that is unhealthy to your own beliefs. And if any of you teenagers are out there reading this; if you don’t want to be like a Bryce Walker or Courtney Crimson, don’t be. Be like a Clay Jensen; a person who even though was misunderstood, still validated life by being himself. In the long run, find your pockets of happiness and fight through the rest.
"A person's character, I realize, is never black-and-white. There is so much gray."
~13 Reasons Why Quote
Twitter Link to The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
- The Lifeline (@800273TALK) | Twitter
The latest Tweets from The Lifeline (@800273TALK). The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline offers free, confidential crisis counseling 24/7/365. You don't have to be suicidal to call. Acct not monitored 24/7. United States
A Question for Adults and Teens
The Curse of a Life
When I look into the mirror,
I don’t care for what I see…
There stares a tired old hag
looking back at me…
She is distorted in a swirl
Succumbed to her lost private
Eyes wide, beauty to be
nevertheless, all she views is
her lack of pristine…
Once a mystical goddess…
oh, who am I kidding-she
Though she did once turn
herself into a suicide blonde…
and took on the world with
her new-found charm…
She flowed like rays of
sunshine in her hair…
it brightened her face, and
the cold stares were now not
A new kaleidoscope of pretty
A purposeful perspective shining
Transformed into a peacock who
fanned out her fair…
even though she was hiding
Then, these things had to
they had to go back to the same-old
Pushed in by past lows; words of
unfavorable persuasions… Lost once more in darkness. A remembered dread…
Shadows are her friends in this old atmosphere… Sometimes now, when she perfumes her skin…
she can still only smell her death living within… Will she eventually prevail out
Will she bury her regrets, and forgive her own sins… Back and forth finding light,
and later disappointment…
returned her completely to the night…
© 2017 Missy Smith
Shannon Henry from Texas on May 04, 2017:
I haven't seen this show, but a friend of mine was recently saying she thinks it should be in schools. All I can say is that I remember middle school and high school days and it makes me sad kids are facing those kinds of social pressures so young. My daughter even had a mean video posted about her online last month. She's only in 4th grade.
Missy Smith (author) from Florida on April 23, 2017:
Thank you, Bill. I think by what you just said, you are doing exactly what it takes to help others. :)
Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on April 23, 2017:
I've never seen the show, but I understand the subject matter very well. I wish I had the magic elixir that would help others to love themselves. I wish I could find a way to help others see the world as I see it. But I don't. All I can do is love others and hope that love gives them some sense of well-being and self-worth.
Lori Colbo from Pacific Northwest on April 22, 2017:
I am familiar with that verse. Certainly fits for today as well as since Jesus' time. I'm sorry your daughter is going through a tough time. The teen years are so difficult. I wouldn't go back for anything. You and I have been given the opportunity to pass on the lessons we've learned. Depression is so hard. I ask God to bring people in my path to pass along whatever I've learned. One day we will be in paradise. I will be praying for you and your daughter - really. :)
Missy Smith (author) from Florida on April 22, 2017:
Gosh, Lori, my heart is breaking just listening to your story. I am so glad you could be a power of strength for your son right when he needed it.
This show is very powerful. I was unaware how influential it would be thinking back on my own life and the things I have gone through. It's scary, because it reminded me that the cycle doesn't change much, and my daughter may be experiencing some difficult times now in her teenage years.
Depression. It's just something that is a part of me now, and it's been that way, for as long as I can remember. I am lucky that my perseverance to live has prevailed. I will admit; Jesus has played a part in that, along with a verse I held onto my whole life.
"If the world hates you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you." John 15:18
It just made me remember the sacrifice and the pain he went through. He made me strong in reminding me of that.
I cannot imagine finding someone you love after they have committed suicide, especially at a young age. Tell your son to please hang in there he is not alone, and I know his friend would want him to live on.
I am also glad to know that God took over in your situation when you tried this, Lori. He made you a voice now, and I can tell you are inspiring many with your words.
This was an important subject matter, and I have written about it several times. I tell myself before I start typing that I could remain silent, or I could share who I am, and know that there are others out there like me, who could feel better knowing they are not alone.
Thank you so much for sharing your story. I think it is extremely important to do so. ~Missy
Lori Colbo from Pacific Northwest on April 22, 2017:
Can of worms for me here. First though, Missy, You are beautiful and God loves you - me too. I am broken like you for all the trauma in our lives.
I did not watch this show as I don't have cable. I heard about it through my 24 year old son a week or two ago. He called me and said he watched the show and had just seen the finale. He was near tears. I dropped my important business and drove 20 miles to meet him. When he got in my car he was visibly shaking. When I mentioned he threw himself into my arms and I held him until he stopped shaking. He told me he watched this and it triggered him. About three or four years ago he found his friend just minutes, maybe seconds after committing suicide by hanging on a forest path from a tree. Lately the trauma has caught up to him and he's not functioning well. My heart breaks for him and the boys family.
Secondly, I have attempted myself. You wouldn't believe the story I have about how God intervened. But I don't understand why I survived and my sons friend did not. God had a plan for him as well as me. But my understanding is he went into the arms of Jesus, who understands the agony of depression. No way does God condone it, but he understands the brokenness of hurting, traumatized people. I have bipolar and PTSD so I have two challenges. I am glad I am still here so I could hold my son in my arms and read this and tell you how loved and valuable you are.
I'm glad you wrote on this. I told my son he should take care of himself by not watching things like this. He was bullied a lot in school but the trigger was his friend. Life is hard, but my Savior is glorious and saved me spiritually and literally. One day, the Bible says, "he will wipe every tear from our eyes and there will be no more pain, or death, or crying and all things will be made new." This glorious promise is for those who call on His name to be saved. He loves us all not matter where we come from or what we've done. He went to the cross and rose again and I am thankful that when life is over heaven will be my home. My life is still here to proclaim and extend this hope to anyone who will listen. I want my pain and experience to be used to give hope.
God bless you dear Missy.