Music is For the Soul

Music is one of my favorite things in the whole world. There isn’t much in this world that is better than having a song that you really connect with. A song with lyrics that speak to you. One that sounds like it could have been written  about your life. As human beings one of the most important things is finding a connection. To me, one of the most honest connections is one I have with music.

One of my favorite things is the way that connection changes through time. The best example for this, for me, is “Silent All These Years” by Tori Amos. Here are the lyrics for reference:

Excuse me, but can I be you for a while
My dog won’t bite if you sit real still
I got the Anti-Christ in the kitchen yellin’ at me again
Yeah, I can hear that
Been saved again by the garbage truck
I got something to say, you know, but nothing comes
Yes, I know what you think of me, you never shut up
Yeah, I can hear that

But what if I’m a mermaid, in these jeans of his with her name still on it
Hey, but I don’t care ’cause sometimes, I said sometimes I hear my voice.
And it’s been here silent all these years

So you found a girl who thinks really deep thoughts
What’s so amazing about really deep thoughts
Boy you best pray that I bleed real soon
How’s that thought for you
My scream got lost in a paper cup
You think there’s a heaven where some screams have gone
I got twenty-five bucks an’ a cracker
Do you think it’s enough to get us there

Cause what if I’m a mermaid, in these jeans of his with her name still on it
Hey, but I don’t care ’cause sometimes, I said sometimes I hear my voice
And it’s been here silent all these

Years go by, will I still be waiting for somebody else to understand
Years go by, if I’m stripped of my beauty and the orange clouds raining in my head
Years go by, will I choke on my tears ’til, finally there is nothing left
One more casualty, you know we’re too easy, easy, easy

Well, I love the way we communicate
Your eyes focus on my funny lip shape
Let’s hear what you think of me now
But, baby, don’t look up- the sky is falling
Your mother shows up in a nasty dress
Hmm, it’s your turn now to stand where I stand
Everybody lookin’ at you, here taken hold of my hand
Yeah, I can hear them

But what if I’m a mermaid in these jeans of yours with her name still on it
Hey, but I don’t care ’cause sometimes, I said sometimes I hear my voice
I hear my voice, I hear my voice, and it’s been here
Silent all these years. I’ve been here silent all these years
Silent all these, silent all these years

 

And the song: Silent All These Years

Let’s dive into the back story. This song came out in 1992. I didn’t hear it until around ’95, when I was in high school. The last 2 years I was in high school until I was about 22, I went through a major depression. I dealt without a recurring nightmare that escalated from once or twice a month to once or twice a week. My mom and my step father were fighting constantly. My step father was constantly blaming me, very loudly, for their failed marriage. I was a bitch and a failure, and I heard that constantly. It wasn’t easy. I was suicidal and actually attempted once in the shower. While I knew the words didn’t exactly fit my circumstance, some of the lyrics spoke to me. Especially that first verse. The line “boy you best pray that I bleed real soon” is obviously about getting pregnant, but I equated it to me wanting to die. It’s funny how lyrics can be so subjective.

Listening to the song now, it’s more about my life than I could have imagined. The words have changed meanings for me and I truly have a deeper understand for them. “I’ve got something to say, you know, but nothing comes.” I lived this for so long. So many years of wanting to speak up, but just not having the words. Or not wanting to cause an issue by saying something. That’s what abuse feels like. It’s remaining quiet even though you want to scream to the world. It’s knowing that what is going on is wrong, but being too afraid to make the words come out. It’s listening to someone constantly berate you and just standing there and taking it because you know it would be 20 times worse if you say even a word in your own defense.

“Boy you best pray that I bleed real soon.” Then there’s the pregnancy scare. I was 21 and scared as all get out. In the end, I decided becoming a mother was what I wanted, and I now have an amazing 16 year old, but I won’t pretend I didn’t dwell on it a lot. Same lyric, different meaning. Amazing how that works.

I won’t detail every inch of the song, but it’s still my go to when I need to relate to something. When I’m feeling lost, like no one in the world understands, it’s there for me. Reminding me that I’m not alone and that things like this happen to other people. It speaks to me and helps me stay grounded.

Music speaks to the soul. All you have to do is listen.

Meltdown

Yesterday I had a meltdown. My boyfriend got to see 100% in full force what a real trigger looks like. Not that he hasn’t seen it from me before, but this was probably the worst he’s actually seen with his own eyes.

We were sitting in his living room watching YouTube, or maybe it was Netflix, I honestly don’t remember at this point. I can’t even remember what we were discussing, but I remember I Googled something because we had conflicting ideas about something. He has a habit of saying “no, you’re wrong” no matter what the answer is, no matter who he’s talking to. I could quote exactly what he said word for word and he’d say “no, you’re wrong.” He doesn’t do it to be mean or be a jerk, he’s usually just trying to be funny and then he’ll ask what it actually says. 95% of the time I’m absolutely fine with it. 4% of the time it makes me a bit cringey, but I brush it off. Yesterday was that small 1% of the time where it makes me want to gouge out eyes.

See, here’s the thing, A2 was notorious for telling me I was wrong. Always. Not jokingly, to gaslight me. I was ALWAYS wrong about EVERYTHING. I could show him proof that I wasn’t wrong, and I was still wrong. I could tell him how to spell his name, and I would be wrong. And when I would prove to him I was right, then I was a horrible person who always had to be right. He always asked me why I couldn’t just admit when I was wrong. The thing about it is, I never had a problem admitting when I actually was wrong. Hell, I just did it yesterday.

I just did it yesterday when I apologized to my boyfriend for blowing up at him when he didn’t do anything wrong. I actually got up and stormed out of his house. I called him from my care and told him to find another way to work Sunday morning. I was THAT mad, and he had no idea why. When I was first upset he tried to make me laugh. It’s what he does. It usually works. Yesterday it didn’t work. It just made me more angry. He even did it again after I left. I got as far as the stop light when he called and said “Guess we’re not getting 5 Guys then, huh?” I feel like I should reiterate that he was 100% trying to make me laugh. That’s how he deals with things in his head, he cracks jokes. He doesn’t like fighting or confrontation, so he’s always dealt with it by trying to turn it into humor. On a normal day I probably would have laughed.

But not on this day. No, this day I had a flood of past emotion. The feeling of helplessness of hearing A2 tell me I was wrong. I could hear it in my head over and over like a tornado siren warning me that a storm was coming, because that’s usually what happened when A2 said those words. I fought back. Not always, there was a point in time that I would just shake my head and brush it off. But, after a while I started fighting back again. I had to, for my own sanity. Near the end I wasn’t fighting him so much as I wasn’t fighting myself. I started to believe him when he told me I was wrong. I started to slip and question things I had seen with my own two eyes. Something as simple as knowing that I text him to tell him I had to work a different shift, even though he claimed I didn’t. He’d tell me I was wrong, that I was lying, or even worse that I was delusional. I’d scroll until I found the text and tell him see, see right here I told you, I text you. Suddenly he’d say he never got it so I should have done more to make sure he knew. Or he’d say I must have sent it to someone else, even though with smart phones you can clearly see the whole conversation that it’s in. Even at times when he replied to my text, he’d say he didn’t get it. He must have been replying to something else. He would say anything to make me question my reality. I felt all of that return yesterday. I couldn’t handle it and I walked out. I didn’t know what else to do. I felt broken and upset.

I had to walk away because I felt like I might actually have hit my boyfriend. I know, that seems like something shameful to admit. My mind resorted to violence, and I told him that. But, I walked away from the situation because I recognized that and I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I had done something like that. It scared me. The amount of anger I felt at that moment toward him scared the absolute shit out of me. Rationally I knew I wasn’t mad at him, but I was projecting it on to him and that’s not fair to him.

Lucky for me he’s a great guy.  He called me again on my way home. He realized how upset I was when I hung up on him after the humor didn’t work. He apologized. Yes, even though he had done nothing wrong, he apologized. He apologized because he was genuinely sorry for the way he made me feel, even though it wasn’t his intention. Anytime A2 ever hurt my feelings, and that happened a lot, he never apologized. Or if he did, it felt forced. Instead he’d tell me I was too sensitive and that he was just joking so I should calm down. I’m lucky to have a man in my life that recognizes that even if he didn’t mean to hurt my feelings, they still got hurt. So he apologized, and then I apologized because he really didn’t do anything wrong. I went home and took a nap to calm down, then went back over later. We’re fine now and life is how it should be.

And as shitty as I felt yesterday I feel amazing. To finally have a proper relationship with someone who listens, even if sometimes I think he doesn’t, and can understand when I get upset, truly is an amazing thing.

13 Reasons Why: Recap

SPOILER WARNING This entry contains spoilers for the Netflix show 13 Reasons Why. If you haven’t seen or finished the show, and don’t want spoilers, I highly advise to turn back now.

If you have finished the show then you know there is also a TRIGGER WARNING for rape, violence, and suicide.

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The show as a whole is great. As hard as some of the scenes were to watch, I feel like they were completely necessary. It really helped convey the emotions. I think this is definitely a show that both parents and teenagers need to watch. Teenagers so they know they aren’t alone and parents so they can have a better understanding of what goes through a kid’s head at times like these.

Some of the things that happen to Hannah seem small. But when you look at the whole picture you realize that everything just piled on. This is why it’s so important to not do the things that seem stupid and small. Like Tony says, you never know what someone is going through. What may be small and insignificant to you might be the straw that breaks the camels back to someone else, or even start a snowball effect like it did with Hannah.

What really got me though is that I couldn’t help but stop being so concerned about Hannah and start worrying about the other characters. Jessica, for example. While I absolutely feel for Hannah that she was raped, the truth of the matter is Hannah is gone. Jessica is still around. I stopped feeling upset for Hannah and started feeling heartbreak for Jessica. I think Clay went through the same thing. While he wanted justice for Hannah, when he got to Jessica’s rape he wanted to help her. Hannah was on his back burner. I have to say I respect him for that.

Watching the school flop around trying to avoid a lawsuit rather than trying to actually worry about the safety of the kids was terrifying. Mainly because it seems like that’s exactly how things would go. The depression and suicide awareness bull shit forum that they tried to hold was laughable. To be fair, that part wasn’t all the school’s fault. The material they have out for spotting depression isn’t 100% accurate. There are so many people who are high functioning depressives. They are the fake it till you make it crowd. On the outside, what they show the world, is the polar opposite of the internal struggle they deal with every day. I think that’s part of the reason this show is so important. It will hopefully start the conversation.

What it really all comes down too is that I hope this show helps. I hope it not only starts the conversation but also helps end the stigma. The stigma surrounding mental disease is both horrifying and terrible. Especially when you’re a teenager. People love to just tell you that you’re just feeling normal teenage angst or that you need to just get over something because it’s small and insignificant. Even if you’re not depressed or don’t have any other mental health issues, being a teenager can be pretty hard. Your brain is not fully developed and you don’t quite know how to process things properly all the time. The smallest things can seem like they are the end of the world. I think it’s important for us as parents to not only listen to our kids but to remind them that it will be ok and help them through whatever it is they are going through, even if it seems small to us.

I really hope they do a 2nd season. I found myself really worrying about the other kids.

13 Reasons Why: Tape 7 Side A

SPOILER WARNING: If you haven’t watched 13 Reasons Why season 1 episode 13, and you don’t want spoilers, then this is your warning to click out of this entry.

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There is a trigger warning for this episode for graphic suicide. This entry talks about suicide and rape.

Mr. Porter, you asshole. So because Hannah said oh no, not like that, you do nothing. Because Hannah was scared about revealing her rapist you told her to move on. Let me just repeat that. The school’s counselor told a rape victim to just move on. The sad thing is this is how things actually work. What’s worse is that now that the tapes are finally out, Brock Turner, I mean Bryce Walker, probably won’t even be prosecuted. Or if he does he’ll serve one of those rich white guy sentences because god forbid they let something like rape get in the way of his future. Although, Jessica told her dad. Being that he’s ex military something might actually get done.

Hannah’s suicide was hard to watch. I know what it’s like to press a razor blade to your wrist. To hesitate for a second and decide if you really want to do it. My hesitation saved my life, but Hannah’s didn’t save hers. I stopped, slid to the floor of the shower, and just cried. I wasn’t quite as empty as Hannah. Watching her mom and dad’s reactions was also hard. This whole scene just hit so close to home in so many ways that it was just super hard to watch. I almost paused it, but I made it through. Mainly because I felt if I stopped I might not turn it back on.

I think Hannah wanted Clay to have the tapes almost last because he’d know what to do with them. She knew that he’d try and make things right and if he had them first, no one else would have heard them. No one else would have believed any of it.  Tony convinced himself it was what Hannah wanted so it was ok. Not like Clay who wanted to scream to the world what happened. Maybe that’s his mother’s side of him, being a lawyer and all.

Tyler, ok so why in the hell does Tyler have all those guns? Is he gearing up for a school shooting or something? That would be my guess.

I’m worried about Justin. Where will he go? Will he be ok? I hope we will be able to follow his story.

By the end of the episode it’s confirmed that Alex was the person in the ambulance. He shot himself in the head. I’m guessing he just couldn’t take the stress anymore. Maybe he was worried about his dad finding things out.

They set things up for season 2. We’ll just have to wait and see if that happens.

13 Reasons Why: Tape 6 Side B

SPOILER WARNING and all that jazz. If you haven’t seen 13 Reasons Why episode 12, and you don’t to read any spoilers, well hopefully by now you know the drill. TURN BACK NOW!

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Look, another trigger warning. Great, ok, well here we go then I guess.

Ok, so the crux of this episode is Hannah’s rape. I had a feeling it was going to happen. I had to stop and compose myself after I watched it. Watching her fight and then just stop. Knowing that fighting would only make it worse. That she couldn’t fight back anymore. Hannah had officially bent so far that she broke.

But this story has become more than Hannah’s story. Jessica dumped her booze. She’s gonna fight back. And Justin. I mean, Hannah’s was raped and that’s 100% horrible. But I just wanted to reach through my screen and hug Justin. When he was trying to explain to Jessica about Bryce being there for him, he didn’t just mean money. Seeing someone who has helped you through so much of your life, through the hardest part of your life, end up being the absolute worst kind of person. But I don’t think Jess was wrong. Bryce cares about Bryce. Bryce giving things to Justin, to help him, wasn’t about Justin. It was about making Bryce look good. Oh, look at Bryce. He’e captain of the basketball team. He’s not selfish, look how he helped Justin. Yeah, it all just makes him look good. It hides the true evil that is Bryce. Justin didn’t want to hide that. Justin just didn’t know how to speak up. He is used to abuse and being told he’s a shitty person. When you’re told something like that enough times you start to believe it yourself.

Tony says it best when he says you never know someone’s life. You don’t know what other people are going through, what challenges they face. Hannah included. No one knew what Hannah’s challenges were just like Hannah didn’t know Justin’s or Zach’s, or anyone’s for that matter. Life is full of misconceptions.

Clay is on a warpath now. He knows this can’t stand. Bryce should be in jail. I’m not quite sure why Clay thought he could get Bryce to confess. The thing about rapists is they don’t usually identify themselves as rapists. And Bryce has enough money that he probably won’t even serve time for it.

As for the rest of the group, WTF Courtney. You want to hide a rapist because you don’t want to be outed? Aside from Tyler being a stalker, the rest really have nothing to worry about. Yes, Marcus was a dick, but he did leave. Alex was just trying to fit in and made stupid choices. Ryan really just wanted to publish something great and didn’t stop to think that it could hurt Hannah. Again, just a stupid choice. Sheri, well yes her mistake cost Jeff his life. She’s torn up about it. But, it was just that, a mistake. Zach was the same, he just made bad choices and acted without thinking. I can only hope they stick to telling the truth. The real truth.

13 Reasons Why: Tape 6 Side A

SPOILER ALERT: If you have not watched episode 11 of 13 Reasons Why, and don’t like having things spoiled for you, then this is your courtesy reminder to back out of this entry.

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It seems like so much of the show has been building to this moment. Clay’s tape. What could Clay have possibly done that could have been so horrible to Hannah. As I suspected, nothing. There was absolutely nothing Clay could have done that would have been right at that moment. No matter much he thinks he could have tried harder, all it would have done was upset Hannah more.

Hannah tells Clay to stop and he does. She tells him to go away, and he does. He tries to stay, but she yells at him, so he goes. Clay did everything right. Yet, it felt wrong. From an outsider looking in it may seem like Hannah was just being horrible, but a person doesn’t know what will trigger them. And until this moment I don’t think Hannah had experienced a true trigger. Triggers are hard, especially ones involving sexual abuse. A gentle touch from a partner who loves you and has never hurt you can feel like a thousand razors on your skin. It doesn’t mean that you love them less. It doesn’t mean that they love you less.

Watching the scene with Hannah’s triggers was hard for me. It was an amazingly accurate representation of how triggers feel. A flood of emotions and flashbacks. Hannah’s reaction isn’t uncommon. So many times I’ve felt like I wanted a person to stay, yet I yelled at them to leave because I wanted to be alone. But, I also wanted them to stay, to hold me, to just watch me cry and dry my tears, to just … GO AWAY! Triggers are emotional. It’s hard because you’re caught between the past and the present. Your memories are stuck on repeat. You want it to stop, but it doesn’t. You don’t know how to make it stop. You want comfort, in the present. But, your mind wants to scream all the things you never got a chance to scream. To tell your memories to fuck off. To tell the person who hurt you how you really feel. Things you wished you had said then, but were too scared to. Clay will never understand that.

Jessica will understand. Justin will probably understand. I truly hope Jessica decides to speak up. I don’t know if she will. Maybe Alex can help her. Maybe she will let Justin help her. Maybe she’ll finally let Clay help her. Because right now, Jessica is more important than Hannah’s tapes. Right now Jessica is more important then worrying whether or not you hurt someone who isn’t there anymore. Right now Jessica is alive. I hope she stays that way.

13 Reasons Why: Tape 5 Side B

SPOILER WARNING This is your friendly neighborhood spoiler warning. If you haven’t seen 13 Reasons Why episode 10, and you don’t like having things spoiled for you, then I highly suggest you don’t read this entry. For the rest of you, please put your tray tables up and move your seat back to the upright position as we prepare for take off. Enjoy your flight!

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STOP! Or don’t because maybe the sign is missing. Jeff didn’t see the stop sign because it wasn’t there. Sheri’s secret may not feel like a huge secret to many. She made a mistake and in turn her mistake cost someone their life. But this episode is literally a metaphor for the entire story. Everyone looks for signs after Hannah’s death. No one bothered to stop and see the signs before it was too late. Looking back you see them. Laying there on the ground like Sheri’s stop sign. Just waiting to be picked up so something this tragic doesn’t happen again. The signs were there, but people didn’t see them because they weren’t staring them in the face in big white letters on a bright red background.

That’s the thing about signs. You don’t always see them. Sometimes you don’t even see them when they are right out in the open. That’s because not all signs are the same. I often get asked how I ended up in a 2nd abusive relationship. Didn’t I see the warning signs? The big red flags that should have tipped me off that A2 was abusive? The answer is simply, no. No I didn’t see the signs because the signs weren’t the same. Signs come in many shapes, sizes, and colors. Some are big and bright, and others you could look at every day and not even notice.

This ties in with the meeting the school did on depression awareness and suicide prevention. The school gave a list of signs and things to watch for. That list is bull shit. Not because it’s false, but because it’s incomplete. Not all signs are big and red. Some signs are laying on the ground hoping someone sees them before they cause an accident.

Hannah wanted to call someone about the sign. Just likes she wants to scream to the world that she’s hurting. But she couldn’t. Her phone was dead and Sheri drove off.

Hannah’s sign is down and she has no one around to help her pick it back up.

13 Reasons Why: Tape 5 Side A

SPOILER WARNING If you haven’t watched episode 9 of 13 Reasons Why, and you don’t want spoilers, then this is your warning.

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I’m also adding a trigger warning to this entry, just in case you haven’t watched the episode and you’re still reading. This episode is about rape.

I knew Bryce was skeevy. Honestly, I was beginning to wonder if Jessica was the victim. What I didn’t expect was for Bryce to rape Jessica. It certainly explains why Justin is so messed up about the whole situation. It also explains why Jessica is spiraling. She knew it happened. She was only going along with Justin’s story because that’s what she wanted to be true. She wanted to forget. She was drunk that night so it was easy to convince herself that what she thought happened didn’t really happen. It was easy to convince herself that Justin was telling the truth that they just got drunk together and had sex. That’s what victims do. We try to convince ourselves something else happened. We call it different words like a drunken mistake or almost rape. We do everything in our power to convince ourselves that what happened isn’t real because if it’s real then we have to deal with it and sometimes it’s just easier to forget.

Jessica isn’t drinking because of Hannah’s tapes. Well, I mean, she is, but not because she’s worried about someone blaming her for Hannah’s death. She’s drinking because she’s had her own trauma and she doesn’t know how else to deal with it. She’s doing everything she can to drown the pain. She’s probably also really angry with Hannah. Hannah didn’t say a word. She was scared and she felt horribly guilty for not helping Jessica. Maybe she thought Jessica knew. She did see her struggle, so it’s possible she thought Jess knew what happened.

Either way, Hannah feels guilty. She could have helped her but she froze. She was scared and she was drunk so she froze. On the tape Hannah apologizes. The sad part is that it won’t help. Apologizing doesn’t unbreak something. It doesn’t magically heal wounds and make Bryce not rape Jessica. Apologies are both necessary and yet so unhelpful at times. Funny things apologies are.

 

13 Reasons Why: Tape 4 Side B

SPOILER WARNING! If you haven’t watched episode 8 of 13 Reasons Why, and your are anti-spoiler, then this is your warning to stop reading this entry.

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Tony isn’t horrible, he’s just upset. I can’t imagine seeing my friend in a body bag and just tossed into an ambulance like it’s no big deal. I’m gonna be honest, for a minute there I thought Tony’s whole plan was to make Clay fall. I’m glad we found out what’s really troubling Tony though. We also find out how obliviously Clay is to his surroundings. Seriously, not knowing Tony is gay? No wonder Clay never picked up on any of Hannah’s signs.

The main theme of this tape was Hannah’s poem. She bares her soul and it ends up published for the whole school to read. Granted, it gets published anonymously, but that doesn’t make her less paranoid when she hears people chuckling at it. The thing about the poem being published isn’t just that it got published. Ryan had given Hannah a peace offering. He truly understood her poetry and where she was coming from. Ryan had the opportunity to be an amazing friend and instead he published Hannah’s poem without her permission. Actually, against her wishes as she had asked him not to. Whether or not he really did feel like he was helping her or doing her a favor, he betrayed her trust. That seems to be a running theme in Hannah’s life. She can’t seem to find one person who she can explicitly trust, and that is super important not only when you’re a teenager but in life.

I know what you’re thinking, she can trust Clay. But, can she? He says he wouldn’t want to be friends with the person who wrote the poem. He didn’t realize that he’s already friends with her. Clay has a habit of not really thinking before he speaks. It’s just another example of how oblivious Clay is to the world around him. In Clay’s defense, you can’t really fault him for not knowing. Hannah could have told him, but she was already feeling vulnerable. I’m sure Clay would have apologized and he might have even asked if she was ok. But when life is already piling shit on you explaining yourself to people gets old. By now we can see just how tired Hannah is.

In the present we see Jessica and Justin are having relationship issues. Hannah is really weighing on Justin. I also think Jess is really starting to think that whatever Hannah said was actually the truth. Alex admitting that everything Hannah said about him was true really made her stop and think. I feel bad for Jess. I think she’s had it rough too. And now, after losing Hannah, she’s drinking and getting high all the time. She’s not coping very well at all. She needs help, to talk to someone. But Justin has her so afraid of the tapes coming out that she’s afraid to seek the help she needs. She’s spiraling fast. To be honest, I wouldn’t be surprised if she tried to join Hannah.

So what’s next, where do we go from here. Clay is finally ready to finish the tapes. He had a good heart to heart with Tony. I have a feeling Clay is about to hear a whole new world of horrible. I only hope that he can handle it because I have a feeling it’s gonna be a rough ride.

And now, on to episode 9. It’s already queued up on Netflix. I see there’s a trigger warning. *deep breath* Ok, let’s do this.

13 Reasons Why: Tape 4 Side A

SPOILER WARNING This is your friendly warning that if you haven’t watched 13 Reasons Why episode 7, and you don’t want to read any spoilers, then this is not the post you are looking for.

 

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Fast forward to the end! As I saw Tony standing there with everyone else I can’t help but wonder if I was right to be skeptical! Maybe this was his plan all along to get Clay to give him the tapes!

Ok, now on to Zach. I think Hannah is right about Zach. I think he understands her and I think he’s lonely and possibly even depressed as well. I think that’s why he liked her. The problem with Zach is, as Kat said, he isn’t that bright. What I don’t think Hannah got right was him being mad about being rejected. It seems like Zach was more upset that he upset Hannah and didn’t know why or how to fix it. I also think Zach was just scared and not sure what to do. On one hand, he knew what was written on the napkin was Hannah’s. She made sure of that by quoting her note to Zach on it. The lesson here is that Zach should have spoken up. Maybe not in front of the whole class, but at the very least after class to the teacher. The trouble with high school, and even outside of high school, is that you never know how someone is going to react in a situation like that. However, when you get to a certain point in life you realize that sometimes you have to risk someone being angry with you if it means you helping them in the long run.

Pull up a carpet square kids, it’s about to get personal in here. If you remember, I have a 16 year old daughter. She has a friend that she’s known since Kindergarten. When they were still in middle school my daughter spent the night at her house. The next day my daughter told me her friend was cutting again. See, somehow I managed to raise a kid who is wise beyond her years. She knew damn well her friend would be pissed off at her for telling me. She knew her friend showed her the marks in confidence and that confidence was being broken the minute she decided to speak up. She also knew I was going to say something to her friend’s mom. But see kids, her friend was in danger and that friend means a lot to her. In my daughter’s mind it was better to have her friend get upset and risk actually losing that friend if it meant getting her the help she needed, because when you truly care about someone it means that you put them first. The good news is this story has a happy ending. Her friend did get the help she needed and they are still friends. Yes, her friend was mad for a while. She got over it and realized my daughter was just being a good friend. Sometimes in life you have to stop being selfish and just do the right thing.

Ok, back to Zach’s tape. Zach’s reason for being on the tapes isn’t bad. Not all reasons are bad. The point of Zach’s tape is to show that what he did effected Hannah. What happened in the cafeteria most likely wouldn’t have caused as much damage to someone else. The problem is, Hannah has a lot on her plate. People who suffer from depression tend to be more irritable and can be more emotional. With all the issues Hannah had with the other basketball players it’s easy to understand why she was so reserved talking to Zach. She most likely didn’t feel like he was coming from a genuine place, even though from our perspective it does.

I think this was a good way to show how different things can influence different reactions in people. I don’t think Zach was wrong. I just think he was misguided.