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.



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.


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