13 Reasons Why: Tape 3 Side B

SPOILER WARNING If you haven’t watched 13 Reasons Why episode 6, and you don’t want to be spoiled, then this is your courtesy reminder to click out of this entry.

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Tape 3 Side B, in which Marcus is an asshole. Dear teenage boys, or frankly any boys for that matter, don’t let your hormones cloud your judgement. Same goes for girls. Seriously, just stop. It’s really not that hard to respect personal space and boundaries.

On to Sheri. I know something was up with that girl the moment I saw her. She acts all sweet and perfect, but she’s on the tapes too. She even confesses that she did something awful. Was she genuine about her motives with Clay? I don’t think she was. I think Clay had it right and she just didn’t want him to say anything about the tapes. She says to Clay not to ruin anyone’s life and in turn Clay said it was too late. He’s not wrong. The think about suicide is that it’s permanent. There’s no coming back. Hannah’s life was ultimately and completely ruined by what’s on those tapes. To some it may seem like she overreacted. But, when you’re already having problems, when you already suffer from depression or any other mental illness, the things that may seem insignificant to everyone else seem huge to you. That’s why it’s so important in life to watch your step and be courteous of how you treat others. You never know what they are going through in life.

The next thing I want to cover is Clay’s mom. I love Clay’s mom, I really do. She loves Clay and she knows he’s a good kid. She wants to be involved and she wants Clay to talk to her. She’s trying so hard to make sure she does the right thing. But the thing no one ever tells you about parenting is that there isn’t just one right thing. Like I said in my last post, kids are still human beings and they’re all different. Think back to when Hannah and Courtney were in Courtney’s garage. Courtney’s dad leaves and Hannah says it’s nice how involved Courtney’s dad’s are. Hannah then says that she wishes her parents were the type that she could talk too. The thing is, from what we know about Hannah’s parents, the would have no problems with her opening up to them. We know that one of the reasons they moved is because of the girl’s at Hannah’s other school. It’s quite possible Hannah has a history of being bullied. I have to wonder if Hannah say them moving as her parents running away from the problem rather than solving it. Maybe that’s why she felt she couldn’t tell them what was going on. Just like some parents have issues listening, some kids just have trouble talking. Sometimes as parents we have to be like Clay’s mom. Sometimes we have to demand answers. Yes, it may irritate our kids. It may make them upset with us for a while. Parenting isn’t all rainbows and sunshine. We have to put in the hard work too.

In this episode I can really start to see Hannah breaking down. She’s getting close to her breaking point. She’s tired and worn. She’s starting to blame herself. Depression, it’s a liar and a thief.

13 Reasons Why: Tape 3 Side A

SPOILERS WARNING!! If you haven’t watched 13 Reason’s Why Episode 5, and don’t want spoilers, this is your warning.

 

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Onward!

First, I want to touch on something from a past episode. Something that really bothered me was the school’s attempt at pretending they care. The lame ass signs of depression are just that, lame. Depression is different everyone. They are giving people signs as though they are written in stone, and they aren’t. There are a TON of what I call high functioning people with depression. I’m one of them. If I didn’t tell you I battle depression you probably wouldn’t know. I’m not withdrawn, I eat, and I do most of the things I a “normal” adult should do. My kid is the same way. She does her homework, gets good grades, eats, has friends, and for fucks sake she’s in band and loves it. She still suffers from anxiety and depression. I know this because I have an open relationship with my kid. She knows she can come to me with anything and that mom is always a 100% judgement free zone. Does she come to me with everything? No, of course not. She’s a human being and human beings, especially teenage ones, need their secrets. I think that the most important part of being a parent is remembering that your child is also a person. I know that sounds like an obvious, but I don’t just mean a person in the biological sense. I mean their own person, an individual, a human being, a mini adult! Wait, what? Mini adult? Yep, teenagers are mini adults. They are learning how to be adults and how the world works. They are going to be assholes because they don’t realize the consequences. They are going to keep important things a secret because they don’t know they are important. Yet, at the same time, they share our feelings, our sense of accomplishments, our pain, our love, and even our intelligence. It’s important to treat them as though you would treat another adult. That doesn’t mean you don’t also treat them like your child. You still need to set boundaries and put rules in place, but don’t you set boundaries with other adults as well? They just happen to be a different set of boundaries because you’re not teaching other adults how to be adults.

Courtney. Courtney is a great example of a teenager being an asshole because she doesn’t realize the consequences of her actions. She just wanted the target off her back so she put it on Hannah’s. She wasn’t trying to be awful, just save her own skin. It doesn’t mean she was right. She’ll absolutely have to live with the consequences of her actions. What truly bothers me about Courtney though is that she’s so worried about being outed that she’s willing to hide all the awful stuff the others did just to save her own skin. I can understand why Justin & Co wouldn’t want the tapes to get out. Aside from Alex, who is really just so upset by everything I think he’s just going along for the ride, they actually have something to hide. Well, except for Jessica, but Justin seems to have her convinced that whatever happened never happened and that Hannah is lying.

I just had a thought. Is Alex truly that innocent? We haven’t heard all the tapes yet. We know Justin will make another appearance because Hannah tells us. Will Alex? Was Alex involved in whatever happened at Jessica’s party? It leads me to wonder how many people were actually involved. I can’t think anyone but Hannah and her attacker (I’m assuming the party is Hannah’s breaking point and I’m assuming she gets raped) would actually be involved. I have 2 theories about who attacks Hannah. My first thought is Bryce. Everyone is super paranoid that Bryce is gonna get the tapes. He’s obviously on the list to get them. So I think either Bryce is the attacker or Bryce helped Justin cover things up. Either way, things are getting crazy.

Tony is starting to grow on me a bit more though. I still can’t completely figure him out though. But, he does seem like he is genuinely trying to help Clay.

13 Reasons Why: Tape 2 Side B

SPOILER WARNING!! If you haven’t watched episode 4 of 13 Reasons Why, and you don’t want any spoilers, then stop reading! Consider yourself warned.

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First off, I must confess. I’ve been binge watching. So, while you’re reading one post a day, I’ve been watching 2 episodes a day minimum. I’m blogging after each episode and scheduling the posts to go live in order each day. I actually had to cut myself off tonight because it’s late and 6 am comes early. Anyway, let’s get to it.

Ok, so maybe Tony isn’t horrible. He still seems a bit shady to me, but I think he’s really just watching out for Clay. I think he realized how much Clay meant to Hannah. Or maybe he truly was Hannah’s friend and knows how much all of this means to her, how much Clay means to her. What I can’t quite understand is how Hannah keeps fishing for friendship when it’s standing right next to her at the movie theater. Clay seems like a good guy. Yes, he definitely likes Hannah, but he also seems like the kind of guy that is totally ok with just being friends if that’s all she wanted.  Then again Clay is also ready to jump when he’s invited to Bryce’s house. I think that has a lot to do with Clay wanting answers without listening to the tapes. I still can’t quite tell if Clay is afraid of what’s on the tapes or just has a hard time hearing Hannah’s voice. Probably a mixture of the two.

Tyler is the subject of the tapes in this episode. Tyler, the creepy stalker who likes to take pictures. Tyler’s pictures ruin the short lived friendship between Hannah and Courtney. Courtney, the girl who apparently doesn’t want to be outed. Tyler is the first instance of crossing the line from bullying to flat out illegal. I’m sure in his head he never meant to hurt Hannah, but that doesn’t make it any better. I’m still on the fence about Clay’s new justice for Tyler though. My first instinct is to say fuck that kid, he got a big dose of his own medicine. But, ruining someone else’s life isn’t quite the best option.

On to Bryce. Is he the true asshole? He seems like the Brock Turner type. The rich football captain who can get away with whatever he wants. When we first saw that Justin was hiding out at Bryce’s we heard Bryce tell him he can stay as long as he needed, but to keep Bryce out of whatever was going down. Justin & Co are only befriending Clay to keep Bruce from getting the tapes. I’m guessing that means there is a tape about Bryce. It also seems like the tapes are somewhat going in order. We know that Justin, Jessica, Alex, Marcus, Zach, and Tyler have all listened to the tapes. That leads me to believe that Clay’s tape is one of the last tapes. It also leads me to believe that so is Bryce’s. Bryce very well might have been the straw that broke the camel’s back with Hannah.

On a more somber note, this is officially the first episode that made me cry. Watching Hannah’s dad break down did me in. Not just because I can see him crying and see him finally break, but because it fed into my own fears. My 16 year old daughter battles anxiety and depression. There have been times that I’ve broken down just thinking that the thought might cross her mind. When she confessed to me that it had, I lost my shit. Not to her, but I lost it. People think you just can’t imagine your life without your kids. While that is certainly true, it’s also more than that. I can’t imagine either of my children not feeling the butterflies in their stomach when they have their first kiss. Getting to experience the awkward blushing and nervous laughter when you realize the person you like more than friends likes you that way too. I want them both to experience the sense of victory you get when you graduate high school and get to say goodbye after 4 years of the weirdest and possibly hardest part of your life. The pride and accomplishment of finishing college. I want my kids to live not just because I would miss them if they were gone, but because I want them to experience life. There are many things in this world that seem like they are going to shit. We’re on the brink of what very well may be another world war. But, there is also so much good. Look how far we’ve come with basic human rights. Yes, we still have  long way to go, but we’ve made giant steps in the right direction. My teenager also loves science. Maybe she’ll be a scientist. She hasn’t decided yet. She just knows she wants to do something in the medical field. She’s thought about something involving patient care. I know that she’ll get the same joy out of working with patients as I do. Thinking that she may end her life and never get to experience the emotion of hugging a patient who just lost their spouse, knowing how much they appreciate you grieving with them, that is what makes me cry. I could see the sorrow in Hannah’s dad. I could feel his anger. Anger at knowing his daughter would never experience the joys of life, that all she felt was pain.

This episode was hard and I know it only gets harder.

13 Reasons Why: Tape 2 Side A

SPOILERS! If you haven’t watched 13 Reasons Why episode 3, and you don’t want spoilers, this is your warning.

 

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I’d like to know why all of these high school kids have tattoos. Seriously, what’s up with that. And, no, they aren’t all real. They were added in on the characters that have them and covered up on the actors who have them in real life.

Anyway, Tony still confuses me. I don’t think Alex is way off base when he says Tony is in it for Tony. I think Alex genuinely feels bad about his tape. I really don’t think he ever meant to hurt Hannah and I don’t think he realized his addition to the list was anything more than a way to piss off Jessica. The problem with high school is that teenagers attend. Teenagers think with their emotions and not always with their brains. It can cause a shit ton of unintentional chaos. It’s easy to tell someone not to be a dick, but not everyone realizes they’re being dicks. Not to mention, when you are that young and the world seems to revolve around you, someone could tell you straight up that what you did was a dick move and you still wouldn’t get it.  I really don’t think Alex realized how badly he hurt Hannah until he heard the tapes. It’s why I wonder if Alex really feels like Tony is only out for Tony or if that’s just an idea that Justin & Co planted in his head.

And since we’re on the subject of Tony, what’s the deal with Fight Club at the end there? It just makes me feel like I was right to not trust Tony. I really feel like something is up with that guy.

We also learn more about Justin’s back story. I know he’s supposed to be an antagonist, but I honestly can’t help but feel bad for him. His home life is not ideal. No question that he’s been abused, most likely from one of the guys his mom has dated. It can’t help that his best friend comes from the exact opposite family dynamic, rich and seemingly well put together. That’s gotta be rough. Granted, it absolutely doesn’t excuse his behavior, but it does give us major insight into what makes Justin tick.

Meanwhile, Clay is taking forever to listen to his tapes. We learn that Alex listened to them the first time in one night. Yes, the first time. Alex listened twice. Based on the way Alex seems to be handling things I think it really hit him hard finding out he played a part in hurting Hannah so much. I still don’t understand why Alex and Jessica didn’t just tell Hannah they were dating.

Speaking of dating, I’m shipping Hannah/Clay pretty hard. I mean, I know it doesn’t happen, but you can tell how much Clay likes Hannah. The poor kid is so socially awkward though he’s worried about saying the wrong thing. Hannah seems to be digging him too, but she doesn’t say anything either. I seriously hope the she doesn’t blame Clay for not asking her out. She easily could have made the first move herself.  She certainly had no problem letting Justin know she liked him.

All in all this episode just gave me more questions. Hopefully I get some answers soon.

13 Reasons Why: Tape 1 Side B

SPOILER WARNING. If you haven’t watch 13 Reasons Why Episode 2, and don’t want spoilers, this is your final warning to turn back.

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Clay, oh Clay. He wants all the answers without listening to the tapes. While I can understand why, I mean hearing Hannah’s voice has to be hard, I would think he would want the story straight from Hannah’s mouth. Clay looks everywhere for Justin and Jessica, and even finds Jessica. When Clay finds Jessica in the coffee shop something happens. She tells him things he hears on the tapes aren’t all true. At first I thought it must be something that Jessica just doesn’t want known. Then Jessica says something that caused me to really stop and think. She claims that Hannah was actually the one who stopped coming to the coffee shop first. There’s only two explanations for this. Either Hannah was lying or Jessica is lying, but why.

If Hannah is lying then it’s possible she’s remembering wrong. But that’s something pretty big to remember incorrectly. It’s also possible that she’s lying just to get back at Jessica and Alex. The only account we really have to go by about Hannah is Hannah herself. No one else actually talks about her much and what kind of person she was. We just have to assume that she’s a good person because this is her story.

If Jessica is lying then it’s most likely to make Clay question who Hannah really was and possibly question things Jessica knows Hannah says later on the tapes. Most likely whatever it is that Justin has done.

So what has Justin done? By the end of the episode it’s apparent that he’s been accused of something. Jessica asks him why he’s hiding out if he’s not guilty. Justin knows that Clay has the tapes now. Seeing as how he left school and hasn’t been back, he’s most likely worried Clay will turn the tapes in when he’s done with them. If I had to guess, being how shaken everyone is and how worried Jessica is, I’d say Justin rapes Hannah. We know from tape one that we haven’t heard the last about Justin on the tapes.

It’s also becoming more apparent that Clay actually cared about Hannah. When Tony finds him in the coffee shop he tells Clay that he’s taking longer to get through the tapes than the others. Clay says it’s hard hearing her voice. He says he can’t not see her when he hears it. It seems as though the others simply zipped through them to see what was said about them.

Then there is Tony. Something feels off about him and I’m not sure what.

13 Reasons Why: Tape 1 Side A

SPOILERS!

This, and the next 12 (possibly 13) posts that follow will contain spoilers for the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why. If you haven’t watched the show and don’t want it spoiled, this is your warning. I will put a small spoiler warning on the other posts, but they are going to be smaller.

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There is no time like the present, so I went ahead and started. I feel like the first episode sets a good tone. I feel like if I hadn’t known beforehand what the show was about, that this episode definitely made sure I had an idea of what I would be in for.

The good news is, this episode is tame. The bad news is, it’s a reality that many teenagers face in the age of camera phones and social media. In a way, I feel bad for Justin. No, of course he shouldn’t have shown his friends the pictures, but I also feel like he never would have shared them with everyone on his own. He probably never would have shared them at all if his friend hadn’t hounded him for details of what happened. Yet, he still didn’t stop them. It also doesn’t seem like he bothered to set the record straight either. On the other hand, it’s completely possible that he had every intention of misconstruing the photos and that’s why he wanted pictures of Hannah going down the slide. From what I can gather there is a lawsuit pending that involves Justin. I can’t help but wonder if he’s more than one reason.

Clay, oh Clay. I’m sure he’ll be the last tape. I’m sure I’ll have to wait until the very end to understand his role in everything. Tony doesn’t seem to completely hate him, so that’s a plus. I’ve decided Tony is the trusted friend, the one who will make sure those who listen to the tapes follow the rules. My biggest question about Tony is whether or not he’s listened to the tapes. Tony obviously knew that Clay was next (or possibly first) to receive the tapes. He drove him home from school so Clay would see the tape player.

If this episode taught me anything it’s that I need to be super diligent about making sure my own 16 year old daughter knows shit like this can happen. She’s a pretty smart kid, and she’s pretty aware. But, when you get caught up in the heat of the moment sometimes your emotions cloud your judgement. Lucky for me, she’s watching this too (she’s actually further along than I am) so that will help with the lesson.

Now, on to side B.

13 Reasons Why

I’m mentally prepping myself for this show. I’ve made the decision to blog after I watch each episode. I feel like this will help me process and decompress afterwards.

I’m going to start on Monday. I haven’t decided yet how spaced out I will do the episodes. I will most likely do an episode a day. It depends on how much I can handle. I WILL watch all 13 episodes, so stay tuned.

Squares and Parallelograms

If you’ve ever taken a geometry class you’ll know that while all squares are parallelograms, not all parallelograms are squares. The same is true with abusive and toxic relationships. While all abusive relationships are toxic, not all toxic relationships are abusive. It’s important that you understand the difference as sometimes the lines can be thin.

Abusive relationships consist of manipulation, control, emotional stress, and at times physical and/or sexual abuse. These are all things that are 100% toxic. But there are also many things in life that are toxic that don’t qualify as abuse.

Toxic relationships can come in many forms. Some may be toxic yo just you. Others may be toxic to both parties involved. Some can be fixed and some cannot. You may be great friends with someone until you live together. Once you live together you find you constantly butt heads and you’re always fighting. Whether you’re in a romantic relationship or a platonic one, this happens quite often.

Another toxic component that isn’t abusive is not accepting someone for who they are. While it may not be abusive to tell your son that you won’t show up to his wedding because he’s marrying another man, it is most certainly toxic. You might have been the most amazing mother while he was growing up. Taking him to soccer practice, helping with homework, providing warm meals or a roof for any of his friends in need, getting excited when he went to prom with the cute blonde girl from his science class. But, then he came out and you didn’t approve. That’s all it takes. But, I’m a great mom, you say. Are you though? That one thing makes you more toxic than you could ever realize. It’s all it takes to be toxic.

I’m pointing all of this out because I see the two terms misused a lot. Many seem to think that they are interchangeable, which just isn’t the case. Yes, abusive is always toxic. It’s harmful and in most instances it can’t be fixed without leaving. But, if the relationship is toxic there are ways to fix it. Sometimes just changing the relationship dynamic helps. Realizing that the pair is better off as friends rather than lovers can actually work. Telling your best friend that while you love them so very much, you just can’t live with them, can work.

Please, be aware of this when you are trying to help someone realize they have a toxic or abusive relationship.

But, you don’t SEEM like the type …

If I had a dollar for every person who said to me, “you don’t seem like the type of person who let’s themselves be abused,” I’d have a good deal of dollars. Maybe even enough to buy a fancy purse or those hideous red shoes with the vinyl socks at Nordstrom. What even are these? Well, in response to the question at hand, pull up a carpet square kids because it’s story time.

Growing up I was taught not to take anyone’s shit. It’s one of the reasons I am constantly questioned on how I “let” abuse happen. Well let’s just get one thing straight, I didn’t LET anything happened. Shit just happened and this form of victim blaming needs to take a very long walk off a short pier. That take no shit attitude I had growing up became one of the pillars of my abuse. “I don’t take shit from anyone.” “Oh, you mean you don’t compromise? You won’t meet me halfway.” “No, that’s not what I mean, I mean, wait is that what it means?” I was led to believe that me not putting up with being wronged meant I wouldn’t compromise in a relationship. I was young when I married A1. I didn’t know what marriage was supposed to be like. I didn’t know what I wanted out of a relationship. I believed him when he told me that me sticking up for myself was me not compromising.

During the short time we did what I call tag team parenting. He worked during the day and I worked at night during the weekdays and during the day on the weekends. His job provided flexibility that let him work his own hours, as long as he worked 40 hours in 5 days. He could have easily worked 7am to 4pm if that’s what he wanted to do. But, that’s not what he did. My job did not have flexibility. I worked 5:30 pm to 11 pm on the weekdays and 7 am to 4 pm on the weekends. A1 would get home with just enough time for me to get to work and not be late. We’d pass at the door, barely. I tell you this so you understand when I tell you about his claims of me not compromising. At first he’d go in a little earlier some days and get home in time for dinner. We’d eat dinner together and then I’d go to work. It was nice. As time passed he stopped doing any of that, but he was still demanding dinner on the table when he got home, even though he’d be eating by himself. For a while I did it. I’d make dinner and eat by myself and make sure there was something for him when he got home. He started to complain that the food was cold by the time he got there. I told him if he wanted hot food on the table, he’d need to get home earlier, otherwise I wouldn’t have time to eat. Suddenly I was a horrible wife who didn’t want to take care of her husband. I started cooking and putting the leftovers in the fridge. After a while, I just stopped cooking. I would make sure me and my daughter ate, and that was it. If I happened to cook and there were leftovers, sometimes I would put them in the fridge for him. Other times I would take them to work. My unwillingness to serve him was looked at as an unwillingness to compromise.

A2 had the same mentality. If I was sticking up for myself that meant I was mean to him or that I didn’t care. On the contrary, I cared too much. I did everything in my power to keep things together with both A1 and A2, but you can only get so far when all of your pieces crumble to the ground. This is the key factor in abuse, breaking the victim down. making the victim believe that they are the one who is wrong. Chipping away at every fiber of their being.

Abuse is like erosion. The abuser slowly chips away at the victim until they are reshaped into a whole new person. The Grand Canyon, for example, wasn’t always the Grand Canyon. Most scientists believe that the Grand Canyon started taking shape around 5 or 6 millions years ago due to erosion from the Colorado River. The canyon itself is a result of constant erosion from the river over millions of years. Yes, millions of years! That’s how abuse is. It’s a process and it’s slow. It’s quite common to not realize it’s happening until you’re already invested in the relationship. Once that happens you spend a great deal of time trying to reconnect with the person you fell in love with. A person who doesn’t even exist anymore.

As a victim I can tell you we are the hardest on ourselves. We ask ourselves all the time why we stayed, why we “let” it happened, why we didn’t see the signs. You’d be doing us all a solid if you’d stop telling us we don’t seem the type.

What’s Even Real Anymore?

One of the absolute hardest things about being an abuse survivor is trying to determine which parts of your past are real and which are made up. Part of gaslighting is the abuser making the victim feel like their reality isn’t actually reality.

I got a friend request on FB the other day from an old friend of my ex. I remember this guy being a lying douchebag. But, is that really who he was? Honestly, I’m not even sure. I think back to things A2 TOLD me about him. Stories I heard. Those stories are why I have these feeling toward the person. The few times I actually met this person and hung out, there weren’t any issues. So what’s reality? I feel like there are people in my life that I met through A2 that I really don’t even know.

QUICK NOTE: Anyone who knows who I’m talking about when I say A2, I feel like I should warn you, he talked shit about every single one of his friends and there may be things in this post you identify with. I will not name anyone by name, I just wanted to throw the warning out there.

I learned quickly that a lot of things A2 said about people wasn’t even close to truth. I had to hear all about how one was a whore, one was a whiny bitch, one would easily get a girlfriend if he just got a job, and the list goes on. He even accused one of his best friends of stealing from him until a few months later actually finding the thing he lost. He accused another friend of stealing a bottle of my pain pills after I gave birth. A2 was always judging and accusing, ALWAYS. Yet, anytime anyone said anything to him about how he should change, he was instantly offended. Through the years I listened to him talk about his friends and I would feel that way about them too.

After A2 was gone I actually started to hang out with these people without him. They are amazing people. Nowhere near what A2 told me. There are times I look back and I remember certain instances or things that happened, but they aren’t clear. I often wonder if what I’m remembering is really how something happened. I know it’s happened before. There are things I have more than one memory of. A memory of what happened and a memory of what A2 has told me happened. They sort of bleed together like some sort of mutant memory. I still have the same issue with things that happened while I was with A1. In the end, often times I feel like I’m lying because I may give two different stories about how something went down. I don’t do it on purpose, I just honestly don’t know which version is the truth sometimes. I’m starting to get better at determining which is the fake, but it’s still hard.

I accepted the friend request, btw. I figure it really can’t hurt. It’s just FB. I can always unfriend as needed.