Hannah Baker Wasn’t Seeking Attention

“Hey, It’s Hannah. Hannah Baker.” Those were the first words on the tape she made before she ended her life. They explained what happened to her and what led to her death.

I finally finished season 1 of Netflix’s adaption of 13 Reasons Why. It took me a year to get the courage to watch the entire season. I felt the emotions of what Hannah went through. It might’ve been similar situations, but not exactly the same.

The first time I heard about 13 Reasons Why I was excited to watch it because I didn’t know what the show was about and it seemed interesting. I never read the book.

When I did watch it, it was so powerful, I had to turn it off and regroup my emotions. I was crying during each episode.

In high school, I felt like everyone was staring at me, being cruel and I was being bullied by, what seemed like, everyone in my grade. Although it wasn’t exactly everyone, it felt like it.

It started in middle school but worked it’s way up until my high school graduation. I felt powerless. I didn’t have friends to help defend me nor did I have the courage to defend myself and when I did, people were just being harder on me. I felt like I couldn’t do anything about it so I gave up.

No one would believe me when I tried to tell others the truth. Not even one of the counselors I told in high school, he said I needed proof so I became obsessed with getting proof. I had the video but when I showed it to an a friend whom I didn’t see much but crossed paths a couple of times, she said the girl in the video could’ve been looking at something else for a really long time. So then I gave up.

Hannah Baker’s life ended because of a reputation she couldn’t control.

When guys hit on you but then try to call you a “slut” or “whore” because of a photo that was taken the wrong way. It wasn’t just the photo, it was when a guy also claimed to hit a home run with a girl. It started with just a guy but then it became multiple guys who thought they could do the same because of rumors they heard about her. From then on, guys in her class or she knew would look at her like a sexual object.

When she told someone about it, no one believed her. It felt like her life was falling apart and problems kept coming her way.

It was more than a photo or a reputation.

It was how she was being treated by guys, people, her “friends” who no longer wanted to be associated with her. She had secrets she couldn’t tell because she was either too ashamed or she didn’t want to be a burden. She seemed like the type to keep it to herself because she thought she could handle it. She wanted to scream and she cried a lot because she was hurt. She lost her sense of self.

She needed help.

She needed a soul to know they cared or would help her but when she didn’t find one, she made tapes and drew a map of the names that contributed to ending her life. Hannah could’ve opened more about issues she was dealing with but she chose not to. She’s an imperfect person. She could’ve told a counselor the whole story but she decided not to. Instead, she wanted to end her suffering.

It’s hard to get someone who’s on the brink of harming themselves to open up, but it doesn’t hurt to try and ask them how they are doing once in a while.

Maybe, check to see how they are acting– if they’re lonely or if they don’t want to get out of bed or would rather sleep for the rest of their life because of what life throws at them. Check to see if there are any signs like that and if you can’t get them to open up, maybe seek advice from a counselor or a therapist to see what more they could do.

This show is a really hard show to watch but it sparks conversation. I don’t need to constantly hear, “Oh, I’m against bullying and would try to help.” I would rather you do the action you said you would. When I read comments saying, “Oh, she should’ve sucked it up. I did.” No, she didn’t need to “suck it up.”

People shouldn’t be so cruel in the first place. Just because it seems we’ve normalized bullying doesn’t mean it’s ok.

It doesn’t mean it’s ok because people become so depressed that they’ve lost all hope so they end their life because they don’t want to tell anybody. They don’t want to tell people because they are afraid to be a burden or think people will tell them to move on. Or, they don’t want to talk about anything.

If you think someone you know will try to harm themselves or know they are depressed. Talk to them and lend a hand because you never know when they will need it. Call the National Suicide Prevention line at 1-800-273-8255 if you or someone you know need help.

Also on https://www.theodysseyonline.com/who-is-hannah-baker, if you would like to see more of my articles.