I watch a lot of television since I started my domestic abuse work. I like to watch anything to do with domestic abuse, mental health, eating disorders etc. I came across 13 Reasons Why on Netflix. For anyone that hasn’t watched it (I’m sure the majority have seeing as I’m so far behind the times) – series 1 is about a girl that commits suicide. She leaves a bunch of tapes which she makes sure the people that bullied her or caused her any upset hear. 13 tapes, 13 reasons why she killed herself. Telling the stories of what happened for everyone to know. I think it highlights bullying in schools and things need to be done. One of the many reasons “why” was a poem she wrote and a guy published it without her consent. The poem:
‘Today I am wearing lacy black underwear
for the sole purpose of knowing I am wearing them.
And underneath that?
I am absolutely naked.
And I’ve got skin. Miles and miles of skin;
I’ve got skin to cover all my thoughts like Saran Wrap
that you can see through to what leftovers are inside from the night before.
And despite what you might think, my skin is not rough, nor is it bullet proof.
My skin is soft, and smooth, and easily scarred.
But that doesn’t matter, right?
You don’t care about how soft my skin is.
You just want to hear about what my fingers do in the dark.
But what if all they do is crack open windows
So I can see lightning through the clouds?
What if all they crave is a jungle gym to climb for a taste of fresher air?
What if all they reach for is a notebook to scribble not a hand to hold?
But that’s not the story you want.
You are licking your lips and baring your teeth.
Just once I would like to be the direction someone else is going in.
I don’t need to be the water in the well.
I don’t need to be the well.
But I’d like to not be, the ground anymore.
I’d like to not be the thing people dig their hands in anymore… for something they can own.
Some girls know all the lyrics to each other’s songs.
They find harmonies in their laughter.
Their linked elbows echo in tune.
What if I can’t hum on key?
What if my melodies are the ones nobody hears?
Some people can recognize a tree,
A front yard, and know they’ve made it home.
How many circles can I walk in before I give up looking?
How long before I’m lost for good.
It must be possible to swim in the ocean of the one you love without drowning.
It must be possible to swim without becoming water yourself.
But I keep swallowing what I thought was air.
I keep finding stones tied to my feet.
The school allowed this to be published. The school read this and didn’t think it was a cry for help. But if you read it, it is a cry for help.
Now I know this is only a programme, but how many other young girls “cry for help” in different ways to just be ignored/overlooked? How many suicides in young girls from bullying will take place all over the world?
I was bullied when I was in primary school. The girls would kick me, destroy my stuff and try to get me in trouble at any opportunity with their lies. Teachers would always believe them but never me. Their parents were just as bad.
I left primary school 16 years ago (god that a long time ago), but how much have schools changed over that period of time. Is bullying reducing? Or is it getting worse to the point that suicide is the only option?