They were the worst of times and…

they were the best of times.

High school. But, for me, they were more like the worst of times. What IS it about high school?

Is it because we are all, to varying degrees, self-absorbed, narcissistic, dramatic, hormonal, lacking empathy teenagers? Perhaps.

For me, high school sucked because I was pretty lonely. It was the longest that I’d ever been to any school in my entire life: 3 years. For Grades 10, 11 and 12, I went to the same school. I remember that at the time, I lived a block outside of the catchment area for the school I ended up going to, which was considered a “Nerd” school. I was in the district of what was considered the “Gang” school. Choosing between a “nerd” school and a “gang” school, I chose the “nerd” school hands down. I would’ve been eaten alive at a “gang” school.

At age 14, when I started at my high school, I was a tall, skinny, awkward, bespectacled, lacking any sort of confidence bookworm. I had big, heavy glasses and crooked, buck teeth. I couldn’t even fully close my mouth because my teeth stuck out so much.

Can you remember high school? I am trying to really remember what it felt like. I think it’s the same feeling that I’m having right now, after watching this episode of this show.

We moved around a lot so I had pretty much no friends. When I started at this school, I lived close-ish, but within a few months, we had moved in with my dad’s girlfriend on the other side of town. I remember one night when we stayed at her house, I slept on her yoga table in her front room.

High school was so lonely. Wanting to be accepted and liked. Trying to fit in.

<ALERT: warning if you’re going to watch “13 Reasons Why”, this is a bit of a spoiler>. Watching the part where a character gets raped by this dude that is rich, white, and gets whatever he wants, whenever he wants, was so painful. The rape itself was painful, but the fact that he would get away with it too. And that the boyfriend of the girl who was raped didn’t stop him. And the girl listening in the closet didn’t stop him… I think it’s because they both believed the consequences of trying to stop him would be worse than letting it happen.

Generally, being bullied, feels horrible. And feeling helpless…like you can’t change a situation. I can still remember the girl who bullied me a bit in Grade 12. Jenny Abelsen. At one point, she was probably the most popular girl in my grade. Pretty, athletic, smart…all of the things that I wasn’t particularly. And yet, she choose to pick on me. Sometimes it’s a mystery…why people bully.

The characters in the story are pretty relatable. I can feel compassion for why the characters did what they did. They were vested in their own ways, but it’s also scary to challenge someone who would be capable of such violence.

This scene reminded me of all of the news stories we hear of wealthy, white men and boys doing things, and the media downplaying the crime they committed, instead focusing on how being sent to jail will affect their athletic scholarship, or how it was someone else’s fault, perhaps the victim’s fault.

It feels like that’s who the leader of the most powerful country of the world is…always getting what he wants and expecting it. Rich, white man. No surprise there.

I have a sad feeling in my gut after watching that episode. It harkens back to the feeling I would get in high school. And how I felt in myself.

I’m going to write a book. Whether it’s published or not, who knows. But, for myself. I feel like shows like this can help illustrate the crap that is going on nowadays and to give perspective as to where people are coming from and why they do what they do.

I think that writing is healing. One page at a time…xo

*M

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