My (Not So) 13 Reasons Why



My (Not So) 13 Reasons Why

As I said in the disclaimer, this show definitely hit me in the feels. I had a couple before me tell me that I need to prepare myself for it. I didn’t really take it serious until my best friend watched it before me and called me the night she finished. I’ve known her since 6th grade so she’s been around for most of what you’ll read in a minute. She warned me not to watch it until I was in the right headspace to deal with my 13 year old self. I knew right then and there that 13 Reasons Why was going to trigger the F%$K out of me. And it did. Which brings us to my (not so) 13 reasons. Buckle up.

1. Maximillion Williams and the Cafeteria

My (Not So) 13 Reasons Why

I’ll start by saying that between 3rd through 8th grade were some of the worst years of my life. I switched schools in 3rd grade and ended up going to school with the same group of kids from then on until I graduated from 8th grade. The K-4th elementary school and the 5th-8th middle school were literally right next to each other. A gate separated the schoolyards. I was bullied pretty much every day by the kids at school. I was chubby kid with glasses that wanted too much to be accepted. The elementary school moved up to 5th grade when we were in 4th, so some of us stayed there for 5th and some went across to the middle school for 5th. Once I started 6th grade I thought things would get better because there wouldn’t just be the same kids. I’d have a chance to make new friends. And I did. I met my best friend there. But we never ended up in the same classes. I met her on the bus stop. No, I ended up in the class with most of damn kids from my elementary school. Plus a few new faces. Including Max. Max was the new kid. He had no problems making friends though. I had a big crush. So what did I do? What every other 11 year old did. Write our name and draw hearts around it in my notebook. And what did another stupid boy do? Snatch my notebook and show it to Max. They both just laughed. Lunch time came and the way we had to sit in middle school was boys on one side and girls on the other. So imagine my surprise when I see Max walking my way. All the girls start giggling which should’ve been a red flag for me then but I was too busy with heart eyes. He walks up and then proceeds to ask me if I wanted to go out with him. I automatically say yes. Looking back, I cringe with how naïve and eager I was. It makes me so sad. But anyway, that was the beginning of lunch. About 5 minutes before lunch ended, Max comes back over. I’m noticing that the cafeteria is a lot less noisy than usual but again, heart eyes. Our boy Max is smiling at me and then, he asks me for a hug. I’m all nervous and shy, but smile and stand up. I go in for the hug and…he dodges it! Everybody in the cafeteria starts laughing. Including Max. As if that wasn’t bad enough, he then leans in and says “you didn’t actually think I was serious did you?” It was like something out of a movie. I ran out of the cafeteria with a face full of tears.

2. Angelo and the Stairway Rumor

My (Not So) 13 Reasons Why

One of the few things that I did like about middle school was our dances. The school started having them for us when I started 7th grade. They were always in our gyms and always fun. Until I danced with Angelo. Angelo was in the 8th grade and 14 years old. I was a bit behind everyone age wise and had just turned 12. I’d gone to the dance like normal and met up with my best friend and my sister. We were laughing and dancing to the sounds of NSYNC and Spice Girls when Angelo walked up and asked if I wanted to dance. After the whole ordeal with Max, I was weary when it came to trusting anyone at that school so I hesitated. He grabbed my hand and pulled me away from my safe zone and onto the dance floor. The song was a faster one and we started out face to face. That didn’t last long. He got behind me and started dancing, occasionally putting his hands on my waist. It was a bit uncomfortable at first, but I’ve always liked to dance so I just went with it. That song ended and a slow one came on. I went to walk away and Mr. Angelo grabbed my arm and asked for another dance. So we slow danced. I’d never talked to Angelo before. I’d seen him in the halls, but that’s it. So I was suspicious, but he seemed like a nice enough guy. He definitely treated me nicer than the boys in my class and grade. So after our slow dance I needed to use the bathroom. The way our gym was set up, there were stairs off to the side of it, kind of hidden almost, that led down to the basement where the cafeteria and bathrooms were. I went to the bathroom. When I came up, Angelo was outside of the gym doors. He smiled. I smiled back. THAT’S IT. I went back inside. The next day I came to school and there was whispering and stares. The rumor: I had sex on that stairway with Angelo. And do you know what Angelo did when I tried to get him to tell people it wasn’t true? Ignore me.

3. John and the Lockers

My (Not So) 13 Reasons Why

If you guys haven’t picked up on the pattern here, most of my tormentors throughout my time at this school were boys. They were relentless with it too. It’s like they never got tired of the same old fate jokes and making a mockery of me every day. Funfact: I can’t remember ever being smaller than a D cup bra. It’s like I skipped the whole training bra, I wish I had boobs phase and just woke up with one day. I was around 10 years old. And they just got bigger as I got older. So with that in mind, let’s go back to the bullies. One in particular. His name was John and he was one of the ring leaders. John would draw pictures of me and make airplanes out of them to fly around the class. He’d call me names. He loved an audience. John’s locker was near mine. In the basement by the cafeteria. Fewer lockers were down there, so it cleared out quicker. This particular morning was one of them. John and I were the only two left and he’d walked over to my locker and asked me for a hug. I hesitated because I didn’t know what to think. My mind was screaming at me to run. But I hugged him. And that was it. He walked away and I turned back to my locker. Or so I thought. Not even a moment later I felt hands come up under my arms, grab both of my boobs, and squeeze. I froze. And just like that, they were gone. I turned around and he was laughing. That was the start of a long string of inappropriate and unwanted touching and feeling from the boys in my class during my 8th grade year, with John once again as the ring leader. The worst part? As much as I hated all of that, part of me thought that if I just let them do it, then maybe they would start being nice to me. Pathetic, right?

4. My Best Friend Moved Away

My (Not So) 13 Reasons Why

As I said earlier, I met my best friend in middle school. One of the very few good things about the 4 years of hell that I endured. I met her on the bus stop on the way to school one morning along with my sister. We randomly started talking, realized that not only were we headed to the same school, but we lived around the corner from each other! It was pretty much all she wrote after that. Though we went to the same school, we rarely saw much of each other. We never got placed in the same class any of the years we were there. We never even had lunch together. We saw each other before school, sometimes in the halls between class, and after school. She knew about what I was going through as far as being bullied, but I never told her about the locker situation until a few years ago. She heard about the whole cafeteria prank with Max and came to my class to make sure I was ok. She tried to warn me about the Angelo rumors before class, and was there with tissues for my tears after school. She always had my back, and I always had hers. We wrote stories together and obsessed over boy bands and music in general. We even had a singing group with my two sisters. We did everything together. Including graduate from the hellhole that was middle school, and then cry tears of joy because we were finally free. Even though we both had strict parents and we weren’t going to the same high school, the summer after middle school was one of the best. I probably feel that way now because I know what comes next. Summer came and went. We started 9th, me at my all girls’ high school on the other side of the city and her at a school in a different part of the city. Neither of them were near our neighborhood so no more riding to school together anymore. We still hung out after school though. That’s where we were when the bottom fell out from under us. I remember walking around to her house and my sisters and her already being there. Everyone was crying. I asked what was wrong and nobody answered me. My best friend just hugged me. After a few minutes, I asked again. This time she looked at me and said the two words that would break my heart. They were moving. To Florida. The best and really only friend that I had was being taken away from me. And right when we both were entering into new stages in our lives. It wasn’t fair. And it would never be the same.

5. Dr. Gabriel and the Note

My (Not So) 13 Reasons Why

I didn’t get into the high school of my choice. My top choice for high school was an engineering and science high school. I got wait listed for that. I accepted the offer to my second choice. A week later, my acceptance letter came from the engineering school. I chalked it up to fate, and got ready to be a member of a prestigious, all girls high school. I was prepared for the curriculum to be challenging, it was a magnet school after all. I’ve never been good at math. I’m just bad with numbers. If I’m not writing the problem down in the wrong order, I’m writing the answer down wrong. Math and I just don’t get along. So when I saw a C as my Algebra for the first marking period, I was ecstatic. My grade was largely due to my Algebra teacher, Mrs. Christianson. She took time to explain things and make sure we actually understood things. So imagine my horror when I transferred out of her class to her another Algebra for reasons that I still to this day don’t know. This new teacher, Ms. Bialon was the polar opposite. She literally wrote on the board, told us to copy it and then assigned homework. Which is why half her class was in summer school that summer. Including me. 10th grade the problem subject was Chemistry. Home life wasn’t that great and it was spilling into my schoolwork and ability to focus. That resulted in me ending up in summer school for the 2nd summer in a row. Both my parents were disappointed in me. My dad just took away the little bit of freedom that I did have, but my mom just knew that I had more in me. So by the time I reached 11th grade, I had a shit ton of pressure on me. And this was the year that I had Algebra’s meaner, uglier, even harder, older meaner brother, Algebra II. Dr. Gabriel was my teacher. He was a squirrelly, older man that had a bad habit of overcomplicating things. By second marking period, I had 2 D’s. I was panicking so I wrote a note. In the note I simply explained the previous years, ending up summer school, how disappointed my mom was, how I wasn’t going to disappoint her again, and I asked what I could do about my grade. I left the note on his desk and left. I remember I had Physics diagonally across the hall after his class. I went to Physics and was literally there for 5 minutes before the phone rang. My Physics teacher answered and then next thing I knew, I was wanted down in the counselor’s office. Turns out our friend Dr. Gabriel had taken the note down to the counselor because he felt like it might be a threat or cry for help. The counselors didn’t want me to hurt anyone or hurt myself. I tried to explain to them that I just wanted to pass the class, but thanks to Dr. Gabriel, they’d made their minds up. The solution? I now had to spend my lunch periods which a school psychologist.

6. Daddy and the Chicago Performance

I grew up as a middle child. I say “grew up as” because the logistics are technical and can get tricky depending on which way you look at it. Don’t worry though, there will be more on my life as a middle child in a later Take. My older sister was daddy’s little girl. They had a special bond and would always do things together with just the two of them. My little sister was the athlete. We all played basketball and volleyball on the same team during my 8th grade year. My little sister was in 5th grade. Once we went to high school, she kept playing and also started softball, which quickly became her favorite. She quit everything else and focused on that, and my dad loved it. He went to all her games and practiced with her. He never came to any of our basketball games, and just one volleyball game. I scored the winning point in the game with a monster serve. But my dad downplayed it. So when I got to high school, I avoided sports altogether. And pretty much any extracurricular activity. Even though my school had so much to offer. By the time I got to 11th grade, I was pretty close to losing my shit. My saving grace? Vocal class. I’d chosen it as an elective sophomore year but it filled it up quick and I didn’t get a spot. I took drama that year instead (which was a pretty decent consolation prize). This year I had made the cut though. I loved going to vocal class. It was probably the best part of my day that year. We warmed up in the beginning of every class with the most creative warm-ups. I’ve included one of my favorites. We learned songs in other languages. My teacher was a musical addict, so we were always doing different songs from popular musicals. Chicago was a class favorite. It started with one song and it ended up being a medley with a dance to accompany. My teacher was over the top about it and had the bright idea to include us in an upcoming music night assembly. We had to get permission to be in it. So of course I asked my parents. They said yes. Then I realized that I actually wanted them to be there. We worked hard on getting everything just right and I was proud. So I asked. First my mom. She had to work late. Next my dad. Since he had to come pick me up anyway, I asked if he would just come watch the performance. He said yes! I was so excited. The night of the performance, I stayed after school with one of the girls who lived closer. We went to her house and got ready. Then it was show time. We had two different sections to do. We came out to part one and I looked for my dad, but I didn’t see him. Part two, still no dad. We did an awesome job. The crowd loved us. Guess what? Everyone else cleared out of that school and my STILL didn’t show. I had to use the custodian’s phone to call my mom, who had to call my dad. When he finally came, he said that he was with my aunt and that he forgot. The whole way home I kept thinking that if I were one of my sisters, he wouldn’t have forgotten.

7. Self-Harm and the Relapse

My (Not So) 13 Reasons Why

The first time I self-harmed, I picked up a piece of glass on the playground and wrote “I’m fat” on my arm. I was 12 years old. The next time would be when I was 17 years old. By that time middle school had broken me and high school couldn’t do anything to save me. Suicidal thoughts crossed my mind as normally as thoughts like “what to wear?” and “what to eat?” did. And they had been for years. At that time I was working at Target. I had easy access to box cutters because I worked the backroom stocking shelves, and needed to be able to open boxes quickly. It started as just scratching and evolved from there. What I remember most about doing it back then was how quiet and calm my normally racing mind would be. No thinking about everything all at once. My mind was just white noise. I wasn't doing it every day. Not even every week. But I started to become addicted to the calmness it brought. As with any addiction, the need began to take over. And when I felt that need for it start to build, I forced myself to stop. I got rid of the box cutters and promised myself I wouldn't do it anymore. It was a struggle. The suicidal thoughts increased. But I got through it. And I stayed clean for 11 years. Then 2 years ago I relapsed. Bad. I fell for a guy who broke my heart and left a huge, gaping hole there. All those feelings I thought I had buried from my childhood were left exposed. The only way I knew how to stop this pain was to find some sense of control. And that’s what cutting is for me. Physical pain that I can control. So I broke 11 years of being clean because the alternative was letting the gaping hole swallow me up.

So you've made it to the end of my not so 13 reasons why and you're probably wondering what the point of this was. Like I said in the beginning, while I don't really like how Hannah (main character) ended her story, I can see why she ended up there. She just wanted to be accepted. She just wanted a friend. I get it because I've been there. And yes, I'm aware that it's just a show. But a lot of kids can relate to that show. I gave you 7 scenarios from my life that stick with me. I could've easily given you 13. Hell, I can give you 20. I've come a long way since then, but every now and then I'll have a bad day or experience something where 12 year old Char is triggered. I know what it's like to feel like you have no one. I took a big step outside of my comfort zone with this Take. I don't know how it'll be received. I just know that the world needs more kindness.

No matter how you take it, as always, thanks for reading. See you guys on the threads.

#CHARismaticOut ✌🏾❤😎

#13ReasonsWhy ⚀⚂

#NotSo13ReasonsWhy ⚃⚂

#MyStory 📖

#GaGWelcomeToYourTape 📼

My (Not So) 13 Reasons Why
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Most Helpful Girls

  • xHoneyxBeex
    Char, this was so heartbreaking to read. I'm so sorry you had to deal with all of that (and more, I'm sure). 😞

    I think there are probably a lot of people who can relate to this show and the stories you've shared here. Unfortunately, bullying is way more common than it should be and then we (society) wonder why there's so much anger, depression, and pain among our youth. It's not even just kids though, I've met TONS of adults who are bullies as well.

    People need to think about how their actions and words impact others. I had one similar experience that you had, the rumor. When I was in high school, I once went to a Friday night football game with my boyfriend at the time. We literally sat in the stands the entire game, surrounded by other people, and then afterwards I went home. When I went to school the following Monday, people whispered, laughed, and called me names like 'slut' but no one would tell me why until the end of the day. Someone finally told me a rumor was started that I gave my boyfriend oral under the stands at the game. I was only 15 and I was mortified. Even though it wasn't true, the fact that so many believed it and proceeded to essentially "slut shame" me for something I didn't even do really hurt me.

    I'm sure if the people who bullied you knew that it resulted in you have suicidal thoughts and self-harming, they would be shocked. Many people are just so oblivious to how harmful bullying can be to the mental and emotional well-being of others. Hurting people by name calling them, teasing them, and putting them down because of how they look (or for any reason) is just disgusting. I wish more people would stop tolerating it and speak out when they see it happening to others.

    Anyway, I'm proud of you for having the courage to talk about this sensitive topic and share your personal experiences. I hope it will help others who may be going through similar things to know they are not alone. Keep being the strong, awesome person you are and the bullies will never win. ❤️
    Like 3 People
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    • I agree. I wish more people would speak up for others. Or stop and think before they do something to hurt someone else. It's crazy how quickly rumors can spread and how easily people are swayed right? Anyway, thank you. ❤

  • CubsterShura
    Awh dear, I am so sorry for all that you had to go through. You deserve so much better!

    I did not watch the series 13 Reasons Why but I read the book. My experience is different so I don't really relate to the story but I also had the same kind of feelings that's why I could totally relate with Hannah's feelings and understand why she would want to kill herself. It was way more painful to read than what I thought.
    Like 2 People
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Most Helpful Guys

  • MarkRet
    I understand where you're coming from. See that nerd on the left? That was me in high school. I was ugly, skinny, socially backward, and very withdrawn. I had few friends, and didn't do ANYTHING in high school. I didn't even TALK to girls, because I didn't know what to say to them, and I was afraid of them anyway. My parents weren't a whole lot of help either. By the time I graduated, I was a screwed-up mess who was going nowhere, and was considering suicide as an option.

    A couple of years later, life started getting better. I got a new job, moved to another part of the state, left my old world behind, and started digging myself out of the hole I was in. I did a lot of growing up, started doing things I wanted to do, which gave me a feeling of accomplishment and self-confidence, and broke out of a lot of shells. I even ended up getting married and had two daughters (and went to a LOT of their events).

    The picture on the right is a more recent one of me. I've bulked up about 25 KG, and am more at peace with my inner-self. I hold my head up now, and say 'Hi' to anyone, but the scars from the past are still not forgotten. There are many who don't bounce back from a messed-up life, but I hope things work out for you. My (Not So) 13 Reasons Why
    Like 2 People
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    • I'm glad things got better for you. And kudos to you for attending your daughters events!

  • JDavid25
    Well, first abut the series 13 reasons why.. I don't think it was a completely accurate depiction of someone goin through depression and ready to end it all.. Some of the reasons weren't good reasons at all.. And Hannah didn't seem to be that likeable of a character.. Also she rejected people who wanted to help her multiple times.. Clay, the Counselor, her parents.. I mean it's like she didn't even try much.. She wanted people to chase after her.. That's what I didn't like about the show.. Also, she seemed to blame people for her decision.. Albeit some of them were a contributin factor.. Now wit that bein said.. I can imagine what you went through in life.. I'm glad you overcame it.. That story about the guys though.. That was not right.. Kids can be the cruelest.. And I know from experience.. SMH.. Good take..
    Like 1 Person
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    • Hannah had issues but I don't think she wanted people to chase her. I do think she pushed people away, and tried to hard to get the wrong people to like her. She wanted to be accepted too much and people just kept shitting on her for that.

      But yeah, kids can be very cruel. That was the story of my life lol. Thanks tho.

    • JDavid25

      She did, and people did her wrong, and she had a right to hurt, and be upset cause high schoolers can be petty people.. But, I mean the way the show depicted it she kept pushin people away and wanted them to read her mind so "save" her from suicide.. I mean Clay literally blamed himself for somethin that he couldn't have known.. I get Hannah was hurtin but she could have easily asked for help.. She had people even if only Clay and her parents to opened to her.. But yeah.. I mean but that's not to say I don't like the show though for what it is.. And I'm glad it did somethin for you.. And no problem! 8)

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What Girls & Guys Said

  • Angelina25
    You're a strong person.
    Like 1 Person
  • JustRollTheDice
    Honestly never watched the series because saw the reviews so didn't bother, but just saying for you sometimes the things that make us or stick with us are important because they shape us but you need to let go (like you mostly have) and just move forward so new things can mold you
    Like 1 Person
  • SirRexington
    I have cognitive disabilities and was bullied for that all my life. Eventually I learned to fight back. Guys are different, then physically abused me.
    To this day I'm still not good at making friends and im almost always lonely. People can be cruel and evil and sometimes that can drive a person over the edge. I'm sorry about the stuff that happened to you. And I'm not going to say things get better because I don't know that for sure. But I hope they do.
    Like 1 Person
  • xXiTacoXx
    The amount of anger I felt reading about the sexual assault can't be described. I really do wish you told someone who would beat that guys ass or at least tell them off for you.
    Like 2 People
    • JDavid25

      What sexual assault?

    • I know. But I didn't know who to tell and I didn't think anyone would believe all of their word against mine. And like I said, that small part of me hoped not telling would make them nicer.

    • xXiTacoXx

      @JDavid25 They literally were grabbing on her boobs and constantly harassing her. Can you not read?

    • Show All
  • bubble_tea
    You're really brave to share your personal and hurtful experiences on this site. I hope it set you free of your ghosts at the very least.
    Like 2 People
    • I thought long and hard about it before releasing it, but I figured these people on this site can't hurt me more than I've already been hurt in my life and more than I've hurt myself. But thank you.

  • Logorithim
    That's some rough stuff, but thanks for posting it.
    Like 1 Person
  • BadAnswers
    Episode 12 of season 2 was really F*CKIN disturbing , i couldn't get it out of my head for like 2 hours
    Like 1 Person
    • I'm on episode 8. Thanks for the warning.

    • BadAnswers

      Be Ready to think, WTF. tbh i still can't get that image out of my head.

    • So I've since finished up to episode 10. 3 episodes left. But seriously, I already have WTF moments at least 3 times each episode. And episode 11 is Bryce's testimony episode so I just might break my phone. I always watch in bed at night. Should I not with episode 12? (Don't spoil it!)

    • Show All
  • cherryphi82
    I read through the first two. Girl, you gotta be kidding me. This is the shit you want to kill yourself over? Get a fucking grip. Do you realize how many people have gone through stuff like this and worse?
    LikeDisagree 4 People
  • Clarke498
    So what are your thoughts about the show in general in the whole for/against suicide debate?
    Like 1 Person
    • I think the show is good in that it opens up the floor to have the discussion about these hard topics. I don't agree with suicide even going through my own stuff and having the thoughts about it. I was very happy to see the "reasons why not list" in season 2 though.

    • Clarke498

      Yeah totally agree, and now they have disclaimers before every episode.

    • Yup, those were a good touch.

  • IlyaTheImpaler
    My, it's really hard to be a school girl in a developed country, you have to worry about the boys and all that.
    • Yup, I had to worry about boys and all that. Poor me. I'm glad to see that you and the point got along so well.

    • I didn't read it lol sorry but I believe in your strength to overcome all these difficulties from school!

    • Thanks

  • yulbsari
    Very difficult to read... causing me to think deeply...
    Like 1 Person
  • TheUntoldMystery
    Nice take. I hope you are better now
    Like 1 Person
  • ninjafemme
    Should I watch this
    Like 1 Person
  • lazermazer
    Long to read but worth it
    Like 3 People
    • Yeah, it's def on the long side but thanks for reading.

  • WhereAmI
    Hopefully you can put that all behind you.
    Like 1 Person
  • monkeynutts
    Hope are happy now.
    Like 1 Person
  • Bourne96
    Ur a strong woman
    Like 2 People
  • Jayjoy
    wow just wow!! hope you are doing better now
    Like 1 Person
    thinking of you take care
    Like 1 Person
  • Wassail
    Interested and thought-provoking
    Like 1 Person
  • Show More (8)