Netflix · pop culture

13 Reasons Why I watched it

I wasn’t planning on it. But after a surge of stories on several news outlets and a letter that came home from the Superintendent it was time. I dreaded it. I was angry. The world is spinning out of control.

I was sick to watch them. But I had to know why before my kids did. Even at such a young age they are exposed to so much, ask so much. And I vowed to be that parent that would give them answers so that they wouldn’t go to someone else for them.

Watching them was not a good idea; not for me or you or anyone. There is no art in suicide or rape or bullying. We don’t want to talk about it so we make movies about it and call it “necessary to start the conversation.” But it’s not necessary, it’s downright evil. The more we open ourselves to the sin and the lies of the world, the more we say yes, the more we ignore, the more we stay silent, we become just like them. 

The “fictional” plot centers around a teenager who commits suicide and leaves behind cassette tapes that detail the 13 reasons why she did it. The tapes are cute and painted with nail polish in a lovely, flowery shoe box. And the 13 part series goes on to tell the story of her demise.

I am not sure this may be the best time to write this as I am still digesting its contents. But being that it’s on my mind and that it has affected so many people, I figured we should talk about it. It was hard to watch because, well it could have been me. Not that anyone would have cared, or noticed. In high school, most of the girls were more concerned about their hair than noticing someone right next to them who was deteriorating.

We like to write about things, create things but not talk about them. Why can’t we talk about them? Because these conversations are uncomfortable. Who wants to hear about sexual abuse? It’s way too serious for the teenage years. I told and nobody believed me. I held that secret for almost twenty years.

It is irresponsible and self-preserving to create a series that could and will conjure up whimsical fantasies of how you can get people back after you die by exposing their secrets. The story is told from the other side. But in real life, the person is just dead.

I’m not glad that I watched it, I’m angry. I’m angry that people are cruel and we don’t talk to each other about the things that need to be talked about. It’s why I became a children’s attorney.

Kids don’t need to watch tv shows about how to off themselves. They need parents who will listen and nudge and keep nudging until the truth comes out. They need involved parents. They need parents that won’t give up. It is basic human nature to need people close to us. And although we cannot prevent every suicide, we can at least know the warning signs and try to intervene.

But suicide doesn’t just affect teenagers. It affects those teenagers who grow up to be adults. Like the night I got a knock on the door about my next door neighbor who was found dead in his car. See, the details aren’t important. Ya, I wish that I knew. I wish I could have been that person who could have helped him. We all have regrets.

I don’t know if we’ll ever go back to a culture of relationship, of kindness or basic human decency.  Maybe I don’t know that we ever were. But what I do know is that without God, this culture is dying a slow and painful death. If only they would turn around and run to the light…

If you get the opportunity, don’t watch it. I’ll tell you all about it instead. Or maybe start noticing the people who come in and out of your life with half smiles and an uneven step. That’s a movement towards doing something about the problem rather than sitting on the sidelines.



11 thoughts on “13 Reasons Why I watched it

  1. Oh don’t get this high school teacher and mother started…
    If we as parents were not so afraid and could only set our feet…
    Despite thoughts to the contrary, there is love found in the words “no” and “don’t”.
    And there is love within being held accountable.
    But the world woos too much…
    “what about their need for expression…”
    “what about their need for creativity”
    “what about their need to do their own thing…no matter what that exploration might be..”
    The list of lies goes on and on and on..
    The examples are not being set because our parents are adrift..
    .seeking their own sense of worth…
    how can the perceived worthlessness offer worth to others in need??
    How can one parent when one cannot even parent themselves.
    We have bought in hook line and sinker to the lies…
    Kids are hurting and are out of control for reasons.
    Gangs are prevalent for a reason.
    Violence is a response and a form of gaining a sense of control from the out of control….
    It is endless this madness and it must stop or we will all simply drown together in the rage and pain found in the sad release of suicide, death, addiction and violence…..
    No, don’t watch that crap!
    Rather be bold against it in the Word of God and His word repeated over and over and over until you have no breath remaining…..

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I needed to be in front of a computer to give you a proper response. You are so right about all of it, kids don’t have an outlet because there only outlets are what the world is telling them is ok. Marijuana is ok it won’t hurt you. Sex outside of marriage is ok. Abortion is ok. Violence is ok. I wish I could hold them all and show them there is a better way, His name is Jesus Christ.

      I shouldn’t have watched the show but I did. And of course God uses everything for the good of those who love Him. I had a major breakthrough prompted by the show and out of ugliness came so much light.
      I have discovered sometimes it has to be that dark to see the light.He lets us go to those deep, dark places when it is the right time. Except we are not alone. He is right there, hurting for us all.
      He cried for me when I was abused, and he spared my life so I could go on to preach the gospel. That crucifix is not a dead body on a cross for me, it is everything; It is the way I was reborn and found life. I was dead in my transgressions and the transgressions committed against me. It could have been that nobody would ever have believed me. He screamed for my justice from that cross. And I was reminded that we are in Easter.
      Sometimes we walk but we don’t believe, or get off course or just are not in a good place. It is in those times I see His grace. I realize I am free and I am loved.
      I realize now that my job is not a job. A good friend said something to me today that shifted me, changed my life. She said, “Remember Melissa, your job came at a painful cost.” And then I looked at Jesus and sat with Him, and realized he payed the ultimate price.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. M- Thanx for sharing this, but I sure wish WordPress would emulate the Like button on Facebook. I’d have hit “ANGRY.” D-


  3. M- Thanx for sharing this, but I sure wish WordPress would emulate the Like button on Facebook. I’d have hit “ANGRY.” D-


    1. Thanks Pastor. I think there will be more to come from me on this. It was too painful and difficult for me to write about and I wasn’t quite prepared to see some of my own life on those episodes. But God, oh my God, He is so good Pastor. Can you believe I am alive? I can’t. I could have been that dead girl, or worse yet I could have been an unsaved person who watched that and took that way out.
      I woke up this morning with the greatest sense of peace. I realize that nobody can hurt me anymore. I realize that being a Christian is not about the label, it is about the blood of Jesus that covers me. I am so fearful though. We must pray about all of this. So many watching, so many who don’t know Him or maybe even those who do but just aren’t in the place in their journey that they could handle this.


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