13 Reasons Why – My real life story

I have been seeing so many memes on this teleseries in the past few months. I know it’s just for entertainment. But how about this? What if I say I can totally relate to that girl’s feelings in several aspects… especially the depression she goes through? How would you know if someone near you, someone you love, hate or just know is thinking of awful things in the head? I went through awful things in my teenage years too. But I chose not to die.

I have always tried staying away from this topic. Always thought telling my story makes me show that I am weak. Even today, 20+ years down, I still remember every bit of it. Because these things leave a very deep impression. Really very deep scar for life.

I was like any other teenager in 8th grade, feelings wise. I was fat, mostly unnoticed, few real friends, shy of boys (though always wishing I had a boyfriend like the popular girls at school), not popular, day dreamer, trying to get better grades than my brother. At home I had parents, who were not very strict about my grades, but always strict about my upbringing. But one day there came this happy time of life. I got a real best friend. Or who I thought is one. Till she decided to ruin my life. Piece by piece.

Its funny how I still have her on my friends list on Facebook. It’s just the fraternity of old school buds I guess. Sometimes I think I want to just ping her and reccommend this series and ask her if she relates to any of this.

We had grown very close. I let her into all my secrets – my likes, pet peeves, crushes, everything. Then suddenly started those days when she would avoid me for no reason at all. She would huddle up with a couple of other girls (who I never really liked) who became the extended line of bully-ism. I wish I made some tapes too back then, but they never occurred to me. Because I was just too busy trying to figure out my own life. Then began the close friends Boycott phase. You might be wondering what was the reason. Well there was no reason. Her reason was pretty lame. She said I made rumours, and she hated me for them. The funny thing is I wasn’t even capable of spreading something like that. In her theory back then I think, rumour is telling your best friend a gossip trusting her she will keep it to herself. Rumour is not something that you spread around the whole place like wild fire. The friends boycott phase extended into the rumour phase. My friend started spreading rumours about me. I remember there was this day I come to school and everyone is whispering to each other looking at me, I go to sit on the bench, they ask me to take another seat. I ask my best friend what is going on, and she asks me to get lost, without even giving me a reason. Soon I was boycotted by my entire class and made to sit alone. It took a large piece of me. Thus began the days at home, when I would hide and cry, but my parents didn’t have a clue yet. The rumour phase had already gone into the boycott phase. I had mass haters for reasons I didn’t even know. Actually I don’t know the reasons even today. Then came the Bully phase. I  was being bullied by my friend and her cronies. Some were even ‘paid’ to kick my ass. I was being laughed at everywhere I went. It never got better. It got worse. Teachers saw what I was going through. But not even one bothered asking me what was happening. I tried to get someone to believe me that what was being said about me wasn’t true. But no one believed.

Then came the days when I refused to go to school. My parents asked me what was going on. I was too scared to share. I would shut myself and cry for hours. Then one day I had to let them into the truth. But to tell them what was happening, I had to let them into why these were happening. I was not clear myself as to why, so I had to tell my mother everything that I have shared with my best friend so far. My mother was indeed angry about me discussing some things with my bestie. But she was equally shattered at my condition. Because you see, by this time I was acting like a mentally ill person.

I was sick and scared of school. I would run and huddle myself in a corner when my parents asked me to go to school. Those were the beginning signs of depression. I stopped talking or laughing. My life had already lost color. I was 14 years old, and all this is just too much for a 14 year old. What else would she contemplate? Her life was completely ruined from all angles. No friends, no life, no love, no good grades (by this time). But what I completely overlooked was I still had my family by my side. My mom’s heart was breaking everytime she saw me act a certain way. But the shit hit the roof when the day finally came – I contemplated suicide.

Ending my life seemed like the only best option. I didn’t know how a blade works on the veins, but I did know it can end my life. I was just too innocent and didn’t know a lot of things at that time, not even knowledge on sex except the basic reproduction lesson i learnt in biology. I found myself a blade and locked myself in my room. Mothers are great with their senses. They always know when something is wrong. My mom forced me to open the door. Finally when I did, she saw the blade behind me. This was a turning point in my life, because I began realizing, I still have people who love me. She sat near me and told me that me ending my life will not be a loss for anyone else, only her. She asked did she invest all those years of dad’s and her lives and income to see this day when I decided to end it all at one shot. She said I am her daughter and she will always be there to protect me. Even today, as I write these words, I have tears in my eyes. Because I still feel the pain I went through.

My case was taken to the school authorities immediately by my parents. But little did they know, a bully will always remain a bully. When my friend was called face to face to end all of this, she apologized. But later after everyone left, she bullied me again. She cussed and crushed my feelings so much, that I failed to realize, probably she already knew my weaknesses and was using them against me. By then she had already talked the entire class out to not even play with me when we had games period. I would take a comic book and sit in the corner and just read waiting for the class to end, the world to end, or maybe my life to end.

Her bullying was getting out of control that even had witnesses. I had a few senior girls who felt sorry for me and asked if they should talk on my behalf. But I was too afraid. The story of my bad condition had even reached my  childhood best friend who was in the next class and never knew what was going on with me (because I thought she was really busy with her life and other friends that there was already distance between us. But I was wrong.)She was probably the only one who stood up for me along with the senior girls, that she had to bring her parents home to find out what had happened to me.

Too many things had happened by the time it was the end of school. Counselling sessions, reconciliation, parents and teachers intervention. I really don’t know if her parents really made her understand what she was doing was wrong, but they had decided to pull her away from the school after that year. She did come and apologize before she left. But that was for all I cared. I was glad she was moving. Because you need to remove the bad apple to make sure the others stay good.

Though I would say that incident made me a timid and quiet person for the next couple of years, low on self esteem, low on confidence, drowned in my books making me the class nerd etc. , it did make me a lot wiser. I grew closer to my family more than ever. Lot of things stopped bothering me. I refused to feel loved or hated. I basically had no feelings left in me at all. 10th grade passed by, I did really well academically, but not personally.

But know what, God exists. There comes a time when he takes you under his wings and decides that it’s time for the next phase of life – the best phase. My life changed a lot in high school. I made a whole lot of friends, who are still friends today. I shed the skin of a loser and became a different person. I became a popular person at  the new high school. And then one day I bumped into her, again. This is what I wanted to say – Sorry, I am not even bothered by your face anymore. Half the people around at school probably don’t even know you as much as they know me. It’s for you to guess if did it or not.

But today I can definitely say this to people. Suicide is not an option. You don’t know some of the most beautiful things you are missing. Teenage years are beautiful. It makes you feel what love, friendship, family really are. Killing yourself only makes them stronger. Fighting back makes them look stupid. This part of my life left a great impact of a lifetime on me, but it made me a 100 times stronger than yesterday.

Take that Nicole, Ruvena & Candice. Thank you for all what you did. I would have never become what I am today if not for your bullying.

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