But most of all, I hurt. I hurt for women everywhere. And for men everywhere too. I hurt for all humanity, the ones that have been victims, but also the ones that do the hurting. Because most of the ones doing the hurting were victims once too.
This life is hard. It's painful. It's not fair. It's cruel. There is evil in the world. Not that any one person is entirely evil. But every person has the capacity of evil inside of them. It is the blood we share. It is the air we breathe. It is the earth we walk upon.
In the Christian religion, it is called Original Sin, the Fall of Man. The concept of evil is not a concept at all. It is alive and well, and something that each person living in this world encapsulates. Look at any toddler. Barely able to walk and talk, yet they grab tightly to what is theirs. "Mine! Mine!" they say. Selfishness is inherent in us. Some of it is for survival. How much of it is the evil that is part of humanity?
This show, touching on themes of rape, violence, ridicule, loneliness, embarrassment, and downright torture was excruciating. Mostly, the main characters' behaviors are a direct result of fear. And every viewer can relate to that.
So as I watched Hannah Baker be bullied, get raped, slit her own wrists, and die alone in a bathtub, I saw myself in Hannah Baker. As I saw Jessica sexually assaulted in a drunken episode at a party, I was Jessica. As I saw Clay fall in love with people he wanted to save, I saw myself in Clay. When I watched Bryce sit alone with a glass of whiskey wondering if his parents even loved him, I saw myself in Bryce. I was in ALL of these characters to some extent. And I think you are too.
I think that's why this show touches us on such a deep level. At least, I think that's why it touched me on that level. Because it was no longer about the 'good' guys and the 'bad' guys. It was only that we are all human. And to be human is to suffer. And suffering can make us do unimaginable things to ourselves and to others.
I know as long as there is fear living in me, I am capable of evil. But if there is love, a deep love that recognizes we are all One and part of the One, I will see myself in my neighbor. So of course I'd want the best for him. I get back what I put out into the world. Call it the law of Karma or whatever you want. But it is Truth.
"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear." - 1 John 4:18a
"Namaste - the light in me honors the light in you."
Yes, this show dramatizes the teenage experience. Some people can say that, sure. But I choose to see this series as a reminder of our own humanity and the depths of anguish we share as humans. I choose to see it as a reminder that I am no longer the 'one who was sexually abused'. I am only one of the many faces of humanity, who each have a story to tell, a pain in their heart, and paralyzing fear that motivates us to behave in all kinds of hurtful ways.
The more we choose to search and focus on our similarities, on the One in each of us, we will experience healing in our own lives and in humanity as a whole. I pray that very thing.
For all of our sake.
If you haven’t had it, you can’t possibly understand. Don’t tell us that you do.
Don’t tell us to snap out of it.
Don’t tell us to look at the bright side.
Don’t tell us to be positive.
Don’t tell us about all the starving people on the planet or homeless veterans or all the people that have it worse off than us.
None of it matters.
If we could will ourselves out of the pit of hell that is depression, we would.
We don’t want to be there. Just like you don’t want us there.
But if you have never walked through it yourself, nothing you can say will help us.
Get that through your head.
We know you are only trying to help, but what you’re really doing is pissing us off.
You’re making us feel weak.
You’re making us feel like we’re horrible people who don’t care about our families or friends.
You’re making us feel like outsiders.
You’re making us feel even more alone.
Depression isn’t something that can be turned off like a switch. I know my husband wanted his wife back. My kids wanted their mom back. I wanted myself back. But depression wanted something else. It wanted to hurt and destroy and fill me with guilt and pain and self hate. It lied to me and told me my kids would be better off without me and that I should just end it all and save everyone all this misery.
So what would have helped?
Thankfully, I got the help I needed from a team of professionals that got me on the right medication and into the right therapy. I still have bad days, like everyone else. When those days come, I’d be lying if I said I don’t get scared. I fear the day that depression might return and drag me down again.
So I keep taking my medication as prescribed. I keep all my doctor’s appointments. I talk with my therapist about my problems. I talk with people who have been in depression and have walked through the same fire. I help others who are in pain.
If your loved one is suffering, you can assist in every way possible, but remember this: In the end, it’s up to the person to be responsible for her own recovery.
I'm just a traveler, a dreamer, like you.