Hello Friends,

It is no secret that Netflix has finally released the series “The 13 Reasons Why”, I was personally very unsure of whether or not I should watch or avoid it and I am going to tell you why.

As a young girl in Junior High I was more than bullied, I was harassed constantly at school, on the bus and even at home. I couldn’t walk the school hallways without having to pick up at least one book that was pushed from my hands or without being tripped. I ate in the bathroom because I was scared to have food thrown at me or that I would be harassed in the lunch room. I couldn’t ride the bus without wads of paper thrown at me telling me how I shouldn’t have been born or how I was such an ugly whore. I would walk home and these kids would throw rocks and stones at me until I begged my parents to drop me off and pick me up from school. Every single night our house would be vandalized, ding-dong ditched or TP’d. I was insecure as it was at that time and having boys attacking me about my appearance and who I was as a person was traumatizing to not only me but my mom, dad and younger sister.

The one thing that I remember clearly is multiple people verbally, through social media and text messages telling me to kill myself, I can say that there were times I tried and thought about committing suicide. I was tired of being depressed, hurt, feeling alone and not having anyone to turn to in my mind. One of the characters said something around we could have done something to save her, yes they could have. I was lucky enough to have been saved by one person who went to their parents and told them about everything that was happening to me. The reason I am alive and who I am today is because one person, one teenager saw all of the signs and went to an adult.

My parents knew what was going on to an extent, but when that doorbell rang for the last time a women who had seen me grow up from a toddler to a teenager told my family everything. She had gathered every teenage boy involved with bullying me to her house with the police and their parents. To this day I don’t know exactly what she told my parents but I know what she asked me, “Allison do you feel safe going back to school? You are one of the strongest girls I know and I am so proud of you.” I didn’t go back to school, I changed schools and I am thankful that I found a school that I loved and fit into. To this day I have not seen the boy who saved my life, I have seen his mother and the words she spoke to me at my graduation party are engraved in my brain.

” I never thought I would see you graduate, I am so proud of how far you have come and where your future is about to lead you!”

I really struggled watching the 13 reasons why because it brought back so many memories that I would have rather kept locked away. When I hear people say there is nothing they or you could have done I cringe because there are always signs. There are bystanders who refuse to say anything, in my case someone said something and saved my life.

I honestly do think that the 13 reasons why is a great series and it addresses issues that we are too afraid to talk about. It addressed sexual assault, suicide, alcohol and drugs all things that have become such a problem in high school and even junior high. If we don’t talk about any of these issues how are we going the outcome? We need to help these young adults deal with all the peer pressure and hurt and we can’t do that if we don’t talk about it.

If you are thinking about harming yourself or know of someone who is please contact the suicide hotline.

Call 1-800-273-8255
With Love,
Allison Handberg