Currents

“These moments
remind me
of you and
every moment
our lips touched.”

I feel the cold raindrops on my warm skin, lightning flashing in the sky and thunder crackling in the wind, sending a current through my senses. These moments remind me of you and every moment our lips touched.

© Sarah Doughty

Thirteen Reasons Why Discussion #3

**Trigger Warning — This post covers a broad spectrum of potentially triggering topics, such as abuse, bullying, sexual assault, and suicide. Please read with caution. If you need to find help for any reason, go to 13ReasonsWhy.info.**

The Problems: Part Three

**Spoilers Ahead — proceed with caution.**

I’m back with another discussion post about the controversial TV show, Thirteen Reasons Why. If you haven’t already, feel free to read the introduction, The Problems: Parts One and Two.

In this discussion I’m going to talk about the tapes. However, this is a two-sided discussion, because there was definitely a problem, but there was something the writers and showrunners did right. I’ll discuss the latter in a later post. This one is going to center around the “revenge plot” the world is up in arms about.
In Thirteen Reasons Why, Hannah Baker goes through a series of devastating events that build up over time and eventually take away her sense of self. In reason number ten, Hannah’s thoughts start to take a turn from lonely, objectified, and dejected, to something much darker.

After that (mostly) disastrous night at Jessica’s party, Sheri offers to take a drunken Hannah home. While distracted, Sheri ends up knocking down a stop sign and then abandons Hannah when she insists on calling the police. Within the minutes it takes her to reach the Blu Spot Liquor Store, a fatal accident occurs at the same intersection.

When Hannah realizes the location of the accident, she confronts Sheri, who then warns Hannah, “Keep your mouth shut,” and informs her that they shouldn’t be seen together going forward.

Being the kind of person Hannah is (continuing to be a friend to people that continuously turn their backs on her) she stays silent about fellow classmate, Jeff’s death. But, at the same time, she begins thinking, “It was becoming more than I could live with.” And from there, with increasing conviction, she believes that all she manages to do is make lives for everyone else worse, and that the world would be a better place without her.

Reason number twelve, arguably the worst of all the other reasons leading up to her decision to make the tapes, solidified her resolve. So, Hannah begins to write down a list of names and works out all the things that happened and who was responsible for them. As she finishes mapping everything out and the puzzle becomes clear, she makes the determination, “No one would ever hurt me again.”

Having heard of countless other people talk about their thoughts after experiencing similar events at school, I can understand Hannah’s last effort to stand up for herself. The problem is that she lacks the ability to see what kind of an effect her tapes would have on other people.

The thing people have a problem understanding is that Hannah has had everything stripped from her and she feels that the people responsible need to know what they’ve done to ruin her life. But why does she think that?

Many adults seem to forget what it was like being a teenager, and how everything seemed infinite. Permanent. That’s because the frontal lobe of a teenage brain hasn’t fully formed yet. Hannah was in the same situation. She couldn’t fathom any other option. And unfortunately for her, she didn’t have anyone to tell her otherwise.

The decision to include Clay in the tapes was arguably the worst part. Leading up to not-so-reason-number-eleven, he was tortured. Even awaiting reasons twelve and thirteen, Clay faced the reality of Hannah’s proverbial final nails in her coffin. All the while, Tony continuously tells him to listen to the tapes, because,  “It’s what Hannah wanted.” But, as a result, he felt constant fear and anxiety.

Even Hannah admits that Clay did nothing wrong, but she wanted him to know her reasons. Perhaps the most tragic thing she says to Clay in order to justify pushing him away is, “I would have ruined you.”

I know from my own past that if I was alone when the worst of my memories resurfaced, I don’t know how I would have survived. But more importantly, as I continue to try to push through my reality of complex PTSD, those very same thoughts pass through my head on a daily basis. I constantly question if my husband would be happier without me, because it feels as though my problems shouldn’t be his to bear as well.

As probably the only person that could have been there to change Hannah’s mind about suicide, Clay was ultimately clueless about what she was dealing with. She may not have realized how much damage she was doing to Clay, and her “revenge” on the others was her last, and she believed, only way to fight back after her death.

Right or wrong, making those tapes gave Clay — and, to a lesser extent, Tony — the chance to find some justice for her, when she couldn’t get it for herself. In a later post, I’ll discuss the other, positive side of her tapes.

© Sarah Doughty

Criticism

“We all
see more
flaws
in ourselves
than we do
in others.”

I know, because I do the same thing to myself. My inner critic is always there, whispering in a low voice. It always knows what to say, where to strike where it will hurt the worst. But, instead of giving in, I choose to ignore it whenever possible.

© Sarah Doughty

Scythe – Moon Ate the Dark Challenge

My piece, “Scythe” was submitted to the Brave and Reckless blog’s Moon Ate The Dark challenge.

Brave and Reckless

The night was black, void of all stars, and not even the glow of the moon cut through it like a blue-tipped blade, devouring that obsidian nothingness like it’s next meal. That silence, where only my thoughts, breaths, and beating heart kept me company, wasn’t enough to tame that lingering sense of desperation. It ate away at me. Each second feeling like hours, and hours feeling like days, until I’d lost all sense of time. I’d never felt more alone. But after what felt like an eternity of nothing, when the last of my sanity began to slip away, the clouds parted, revealing the moon. It shone like a beacon in the abyss, and at long last, I was no longer alone.

© Sarah Doughty (or whatever signature you’d like to use)


Sarah Doughty is the tingling wonder-voice behind Heartstring Eulogies. She’s also the author of The Silence Between Moonbeams, her poetry…

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Fearful Symmetry

“Somehow,
allowing myself
to fail, or to give up,
is admitting defeat.
Laying down
and saying,
‘You win.'”

Fears are normal, especially when you’re creating something. There will always be those fears, there will always be doubts. When I started writing, I was so scared that no one would like my words, or understand where I’ve been and where I’m going, but that’s not the case, is it? I followed the practice of “Fake it till you make it,” and in the time since I’ve started, those fears are less potent. There are times I’m down because I can’t always do what I feel I need to do, or I feel I’ve somehow come up short. But I keep going. Somehow, allowing myself to fail, or to give up, is admitting defeat. Laying down and saying, “You win.” But, if I do, it will be giving power back to the man that took my childhood from me and even after his death, still haunts me. Whatever reason you want to make art, you do it from the heart, you do it because you must. You’re incomplete without it. And, the longer you deny yourself that release, the worse you will feel. Listen to those whispers that tell you to create, and fake it through your fear until you no longer feel so paralyzed by it.

© Sarah Doughty

Review: Watercolor Words

This was originally shared as an exclusive sneak peak in the second poetry issue of Mailbox Eulogies a week ago. To join, click here.

I purchased this book at a signing and Topher Kearby was both kind and considerate to me and my family. I read the book that night and I really enjoyed the mix of typed poems, art, and poetry. Most of the poems resonated with me and I felt a deep connection with them. His unique way of expressing himself through his art is unlike anything I’ve seen before and I’m lucky to be a part of it.

5/5 Stars

Have a poetry book you’d like to recommend? Drop it in the comments or send me an email via my about page.

© Sarah Doughty