So, I have been watching the Netflix show 13 Reasons Why. It is amazing and honest and raw and I cannot recommend it enough!! This show made me start thinking about those times for me and just how hard they were. And I grew up in an age without Facebook and Snapchat, I cannot even imagine how I would make it through today!
Well, after watching the show, I knew I had to write this post. I am not even sure he knows this, but my little brother Ben saved my life. Here’s my story:
I have written a little bit about my childhood, but here’s a quick overview.
- I grew up with domestic violence at a very young age.
- I was the oldest in my household and had lot of responsibility.
- I helped with my siblings often and didn’t go out much.
- I had a series of boyfriends that were not very nice to me both physically and verbally.
- I was the “new girl” in high school and hadn’t made very many quality friends.
- My parents sometimes went out and had too much fun and as a result they sometimes fought.
This is all probably more normal than not but, to a high school girl, I felt like this was a big deal and that my world was a dark place.
Well, at one point I was given a bit more opportunity to hang out with friends and made an incredible connection with five other people. We would go to dance clubs and do sleep overs, we would take little road trips and be silly together. You know, the normal stuff.
Well, we went to one party and I can tell you that one night changed everything for me. Looking back at it, it was so dumb but in high school it was a HUGE deal! One of my friend’s had come up to me at the party (her boyfriend was throwing said party) and had expressed very real honest fear that he was going “kill her” because of something being spilled or something.
The next Monday that girl was not at school. I happened to express worry about her saying that she seemed scared about her boyfriend and the rumor mill took it and ran! By the time that girl came to school the next day, I had told everyone that her boyfriend beats her and no one would talk to me. I literally lost every friend I had made all because I was worried about a friend.
All the sudden I went from having a strong core group of friends to being dis-invited to things and having no one. No one to tell that I was sad, no one to tell when things were hard at home, no one to tell when I was lonely.
I had had enough. I went to bed one night and had stuck a knife under my mattress. I had written a note and had decided that this was it. I grabbed the knife, held it to my wrist and applied a little pressure. Just then I heard the tiniest little *tap tap* on my door. I looked up and saw my sweet little brother. I scrambled to put the knife out of sight. His little voice said, “Can I come sleep with you?”
I slid the knife back under the mattress as I pulled the covers back and he climbed into my little twin bed. I slowly rubbed his back and we both drifted to sleep. The next morning I took the note and shredded it. I took the knife and slid it back into the drawer. Then I peeked around the corner at Ben as he sat watching Shark Week and attacking the poor beagle with a plastic sharks. I whispered a simple near silent “Thank You” and walked away.
I won’t say that I never thought about ending my life again after that, that would be a lie. But, every time I have, I think of that little boy needing me just as much as I needed him that night. Then instead of a knife I pick up a pen. I grab my journal and write until I am exhausted. I write until the thoughts quiet their screaming voices. I write until I want to live again.
Sitting down to eat with my husband after finishing that final episode I said, “That girl, from the show I have been watching, that was me! I could have done it. I could have sent a shockwave through my family and school and affected so many lives, but Ben saved me.”
Reach out to those around you. I know it seems like it has been the theme for a few posts in a row, but it is so important to let those around you know that they matter, that they are loved, and that you are there for them. You never know when you could save someone’s life.
If you or someone you know needs help, please call: