13 Reasons Why – Where do I belong?

Disclaimer: I recently finished watching ‘Thirteen Reasons Why’ and I get easily influenced by what I watch so I might start talking/writing like how Hannah Baker would, haha.

Hmm, how should I start this post off? Maybe I should start by saying that I connected to the movie a lot more than I thought. Quite a sad realization. Like Hannah Baker, I had people talk about me, I disappointed my parents multiple times, and I worry about what others would say about me and a boy. Let’s get into this shall we?

“No one knows for certain how much impact they have on the lives of other people.” — Thirteen Reasons Why

This past year, I became very close to a group I’ll call WL. We all enjoyed the same hobbies which was volleyball. Everyday I would go play which soon led to me being on their volleyball team. After each game, we would celebrate or cheer each other up by eating out or simply driving around. Just being with them made me happy until the one who brought us together graduated.

After that, we still hung out a lot, but now I was the only girl in a group of 10 other guys because the graduate’s girlfriend started focusing more on school. I felt out of place because they would talk about girls many times. I was fine with it until I was compared to one of them. “She beats [My name] in any way possible.” I felt so insecure and never hung out with them unless there was a party or volleyball. I insisted on leaving the group because I never felt good around them anymore, but they convinced me to stay.

About a month later, I overreacted when I lost a competition and jokingly said things about my friend, “I fed her, I let her sleep in my bed, and I let her use any of my things she wanted to.” But one of the guys didn’t see it as a joke. He wrote a long message about how disrespectful I was and how much he hated me at that moment, but that wasn’t even the worst part, the worst part was when no one stood up for me.

Not only did I feel like an outsider in the group, but I also felt like an outsider in another group that I’ll call GH. This group is very different from WL due to the fact that they are all females and none of them played volleyball as much as I did. So I was always playing volleyball with WL on the weekends and GH would say things like “Can’t you just take a break from volleyball for once?” with an attitude. The same night I lost the competition, I had been at a girl’s potluck however I decided to leave early to go play volleyball with the graduate that came up to visit. As I was getting ready to leave, I heard a girl mumble, “These volleyball people..” I shook it off, faked a smile, and said bye to them.

Fast forward to about a month later. My roommate was getting ready to go out which was very unusual considering she would always be in bed at this time. So I asked her where she was going and her reply was, “Oh [Confidential Name] wanted me to do something with her, but she didn’t tell me what it is.” I told her to have fun and she left. I continued to wonder what they’re doing. That’s when a thought came to me, maybe they were planning a surprise birthday for me since the upcoming Wednesday was my birthday. I had never been more wrong in my life. The girls in GH invited each other and excluded me, on purpose. I did not know about this until just two nights ago which is about a month after the hangout. What did I do to be excluded like that when I thought we were all good friends? We always say we’ll be there for each other, but how can you leave me out so easily?

I cried so much that night, a few hours maybe? Who knows. I had problems at home, I have problems with those I hang out with daily, and I had problems with those who I thought would be there for me when I needed them. I felt so alone and I had no one to tell because I had to show my parents that I made the right decision to come back to this place, but I questioned myself if it was worth it. If being where I wanted was worth it despite all the pain and loneliness.

Let’s bring it back to WL. One day as I was asking the group about who’s playing volleyball that night, no one answered. No one said yes and no one said no except for the only other girl who was visiting family two hours away. She said, “You guys should be playing volleyball right? Cause there’s nothing else going on.” Wrong. A bonfire had been planned and all the guys went to it except for me. Why didn’t I go? Simply because no one told me about it until I asked. Funny thing is that I knew from a friend so I tried hinting at the guys to bring it up, but no one did. Why am I being left out again? They tell me it was very last minute and I told them it’s fine, but how can all of them know and not me? A couple other friends questioned why I wasn’t there and to say they didn’t tell me was quite embarrassing.

All this loneliness and exclusion led me to having emotional and physical needs. I have never been one who hugs yet it was what I needed most, but no one was there to comfort me until the night after the bonfire, the cabin party. My friend had been having a tough time so I told her to have fun and I’ll watch over her. I did fairly well watching over her, but then I lost her when she went to go look for her guy. I decided to talk to a guy that was the brother of my close friend. Long story short, we flirted with each other. I decided to take pictures to remember the night and he was the last one I took a picture with. After I took the picture, he told me to take another but this time he kissed my forehead and said, “Now that I gave you a kiss, you should give me a kiss too.” It was not that simple. I told him I’ve never kissed anyone before and he was quite shocked, but said it’s okay and kissed my forehead again. I thought about it. What’s so special about having a first? First love, first kiss, first date, etc. Why do we care so much? At that point, I had been so lonely that I didn’t care anymore, I wanted the attention. I got it, and I liked it. So guess what happened next. I put my arm around his neck, pulled him close, and kissed him. He then hugged me and told me how special he felt. Fast forward to the next day, we were back to being strangers. I had been used to comfort him for the night because he recently broke up with his girlfriend. However, I had no regrets because I also needed the comfort. Isn’t it amazing how being lonely can change a person so much?

After that night, I started hanging out with the WL more often and got comfortable around them again. Two days ago, I realized just how much they mean to me and how blessed I am to have a group like that in my life. Two days ago I was supporting my club’s henna fundraiser. During this time, a friend had messaged GH about rumors and for anyone to come forward if they knew about it, but no one answered her. I asked my friend if I could look at  henna designs on her laptop and she said yes. That was when I saw a notification saying my roommate had messaged the girls group chat. I looked at my own phone and did not see the message. I looked back at the laptop and the message says, “[Confidential name aka my friend] and [My name] can figure that shit on their own.” I was shocked. Not just because my roommate said that, but the fact that they had another girls group chat, purposely leaving me and my friend out of it. They had kicked me out of that group chat and I never even knew.

Later that night, some guys in WL knew something was wrong so we decided to go on a night drive and let things out. I cried and explained to them how lonely I had been. That’s when I learned three new things:

  1. The night of the GH potluck, after I left to go play volleyball, the girls were talking badly of me and why I left. My friend who they had excluded too told me what they said. I was crying too hard to hear her explain what was said about me.
  2. One of the girls had never liked me at all in high school because she thought I had a ‘thing’ with her current boyfriend back in middle school, MIDDLE SCHOOL when they hadn’t even met yet.
  3. This isn’t new, but my guy friend confirmed that another girl had also disliked me the semester before the one I’m currently in.

These three things made me explode. I started crying so hard that I couldn’t breathe normally. I was shaking so much and I couldn’t even show my face to the guys who were there to comfort me. Why? Why am I disliked for being myself? I didn’t understand, but what I did understand was how I had been alone from the start, how tired I was of being left out, how simply being friends with someone made me become an outcast, and how I was talked badly about just because I continue to do what I enjoy. The guys from WL talked to me and comforted me with their words and with their side hugs. They reassured me that even though they may seem to be rude at times, they still care for me like family and that I’ll always be wanted where they are.

After watching ‘Thirteen Reasons Why,’ I realized how I could’ve ended up like Hannah Baker. How we both had friends that weren’t actually friends, how we fell so easily for a guy, and how lonely everything made us feel. The only difference is that I had people reach out to me and stayed by my side no matter how messed up my life actually is when I pretend that everything is always fine. This made me appreciate all of the people who have stuck with me and continue to love me. I am truly blessed with the best. This is where I belong and all the pain I felt throughout the past few months was worth it.

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