I Am Like Hannah Baker And I Am Not Ashamed

I Am Like Hannah Baker And I Am Not Ashamed

My story was her story. Her story is everyone's story.
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There comes a moment when you realize no one cares about you. You aren't anyone's number one. You've been hurt time and time again by every single person you know. You stand at the end of the cliff, looking down, thinking about jumping. In the moment, you think if all the pain of this life is worth it. Is it? In honor of "13 Reasons Why" being released, here are thirteen reasons why I thought about dying, but instead decided to live.

1. Being Bullied

I understand Hannah because people don't realize the ripple effect that bullying causes. It's contagious and you'll do almost anything for it to stop. But it doesn't. It never does. It's in your head and it echoes, making your ears bleed and mind scream for release. You just want them to shut up but they don't. They are the first thing you hear in the morning and the last thing you hear at night. Dylan and Brianna G. I'll never forget the cruel, vicious words you said to me on that bus. You'll never understand how I went home hating myself, wishing I were never born.

2. My Teeth, My Insecurities

From all the bullying you can bet I was insecure. The main thing I was bullied for was my "bad teeth." I, by no means, had a perfect smile but it didn't make me ugly. I felt ugly though. I would look in the mirror and hate the girl who stared back. I would examine all the things that made me look ugly. I stopped smiling, so not to show my teeth. I wore a pound of makeup for literally no reason but I thought I was so ugly I needed it. I tried so hard to "fix" myself, when all I needed was to love myself. One day, I got sick of it all. I threw all my makeup away and decided I would not buy any makeup until I could look in the mirror, right when I first woke up, and think, "Wow. You're beautiful, Cat." It was a long, hard journey. As previously mentioned in one of my other articles, I also read daily affirmations. They helped a lot. In the end, I didn't wind up buying more makeup until college. I was finally happy with myself. I loved the girl in the mirror. I still do.

3.My Stepdad: #1

My abusive stepdad made my life miserable. There are so many terrible memories attached to that douche and honestly I'm not ready to open up about it on here. I can tell you to go check out my other article on why I don't drink, which could clear things up. He made me feel like every single thing in my life had no meaning. I would fear for my life and have mental trauma from it. As does my brother, though, he may not admit it like me. He had to get physical in order to protect me or my mom. This added to my deepening depression because I was being bullied at the same time. Home nor school were safe but I lived. I found books and used them as a form of escapism.

4. My Stepdad: #2

As if one wasn't bad enough my mom (after leaving the first) went for the same type of man. Drunk and useless. The only thing he did well was beat my mom. I would fear coming home to my mom, dead. That stuff stays with you and haunts you. Alcohol causes fear to slither though my mind, like poisonous snake, killing every happy thing in its path. I want to be okay and some days I am but others I'm not and I'm learning to be okay with that.

5. My Mom

I love my mom. Truly, I do and I don't blame her, per se. I know she blames herself, for letting the first time either of them hit her slide. I know she feels terrible for putting my brother and I though what she did. But that doesn't change what happened and how I had no where to turn. Bullies, domestic abuse, and body image issues. All of them made me think, "If I was never born, I wouldn't have to suffer so much." Those men, they changed my mom. She is not the same woman I knew growing up. I miss the old mom but I realize she is gone, out of reach. I mourn her and hope one day, my mom can find happiness and peace.

6. Dropping Out Of College

My grades are everything to me. Don't believe me? Just checkout my article about how I freaked out over a "C." You see, I got accepted into my dream school. I literally only applied to that school, so my future hinged on getting in. When I got in, I cried. I started at Pace University a few months after graduating high school. I encourage most students to take a gap year now. I didn't realize then that I wasn't ready to live in a big city and go to a big school. Many things led to me dropping out but it was the best thing. I see that now but when I first dropped out it was a low point. I was moving away from home, I wasn't in college like my friends, and my family was falling apart. I was so lonely and I thought about how much this sucked. Think about taking some time before you go to college because dropping out when you were an A+ student crushes you.

7. College

The stress of college is huge. So much pressure and sometimes I can't handle it. I think about how I'm destined to fail and the other kids are smarter than me, how much better they are. I know how smart I am and I know I can do it but sometimes things just seem so hard.

8. My First Boyfriend

This guy made me feel terrible. He made me feel like I wasn't good enough and that I had to be better. He made me feel crazy and like I was overreacting. He did terrible things to me. He ignored me and he cheated on me. All I ever wanted was to be happy but one second he would be affectionate then the next he would be cold and distant. He would be so mean to me. I couldn't handle it and every time I would leave his house I would cry my whole way home. Every. Single. Time. I wish I saw the abusive behavior before my next reason happened. I really, really do.

9. Being Raped

No woman would lie about being raped. It's the worst thing someone can survive. It takes a piece of your soul and crushes the rest. I dream about my attack. Random moments from the day cause me to flash back. Panic attacks come so suddenly, I can't always pin down what caused it. Some days all I can feel is his hands on me and him inside me. I can feel the tears stream down my face the same way they did that night. I wanted to die and some days I still do. Some days all I want is to forget but I can't. I am getting help and if you went through this you should too. I waited and now I regret it because I can never get justice. Don't make my mistakes, report your attack. I was attacked by someone I trusted and it changed me forever.

10. My Anxiety

My family has always experienced anxiety. It runs in our genetics. I think all the bullying, abusive home, and rape made it harder for me to deal with life. My anxiety tortures me with all my failures and insecurities. It tells me that I wasn't even worth being born and that I should die. I don't actually want to die and I know I'll never commit suicide but my anxiety twists my thoughts and emotions making them weapons.

11. Backstabbing "Friends"

Sometimes, you guys were the worst. You would make me feel even more isolated than the bullies. You would pretend to be my friend and I would tell you my secrets then you would go spread them around school. Why? Why would you do something so horrible? And the friends that would ask me for favors and I would've done anything for you. I was loyal to you but when I would need you, you were no where to be found. I would be the shoulder for you to cry and you would refuse me yours. I needed you so badly, especially after I was attacked and you turned your back on me. Just like Hannah needed Jessica, I needed you. But you, like Jessica, let me down. And I suffered for it.

12. Guilt

I have a lot of guilt for things I've done. Just like Hannah. We both made mistakes but she didn't deserve to die, alone. I don't deserve to die alone. No one deserves to die alone. If you see someone being bullied or suffering, talk to them. Save them, like Mr. Porter never did. Like all the teachers ignored me and didn't offer me help. When there was an article written about how my stepdad beat the shit out of my mom, not one of them offered me help. All the teachers, all the help they could offer, let me drown. But by drowning, I finally could see the truth. No one can save you, but yourself. You can only rely and trust yourself.

13. Myself

I did what Hannah did when she went to Mr. Porter. He didn't see the problems but she had an opportunity to tell him. I could have tried to tell them but I was embarrassed. I was ashamed that I couldn't handle things on my own, so I kept things hidden inside me until I exploded. I cracked and I was so close to where Hannah was but my Nan saved me. Maybe I saved me too. Moral of all this, things were bad and I don't shame Hannah's choice because she didn't have a Nan, like me, to catch her as she was falling. I wanted help but didn't know how to ask. If I had opened up, maybe I wouldn't have the scar on my forearm but I do and I wear it proudly. It's proof I survived. I wish I could have saved Hannah but I will try to save others like her. Offer someone your hand or a simple smile because maybe it's all they need to make it to tomorrow.

https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org


Cover Image Credit: YouTube

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12 Things You Pronounce Weird If You're From NJ

Our accents are just as big as our egos... and our hair.
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All of my life, I never thought I had a Jersey accent until I went away to school in Pennsylvania. My Pennsylvanian friends have a field day when they hear the “weird” ways I pronounce certain words. I am constantly the butt of all the jokes and have been asked way too many times to pronounce certain words for others so they can hear how “weird” I speak, but if you’re from Jersey then you know what I mean when I say these things.

NOTE: The words in parenthesis are the way we say it. Which is also the correct and best way to say them.

1. Water (wader)

Okay, so maybe I say water a little differently than others, but this is the way my family has said it for generations. This one is sort of a dead give away. When I’m on vacation and ask for “water” people will always know where I’m from.

2. Drawer (Draw)

I’ve gotten into many screaming matches with people about this. It is a "draw"! This causes many fights between me and my roommate, but I know for sure I’m not the only New Jersian who pronounces it like this.

3. Coffee (Cawfee)

I can’t even explain this without getting angry. It is most certainly not pronounced “Cahfee.” I will fight to my death that coffee should just be spelled the way it’s pronounced which adds a nice “aw” sound instead of that harsh, awkward “ah” sound.

4. Pork Roll (Correct term: Taylor Ham)

Considering most people on campus here call Taylor Ham “pork roll” I am always outnumbered, but don’t think I won’t go to war on this. It is absolutely called Taylor Ham! No, it’s not just the brand. What is a “pork roll”? I assume if you call it pork roll you’re from South Jersey or Philly and I can also guess you don’t even know what real Taylor Ham tastes like. I’m sorry I’m getting way too heated typing this…

5. Dog (Dawg)

OK, I just don’t even know any other way to say dog without adding the typical “aw” sound to it. Is there any other way? I’m pretty sure us New Jersians are not wrong about this one.

6. Talk (Tawk)

This one speaks for itself (pun intended).

7. City (Ciddy)

First of all, when I reference the “city” I am always 100% talking about New York City. Never ever am I talking about Philly. Never. Maybe us Jersians confuse the letters “T” and “D” but you can definitely distinguish my New Jersey background anytime I say “city”.

8. You (Yew)

This term most usually follows a common curse word us New Jersians say frequently. Expect this phrase when you’re driving on the parkway in the summer trying to maneuver your way through the boatloads of shore traffic.

9. Sandwich (Sub)

It pains me when I hear someone go up to a counter and ask for a hoagie. It sends shivers down my spine and makes me question my existence. It’s a sub-short for submarine sandwich-where does the term hoagie even come from?

10. All (Awl)

My roommate truly enjoys making fun of me for this one. Commonly used in the phrase “awl of a sudden”. This is great for story-telling and helps create a dramatic mood.

11. Chocolate (Chawcolate)

The only thing I can say is it sounds a lot better than saying “chakolate.”

12. Jersey (Jerzee)

Please, please, please, and I seriously mean please, do not ever, under any sort of circumstance come up to me and say “Joisey.” I think I would rather have someone call Taylor Ham a “Pork Roll” and insult my favorite pizzeria than ever say that word. I can assure you that no one, and I mean not one person who is from Jersy says “Joisey.” I do however add a nice hard Z to my pronunciation. Sometimes we call it “Dirty Jerz” too.

But no matter what I call it: Jersey, New Jersey, The Garden State or whatever other amazing nicknames there are, my favorite thing to call New Jersey is home.

Cover Image Credit: lostinsuburbiablog / WordPress

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Being Offensive Is Not A Personality, Just So You Know

Offending people is all you have to offer? Really?

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We all know a handful of people that enjoy being really offensive. They'll go out of their way to let you know that they're known for offending people and that they don't care if they offend you. You know the kind of person I'm talking about?

The most popular example of this special kind of person I can think of is Kaitlin Bennett, the girl who gained fame after posting a photo of herself at graduation with an assault rifle on her back. Some of you may have no idea who I'm talking about, and for that, I'm extremely envious. Since her photo went viral, she's been all over social media doing her best to offend every leftist she can. Why? For absolutely no reason.

There are people just like her all over. They attempt to build a personality off of offending people and thrive off the hatred they receive. The problem with this is that being offensive is not a personality. It's not cool, it's not desirable, and it definitely doesn't make you look good. But that's the annoying thing about these people; they don't care about looking good.

The biggest defense for these people I've heard is that perhaps they've had to build up this wall due to adverse experiences in the past. And, sure, that could totally be a reason for it, but anyone I've personally met who acts like this has always come from well-to-do families and Kaitlin Bennett sure hasn't struggled in life. So basically, these people have no justifiable reason for being offensive, they just like doing it to get a rise out of others.

I personally don't see the appeal of being an asshole to everyone. I feel like being offensive constantly would take so much effort. It's much easier just to be kind to people.

If you happen to encounter someone who's entire personality is based on offending everyone and everything, don't engage. Let them run their mouths and preach their insanity. They can't build an identity around being offensive if you don't get offended.

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