An Open Letter To My Mom Who's Been There For Me Through It All

An Open Letter To My Mom Who's Been There For Me Through It All

As long as I have you by my side, I'm not afraid.
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Mom, we’ve been through it all. From consoling me when a high school friend was being unnecessarily problematic, helping me decide how to word a particular English essay, and to deciding on the right college, I am one of the lucky people who get to proudly say that you have been right at my side through it all. I never appreciated just how much of a sounding board you were for my thoughts and opinions until I went to college and did not have you by my side every day.

I never fully realized just how much better I felt after telling you about my day’s daily dramas, and how much attention you gave to my stories, and how engaged you were in even the most minute details. You really truly care about what I have to say, and make me feel important and like I matter.

I now try to make the important people in my life feel just like how I do during a conversation with you: understood and acknowledged fully. It takes a special kind of friend, a rare one, to give me the same kind of good feeling I do when I talk to you. I have luckily found some at school, but that will never compare to the love and attention that you give to me.

It can be confusing and disheartening at times while away from home, where I can be unsure of who is a true friend, and who I can confide in. All of the confusion is alleviated whenever I speak to you on the phone. You laugh when I laugh, and cry when I cry. My pain is your pain, and I know that you always want me to succeed and do my best in life, no matter what career path I choose.

I would be lost without our phone calls and conversations, and I guess I have never really expressed to you how much all of your support means to me. I always just assumed that you knew. After all, how could I not appreciate you after all that you have done for me? You drove me an hour and a half to ballet classes every week, just so I could dance with the best teachers out there, and helped me pick out outfits to wear countless times. You allowed me to make my own decisions regarding which high school to attend, and left the decision up to me to transfer my senior year.

At the time, I wished that you would have just told me what to do, and make my decision easier. However, you knew that I would ultimately feel better if I made the choice myself, with no one to blame or thank but myself. As my choice regarding high school proved to be successful and make me happy, I had you to thank for the endless support, but myself to thank for making one of the toughest decisions of my life.

That life lesson was invaluable and shapes every choice that I make. Without you, who knows what I would have done? Not only in that one instance, but in multiple aspects of my life, I have you to thank for the endless support. The future and growing up is terrifying, but as long as I have you by my side, I am not afraid.

Cover Image Credit: Instagram

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31 Reasons Why I Would NEVER Watch Season 2 Of '13 Reasons Why'

It does not effectively address mental illness, which is a major factor in suicide.
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When I first started watching "13 Reasons Why" I was excited. I had struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts for a long time and thought this show would be bringing light to those issues. Instead, it triggered my feelings that I had suppressed.

With season two coming out soon, I have made up my mind that I am NEVER watching it, and here is why:

1. This show simplifies suicide as being a result of bullying, sexual assault, etc. when the issue is extremely more complex.

2. It does not effectively address mental illness, which is a major factor in suicide.

3. The American Foundation of Suicide Prevention has guidelines on how to portray suicides in TV shows and movies without causing more suicides.

"13 Reasons Why" disregarded those guidelines by graphically showing Hannah slitting her wrists.

4. It is triggering to those who have tried to commit suicide in the past or that struggle with mental illness.

5. It glorifies suicide.

6. It does not offer healthy coping solutions with trauma and bullying.

The only "solution" offered is suicide, which as mentioned above, is glorified by the show.

7. This show portrays Hannah as dramatic and attention-seeking, which creates the stereotype that people with suicidal thoughts are dramatic and seeking attention.

8. Hannah makes Clay and other people feel guilty for her death, which is inconsiderate and rude and NOT something most people who commit suicide would actually do.

9. This show treats suicide as revenge.

In reality, suicide is the feeling of hopelessness and depression, and it's a personal decision.

10. Hannah blames everyone but herself for her death, but suicide is a choice made by people who commit it.

Yes, sexual assault and bullying can be a factor in suicidal thoughts, but committing suicide is completely in the hands of the individual.

11. Skye justifies self-harm by saying, "It's what you do instead of killing yourself."

12. Hannah's school counselor disregards the clear signs of her being suicidal, which is against the law and not something any professional would do.

13. The show is not realistic.

14. To be honest, I didn't even enjoy the acting.

15. The characters are underdeveloped.

16. "13 Reasons Why" alludes that Clay's love could have saved Hannah, which is also unrealistic.

17. There are unnecessary plot lines that don't even advance the main plot.

18. No one in the show deals with their problems.

They all push them off onto other people (which, by the way, is NOT HEALTHY!!!).

19. There is not at any point in the show encouragement that life after high school is better.

20. I find the show offensive to not only me, but also to everyone who has struggled with suicidal thoughts.

21. The show is gory and violent, and I don't like that kind of thing.

22. By watching the show, you basically get a step-by-step guide on how to commit suicide.

Which, again, is against guidelines set by The American Foundation of Suicide Prevention.

23. The show offers no resources for those who have similar issues to Hannah.

24. It is not healthy for me or anyone else to watch "13 Reasons Why."

25. Not only does the show glorify suicide, but it also glorifies self-harm as an alternative to suicide.

26. Other characters don't help Hannah when she reaches out to them, which could discourage viewers from reaching out.

27. Hannah doesn't leave a tape for her parents, and even though the tapes were mostly bad, I still think the show's writers should have included a goodbye to her parents.

28. It simplifies suicide.

29. The show is tactless, in my opinion.

30. I feel like the show writers did not do any research on the topic of suicide or mental illness, and "13 Reasons Why" suffered because of lack of research.

31. I will not be watching season two mostly because I am bitter about the tastelessness.

And I do not want there to be enough views for them to make a season three and impact even more people in a negative way.

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.
Cover Image Credit: Netflix

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The Transitional Guide From College To Back Home, For Students And Parents

A way for you to make it through the summer and not argue with your parents.
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For any college student finding it weird to adjust to being back home for summer, back where you grew up and then left, you are not alone. A week ago, you were on your own, not having to tell anyone what your plans were, and able to come and go as you please but now it may be different. Yes, you are an adult now and can make your own rules and be your own boss but keep in mind that the people you are coming to, your parents, still need to be treated with the same respect, if not more, than before you left for school.

Now, parents, with that being said, you also need to help with this transition by giving more freedom if you haven’t in the past, there is no way you and your child’s relationship is going to be a strong one if you cannot come to some kind of agreement while they are home.

Here are some things that you can do if you are worried, struggling, or are clueless about how welcoming them back home is going to go.


1. Go over some ground rules.

parents, you have to take into consideration that you student has just been on their own for the better part of 9 months. Give them some reasonable rules, maybe a "curfew" that is just calling and checking in instead of a set time to come home. Not only will this alleviate any arguments over this, but also show them that you trust them to make the right decisions on when they come and go.

2. Be mindful of other people living in the house.

With that being said, coming home at 2 a.m. and waking everyone up is probably not being very mindful nor respectful of people who have work in the morning. Just because you are on summer vacation does not mean everyone can sleep until noon every day.

3. Help with housework.

You may not have had to clean your apartment every day (or ever) but it would be nice to straighten up the house, do the dishes, start a load of laundry, or vacuum the rugs while your parents are at work. Not only will this ease the workload that they have when they come home from a long day at work but, it will also show them that you are making an effort to help them.

4. If you have younger siblings, offer to help with transporting.

Waking up at 6:50 a.m. is not ideal to drop someone off at the bus stop but, it may help your parents, so it is something to consider. Also, if they have afternoon sports after school it would be nice if you would at least offer to take them, this again is showing that you are trying to be helpful.

These are just a few things that can be done to help your family, and help you not have such an argumentative summer. Avoid the arguments, enjoy the sun, and BE HELPFUL! I am sure your parents will appreciate it more than you know.

Good luck, be safe, and have a happy summer!

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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