13 Reasons Why: One Psychotherapist Mom’s Perspective

Part Two: 13 Conversations To Have With Your Kids About 13 Reasons Why

I wrapped up watching 13 Reasons Why at 4:30 a.m. this morning and am emotionally hungover from a cocktail of, “all the feels.”

I’m overwhelmed.

I’m moved.

I’m provoked.

I’m sad.

I’m angry.

I’m reflective.

I’m empathic.

I’m remembering what that time in life was like.

I’m trying to understand what that time in life must be like, now.

I want to write about the multitude of rich topics contained in 13 Reasons Why in some kind of orderly fashion. But life is messy and this series is a shining example of that beautiful mess.

Accentuate The Positives

I’ve decided to write about 13 Reasons Why from a strengths based perspective because so much of it is good.

And relevant.

And necessary.

And staggeringly ugly in a most important way.

Our children are swimming in the sea of existential angst we all once swam through — but they are doing it, on display, in a virtual goldfish bowl.

Their great paradox of living so externally — so “out there” in the world by way of Insta-Snap-Text — is that the bigness creates an isolating sense of smallness.

We need to be talking about this.

How I’m Going To Roll: Gestalt Style

I’m a psychotherapist heavily influenced by Gestalt Therapy which posits that, “everyone is caught in webs of relationships; thus, it is only possible to know ourselves against the background of our relationships to others.”

Kind of like Hannah. And Clay. And you. And me. And our kids.

13 Reasons Why resonates for my 45 year old self as if it were yesterday. It’s strength lies in its portrayal of the universality of our struggle to exist — to be seen, to be heard, to be loved, to be included, to be alone, to be at peace — to simply just, “be.”

I can’t relate to our children’s overexposed lives and, as a parent, I am overwhelmed by what it will take to negotiate this experience.

So I’m going to take 13 Reasons Why, bit by bit, and write about its powerful cocktail of feels. Along the way (because this feels like I’m embarking on a serious journey), I’m going to talk about it with my son who, thankfully, seems pretty stoked about it (see text screenshots below).

LYBITWWN is our own text acronym. It stands for: love you best in the whole world neighborhood.

Please stay tuned for Part Three.