13 Reasons Why, Book Club: Fiction to Reality, Depression/Anxiety, Trauma

From “13 Reasons Why” to “Facing Your Truth” — “I refuse to see it” (Part 2)

13reasonswhyhurt

(Please read Facing Your Hurt and Anger Part 1 first.)

Facing Your Hurt and Anger
Takeaway Points:
1. To be able to see the truth about other people, you have to be able to face the truth about yourself.
2. Alcohol, party, drugs, etc. are just our ways to avoid seeing others and ourselves.
3. To face the truth about other people, you have to be willing to face the hurt and anger in you.
4. Anger comes after hurt even though anger is easier to express. Underlying every angry moment is a hurtful moment we suffered.
5. Anger is powerful, and that’s why it is easier to express. The ability to face the hurt that underlying the anger is the true power within you that no one will ever be able to take away.

Self-Reflection Activities
#1. Think about the person in your life whom you often find excuses or reasons for his/her behaviors that you do not approve?

#2. Name the behaviors of this person that you do not approve (such as lies, drinking, etc.).

#3. What are the reasons or excuses you often come up with this person?

#4. Finish the following sentence:
I believe this person’s behaviors because ______________
(write as many reasons as possible.)

#5. Finish the following sentence:
I see these beliefs in me when I ______________________

#6. Finish the following sentence:
I DON’t believe this person’s behaviors because _____________________

#7. 5. Finish the following sentence:
I see these beliefs in me when I ______________________

#8. Now, take a good look at your answers, what do you find out about yourself? How does that make you feel? Finish the following sentence.

I feel ___________ when I see other people relate to me _______________ as the same way I relate to myself.

#9. Now, take a moment to feel the physical sensation in your body when you think about this belief in yourself. Where do you feel it in your body? What’s the physical sensation feels like?
For example: “I feel my heart dropped and I feel a strong sadness in my heart.”

Now, this is your cue next time when you put yourself in a position of denial to deny your true self.

#10. Let’s take one more step. Write a letter to yourself and explain to yourself why you deserve to face this part of who you are. What are the disadvantages/limitations this avoidance put on you? Explain to yourself when you do not face this part of you, how it dictates or control your life.

Examples:
#1. Think about the person in your life whom you often find excuses or reasons for his/her behaviors that you do not approve?

I always have problems when people “complaint” about the same thing over and over again. As a therapist, Throughout the years, I have learned to cut off the relationship with friends like that. However, there is one particular friend who always complains about her family members and for many reasons, I can’t cut her off but I tuned out when she complains about the same issues again.

#2. Name the behaviors of this person that you do not approve (such as lies, drinking, etc.).
When this friend complaints about the same issue again, I immediately just tuned out and didn’t want to listen. Or, I just try to “flee the scene.”

#3. What are the reasons or excuses you often come up with this person?
“She doesn’t know how to let go of her issues, and this is the only way she knows how to regulate her emotions.”

#4. Finish the following sentence:
I believe this person’s behaviors because ______________
(write as many reasons as possible.)
because I want to believe she is a good person
because I shouldn’t judge my friends
because I should be supportive and understanding as her friend

#5. Finish the following sentence:
I see these beliefs in me when I ______________________
try to make excuses for my behaviors, especially when I am feeling ashamed of my behaviors.
try to justify my behaviors by blaming other people wronged me.
feel powerless to change the situation, especially when I know I contributed to the outcome of certain problems.

#6. Finish the following sentence:
I DON’t believe this person’s behaviors because _____________________
I believe we I am responsible for our own emotions
I believe that I am in control to pick and choose what I have control over my own life

#7. Finish the following sentence:
I see these beliefs in me when I ______________________
when I chose to leave the room because my friend starts to complain about the same thing.
because I can’t stop her, but I need to be responsible for me, I choose to leave the room or to tune out.

#8. Now, take a good look at your answers, what do you find out about yourself? How does that make you feel? Finish the following sentence.

I feel ___________ when I see other people relate to me _______________ as the same way I relate to myself.

I feel painful to see how I am avoiding to hold myself accountable in certain circumstances by making excuses for my behaviors. Even though I might feel the pain and powerless in those situations, I am also making excuses for my behaviors because I don’t want to feel the pain.

#9. Now, take a moment to feel the physical sensation in your body when you think about this belief in yourself. Where do you feel it in your body? What’s the physical sensation feels like? Now, this is your cue next time when you put yourself in a position of denial to deny your true self.

I feel as if I can’t breathe and I have to try very hard to get the air into my lung.

#10. Let’s take one more step. Write a letter to yourself and explain to yourself why you deserve to face this part of who you are. What are the disadvantages/limitations this avoidance put on you? Explain to yourself when you do not face this part of you, how it dictates or control your life.

I am leaving you to finish your letter. However, here is my reflection on this exercise. As I am reflecting on myself, I suddenly have an epiphany. I realized that my friend’s “complain” is her way to communicate her powerless to change the situation. At the same time, I am “powerless” to change her.

How did I realize that? I chose to leave the room because I believe in my responsibility for my own emotions. I am powerless in changing her, and as a result, the only power I have is to leave the room. As a result, it made me realize that the hardest thing for me to face about me is “powerless” and “lack of control.”

I also realized that I do want to be a supportive friend and I do want to believe my friend as a good person. I can be supportive (by active listening) and be responsible for me (leaving the room when I can’t take it anymore) at the same time. I don’t have to choose to pick either one.

So, if I were to write a letter to myself, I want to write a letter to tell me that I don’t have to feel shame or guilt when I feel I am powerless and not in control.

A Friendly Reminder:

This exercise might elicit different feelings that “feels like” hard to tolerate. If it brings up a lot of emotions that are hard to tolerate, talk to a friend or seek professional help. You might be on the verge to reconcile a very difficult memory or traumatic event. Don’t bury it away. On the other side of the fear is your courageous inner strength that is waiting for you to dig out.

Original Work:

Here is the link to the original novel of “13 reasons why”

Here is the link to the Netflix drama of “13 reasons why”

Resources:

Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network hotline 800-656-4673

National Suicide Prevention Hotline hotline 1-800-273-8255

13 Reasons Why series articles

From “13 Reasons Why” To “Facing Your Truth” — Prologue

From “13 Reasons Why” to “Facing Your Truth”— “Truth”

From “13 Reasons Why” to “Facing Your Truth” — “I don’t want to see my true self” (Part I)

From “13 Reasons Why” to “Facing Your Truth” — “I don’t want to see my true self” (Part 2)

From “13 Reasons Why” to “Facing Your Truth” — “I refuse to see it” (Part 1)

From “13 Reasons Why” to “Facing Your Truth” — “I refuse to see it” (Part 2)

From “13 Reasons Why” to “Facing Your Truth” – “It’s painful to see it.” (Part I)

From “13 Reasons Why” to “Facing Your Truth” – “It’s painful to see it.” (Part II)

From “13 Reasons Why” to “Facing Your Truth” — “I can face my pain now.” (Part I)

18 thoughts on “From “13 Reasons Why” to “Facing Your Truth” — “I refuse to see it” (Part 2)”

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