A Girl Like Her: Suicide and Bully Awareness

a girl like herI remember when I was in high school my freshman through junior years I was severely depressed. I remember contemplating suicide quite frequently and replaying the emotionally abusive words I heard on a daily basis from my father. I even specifically remember writing “forget my name” on my hand one day and a few friends of mine and me got into a car accident with a drunk driver who pulled out in front of us. I remember coming in and out of consciousness as to what was going on around me as I was rushed to the doctor with blood pouring down my face. When I was fully aware of my surroundings and my head was all stitched up I remember thinking about the what ifs that could have happened in that accident. I remember thinking how little I would be missed if I had died.

Fast forward to tonight. I saw a movie show up in my Netflix suggestions called “A Girl Like Her.” It had great ratings so I decided to give it a go and see if it would peak my interests. The movie is about a high school girl who attempts to commit suicide and is filmed as if its a documentary. The girl’s mother comes in and find that she’s taken a bottle of pills and rushes her to the hospital where she is in a coma.

While the girl ironically named Jessica is in the hospital there is a camera crew filming students at her high school and asking them questions about Jessica and what had happened to her. What it all boils down to is a girl named Avery who had been bullying her. Avery denied ever talking to her or being friends of any sort with her in high school. Avery played off her part well until secret footage was leaked.

Jessica’s friend Brian had placed a tiny camera on Jessica so that she could record the bullying that was going on and show it to someone who could help her. However, Jessica ends up changing her mind and becoming too scared to tell or show the footage to anyone and even though scripted, watching the footage of the bullying made me so angry I couldn’t stand it. I can’t imagine ANY child going through what Jessica went through in the film. I wanted to scream and comfort her and cry all at once.

Subsequently, once word spreads that Avery is the cause of Jessica’s suicide, she becomes angry until the camera crew shows her the footage of her bullying. This is where the movie got even harder to watch. Jessica starts going into organ failure and Avery starts breaking down when she realizes what she’s done. Avery begs to have the footage turned off and sobs uncontrollably.

The scene changes to Avery creating an apology video for Jessica and explaining how sorry she was and how she didn’t have a chance to tell her any longer. She gives a heart felt apology and ends it with the realization and verbalization of the fact that she’s a bully. I’m not going to lie, this part made me cry. It made me remember those high school days when I felt it was better to be dead than to hear another insult from my father. It made me remember the nights I would think of self harming myself to deal with the pain. It made me realize how many teens out there today currently feel this way. It made my heart hurt for them. It made me want to reach out to all of them and tell them to hold on. That life gets better and that they are worth so much more than what they are feeling currently.

And so here I am with this post. To explain the impact a movie had on me. To make parents aware of how easy it is to emotionally abuse your children with words to the point they no longer want to live. To make teens aware that their everyday hatefulness is bullying and can cost someone their life that you can’t apologize for later. To make sure that everyone out there on the edge of life and death currently will choose life and know they are not alone. I don’t think the slogan “based on a million true stories” could be more accurate for a Girl Like Her and the message it holds.

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19 Comments

  1. June 17, 2016 / 9:34 am

    I didn’t know this was coming out, but really hope a lot of people see it. I always struggled with depression, and have been medicating for years. It hasn’t been until recently I’ve stopped, for my back to back pregnancies. It’s so important to raise awareness.

  2. June 17, 2016 / 10:23 am

    Wow what a strong message. It is important we are all aware the impact our words have on people. As the parent of two beautiful teen girls I sometimes think they have it all together. But kids are cruel and can make anyone a target for bullying. Thanks for the reminder.

  3. Kelli Kennon-Lane
    June 17, 2016 / 1:44 pm

    I work in education, and bullying is ironically both easy to spot and stop, and sometimes very hard to identify. Thank you for this post.

  4. June 17, 2016 / 2:12 pm

    I’m so glad this movie was made to educate people about bullying and show some of the tragic consequences. I hope parents watch this with their children. Everyone needs to see it.

  5. Natalie Z
    June 17, 2016 / 2:32 pm

    Our family suffer as well suicidal depression. Depression is one of those things that’s hard for people to understand staying stuff like snap out of it. I am happy when there are movies that touch on difficult subjects to help show others A different light. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Pam
    June 17, 2016 / 3:22 pm

    This sounds like a movie that deals with an important topic these days. Bullying is so common and it seems like some people don’t even realize the damage it can do.

  7. Heather Stone Brodbeck
    June 17, 2016 / 9:12 am

    I run an anti bullying support for the last 4 years, started it after my son was bullied and beaten so badly he had a stroke at the age of 12. We almost lost and I never wanted any family to go through want we did. I have done speaking engagements and this movie was done so well. I have talked with many teens who related to this movie as well. So sorry you went through school feeling no one might never remember your name, writing post and blogs like this your name will be remembered

    • June 17, 2016 / 10:17 pm

      Wow, a stroke? That is so terrible! Is your son doing okay now?

  8. June 17, 2016 / 5:25 pm

    I watched this movie last year. It actually kept me awake at night. The world we live in, is very disturbing at times. High school is hard.

  9. June 18, 2016 / 1:34 am

    Thank you for sharing your struggles, removing the taboo from depression and suicide has been a long road. I will have to watch this movie, it sounds like a very powerful film.
    Bella recently posted…Reel Awesome DadMy Profile

  10. June 18, 2016 / 1:36 am

    I saw this movie on my suggestions, I will have to check it out. Depression is something that so many people struggle with throughout their life but suicide is never the answer.
    Jennifer recently posted…Reel Awesome DadMy Profile

  11. June 18, 2016 / 1:55 am

    I have to watch this when it comes out, I am interested in hearing this story. It is sad there are so many bullying stories out there that end in suicide. So sad.
    Sarah recently posted…What are your #PetPeevesMy Profile

  12. June 18, 2016 / 1:56 am

    I am a sucker for a true story, I will admit this will hit me, it always does. I don’t do well when others are mean to others, and it’s sad that suicide has become a way out for so many who are bullied.
    brandy recently posted…Blended Family Poems for WeddingsMy Profile

  13. June 19, 2016 / 1:31 am

    Wow sounds like a very important movie. It is so said how mean people can be to others. I am glad that people are trying to raise awareness of such an important issue.

  14. Fi Ni Neachtain
    June 19, 2016 / 1:01 pm

    I’ll have to check this out as it’s not often you come across films, etc. that deal with such a real subject. I think suicide is a subject which has effected almost everyone.

  15. February 16, 2017 / 1:21 am

    It’s hard to find knowledgeable people on this topic, but you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

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