Shadowhunters' light has cut through the darkest times: Superfan Mary Kathryn Laprade peels back the layers
Shadowhunters made so much of what I was feeling daily go away or lessen. I used to be afraid to leave the house for anything. I was to scared to go work. I learned through the show a lot of strength and courage.
It has been the show Shadowhunters and its cast that have impacted my life. It has helped my entire family in two different situations.
Right after high school graduation my best friend of 10 years slipped into a deep depression and didn't tell anyone. I got a panicked call from his younger brother that something was wrong and could I please come help. I got into my car and went over to their house. You could hear loud music just driving up to their house. I ran in with his younger brother and into his bedroom. The door was locked so I banged on it and yelled his name. He told me to leave that he hated his life.
We begged him to open the door but he wouldn't. Then his little brother and myself both ran into door, it took three tries for it to bust open. We got in and he was sitting on his bed with one of his father's guns. I tried to talk him into putting the gun down or to hand it to me. He just looked at me with exhausted eyes and said sorry. Then he pulled the trigger.
I just remember screaming, his brother screaming and crying and also calling 911. I knew my friend was gone, his eyes were wide open and you could see blood everywhere and brain matter on the walls. Even though I knew he was gone I held him and held a blanket against the back of his head. I just rocked his body telling him it would be OK even though he was dead. We never found a note or anything saying why he committed suicide.
I developed PTSD, Major Depressive Disorder and Anxiety with panic attacks. I was put on eight different medications to help control all of those. I am still on them but also more since then. I also became suicidal and self-harming my arms. Anything to take the pain away. Shadowhunters made so much of what I was feeling daily go away or lessen. I used to be afraid to leave the house for anything. I was to scared to go work. I learned through the show a lot of strength and courage.
These characters were going through a lot of the same things I was. I could relate. I can't tell you how many times I have re-watched every episode. Especially when I am depressed. I'll watch the episode where Izzy was addicted to a certain substance. I saw what she was going through and it made me stronger. Made me put down drinking every night to cope, to stop self-harming.
However, that is not the biggest way this show and certain characters changed my family's lives. My younger sister Shaylyn is a lesbian, I had known for about three years or so. I always supported her and her girlfriend. She decided after watching the character Alec come out to everyone about her sexuality. She just had this positive attitude and we had a family dinner. Our parents, five of our siblings and our 92-year-old grandma were there. It was a wonderful dinner and Shay got us all to come to the living room. I knew what was happening so I just prayed silently for her. She just came out and said I am gay. I have been for almost five years. I was so proud of her right then. I don't know if I ever would have had the courage to do what she just did.
Things were tense, there was some anger. We put Shadowhunters on, Season 1 Episode 12 where Alec comes out. Everyone watched silently. We watched a few more episodes that showed Magnus and Alec's love for each other. How devoted they were to each other, that they could get through anything together. So a few weeks went by, we didn't hear from our folks. Then one day we all got invited over to a family dinner with a request that Shay bring her girlfriend. We all had dinner first then settled in the living room.
Everyone told Shay they loved her no matter what, that her choices were hers to make and they would always have her back. They accepted her girlfriend into the family. I think though the funniest thing in all of it has been my grandma. This wonderful 92-year-old lady who speaks her mind just came out and said why didn't the young men back in her day express themselves like Magnus. She loves everything about him. Our family has grown closer and we are looking forward to a June wedding next year!
The writer is an ardent Shadowhunters fan and a key member of the #SaveShadowhunters campaign.
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