Music that at first glance feels happy, circle spinning, low on substance, but high on fun has its time, place, and space in my never ending musical playlist. That said, music that at a second glance, aural glance that is, that throws a punch, tears the skin, and speaks some raw, honest truths, well that music tends to wind up in the “play me more” and “put me in a mix” part of my playlist. What can I say, I like to feel, and I can sometimes be what a good friend of mine refers to as an emotional cutter, meaning not so much that I am a supporter of self-harm (not a supporter, just a survivor, a fighter, and understander), but one that tends to scratch-scratch-scratch at things that often hurt because of their truths. Some pain demands to be felt, as an amazing book that I just read reminded me, and sometimes feeling it is not harmful to one’s self; sometimes it helps you feel less alone, and not so crazy.
Living with someone, and loving someone, with bipolar disorder changed who I am. It also took away attention from my issues, and threw me into this weird space of denial which felt worse than when I was a young girl trying to hide both the abuse I suffered at home and the mental and emotional issues I struggled with. In an unsaid battle of “who has the worse wound”, my husband won every time and he required all the attention and care. Add in his alcohol and drug addictions to the mix, well any troubles I had were forced into hiding. The only time – ONLY TIME – I ever allowed myself to feel myself, and my own baggage and neatly folded issues was when I listened to music. Certain music allowed me the space to let my pain out, albeit briefly, and helped me to feel momentarily held and understood. I needed to feel something, and I knew from my own past of self-harm (mentioned above) that letting myself bleed to a song was a much better choice than the alternative.
Though I am not in that situation anymore I still keep my issues tightly locked up. I do not necessarily mean to, but habit is hard to break, and a big part of me still feels like the things I struggle with are less important than other people’s struggle. So, it is still in music that I hide and release my feelings. I am that girl in tears behind the wheel of her car, on the freeway, not weeping over a break-up or other definable pain necessarily, some days it is just me allowing myself to feel.
With Passion Pit’s new album, Gossamer, I am doing a hell of a lot of that feeling, often while bouncing and bopping around while the tears fall. My two favorite tracks (so far), and the ones pulling at the core of me right now, are It’s Not My Fault, I’m Happy and I’ll Be Alright, the latter hitting very close to my heart, and not so distant past. This album is at first glance a destined to be Summer spun dance album, but at second glance something significantly more complex, full of moods and conflictions and marks that are not quite healed enough to be scars.
It’s Not My Fault, I’m Happy
I’ll Be Alright