Every once in a while you hear a song that gets right into your gut…and it shakes the emotions you’ve repressed for so long. Awakening the monster within that’s so familiar it actually brings with it a strange comfort. You’re reminded that no matter how wide your smile, how loud your laugh, or how fiercely you pretend the monster doesn’t exist – it does, and it’s never leaving.
But the same song that reminds you to keep running and never look back offers you the ammo to turn around and face the monster. To fight back and stop being a victim to its darkness. To scream like a warrior with black soot brushed along cheekbones. To raise your sword and defend the light left inside of you.
How does a stranger’s voice reach into your soul and clench the pain? How can they put into words exactly how you feel? Is it because maybe, just maybe, someone out there understands exactly what goes on inside of you when the crazy gets real? And it means that you’re not crazy. Sometimes you’re just raw – exposed – without skin. Any unintended harsh word or hurtful look from another is intensely painful. And someone out there understands this. They are singing it to you as you drive your car – the road gets slightly blurred as your eyes fill with tears.
When the song ends, you’re left feeling vulnerable, sad, validated, giddy, and raw all at the same time. A few minutes ago you were looking forward to barbeques and patio talk, clinking cutlery and the sound of summer fun – but it’s as though you’re waking up from a dream you’re fighting to remember and everything is a fog. Because the monster is awake – and you have to figure out how to fight it while smiling on the outside. It’s what being a wife and mother means sometimes: swallowing those feelings that need nurturing because you have to dig deep to find more of yourself to give to someone else.
It’s beautiful and ugly at the same time. Because it seems impossible that there is anything left. But somehow you find more and you’re able to find a breadcrumb of the woman you used to be and tuck it safely away.