Connections in Song
I’ve been trying something new recently. I’ve always known the key to feeling true, genuine and deep emotions could be found in artistic expression for me, particularly through music. I’ve always seen music in my head as a thing with shapes and edges, not just a sound, and somewhere in my psyche music and emotions have been fused together.
The attachment disorder I have doesn’t just affect my relationship with other people, but also the one I have with myself. I’m often very disconnected from who I am and I think it has a lot of influence on my ability to cope with things like pain and keeping myself at a distance from the not-so-lovely things I went through in childhood. I was pretty okay with being homeless for a long while and I was so young. My only fear was that someone would take me and trap me somewhere, in a world of drugs or prostitution, more specifically, as selling sex was about the last way I’d ever want to make money. Hell, I’d have paid people NOT to fuck me back then. Anyway, my point is that the attachment I did not have to myself or my life made the whole dissociation thing even easier to accomplish and I managed to get through a lot of damaging situations with little in the way of battle scars. The emotional impact wasn’t entirely lost on me though…it was in me, waiting. I was lucky enough to be pushed over the edge in my early 30s and was forced to sort a lot of that stuff out and I’m much better off for it in the end.
Music though….that was what I was thinking about when I started this post. I’ve always listened to music in my car where I can sing at top volume and not worry about other people being around. It’s not that I can’t sing well….I actually can and when I was in high school, I went to an arts institute where I majored in vocal. After a pause of homelessness, I finished and went onto college for musical theory and composition and I loved every moment of it. I have performed hundreds of times in front of people at concerts, in choirs, and solo…..I had to sing every day in class, working on different pieces and adjudicating others as they worked on theirs. I am not shy and I actually quite love to share my talent, however, the one thing that makes me shrink back into the corner and try to disappear into the wall is emotional exposure and when I sing, I have a hell of a time keeping that distance between me and what is around me. I mean, performance is one thing….if I’ve prepared and know I’ll be putting on a performance, I’m fine; it’s like giving a presentation at work or a public talk of some sort. All of my performance training kicks in and I’m confident, graceful, clear and comfortable with a crowd. If the music means something else to me and I’m expressing it because it’s making me feel something and carrying the emotions with it…..well I nearly go mute.
An example that springs to mind is once, a long while back, M and I were online together playing a MMORPG game that we passed time together with. There was some issue going on…some sort of emotional opening on M’s end and he asked me to sing to him. I had already gone way beyond my comfort zone that night; I had been open and providing…affectionate and as comforting as I knew how….but he wanted more. He maybe didn’t realize what he was asking me….that’s quite possible as he was rather self-focused and although he thought he knew me, he really just knew the version he had created in his head. He would go so far as to tell me that my reasons for getting the tattoos I did were not the real reasons….he informed me what they were and refused to believe he was not correct….he even re-diagnosed me and never let it go….right to the end he dismissed everything that was true and made up his own answers which he would then relentlessly beat me with, saying I was lying to him when I tried to correct him. It was exasperating beyond belief. Anyway…he likely didn’t realize what he was asking, but that wouldn’t have stopped him if he had. I tried to sing…even put on some music to make me feel more connected but Dayne was in the room watching TV and I was on a headset with M and it was just so raw and exposing and made me shake from head to toe…I couldn’t do it. I said no. M never let me live that down….he clung to it for years, making it sound like I had left him on the road to die carelessly.
“She wouldn’t even HUM a song for me. She was so selfish; she couldn’t be bothered to even hum a fucking song.” He would whine.
He brought it up every time we argued; posted it all over the internet anywhere he thought I might read. This one seriously got his kicks by hurting me.
Then there was the blow that got me years and years ago with Dayne. (Gosh the stories are just flowing today! I have to go further into the background for this one to make sense).
My ex-husband, Harry, was a short, super-hairy, overweight, beer swilling, immature, emotionally abusive dick and he treated me like his trophy the entire time we were together. I mistook it for flattery at first, as I was also very young and stupid, but it got old quick. One humiliating example of how he did this was when he would ask our friends what they thought of my body or various body parts.
“Hey, seriously, she’s got the best ass. Come here and feel it! Go ahead and give it a pat, I don’t mind!” he would say, trying to get one of our friends to check me out.
He would do that no matter who it was, even when the friend’s wife was in the room, staring at him horrified as he paraded me around like I was a prize milking cow at a county fair. It made me so uncomfortable but I was unwilling to embarrass him so I never said a word until later when our guests were gone. It always ended in a blow-out fight that took more energy than it was worth.
Of course, his favourite thing to do with me was spend time in the bedroom and I always put on a hell of a good show for him. He used to tell me that he didn’t deserve me and that he could just stare at me all day and never want for another woman in his life….ever. I would dance for him….I’d be all seductive and play the role perfectly. One thing he really liked was when I would sing along with the songs that were playing….it brought me closer to the surface and he could sense it.
When Dayne and I first began our relationship, I tried the old routines on him, of course. He liked them as much as Harry did but Dayne is a very different lover than any I’ve ever had in my life. He is almost completely selfless when it comes to bedroom fun. He would much rather seduce than be seduced, give than receive, make it a wonderful experience for his partner over himself. He doesn’t really seem to care about his own experience (of course, he enjoys himself too but that’s not the point for him…never has been). So, when I sang to him it made him uncomfortable. He said he already wanted me and didn’t need me to play it up. He wanted me transfixed and begging for more… It was very, very new to me and over the years; we’ve perfected this interplay to make it the best sex we’ve both ever known. ….however. When he turned me away like that, particularly the singing/music part, the rejection resonated through me for years. It felt like I had been crippled….I had no way to achieve the one thing I knew I was very good at and it made me less confident as a lover. I immediately took it to mean he didn’t like my singing and didn’t want to share in it or experience it again…ever. Years and years later we talked about it and cleared it all up, but the rejection hung like a black cloud over me for so long. I never really sang in front of him again. When M asked me to do so, that night, not only was he asking me to emotionally rip myself open for him, but also to do so in the same room where Dayne sat, and it was far more than I could handle.
Apparently, I still feel guilty about it though. Guilty that I couldn’t provide something to a person who was so cruel to me for the entire time I knew them. Something they didn’t deserve in the least. Guilty that I took Dayne’s actions as rejection when, really, he just wanted me to feel comfortable being me and wanted me to know I was more than enough without all the showmanship and slutty behaviour. He just wanted me.
So, I’ve started playing music in the bedroom at night when we crawl into bed. The feelings that I have locked so far away from me start to flow through my body while we lie there and I find myself sliding over to his side of the bed just to touch him. He loves it so much….I’m very much a stay-on-my-side-of-the-bed sleeper.
I’ve started playing music all the time, actually, and so many areas of my life that were gray and bleak feeling have sprung to live with colours and brilliance all around. I’m letting the music that constantly plays in my head out through my soul and it’s changing me; fixing me. It’s amazing to me that it was really in there all along.
I think I’m going to write a song this weekend. The thought just made my heart swell….so I know I’m on the right track, for once in my life. The freedom in that takes my breath away.
About GrainneMy name is Grainne. This blog has been with me for years now and has served as a journal, a confessional, an outlet and a place for me to create and express my love of life. Thank you for stopping by and for becoming a part of this life long journey of mine. I appreciate every single one of you who takes the time to do so. :)
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