Updated: Sep 7
Long before I discovered any other form of self-care, therapy, escapism, or self-expression I turned to Music!
In times of intense Stress, beyond everyday moments, when reading failed and creativity was challenging, I always turned to music.
I listen to music and soak in the words to songs with the combining emotive atmosphere of the music that I connect to on a deeply emotional level.
Meatloaf's album Bat out of hell 2, has traveled my journey with me, his music started as my tiny hold on who I was and silent rebellion against my abuser, as I escaped and became a survivor Meatloaf's music became my strength, a reminder of the journey I traveled, that I am a survivor, not alone and I was proud of that.
Music has always had an emotional connection to moments in my life.
Moments recalled with ease because there was a musical connection.
I could always rely on music to express my emotion even before I discovered photography. It's fitting that a Song started this Survivors journey and my mini-campaign of awareness.
Martina Mcbride's song Concrete Angel inspired my Online presence and online peer support which later became @ATeenAngelsCry taken from the poem I wrote which "Concrete Angel" also inspired!
(can be triggering if you watch the video below)
I have songs that speak to me about my closest friends or remind me of moments shared together, that just makes me smile when I hear them and think of these friends and those days.
Like my obsession with Boyzone will always take me back to my last two years of school and those close friends that got me through the first two years living with the abusive bio father. I remember many discussions about Boyzone and whether Take That was better, one friend was as obsessed with Take That as I was with Boyzone. Another friend wrote a friendship journal quoting "love me for a reason". Can't help but smile!
Andrew Lloyd Webbers music and the Grease music will always take me back to my college years, where some very special friendships got me through the last two years living with the abusive bio father.
Individual songs like D.I.S.C.O that I sang with two friends together probably walking home from creative writing class or one of our get together at their Aunt's flat.
Then there's the Love song Cassette Album bought by a very dear friend for my birthday, 18th I believe, because he knew how much I was mad about love power ballads that started with Cyndi Lauper's True Colours. Never lost my love of that song, its carried meaning throughout my entire life as words to those I love and care about!
Like Celine Dion's song "I'm Alive" reminded me so much of my oldest Scottish friend and fellow Scrabble lover, that I have it as her ringtone.
Or Katy Perry's "Roar" that reminded me of the spark inside my dear friend and fellow reading addict, when our friendship was forged through rebelling against the toxic behaviors of my family she became perpetually entangled in. I remember sitting with her listening to the empowering sounds belting out and her knowing smile in agreement. We would talk about how she would seem to be quiet and non-confrontational, but there was a Roar deep down that I was privileged to see a couple of times and long to see again!
All through my life music has impacted me fundamentally!
Moments, as I dealt with the break-up of a young marriage and relationship that I was in when I escaped my abuser, coming to terms with the fact that it was not love, but just a cycle of toxic relationships. Cher's Believe was my empowering rebel music as I met my husband who I've been with almost 22 years.
I found my voice through musical activists like P!nk who was using her music to advocate for breastfeeding and rebelling social attitudes and norms at exactly the time I started to become more authentic in my parenting, listening to my children rather than the judgment around me and fighting to be my authentic self.
Her Song and the symbolic video Raise Your Glass, not only validated my activism but also the underdog in me. I became braver, standing my ground against other people's judgment including my toxic family.
Her song was so fundamental to my journey to becoming my authentic self and the start of my activism that her lyrics were tattooed on my chest with a mother and child Dolphin!
P!nk's music continued to come along in my life at the most timely and desperately needed times, as we struggled as a family, crisis after crisis from 2016 onwards after already battling countless life-altering crises!
The Lyrics of "What About Us" became our rebel voice screaming at the world, society, and more specifically our Toxic family we had begun no contact with and the half-a-decade-long legal crazy!
During the same period, the Greatest Showman released the music video "This is Me" which added to our authentic fighting activism and self-expression in more than words could possibly begin to explain.
It even spurred on my self-expression and self-discovery through self-portraiture. I created a self-portrait photoshoot while blasting the song on a loop, as I began to explore the therapeutic benefits of Photography.
Another musical discovery that really tore at the heart and soul of my life at the time was the group Disturbed, their music took your expression to the nitty-gritty dark truths of life that really needed to be seen!
The Sound of silence, as harrowing yet mirroring the raw honest truth my life was becoming..
Then P!nk did it again with her song "Walk Me Home", by this point I was utterly addicted to her music and my eldest daughter had talked about wanting to see her in concert. So for her 18th birthday and joint Christmas we got tickets to see P!nk live in Wembley freaking Stadium! Wembley Freaking stadium! The atmosphere was emotive, indescribable, and empowering! We will always have those hours dancing and singing with P!nk in Wembley then marching to the Train station to "Walk me Home"! Epic is an understatement!
Jess Glynne's Music came along at just the right time, the songs both speak my own feelings and my words to our brave oldest daughter.. (and to those loved ones going through shit!)
"Don't be so hard on yourself, no
Learn to forgive, learn to let go
Everyone trips, everyone falls
So don't be so hard on yourself, no"
"When all the tears are rolling down your face
And it feels like yours was the only heart to break
When you come back home and all the lights are out, ooh
And you're getting used to no one else being around
Oh, oh, I'll be there
When you need a little love, I got a little love to share
Yeah, I'm gonna, I'm gonna, I'm gonna come through
You'll never be alone, I'll be there for you"
As my activism, truth-seeking, and desperate hope to help others going through similar in their lives, I stumbled across songs like Sara Bareilles's "Brave" which I wish every survivor out there could hear and find the strength to show their "Brave". To every woman struggling with domestic abuse. To my close friends as they struggle through their own journeys, fighting to stay on top of this crazy-ass storm that is life! "Let me see your brave".. "Speak up" .. "say what you wanna say" .. "let the light in" ..
Another fight song, for the survivors, and my friends and family going through sh!t, is Disturbed again.. their song "The Light"
"Sometimes darkness can show you the light"
"Don't let hope become a memory"
Then as things get that extra bit crazier, as the world outside starts to level up on our personal crazy, then we battle conflict upon conflict, desperately trying to not lose the authenticity we are finally achieving, P!nk went and done it again with "all I know so Far"
Then Rag'n'bone Man and P!nk's recent sont "Anywhere but here" echos or family's current desperate need for a fresh start away from the memories of toxicity seeping through the cracks or this broken down home town no longer feeling like the forever home I thought it would be when we moved in!
As I explore music as an activist, I come across more artists with pure genuine raw honesty joining the nitty-gritty musical activism.
Again to all survivors and those loved ones going through sh!t, to our daughters and all the girls growing up in this world..You are worth it!
"She don't see her perfect, she don't understand she's worth it
Or that beauty goes deeper than the surface, oh, oh
So to all the girls that's hurting
Let me be your mirror, help you see a little bit clearer
The light that shines within
There's a hope that's waiting for you in the dark
You should know you're beautiful just the way you are
And you don't have to change a thing, the world could change its heart"
And just to top it all of, P!nk's music has been my go-to love song's for the past decade, the raw honest truth about love! Real equal love that brings out the best and worst in us all at once but we both always fight to be the best versions of ourselves for the other, fighting to shed ourselves from our learned toxic behaviors of the crazy place we grew from.
These are by far all the music that has shaped and molded the person I am now and the expression of my own authenticity will forever be explored through every artistic avenue, through my own artistry and that of those nitty-gritty others out there being a loud empowering voice in this crazy-ass world!