The suitcase and the boxes on the front lawn. Parents and a mistress screaming. You hid in the front closet, the one they had locked you in for 2 days. This time you felt safe there.
(Another Suitcase in Another Hall, Sarah Brightman)
The ending of things with a lover, angry and shouted words and that terrible and awful silence when you’ve said too much and you can’t take it back.
(Maryland, Vonda Shepherd)
The moment that you realized your mother was never going to really love you unconditionally. Something in her compelled her to hurt you. She was driven to wound and you had to build a Fortress. With a Moat. And Archers. And a Dragon. Just to keep yourself safe.
(Who I am, Jessica Andrews)
The song that comes on when you are feeling scared and alone and unworthy. The song you hear every year on your birthday, that was playing in the gas station where you stopped the day you got married. The song you played over and over with your father, until your mother threatened to break the tape. Perhaps it is his way of saying he loves you still.
(Fishing in the Dark, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band)
That very first heart break in your life, the one you still remember, when it seems as if your heart is in a million pieces on the floor, shattered, bloody and utterly destroyed, and you do not have enough experience to know that you will survive this.
(Must have Been Love, Roxette)
The terrible death. The moments of silence after the phone call when all the oxygen leaves your lungs and all the stiffness leaves your spine. The days spent waiting for his body to come home. Trying to find some explanation. Realizing that sudden, tragic and young death will never have an explanation. He was gone. Your last words had been angry.
(All I want is You, U2)
The time you walked away from a relationship that was good, possibly close to perfect, because you knew that you would absolutely die of suffocation, trying to be the person he wanted to marry. It was a fantasy, another life that you tried to put on.
(He Thinks He’ll Keep Her, Mary Chapin Carpenter)
That moment in life where everything was perfect and filled with liquid gold sunshine. Where time stood still even as you heard the second hand of the clock ticking, knowing nothing gold can stay.
(Life in a Northern Town, The Dream Academy)
That time you fell head over heels in love with someone who wasn’t ever going to love you back. Utterly out of their league and you are too wise already to try.
(Damn, I wish I was your Lover, Sophie B. Hawkins)
The friend who just stopped talking to you. No words, no explanation. Not even a “fuck you”. Radio silence. For years. All of those shared memories, with no one to share them with.
(Rainy Days and Mondays, The Carpenters)
The last baby you lost. Perhaps no different than any other, but the realization that you just couldn’t do this any more. There was no pay off big enough for three years of sorrow. There would be no redemption to the years that the locusts ate. The years were just gone. (Stand Back Up, Sugarland)
When you have no words. Chalk and Cheese. He is Saturday Night and you are Sunday Afternoon. The gall of it is that you thought things were better. You were wrong. You realize that you are past hurt, past anger and all that is left is this horrific sadness and sense of failure.
( . . . )
There’s a playlist I have. It’s called Remember. Songs that I would never answer questions about, but people, circumstances, times I want to be able to go back to, at least occasionally. Places that I felt safe and loved in. Starting with a place where I was neither safe or loved. Remembered by a song that taught me early, all pain ends. You can survive anything.
Call in three months time and I’ll be fine, I know
Well maybe not that fine, but I’ll survive anyhow
I won’t recall the names and places of each sad occasion
But that’s no consolation here and now.
I’ll add another song when the sting is gone.