Growing up in the 90s, I think there are a lot of us that think back or sing back to songs and realize that the lyrics are not what we remember.
We know the list can continue on and it doesn’t start or stop at the 90s, but you get the picture.
Taylor Swift recently released her song ME! featuring Brendon Urie of Panic! At The Disco and while I’m all about T.Swift back when she was crying on her guitar and laying around in a green dress, I’m less than thrilled with her the past few years and I know it’s because I actually listen to lyrics these days.
While it’s catchy, her lyrics have made popular the catch phrase a lot of those in abusive relationships have heard over and over again: You’ll never find another like me. I promise that nobody’s gonna love you like me.
As odd as it is to write down, this is something that I’ve been dealing with for a few years. Since before JP. Since before college.
And the past few weeks, I’ve been dealing with flashbacks from my teen years. It’s the first time in a long time that I’ve had any from that age. They don’t involve my mom, she was gone before then, but they still revolve around emotionally and physically abusive relationships.
I remember when sex wasn’t romantic, it was used for manipulation. I remember taking a lot of blame for poor anger management issues or low self-esteem. I remember thinking that the behavior wouldn’t last forever and it didn’t last forever, but it last for three years and that felt like forever.
I remember making excuses for their behavior – and mine – why I stayed, why I allowed myself to get treated the way they did – I didn’t think I deserved better. There were times I didn’t see it and other times it was so blatant. There are still times I feel undeserving, but I’m reminded that love doesn’t go out its way to hurt you or make you hurt yourself.
How did I get into this situation? How did I miss the start of it? How was I not strong enough? Those were questions I asked myself a lot.
There have been a lot of connections that I’ve been working on the past few months and it’s connecting childhood trauma to relationship dynamics as a teenager into adulthood. It’s messy – it’s scary. It’s embarrassing. It’s easier to write about it than say it out loud. The flashbacks are vivid and writing them down as I see them has helped me get through them and understand them better. Bringing my journal to therapy has helped me have better, less embarrassing talks with my therapist and with JP.
So when Swift says that she knows that she went psycho on the phone and that she’s a handful – I think back to being told I’m so sorry for grabbing you, I’m sorry that I screamed in your face, I’m sorry that I hit you, but you know I did it because you made me mad.
Do I think that many of Swift’s fans are going to see these words and think anything of them? Nope, not at all. Do I think Swift understands the weight of her words? Nope, not at all. I think she just knows what will sell and it’s catchy jingles and loud colors and someone who’s never had the privilege of being told those words with anger behind them.