Trigger warning: Child Molestation. Sexual Assault.
Depending on when you started reading my work, you may or may not know that I used to do a segment on my site called “Music Monday”. Every Monday I would share my favorite music with all of you. I’ve never been very consistent on this site but I rarely missed a Music Monday. Last year, with no explanation, I stopped doing Music Monday posts.
Here’s the thing:
My mother’s family is extremely musical and I know that the seed for my love of my music was first planted as I sat in my grandparents’ living room in Mexico. It was there, surrounded by my uncles as they took turns singing different songs, that I found myself hypnotized by the music. There was one uncle in particular that I always gravitated towards. He was the youngest out of the ten. I spent most of my summers in his room as he played CD after CD and attempted to fill me with musical knowledge.
As hard as I try, I can’t quite remember when that all changed. I can’t seem to pinpoint when we went from innocently listening to music to the moment when he took advantage of my trust. I’ve spent many hours trying to find the moment, I’m not quite sure what I’ll do once I find it. Last year, in one particular therapy session is when I came to the realization that my love of music came from one of the people that I have feared for a better part of my life.
So I immediately recoiled and purged music from my system. I replaced my curated playlists on Spotify with podcasts. I took all the pictures from concerts down from my bedroom walls. I stopped Music Mondays. Coming to terms with that realization has been one of the most difficult things I’ve had to deal with. That was until another memory made its way to the forefront. That’s the thing, isn’t it? Unpacking trauma is infinitely layered.
My mother was innovative when it came to making me fluent in English and Spanish so on the days that I would spend in my uncle’s bedroom listening to music she would make me listen to the lyrics and, depending on the song, she would make me translate them to English or Spanish. The root of my love for music, has always been in the lyrics. Sure the melodies were great but it was always the words that I was falling in love with.
Trauma has as way of altering the way you remember your life. For months I could find no joy in the music that I listened to. I couldn’t bring myself to write about music, so I chose to focus on movies. Concerts brought momentary happiness but I was always left with the lowest concert-blues I had ever experienced. I kept connecting music to my trauma and the joy that I once felt was gone.
It’s taken a lot of work but I refuse to give credit to a predator for my love of music. My mother’s family (him excluded) were all responsible for the passion that I feel for music. My mother especially is the reason why I always find the beauty in the lyrics. I can’t promise that Music Mondays will officially be back, because I am still unpacking all of these feelings but trust me when I say; I am working very hard to re-fall in love with music.
I won’t dare give credit to a predator for my favorite thing about myself.
Here’s to unpacking trauma and healing from the things you swore would kill you.