I listen to music every day: while I’m walking to work in the morning, while I’m riding on the bus, while I’m working, while I’m walking about the neighborhood, and even while I’m at home working on other things. Music helps distract me when I need distraction. It helps keep me focused when I need to drown out whatever is going on in my head. Music is a big part of my life.
When I really take time and listen to the lyrics, there are some songs that resonate with me. I was sitting at my desk earlier today with my iTunes on shuffle, and P!nk’s Runaway started playing. I started really paying attention to the lyrics and I realized there were parts of it that so closely related to my earlier life.
I was just trying to be myself
You go your way, I’ll meet you in hell
All these secrets that I shouldn’t tell, I’ve got to run away
It’s hypocritical of you
Do as you say not as you do
I’ll never be your perfect girl
I’ve got to run away
I’m too young to be
But I’m too old to believe
All this hypocrisy
And I wonder
How long it’ll take them to see my bed is made
And I wonder
If I was a mistake
I might have nowhere left to go
But I know that I cannot go home
These voices trapped inside my head
Tell me to run before I’m dead
Chase the rainbows in my mind
And I will try to stay alive
Maybe the world will know my name
God won’t you help me run away!
Throughout my life, I tried to be a good daughter. It took me some time to realize that no matter what I did, I would never be good enough for my mother. She didn’t want me to be good enough, because that meant that some of the attention was taken from her. Narcissists don’t like that.
Secrets. I was tired of keeping secrets. I got to a point where I wanted to shout to the world exactly what I was going through, exactly the type of person my mother was. I started to, little by little. I was tired of staying silent. And that put me in a dangerous situation, because I was still living with the very person I was starting to speak out against.
When I talk about my journey to freedom, I sometimes (without thinking) refer to my new life in terms of running away from my old life. I’ll say “when I ran away from home”. People don’t really understand what I mean when I say that. I’m an adult. Adults don’t run away from home. They just come and go as they please.
Except I couldn’t. I was living in what was essentially a prison. When I left on July 10th, I ran away. At 29 years old, I ran away from home. I may have left out the front door, but that’s only because I was three stories up and had no other exit.
I wasn’t really 100% sure where I was going to end up, but I knew at that point that I had to leave. If I had stayed much longer, I would not be sitting here today. And I recognize that reality. So much was going on in the months before my escape. It was dangerous. It was a dangerous place to be. I knew when I ran out the front door that day, I could never go back.
I did not run away from life; I ran towards it. Those first 29 years and four months of my existence were not life.
I ran away so I could live.