Saturday, 19 October 2013

The devil on my back...

Throughout my life there have been songs that I have connected with on a deeper level...you know, those songs that you put on repeat and scream your heart out to or dance around the living room losing your plot until you're all spent and can move no more. 

In my twenties it was "Survivor" by Destiny's Child. When I was post natally poorly it was "Numb" by Linkin Park (I even had the tattoo "more like me, less like you" written around my wrist to remind me how important those words were to me.)

Recently I've felt a deep connection to this...

Regrets collect like old friendsHere to relive your darkest momentsI can see no way, I can see no wayAnd all of the ghouls come out to play

And every demon wants his pound of fleshBut I like to keep some things to myselfI like to keep my issues strongIt's always darkest before the dawn

And I've been a fool and I've been blindI can never leave the past behindI can see no way, I can see no wayI'm always dragging that horse around

And our love is pastured such a mournful soundTonight I'm gonna bury that horse in the groundSo I like to keep my issues drawnBut it's always darkest before the dawn

Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, ooh woaaahShake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, ooh woaaahAnd it's hard to dance with a devil on your backSo shake him off, oh woah

I am done with my graceless heartSo tonight I'm gonna cut it out and then restartCause I like to keep my issues strongIt's always darkest before the dawn

And it's hard to dance with a devil on your backSo shake him off, oh woah

And it's hard to dance with a devil on your backAnd given half the chance would I take any of it backIt's a fine romance but it's left me so undoneIt's always darkest before the dawn

And I'm damned if I do and I'm damned if I don'tSo here's to drinks in the dark at the end of my ropeAnd I'm ready to suffer and I'm ready to hopeIt's a shot in the dark and right at my throatCause looking for heaven, found the devil in meLooking for heaven, found the devil in meWell what the hell I'm gonna let it happen to me

"Shake it out" Florence and the Machine.

Those are some of the lyrics and every word is so poignant to my families journey but most especially to me.

My regrets, my demons and their pounds of flesh, my ghouls, my past, my issues, my graceless heart....all those things that relate to where I was and who I had become. That heavy load that I carried round before and since the children were born. Those things that I linked with my children's diagnosis and the behaviour I exhibited after that. That horse that I burdened myself with. It is time to bury that in the ground.

Someone once said to me imagine every "issue" you have is placed in a box. Every box you have is placed in your arms. Now hug the ones you love? You can't. Unless you place those boxes at your feet and step past them to reach others in front of you.

The devil on your back. 

I don't believe this is a religious or moral tale. I believe she sings about the moment I have come to in my life. I can not dance with the weight of the world on my shoulders. I can not sing with toxins in my lungs. I can not be clear of mind when I'm playing out an old story. Looking for heaven you are always going to find the devil in you. Looking for the positive you will always see the negatives unless you just let life "happen to you".

My Lee gave me the soundest advise the other day. My plans had been messed up. Cody was off "sick" (in quotes because he actually wasn't sick at all!) and he was spoiling for a fight. Beating the crap out of me which always takes me to such a dark place. (read I blame the mother... to explain my reaction to the kids being physically rough with me) I was so beside myself for some reason that I wept all morning. When Lee comforted me we talked about my new mantra "pain is inevitable but suffering is optional" and how I could look at this moment and think, well yes things aren't good but I don't have to dwell on it. He looked me in the eye and gave me his very Buddhist take on that mantra. "Donna" he said, "shit happens".

Yes, yes it does. 

And so, I can carry that shit around with me and spend the day wailing like a banshee. Instead, I took my son out for a lovely bit of quality time. Jesse was at school so he had some perfect mommy and daddy time and he loved it. He was as good as gold. Beautiful day. And when we returned home and he launched his usual attack on me I decided to put down my issues and try to see what was "really" happening because sure as hell he isn't "really" trying to kill me. 

As he kicked against me, I pushed back on his feet and he went still. Still applying pressure to my hands and I pushing back. He grabbed at my skin so I held onto his hands tight as he tried to pull away and he lent right back into the stretch. As he pushed his face into mine I rubbed my skin against his. As he threw himself towards me I gave him a massive bear hug squeeze and together we interacted like this for 30 minutes. I wouldn't have last 5 before. Each time he started I ended up shouting and pushing him away. Because I didn't like it or because I saw something totally different to what was actually going on. It's not what happens to you that matters, it's your response that colours that moment.

He has needs that I couldn't address because I was letting the devil pull me back from him. All he needs, all he wants is some deep pressure but until I could shake it out of me I couldn't see the woods for the trees. Sometimes you do just have to let it happen to you.

Cody has taken to listening to music quite intently... his chosen song of obsession at the moment? 

"Shake it out" by Florence and the machine.... 





2 comments:

Sara said...

So well written if a little hard on yourself. You may struggle at times but you are an amazing mom. I think our past effects us more than we realise. I know this from trying to deal with my daughters self harming without facing the years of my own.

Michelle Daly said...

A beautifully written post Donna, but sad to think you were so distressed. I'm so pleased you got out of the house and enjoyed the day together. xx

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