The first I knew of Linkin Park came blaring down from my son’s bedroom around 15 years ago. I LOVED the sounds but never really listened to the words. Just over a month ago I heard about the suicide of the frontman Chester Bennington at 41 years old. I wanted to know more about him and why he would take his own life. I started by listening properly to the lyrics and I woke up to this man and his life. It resonated with SO many clients I have worked with over the years who have been through difficult childhoods and sexual abuse.
Bennington, in an early interview spoke about being sexually abused by an older male friend from 7 – 13 years of age. Typically, he was afraid to speak out because of his own fear of being accused of lying or being gay. The abuse and situation at home affected him so much that he felt the urge to kill people and run away. To comfort himself, he drew pictures and wrote poetry and songs. He did in time reveal the abuser’s identity to his father, but chose not to continue the case after he realized the abuser was a victim himself.
Clients have told me how affected they have been by his death but also how much he helped them when they were younger through the lyrics and his music.
I tried so hard
And got so far
But in the end
It doesn’t even matter
I had to fall
To lose it all
But in the end
It doesn’t even matter
In the End – Linkin Park
Reflects the sense of hopelessness and helplessness that stays from childhood to adulthood. Sexual abuse leads to low self-esteem and a real feeling that “I don’t matter”.
Crawling in my skin
These wounds, they will not heal
Fear is how I fall
Confusing what is realThere’s something inside me that pulls beneath the surface
This lack of self control I fear is never ending
I can’t seem
To find myself again
My walls are closing in
(Without a sense of confidence I’m convinced
That there’s just too much pressure to take)
I’ve felt this way before
So insecureCrawling – Linkin Park
I don’t know what’s worth fighting for
Or why I have to scream
I don’t know why I instigate
And say what I don’t mean
I don’t know how I got this way
I know it’s not alright
So I’m breaking the habit
I’m breaking the habit tonightClutching my cure
I tightly lock the door
I try to catch my breath again
I hurt much more
Than anytime before
I had no options left againBreaking the Habit – Linkin Park
When children aren’t living in safety and security they live in chaos. Boundaries are severely lacking so its hardly any wonder that many abused children end up as addicts, alcoholics or with bipolar disorder. Managing moods and emotions is a constant struggle.
The damage of abuse doesn’t go away, it stays within the soul and the core of the being, no matter how much work a person does on themselves nothing can truly heal the deep wounds that lie within the abused child.
Take me down to the river bend
Take me down to the fighting end
Wash the poison from off my skin
Show me how to be whole again
Fly me up on a silver wing
Past the black where the sirens sing
Warm me up in a nova’s glow
And drop me down to the dream below
‘Cause I’m only a crack in this castle of glass
Hardly anything there for you to see
For you to see
Of all the songs I’ve been listening to recently this one has touched me deeply. Another coping mechanism for abused children is to distance from the event by rising above it into another world. This can lead to disassociative identity order (split personalities). When people have been abused they put defences around themselves to protect them from being hurt again. This has can have huge effects on future relationships. A castle protects but a glass castle is fragile. The crack in the glass symbolises the way he saw himself to be “nothing” – not even a part of the glass, let alone the castle!
I didn’t know Chester but I feel his pain, I feel you Chester, I send you so much love and healing, wherever you are now, may you rest in eternal everlasting peace.
If you are reading this and have been, or are being abused listen to the lyrics of this man. It may help you to make sense of your own situation, your past and how to cope with your future
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