I have a few songs whose lyrics have really helped me feel less alone in my journey towards recovery from abuse. 

I had an abusive childhood (sexual, physical and emotional) involving all those around me. I now struggle with C-PTSD and developmental trauma. I knew nothing of life outside of the abuse, so it is not surprising that my first husband was abusive. We met when I was fourteen at school orchestra, I play the violin and he the trumpet. We followed each other through college and married when I was 21 years old. No-one else wanted anything to do with me and here was someone who cared, so on a pedestal he went; my knight in shining armour! I owed him my life, without him there was no reason to live. 

When I was 28, my husband told me he had fallen in love with someone else. We went to a relationship counsellor to help us work out for sure whether we should separate. At the start of the second session she turned to me and asked how I was. Just as I was about to answer, she suggested that I not look at my husband when answering, but only towards her. And I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t say something as simple as how I was to anyone, not without checking my answer was OK with my husband. I was literally frozen, unable to speak my truth. 

I learnt a huge amount about myself and my relationship with my husband over the next few weeks, months, years and during that time I came across this song – or did it hunt me out? Either way, it was of huge comfort as I knew that others had been in the same place as I was currently crawling myself out of, others knew what I was going through. 

The Moment of Truth Thunder

I spent a long time thinking about what you meant to me
And I’ve decided I was wrong

You weren’t that knight in shining armour, you were my controller, my keeper. I thought you were there for ME, but you just wanted me to be there only for YOU, no matter what harm that did to me. You took me out of the frying pan and threw me in to this fire. 

I fooled myself, thinking it was how it’s supposed to be
I should’ve known it all along

I truly thought this was how it was supposed to be, you were the same to me as my Dad was to my Mum. All I had to do was love you. I didn’t know any different, but I should’ve – all women should know that they do not have to put up with any abuse; it is their right.

Now I don’t want to fight about it no more
It was all so clear to me, when I walked out the door

I don’t want this anymore, suddenly I realise that I can have a life, a happy life, where I can be me, a life where I am not put down, shouted at or controlled and so I was the one that asked for the divorce. I had to break free, I had to make the most terrifying decision of my life; I had to leave. 

Loving you is life fire, but I’m tired of getting burned
It’s been a long time coming baby,
But the tables just got turned

Boy, have they turned. I thought you were my knight, but you were my destroyer. 

cause you swallowed up my soul
And you wasted all my youth
The time has come to face it, it’s the moment of truth

You destroyed what little my family had left of me and now the time has come for me to find myself and be who I am supposed to have been all along. 

I’m amazed I let you do the things you did to me
But they say that love is blind
Now my ball and chain has melted away
And I feel 10 feet tall today

I’m not sure it was love – more infatuation, I couldn’t understand why anyone wanted to be with me, so I had to do all I could to keep that. It still amazes me to this day – many years later, at what I allowed; I know that no-one will ever get the chance to do that ever again. I stand proud and tall, free from those chains I wore for so many years. 

cause I’ve stolen back my mind, oh baby
I should’ve realized it years before
But now my satisfaction’s guaranteed,
Without you that’s for sure

Well, ain’t that the truth!! I’ve taken back what is mine, without you I am whole.

Loving you is life fire, but I’m tired of getting burned
It’s been a long time coming baby,
But the tables just got turned
cause you swallowed up my soul
And you wasted all my youth
The time has come to face it, it’s the moment of truth

 I deserved better than this abusive world, it took me 14 years to realise that I was better without you; my life could only belong to me without you in it.

I hope others get as much from these lyrics as I do. No-one deserves to be abused, no-one deserves to have their true essence crushed. Many of the lyrics to Thunder songs are amazing – another I love is Better Man ???? 

Bernadette Troth

I want to thank Bernadette for writing this post and for sharing so willingly, songs are a big part of my recovery and I can relate to this article for that reason. Bernadette was also one of the survivors who spoke out in Clipped Wings so its a delight to have another piece of writing after that publication, check out Clipped Wings here.

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