It’s Music Monday (a meme started by The Tattooed Book Geek and I’m also joining in The Soundtrack of Your Life Challenge on Writing.com. Their prompt this week is ‘emotionally raw’. Which is actually pretty tough for me. Music is a huge part of my life. I associate numerous songs with different events and occasions, and far more with individual people. But I had a happy childhood, and I’m one of those people who tends to be fairly emotionally level – I don’t have massive highs and lows, particularly lows.
Which isn’t to say that my life has been perfect. It hasn’t. But when I think of ‘emotionally raw’, my first thought is grief, and I don’t actually have a lot of experience with grief. I’ve been very lucky. I’ve lost grandparents, but none of my immediate family or friends.
The next thing that comes to mind for ‘emotionally raw’ is heartache, and I haven’t had to cope with much of that either. I met my husband when I was 19. I have a song that reminds me of the boy I called my boyfriend for two weeks when I was 14. I have a few songs that remind me of my boyfriend from age 14-16. And a couple that remind me of the boy I dated from 16-17. But none of them broke my heart.
I was hurt by a boy when I was 18, because we decided we liked each other, but then before we even really had a chance to be boyfriend and girlfriend, he told me we couldn’t be because “the thought of holding my hand made him want to vomit”. Turns out it was an unfortunate choice of words and he was basically terrified of being in a relationship. Which made far more sense when he later came out as being gay. I do have a song that reminds me of how hurt and upset I was at the time, before any of the explanations came out. It’s called ‘Bastard’ by Kath Tait, and it’s a bitchy little folk song.
I suppose that was emotionally raw for me at the time. Looking back, it was so inconsequential, but at the time it destroyed me. Isn’t that stupid? I’d never been dumped, and to have this sweet Christian boy tell me that the thought of holding my hand made him want to vomit… I still don’t even really understand the depth of my reaction. I’d been bullied before. Teased, I guess, is how I would have phrased it at the time, but call a spade a spade and all that. I’d been teased a lot for my weight, even though I look back at photos of myself and wish I could convince the younger me that I just wasn’t as overweight as I thought I was. Just because I wasn’t twiggy skinny like so many of my classmates…
Anyway, I didn’t know this boy well. I’d met him at a Christian camp where we were both working as leaders. I was relatively new to the whole Christian lifestyle, not having grown up with it, and he was a friend of a friend. I’d been single for probably a year or a bit more. I hated being single. All that bullying had left me with little self confidence in my looks and body, despite having had two steady boyfriends right throughout high school. I hated being single mostly because I worried no one would ever want the me who I was on the outside. And part of hating being single was a desperation to be with someone…anyone. I had crushes on the stupidest people. Not stupid like they were morons, stupid in that they were totally wrong for me. Crushes for the sake of crushes, in the hope that one of them would like me back, and it didn’t really matter which one, so long as someone did. I guess I was seeking confirmation that someone could find me attractive. So then for this boy to turn around and say what he did…
I remember telling my flatmates, and out of everything, I distinctly remember Vanessa (she was sister to two of my flatmates and I can’t even remember why she was there that day) saying “Wait, he actually used the word vomit?” After that, I remember doing the dishes and cleaning the kitchen, which made my flatmates panic a little I think. I’m not very domesticated and for me to be voluntarily doing housework meant something was very wrong.
As I said, he was a friend of a friend, and one of my flatmates went to uni with his brother. They were talking about it, and as I understand it, the brother went home and said “You told her that the thought of holding her hand made you want to vomit?” and the guy realised how awful that sounded and rang me to apologise. We never spoke again, but my friends told me later that he came out as gay. It explained even more.
I don’t hold a grudge. He never meant to hurt my feelings, and it was such a non-relationship, it’s ridiculous that this isn’t the first time I’ve blogged about it. Does the memory still hurt me? No. Did it hurt me at the time? Yes.
You know, when I started this entry, I had no intention of writing about this incident or using that song. It’s not a great song. It made me laugh the first time I’d heard it, but it’s not a powerful or emotive song. But I’ve written quite a lot, so I guess this is what this week’s entry for Music Monday and Soundtrackers is going to be, huh? A bitchy little folk song for a boy who used an unfortunate turn of phrase to end a relationship that hadn’t even started yet, because he found himself in over his head and was trying to fix the situation before he got in any deeper.
You know what the worst of it is? I can’t even remember his name.