Monday, July 16


I used to love and adore music. I grew up around music; my father sang and played multiple instruments, I had a folk upbringing being dragged from festival to music session to concert and back and one of my earliest memories is my mum, sister and I dancing like loons to Madonna on vinyl around the living room. I had my first teenage kiss at a gig. I spent my university days going to gigs constantly, standing in sweaty upstairs bars listening to the "next big thing" sipping rum and cokes and trying to rock a long shaggy fringe. I could dance til dawn with the best of them. I worked at music festivals and hung out at musicians parties. I was never without my iPod. Even for five minute journeys I slipped my headphones off and let myself fall into the world that transported me away. Music got me though some painful moments; though break ups, through let downs, through my father being desperately ill.

Then I had Wriggles and slightly lost the plot.

Music, once my saviour and emotional haven became something else. Music brought ever conceivable emotion out in me and heightened it all. It forced me to feel things I wasn't ready to feel. It made me connect to things I couldn't. It brought everything back, the good and the bad. It seemed to mock me with it's once-loved melodies whilst I sat there with tears streaming down my face.

So I stopped listening so much.

Music at baby groups made me cry. I have lost count of how many panic attacks I had listening to nursery rhymes or an acoustic guitar. Just when I had stuffed my feelings away and turned over a new leaf, it pushed them to the fore and I bit back howls.

My iPod collected dust. Sometimes I would dance to the radio on good days and Wriggles would giggle at me. I danced more and turned it up.

Instead, I sing nursery rhymes and children's songs. My own voice (tuneless, hardly musical) doesn't count and I can bellow my way through the day. As long as there is no more musical accompaniment other than a tambourine or a rattle, it's fine. 

Incy wincy spider climbed up the water spout...

And then the other night, I dug out an album I loved. As I put it on, the throat constricted and I welled off. But I didn't turn it off. It still hurt, but it also lifted my spirits to something which felt like ecstasy compared to lows of depression. It made me feel alive as a human being again, not just 100% a mother. Or maybe that should be 100% a mother which some added percentage of a person too. I still cry and it still hurts. There are many songs I can't listen too; songs that have no links or bearing with any of my experiences but for some reason still jog memories they have no association with prior.

I'm going to try though. Music is such a wonderful thing and I want Wriggles to grow up with the same fervour I did and hunger for songs and expression. Surely tears can't last forever. I am fed up of being scared and hurting.

An old favourite: Malcolm Middleton, Week Off

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