Oddly I haven't posted these before, though they were all 'pre-made' (back when I was 'therapizing'). Since most people I treated had neglect or some kind of abuse (emotional, physical or sexual) as a source for their difficulties, I came up with these tune collections. Music has a way of getting to blocked emotions easier than other methods, so they were suggested for those who needed an assist actually feeling what was necessary to process it. [They were also actually designed for two sides of a 90 minute cassette, so truly are "mix tapes".]
Music for Survivors - Tunes Specifically About Abuse/Recovery
It is believed that all of the lyrics in these songs were written specifically to address abuse survivorship, or the kinds of adaptations that come with post-abuse life. In addition, the moods and evoked emotions fit the range and intensity of feelings found with abuse survivors.
--- SIDE A ---
Nowhere to Stand k.d.lang
Initial facing of the pain, and the lifetime repetition of unhealed abuse.
Working Class Hero John Lennon
Examination of child-rearing practices' effects.
What's the Matter Here? 10,000 Maniacs
'Outsider's' view of child abuse.
Bad Wisdom Suzanne Vega
Appears to be about the 'discovery' of childhood sexual abuse. The "bad wisdom" may be premature sexualization. (The mother's 'cold' looks, and suspicion that the child instigated the contact, are discussed in the literature as being common reactions of adults to a child's revelations of abuse if the parent has not dealt with their own abuse history.)
Silent Legacy Melissa Etheridge
Jeremy Pearl Jam
Dance Without Sleeping Melissa Etheridge
'Action' addictions; compulsive behaviors to avoid feeling and confronting one's emotions.
Digging in the Dirt Peter Gabriel
Working for memory retrieval: with both pain and loneliness.
Ruins Melissa Etheridge
--- SIDE B ---
Outside Myself k.d.lang
Dissociation of feelings from experience. k.d. lang captures the intensity of this split perfectly.
Tears Nona Hendryx
Confusion over cognition versus emotion as the basis for decisions/life. The dissociation of thought and feeling, and confusion about which is 'real'.
Wash Me Clean k.d.lang
Survivors feeling 'dirty', with their body being something to be avoided and ignored, due to its seeming betrayal during abuse.
You Cause As Much Sorrow Sinead O'Connor
The intensity and durability of the pain from childhood abuse.
Precious Pain Melissa Etheridge
Acknowledgement that the holding to emotional pain (rather than working it through) keeps one trapped by it.
Love to Be Loved Peter Gabriel
The isolation of being a survivor (prior to establishing a close support system.)
Feel So Different Sinead O'Connor
Visions of You Jah Wobble's Invaders of the Heart
Keep It Precious Melissa Etheridge
Being able to put the abuse largely behind oneself; an appreciation for those who have been of help during healing; those that have been there to support the survivor in their need, but who were willing to encourage and allow the survivor to become and remain free.
Music for Survivors II - More Tunes Specifically About Abuse/Recovery
I Need You Eurythmics
Kiss That Frog Peter Gabriel
This tune evokes the surfacing of abuse memories; with a great deal of anger in the music. (While the tune appears to be about a male abuser 'prompting' a female victim to interact with his penis, the emotions of horror and anger at the event which are evoked can be the same for both male and female victims.) Note that at the end when the victim is finally coerced into touching him, "Kiss that frog - and you will meet your prince," that, half way through this line, when the kiss would be presumed to occur, that the voice turns into that of a frog: the abuser has been revealed as/transformed to an animal or beast.
Alive Pearl Jam
Dissociation of emotion or reactivity to one's life.
No Emotion Nona Hendryx
The desire/need to disconnect from one's emotions.
She's Leaving Home The Beatles
The Unforgiven Metallica
Regrets/sadness/anger over what was and what might have been.
Season of Hollow Soul k.d.lang
Depression surrounding abuse memories and the pain of healing. Included is a vague hope that it would all be worth it eventually.
I'm So Afraid Fleetwood Mac
I Want Your (Hands On Me) Sinead O'Connor
Sexual obsession; with the music, possibly violence-tinged sexuality.
Garden Pearl Jam
Blood Sings Suzanne Vega
The re-affirmation of one's being alive by seeing one's blood during self-injury (from the blood's viewpoint).
Enter Sandman Metallica
Fear of going to bed/sleep for survivors who were traumatized by night-time attacks.
Angry withdrawal from others. Despair: thoughts of suicide as a 'reasonable alternative' to the pain.
Sad But True Metallica
Release Pearl Jam
Place Your Hand Melissa Etheridge
Recovering healthy touch/sexuality following abuse.
Rearviewmirror Pearl Jam
EDIT: Something I forgot to include in this post is that each of the two mix tapes was designed to show one of the possible progressions of awareness and healing from abuse or neglect. In other words, the first tune (on each of the two 90-minute tapes the sequences were designed for) was the closest to having just realized that abuse or neglect was in one's past and caused disruption of one's behavior, and the last tune on each was the closest to being through with processing the traumas.