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Published February 17th, 2014 at 10:00 am EST/EDT
firesongblog

To read about Track 4, please visit the entry about “Buttons“.

This song pertains to a difficult subject, but it’s one that I really felt needed to be addressed.

Psychological abuse is a very real thing, though as with most invisible ailments, there are many who disregard it as being “all in your head”. …of course it is all in your head, and that’s the problem. Psychological abuse is someone deliberately pushing your buttons to manipulate you. It’s particularly insidious because on the outside, it looks as though the victim is overreacting when they go into meltdown mode. It transforms the victim into an overly-emotional, melodramatic drama queen, and the abuser into a victim. It can be difficult to explain to someone who’s never experienced it, and it’s almost impossible for someone to spot when they don’t know what it looks like.

It comes from a wide variety of sources. It comes from lovers, parents, friends, coworkers, employers, siblings. It has many faces. It has many means.

So I wanted to let the world know that yes, we are here. Yes, there are more of us than you realize. Yes, we need your love and support just as much as someone who was battered or sexually abused.

And I wanted to let the victims know that the abuse doesn’t have to define them. There is a way out of the sickness into a world not crippled by rot and infected by that evil. There does exist solid ground, and you can find your way to it. There is hope.

We are hard to see, but we are here. And more than that, we are here for you.

Hand-Me-Downs
Lyrics and music by Katt McConnell

               We’re hard to see,
                       but we’re here.
               We’re products of
                       mind games and fear.
               We are the hand-me-downs,
               Picked apart and broken down,
               And left to mend the pieces…
                       …of ourselves.

Oh, the marks, they don’t show,
But every one of us knows
They can be scratched open
       like a scab.

Injuries are hard to heal
When we question if they were ever real—
And it’s so hard to cope when
       so many don’t understand

That not all abuse leaves visible signs,
Not all injuries are of the physical kind.
It’s high time, even if the scars are old,
That the truth be told,
       So the world will know
               That

               We’re hard to see,
                       but we’re here.
               We’re products of
                       mind games and fear.
               We are the hand-me-downs,
               Picked apart and broken down,
               And left to mend the pieces…
                       …of ourselves.

Those of us who before have tried
To trust another in our lives
Now know trust never comes freely…
       it’s not a right.

For when our trust has been repaid
With lies, we can become their slaves—
The truth is always hardest to see
       by gaslight…

What from the outside seems like a normal conversation
Is really about control and manipulation.
They keep their victims under their thumb
So the realization can never come
       That we are not alone
               And that

               We’re hard to see,
                       but we’re here.
               We’re products of
                       mind games and fear.
               We are the hand-me-downs,
               Picked apart and broken down,
               And left to mend the pieces…
                       …of ourselves.

There are systems in place
Whose signs are hard to trace,
But their workings wind tight and bind
       just like chains.

They know our frailties
And make our true realities
And they reshape our minds,
       so that we will forever remain.

We don’t notice them when they have us ensnared,
We can’t get out to see how they’ve had us impaired,
They just consume us as a flame burns a wick,
And numb any thought that they might be sick,
       And they make it so
               That

               We’re hard to see,
                       but we’re here.
               We’re products of
                       mind games and fear.
               We are the hand-me-downs,
               Picked apart and broken down,
               And left to mend the pieces…
                       …of ourselves.

       This isn’t a subject many people will talk about.
       Some prefer to just pretend it’s not real.
       But I will sing, and if I have to, I will shout,
       If it means someone hurting can heal.

       Know loves, that you’re not alone…
       And know too that it can get better,

               For we may be hard to see,
                       but we’re here.
               We’ve ended the games
                       and stopped the fear.
               We may be hand-me-downs,
               But as we may, somehow we’ve found
               A way to pick up the pieces
                       of ourselves.



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