Sheet music

Anthems for Survivors of Narcissistic Abuse

Not every bad or toxic relationship, nor every song about heartbreak involves a personality disorder, but I’ve noticed that I relate much more to certain songs about love gone bad since escaping my narcissistic abuser.

I’d written before that most songs are love songs and after a breakup, every love song is about “her” (or “him” as the case may be), but after the trauma bond (or addiction) was broken, some songs were striking uncannily close to the mark.

A little over a year had passed since I’d had any contact with Tina and I was driving home from work when a pretty groovy extended version of Tainted Love by Soft Cell came on. The quintessential 80’s breakup song was a big hit and I think pretty much everyone likes it. I liked it, but never really gave much thought to it’s meaning. I remembered Tina singing it with a bunch of girls doing karaoke at a friend’s birthday party some years prior. Seems fitting.

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I found myself singing along as I flew down the highway in my mid-life convertible, speed creeping up and up as the volume of my own voice increased until I was singing at the top of my lungs, feeling every word.

“I love you though you hurt me so! Now I’m going to pack my things and go!” I pounded my fist against the night sky.

Fuck yeah! Get the hell out of there, guy!

Like I said, I liked the song, but now, I loved it.

While we were together, I sometimes called Tina my muse, because she did inspire a revival of creativity in me, both in good times and bad. So, it’s not at all difficult to imagine many a lyricist being moved to write about their  experiences with a narcissist.

There are a lot of songs that fit the bill. Besides Tainted Love, here are a couple more that I thought of as the beginning of a list. Please make your suggestions for songs to add to the list in the comments, below!

  • In the freestyle dance hit, Silent Morning, Noel Pagan asks, “why did your love have to be a lie?”
  • I’m Still Standing is Elton John’s powerful anthem for survivors of narcissistic abuse. Song meanings are usually open to interpretation by the listener, but the line, “You’ll wind up like the wreck you hide behind that mask you use” ties this inspirational ditty pretty directly to the pathology of narcissism.
  • I Don’t Care Anymore by Phil Collins is one I hadn’t linked to narcissism, but after a reader suggested it and I read the lyrics, it looked like a fitting addition to the list!

What other songs should be on the list? Leave a suggestion in the comments.

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