David and I sometimes listen to different types of music on Alexa. For a while, when my child parts needed a lot of soothing at night, we would play a lullaby station for about an hour before bed every night. When the cats are stressed, we put on music for cats or classical music. And, David and I listen to classic rock and other types of music when we are cooking and/or taking care of the cats.
We’ve tried a lot of different kinds of music, especially because David and I have some different tastes in music. For example, I really love to listen to 90s and 2000s hip hop, and some 80s music. I grew up listening to grunge and R&B in the 90s. But, David really doesn’t like R&B at all. We still listen to it though. David likes show tunes, but a different style of them than I do. He’s more into 40s/50s show tunes, maybe more jazz pieces, and Disney, where I am into musicals like the Phantom and more operatic pieces. I’ve seen the Phantom (Phantom of the Opera) at the London Opera House and love watching Operas (and singing Opera too).
Some of my favorite music of all time is from the Phantom. I was pretty obsessed with it from as early as I can remember being introduced to it. Me and my choir friends were so into it in high school that when we toured England, we went out of our way to see it, despite our busy schedule. In early sobriety, before I felt fully comfortable in AA and still had a lot of friends from high school (my abusive ex-boyfriend from AA used AA as a way to isolate me starting in my second year sobriety), I would just watch through the movie and sing along, and even bought a song book of all of the songs in the Phantom, which I would sing through all of the time. I had most of the songs memorized, and it was my dream in life to sing Christine in the Phantom in front of thousands of people.
But, that dream never came to pass. I was insecure about my voice, especially because I knew that I had some memory loss when it came to my musical abilities. This grew worse over time, and I lost the perfect pitch that I had always known. Plus, my voice has not been strong enough to hit the high notes that I know that I can (or potentially could) ever since my physical health started falling apart in 2014/2015. I think, too, that much of the time I just don’t have the energy anymore to sing Coloratura Soprano like I once did.
Still, I love to sing songs from the Phantom when I can, although I don’t sing as much as I would like because I don’t like experiencing the fact that I have issues singing these days. Sometimes, it just causes too much pain. Because of this, I’ve actually avoided even watching the Phantom for the last few years. It’s hard to be reminded of what you lost due to other people’s mistreatment of you and all that this led to (for me).
Last night, for some reason, I decided that I wanted to sing along to songs from the Phantom anyways. So, we found a channel on Alexa for Andrew Lloyd Webber music. David and I were listening to it together, and I heard songs from all of these musicals that I once loved but had completely forgotten about during my time in AA. As I listened, all of these lost memories of my childhood, including high school, started to flood back to me. It was pretty great!
Then a song came on that neither David and I recognized. I listened to the lyrics, and the man singing was talking about Christine, who is the female lead in the Phantom. Then I thought, boy, this sounds very Phantom-esque.
I saw the name of the musical on Alexa: Love Never Dies. I looked it up, and it turns out that it is a sequel to the Phantom that was released in 2010! All of a sudden, my mind just blew, and it felt too like I was catapulted into the present and out of denial pretty much immediately. I started wondering, “How the heck did I miss that?” “How did this happen?” “Have I really been missing out on stuff like this for that many years? And the answers are, yes I have been. I was so overly-involved in AA and isolated by it, and my abusive boyfriends and sponsors, that I completely missed something that for me (nerdily enough) is like life-changing. So, of course realizing that it took me 9 years to even know about this musical is life-changing and eye-opening to the extreme.
Then I started wondering, “But really. How did this happen?” So I thought back to my time in AA, and all of the hundreds if not thousands of people I had met there. I realized that during my time there, I had not met one person who was a true drama and choir nerd like I am. Not one. And for some reason, I didn’t find this strange, or even notice, because in AA you are encouraged to look for the similarities, not the differences, and that we are all alike due to this or that. But last night I realized that wow, I really didn’t fit in at all in AA. Why was I hanging around all of these people that had nothing in common? Because AA told me that I would drink and die if I didn’t.
But the thing is that I left AA over two years ago and have not drank or died, or anything like that. All of those scary things have not come true. In fact, my life is 100 times better since leaving AA.
Still, I look back at my time in there and think, “What was I doing wasting my life away in AA?” The truth is that I was brainwashed by AA in many ways, and could not see clearly until about this until I started to lessen my involvement in meetings and the people in it. I don’t have many friends though these days because pretty much all of them were in AA by the time that I left. I lost the majority of my other friends because of it.
So, today, we are going to watch this new (to me) sequel of the Phantom of the Opera. I have not been this excited about anything for years. It’s like somehow, this one thing has finally just lifted me up and out of the funk that I have been in. And, because of it, I cannot deny the impact that AA and the abuse that I went through has had on my life. And I also feel, too, like I can no longer deny the fact that I have Dissociative Identity Disorder and that I went through severe childhood abuse. What this tells me too is that music really is my true love in life.
I’ve been looking back at my childhood lately and remembering all of the music, and the drama, and the wonder of it all. My mom was actually a drama teacher to the musician Aaron English and to Josh Lucas, who is the lead actor on Sweet Home Alabama. I knew Josh, and used to tease him all of the time. And, Aaron lived down the street from me and used to baby sit us. These two men and their friends, some of whom also went on to become famous in the film industry, shaped my world and brought me great joy during my troubled childhood. Because of Aaron, and his friends, as well as some family members, my world was opened to music and drama from a very young age. And it gave me a chance in life.
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