Trent Reznor and Johnny Cash Get It

Johnny Cash became one of my heroes when he covered this Nine Inch Nails tune. It popped up on my iPod while I was on my way home from meeting with my therapist, discussing BPD in all its glory. Although I don’t feel in imminent danger of hurting myself today, I recognize that the person who wrote this song gets it and knows the pain and suffering that accompanies self-harm. I’m reprinting the lyrics here (Trent Reznor holds the copyright) because if you want to know how it feels, you should listen to either one or both versions of this song.

Hurt

I hurt myself today
To see if I still feel
I focus on the pain
The only thing that’s real
The needle tears a hole
The old familiar sting
Try to kill it all away
But I remember everything
What have I become?
My sweetest friend
Everyone I know
Goes away in the end
You could have it all
My empire of dirt
I will let you down
I will make you hurt
I wear my crown of shit
On my liar’s chair
Full of broken thoughts
I cannot repair
Beneath the stain of time
The feeling disappears
You are someone else
I am still right here
What have I become?
My sweetest friend
Everyone I know
Goes away in the end
You could have it all
My empire of dirt
I will let you down
I will make you hurt
If I could start again
A million miles away
I would keep myself
I would find a way

Why do I want you to understand? It’s the reason I write this blog and put it all out there for the world to see:

  1. If you feel the same way, know you’re not alone and there is help and hope.
  2. If you love someone who feels this way, know it’s not their fault and there is help and hope.

I’ve always maintained that there is no “purpose” behind this kind of suffering. No one chooses this because they want to learn something from it in this lifetime. But I can give my suffering meaning by using what happened to me to reach out to others, to help. Otherwise, it’s just a stupid shitload of pain. I don’t want my life to just be a stupid shitload of pain. I want it to mean something, to be useful, to help.

This is how I save all sentient beings.

Music

The first thing Brianna asks for when she gets home from school is food. “I’m hungry Mommy.” The second thing is “Can we listen to the girlfriend song?” The girlfriend song is the Pussycat Dolls “Don’t Cha”. Apparently, the album is one her teacher plays in the classroom at the daycare so the kids can freezedance, and now she knows that I have it on my iPod.

I have mixed feelings about my four-and-a-half-year-old dancing around singing “Don’t cha wish your girlfriend was hot like me? Don’t cha wish your girlfriend was a freak like me?” It seems a tad inappropriate, yet I don’t want to be a prude either. Pop culture is what it is. And as cute and amusing as it was the first time we saw her singing, it’s also reminiscent of Jon Benet looking far too sexy for her age.

But Brianna loves singing and dancing along with the album and I’m loathe to squash any appreciation for music shown by my child. What to do? Probably nothing—I’ll let her listen to the album and not make a big deal out it. It’s not bad for pop music and I’m secretly proud that my kid chose a nice funky R&B album to glom onto.

Okay, now she wants to go play Lego Star Wars on the PS2. With me.

My kid is pretty damn cool. :^)