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JLS Birmingham: 2023

The Most Emotional Concert Of My Life

By Carol TownendPublished 4 months ago 8 min read
JLS Birmingham: 2023
Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash


I have been to many concerts since I started my journey battling my fear of crowds, in order to do the one thing I loved doing for many years before I started battling PTSD

Get well enough to withstand a crowd, so I could start seeing my favorite bands.

I love so many different types of music, but one band that will stay with me forever is JLS.

I went with my husband to see this band at Utilita, Birmingham on the 27th of October 2023.

The concert opened with SHAB followed by Tinchy Stryder

Both were amazing, and they got me dancing in the crowd!

I was smiling, laughing, and dancing; then JLS came on stage.

If you and any of the band or singers heard a rumor about a lady who couldn't stop crying when JLS started singing; I'd like to confirm that those rumors are true, and that lady was me.

Here is my story...

I have been a fan of JLS since I first heard them sing on the XFactor

During that time I was going through a very serious emotional breakdown, after being thrown back on a healing journey from a severely abusive past that tore my family apart twice. First in 1997, and again in 2011.

In 1997, many of you who have read my past stories will know that I was thrown into a very deep emotional turmoil when I was trying to escape an abusive relatonship after the birth of my first son in 1994, and then I fell pregnant again in 1997; shortly after the second baby, I managed to escape. However, at the end of 1997, I found myself faced with more severe abuse which included continuous community violence, rape, break-ins, repeats of domestic violence, and more.

I lost my two children to the system; A system that ignored me and re-victimized me after I spoke out about the abuse.

A system that also abandoned me after my children were taken from me, and left me alone on the streets in Scarborough where I nearly died.

I was lucky to have had an ambulance and the police admit me to a psychiatric hospital where I was helped. If I hadn't, I would have died from malnutrition, dehydration, and mental health problems.

I was raped again two nights before my admission, and I miscarried whilst on the streets, and I didn't know it was happening. I crawled miles to a telephone box; and as I crawled, I also hurt my hands and made them bleed because I tried to dig up a previous baby that I lost.

I remarried in 1999 and I had four more children. I was happy until 2011 when the system decided to rehash the whole of my past which was previously closed by Leeds Combined Court

My past was rehashed in Bournemouth, where I still live. I won't go into all of it because I have spoken about this before, and I don't want to induce more trauma. However, to cut a long story short; My husband had brain damage left behind by cancer surgery on the brain when he was three years old, which caused many other problems which were ignored by the medical services and by the local authority. I, on the other hand. was desperately trying to support my husband and my children in severe housing circumstances because the local authority left us with no help when my two boys were returned to me, and after the landlord whom we rented from in Scarborough had previously died.

We got our council home in Bournemouth in 2010, and we had been left to struggle by the Local Authority up to then. It was during this time they started causing more problems for my family by throwing my past trauma in our faces, accusing us of lying; making our mental health problems worse.

They caused so much trauma, that I began reliving my bad experiences, and my previously stable relationship with my husband became more unstable because, at the same time, he was also dealing with the death of his Mother, and because they were brainwashing him into splitting with me by making me out to be the bad one, without ever looking at the evidence (which did exist) from my past trauma.

During this time I had been doing therapy again, but that wasn't enough for the authorities to return my children; though it gave them enough power to use mental stigma in order to get them removed via a court, and break my heart by adopting my youngest who was four years old.

JLS was a band that I plus my daughters and my youngest son loved singing and dancing to before my children were removed. They brought joy to my family.

Their songs also helped me through the emotional pain, and they still help me continue my journey today.

When JLS started singing on the stage, every song told my story of trauma, loss, grief, pain, and abuse, and how I had overcome that to get to the happy place where I am now.

Mixed within that story, is a story of love, hope, and joy. A story that always reminds me of the happiest times with my children, in the home, on holidays, Christmas past, Birthdays, dancing, singing, and playing games.

They always remind me of a family who had some deep difficulties, who were also full of love, strength, and joy; that we were a caring family who deserved to be supported rather than destroyed in the way that we were.

They also reminded me of my youngest son who I was very close to, and who loved to sing the songs of JLS with me.

My whole story came to life, like a movie through every single JLS song sung. I could see it all in front of me whilst listening to them.

It was deeply emotional, joyful, and sad at the same time. However, this band has been with me during the worst times of my life, and during the best.

Going to see JLS was my way of saying thank you for reminding me that I need to live, no matter how hard it has been; because there are still people in my life who love me, and my children still need me, no matter where they are.

Some songs made me dance, even with tears in my eyes, while others made me cry.

I cried through most of the show:

1. Because I had finally managed to see this amazing band who reminded me that my life was worth living despite the pain.

2. Because the band had reminded me of how much strength, love, and courage I had today, despite my heartbreaking past.

3. Because they also reminded me that family, no matter how far or near is always worth fighting for.

4. Because I have loved this band from the very beginning of their own journey too.

5. Because I dedicated so many of their songs to my children and my husband, including the one below.

Video courtsey of Youtube: Accessed by Author, 31/10/2023

There were so many memories at this concert, and I had many problems controlling my tears which were of pain, joy, happiness, sadness, and love. However, this was the best concert of my life and I enjoyed every second of being in JLS's presence.

I cried more tears just before the concert when I found out that I was pregnant with a much-wanted baby the day before the concert. I have been in tears since the concert too, and I have played the songs over and over again.

I have been trying for many years, and I am now 47 so it was unexpected!

I called the services for advice before I planned this baby, and I checked with my doctor to make sure I was both physically and mentally safe to go ahead with it.

Both said that I was now in a position to do so, and despite my horrible past; we are looking forward to being proud parents of the baby we have dubbed,

'The JLS baby!'

The only downside is that we are a little scared because we have had a few miscarriages leading to this baby.

We have our fingers crossed, and we have a surprise but we will wait until the baby is born to tell you.


It is rare that a concert can cause a tidal wave of tears in me like this one. Sometimes, songs can break us, make us smile, remember, and heal us all at the same time.

This concert made me realize that my past has strengthened me, despite the trauma.

I want JLS to know my healing does not stop here...

My husband is writing a book about our past, and he will be talking more deeply with me about the trauma, and how music has helped me to get through it. JLS is a band we are hoping to contact and feature along with many others. This is a special book because it enables me to close the door on the pain and heal further. I have made a lot of progress in my healing, but I couldn't have done that without my favorite bands and singers who have played an amazing part in my journey without even knowing it.

Thank you JLS for helping me to realize that I have the strength to keep going.

You are all amazing!


About the Creator

Carol Townend

Fiction, Horror, Sex, Love, Mental Health, Children's fiction and more. You'll find many stories in my profile. I don't believe in sticking with one Niche! I write, but I also read a lot too.

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Comments (3)

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  • Naveed 4 months ago

    I really enjoyed reading your story about your journey to healing and how music has helped you along the way.

  • Kageno Hoshino4 months ago

    Nice Article

  • This Article is an Amazing Journey of Growth♥️💯🎸✌️📝😉Thank You for Sharing❗

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