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The Dragon Beside Me.

The Singer Who Helped Me To Find Myself Again.

By Carol TownendPublished 2 months ago 4 min read
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The Dragon Beside Me.
Photo by nour tayeh on Unsplash

My journey through pain started before I had heard of Christina Aguilera.

I was bullied through my childhood into my young adulthood. I walked into a relationship that I thought would work in 1993. I had a baby in 1994, and my relationship went seriously wrong.

It turned into domestic violence.

I thought I had it mapped out because the violence stopped until 1997; when I gave birth to a baby who was diagnosed prenatally with hydrocephalus, which is fluid on the brain.

I was scared. I had no idea what I was doing. The hospital had left me with very little support, and my relationship was becoming increasingly abusive.

I spiralled down a long, dark tunnel of mental health problems. I became a single parent shortly before my 2nd son turned one year old.

While I was trying to heal from the effects of domestic violence, I became vulnerable, leading me to become a victim of community violence

I fled the area I was living in. By 1998, I lived in many different hostels, which were not stable. I was stolen from and assaulted several times in front of my children.

I became unwell, and my children were taken from me by the local children's social services, who blamed me for not keeping them safe.

I felt low; I was disgusted with myself. I blamed myself for things I did not deserve the blame for.

I was beyond heartbroken for my children and myself. I hated who I was. In 1998 I was taken to St Marys Hospital in Scarborough. I had been on the streets for a while without support; I didn't know who I was when I arrived at the hospital.

I was severely underweight, and I kept passing out. I was scared of the staff and everybody who came near me.

I nearly died in my dorm after the staff neglected to check on me after I passed out for an entire day. Thanks to my now-husband Jonathan Townend, who was also a patient there. after a few weeks of fear, I managed to become very close friends with Jonathan, who showed me friendship and helped me to heal some of the trauma.

Jonathan married me two years after leaving the hospital. He was dealing with mental health problems left behind by brain cancer treatment at the time.

he has been by my side ever since.

The first song I heard by Christina Aguilera was 'Genie in a Bottle.'

It was 1999 when I first heard this song, and I was still in a battle with my heart and mental health.

I was fighting to accept my marriage because my heart was telling me this was going to go well, but the anxiety I felt in my body said I was going to get hurt again.

This song enabled me to understand I was deserving of love and I needed to be kind to myself.

Below is the video of 'Genie in a Bottle.'

Video courtesy of YouTube (Accessed by Author: Dated 28/02/2024)

After many years of happiness mixed with some excruciating moments; I sadly lost my children again. This time, it was due to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, brought on by a children's worker who kept throwing my past violent relationship in my face, and my husband's health had taken a turn for the worse because he had lost both of his remaining parents (his stepfather and his mother). He lost his mother in 2002 to cancer and then his stepfather to the same thing a few years afterwards.

At this time, as well as dealing with grief, my husband was having problems with the Tegretol medication he was taking due to his doctor being unable to regulate it properly. It caused many depressive symptoms, outbursts, and suicidal behaviours.

Please note: I have permission from Jonathan to mention him in this story.

By now, I was doing DBT Therapy and desperately fighting to get my children returned. I lost my children, but I did continue to fight to get well, and I saw them whenever I could.

Today, we have a healthy relationship with our children and between ourselves.

This final song enabled me to see my self-worth and continues to move me forward today. I identified myself through this song. I realised that I had to be strong for myself and my family.

Video courtesy of YouTube (Accessed by Author: Dated 28/02/2024)

Living with a tormenting past like mine isn't easy. Sometimes I didn't feel like living, but Christina's songs reminded me to push forward because my life is too precious to throw away.

She is 'the dragon beside me,' because her music sends me a strong message to never give up, or allow anyone to make me feel less than who I am.

I live through her music.

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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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  • L.C. Schäferabout a month ago

    Music is the best thing. So glad you found inspiration, and things got better for you.

  • This is inspiring Carol. It's great that in all the turmoil you found two sources of support in Jonathan and Christina Aguilera. Bravo to you for getting through the roughest parts of your life!!! I subscribed to you. I was actually surprised to see that I wasn't already subscribed to you.

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