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Ask the Rock Doc: 
Sound Advice for a Song 
By psychologist Dr. Bruce L. Thiessen, aka Dr. BLT 
Rock Doc Theme Song

Some of the content in the correspondence and in some cases, the method of inquiry may be altered to protect the confidentiality of the inquiring party.

Dear Rock Doc:

I became familiar with your music through an internet site that tracks the top thirty download hits.  Then a friend told me you are a psychologist who has an advice column for musicians in distress.  I definitely fit under that category.  Most people in the United States, and in some parts of Europe know who I am so I would appreciate it that you go out of your way to protect the identity of writers.  Most of my young adult years were spent touring and recording records.  For a short period of time I was making more money than I knew what to do with.  Unlike many of my peers in the business, I did not end up getting addicted to drugs, although I must admit I did my share of experimenting.  My addiction has been to physically and mentally abusive men.  I am pretty clever about losing them so eventually, I was able to ditch every man who ever abused me.  Since I finally married an abusive man approximately three years ago, this has become much more difficult.  We had one child together, a baby boy, who is two.  We are already divorced, but that hasn’t stopped my husband from coming around, luring me back into the relationship, and then, after a period of peace and contentment, going into a violent rage and beating me.  So even though I’m no longer officially married, I suffer from what you might call the housewife blues.  Even though we are no longer married, he expects me to be the perfect housewife----barefoot, pregnant and by the stove constantly cooking and cleaning for him.  I have not become pregnant because I don’t want to bring another child into this mess, but I have tried in every other way to be the perfect housewife he has always expected me to be. 

I have a friend who tells me there are three sides to me-----the side that wants to be free, independent and on the road touring, with not a care in the world; the side of me that finds comfort in sick relationships in which I become completing dependent on men for my self-esteem, and the side of me that wants to have a normal, balanced life---the side that doesn’t want to run away, or hide in abusive relationships, but wants to get healthy.  The first two sides of me are very strong, but the third side is very weak.  Do you have any advice that will make the third side of me stronger?

Mrs. Jones, Mrs. Jones, Mrs. Jones
 

Dear Mrs. Jones:

If you’ve noticed, I called you Mrs. Jones only once, because regardless of the sense of being fragmented, you must acknowledge all sides of yourself before your third side can become stronger.  I hope you’ll also notice that you’ve asked if my advice will make your third side stronger.  My advice won’t, but perhaps your application of it will.  You say you’ve got the “housewife blues,” but why don’t you listen to these two songs back to back, and then tell me if you have the housewife blues, or something much more serious:

Housewife Blues
Words and music by Dr. BLT ©2006
http://www.drblt.net/music/wifeblues.mp3

Mrs. Jones, Mrs. Jones, Mrs. Jones
Words and music by Dr. BLT ©2006
http://www.drblt.net/music/MRSJones.mp3

If you ask me, you are suffering very deeply, much more deeply than the woman depicted in Housewife Blues.  Your suffering more closely approximates the type of deep, desperate suffering depicted in the second song, Mrs. Jones, Mrs. Jones, Mrs. Jones.  This second song is a very popular song, and I believe it has become so popular because it is a mirror that reflects the sentiments of many survivors of domestic violence.  So I ask you to use that song as a mirror, and as a means of getting beyond minimizing your suffering. 

The cycle of violence is addicting because the perpetrators are often charming, and can actually give the impression of being very warm and affectionate.  But they are so narcissistically absorbed in meeting what they believe to be their greatest needs, that they see you only as an extension of themselves, as a person placed on this earth to satisfy their desires and perceived needs.  Such individuals are capable of charm, but wholly incapable of what the apostle Paul talks about as agape love.  Although marriage often starts with a rush of emotion, with a flood of sexual desire, and with the heat of passion, for it to survive, passion-based love must evolve into agape love, a love that is enduring and a love that is unconditional.  Unconditional love has often been misunderstood to mean love that allows a person to be abused, neglected and tormented.  That is not love at all, but as you’ve correctly identified it---addiction. 

If you are not already seeing a psychologist, or therapist of some kind, I would urge you to do so----------hopefully with a Christian therapist who has had a lot of experiences in working with survivors of abusive relationships.  I prefer to use the term survivor because the “victim” label tends to reinforce the sense of helplessness that many survivors feel.  Even if you are not a Christian, I encourage you to see a Christian counselor, not because I want you to become a Christian (although I’m not saying I don’t), but that I believe that a a counselor or psychologist who has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ will be best equipped to bring out what you describe as that “third side” of you, while introducing you to agape love.  Agape love is something you probably never knew as a child.  You were likely a victim of abuse starting from a very young age.  Here’s a song that will help you get in touch with the abused child in you, and will help you cultivate a healthy respect and compassion for that inner abused child that you carry with you:

Through the Eyes of a Child
Words and music by Dr. BLT ©2006
http://www.drblt.net/music/eyez.mp3

Long term therapy combined with the mobilizing of a supportive network of friends who understand your struggle and are genuinely caring, and prayer (if you are a praying person) will help you break this self-destructive pattern.  Therapy should include both individual and group therapy, and when you finally find a man who knows how to love you the way you need to be loved, then the two of you may still require couples and/or family therapy to reinforce healthy ways of interacting.  You have a long road of recovery ahead of you, and I hate to bring out the old cliché, “one day at a time,” but as long as it rings the bell of truth so loudly and clearly, I will continue to rely on it. 

...one day at a time, sweet Jesus....that’s all I’m asking from you/show me the way, to do every day, what I have to do/yesterday’s gone/sweet Jesus/and tomorrow may never be mine/Lord give me the strength to face every day, one day at a time...

My new motto is one I also hope to turn into a cliché.  It’s an adaptation inspired by another person who took a beating, namely Rodney King:

WHY CAN’T WE ALL JUST GET A SONG?

I hope my songs have touched you, caused you to meaningfully reflect on your life and caused you to take action in a positive direction.  And I hope that my words of advice will lead you to a place of healing and personal growth.  God bless!

Dr. BLT, The Rock Doc

***If you are a musician in distress (or the parent of one) don’t hesitate to email me at drblt@drblt.com. 
 
 
 

Dr. BLT, aka Dr. Bruce L. Thiessen, is a Christ-centered licensed clinical psychologist and university instructor who specializes in the psychology of modern music.  He uses his original songs as well as those of other artists to address the problems of his patients, including his biggest, sickest, most challenging patient--society.

His face and name recognition, particularly with teens, comes from his short part on a long Cake music video--the Cake video for “Short Skirt/Long Jacket” that earned the band a nomination for Ground Breaking Music Video of the Year on the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards. 


 
 
 
 

 

 
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