I’m going to be honest here. I’ve never been a Linkin Park fan. I’m not really familiar with their music at all. They came along at a time in my life when my music tastes had moved away from what I like to refer to as “new” Metal, and I just never had much cause to listen to it, or be familiar with the band at all. So this week, when the news broke about the death of their singer, Chester Bennington, it didn’t really even catch my attention.
Until someone tweeted about him being a survivor of child abuse.
That got my attention, again, not because I even know who he was, but because as I looked in to it more, and saw other survivors continue to tweet and post about their experiences with his music and words, I realized that the community of survivors had lost another voice. And though it wasn’t a voice I had heard from directly, I know that the loss of any voice is a loss for all of us, especially one as public as he was.
The fact of the matter is, Chester’s voice, like any other survivor voice, is a reminder that we are not alone as a survivor of child abuse. There are so, so many survivors out there. They are all around us, we just don’t know it because it’s not something we talk about in public spaces, at school, at the office, etc. When we struggle and when we are in pain, there are many others who are having the same struggle, or have had it and come through the other side of it. We need to hear those voices. As I’ve said many, many times, there are a fair number of survivors who cannot be public for one reason or another. Some for legal reasons, others for family or even professional reasons. Still others just because they haven’t found their voice yet. It’s incumbent on those of us who can to be those voices.
Now matter what you or I may think of Chester’s music, it’s sad when any survivor voices goes silent. It’s one less voice in the chorus that is the survivor community, and the only good that can come of that is if the loss somehow inspires other voices to come forward and fill that space.
I hope that all the people who were touched by Linkin Park’s music and lyrics can turn their loss in to a determination to let others survivors, and anyone else struggling with depression, addiction, etc. know that they are not alone. His voice may be gone, but the people it reached are still here, still hearing it in his music, and still able to share with one another their own voices.
I promise you, you are not alone.
Now go share that message with others. They deserve to know that they are not alone too.