‘If I Didn’t Mind’ – The Reasons That I Do Mind And Why I Need To…

If you’re the kind of person that just likes to listen and decide for yourself what a song is about, or you don’t care about lyrics and you don’t care to know, then I suggest you don’t read on. This is for those of you who pour over lyric books and have questions about “why this line says this”.

My intention here is to provide a bit of wider context for this song but it’s not for the faint hearted…

 Lyrics:

You’ve got your problems
But I’m the one that needs to change
You’re so angry
But I’m the one that’s acting strangely
You don’t speak clearly
But I’m not hearing you right
And I’m the only person fighting in this fight

 
It would all be fine
If I didn’t mind
Everything would be alright
If I didn’t mind
If I just didn’t mind
 
You say you’ve got feelings
But you don’t want to talk
You’ll only concede
When you know I’m gonna walk
I’ve never known frustration like this in my life
Cos only you use silence like others use a knife
 
It would all be fine
If I didn’t mind
Everything would be alright
If I didn’t mind
If I just didn’t mind
 
You won’t give me words that I could use to feel ok
You’d rather swallow them all than give any away
I know you’re going to starve me until I waste away
You’ve always pushed me further to try to make me stay
 
It would all be fine
If I didn’t mind
Everything would be alright
If I didn’t mind
If I just didn’t mind

This song is about emotional and psychological abuse by gaslighting and passive aggression. It’s about the distortion of reality and how the blame is shifted on to the victim silently and seemingly imperceptibly. Realising this is key to escaping it and being able to articulate clearly what it is that’s happening goes some way to resolving it internally.

The nature of passive aggression is such that its difficulty to pinpoint gives it a deniability. Complaining about the virtually imperceptible micro-aggressions makes you look crazy, as each one taken on their own looks innocuous. And you cannot prove the absence of something, the absence of kindness, approval or encouragement.

It is a slow death by a thousand slights, a crushing, cloying, cold and suffocating strangling in silence.

You’re led to believe that your response to this behaviour is the issue, that your reaction comes from nowhere, an anger with no basis in the other persons action.

I thought for a good few years that I must be negative, paranoid, too highly strung and with an anger management problem. It turned out as soon as I ceased interacting with this person my anger and confusion receded and has all but disappeared now he isn’t in my life.

This song is my documentation of a toxic and dysfunctional dynamic. To redefine the hijacked narrative because its power is its silence.

Lyrically it started life as a poem I began to write as an attempt to explain what was happening to me, the first line I had for this song came from this section of the poem

I have tried to leave this house 
So many times
I have nudged every window 
Climbed down the drainpipe 
Only to find you in the garden brandishing a silent knife 
Ready to twist my words to mince
 

The image of the ‘silent knife’ became – ‘Only you use silence like others use a knife’ . The rest grew out from there. The title/chorus ‘If I Didn’t Mind’ hinges on the idea that it is my reaction being characterised as the only problem. My attempt to refute muttered slights, or confront disparaging subtext was seen as confrontational, combative trouble making. Many times being accused of making something out of nothing but it didn’t feel like nothing to me, it wasn’t nothing to me, it wasn’t meant to be nothing to me, it was specifically intended to hurt me. To wound me and erode my confidence so I wouldn’t be strong enough to leave. The verse is made up of pairs of conflicting statements which encapsulates the psychological technique of gaslighting, where the antagonist projects their bad behaviour, anger and deception onto the protagonist invisibly.

You don’t speak clearly but I’m not hearing you right…’

My hope in writing this song was that I could define what was happening to me. I could give a concrete reality to myself amidst all the mythology I was being made complicit in. To take a mirror to my gaslighter and say “this is what you’re doing to me, it’s real, I can see it, I can explain it, so now it exists and you cannot convince me that it doesn’t anymore, fuck you, goodbye.”

So I did warn you! Thanks for making it this far, sorry it’s been a bit heavy but you know, it was. Don’t worry about me though I’m ok now, I lived to tell the tale and that’s what I’m doing.

If you’ve enjoyed this wider context I’ll be releasing a lyric book with extra info for each song (not all as dark as this one) with the ‘In All Weather’ album. It will be available to preorder on Bandcamp soon. Preorder the album here

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