Jagged Little Pill was my soundtrack in the months after the break-up…
And I’m here to remind you
Of the mess you left when you went away
It’s not fair to deny me
Of the cross I bear that you gave to me
You, you, you oughta know
It was the worst, most destructive and abusive relationship of my life and it was finally over. So why didn’t I feel happier?
Well, there were certainly a few positive benefits to breaking up with Charlie*. I’d stopped crying every day for the first time in two years. That was a win. And the relief at being away from him was palpable.
But my overwhelming emotion, the one that refused to dissipate, was anger – at him for being an asshole and at myself for letting him treat me like shit. There was also bitterness. Bitterness that I’d allowed such a destructive situation to continue for two years and so casually dessimate my self-esteem along the way. I didn’t yet have the term ’emotional abuse’ to describe it. That realisation – that what had happened to me had a name – wouldn’t come for years.
In the immediate aftermath of kicking Charlie out of my life, all I had was blind fury.
Thank God for Alanis. She understood. One of the best parts of this break-up was my timing. It was 1995 and Jagged Little Pill had just been released. Alanis Morisette’s rage-fuelled album of vengeful anthems were empowering before that word was even part of the zeitgeist. It was almost a type of angry feminism and it felt great.
Jagged Little Pill was my soundtrack in the months after the break-up and Alanis was my solace. She was the only one who truly understood. I played it so much – especially in the car – it virtually embedded itself in my DNA. The shouty angst propelled me through the impossibly complicated tangle of my emotions and out the other side to fury, plain and simple.