Adolescent Boys' Use of Emo Music as Their Healing Lament Author(s): Aaron P.

Anastasi Reviewed work(s): Source: Journal of Religion and Health, Vol. 44, No. 3 (Fall, 2005), pp. 303-319 Published by: Springer Stable URL: . Accessed: 09/01/2012 22:15
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boys which should be like. They desperately seek love and acceptance but it. Correspondence to aaronanastasidaol. experience to adolescent Janet Sasson Edgette. connection.3 crying in this position. is a graduate of Princeton and works at Allentown Presbyterian Church as the High School Youth Music Director in AUentown. to this silent but few allowing KEY WORDS: music. but first they must have language suffering to psychologist and opportunity for this expression. Dreams experiences suffering. adolescents find themselves Many They have an intense need to feel loved and accepted. Adolescents to attain often lack the means need to express their pain and in order for healing to take place.1007/sl0943-005-5467-9 Adolescent Emo Healing Music Use Boys* as Their Lament of AARON P. Vol. Anastasi. for a sense of belonging. No." including a man. everyone no outlet and pain is held for expressing inside. and eventually is what says Pollack. While there out in desperation. M. NJ. suffering."4 The "Boy Code. Life is difficult. 44. him to connect with God. ANASTASI ABSTRACT: or continue a process Emo music is one avenue God can begin of which through and understanding. pastoral psychologist in particular adolescents this at a deep and painful level. This silence may rages inside. suffering. Aaron P. American adolescents According therapist are suffering from a desperate need for connectedness.Div. disconnection. hopes are shattered.2 Nouwen. Theological Seminary currently 303 G 2005 Blanton-Peale Institute . are many types and levels of suf are lost. are raised to think a boy. Emo music for the suffering individual bring awareness can to think about and develop to describe In some cases. Having pain and heartache be worse than the suffering itself. to found through God can use songs of lament connectedness. muted. Fall 2005 (? 2005) DOI: 10. the music begin vocabulary serve as a prayer of faith for the adolescent. boys meaningful in early ado the traumas of shame that are commonly conquer experienced the destructive effect of the "Boy Code. lescence. can also offer an environment to of pain. fering. 3. These attributes include a stoic.Journal of Religion and Health. healing sharing. stable independence. their pain. Pol William According connections with others in order to need to establish lack. adolescents.1 While all are vulnerable asserts Henri and loneliness. healing. People suffer.

Wide ranges of emotions semi-inauthentic boys emotion of anger."6 Still in operation. lonely. variety Little boys are raised to be tough. expression. they too are suffering. longing it is seen as weak and "feminine. causes two primary for are made Little boys to feel than views of emotions?especially of weakness. which he says is for the boys who subscribe The mantra is "Everything's the "Boy for most." where expressed. usually mothers to feel ashamed are if these feelings and disconnected but is made abandoned Pollack calls this the "shame-hardening the boys process." Many nurture is often kept silent because never shows weakness. them This boys putting straitjacket. in a gender constrains and men. and disconnected. the scope of this paper will for suffering them in their focus adoles present One outlet that may provide and expression language crafted to meet cent boys is lyrics and music carefully . if they choose to be vulnerable those around that they may undergo shame of sharing to this "Code. is attracted self.9 to erode self-confidence and This shame haunts boys all their lives.7 forces boys to conceal their true feelings and causes them to live straightjaeket are held back. which daring an understanding and status.10 undermine self-esteem. and to show a sense of independence. Pollack this shift ashamed of behavior. main Therefore silent boys experience level in order to deal of pain and need to connect with others at an emotional adolescent healing. The second reason fear. boys are eager to be heard Many as the accompanied This for with others as well nection healing. experience to the boy code. fine.12 and feel disconnected. inescapable just in the nineteenth which Code" is an outdated that began model century. are told to act like a "real man." Instead their emotions. While Shame adolescent girls suffer on adolescent boys.8 male only to the acceptable Male infants are more expressive emotionally some point this changes for most boys. boys suffer from the effects of this "Boy Code. and vulnerability. regards Boys separated around age six. serving them feeling sad. The boy feels at a much earlier age than girls."11 to adolescent adolescent girls are not According psychologist Mary Pipher. leaving is the feeling that accompanies emotional In fact. to achieve a false. are typically from the separation their process. restricting lives. imperative and is not "masculine" but "femi emotions is for "sissies" that expressing he refers to as a "gender straightjaeket. and because of this lack of connection.304 Journal of Religion and Health an to violence. The first a wide if they express cause is shame. and dominance power." to keep emotions in check. their hurts the type of connections that allow them to communicate making and needs. are what many disconnection emotional feelings surrounding psychologists call "shame. but at female infants. these boys re who ascribe a great and repress in their suffering. the disconnection." longing for outlets of While they fear the they feel the need to share their emotions."5 nine"?which a con and they want and understood.

The third phase is a stage of change. continuing the conversation this two. .13 According of which in timely and contradiction. Third. person. his feelings or a calls this space a "holding Robert Kegan environment" Psychologist a context in which is provided for the individual environment. this environment to grow. The forms that language phases of suffering of first phase is a muted. he feels connected ripe for facing and dealing with issues of pain and heartache. Silence.. process boys.. more adolescent and will hopefully per I will argue in this essay connections with other trusted individuals. and. This balm. in the emergence assist of. is reflected in the different takes. silence. the suffering. Fourth. one of suffering: Silence Phase is a phase of languageless The first phase of suffering of suffering includes isolation?the The burden always silence more and isolation. phase. tional) music The three phases of suffering Doroth?e to ethicist and theologian and pain have a Soelle. I will offer Emo (short for emo functions industry) music as an adolescent form of lament. She describes way of corroding and inhibiting language. Each of the three three phases lamentation."14 This environ can provide a safe place for the adolescent to begin to sense pain. while the second is the beginning languageless a psalm-like that gives voice to the sufferer. I will discuss Soelle's Second. Phase of lamentation language where the pain itself can three is characterized by unhindered self-expression be openly discussed and sorted. Anastasi 305 and freedom offer them the beginning This may steps of healing suffering. "psychosocial serves the dual functions to Kegan. "confirmation both securely hold. in the lament process the healing as an expression of of suffering adolescent lamentation. I will present of suffering. a faith. The song may pro to the adolescent vide the raw material and the space?the environment?for and needs. the developing fashion. may simultaneously begin Connection healing manent to the music in the process and lyrics is merely of preliminary a suffering lead to deeper. I will show how popular of phase in her understanding ("pop"? is the more and the music adolescents used word among commonly as lament. three phases First. As the adolescent listens to the lyrics of a song to from languageless and is thrust into an environment which he can relate. suffering According the sufferer. silencing of suffering: and change. while it ment as a challenge to deal with function that sensed pain. of lament that Soelle begins five voices of lament. to participate environment and the opportunity that God can use this holding to begin or continue of lyrics and music.Aaron P. can serve to connect the sufferer to God and provide a linguistic to assess healing of pain state individual away from a mute process that may lead the suffering toward a place of change and solidarity.

The pain feeling helpless and words. one will be able to take specific actions that will triumph To states Soelle. is stuck in a state. disallows persons suffering stage steps to becomes merely In this the sufferer's be free. Therefore. The basic alienation itself must be resolved.306 Journal of Religion and Health more and this suffering is related isolation. sufferer could become the silent. While there and unimportant. Without the sufferer will find he is helpless when new suffering emerges individual fight. is to skip over the needs of the sufferer. would be imposed on rather than accomplished by the sufferer. at this phase. option. Much termination of pain?the whole-being of the body become the other members like physical pain. brooding the sufferer with language.17 in his actions. is later amazed that is somehow who borne by the sufferer. The first step to facing the pain is finding language that could . rather toward than logic. behavior reactive. domi change nates and he is left feeling powerless. physically. Actions. allow for escape from this nor do stage of languageless is left with few options. This result of the first is also a possible can choose to face the pain and begin the individual to work on it.18 from a different that lay open before the silent sufferer. first phase of suffering. of autonomy the individual thoughts. reflection is not an option Severe suffering Theological or change. possibly self-determination an tion. The individual outwardly indifferent and sick?mentally. in this first phase excludes the possibility of of learning are short-lived and done blindly. mute phase. This realization which is part of phase two. Soelle lists three primary options can deny the pain and become The first option is repression. a lack to a lack of communication. where is one all-consuming objectives goal. the sufferer to sort out necessary This neurotic.16 is impaired. repression. they are done in an unbearable suffering. to learn from the suffering. or impulsive outbursts. strips first must the normalcy To be free from phase one. option. the individual of recognize will point to the need for expression. Third. and isolation leaves one suffering comes at this stage is inarticulate. and the sufferer one's course of action All hope seems lost. The result is neuroses. This initial phase of pain is experienced over and over. In silence and disconnection. or both. Second. and it leaves the victim and alone. lacks the wherewithal The sufferer is marked loses of suffering This phase by self-centeredness. or co-determina The tools that the sufferer needs. cause. For this reason. skip the expression phase. The initial phase of language. the sufferer The situation. The expression phase cannot be skipped as though over the suffering. the individual. This suffering itself in unfeeling expresses no longer provide Institutions and rituals that might process they offer a learning silence. the ability to feel for others and isolates himself.15 The lament that feeling numb and mute. viable the sufferer views death as an attractive. pain by the amount of suffering that he endured. The focus becomes is consumed with this single goal. this numb. cannot be organized. where secondary so this level of suffering may be all-consuming. of pain.

which it serves to strip away the walls of denial intensifies the pain because actually As one begins to describe and distraction. oneself. power of proactive behavior. the pain and fear. thought. act by which people transcend the mute God of an "Prayer is an all-encompassing endured reality and go over to the speaking God of a reality expe apathetically rienced with feeling in pain and happiness. Anastasi 307 lead one out of the suffering the situation. The loss of this monologue. Phase two paves the two is the changing of behavior.22 consciousness. "Hopelessness the pain can still be articulated. emotions erupt. repressing their experience. she says. Instead it is a loss of the endless possibilities for open available ended creative offers the sufferer an opportunity to make expression. reactive the active. Phase way.19 at two of suffering: Lamentation of certain forms Soelle says. than a merely rational of circumstances This is more but also a explanation Prayer speaking existence in the pain. pain. "Men live on best after calamity."21 To enter into to a growing become unnecessary lament. It can serve as speech that reaches the and the sufferer's mute God's silence God. the sufferer begins to experience Instead of a powerless passivity. The increased toward prayer has left individuals apathy mute and isolated. by measuring its dimensions. has one of the primary for crying. dead and buried."20 Prayer lation that may be used to break through Soelle laments. for phase three. this realistic look at pain. Prayer his requests and pains known to a God who cares. Soelle asserts. The stage of lamentation. not by utterly their grief and shock. lament. dialogue number of people. behavior conquer two. or dialogue with self or God. in phase two the suf while suffering lonely suffering. and lament. stammering. but by facing it. is vital to reach and poetic expression articulation. of the framework lament one can intercept and work on his suffering within can be the sufferer's . ferer uses "psalmic" language of lament to describe pain. and has the ability to act."24 Phase one of by finding some words to order and articulate is the phase of muted. speaks. namely.25 Phase two allows for the individual to take the pain participation to look at it carefully. Only through can begin to formulate other questions that will ultimately lead to solutions In phase becomes that may the suffering. overcoming seeming of phase one. or enlighten This loss of prayer does not serve to liberate humanity wishing. dissolved outlets and cursing. He states. least describes Phase that is causing the silence?a that language a language of crying. one seriously."23 can be endured where of suffering is a form of language and articu the silent suffering of phase one. Old Testament scholar Delbert Hillers writes the value of lament concerning in times of struggle. a stage of liberation and organized and "by giving voice to says Soelle.Aaron P. "Prayer is today as good as with has she asserts.

human existence Putting According communication. expression?the suffering as layers of camouflaged the suffering This is also a painful phase. The mute change. change. This final phase tion in phase two and solidarity of and discussed itself can now be spoken openly. The isolation expression phase is one of self in phase three. It is taken seriously. is not as important and form of this language on self-expression. extends the discussion relating use lament as a form of healing. honesty salving?if painfully as balm linguistic in the book of Lamentations.. . The origin by pain as the expression itself.29 it. allows suffers poems.. avenues there of expression is basic can be no change. longer songs."28 a lament and behavior in of perspective in phase two.308 Journal of Religion and Health to discover and express one's own affliction Finding ways to face and express his If he does not find ways to the sufferer. serving so scars and wounds not removing?the of the suffering they to be otherwise and the . longer dependent Instead he experiences is no on the autonomy found in language of action. as something The that affects the doing so. is dependent to Soelle. The following of this essay?the the focus of the remainder phase it to suffering adolescent that Soelle began. and how they might boys Lament The them. "presses language beyond silence of phase one Phase three is the phase of change. and a change becomes and communica of phase one becomes three. The pain and suf pain are stripped as something no longer toned down merely that prevails everywhere fering is an aspect of the human for The suffering is exposed and is simply experience. is also able to actively work on healing no The sufferer is also characterized three Phase by rational language. intensifying away and seen for what they truly are.27 three of suffering: Change Phase toward of phase The two.. Without communication. poems The says Old Testament scholar Dobbs Allsopp. what in a way the suffering value of phase three is the ability to organize primary is replaced behavior Reactive that allows it to be conquerable. which The five voices of lament is the phase that will be two of Soelle's Phase threefold journey of the sufferer of lament. is imperative it or will be overtaken he will either be destroyed by apathy. into words or other one's life and circumstances to the human condition. He and psalms. states itself. for necessary silently. served to help the Jewish people articulate their feelings and evaluate are often emotionally their with weighty lyrics of these poems a linguistic of to "fashion balm capable and imagination. it is. they create the capacity figure. by active not only able to organize is the pain but In phase three the sufferer behavior. Soelle.

properties open.34 sees four significant factors of the ability to voice pain."32 are "coer some time and repetition. linguistic are vague and formless rather than clear and defined. but also anger...31 possibly can often be a difficult task and requires the right environment Facing pain and mindset. When forth as a type of protest renders pain of protest ethical The sufferer's words ramifications.. them on" and experience Therefore. find it easier and pain. Third. the writer's After pain and suffering on the listener in such a way that they become the cries cively superimposed" of the listener. painful experiences remembering. they are comforted by the fact that they are not in order to express their grief. alone and too have found a language suffering one is powerless to emotions that and reserved Without capability. a full expression be cathartic. of emotion. them to transferable experience" causing of the rituality them for themselves. AnastcLsi 309 for survival. First Dobbs-Allsopp as well as physical wounds need to be bound is a medical Mental significance. The create a language." has no straightforward The book of Lamentations possibility as the beginning serve of of hope. This voicing and the language and cannot be skipped. which built-up shaking from victimization. Dobbs-Allsopp states. Dobbs-Allsopp "Lyrical to be uttered its ritual is discourse that is meant again. In the Most at first adolescents to?avoid (as well dealing as adults) would rather?or at least issues of hurt with and remembering book of Lamentations. This objectification of pain there are is brought it less potent. one finds one's own hurts and grief so in which "To come across a language can be a wonderfully and expressed and accurately named consoling precisely and forever Lament transformative experience. which is re-created poet and songwriter by the reader on one's heart is of the issues that weigh heavily and listener. Hope as the suffering the suffering effect of surpassing itself is being described. Through it to lit the lyric poem becomes accessible. the inner deadness anger. is found in the willingness to speak out. and other that it has a "quality saying urgies generally. the sufferer voice to pain can lead to the type of mental up. observes."33 as catharsis value of not only complaint also speaks of the potential against Dobbs-Allsopp can be brought to God. poetry. speaking a way of forcing the pain to be seen objectively. Giving healing to be able to express "fears and pain is all needs. which the silent sufferer's transform condition. At this point. speak boldly of pain's . "try the poetry "becomes a coercive force for giving voice." Second. of a process The poems expression to find healing and seeking of the recent for. This can serve to momentarily act of lamentation could add perspective. This expression may demonstrating comes and debilitating.30 This has the and distant past.. there is a therapeutic important significance." He compares of structures of devotion. that draws in the reader or listener. Even our most bitter thoughts God.Aaron P.

of faith because laments are however. through which suffering book of Lamentations While when this pain to God is the avenue for the resolution of pain." is itself an expression This questioning. which the challenges there can be no future that exists better than the present. including metaphor allows people to confront to think about or issues that are otherwise difficult serves as an attempt to offer the necessary discuss. a confession of appropriate often speaks of an understanding of self . A covenanted assume that God seeks to be challenged must and related to. can be submitted to God and therefore resolved.38 relationship This challenging God because "no situation falls outside of Yahweh's questions responsibility.35 potentially in this prior statement is the perceived The danger of the idea perpetuation to physical is confined that work task that one com action. Lament is a risk because it is ultimately (and maybe directly) addressing or condemning and even questioning in times God. provides poetic language. Lament and guilt.41 of grief. Without this voice of protest."40 results merely fight. it is not an attempt to avoid all a confession. the healing process. cries of belief in a God who has the ability and desire to transform hopeful pain into joy. an accomplished . calling as they ment of imagination in this language. "I have not given up the posture even if the only strength I can muster in grief. Fourth. often describing circumstances cause suffering to be. One's ought language can put them in a different a hopeful state of mind. a faith in the covenant God and God's between faith relationship people. This poetic language tools to embrace for the sufferer and survive. restorative action. Lamentation responsibility blame coupled with a cry for mercy. submitting to speech. It is not a is not an expression a realization of despair."36 Lament as protest The Old Testament significant in times of great suffering as anything we in the literary tradition stands that in such a way that and imagery.. pain. having as confession While is an expression lamentation is also Lamentation responsibility. Lamentation manifestation is a protest. Lamentation that God has been emasculated?which says. a choice to remain in the battle of hope versus is an active resistance to apathy and hopelessness?the despair. a fictitious that to be endurable. state that may imagination lead to self-motivated.39 Lamentation of one who refuses to live.are every bit as The truth is that "linguistic acts.310 Journal of Religion and Health for consolation and medication. of something gone awry. crucial and theologically can physically do. pletes with his hands. begin to Walter of pain is the only avenue the embrace According Brueggemann. This type of attack takes a certain measure of faith. there is an ele uselessness. It is itself a fight. who seems to be impotent of struggle. is brought it questions God and the social structures that pain God has set in place.37 present.

"43 the creates and gives meaning and syntax beyond images guage." it. with poignant Combined often demanding emotions. is alive and open. themselves heart and mind that often only manifest neurosis. adolescents may feel free by the artist or triggered it affects lyrics that people. anger.44 With a proficient of sound help create the artist's intended understanding with connect of music adolescents. along with an environment.Aaron P. God can use music when not understood depression in the beginning tool of healing. and the mere of the lyrics. can create where the artist as described to face the painful issues in their lives of the lyrical circumstances. lament According nature feat of self aversive and is a "bold and heroic tance to suffering's allows and the God who This actualization. is subject and Lamentations. of their to begin to face issues of pain that have been locked in the recesses or in outbursts. Complaint protest against against this affront. desires. With the knowledge that humankind was humankind a relational the authentic for which existence for goodness. God's sovereignty. creatures whose natures says.42 example Adolescents* popular C'pop") music as their language of lament to good music understands Music moves people. a faith that engages God. emotions regret. use of alliteration. God will not simply tolerate it as part of the covenantal relation human input and lament. Anyone who has ever listened the a way of bypassing of the intellect the walls and targeting that music has some type of response. In fact. the content assonance. as a powerful and faced. happi lyrics. Lament is an evidence that the covenantal relationship and questions of a real faith. music and lyrics can even cause some etc. a sense of social responsibility. the biblical but throughout One in the covenant is the sovereign relationship. and complaints. can manipulate and evoke tears. In addition. by the similarity and how . lament itself is of renewal with hopes and change. "Human beings are passionate Dobbs-Allsopp as much as by physical needs and are constituted and cognitive by emotions an emotional must involve he asserts. created witness God makes it clear that this relationship has high priority and intense as seen in Job. Anastasi 311 Lament as reaffirmation of faith in the face of suffering is an act of resis to Dobbs-Allsopp. God requires come before the throne of grace with concerns that humanity God desires ship. is a cry against suffering. revolts its inherent attack against human dignity. lament demands was intended. calling it deplorable. Music ness. rhythm. value. is a reaffirmation that God is complaint concern is the divine-human God God whose utmost relationship. consonance effect. Also. Psalms. to God's desire to benefit God's covenant partner." Lyrics of lan and not just an "intellectual Manipulation response appreciation. of lamentation. stages of the healing process?the especially one and phase sufferer's two of Soelle's three-phase phase bridge between journey.

where there is freedom leading as it can of lament inasmuch the benefits pop music may possess Therefore. pop music serve as a faithful. sense that he is not alone in his pain. a delivery commu that likewise If the artist is able to successfully coheres. and a sense of autonomy of action. This cry can potentially lead the speak the heart of the suffering to the God who draws near to the to a faith cry as a response adolescent sufferer and has the power to affect change. giving him a environment. enough healing to change. to begin with who simply need any language starting point for adolescents or anything. experiences. describe his suffering. of toda/s (both mainstream. not a cry to God. to others with maximum and help Communicating understanding a fusion of a certain musical emotional effect requires combined proficiency itself can only do in part. to God. roles in the life of common American One of plays many of talking out their deep these is the role of counselor Instead and comforter. at anyone who is stuck in phase one of directed The adolescent to simply bring them suffering may be able to use these lyrics of lamentation into phase two may silence becomes Phase two. This cry can be. Often a lyrics will simply be a cry. then he may be able to nicate and effectively. and even distract connect young people. seems to be created as a result of of pain extant in his heart. poetically a connection The music may serve to create with his young audience. of Lamentations. provide into phase that he can transition in the adolescent three. where expression.312 Journal of Religion and Health to than mere and a desire ideas. pop music with may lyrics of lamentation in this second phase of suffering. Music adolescents. and voice to the silent through for the languageless lyrics that provide words adolescent.45 The adolescent to that which to experience he wants words. Music soothe. with the lyrics and make them their to serve as a catalyst to turn his mood and allows the lyrics to become his is that it provides of lament-filled popular music to create a "holding environment" where the suf ferer is prompted. more and possibility limitation radio and underground. This environment One of the great benefits some of the tools necessary . benefit and suffering adolescents hurting to express Some their pain types of popular music may give teens language a way that an appropriate and also tap into their emotions in such "holding Like the book environment" Pop music's some While for healing is created. much of it will not cry may independent) prayerful serve as the faith cry to God for help as understood and by Brueggemann It will neither the Dobbs-Allsopp. with with a message what the medium that matches The artist must have others. comfort. speak to God out of faith nor protest. establish a receptive the lyrics connecting with the sufferer. Many through often uses music own. however. to begin to look more closely at issues and feels comfortable. sense of loneliness and disconnection. and allow it to they turn up the music has a way of speaking to and them.

Emo music invites could contem serve to lamentation. rush. than keeping up sound. and most mixed mary defined Also. and adolescent. Not only is the environ artist. as fast-paced. . or continue. Emo While music as adolescents' form of lament seem more adolescents to being music moves all people." "I dream to heal your wounds/But so differently/So I can't explain/I feel like different. Anastasi 313 ment the cooperation of the music. susceptible affected by it. passion in phase two of suffering. New Wave. heartbreak. Songs to connect with adolescents. Emo music range dynamic evoking a fast-paced to have Rather Emo tends emotions. this is certainly description. This is true partially because adolescents need to feel. pensive mood rather than an adrenaline nines. they of lyrics of One modern that would well fit the description genre of music which evokes the incorporates and emotion. Adolescents start. profoundly or to allow to be inspired to experience. crashing cymbals. also that style of music is Emo. use of minor has a similar chords and major Emo music sound but makes which tend to create a somber. et cetera. they are looking to be themselves and to experience time to moved have more Also. and Alice Cooper. Indie. whether it is Punk. in order to be motivated by something to be deeply affected by it. lyrics of lam can be moved the process of healing. While acknowledging the risk that they will be moved by the wrong things and to entation from phase music with in the wrong God can use pop music with direction. Punk music songs began simple bar-chorded with anti-war and anti-political angry adolescent boys singing lyrics (while a truncated it will suffice for the present purpose). expressions Hurt. of Emo's cries. and lamentation are the pri For example Jeremy Enigk of Sunny Day Real Estate voiced the cry that Emo music saying. to meet that have the potential ideas and feelings are and provide them where them with a holding environment. adolescents through music. Lou Reed. search his heart for a short period of time in a safe place. and plation This genre of music help adolescents emerged from scene by 1977 in the underground Punk music. many ranging from a soft vocal over nothing more a driving to many drum beat and guitars by raging piano accompanied the lyrics are a hybrid of anger importantly. which became very popular its roots in songs as early as the late 1960s with finding Iggy Pop. and this is exactly what they are doing. one of suffering to phase two with the raw materials by provided of lamentation. a wider is more of than Punk. communicate of this nature lyrics thoughts. than a levels of intensity. search out and listen to music.46 For this reason. They want to be moved. with hurt. Also.Aaron P. suffering. Emo. "You are treating me I bleed myself. Hip-Hop. emotionally to to another It can allow human the suffering adolescent exposed being. and they also want to fit in with their friends who are part of the music sub-culture. and fear of being is no intimidation but there created.

" like this/It's worse than you think. an axis around which all of his life orbited." In the song called Rejects sing. where all the scared feelings had been for years. Back from the song "Head Club. "You said he's just a friend/But was killing me/I should have known all along. comes from a fiction novel that displays The following this truth: passage "The music moved him. For suffering?rejection." Another called Taking your slowly conceding band. Why did he crave the action of that song on his heart? It was like the song took him into the inner chamber of his heart. sings lyrics." from Unsent Letters' 'Three Weeks. . "Days swiftly come and go/Tin "Swing. dreaming guys/Emotions they stir/The nights are long/And I am left while the tears fall/ swing. This form of suffering is very and real to adolescents. Usually. "I begged you not to Confessional. trigger created by painful and early adoles childhood similar. swing from the tangles ofiMy heart is crushed by a former love/ Swing. Can you help me find a way to carry on again?" This cry from the All American is one example of a possible cry to God who can help one to carry on Rejects after broken relationship." The All American of her/She's seeing other you couldn't/I think of our time together/Is it fading/Am I dreaming/Every thing you said lives on. then music like this lands there every now and again. sometimes pain Sometimes he didn't want to deal with the song-pain. it claims and rearranges. as you go/I begged you/I pleaded/I claimed you as my only hope/and watched the floor has sprung a perfect dive/A perfect day/A perfect lie/A retreated/Hope crafted monologue defeat. kept him from feeling anything else than the .314 Journal of Religion and Health Letters to you." Another Unsent now you're with him/Your song says.The and arrangements notes. sings tell you its over/Always ourselves dizzy gets us sings. . something eternal. type and unaccepted?is unlovable not trivial.. song was that when it ended. Words contain so little spoke that the spirit cannot be satisfied with these alone." which indifference comes from the song called "You Knew The Outcome. If his heart had a central turning point. It to him in a way that language alone couldn't. said go/You said you wouldn't/You Swing. painful.. His inner man found something during her performance that only it understood. In this their of powerful minds. feeling of rejection these experiences and abandonment many adolescents." the following Sunday." The Juliana here helpless/Don't a Cleveland. much feelings deeper cent circumstances of infinite variety. sings. a song called "With Friends Like You": to wage a war/Don't you smile trying nowhere. "It's getting colder/and we're getting distant/and I just keep thinking that/I never meant Ohio it to be based band." Brandtson. "I came here to anymore/talking in the song "Duane Theory. "As I sit Joseph. Adolescents tend to be in and out of relationships so frequently that their seldom have an opportunity hearts to mend from the previous before break-up the next one drops onto their lap like a bomb. the hurt ended too.But the mercy of the fully. and ultimately comforting." Chris Carrabba of Dashboard I'm invisible the Florida based Singer/Songwriter. melodies. It was during this meaning song that he was aware ofthat. And it doesn't just land.

"54 of it is somewhat to. Anastasi 315 deepest hurts he still carried.53 bridge one adolescent an interview said. many bombs and the real impact of trickle down economics. may begin to provide a "bridge.50 of emotion. "Mixtapes Hopper While anthems relational of hopeful boy hearts masted to sleeves. It gives me comfort. I listen to so some something relate went through about that that person . embarrassment. is healing for If expression pain."49 This attack on boys who feel free to express other than anger any emotions is part of the problem is nothing discussed earlier new. my negative feelings.52 Songs with of hurt and emotional expression lyrics of lamentation. He never had to look her music in the eyes. says How if composed well. Use of this can begin transforming the boy's mind. "Forget of whom subscribe critics. Most adolescent reported. by hearing As the stories adolescent from and other males about their own experiences stories hears about another male having boy etc. . bypassing the intellect entirely. though.Aviolent reaction to the music was therapeutic for him. If anything.51 According boys ridicule emotions. It was much safer than a flesh covered human like himself. He couldn't express how thankful he was that something existed out there that would pry into the areas he would never ask anyone to try to get into." One critic says. feeling I can get out my angry."47 can serve to be helpful to adolescents. and eulogies." Emo music. it's all about elusive emotional Jessica kisses and tender-yet-undeniably-masculine outbursts. experienced disappointment. screamo when sometimes [ScrEmo] one else does the screaming for me."55 I'm frustrated and I know same things that I I can connect with A third having. it gives me something to positive Emo. weak. is less inclined to feel ashamed of his own feelings of vulnerability. hurt. and suffering well as young girls?then those boys and young male adults young boys?as seem to be providing a positive for who are creating Emo music role model can lead emotions young boys who are bound by the "Boy Code. "I listen to Emo music when Fm During I usually I feel comforted I'm by myself. it too... pillows soaked in tears. else has gone through the feel better to know that someone have and has experienced the same emotions that I have." Pollack Pollack's says boys need understanding rightly and look to as a source of hope heroes and role models whom they can emulate and direction. ard Gardner. medium that boys already could serve as the bridge?the enjoy." While sharing to healing. many boys are reluctant to share their feelings for fear of ridicule or appearing can be free from the fear of to Pollack.well. The music asked the tough questions to his soul. pain. It makes me lescent responded. heartbreak. I'm the lyrics of certain the feelings songs that describe "I listen to Emo almost everyday. which concerning of the "Boy Code.Aaron P. listen to it when lonely. it is not without its Emo music to the "Boy Code."48 across America became soiled with torrential goes on to say.." "When I'm upset I listen to certain Emo songs. Another ado because . he fear.

they can express and warm their most vulnerable feelings openly. these to voice his lament. free from fear of ridicule. or sharing with friend. Concluding thoughts a cure-all one for adolescents. pain is "naming.57 Adolescent or even by is performed boys may begin by going to concerts where Emo music can to them in their own room. an option toward healing are already familiar with and enjoy?Emo music can possibly with of lamentation?these paralyzing lyrics pseudo-philosophies and overcome. music One aspect of giving voice to. and language for. be made endurable. Naming by helping provides the sufferer to articulate pain. allowing the suffering to become a remembrance. to cry out against sufferer suffering. to allow for a suffering to voice pain and grief. Giving the permission take advantage medium steps. The adolescent the potential in which they may be sung may give lyrics of these songs and the repetitions to express his voice. allows pain to become owned and better understood. can be mentally him to repress emotions rather than to causing paralyzing. pain. be dispelled where Pollack affirms that boys need a place.56 in modern culture such as "suck it up" With prevailing pseudo-philosophies in a situation and "get over it. The the vulnerable lyrics can be used as a platform to begin dialogue. The the listener not only language. that make of other genres vul to invite the listener to has the power nerable. Like the poems in Lamentations." To be able to to vague feelings of pain can aid in the healing words process.316 Journal of Religion and Health use of honest. even if the voice is not yet his but an under adolescent it his own. inner-self-exposing Emo songs scream the cries of the adolescent and participation. It can. lyrics. or complaint. and loss. and suffering the lyrics authorize to feel what he already the feels and to speak out. contemplation to try them on and partic heart and give these young people an opportunity Emo music. however. Suffering put cannot be avoided in a world filled with sin. In doing so." an adolescent boy may easily find himself where he feels guilty or weak if he expresses This concern. These avenues Emo CDs and listening buying lament gives him another that adolescents be the beginning merely singing along with steps of openly sharing. but are merely by no means a process of healing found which God can begin or continue Emo songs are avenue through . a sufferer of the benefits to of lament. grief. as well as music songs allow the silent-suffering ipate in this crying out. whether a trusted as a first step. By using a option. Naming a level of healing and to eventually be consolable. but also opportunity is not only in the giving of voice to pain power of these lyrics of lamentation These but also in the giving of permission. The voice that leaves room for him to eventually make standing of these lyrics of lamentation is that they speak words that the sufferer power Emo songs have identifies and connects with.

The act of lamentation whom song and verse can be through to the suffering and God can also use used by God to bring healing adolescent. The words are imbibed and applied. can serve as a prayer the music of faith for the adolescent. which as the lamentation it often does. Anastasi 317 and understanding. the Inasmuch can connect with and petition the God who cares. He feels and feelings. The lyrics describe and clarify. could prompt the adolescent and boy to take a closer. He feels comforted experiencing seems to understand him and that he is not alone nor crazy to have these over his head. through sharing. ultimately who hears can manage someone the only expression is to sing. this healing connection and connecting the ultimate serves as a prayer. change. hopefully. this sense of depression thoughts hanging and the artist seems to have suffered much but has survived. silent suffering phase these songs may only serve to make the suffering worse. healing. from a safe distance. Emo songs serve best to transition the sufferer from Soelle's phase one to a languageless. comfort. and grief with another fortable enough individual can be trusted. and hope has of denial and distraction. the lyricist's words slowly become sufferer. descriptive lyrics written by a similar pain. at first. The songs of naming pain the lyrics. pain. Experiencing The songs and lyrics can provide the raw material that may dredge up the in the adolescent's bitterness and hurt that exists heart and no longer allow state of denial and distraction. and even into dialogue with God in these songs may aid in the process their cries. This sense of connection. an can relate in verse. for example. to tell the tale. to a lament two-from of consolation. God can use these songs connectedness. The lines become blurred between the artist and the participant. in the first stages of healing and use them to bring awareness of of lament can offer an environment This music to begin for the suffering individual pain.Aaron P. to suffering an artist who has shout along to deeply personal. him to begin to crashed allowing through his walls . him to remain in the destructive These songs can and an outlet for the sufferer. Use of the language so that vague emotions cease to haunt the sufferer. which lead to a language may potentially lead to freedom. to make to the adolescent. more serious look at the hurt and pain that often manifests itself in anger. adolescent to the music he knows that the While he feels connected because listening not be able to so poignantly the pain artist would describe that he is that someone if he had not been there himself. to think about and develop vocabulary to describe their pain. As the one in pain sings along to the deeply honest experienced and penetrating of the the words lyrics. hopeful because survived well. In some cases. spoken to participate and will. that comes only songs will not do the hard work of lasting connection to the but may serve the purpose of an initial connection through relationship. him to allowing connect with God. He will have to this truth who hurting. but also to the listener who can participate at least at first. feel com in this lamentation opportunity belong clusively These to share his lament. They no longer Sometimes ex to the artist or poet.

. connection. but not only God. Everett R. 10.W. Mary 13. Ibid. Soelle." self: and process in human Harvard Problem (Massachusetts: 1982) Press. partner healing. 2. name his pain. Intimacy in adolescent and Sasson 2002). He uses the words to the God who uses the music to draw him connecting His dialogue and relationship. 11. and restoration. of a "holding which is a phrase that he Robert environment. freedom. that he face of his suffering. trans. Larry struggles. While Winnicott understood Kegan to occur many times throughout one's life and understands these "psychosocial environments" Robert Kegan. they give him lan keeps give him clarity repeating. 140. Ibid. 25. 4. Ibid. the into his own thoughts. 1997) 32 and 44. Connecting (Nashville: Word Publishing." These connections dull pain of help him break continues. stem from connection and a deficit of togetherness. Reviving ophelia: Saving the selves of adolescent girls (New York: Bailan tine 12. 14. ough to think that his troubles toward healing. Kaiin (Philadelpia: Fortress Press." Psychologist Kegan speaks but Kegan from psychologist offers his own view of the frequency borrows D.318 Journal of Religion and Health to grieve and permission in the opportunity clearly. 5. 70. of existence where disconnection According to no one. 32. 23. 3. Janet (New York: HarperSanFrancisco. the culture-induced shame with of the "Boy overcoming suffering out of the vague. 8. but he knows that he is on his way see more Notes 1. Ibid. 19. "cultures of embeddedness. and therefore experience neither the thrill of being believed in nor the joy of loving or being loved. this period these opportunities. 17. He feels comfortable enough a friend. 1998) 173. Code. 16. 6. 1975) 61. Ibid. 21. his journey depression prayer toward of lament. 69. Winnicott. and the words begin to become his own." Larry Crabb. 11. Nouwen. William Pollack. are over. Real boys (New York: Henry Holt and Company. University development 116. Henri 3. some of his to share God. Ibid. Ibid. enterprise therapy Edgette. Ibid. Soelle. He feels comforted. 18. 15.M. Ibid. 7. 7. Ibid. . 76. 78. 9. 23. 1969) 95. Ibid. where we are profoundly attached unknown part of who we are is vibrantly deepest J. Soelle. can be described as a "condition the to Crabb. Ibid. Suffering. Books. Candor. 6. Christian agrees. All personal and emotional Crabb he says. 70. Pipher. Soelle. He is not na?ve en and meaninglessness. 71. psychologist a failed which results in lifelessness. He continues to sing along to guage and help him to begin to as a the lyrics. The evolving also names these periods of time. He appreciates The lyrics of the songs. becomes restoration. 75. Ibid. Doroth?e Soelle. 74. 22. 20. of to occur only in infancy. 1995) 26.

Louisville: John Knox (2002)." punk planet. Ibid. 1992) 27. 35. 1999) 104. 1972) xvi. New York: W. 32. 8. I know who I found adolescents listen to Emo music. 71. 1968) 130. Ibid. 34. 28. Mary. Ibid. Minneapolis: A novel about the unity of all things. Howard Gardner. Translated by Everett R. 56. 175. Press. Soelle. and crisis. Identity. Reed boys. (1968). therapy. Sasson. Dobbs-Allsopp. Brueggemann. Erik Erikson. Pipher. 6.W. Anastasi 319 24. 48. Identity. Ibid. 53. Norton. Delbert. Erikson. Candor. 175. Ibid. Inc. Pollack. . 26. Norton. New York: Doubleday and Company. 25. (1969). 39.M. Connecting. 37. 2002) 38. The Robert. 74." punk planet. 28. as "whinny PP56 (2003) and 1. 40. Ibid. 39. Henri. Kegan. and enterprise in adolescent Janet (2002). Norton. Ibid. 31. of music critics refer to this genre the girls aren't. Dobbs-Allsopp. where the melodic vocals often turn to a scream. 76. 51. 35. Kalin. Dobbs-Allsopp. evolving Press. that References Fortress Press. Ibid. xvi. connection. 30.W. Old testament Walter. "Emo: 49. theology.W. 33. Walter Brueggemann.W. New York: Ballantine Pollack. Lamentations (New York: Doubleday and Company. 55. Lamentations (Louisville: John Knox Press. Edgette. Suffering. (1995). James Cole. the girls aren't. Ibid. 45. York: W. Lamentations. SoeUe. New Massa HarperSanFrancisco. Reviving Ophelia:Saving the selves of adolescent girls. 57. Cole. Cohesion: A novel about the unity of all things (Unpublished book) 2002. chusetts: Harvard University Nouwen J. 29. Hopper. Old testament theology (Minneapolis: Fortress Press. Ibid. Books. Gardner. The disciplined Howard. (1982). 1-2. interviewed several whom Having as those mentioned.W. Some Where Pollack. Hillers. Inc. 34. Dobbs-Allsopp. (1992). is a sub-genre "Screamo" of Emo. Publishing. 36. (1998). The disciplined mind (New York: Simon and Schuster. Philadelpia: Fortress Press. and crisis (New York: W. Intimacy. James. pathetic. (1975). Pipher. 38. 72. 42. 3. all had similar but with varied responses descriptions.Aaron P. Ibid. youth. F.. 25. Unpublished. Larry. 50. 27. 21. New York: Simon (1999). Ibid. 44. Lamentations. (2002). 36. and Schuster. Jessica. Crabb. Ibid." Jessica Hopper. Hillers. PP56: "Emo: Where (2003). 47. mind. New York: Henry Holt and Company. 52. (1972). Ibid. Ibid. Dobbs-Allsopp. Erik. youth. Ibid. self: Problem New York: and process in human development. Cohesion: Nashville: Word (1997). 41. 14. Delbert Hillers. 43. 46. F. Ibid. 54. Doroth?e.

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