Guest post: Matt's Story
TRIGGER WARNING: Sexual violence.
Sexual violence. Over the past half decade, it’s something I’ve encountered, namely through the stories of others who’ve entrusted their experiences with me— both survivors and secondhand survivors alike. As an advocate for healthy relationships, a peer educator and friend, to have someone disclose their assault has not been uncommon. I've done my best to listen and be supportive in whatever way I could. With that said, vehicles for support are as countless as stars in the sky. After all, there’s no RIGHT way to react (or to provide yourself self-care); there’s only YOUR way. Everyone is different.
I really learned this with Amy Lee. Not Amy Lee, a survivor or secondhand survivor; Amy Lee, the lead singer of Evanescence. I learned this when I spent a couple of hours sitting, on the floor, and consoling a friend and survivor who was dealing with their trauma. My friend was distraught to say the least and just wanted to feel better, to over-simplify it. We’d previously discussed their experience. With that said, trauma can catch up with you and sometimes gets the better of you. I found in this instance that my role was to help bring my friend back to a place where things felt “okay” for them… so I asked. I asked where that psychological safe haven was.
The next thing you know, the music video for “My Immortal” was playing. I hadn’t really listened to it in about a decade, but there we were listening to it, intently, and talking about it and about the positive in life… because it made my friend feel better. The tears washed away and my friend found a place of serenity between Amy Lee’s signature vocals. It wasn’t just that one song though. It was song after song after song. We sat there, talked between them, and listened closely, to the sounds of the songs and, more memorably, the reassuring stillness of it all. It was like a hurricane gave way to the calm after the storm, when the sky couldn’t conceivably be more beautiful. The truth is that Amy Lee’s vocals, while not a cure-all, provided consolation. They were solace in a place of pandemonium and, in that moment, with all of the other challenges life threw out there, I’d like to think that meant the world. If there’s one thing I DO know, it’s that Superbands, like Evanescence, save fans.
Superbands Guest Contributor
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Matt Scott is the former President of GW Students Against Sexual Assault and a digital storyteller, utilizing social media for social change as a digital strategist with Social Driver, brand ambassador for VoiceLots, and the founder of Be Best In Black, an initiative to inspire black youth with stories of "black excellence." An avid sexual violence peer educator, Matt has been featured in Cosmopolitan, on PBS, in The Washington Post, and on Tell Me More with Michel Martin.