On Chester and the demons within

Its been a while, so forgive the extended post. I’ve got much to unload from my chest.

Chester Bennington, frontman for Linkin Park has passed away via suicide by hanging. He was 41. I heard the news of his passing from my facebook feed and a part of me *really* wanted to believe that it wasn’t true. As I searched on, it was clearer to me what had happened. From that moment on, I had felt waves of emotions hitting me. It was as if a huge part of me had been ripped away. It pretty much took me almost a whole day to process the grief that I had for this person I never met. The last time I felt this way was when my grandmother passed away.

While on my way to work, I revisited the perfection that was Hybrid Theory and Meteora. Those were my favorite albums while I was growing up and I had not listened to them for quite some time. When listening to parts of them on my way to work, I couldn’t help but feel a deep sense of sadness. I struggled to hold back the tears when I was in the MRT. Not only was I sad about his passing but the songs reminded me of events and feelings that I thought I have buried a long time ago, thinking that those feelings are behind me. I guess there is really no such thing as letting it go.

Linkin Park have been the main support pillar for much of my early teenager years. Their songs helped me to work though much of the angst that I felt. My mother’s friend’s daughter (I can’t even remember her name) was the one who introduced me to them, after listening to Crawling from Hybrid Theory, I was like, “what the heck is this? this is awesome” and I was hooked ever since. I even “borrowed” my friend’s diskman and his copy of Hybrid Theory, and just listened to it on repeat though Secondary school and ITE. I’ve purchased a few of Linkin Park’s albums too. In the age of instant piracy, its the least I can do as a fan.

I guess all of us have to fight the demons within. I believe that it’s part of the human experience.

The words elude me as all of those negative emotions transforms into a feeling that is unmistakable, the physical sensation of pain. That feeling as if you’ve been punched in the gut. Then breathing becomes difficult as your chest tightens. I’ve walked down that path numerous times, where stray thoughts then triggers the feeling of sadness, then sadness leads to feelings of despair and hopelessness, then tears start rolling down your face as you roll to the fetal position on your bed to hide your face away from anyone who is in the same room as you. It helps if its late at night and the lights are switched off. “Oh God, here we go again”. Welcome to Melancholic Avenue. These episodes usually lasts between 20 to 40 minutes, and normally after being being physically and emotionally exhausted, I fall into a deep sleep. It’s like the weather, I don’t really have much control on when it happens, but it does happen at least once or twice a month and has been going on for more then a decade. I think of it as a release valve for the pent up pressure and frustration over the years.

There are emotions that I don’t express to the people around me. I’ve not been good at dealing with conflicts, so I tend to say a lot of things to put at least a temporary end to it, regardless of whether its true or not. I have very few friends growing up and I don’t really hang out with them even. Part of it was due to that strong feeling of not wanting to be a burden to the people around me. It then morphs into feeling as if my own existence is a burden. It then feeds into the erroneous notion that I should not even consider having a girlfriend, let alone a wife. There’s just too much emotional baggage, to the point of me developing a phobia towards relationships in general. To answer my cousins’ question of “which girl would be your perfect girl”, I felt like saying “one that doesn’t exist”, so that there wouldn’t be even an opportunity for me to say or do something to accidentally or intentionally cause hurt to her and by extension, hurt myself. I could write a really long post on my nonexistent love life, but that’s not the point of this post.

Goodbye Chester, your songs have helped me out of some really dark holes. I hope you are happy and at peace wherever you are.

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