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  • Anja Radakovic

The tragic of generational abuse cycles explained throughout a beautiful song.

Tracy Chapman - Fast Car



This song is more about alcoholism but it's very relatable to narcissism as well. This is a very powerful song because it shows in a poetic way, the lifelong abuse cycle. How you were raised in a certain way and how that subconsciously formed you with all the consequences involved with that. The sad notion that escaping was always just a dream that kept you in a dream. Because it’s not just about external blame and factors, so much is internalized and needs to be restored form within yourself.


That when you thought you finally did escape you realized you just ended up in the exact same situation, and the desperation you feel when you don’t know how abuse works nor daring trusting your own intuition. And not willing to see and accept what your true belief systems about yourself actually are and what a negative self-image you hold.


I love this song so much because not only of the information, but also how sensitive and feelings based it is, how poetic it is put into words and into a melody. And the symbols and metaphors that are being used. The driving in a fast car. The flashing light, feeling drunk because of the speed.

But besides that it also contains so much directness: You gotta make a decision Leave tonight or live and die this way

There is a lot of (self) reflection in this song which I like. It’s told from thinking and making connections, not just a superficial ‘you did this’, that hurt me kind of love song which is very common.




We so desperately need that, so we so desperately believe them.

The problem with abuse, whether that is form alcoholism or narcissism (although I would say that a lot of alcoholics are narcissist as well, there is something so selfish about addiction) is that it runs through generation after generation. It's because people don’t want to face it, don’t want to name it, don’t want to reflect on it, don’t want to take responsibility to heal and go through the pain.


It’s much easier to ignore all of that and go on with all the inflicted childhood wounds, which then let you to the same situation because subconsciously you have no self-worth, no self-trust. You were raised to not believe in yourself and always meet the needs of the narcissist/alcoholic.

This not only makes you the perfect prey for other abusive people who will pray upon it and promise you the moon, everything you ever wished for. They will pretend to fill your childhood wound and to be your escape. We so desperately need that, so we so desperately believe them.


Also, we cannot comprehend the fact that someone would lie to us. We have seen the ugly face of humanity, the monsters in our nearest presence, but we saw them in their full raw, mean glory. It was clear to us what they were. But we haven’t seen the love bombing beginning of it all, and how they preyed upon our mothers or fathers and placed them in a trauma bond. When we came along we saw the ugly face ‘after’.


We make the exact same mistake when we first meet this predator, thinking it’s a different kind because they show us a different false face. They pretend to be the opposite of what we came from, and we believe them, we think we need them. So we start a new life just to end up in de same situation again.


The tragic of abuse cycles is that they go on for generations, until finally someone’s says, till here and no further. I will take responsibility and I will change for the sake of myself and my children. I will end the legacy of abuse/alcoholism.

It is a statement that needs to be made in order to end it.

This song shows all parts of this.

You still ain't got a job I work in a market as a checkout girl I know things will get better You'll find work and I'll get promoted We'll move out of the shelter Buy a bigger house and live in the suburbs

I particularly also found this part to be so true. The hope for betterment, even though actually it is quite obvious they are not putting in the work and are leaching upon us. But still the empathic hope, that there must be something why and they will overcome that. Not knowing that this was the exact purpose. And the fake future telling that they do so to keep us hooked.


Also this part:

So remember when we were driving Driving in your car Speed so fast it felt like I was drunk City lights, lay out before us And your arms felt nice wrapped around my shoulder and I-I had a feeling that I belonged I-I had a feeling I, could be someone, be someone, be someone

This is about the false hope we were giving, the false image of the narcissist who pretend to love us and care for us.


And the sad notice: I had a feeling I belonged, I could be someone, which is based on false images. Future faking and never was meant to come true in the first place but was just to trick you. And the tragic of the inner child wound. The need for love that was never met and which leaves us so vulnerable as prey animals in a big open field to be eaten alive by the predator.






Lyrics:

"Fast Car"


You got a fast car I want a ticket to anywhere Maybe we make a deal Maybe together we can get somewhere Any place is better Starting from zero got nothing to lose Maybe we'll make something Me myself I got nothing to prove You got a fast car I got a plan to get us out of here I been working at the convenience store Managed to save just a little bit of money Won't have to drive too far Just 'cross the border and into the city You and I can both get jobs And finally see what it means to be living See my old man's got a problem He live with the bottle that's the way it is He says his body's too old for working His body's too young to look like his My mama went off and left him She wanted more from life than he could give I said somebody's got to take care of him So I quit school and that's what I did You got a fast car Is it fast enough so we can fly away? We gotta make a decision Leave tonight or live and die this way So remember when we were driving driving in your car Speed so fast I felt like I was drunk City lights lay out before us And your arm felt nice wrapped 'round my shoulder And I had a feeling that I belonged I had a feeling I could be someone, be someone, be someone You got a fast car We go cruising, entertain ourselves You still ain't got a job And I work in a market as a checkout girl I know things will get better You'll find work and I'll get promoted We'll move out of the shelter Buy a bigger house and live in the suburbs So remember when we were driving driving in your car Speed so fast I felt like I was drunk City lights lay out before us And your arm felt nice wrapped 'round my shoulder And I had a feeling that I belonged I had a feeling I could be someone, be someone, be someone You got a fast car I got a job that pays all our bills You stay out drinking late at the bar See more of your friends than you do of your kids I'd always hoped for better Thought maybe together you and me would find it I got no plans I ain't going nowhere So take your fast car and keep on driving So remember when we were driving driving in your car Speed so fast I felt like I was drunk City lights lay out before us And your arm felt nice wrapped 'round my shoulder And I had a feeling that I belonged I had a feeling I could be someone, be someone, be someone You got a fast car Is it fast enough so you can fly away? You gotta make a decision Leave tonight or live and die this way


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