After a breakup, don’t you think it’s always the other person’s fault? They did you wrong. You’re the victim. They hurt you. This is very true with me and one breakup I’ve been through. I would hear songs like this…
…and think, “Yeah! She should get what she deserves!” I would think to myself that I did pretty much everything right. None of this was my fault. Sometimes I even feel anger, which is sort of where this song comes in. I think it was written in anger, even if it is catchy. I’ll concede that sometimes we ARE the victims of bad breakups so if this is reality for you, that you were treated badly, then please accept my sympathy. But in this single case of a breakup I experienced, deep down I know I was not the victim. She was. All the blame I heaped on her actually belonged to me. I was a decent boyfriend, to give myself some credit. But how and why it ended had little to do with her. So it’s a reality check (and a deserved slap in the face) when I listen to “Gives You Hell” (the song above) knowing this is the song she should be dedicating to me.
There are a handful of songs that this sort of role “reversal” stops me in my tracks. The one that actually inspired this post is by U2. They’re one of my favorite bands and recently I heard a song I had never heard before. It’s called “So Cruel.”
When I heard it for the first time, I fell into the same way of thinking where it was me singing it to her, with me being the bearer of the weight of the breakup victim. I guess it’s part of human nature to deflect blame. But again, I’m just an arrogant fool if I believe this song is anything but her message to me. I was so cruel.
It hurts me to know this about myself. There are things I would change if I could go back. I’d do things differently, without a doubt. But nonetheless, here I am fully accepting the fault of a bad breakup. It’s impossible to change the past, I know that. So I guess all I can do with this burden of hurting someone I cared about a lot is to not make the same mistake again.
-Out of the Wilderness