How to keep listening to music your parent thinks is harmful

BVB ARMY asks: I took your advice and I’m 2 months clean (I haven’t cut in 2 months) but my mom says that the music I listen to is having a bad influence on me (I listen to rock and metal, etc.), and she thinks I’m going to become a Satanist. I’m really annoyed because it’s so hard to reason with her, and now she’s convinced because one of my mom’s stupid friends told her about a guy who liked the same type of music as me who then became a Satanist, and he started cutting and stuff and he went and joined with a Satanist group and has never been seen since. And since I’m a little depressed, my music is my only escape – and my mom wants me to stop listening to it even though it helps me. She just doesn’t get it! I tried to explain to her, but she says music can’t help anyone unless they want to go hell (my family is really religious), and she says if I listen to them I will become depressed (which I already am but she doesn’t know – and I can’t tell her because I don’t know how she will react. Once I tried to tell her and I almost started crying, so I changed the subject.


Thanks for telling me about your two months without cutting!  That’s GREAT news!  You’ve made my day!!!


I’ve written other pieces about the question of what kinds of music are good or bad.  But I think the real issue here isn’t about the music itself, but about your relationship with your mother.  She doesn’t sound like a bad woman to me – she sounds scared.  And scared because she loves you more than anything else in the entire world.


Now , I don’t agree with her opinion (or rather, her friend’s opinion) about heavy metal.  But I know that if I were doing something that Handsome thought was harmful for me, he would do everything in his power to stop it.  Like when I built up the strength and know-how enough to get over the fence and go out of our yard.  He had other stuff he had to do, but put it all aside to put up more fencing, so I couldn’t get out.  It’s not that I was being bad, it’s that he was petrified I’d get lost or run over or picked up by dogcatchers!  That’s how your mom’s feeling.


Your best bet, now, is to work to convince her that the music isn’t harming you.  You commented that you didn’t want to tell her you’re depressed.  That’s probably a pretty good idea.  Instead, what if you work to convince her that you’re not depressed!  That even after listening to that music, you can still be happy!


Does she know that you ever cut?  If so, does she know you’ve gone two months without it?  That would be great to tell her.  What are you happy about today?  What was the best thing about your last week?  What are you looking forward to in the next week?  If you talk to her about all these things, she’s going to see you as a happier person, and maybe start to think that her friend’s son was a different case from you.


You mention that she’s very religious.  Are you doing things that show her that you’re respecting her religion (whether or not you’re agreeing with all her beliefs)?  Maybe you could talk to her about what you think God wants you to be doing – that should ease her concerns a lot!  Maybe you could offer some suggestions to make your home more in line with her religion.  For example, does your family usually pray before meals?  If not, if you suggested that they do, that would sure help convince her that you’re not beginning to worship the Devil!


And while you’re on this campaign, I won’t say you need to get rid of all your harsh metal music, but maybe you could avoid playing it when she’s around (and yes, that includes on your headphones – people can hear that sort of music just fine, a few feet away from you!).  You don’t have to start playing 17th-century hymns or One Direction, but something just a bit lighter – again, just to let her feel better about how you’re doing – would be great.


I can’t guarantee that these suggestions will fix the problem, but I do think they should help at least a little.  Try them out, and maybe, who knows, you’ll actually find you enjoy some of what you’re doing.  After all, while I agree that music won’t make you a Satanist, it almost always affects one’s mood.  And if it lightened yours up a bit, would that be such a terrible thing?!


Best of Luck!  Hope you’re able to keep it all!


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