My Life, According to Pat Benatar

I had no idea, when I was a preteen and had newly discovered MTV, that one of my favorite 80’s singers was literally going to narrate my adult life. That is, I didn’t realize it until last night

My Love and I saw Pat Benatar in concert. God bless him, she’s not his style of music, but he bought us tickets because he’s a sweetheart like that and he loves me! Plus, his sweet heart also knows what a hard time I’d been having since my Mom and Aunt passed away. However, upon singing along the songs with her, I had THIS revelation…an epiphany, if you will!

Back then, I thought Pat Benatar was edgy. I loved her look, her sound, her message. She was a tough chick that had an interesting sense of style. She had unruly curly hair (like me) and was very direct and scrappy. I couldn’t help but admire her tenacity, because women were still considered a domestic commodity and girls in my generation were STILL wanting to go to college primarily to “catch a husband.” Not me! And, apparently, not Pat Benatar either!

Pat was touring with her husband and musician Neil Geraldo and she still sounded GREAT. She’s still beautiful and still has her brilliant range. In fact, she sounds just as good as she did in the 80’s! Early-on in the concert, she sang, I Need A Lover. I couldn’t help but relate to the words, especially early in my marriage to my abuser:

“I need a lover that won’t drive me crazy, I need a lover that won’t drive me mad.”

Then she ventured into the song, Invincible, still making me think of what I had been through — as I continued to sing along:

“We can’t afford to be innocent…stand up and face the enemy! It’s a do or die situation! We will be invincible!”

As the concert progressed, I recognized the intro to Heartbreaker, and couldn’t help thinking she was talking about my abuser…or even, maybe, to him — as if she’d already figured him out:

“Your love has set my soul on fire, burnin’ out of control…you taught me the ways of desire now it’s takin’ its toll…

You’re the right kind of sinner, to release my inner fantasy! The invincible winner and you know that you were born to be…you’re a heartbreaker, dream maker, love taker — don’t you mess around with me! You’re a heartbreaker, dream maker, love taker — don’t you mess around…no, no, no!”

Then, after she sang a few folksy songs, she launched into Love Is A Battlefield, essentially describing how confused I was by his “go away, wait, come back” approach to our relationship:

“You’re making me go, then making me stay…why do you hurt me so bad???

It would help me to know: Do I stand in your way? Or am I the best thing you’ve had?

Believe me, believe me, I can’t tell you why, but I’m trapped by your love aaaand I’m chained to your…side…We are young! Heartache to heartache, we stand…no promises, no demands…

Love is a battlefield…”

There were a few more songs, then the concert was over. I was really saddened that she didn’t sing my favorite song, Hit Me With Your Best Shot, which is essentially NOT what someone who is being abused would want. However, if you’ve been in abuse over a long period of time, you reach a saturation point where you almost bait the abuser, because you reached a fully fed-up level LONG ago…I still can’t help but sing the lyrics, especially when he tried to “love bomb” me for the final time and it no longer had an affect on me:

“You come on with the comes on, you don’t fight fair! That’s okay, see if I care! Knock me down, it’s all in vain…I get right back up on my feet again!

Hit me with your best shot! Why don’t you hit me with your best shot! Hit me with your best shot, fire away!”

I chuckled to myself, on the hour long ride back home. My Sweetheart said, “What’s so funny?”

“Oh, you know,” I mused. “I think Pat Benatar foretold and narrated my love life. My past love life, that is.”

He shook his head. I still know he loves me and he’s “my person” — my TRUE person. He just sat through a show that really wasn’t his thing, and patted my hand even though I sound like a crazy woman. I smiled when I realized this, then started humming, We Belong:

“We belong to the light, we belong to the thunder…

We belong to the sound of the words we’ve both fallen under…

Whatever we deny or embrace for worse or for better…

We belong, we belong, we belong to-gether…”

She STILL knows me and she’s STILL got it…love Pat Benatar!

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