FOR ALEX & GIBBY
If you’ve gotten this far, I'm sure you’ve read my story. Maybe you saw me on TV talking with Sarah Jennings? That was… hard.

Stop. Spoilers ahead. Before you read further, before you judge me: read my story, The Ballad of Stevie Pearl. Don't say I didn't warn ya...

Message For Fans

I want to say thank you. There’s so many words I’m struggling to find, but my appreciation for you aren’t apart of them. I know I’ve been distant. I know I haven’t kept you informed. Finding my place in this world again has been more challenging than I can express.

I think that’s the problem. We’ve bonded through feelings. I’ve worn my heart on my sleeve since I penned my first lyric, and you’ve had a backstage pass the entire way. Being human, we share these similar emotions. We have empathy for one another. That’s why I’ve been silent. I couldn’t bare exposing you to the pain I’ve endured–forcing you to understand the heartache I’ve experienced.

I also know that some of you have gone through unimaginable tragedy as well. You’ve been abused, suffered great loss, just like me. I think of you a lot. You’re the reason I’m writing this.

Powerless doesn’t begin to describe rape. I never truly understood evil until that night. Once exposed to that side of humanity, knowing the level of depravity that exists in our world, I constantly have the thought that it could happen again. At any time. The act that someone would do that type of thing to another defies logic. It’s beyond reason and rationale. And that’s what makes it so scary. The type of person who would commit this abuse has had a mental break, a complete failing and separation from any notion of human value. And because it makes no sense, chaos by its very definition, there’s no predicting when it will occur.

Life continues. The world keeps turning in the face of this unpredictable chaos. Somehow, the rest of humanity carries forward. Daily life goes uninterrupted knowing full well that this type of injustice exists. Half of me is outraged by this, the other half is thankful.

Because you’ve all kept living, you’ve carried me with you. You’ve forced me to get out of bed, to go to rehab, and participate in therapy. The first steps were purely about survival. I had to move my body so that bones and muscles could heal. I had to surround myself with memories of Alex, consume myself within his art over and over again so that I could cry. I had to wrap Gibby’s collar around my wrist, make a necklace out of his tags so that I could cry once more. Eventually I had to talk. I had to tell the story so I could cry for myself. If the world would have stopped when this happened, I’d never be able to get beyond it.

I don’t know what to do next. My responsibilities as a businesswoman feel overwhelming, insurmountable. While I miss it, the thought of me getting back out on stage and singing songs about ex-boyfriends feels trivial. I do miss your energy. I miss performing. There's a calling deep within to do the one thing in the world that makes sense to me. However, I’m terrified of leaving this moment—slipping into rhythm, and escaping from thoughts of the past or future.

Right now, in a weird way, dancing and singing is my most powerful way of forgetting the pain… and in doing so, I feel like I'm losing him all over again. Each day that passes, time steals him from me. I'm so ashamed, but his memory fades in my baked and beaten brain. This crushes me. The lines in his face become softer, his laugh less vibrant. I fight so hard to hold on to him, and I’m failing…

I’m struggling to articulate just how much Alex meant to me. He would have been my husband. I would have been a mother to his children. He died saving my life. I don’t know how to put a melody to that. I don’t know how to say goodbye. I’m not ready for the lights to turn low, for me to take a seat at the piano and a hush to come over the crowd… I’m not ready to sing The Ballad of Alex Nopah.

stvprl ~ xoxo
https://www.rainn.org/