Country singer Lindsay Ell is using her music to open up about a traumatic experience.
The 31-year-old sat down with People to discuss the meaning behind her new ballad make you, a powerful and surprising song in which Lindsay reveals she was sexually assaulted as a young teenager.
She sings on the track:
“It’s gonna make you hate yourself / When you didn’t hate yourself at all / It’s gonna make you build a fortress / Where you never had a wall”
While speaking to the publication, the musician said of the track:
“I was raped when I was 13, and it happened again when I was 21. The song only talks about the first time. It’s just a difficult thing to talk about, and it’s something that I process every day still… Part of me talking about it now is liberating the little 13-year-old Lindsay and the 21-year-old Lindsay. Pain is something we can let control us if we don’t deal with it, but the minute you put a voice to your story the shame has no power.”
The Calgary, Canada native explained that, as a young girl, she had been groomed by a man in her church whom her family knew. When she was 13, that man raped her — and a young Lindsay did what most victims do: she blamed herself.
“I felt like I had really messed up, that everybody was going to judge me and that the rest of my life was ruined.”
The songstress didn’t tell her parents about the rape until she was 20 years old. She recalled:
“They had no idea it happened, and they were absolutely horrified. I’m so grateful towards both of them because they helped me not go into any unhealthy mechanisms to cope.”
Lindsay sought therapy for the first time with her parents’ support, and started to recover. But tragically, she was raped again a year later in a situation that she said was “different” and “a lot more violent.” She added:
“I was pretty messed up emotionally. I had a weird relationship with anything about the body because I just hadn’t felt safe.”
We can only imagine…
It wasn’t until about three years ago when she had a breakthrough moment while visiting Youth for Tomorrow, an organization that supports young victims of sexual abuse, to help launch their music program.
“I sat down at this conference table with 12 girls and told my story. As I told more of my story, they felt more inclined to share theirs. I remember walking out of there just feeling so empowered and like I was 10 feet tall.”
Now, Lindsay is telling her story in her music — and giving proceeds from her song to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN). She also decided to release make you on World Forgiveness Day as a way of helping herself heal from the trauma.
She told the outlet:
“I wanted to release it on Global Forgiveness Day. Forgiving people in our past is a huge thing for whatever reason, but forgiving yourself is so important. There’s an incredible amount of healing that can happen, and it can’t happen until you can truly open up that forgiveness for your own heart.”
Take a listen to make you (below):
If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual abuse, text “STRENGTH” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified counselor.
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