The Slow Descent to a Piggyback

For those of you who don’t know Melanie Martinez, she was a hot commodity after her first appearance on The Voice because of her quirky looks and personality paired with her signature raspy voice. Following her elimination of the program, she gained further popularity with her eccentric sound, later appearing in the televised advertisements for American Horror Story: Freakshow. Martinez is a figure to be admired by the odd ones who can relate to her pastel baby doll aesthetic with its subtle gothic elements.

Last year, Martinez found herself in the middle of a controversy when her former best friend and rising star accused the singer of rape. The news didn’t spread very wide, but people were quick to picking sides, splitting her fans between those who didn’t believe it and those who were filming themselves setting her merchandise on fire.

Her fame was left relatively unscathed as the singer didn’t immediately join the ever-growing flame of the media and took a break from her social media for a quiet year. She has since returned to her accounts and is releasing new music on her Soundcloud. News later appeared to reveal that the accusations against her were more than likely false – and so the world calmed down.

Following the frenzy, Melanie released a song called “Piggyback” on her Soundcloud, a track that separated itself from the Crybaby storyline. The song was more of a personal narrative that told more truth than fiction, and this is where we get to the root of today’s article.

How do you know if a friendship is hurting you more despite you doing your best to help?

I have one best friend to this very fucking day. (…) Trusted too many fake people while I was still young.

This track follows Melanie’s signature sound, simplistic and addicting. The lyrics, however, will catch the eye of anyone who can relate.

In our youth, we can attest to the toxicity of friends and how one can never truly learn how to identify the danger of anyone in their inner circle. When you’re young, there’s more comfort in a large group of friends, but age slowly weeds the group down until there are maybe one or two people whom you actually can trust with a mutual bond. The lesson is never completely learned, but we can move forward knowing when to trust our gut and to cut loose even if it means being isolated (for lack of a better word).

Piggyback’s lyrics go on to explain how fame is not solely for one person, but it can drag along your friends whether you want to or not. The need to be in the spotlight can overshadow the concept of trust and integrity. While someone is ultimately your friend, you can never be sure if this person will use you until it’s too late.

Love and empathy are things that we hold so close, trying to learn and evolve.

Humans will forever give too much for the sake of love – just as we have always historically done against our better judgment. And while you typically hear of toxic relationships, you rarely find much usable advice for toxic friendships since, well, who do we go to when we need to realize someone is toxic?

Despite Melanie’s obvious oddities, we can admit that she is victim to an all too common occurrence with young adults. The hard-working individual can’t avoid having friends who will grab hold of the riches they earn. The concept of earning versus taking is something you can only understand when someone has taken something from you. We can’t learn this lesson from one toxic friendship – it’ll be a routine to experience until no one is left to steal anything from you.

There’s no shame in admitting someone is toxic. In fact, it takes an enormous amount of strength to renounce the trust and love you have for someone which is probably why these toxic friendships tend to last so long. It isn’t easy to break away from someone who once offered comfort when times we dark, but once they begin to contribute to that darkness, it feels like there’s no one left to pull you away from that slow and steady slope to being drained of all that’s left.

I can offer all the advice in the world, but the loyalty to your friends will always overpower the thought of betrayal and toxicity. We will only separate ourselves when it has been taken too far and we’ve been stretched out to the point of breaking.

Self-preservation over all.

You can’t fix the very existence of someone who puts effort into using your energy for their benefit.

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