I’ve been obsessed with a song on Grace Potter’s 2019 album, Daylight, for some time now. Release. It’s seemingly about a break-up, but I’ve created my own meaning.

I, I release you
Though it’s hard to say the words
And I, I release you
From holding onto the bridge I burned
I release you from the darkness
From the love that we swore was true
I hope that, someday, the sun will shine again
And you’ll release me, too

~ Lyrics, Grace Potter / Michael Ford Busbee; song, Grace Potter

My mom was in an abusive relationship. Emotional, verbal, and sometimes physical. Not believing me about the abuse he also inflicted upon me was the bridge she burned. Staying long enough to end up on the wrong end of a gun barrel was perhaps another.

The burning bridge she’s holding onto is perhaps her choice to deny for so long that he sexually abused me that she never got the chance to tell me she’s sorry. And maybe that’s the love she swore was true, too. She told me a number of times that she would lay down her life and die for me. That’s her releasing me. Or maybe it’s me releasing her.

Release. What a funny concept. How do you release someone who is no longer alive? How do you release someone who you no longer hold? Someone who never actually belonged to you. Sure, she was my mother. But that’s just an identity, not a belonging. I release her on a regular basis, I guess. But I can’t keep her from coming back. Does that mean I don’t actually release her? Maybe.
But this is all my interpretation. And that’s the thing. It’s oft been said that everything happens for a reason. I say you get to decide what that reason is. You get to decide what meaning you take from anything.

Give a listen to Release by Grace Potter on Spotify: