Stranger Things Season 4 | Dealing With Trauma

photo grab from google photos
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Warning: Spoilers

The latest season of Stranger Things came out a couple of weeks ago and it’s now on its 4th season. I have been a fan of the show since it started. I fell in love with Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven) I wrote a post about my love for her acting with just her facial expressions on her film Enola Holmes. The thing about Stranger Things is the unique story line and having children to be the main characters is very captivating to watch. The balance of horror/suspense with the charm of the kids is quite entertaining plus having a weird and innocent bald little girl have superpowers is fire lol. I don’t really know how to explain the plot of Stranger Things. Every time someone asks me what it’s about I just say that there are monsters and the kids defeat them which sounds like any cartoon show lol. If you have watched the show how would you describe it without overwhelming a person who hasn’t watched it?

Another thing that I loved about Stranger Things is its consistency. Producers and creators has tendency to ruin shows after its successful first season. They try so hard to follow it up that the story feels like it’s forced to progress *cough* Riverdale *cough*. Stranger Things still gives me chills when watching it. I was worried when following seasons were announced. I was like “okay how is this gonna go? They’ve defeated the monsters. They can’t show up again and again.” But the story still ties up from the very beginning and they can still put some twists to it. I also love the characters, how they have their own time to shine and be a hero. There are a lot of main characters in this show and they manage to still add valuable characters without making it feel like just an add-on and also not upstaging old characters.

photo grab from google photos

Okay enough about the background of the show. I am here to talk about the new season and how the show was all about dealing with trauma. I was re-watching Stranger Things season 4 with my boyfriend the other day. I have been asking him to watch the latest season since it was released but he was too hesitant because he wanted to watch it full without waiting for the volume 2. But I convinced him and we watched it until the episode 4.

I get to re-watch episode 4 and appreciate it more. If you guys haven’t watched it yet and don’t want any spoilers just skip this post. There’s a specific scene at the end of the episode where Max was in trance under Vecna’s spell. Before that, at the beginning of the season Max was clearly going through something after witnessing the death of his older brother in the previous season. Max was coming off a bit troubled and distanced even having flashbacks on what happened with her brother. Vecna preys on those who have trauma and guilt. He goes into its victim’s mind and replays their trauma until they give in and surrender to him. The whole season revolves around that and how do you stop a monster who just lives in troubled people’s minds?

photo grab from google photos

Back to Max’s trance, Vecna got into her mind and Max kept running and fighting but Vecna is powerful and got her and almost killed her but one thing that is more powerful is music. Along Max’s fight against Vecna, Max’s friends had a hunch that playing your favorite music can get Vecna’s victims out of the trance and it did. Max’s favorite music (Running Up That Hill by Kate Bush) was played and it created a portal to reality but it wasn’t enough so Max thought of all the wonderful memories that she had in the past, every happy memories that she has. It gave her power to get away from Vecna and ran towards the portal. She kept running until she reached it and she finally woke up.

photo grab from google photos

I’m not really a great story teller but that’s what happened lol. You just have to watched it to feel the intensity of the scene. And what I love about it are the symbolism and metaphors. It’s posing Vecna as the monster in our heads that keeps replaying our past traumas. He’s the initiator of the dark thoughts that’s just lurking in the back of our minds that we want to forget but we can’t because we just keep on pushing it aside. The way the scene played out is haunting, it was so dark. The trance is just like how we give in to our depression, how it feels like there’s no way out and it won’t get better. The music and the portal were so significant as a symbol of hope. Music truly helps us every time we feel something that we can’t express. Just like what was said in the show “music gets to the parts of the brain that words can’t… it’s a lifeline.” Music takes us to another place and let us escape. The way the portal was shown is like the imagery of a light at the end of the tunnel and when Max was running so fast to reach that light gave me chills. The whole scene gave me chills.

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Dealing with trauma is not easy. Most people tend to act normal like all Vecna’s victims but deep down everyone has a baggage that they’ve been carrying for so long. It’s important to have an outlet when it comes to your emotions because bottling up can drown you. Others try to deal with it in different ways even if it hurts them physically. Some try to deal with it with liquors, smoking, sex, and etc. unhealthy coping mechanisms that help them forget. Those who deals with trauma has a hard time accepting that something is bothering and hurting them. They want to be seen as strong and “normal” whatever that means but they don’t know that running from it rather than addressing it can haunt them in the long run.

The best way to deal with trauma from my point of view is by talking about it and I know that it is hard to do that, that’s why there are different ways to express yourself without actually having to talk about it. Music is one, singing the songs that represents what you’re going through is by far the greatest outlet in my book. For some people words are hard to find to describe their emotions and what they’re going through and with music it helps them find those words and actually make them feel like they’re not alone. For me I use music and writing, I have talked about music and writing in this blog from the very beginning. They have been my friends for such a long time. They truly helped me throughout my journey with my mental health. But nothing beats by talking about it with the people you trust.

I think I’ve rambled enough in here, I just really love that scene. If you haven’t watched it yet I recommend that you go watch it now.

Anyway, take care always. Reach out to people, hang out with your family and friends, and please know that someone cares about you.


This was written around June 20th and volume 2 is out now! Be right back as I’ll probably cry watching the finale of Stranger Things 4.

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Related Post:
Finding The Moral Of The Story | Enola Holmes

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All Too Well

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Lots of things has been going on in my life right now but I wouldn’t miss this moment to write down my thoughts on my favorite Taylor Swift album of all time which is Red.

Taylor Swift released her most vulnerable album called “Red”. Taylor Swift is still working on getting back her masters by re-recording her past works. She first released a re-recorded version of Fearless and now she has released her version of Red. Along with the original 20 tracks she has also released songs from The Vault (unreleased tracks that didn’t make the cut) that makes up the 30 songs on this re-recorded version. Included in The Vault is the most awaited version of All Too Well which is a 10 minute song.

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All Too Well is a fan favorite song, it is claimed to be Taylor Swift’s greatest song (it is). In this re-recorded version, Taylor finally made All Too Well as its single, releasing not only a music video but a short film to accompany the story telling of the song. Starring herself, Dylan O’Brien, and Sadie Sink which delivered an outstanding performance that really embodied the heartbreaking experience of the song.

The aesthetics of the short film is very pleasing to watch. The direction made by Swift was enough to bring the story to life and make her fans feel satisfied and even exceeding expectations. The perfect story telling where Taylor is known for in her songs, she brought that and made it in this film. The way she captured the stages of a heartbreak from the “honeymoon” stage, to the first crack, to the breaking point, to breaking down, to coping, and finally moving on. The film and the longer version of the song brought a bigger picture to the standard version, making it even better which we never thought is possible since the original version is a masterpiece as it is. The added lyrics brought out a lot of “tea” from her infamous relationship with actor Jake Gyllenhaal. The additional lyrics twisted the knife that was already pushed in our hearts done by the original version.

Notable Lyrics:

“And I was thinking on the drive down, any time now he’s gonna say it’s love, you never called it what it was”

“You kept me like a secret but I kept you like an oath”

“They say all’s well that ends well, but I’m in a new hell every time you double-cross my mind”

All Too Well 10 minute version was a perfect ender to the album with its slightly different production from the standard version, making it feel more cinematic and reminiscent. The song alone will take you on an emotional ride and journey, it feels like the whole feel of the album was put into All Too Well. Red (Taylor’s Version) will comfort its listeners through heartbreak like a scarf that gives warmth from the coldness of the autumn season.

Taylor Swift still doesn’t stop to amaze her fans with her creativity and with her mind. I never seen anyone released a 10-year old album and still make it seem like new, and with this level of success. I also never seen any artist make a song that didn’t have any promotion, wasn’t a single, didn’t have a video, or wasn’t even sang that much and made it her greatest song. This proves how great of a song writer Taylor Swift is, just from her raw and honest emotion, and her vulnerability all of these made her who she is right now. Taylor Swift is hands-down a 1 in a million talent and artist. And I am proud to be alive in this era where she’s dominating.

Stream: Red (Taylor’s Version)

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My Favorite Things: My Music

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I could never go a day without listening to music. I feel so incomplete when I forget my earphones especially when going to work as I take the public bus to go to and from work, music accompanies me through it. Also, I sleep with music on as I couldn’t sleep without it which I don’t recommend since I sleep with my earphones on, I do set a timer though.

While we’re on this topic let me share with you a playlist of songs I’ve created on Spotify I named it Ignore The World as I listen to this playlist to “ignore the world” and drown out the noise of reality.

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I think all of us has specific songs that we listen to every time we want to be alone and for me these are those songs. I am a lyric-centered type of listener, I focus on the lyrics more than the melody most of the time that is why most of the songs in this playlist are mellow. Listening to music is one way of focusing our mind on one thought and when you’re the kind of person whose train of thoughts doesn’t stop, music is one of the most effective way to slow that down. Also, discovering artists that perfectly explains how I feel in a song makes me feel seen and understood.

That is why I want to take this moment and appreciate what music does and it is probably one of the greatest pleasure in life that we take for granted.

Do music also uplifts your mood? Share your playlist with me. 😄


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Renegade

Okay, I think most of you know how I love Taylor Swift so much and if you don’t know that yet now you do.

Big Red Machine released a song featuring Taylor Swift but she sang all the words lol. It’s called Renegade. To think that Taylor probably wrote all the words she can think of and all the stories she can tell and sing about by now— we’re wrong. Renegade is the sister of Long Story Short from Evermore in terms of the melody but in terms of the lyrics she haven’t written in this type of perspective and relationship before (I think). Renegade is the song I’ve been wanting to write about for so long now but I was too conscious to try because it talks about mental health and the toxicity it surrounds.

via Taylor Swift’s instagram

Renegade is about a certain relationship where one is going through personal challenges that hinders them to be the best version of themselves and prevent them from giving their partner the kind of love that they deserve. This is the kind of relationship where the other person is torn between weathering it out or just leave for the sake of their own mental health but there’s the thought of how they can be selfish especially when they know that their partner is going through a difficult time for them to just leave. I’ve been wanting to write from this perspective but I just don’t know how I should say that understanding someone dealing with their mental health can sometimes be too overwhelming to the point that being around them can also affect our own mental health. We stay because we feel guilty of leaving them in that state even when it starts hurting us too, we endure that to make it work and hope that one day that person will realize that they need to fix themself, and finally get that kind of love we expect from them.

Taylor Swift wrote it in ways that I wish I wrote it first lol. She worded it out with such honesty that when I first listened to this song it hit me so hard, and I couldn’t believed that she wrote this.

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Lyric breakdown:

“I tapped on your window on your darkest night
The shape of you was jagged and weak
There was nowhere for me to stay, but I stayed anyway”

I relate this with how in a relationship there’s a point that we still feel like we’re still on the outside looking in on our partner’s life. And in this case I imagined how it’s a recurring experience where one was so guarded, problematic, and closed off in that relationship. And when it’s a thing that happen again and again it can lead to second thoughts of whether one should stay or just leave but often times there’s still that hope that it will get better someday for one to decide to stay. There are a lot of people who stay because of “potential” which is a very conflicting attitude towards everything. I loved that she used “tapping on a window” as a metaphor for that one.

“You wouldn’t be the first renegade to need somebody.”

I interpret the term “renegade” in this song as a traitor to one’s self. As this song obviously talks about a lover who’s dealing with their personal issues and for me I relate it with mental health. When a person deals with anxiety or depression they tend to abandon their confidence in themselves. The person singing this song clearly feels exhausted in this relationship to say this line, that they are not the only one dealing with that kind of problem.

“Is it insensitive for me to say, “Get your shit together so I can love you?”
Is it really your anxiety that stops you from giving me everything? Or do you just not want to?”

This is what I was too conscious to talk about. Having mental health problems is one thing but being with someone dealing with their own mental health problems is another thing. It can be too overwhelming and for someone it can also be toxic. Like, what Taylor wrote she acknowledges how it can be viewed as being insensitive to ask for their partner to fix themself. She also questioned is it really their personal issues stopping them from loving them fully or is she not worth it for that love.

“You fire off missiles ’cause you hate yourself
But do you know you’re demolishing me?
And then you squeeze my hand as I’m about to leave”

Oh my gosh my favorite line in the song. People with mental health problems can sadly be self-centered (talking from experience) they can be too occupied from hating themselves that they don’t realize that they’re hurting the people around them too. And then I interpreted the “squeeze my hand” part as saying that “everything will be okay, please be patient with me”. It’s that hope that your partner gives as you’re about to decide to leave. Like, asking you to wait just a little more because they know you’re exhausted in that relationship.

Dealing with mental health problems is very complicated. So, please stop romanticizing the idea of two broken people fixing each other or even just one broken person being fixed by their lover. It can take a lot out of a person to have this kind of a relationship.

This song is written perfectly in my opinion. I don’t know how Taylor keeps impressing me with her song writing for so many years now. Her songwriting ages well. You can also tell how much I dissected this song. You can also tell how I read into words too much especially when it’s a Taylor Swift song lol.


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Sour Is A ‘Sweet’ Album

Photo credits to Teen Vogue
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What a great time to be alive when music from a new artist such as Olivia Rodrigo exists.

I can’t believe my Taylor Swift madness has come to a stop because of Olivia Rodrigo’s album Sour. These past months Folklore and Evermore are the only albums I have been listening to plus Twenty One Pilots’ Scaled & Icy. Olivia’s Sour is the fastest 30mins that has passed in my life. I think everybody knows her from her famous debut single “Driver’s License” which I think has the greatest bridge ever. Then she followed it with “Deja Vu” and “Good 4 U”, there’s only a few debut artist that can do that; most artists becomes a one hit wonder and was only known for that one song. But I was amazed on Olivia Rodrigo’s songwriting which a lot of people compare her with Taylor Swift which is very notable in her writing style. Her debut album is very descriptive and has a good story telling in which Taylor Swift was known for in her earlier career. I watched this reaction on Youtube and at one point the reactor said that she had Taylor Swift when she was 15 and 15 year olds now has Olivia Rodrigo, which I thought was very true.

Photo credits to Genius

Sour is full of songs about young love and heartbreak which covers that angst young people go through in life. When I listened to this album I felt old because I remember how Taylor Swift used to write songs like these in the past, and listening to these types of songs at this age makes me feel nostalgic because these feelings used to be felt by us when we were younger. She perfectly captured that “insecurity” and “bitterness”, and also that “immaturity” in young heartbreaks. I really love how descriptive her lyrics are, it’s so honest and it’s so straight to the point that it isn’t hard to comprehend compare to songs that are covered up with metaphors. Her album consists of 11 songs which can range to 2-3 minutes per song which is very short but it’s just in an appropriate length especially when it’s just her first album. Another thing I liked about this album is that every songs sound so different which shows her diversity.

I never imagined myself— a 24 year old liking another artist especially from ones who are younger than me. I’m still stuck in the 90’s and early 2000’s music. So, liking Olivia Rodrigo’s music was a huge surprise. I rarely check out new artists nowadays since songs that’s being put out lately has overproduced sounds which I kind of dislike. With Olivia Rodrigo’s music she’s bringing back a pulled back sound and even bringing back punk pop, punk rock Avril Lavigne vibes. At her age (17), I’m quite impressed that she has this maturity in terms of her music style. It was also her vulnerability that captured me, the writing plus the way she sings. You can really feel the emotions. I don’t know what to say anymore, every song in this album is just so good.

My favorite track from the album right now is Enough For You, I think it is the best written song in her album. I hate to compare but this song has that Taylor Swift style of writing where she changes the perspective in the end of the song. It’s hard not to put her name beside Taylor Swift since she’s a big Swiftie and most of her fans are Taylor Swift fans as well just like me.

This album gives potential for Olivia Rodrigo to be nominated for a Grammys at least for Best New Artist & Song Of The Year for ‘Driver’s License’. I’m looking forward to her future projects. I’m excited where she’s going to go from this successful debut.

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