For a few years, I planned on entitling my book “Growing Up Jeub.” But I felt that it didn’t do justice to the many aims I have in telling the story of my upbringing. In 2018, when I relaunched my blog and began restoring my archives, I read the book “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou, and was reminded that a memoir is not just a subjective cry, but a song – a chance to resonate deeply about what we share in music, in the universality of death, in the similarities of our experiences.
The house I grew up in was a gaslit one. Every aspect of my life was lived behind a mask. My parents called it love, and built a platform for themselves about how love is the greatest commandment in the Bible. What it really was will take an entire book to tell. To be gaslit is to have your reality overruled and undermined, squeezed and shaped – until you no longer trust your own mind. It is incredibly easy to gaslight children, as they are so malleable and trusting. If you homeschool and shelter them from the outside world, as my parents did me, it can be nearly impossible to ever find reality.
It is for this reason that I call it “the dream house.” It was a translucent reality, filled with the memory gaps of minimized incidents of violence. It was dream-like, for it was filled with fear and inconsistency. But it was also the fulfilled dream of my parents’ imagined world, to the extant that they still believe in the dream themselves. To them, the Jeub family is big and loving, large and warm, fun and happy. Seeing through the intense levels of manipulation, as a young adult, was like waking up from a dream.
Music has always been a highlight to being alive for me. From early childhood, I noticed and adored music. From my first love for Christian hip-hop to my discovery of metal, lyrics have always defined moments clearly for me. Music was both an escape and a weapon of propaganda, especially as it was used to reinforce religious extremism. As I have always woven songs in with my writing, and I will be discussing music and its power at length in my book, the obvious title for the book became “Music in the Dream House.”
Music in the Dream House has a Patreon page! Read more about it here.