All of that stuff I draw from my own life. Loss is the first thing I knew. I was born into loss. My mother had me and raised me. So I didn’t have two parents like all the other kids in my neighborhood. I remember going, ‘Wait, Johnny down the street has a mom and a dad - where’s my dad?’ And then you go to school and you feel like you don’t fit in. That kind of stuff puts a real indelible stamp on a child.
"Thankfully, my mom remarried, and my stepfather was very cool. He pretty much taught me everything I know about surviving in this world. But we moved around a lot because of their jobs, so I wound up going to all these different schools. Again, I never felt like I belonged; I was always the new kid.
"Losing people was a way of life for me. Any time somebody came into my life, I had to view them as temporary because I knew that I was probably going to be yanked away from them soon. It plays with your head. Most kids were looking to the future and thinking about what they were going to gain, whereas I looked ahead and all I could think was, What am I going to lose next?
“I don’t know, I just feel like I should just stop thinking about it, you know, but I can’t. Maybe I’ve seen too many movies, you know, love at first sight. What do you think about love at first sight? You think you can love somebody just by looking at them? But the thing is man, I felt like I knew her, you ever get that feeling? Yeah, I probably don’t right… it felt like I did though.”—Blue Valentine (2010)
“People worry about kids playing with guns, or watching violent videos, that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands, literally thousands of songs about heartbreak, rejection, pain, misery and loss.”