From her start as a Triple J Unearthed Artist to finding herself on stage at Byron Bay’s Falls Festival in 2019, this weekend she’ll vie to represent Australia in Rotterdam at Eurovision 2020.
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And with her song, Rabbit Hole, she’s hoping to use her performance to shed light on an issue very close to her own heart.
“(Rabbit Hole) is about the complicated relationship I have with trauma and the way I react in the face of it,” Jaguar, whose real name is Deena Lynch, explained.
“I wrote it at a time when I was really learning about my complex PTSD, which I’ve had for 20 years.”
For as long as she can remember, Jaguar has experienced episodes of freezing and physically shutting down, she told Queensland’s Sunday Mail.
Beginning when she a child, complex citizenship issues meant she was separated from her parents at the age of six and moved to Australia, where she was bounced between foster homes for seven years until her mother was finally granted citizenship.
“I would freeze, lock up and play dead,” she told the publication, not realising that these episodes weren’t something people normally experienced.
“Rabbit Hole is about exploring the intricacies of our vulnerabilities, and how it unknowingly manifests into different coping mechanisms as we go through life’s inevitable obstacles.”
In her mid-20s, five different psychologists diagnosed her with complex post-traumatic stress disorder.
Jaguar said so much of what defines her as an artist is her honesty and vulnerability, something she’s hoping to convey on Saturday night during her Eurovision: Australia Decides performance.
“People don’t really talk about it (PTSD), so when they told me I was like ‘No way’ because that’s what soldiers have, that doesn’t make sense. Why would I have it?” she said, adding that there’s a lot of shame built around addressing issues like post traumatic stress disorder.
Following her diagnosis, she began to come to terms with the episodes she experienced, and wrote Rabbit Hole in 2018 to better understand the place she goes in her mind.
As the only Queensland hopeful out of the 10 competitors, Jaguar said a platform like Eurovision would be perfect to share the song and start a dialogue about PTSD.
“I hope it connects with Australia or whoever needs it. I want it to say that trauma doesn’t have to define you, and that we can return the strength to live the life we deserve.”