Some of the lyrics that resonated for me as a kid:
Daddy only stares into the distance, there's only so much more that he can take
Every single meeting with his so-called superior is a humiliating kick in the crotch
Daddy grips the wheel and stares alone into the distance. He knows that something somewhere has to break.
He sees the family home now looming in his headlights, the pain upstairs that makes his eyeballs ache.
Many miles away there's a shadow on the door [the monster from the lake]
This song was all about my father. My father would come home, angry, talking about his own humiliating kicks in the crotch, drink and verbally snap, his way of handling his constant life disappointments and the reminders of his financial responsibilities. My mom's method for handling all of this was to just ignore his tantrums while I, a child, was caught in the middle and often asked to play armchair psychologist (I had already read Freud by that age and was reading Jung because of The Police). For me, the monster was not at the door but in the house making himself at home. I was terrified a lot of the time.
This was my parent's life. Sting was singing about it so it meant others lived this way too. So, this is what marriage was and I had to avoid at all costs being in a marriage and bearing the brunt of this from a husband.
Eventually I realized that my parent's relationship wasn't what everyone had. My aunt and uncle moved down to Florida a few years later and provided a positive model of adulthood and marriage but I have always struggled with the idea that eventually, a marriage would turn someone into the kind of person that grips the wheel and hates me and his life.
As I've grown older I think that it is I who would feel this way instead.
Wow, this sound awful, doesn't it?