The Right Reasons

CW: domestic violence, abuse, suicide

I’d like to think of myself as someone who is constantly changing. I try to improve. Up until my early 20s (lol I’m still in my early 20s), I was a pretty bitter person.

The initial reason why I got into music composition isn’t a happy one. I wasn’t entirely in it for the right reasons (‘right’ is subjective – but what fueled me was a very toxic purpose).

Around 2013, while in college I started dating a classmate of mine, Tomoki Miyoshi. We were in the same freshman/entering class at Berklee.

Tomoki was a very gifted and advanced composer for his age. He was on a full composition scholarship, he placed in much higher music courses than your average entering student, and by that point he had already written music for big games like Soulcaliber V.

My relationship with Tomoki only lasted about 8 months (from Jan 2013-September 2013), but it was highly volatile. He got violent. He was a master manipulator, and really quite good at controlling the narrative. But the crucial part, despite how he treated me and how he was behind closed doors: he was likable.

Tomoki had this very dramatic and incredibly exaggerated way of romanticizing himself and his music. He was confident, condescending (people forgave him for the latter because his music was good):

I moved in with Tomoki summer of 2013, and things deteriorated pretty quickly. I was 19. The relationship became a pretty good definition of insanity.

I’d get dragged into very long, emotionally charged arguments. usually with the resolution that my IQ was too low. The weirdest one– Tomoki was convinced that Charles Manson was innocent. To him, because I believed Manson was rightfully convicted/in jail, means that I was a victim of mass media propaganda and had no brain of my own.

There was never any winning. The arguments eventually got violent, but sporadically at first. The subject could be about whatever. He started with pinching, twisting my skin. Then eventually shoving me into furniture. Then kicking.

Then it got so bad that I started hiding in our closet.

Fast forward to September 2013, Tomoki confiscated my keys to the apartment in a final argument. He was squeezing my head in frustration, and multiple times I thought he might crack it open. In between sobbing, yelling, and beating me, he tried to kill himself by jumping out of our apartment’s 2nd-story window. Wide-eyed and scared for my (and his) life, I hid all of the knives in the apartment and I got the fuck out of there.

I remember it being eerily quiet. It was starting to snow outside. I was in the living room of my best friend’s apartment. I’ll never forget the lump in my throat, my shaky voice, on calling my parents and having to explain that my boyfriend had been beating me for several months and I needed help.

My mom couldn’t believe it. I had constantly raved about how intelligent and talented he was. They met him.

My mom flew over to Boston to help me. My friends took me to file for a restraining order, the police escorted me to move my things out of the apartment. The college assisted me throughout it all.

There were detectives, a case, detailed pictures of the bruises I had received throughout our relationship. After their own investigation, the college decided to permanently expel Tomoki.

My college experience til that point felt like a Lifetime movie. I had close friends, but the majority of the friends I had made (with Tomoki) were no longer my friends. Half of the people who knew the story/witnessed the strangeness of our intense breakup, didn’t believe me. It was humiliating.

I was debating dropping out of college and returning home. i didn’t want anything to do with Berklee and with music.

But my mom posed a question: “Don’t you think you could write music like Tomoki? He always said you were too stupid to write music. Don’t you want to prove yourself, and prove him wrong?”

From that point, I had a deep, visceral conviction that I needed to be good at whatever I was trying to do. I declared my film scoring major. I was driven by the vision that I was going to be on top, unreachable, and be able to protect myself from Tomoki or anyone like him. I wanted to have the upper hand.

I admit the reason why I picked this industry wasn’t healthy. But with time, I have grown and found a new appreciation for what I do.

I look back at this part of my life and I am ok to speak about it pretty candidly. I haven’t had any contact with Tomoki for almost 7 years. I think he is sick and probably is suffering on his own.

I’ve heard stories from multiple people that he’s also been in relationships with – it’s quite odd when they’ve shared screenshots of Message history with him…it’s almost always the same kind of arguments. So familiar: something about how Tomoki has reached Nirvana, he’s spiritual and enlightened, and the person he’s dating is too dumb to understand what true happiness is. It really is odd.

I’ve moved on emotionally, I’m doing well in my own right. I feel like I am finally ready to share my story. It’s a very intense one and only a few close friends know all the details.

Idolizing someone is dangerous. When this was all happening, my impression was that Tomoki’s actions were always glazed over because he was talented. I see this kind of enabling happen all the time as a creative.

Thanks for reading




  1. Richard R Bisso says:

    We love you, Nadia!!

  2. Thanks for sharing this.

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