Rome came to me with an idea: a spoken word poetry piece. As soon as he told me, I knew I was in. But not just to assist in creating it, but to actually write the piece myself. It’s like I had been waiting on someone to approach me with this.
Deep down, I wanted this. I wanted to get my darkest thoughts off my chest, to see them right in front of my eyes so I could no longer hide. The Effexer Project describes the piece as a story of depression and despair. I’ve always seen the depression, but I never considered the hopelessness.
I realize the journey that controls me stems from one regret. That one regret planted seeds, branching out similar regrets. Wishing I did more for my mother formed a life of wishing I did more for everyone I ever cared about. I wish I did more to protect them, more to show I love them, more to treat them better. I never truly learned from that initial regret. Instead, I spent life trying to make up for something I can’t fix.
I regret the actions I have taken: forcing relationships I shouldn’t have, starting friendships I wasn’t mature enough for, helping people in ways that weren’t unconditional. People were hurt because of me, it’s something I can’t deny. But rather than learn from those moments so that regrets don’t have to be repeated, I dwell on those points in time and conclude they wouldn’t have happened had I simply chosen to do nothing at all.
It’s selfish thinking. Pushing people away and limiting my social existence isn’t truly about saving others. It’s about ensuring any pain people face moving forward doesn’t have to come from me. So I spend my life in isolation. It’s faulty reasoning: I can’t hurt or damage anyone if I’m not around to do anything at all.
I feel like I’m a person who was motivated by good intentions but only went on to bring turmoil through bad actions. To me, that’s the mark of a villain. Not someone who is pure evil. Rather, someone who takes the wrong route toward an otherwise relatable set of determinations.
Working on “I Am The Villain” forced me to be confronted with this truth. The repetitions of my own writing allowed my reality to sink in. I’m thinking the road to salvation is through punishing myself for my wrongs. Instead, I’m punishing everyone around me for trying to help. No matter how many times I’m told I’m not a bad person, I don’t feel it. I feel I’m trash, and selectively looking backward on my life serves as confirmation.
How many words does one need to encapsulate years of resignedness? How does one fully and accurately portray a life of self-conflicted misery? Working with The Effexer Project brought those words out. Reading my words for an audio recording was easy. Memorizing my words to be in front of a camera brought pain. It was at that moment that I truly felt the weight of my writing and mindset.
Rome is right about things I’ve been unable to see. The only way I can survive and live with myself is to get through each day alone, because I can’t live with another person being hurt for trying to get through a day with me. I just want a day to not feel like a bad guy, even if the only solution I have is to barely live life at all.
I thank Rome and The Effexer Project for bringing out my deepest thoughts in ways my writing struggles to capture. In its own way, the experience was therapeutic for me. I don’t know if my behavior will change from here. I can’t promise I will embrace the people God has placed in my life. I just know that for once, I’m fully aware and accepting of the life I have created. For once, I’m not hiding behind the mask.