I don't know what brought me here, to this place, to this... madness. I'm not talking about this site of course, no; I am merely talking about the mental state of my mind. I guess I am writing this on here because that way no one will ever know if I’m being truthful, or if this is a story that I have fabricated to scare you. The reality is that I’m going to let you decide that for yourselves.

Where shall we begin? Hmmm, I know, let’s go back to my earliest memory. It is one filled with such great joy, it's the first time I’ve seen him, the man in the shadows. My parents were arguing, about me. They had a rocky relationship to begin with, seeing as how my mother was just nineteen while my father was twenty-two. My mother was, and is not the most stable of people, suffering from postpartum depression after I was born.

Now, back to my story. I tend to get sidetracked every now and again. There he was, in the corner of my room; he was much smaller around this time of knowing him. He glared at me; I could feel the hatred he held for me emanating from his cold black eyes. I felt no fear toward him. I knew somewhere in the back of my mind he was not able to hurt me. Nights fly by like this, I stare at him, and in return he stares back.

My mother left my father and took me with her. My father fought for his right to see me, I thank him for that. I move to a new school, I don't fit in. You can see where this leads. I was bullied, I was punched, kicked, hated, everything that a kid does not need in his life. I was even hit in the face with a brick, I still have the scar from it. My mother didn't do anything about it and neither did my father, or even the teachers; they all turned a blind eye to it. The man in the shadows watched this, but not with hatred in his eyes toward me any longer, but toward those who did it. I never understood why.

Then, out of nowhere, my mother became ill; she left her work and spent all of her time upstairs unable to move. I was allowed to move to a school that was closer. I learned my lesson beforehand not to trust anyone; all they wanted from me was my cries, to see me bleed before them, to let them feel powerful. I managed six months in that place before I was back to being the way I was before. I was sure it was the man in the shadows, whispering into their ears as to why they targeted me of all people. Being at home was never good either, with my mother ill I had a further life of being alone at home thrust upon me. The man in the shadows saw this, he was roughly about the same size as me, but I know the amount of hatred he held inside toward me, no boy could ever possess. He saw me, each night just sitting, drawing away, in my room, all alone.

After all his silence, one night, when we were having our usual glare at each other, he spoke to me. He told me all the things that I knew deep down, but I didn't want to admit; he spoke to me about how the way I didn't sleep was why the kids at school attacked me, because I was... weaker. He spoke to me about the way I accepted the beatings, all because I deserved them, as it was my fault as to why no one cared about me.

He was right about the fact that I was a monster from the pictures I drew, of me. All alone, all I had ever known. He offered me a way out; he offered to take away all the pain that they were causing me. The man in the shadows wanted us to join together, have his hatred fuse with my spirit so he could have a way to express the hate, and all the pain he was willing to cause.

Let's go forward a few years, to me. As I am now, I was foolish to accept the man in the shadows' offer. Little did I know, that all the pain he would take away would be replaced by hate for myself. The kids at school backed off after I stuck a pencil through my arm and whispered into one boy's ear:

"No matter how much you try to hurt me, through words or through physicalities, just know I can do this to myself with no effort, so imagine what I can do to you."

My mother is now scared of me, after seeing the countless scars that mark my arms, from what he has caused me to do to myself. She is scared after seeing me shriek in front of mirrors and smash them; she doesn’t know that it's him I see, not my reflection. I don't see my face, I see the man in the shadows with the grin on his face full of twisted malice. She has suggested I go and see a doctor about this thing called "depression." She thinks she knows what it is, after having it herself. She doesn’t know that there is nothing wrong with me; it’s just something in me.

My father has tried to get me to show compassion, tried to get me to care for my younger sister and twin baby brothers, but for what? To have them hurt me the way that everyone else would, like he did by not showing he truly cared for me? No, all they will grow up to be, is just like the others. They will only pretend to care about me, just so they can make themselves look good.

Oh shadow man, no, this not the end; you want me to take those pills right over there, don't you, my friend? You won’t take me in the way that you intend. You can mark my skin with cuts, you can prepare me to tie my own noose, dig my own grave, but no, I promise you that I’m not insane.