Hello, little traitor.
I can see you, shuffling off down the sinuous paths of this labyrinth, forever scuttling away, hiding, shifting.
I am very, very angry with you.
Do you know why?
Of course you do. After all, you've been in the driving seat for years, haven't you? You're the one behind the bad decisions. You're also the one behind good decisions too, or at least ones that seemed good at the time, because you're good at those ones - hence my feelings of betrayal. You're the one that made me deflect decisions, shy away from things, settle for less than my worth. You managed to convince me that I wasn't good enough or smart enough or handsome enough or rich enough, that I was below this or that person, that I was lucky to be just as I was. You were the one who encouraged me to sneer at others; you were the one who said I was better off sat in the corner, reading a book, when I wanted to play as a child; later, you persuaded me that an aura of solitude was cool, and keeping people at arm's length was the right thing to do.
I've lost people because of you.
I lost my integrity, even though you kidded me into believing that I had it in spades.I lost any direction I might have had, because you persuaded me that there were so many directions to go in, so many paths.
when I landed a job, you told me it was all down to me being 'lucky', even though the job wasn't that great - after all, it was still a job. And then you whispered that it was, somehow, a great job and in some way better than others - god, it took me YEARS to suspect that wasn't really true. Now, it is, by happenstance, true that I am very, VERY good at teaching, but then again, I've had nineteen years of doing it, and not doing much else - and why?
Because, you whispered, I don't have time, or I don't have money, or I'm not good enough, or I should be doing it for serious purposes, rather than for pleasure.
And why not pleasure? Because you said it was worthless. The only fun I ever had was having a few drinks - but you spoiled that by pouring too much down my throat and ruining it all, you little sack of crap.
And then you cleared my wallet of money and made me worry about that, you backstabbing tosspot. And even while I was worried about that, I couldn't countenance getting a different job - why? because again, you said, I wasn't quite right for anything out there.
And then you allowed me to get angry and frustrated and long to hurt, because I was trapped in the inside of a labyrinth.
You have poisoned so much in my life.
And for the last few months, FINALLY, I have been treading this maze, seeking out all these my problems, trying to understand the shape and form of this puzzle. Slowly, I have linked passageway to passageway; I have a twine in my hand, and gradually, like Theseus seeking the minotaur, I have been edging towards the centre, but for a long time, I kept circling - and I didn't even notice I was doing so - why? Because you, who I thought was at the centre of the mystery, you were actually there, whispering directions to me, making me double back, pause, turn, then turn again.
And then, as if the sky had cleared, I saw through your tricks: the way you say, 'ah yes, but...' or 'well, like this is for the best...', or the way you divert my mind, my attention from what is, how you stop me from following a true path.
I saw you, and now you're bolting down the paths of my mind, a little black shape with a rat's tail - a mindrat, the festering little blister of darkness responsible for so much, for holding me back, for making me settle for less than I can be. I don't know exactly how you were spawned, where you come from, but I know that you are a thing of fear, and I will catch you.
Hello, little traitor - let me introduce myself. I am Paul Gallantry, and you are not the one in charge, not any more.This is my labyrinth.
....and that's where I was several hours ago, except I realised that this cunning little bastard inside my head has made me define myself entirely by negatives, something that is not a reflection of me as an entire person! Damn, it's clever - I've been misdirected again! The thing is, I do not understand this strange sequestered bit of my soul - all I know is that it's responsible for tethering me back, but why, well, that's anyone's guess.