The Comics Empower Project has almost almost 100 personal stories!
This time, Al Kahpwn tells his story:
I was born pale and ginger in an Italian neighborhood and I was picked on all the time for it.
Each year that passed seemed to get better for everyone around me while my years just seemed to get harder.
As early as the first grade I was skipping school due to not wanting to get picked on anymore, but was forced to go anyway.
I snapped and I changed myself into something tougher, meaner, and less fragile then I really wanted to be. My life changed that and I became the Villain if you will.
I fought back and I fought back hard.
I started fights, stole cars to go on joy rides, yelled at and fought with teachers who joined in on the fact I was so different. I got worse and worse until they sent me away to a special school for kids that act up all the time. I felt like the bad guy inside at this point and felt it was my role or part to play in life.
I had to take the public train into the new school each morning and change lines twice. In one of those stations was a news stand and I picked up some comics to read on the ride.
I do not recall what my first comic was mind you, no.
I only remember the one that sucked me in, the X-Men. Sounded like a bunch of bad guys to me so I picked it up.
The characters were so complex, bad or good did not really exist until they took action.
The more the story got into Wolverine the more it dawned on me, I am not the bad guy yet.
Even though I was not proud of everything I felt I was and had done to that point, I could still turn it around. My 15-year-old mind was set on fire by the ideas and complexities of the human existence.
About good and bad, evil and holiness, god and the devil. Like most comics, life is not black and white. People can be bad then change their minds about it all and be and do good.
Redemption is possible for people and I think that lesson was the greatest lesson I ever learned.
Maybe just maybe the bad guy turns out to be the real hero and gets to live out his days making up for everything he has done.
Find out more about Al Kahpwnd on his Twitter.
Stop! Do YOU have a personal story? Send it and we’ll publish it!
Want more personal stories? Click here!