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  • Writer's pictureChris Siders


Updated: Jul 8

It gets lonely and frustrating sometimes when you curse the world and people look at you crazy for doing so.

Photo cred: RJ Miller

As if our lived experiences speak the same language. They don’t. The same person that interrogated me on my intent shown they truly don’t know anything about my circumstances. Which again, frustrating when you are open about why you are a certain way. If I have an anxiety problem (which I do) understand it goes deeper than whats presented on the surface. It takes one person to invalidate another’s outlook where they are actively questioning to send them in spiral.

“Acting like a rapper.”

Well, in the entertainment business. Being rapper is considered one of the most dangerous, due to extortion. No knowledge of how things can go may cost your career and even life. Its a common trap many have fallen to. Especially when our society doesn’t give us many options on how to uplift ourselves from poverty. In such an environment not only the limit of resources is an issue, but role models as well. Having things can unlock new ways of thinking and trailblazing. For now, a lot of role models seen are our artists. We champion them because they understand what it’s like to see what we see and navigate what we navigate. The president of the united states wouldn’t know what’s going on emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually etc. Point i’m getting at all eyes you’ve seen and those that are unseen are on you. There’s reason to be wary on all levels. Don’t matter if you underground, you got a buzz and making moves people will cling. I hate that I got look at people around me twice thinking they are trying to get a lick off of me. Some have tried already.

As I make these expressions of feeling unsafe, Acting like a rapper is dismissive, invalidating and disgusting.

Thus, hours after my second show with Silhouettes Of Scarlet an individual left comments personally attacking me in real life. In the heat of the moment I had my suspicions, but already know who it is, as its a person that knows my insecurities and knows how to get under my skin. Throughout this process, I lost friends to disagreements, made enemies and even lost more people to death. Couple days before a fairly new friend of mine overseas passed away. It hurts to see my friends grieve.

On a interpersonal note, the conversations me and him had about God, advancement to better ourselves messed with my head a bit. I told him about wanting to admit myself into mental institution last year. He told me, “god told me to be here with you because I been through it.” Sharing his bouts with addiction, and staying on the path with God. He said I am strong and meant to be here. At times when I look back I think to myself damn I really almost threw away everything I have now.

Chris Siders x Smino. Photo cred: Lara.

In a way, being in this period of rest, I realize I kind of gave up my agency to privacy. My  obsession with explanation, or no one getting the wrong idea or jumping the gun gives people the space to weaponize what I disclose. There needs to be accountability on myself because I vomit everything as “yo I’m struggling” but once again dont say what I need or how to help because i’m afraid. It often leads to poor decision making. Accountability is more than just saying sorry or calling out self.

A narrative of “Chris needs help” is in actuality my rawness on display. Shit being raw makes people uncomfortable. I hate to say it, but I like being raw. It doesn’t leave room for people to avoid what needs to be talked about. One of my best friends saw Silhouettes and said she felt it was unfiltered, raw and as if she was in the middle of everything. Thats the point. I want people to feel how I feel. The embarrassment of mistakes, saying the wrong things, being confused on how things got there, not knowing if there’s a true resolution. I can’t help, but write what I experience and feel and not faking it.

Amidst of that, I am an over-thinker. I constantly asked my love ones to put me in check, or call me in because i don’t want to lose myself as I climb this mountain. I hate to admit this too, but I do have an habit of losing myself in others in different capacities. Friendship. Business. Especially romantic. So with that by the end of the show, you don’t really know if my character made a certain decision. The freewill of returning to old habits or starting anew. It’s a vicious cycle. A good friend told me the point of boundaries isn’t for others to follow them, but for you to follow them. In other words, you can’t expect people to respect you. You have to respect yourself. Friends that attended the show all expressed the same thing: “man I was so frustrated watching the second to last scene because that we all been saying for the last year and a half!” The embodiment of Chris Siders was present in all of its beautiful and monstrous parts. That’s raw.

A lesson learned I put myself in check a little too much where others opinions don’t matter, when in reality it just makes it worse. Pops since I was a kid instilled the fear of me not being a fuck up. An example, me feeling what I feel currently post fringe show, having a small crush. I shame those feelings. As if it’s forbidden to feel. I shamed my anger for a year and a half now im back to shaming feelings of innocent romantic interest? I honestly get scared to talk about it. I don’t share that. Strange internal battle.

Something else I never admitted out loud only to one of my best friends is more details surrounding the enmeshment of my Dad and Scarlet. Won’t get into it publicly, but that was scary to talk about. To this very day I don’t even understand it. Why things the way they are. I recall events in writing, music and performing just to see what the hell is going on in my brain.

Photo cred: RJ Miller

Gaining self-respect is the stage I’m at in life currently. It’s just going about it in such a way that isn’t over-top disrespectful is the difficult part. I feel people know i’m not trying to get that way so I get gaslit into thinking i am indeed disrespectful. Sticking up for yourself especially as a black man is extremely tricky. I already have a strike against me for the stereotypes of black men being “loud” and “aggressive.” The conditions I grew up with once again never even shown us how to handle emotions. We are taught to be blunt and not dance around issues. To the rest of the world being honest is being “mean.”

Recently, I expressed a fear of my emotional safety, given a list of reasons why I feel unsafe being straightforward and still got labeled something i’m not. That’s beyond frustrating. Another situation someone straight up laughed in my face sharing something I had a problem while keeping it respectful.

I understand the notion of not taking life too serious, but I take my life serious so i need to surround myself with people to allow me to take it serious. First off, I shouldn’t even need permission from anyone or be held back from anyone on how I choose to maneuver. I have difficulties striking a balance with good purpose. I don’t stand stagnant. I don’t stand idle. Doing this musical is a huge lesson in that. It tested that. You never know how “war ready” you are in you are in the middle of it. Being attacked and my insecurities being exploited sent me in a spiral. Gossips, warnings and all. I was a bit disturbed by actions of a couple.

Whats wild is those actions overshadowed the love. Many shown love from afar. That I didn’t even know about. Fucked up, but they got what they wanted for a second. I can’t forget just like what a new friend expressed to me at the top of June there are people looking for me to lead. How self-fish of me what it be to leave them stranded, and not show appreciation because of some personal bullshit?

Photo cred: RJ Miller

You know. Record labels and sponsors showed to the musical and offered opportunities. Must be doing something right? Funny. I want to do this for the rest of my life, but hate when all eyes is on me. I been like this since the Shadows Of Society & MutantAcademy music collective/group days. Never had an issue being the background or not being seen. Everyone wants to be heard despite acknowledging the consequences of being heard. Thats a tough pill to swallow. Results manifests out of action. Feelings just don’t fall out the sky. Public interpretation isn’t of the business of the presenter.

Days after the second show, I had to shake that shit off. Still had one more. The third performance was excellent. Barely any problems if any. We got it on video. More opportunities to perform in different venues. Homies feel inspired to create that feels good. Mom knows her son’s story. I can only hope and have faith my Dad feels the energy. My grandmother wants to talk about what she saw. Because its my grandmother, i’m scared to talk about everything. I feel my mother is scared to talk. My judgmental ass auntie was present and hasn’t spoken.

I feel guilty and embarrassed that when my friend passed away overseas it just hit this past Monday on the way to a celebratory event instead of when I got the news initially. This is where the improvement of striking the balance comes into play. It’s okay to grieve and work. I focused on work. My embarrassment didn’t allow me to cry when sharing my experience with this to my fringe scholarship cohort. I really wanted to. The bullshit of: “Chris needs help” rang in the back of my head. Just like expressed in the previous blog, lost a friend and judged for literally having a mental break down over losing my own father. That’s insane and heartbreaking.

Life. All insane. All in June: my brother got married (I didn’t know about it.) One of my closest friends getting married in September. One of my little homies is about to become a Dad. People died. People moved on. People moving out of the country. My empath tendencies mourn friends’ family members that passed. Three sold out shows and still fighting off my vices.

Many chapters closed or still in the process of closing. More are opening in real time. Faith is needed now more than ever in this period of rest and solitude.

One thing we all adore

Something worth dying for

Nothing but pain, stuck in this game

Searching for fortune and fame” -2Pac

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