The Moves Like Dahmer

I’m not sure when my fascination with serial killers occurred. If I had to venture a guess I’d say it might have been around sixth grade. That’s when I read up on everything surrounding the Columbine High School shooting. I suppose after that was when I started reading more about mass murderers and serial killers. I don’t obsess over such things anymore, but if something comes up or happens then I guess it’s just my human nature to want to read about the darkest corners of our minds.

Something came up tonight. I was trying to find a movie to watch since I don’t go out much these days. I’m becoming more and more of a recluse. I was seeing what new releases were on demand and saw My Friend Dahmer come up. I read the graphic novel a few years ago, and I had forgotten there was a movie made out of it. It details the friendship between the author, John “Derf” Backderf, and the serial killer, Jeffrey Dahmer.

Reviewing books and movies has never been my thing. I don’t know how to do it beyond saying “It was great” or “It sucked balls.” This isn’t a review. It’s more of my reflection after watching the movie. After watching, I realized how much of myself I saw in Dahmer. I’m not talking about collecting roadkill, dissolving roadkill in acid, or killing/torturing animals, or murdering people. I have a conscience and I possess empathy. I’m talking about Dahmer’s loneliness. He didn’t know how to fit in, and I’ve never felt I fit in anywhere. He felt isolated and often I feel completely alone even in a room full of people – including a room full of my friends.

A friend of mine described how I feel perfectly when she said, “We feel like we’re sitting at a table with people all around us, and still not feeling connected to the world; just kind of wandering, untethered … [W]e have to figure out the task of connecting with souls without dodging that connection. Without filling the air with small talk and bullshit and hiding ourselves because vulnerability is hard.”

It’s such a cliche, but I feel that there’s so much wrong with me that others would never want to connect. I feel like a burden or an annoyance so I’ll shut myself off from the outside world. I’ll get lost in my head. Maybe that’s why I was drinking so heavily at one point. I didn’t want to think anymore. Maybe that’s why I smoke pot now. I don’t want to feel that sadness.

Dahmer drank to cope with his isolation and loneliness. I was going through 750mL bottles of whiskey and vodka every other night. I’ve traded one vice with another, though. I haven’t completely stopped drinking, but it’s rare that I do these days. I’ve started crushing up pain and anti-anxiety meds and snorting them along with smoking weed. I sleep more than I should just so I don’t have to deal with the thoughts in my head. I can be dead to the world. I’ve stopped going for my walks that I used to take every single day; that’s partly due to pain in my hip and back and partly because I’m going to have my beloved dog of 14 years put to sleep on Monday and walking was always our thing we did together.

My usual bout of depression along with the realization that my dog isn’t going to be with me in a few short days has just culminated in my asking the question, “What’s the fucking point?”

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