Inner Betrayal Redux

I knew a man upon a time, not too long ago,
Who hid within himself his crimes and ills.
He kept them secret, unrevealed, as long as he could go,
And sometimes tries to keep them, still.
He tried to keep the pain away that feasted on his soul
While feeling every moment he might burst,
But emotion intervened and guilt swooped down to kill
And he felt that no one else could have it worse.

He made his restitution, best as he knew how;
It took him nearly every ounce of strength.
He often thought he should give up, unworthy to return,
And the process seemed to be of endless length.
A time passed, and he thought he was now master,
And was troubled no longer--for a while.
He avoided constant vigilance
And fell back down his arduous climb.

He now was only puzzled and confused,
But clothed himself in insincerity.
Again he hid behind his mask
Until vision came with startling clarity.
Suddenly, things that caused him so much grief became so clear,
And a new nightmare came into his brain:
He could no longer respond to others' care
Because he sought to justify his self-wrought pain.

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