“It was just hard for me to believe I truly deserved it," said 19-year-old alleged armed robber Darien Keller of Nashville, Tennessee, after a high-speed police chase involving over 20 vehicles and an additional dozen officers on foot finally led to his apprehension in a back alley in East Nashville, in the execution of an outstanding warrant for his arrest. “I’d never gotten that much attention before.”
Keller explained that growing up in a dysfunctional household left him with abandonment issues and a sense of low self-esteem - problems he continues to wrestle with in his adulthood. In addition, his neglectful upbringing often left him feeling invisible. "No one ever noticed what I did," he said.
That feeling of invisibility translated into a sense of invincibility when it came to burglarizing houses, said Keller. “How could I get caught if no one could even see me?”
Of course, Keller did end up getting caught. According to Keller, his recent arrest proved to him that he’s not invisible, and his actions do matter – and so does he. “Those cops dropped everything just to find me,” he said, shaking his head in wonder. “I was their number-one priority. Honestly, it’s still incredible to me.”
Although his arrest went a long way in combatting his low sense of self-worth, Keller, now in jail and awaiting trial, says that he is dealing with a crippling case of imposter syndrome. “Everyone thinks I’m this badass criminal mastermind," he said. "But basically, I'm just a kid, and I didn't actually have a gun. And I'm not even that smart. I feel like a fraud.”
Still, with the help of tools like individual counseling, cognitive behavioral therapy, and affirmations, Keller says that he is finally coming to believe that he did warrant his arrest – and also a whole lot more. “I’m learning I don’t have to be anyone but me," he said. "That’s enough.”