Introspecting the Post Conviction Mentality

It’s important to remember that a conviction is something that happens to you, and that it doesn’t define you.
It’s also important to remember that one of the worst things about trying to change your life is how frustrating the whole process can be, but good things do NOT come easy – not for the majority of us anyway.
I went for years thinking that my record made me worthless in the eyes of society before realizing that I really did still have something to contribute that would be helpful and meaningful somehow.
The social perception that I wasn’t worthy of a job depressed and infuriated me in the early years during probation and even after a successful completion of my sentence, things didn’t seem to begin to turn up. Every failed interview and every let down in housing options made me feel stupid and insignificant in the eyes of society, and why should I try to cater to that – they hate me right? (sound familiar at all?)

But I know now that I am more than my past, and I know from interacting with a huge group of fellow felons online in a variety of platforms that many other felons out there are more than their past too.

Really letting that sink in can be hard, both for the felon and for the never convicted.

And it’s honestly understandable. A fellow felon just mentioned to me last week that there are many out there who are still actively being shitty (for lack of a more eloquent description), and yes, there is always that danger, but I assure you that there are many more of us that simply want to live our lives in some semblance of a secure manner.

One of the leading things I’ve found in my own research and work with this stuff, is that when we’re denied our basic rights on the outside, we find them met on the inside.

And that sucks. It makes people want to go back, simply because it meets those basic needs. However, what those sorts are forgetting, is that there are more than basic needs in life. We have needs for positive social interaction with other people that want us to grow and learn. We have desires for lovers and families (in some cases). We have a wish to do something that leaves a mark on the world. But, somehow, we get caught up on those basic needs, simply because we hear no too often, lose that job, are denied that apartment, or lose that sense of security in life. All because we made one (or more) mistakes, and even though we tried to do better, the more we had to hustle in the wrong way just to get by.

I can only say that through sheer bull headedness that I’ve managed to scrape by and fight my way to what I want in life. It takes a lot of work, and a lot of going the extra mile. If you’re in the same boat, I want you to know you’re not alone, you’re worth more than your past, and you can do whatever you really put your mind to. Hustle for the good side of things, even harder than anything you might have done in the past for that other side. Something I found that is posted on The Friendly Felon Facebook Page, is Chris Pratt’s quote, involving this sentence-

“IT will break before YOU do…”

That’s powerful right there. Meditate on that bit there, and see where you can take life.

Love and Peace

Aza

 

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2 thoughts on “Introspecting the Post Conviction Mentality

  1. I found you quite by accident. The father of one of my grandsons has been locked up for 12 years with 5 to go. We started writing 10 years. My daughter went on with her life. his family dumped him, too. His mother won’t even answer his letters. He gave up on them quite some time ago. He had done 4 years in Juvy he shouldn’t have done and met my daughter when he got out. I won’t go into the story of what happened. It’s all on my blog if you want to read about it. mynameisjamie.net. I’m writing a book. I publish a newsletter. I’m a musician and I’m writing an album for the book as a soundtrack. Enough of me. it concerns me – when he gets out. He has never had the chance to learn anything about anything about living as an adult. it will be like stepping out of time warp on a new planet. I will be almost 70. I know he will need a life line, a safety net, someone to be there until he gets on his feet. I don’t see how after all this time he wouldn’t be affected by PTSD. When the chains come off his ankles he won’t instinctively know he can take a stride and walk fast without tripping.

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    • I’m glad you found my blog. I can’t help but to brainstorm a few ideas just as I’m reading the comment, and I haven’t even gotten to the blog yet!
      Does the facility he’s in offer any educational programs or certificates that might help with employment later on? If you’re really lucky, there might even be a good halfway home in the vicinity – some of the better ones will help teach basic life skills and can help with the adjustment period after release. It won’t be an easy journey for him – there’s a reason nearly 70% return to the system – but where there is a will, there is a way. Please feel free to message if you ever want to talk. I’m here for you.

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