Today I must announce a change of plans. Yesterday, I promised two posts: an update to yesterday's, including the story voted for via reader poll, and a new post for today. However, I'm unable to post the winning genre because readers want to hear about my struggle to establish myself after release. Its impossible to tell that story because I agreed to have that story published in the "Think Outside the Cell Series" due out in July.
Instead I will share a two part report on what prisons don't do to help inmates prepare for society. Below is an essay I forwarded to a psychologist while I was in prison. I had only a few months remaining on my sentence then. Tomorrow I will post her ridiculous response.
Getting Better Makes Me Worse
I needn't argue that this environment is conducive to psychological deterioration. Nor need I point out that I'm in this segregated prison as a consequence of psychopathic/sociopathic behaviors. Ironically however, I must assert that negative effects of prison are intensified with every progress towards healthy psychological readjustment.
We know my pathological state is the result of gross childhood neglect and sexual, physical, and emotional abuse. This in addition to chemical substance use starting at the age of 4. These happenings were followed by a continual increase in destructive indulgences. Now, at age 33, I struggle to cope with my prison life after having my psychological and emotional development hampered.
Over the years some progress has been made. Though I still display poor impulse control, I do understand the drives behind my impulses. I recognize the nature of my counterproductive beliefs and have begun to adjust those. I also recognize and can sometimes check activities that lead to irrational thoughts and behaviors.
I'm not sure as to whether or not patting myself on the back for such progress is beneficial, so I try not to think about that. I know dwelling on the work that needs to be done is not healthy! The latter can leave me feeling overwhelmed at times and this tempts me to give up. Doing the former, in the past, has let me feeling too comfortable which caused me to let my guard down and relapse.
Recurrent epiphany is an oxymoron applicable to the recalled understanding that the more psychologically healthy I become, the more painful my current situation is. Aside from food, clothing and shelter, none of my basic human needs are met. While being preoccupied with frivolous and often irrational pursuits I can ignore this condition. When I focus on growth and mental stability, awareness of these deprivations overwhelm me.
At such times I'm faced with a cyclical dilemma. I've always dealt with pain by indulging in chemical abuse or sexual activity. There are few drugs available here and I abstain from them all - including prescribed medications. The most satisfying type of sexual gratification is masturbating while occupying a woman's attention. This "jacking" has become an addiction too, having replaced plain old masturbation.
A more recent and original epiphany is that I enjoy exposing myself because I get to feel desired while the woman watches me. The fact that I get into trouble most often because women willingly participate on some occasions and then write charges on others is a phenomenon I'll never comprehend. It is also one that, up until now, has occupied much of my mental energy. It has also produced frustration that has led to aggression.
Guilt and self disappointment felt towards my inability to stop this behavior has caused anger and self-loathing. There is also a great deal of hatred and anger felt towards R.O.S.P. personnel and the atrocities they commit. For the latter there are no productive means available to address the situation. At least not at this time.
So here I am oscillating between anger and hatred at circumstances I can't effectively alter and anger and hatred for myself for the way I handle pain caused by my segregated incarceration. If I change the way I cope with my emotions-which I'm determined to do-I must then suffer greater pains inflicted by the reality of deprivation of healthy productive social interaction, emotional support, affection, intimacy, and sexual relations, etc.
Since we know such deprivation is the primary cause of psychopathology, where does this leave me?
. . .
Here you have it. As raw as it comes, a man begging for help. You won't believe the response I got. See you tomorrow.
Supaman Tion Terrell