Well I can safely say that 2015 was the hardest year I have faced in prison so far. It really did start to seem like I was going to lose one thing after another (and one person after another) until there was nothing left and often I never even got to know why.Continue reading →
Some time ago I wrote about the introduction of an Enabling Environments initiative here at Wakefield. Some time later I also wrote that I had been suspended from being an Enabling rep pending investigation of an allegation of assault. Well, it seems to get more farcical here by the day.
This month I feel like I have really gained some self insight. I have long been told that I shouldn’t always try to be the knight in shining armour who rides in to save the day because it’s not always practical, it can come across as conceited, and it almost always makes me a target. It’s true. I have a hero complex. I love to be the one who can make a difference. But not because of what anyone else might think about it. Simply because love the feeling when I see the relief on the face of someone I have managed to help.
For a while over the past year I tried to rein that in. I refocused my attention and prioritised progression towards release. However, this brought me no closer to actually getting out and in fact I lost quite a lot of what I wanted to get out to. But even more importantly, I was less happy. Recently I saw that look of utter relief on the face of someone I had managed to help again and I was reminded why it is so important to me.
This past month I’ve really been thinking about the relationship between the actions of the police at every level, and the feelings that society in general has towards them.
Recently my nephew turned seventeen and the police gave him a very special present. They dropped a letter through the front door informing him that they believe he is a member of a gang (he isn’t) and that they will be targeting him for special attention. The sole reason for this? Because he lives on a rough estate and knows a few people there who are gang affiliated. Who doesn’t on such estates?
In May of last year I wrote about how I was sacked from my job as a mentor in education without any good reason and was told that I couldn’t have it back despite managing to prove that certain members of staff had conspired to have me removed for dishonest and untrue reasons (you can read that post here).
Eventually someone saw a bit of common sense and I did manage to get back as a mentor, but lately there have been further attempts to move me on.
Back in April I wrote about the fact that, after years of denying me access to offending behaviour courses, I finally seem to have been brought in from the cold and had been told I can do the courses I need to.
Well, since then I’ve had further conversations with the psychologist concerned and although I was meant to have been able to start the course this month, I didn’t.
Sometimes it’s the smallest things that actually restore your faith in human nature. When I first started my sentence I didn’t dislike officers at all. I honestly looked at them as people who were just trying to do a job. Over time the way I was treated, and the way I witnessed others being treated changed that and led me to view them in quite a dim light. But, every now and again something will happen to remind me that it isn’t all of them, only some. This month was no exception.
We started this month with a full lock down and it made me think, how many people on the other side of the wall actually know how a lock down works? Many might think they do, but it is the intricacies which I think don’t hit you until you’re at the centre of one.
A while ago someone told me that I think too much. That I always seem to over think things. I knew they were right, but I didn’t know how to break out of that. I have believed for a long time that the only way to make the future any brighter is to learn from the past. To do that I got in the habit of reflecting upon it to the point of rumination. What I now realise is that I need to be able to identify both the negatives that offer a lesson to be learned, and the positives which can be enjoyed for what they are. With this in mind, I thought I’d share my thoughts on the ups and downs of life right here at the end of each month, and what better place to start than right now?