I’d like to apologise for a couple of things relating to my last post. The first is its length. They won’t all be that long, but I thought it was important to explain my sentence so far if I’m going to keep writing about it as time progresses. The second thing is the amount of self-pity that may have come across in it. Honestly, I don’t think I should be in prison any more. I think I should have been given access to the right courses and then released years ago. However, I am in prison because of my own actions and I have no right to feel sorry for myself.
In speaking to certain prisoners who are maintaining their innocence there is one thing I have said repeatedly. I regret what I did to end up in prison whole-heartedly and, if I could take it back, I would do in a second. But I do know one thing. I’d rather be in prison for something I did than for something I didn’t do. If I had to stay in here and I knew I was innocent, I don’t think I’d be able to cope. I’m here because I messed up. It’s those that are in here through no fault of their own that I really feel sorry for.
But there’s an even more important apology that I need to make too. I need to say sorry to everyone I’ve hurt over the years. I need to say sorry to my family and to my friends. I need to say sorry to my ex-fiance too. And of course, I need to say sorry to those that were hurt directly by my crimes. To my victims. To their families. To their friends. Even to the old lady who heard about it on the local news and felt a little less safe, or the teenage boy who was wrongly assumed to be up to no good because a minority of us actually were. And to anyone I ever hurt in any way. And to you.
I guess I should tell you a bit about who I am. The first thing I should probably make clear is that I’m not a “prison blogger”, I’m a blogger who happens to be in prison. Sure, I’ll probably write a fair bit about prisons, but prisons are not what I’m about.
I started this sentence when I was still a kid. I’ve been inside ever since. I grew up in here. But prison does not define who I am. I am more than just a number.
I’m not going to get into how I ended up in here – that wouldn’t be fair on the people my crimes affected – but I will say that I changed. I grew up. I matured. At times this change was encouraged by the system, and at others I changed in spite of it. But I refuse to be defined by prison. I’m a three dimensional person. I have interests, hobbies, skills. Yes, I’m a prisoner, but I’m so much more too.
I’ve often been told that, being in prison since childhood, I lack the life experience of people my age on the outside. Rubbish. I have twenty-eight years of life experiences. They are just different life experiences. But what use are experiences if you can’t share them? I’ve been writing articles, short stories, and poems for some time now – with varying degrees of success – but even the work I’ve had published has had a limited reach. I guess that’s the nature of prisons. They’re all walls and locked doors. However, that has at least motivated me to start this blog. To break down the doors, scale the walls, and share my experiences with the world beyond. And if you want to reply, if you want to ask any questions or to share back, please do, either through this site or by writing to me direct at the address on the right. It’s always good to know there’s still people on the other side of the wall.
I want to start this blog by saying thank you to my family. Over the last twelve years the support you have shown me is more than I deserve. Your help in setting up this site is just the latest demonstration of that.
I also want to say sorry for everything I’ve put you through. Too often prisoners forget that their families serve the sentence with them. The support they give comes at a great personal cost to themselves. They are suffering too and none of it is any fault of their own. We should never forget that. I will never forget that.