Monday, November 7, 2011

Self Loathing

You could reasonably assume that murderers are broadly against capital punishment.  And you'd be right.

But on occasion I bump into a fellow Lifer whose views are worse than a Daily Mail editorial.  These people give a glimpse into that taboo area - the suffering that murderers endure because of the crime they committed.  Such emotional twists and turns are hardly welcomed in the public discourse which prefers to portray us as monochrome monsters.  Sadly, it is also an area that prison staff, such as psychologists, run away from in horror.

These emotional convolutions can express themselves in incredible depths of self-loathing, to the degree that some Lifers support a return to executions.

Whilst I empathise with their distress, I'd prefer they pick an avenue to pursue that doesn't involve those of us who prefer to remain alive!


  1. On a parallel note Ben, it always struck me as such a wicked and cruel activity that occured under the nazi regime in the 1930's and 40's, when they gave lethal injections to the mentally ill, it's obviously cruel and heartless.

    Its just that for some people, when they are suffering like that, they would be only too glad to take it.

    About mistakes ... we have all made them, they are part of life, and they can, I know, be excrutiatingly painful.

    Best wishes to you Ben, I enjoyed reading this post, there is a dose of good humour here in such a dark subject

  2. The psychologists are running away because the prisoner's emotions transfer to them. Why doesn't the prison service employ psychiatrists with the support network they need to stand up to strong emotions? Inadequate services are always a waste of time and money.

  3. Very good point Cirrocumulus. On a similar note, I was talking to a young probation officer who was telling me that someone on his caseload hung himself. When I asked if he'd had any clinical supervision to deal with this he said they did not have any such support.

    I too had to leave a job working with very troubled young people. Anyway who listens and tries to help others deal with their pain needs support or they will become ill themselves.