Saturday, February 18, 2012


A fellow Lifer told me recently that he thought that it was "cruel" to put me through my current pace of resettlement, given the length of time I have been inside, etc. This is usually a type of speech I get from more dim-witted staff rather than my peers , but we can all harbour odd thoughts.
I have been out into the community three times since arrival, twice by myself (three or four times by the time you read this). And the only source of stress I have found was my worry over using buses. That has been evaporated by the experience. The rest of the experiences I have had have in no way worried or stressed me, and I put this down to attitude.
Starting from the basic premise that millions of idiots manage to get through daily life okay, then I assume it isn't going to flummox me. That said, things have changed in some aspects of life. Social mores, minor pieces of what I call "public technology" such as ticketing machines, and probably a whole range of other minor things which just haven't caught my attention yet. Despite this, I hold that the fundamentals really haven't appreciably altered. People are still people, shopping remains an exchange of goods for money, and cars will hurt if you step in front of them.

The things which have changed must make a real difference to some Lifers out and about, but I believe that attitude is everything. When I find myself approaching a situation which is new, or different, then I watch those around me and learn from their actions.

The pace I am going is only fast if you have plenty of time to spare, and being middle aged and cancerous makes me a touch impatient to get on with things. Within the next two weeks I should be beginning to work outside a few days a week and, with luck, I should be at home for a few days in March.
Other Open prisons would have stretched that lot out over a period as long as nine months. In that relative framework then I am moving fast, true. But not so fast that I am in danger of falling over my own feet.
Each Lifer is different.  Some find the resettlement process extremely stressful, some sail through it with a mere shrug of indifference. In fairness, no one really knew how it would be for me but the crucial thing was that management have given me the opportunities to find out. In other circumstances, there would have been the temptation to assume I'd find it difficult and so make this process last a couple of years - and that would have stressed me!

1 comment:

  1. OT, but I just saw the following quote, and thought of you my friend :D

    “If you can't annoy somebody, there is little point in writing.” - Kingsley Amis

    Lol! It's you ain't it, Ben?


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