Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Daily Life

Well, who could see this coming? The professional Runes and cod-psychologists predicted that I would find the outside world difficult to deal with. It transpires that the opposite is true - the wider world is easy, but it makes returning to prison and dealing with this particular twisted reality much more difficult than I ever expected.

In some ways, having been here all of my adult life, prison should be my natural habitat. And in a sense it is - I am expert at negotiating its complex territory. But I have never made the grievous error of seeing prison as "home", or as being normality writ large. Prison has never been easy, simple or relaxing for me; it took on the shape of being a battleground. And one that I was intimately familiar with. But still, a site of struggle and not of repose.

These psychological undercurrents have been highlighted by my frequent forays into the wider world. Returning to prison, every bit of nonsense becomes starker, more real. I am finding prison much harder to "do" than ever. Anyone predict that?


  1. Yes - it's why some prisoners abscond from 'open' conditions. Effectively 'screw up' at the last hurdle as a conscious or unconscious decision to go back to secure conditions.

    So, keep up the good work Ben but don't underestimate the long term need to adjust to life outside - it's still early days and as we know life has a nasty habit of throwing up shit whether you're inside or on the out.

    1. Jim, I have to disagree. My perception of the reason why some Lifers end up getting thrown back into Closed conditions is either that they realise that future life in the world has little to offer them; or it is away to resolve the crushing pressure of uncertainty over whether they will be released, or not, and every other decision along the way. Ben.

  2. Really interesting stuff. I agree with never being comfortable in prison even if it becomes almost second nature. The battleground analogy is accurate. Best of luck,


  3. "Believe me, nothing except a battle lost can be half so melancholy as a battle won." [Arthur Wellesley]

  4. I may well be that you've never previously had anything much to compare prison life with. The contrast between them had therefore never really impinged upon you. Now they have, and I'm sure it's a difficult thing to deal with.

  5. I note the book advertised at outrageous prices at the URL above (re: federal prison) can be read online for free by viewing the URL:

    Good luck Ben! Not long now, don't cock it up at the last minute -.o;


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