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  #1  
Old 09-15-2007, 06:04 PM
erinmichaels erinmichaels is offline
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Default hard times when released

why the f**k is it that after the euphoria wore off all this jealousy bs started? i am NOT a jealous person. But after being out a few weeks all this popped up on me.

And when the f**k will all this hatred i developed in prison finally leave me the f**k alone? Prison is what it is. We all have our "own", and we stay there. But the realities of prison life dont equate to free society. Why cant I let this go? Is it because Im struggling so hard with everything else and Im hanging on to someting I CAN be mad about and feel like Im doing someting? Tell me wtf is wrong with me and why the f***k am I having so many problems. I thought this was supposed to be the start of a "happy" life! Not all this anger and all the other bs!

If anyone out there has any f***ing clue what the hell I just said and why Im going through it, PLEASE say something. I just dont know how much more of this I can take. All this is tearing me apart in five different directions.
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Old 09-15-2007, 06:59 PM
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Erin, we don't necessarily have all the answers, so anyone coming to this thread can only offer possibilities. . . and one big one is that you didn't really know who you were before you went in, didn't know your own soft spots and weren't ready for how they were going to get pounded by your prison time. You're off balance and you don't know how to get back to solid ground.

So, if you want to find out how to get rid of that anger, then start to decide how to rebalance yourself. WHAT is off balance? Have you developed symptoms of PTSD - very common among prisoners. Have you talked to anyone (therapist-style) about what's going on? Have you got a good work possibility? Do you have family support? Do you have a comfortable place to live?

There are so may possibilities, and you have to create the answers - they're not just out here floating around.
Good luck!
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Old 09-15-2007, 07:37 PM
erinmichaels erinmichaels is offline
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Thanks.

Yes I am working...not a great job, but I have a job when other's do not.

I was in substance abuse counseling but was able to be excused from it since I dont have a drug problem. When I asked about this type of therapy, they told me they dont handle it.

I live in a crack neighborhood, so my living conditions arent great.

I have developed alot of insecurities since Ive been out. I know its supposed to be "normal" now. I didnt know then, but I know now. I just dont know how to combat these things. Like the jealousy and the continued hatred. I KNOW its because of the other things Im dealing with. I KNOW that the insecurities and all that other stuff is seriously altering my thinking. I KNOW all this....and yet Im still having problems. The jealousy Im getting a handle on because I love my girl very much and I know how much it hurts her for me to be that way to her. So its like my mind draws a line through that and moves on down the list of things to stress over. None of it is helping me. None of it will move me toward my goals.....and I (in my own professional opinion) think that is exactly the point! Its almost like my mind is in self destruct mode and I am fighting as hard as I can....I just know there HAS to be a better way then this clenched fist head shaking Ive been doing.

Yes I know this should have been a pm. But I really dont care what people think so here it is. I waited this whole time to be able to post this. Chasing down rumors of people isnt working and pm'ing strangers isnt my style. I put this up for everyone to see because NO ONE TELLS US THIS S**T! YOU know why they didnt. I know why they didnt. But no-matter how long they leave the light on for me....I'll still be here. Even if I'm in a box in an alley. I'm just trying to figure out how to LIVE rather than survive.
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Old 09-15-2007, 07:40 PM
erinmichaels erinmichaels is offline
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oh yea. I was 20 years old when I caught my case and was released at 34. To say I didnt know who I was is a great understatement. I discovered since my release that I STILL am learning who I am.

Im very happy to be free. But freedom isnt enough. I didnt know that before. I guess I thought that once I was released that everything would "magically" be ok. I guess after 13 years 3 months and 23 days......I fooled myself pretty good.
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Old 09-15-2007, 08:02 PM
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Erin - my best thought is that you should probably find a meditation teacher. It's the best thing I know if, beyond therapy even sometimes, to create the "inner harmony" thing. It gives you a chance to challenge those anger bursts and find how to "flow". Flow is something you probably don't have a lot of experience with, and the most interesting thing about it is the idea of "non-resistance". Allow yourself to experience your feelings, and don't fight yourself about them. They are, and now they are passing. You need a way of allowing. You need to learn being rather than reacting.

That's all sort of fuzzy, I know, but you're going to get something out of meditation that only medication usually gives. Try it.
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Old 09-15-2007, 08:10 PM
erinmichaels erinmichaels is offline
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You know, I have thought about this some, but wasnt sure if its that effective. I'll definitely give it a try. Thanks for the advice.

I DID consider the medication thing too.....but I would rather be an angry and confused ME, than some medicated drone.

Good advice and thanks again.
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Old 09-15-2007, 08:19 PM
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Wow Erin! You do sound angry. What works for me is gratitude. Whenever things seems Shi**y I just remember where I have been and how grateful I am that I am not there anymore.

As far as the jealousy I think that we all make choices from minute to minute whether to act out or not. I typically act out when I know I can and usually am able to control myself when I know I have to. Jealousy causes the exact effect we are afraid of (yes most of our actions are based on fear when you really think about it). If we harrass our loved ones with our insane jealousy usually it pushes them away far enough that they eventually step - ask yourself is that what I really want?? If not you have to practice at controlling it - slowly just don't act on it. These decisions have to be thought threw at the moment, it's not easy but it can be done if you really want to stop.

My final thought is some of us just love insanity. It is what we feed on, it is what keeps our lives kaotic and even though our mouths say we don't want it our actions say something all together different.

Keep talking about it and working on it, I am sure you will change it if you want to.

Good luck!!
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Old 09-15-2007, 08:32 PM
erinmichaels erinmichaels is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Addicted_one
Wow Erin! You do sound angry. What works for me is gratitude. Whenever things seems Shi**y I just remember where I have been and how grateful I am that I am not there anymore.

As far as the jealousy I think that we all make choices from minute to minute whether to act out or not. I typically act out when I know I can and usually am able to control myself when I know I have to. Jealousy causes the exact effect we are afraid of (yes most of our actions are based on fear when you really think about it). If we harrass our loved ones with our insane jealousy usually it pushes them away far enough that they eventually step - ask yourself is that what I really want?? If not you have to practice at controlling it - slowly just don't act on it. These decisions have to be thought threw at the moment, it's not easy but it can be done if you really want to stop.

My final thought is some of us just love insanity. It is what we feed on, it is what keeps our lives kaotic and even though our mouths say we don't want it our actions say something all together different.

Keep talking about it and working on it, I am sure you will change it if you want to.

Good luck!!
Thanks for your reply.

The problem with the jealousy is that I am NOT a jealous person. Once I realized that I'm having so many other issues that I just cant do anything about, and THAT is when the jealousy started, I realized something was seriously wrong with me. Its like I latched onto the one easy thing to b***h about. Its simple to do, you dont even need justification.....just open your mouth and there you go. I am getting much better with this honestly. But now my crazy ass mind went to something else.

My biggest concern is just how long is this "list" that my mind will go through? And will it ever actually go away?

I dont thrive on internal conflicts. The was a time when I thrived on the prison yard. I was always in something and yes.....I liked it at the time. I DO understand what your saying though. And it could be an easy thing to go from the one extreme to the other, especially since I have really been doing nothing about my problems. Sad to say but at least a drug addict runs to the dope man to hide. I just sit here pissed and I dont know why.

I dont think the world owes me anything. I dont look at what some-one else has and get mad because I dont have it too. ALL of my issues are crammed into this messed up mind of mine. My girl gave me some numbers for therapists in my area and Im going to see if they can help. And try that meditation thing that was mentioned. At this point Im just willing to do whatever. I want to get on with my life rather than be a statistic of "the institutionalized". Not the going back to prison part of that. But the anti-social, not functioning in society part.

One question....how can it be lonely being crazy when there are sooo many of us?

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Old 09-15-2007, 08:33 PM
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Hmmm, we often think when we walk through the gates it is all over. I will tell you upfront that the rubber does not hit the road until you get on the other side of the fence. When you are inside you don't have to worry about daily things - you have housing, clothes, food. Granted it is not the greatest, but it is provided for you. When you get out it is hard to make it - not impossible, but hard. Yes, you are at a disadvantage and have to work harder than most people your age, but you can make it. You were young when you caught your case and probably didn't have a clue on what life was really about. Now you are having to learn at an older age and I can see why you would be jealous at others your age. You have to remember that while you were inside, others were working up to where they are now. You did not have that luxury during the years you were inside. You could have taken advantage of educational opportunities, but at your age employers, bankers, etc. like to see experience along with the education. My advice to you is to put your past behind you - and I know it is hard. Forgive - it releases you from bitterness, rage, and will eat you alive. One of the hardest people to forgive is ourselves. You can't change your past - but you have yet to write the rest of your story in the book of life. One of the hardest pills my husband had to swallow was the effect of his choices and prison time had on family and other relationships. I remember one conversation we had when his reply was "How many times do I have to say I am sorry?" That was a hard conversation... it covered his job situation, credit report, kids, parents, in-laws.... the list seemed endless at the time. He also had to deal with some anger during times when others "didn't get caught" or "got less time". Hopefully you can compartmentalize your feelings - break them down and find out what is really tripping you up. When you break it down it is definately easier to swallow and work through.
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Old 09-15-2007, 08:42 PM
erinmichaels erinmichaels is offline
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I understand what your husband was saying about people getting less time. I know murderers who did less than me. Sex offenders, armed robbers. Lots of other people, and they covered the spectrum of ages/races/counties....didnt seem to matter.

I also have the added part that I didnt rat out my friends, although they did come forward and testify against me at my trial. I was a so-called "stand up guy". I followed the "code of the streets" as it was described to me in the movies and in the circle of "friends" I grew up with. Nobody told me it was all a lie and I was the only one following this "code". I spent my whole bit dealing with that and trying to feel better about my situation. For some reason my saying of "at least I can look in the mirror and stand the sight of myself", doesnt seem to be much comfort in a world that doesnt care that I took auto mecahnics TEN YEARS ago, or that I worked in a sawmill for 4 years. Im a violent/habitual criminal. that is all that matters out here.

Oh yea....and no work history. That is what Im working on now. Developing an unbroken work history. Im not even looking for another job right now. Just gonna bide my time with this one for a while. Then I can say "yes I am employed and have been for x amount of time".

Its all I can do at this point...Im just doing what I can and hanging on until I figure this other stuff out.
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Old 09-15-2007, 09:09 PM
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What they fail to tell a lot of convicts and their families is about how a prisoner gets institutionalized within 18 months of going to prison, and what the institutionalizing can do to a persons mind and spirit. Erin, have you and your girlfriend read the threads in the forum "Coming Home?" The thread about institutionalization and it's effects on people is at: http://www.prisontalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22949
and you should read it. I have read it over and over and hope I will remember a lot of it when my husband comes home. I have printed it out also and talked to him about it so that he will be more aware of what is causing him confusion, anger, etc. I know what you are going through with the jealousy also. I have been there. In my case (and maybe yours) it's a test to see if your girlfriend is really there for you. Sometimes the tests backfire. The main thing is to work on ignoring it, the desire to lash out. We are all guilty of misplaced anger. Taking things out on the ones closest to us. In our case, maybe remembering the Nine Noble Virtues and trying to live by them is the key. Stay strong. You are doing the right thing with sticking with the "not best job" for long enough to show a history. It's honest work so be proud of it and yourself!
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Old 09-15-2007, 09:10 PM
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Don't sell drugs short, Erin. They don't have to be life-long, but they can give you a break htat will allow you to re-organize your thought patterns. I had a vet once, treating a horse in really severe pain, and the pain itself set up more and more negative responses. The vet finally just doped that horse to the eyeballs for 3 days so he couldn't feel the pain. That broke the cycle and we got some good healing after that.
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Old 09-16-2007, 09:10 AM
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These girls are giving you some really good advice here. The only thing I can add is prayer. God can and does make things better. Have you found a church yet? That could help if you find the right one. I know it is very hard not to think negative when we are worried and struggling but try thinking positive and try the meditation with nothing but positive and relaxing, calming thoughts. Fantasize and dream a little. Things are going to get better, I promise. You'll be on here one day soon telling about your success and be able to help another ex-con in your predicament. That's really all this life is about is helping others and a learning experience. I know it is hard to get out of ourselves sometimes but that is exactly what it takes sometimes. When we give, we receive. I'll be praying for you.
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Old 09-20-2007, 05:22 PM
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I want to sincerely thank everyone for their replies.

I haven't gone to a doctor....but I have started taking a "natural" substitute for drugs. I have started taking "St. John's Wort" 300 milligrams. I am taking 3 a day like the bottle said and if they dont work I will go to the 500 mil. If THEY dont work, I will go see a doctor. I dont have health insurance and I dont qualify for any medicaide so I have to do the best I can with what I have.

I am trying. Its hard. I just dont want to feel this way anymore. Maybe it will be ok after a few months, maybe this is a "chemical imbalance". I just dont know. But I know it concerns me that I see this neighborhood as a prison "yard", and that I feel EXACTLY like I did in prison. I thought I would leave this behind me when I left, but apparently it wasnt prison that was the problem....it was me.

I thank you again for all your posts and am grateful to you for your advice. As soon as I get an off day, should be Saturday, I will look into a yoga class or a marial arts class to help me with my "balance". I am a member of the ymca anyway so it shouldnt be a problem. And so everyone doesnt think I am just looking for the quick "fix", I'll tell you that I am also seeking out a therapist to help me with this. I haven't found one yet, but I AM looking.

Thanks again.

Erin
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Old 09-20-2007, 05:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Enjay
What they fail to tell a lot of convicts and their families is about how a prisoner gets institutionalized within 18 months of going to prison, and what the institutionalizing can do to a persons mind and spirit. Erin, have you and your girlfriend read the threads in the forum "Coming Home?" The thread about institutionalization and it's effects on people is at: http://www.prisontalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22949
and you should read it. I have read it over and over and hope I will remember a lot of it when my husband comes home. I have printed it out also and talked to him about it so that he will be more aware of what is causing him confusion, anger, etc. I know what you are going through with the jealousy also. I have been there. In my case (and maybe yours) it's a test to see if your girlfriend is really there for you. Sometimes the tests backfire. The main thing is to work on ignoring it, the desire to lash out. We are all guilty of misplaced anger. Taking things out on the ones closest to us. In our case, maybe remembering the Nine Noble Virtues and trying to live by them is the key. Stay strong. You are doing the right thing with sticking with the "not best job" for long enough to show a history. It's honest work so be proud of it and yourself!
Enjay.....so much is wrapped up in so few words. "Nine Noble Virtues". It "got to me" reading that because I had forgotten who I am and what I need. I wear a hammer proudly. and yet I forgot who I am. Thank you for your kick in the rear. Unfortunitely, I needed it.

Erin
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