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  #26  
Old 07-03-2020, 07:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Ne Plach’ View Post
But, I am that kind of woman and I am from the Balkans after all. . .

Bad jokes aside — and in respect to your latest posts — you know what to do [stay clean, stay sober, take your meds] and so we all have faith you will continue to „keep on keeping on.” Yes, it is disheartening and undoubtedly frustrating, but you have shown such a good mindset over this ordeal — and in general with the overall parole / employment situation.

You have a lot of people rooting for you and it may seem like nothing [words on a screen from strangers], but with all these sincere best wishes, and your fortitude, all the shite has to change for the better. There is a community for you and shows respect for you in that others try to help.
Tomorrow is the 4th of July and so, that’s a good day to get a grip on things with the idea of cheering up and moving on. Thanks for the kind thoughts and words.
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Old 07-03-2020, 07:34 AM
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Never for one moment think the the government works for the people. It's always the other way around. Apart from keeping the people poor and wiping out the middle class the government is using the penal system as a form of punishment and oppression. People are being jailed left right and center though granted some are guilty most are not and more and more innocent people are being charged for crimes that they have not committed and here is one such link
https://www.propublica.org/article/s...=social#972611
Can you imagine how many of these people would be pissed off with the government knowing that they have been sentenced and their livelihoods are over once they're released?.
Any way The Attorney situation doesn't surprise me much as my husband and i experienced first hand how they're not really there to help you out nor are they there for your best interest. They will take your money but their loyalty is to the judicial system and the government and not to you. In my opinion and if i were you i'd just go and start the unemployment assistance as well as the food bank assistance program and HUD housing too so that way you'd still be able to get your meds as that is important to stay on for your health also apply for and get a goodrx discount card especially if you don't have health insurance as that will allow you to buy the medicine in it's generic form at a much lower and cheaper rate here is the link https://www.goodrx.com/discount-card
Yes, I will get started on the unemployment effort on Monday. That’s my best bet for the time being. I’ve also been offered another job as of yesterday that will begin this month here in Ft. Worth. It’s a driving/power washer cleaning job. You ever see those guys that pull in front of a bus stop or bus canopy and power wash/clean everything? It’s that kind of job. I don’t know that the pay is, but because I have a driver’s license and strong back I was promised the job yesterday just as soon as a new vehicle comes along supposedly this month. I talked to a supervisor and someone else within the company so…….we’ll see what happens. I always can find a job. I’m the king of finding jobs, it’s just finding a job that is do-able these days that’s the issue. I had a great job earlier this year taking home $750 a week, but 70 hrs a week and driving 1,000-1,300 miles a week in the DFW area not mention carrying 60 lbs – 260 custom marble sinks was just too much. I blew a gasket over it and relapsed at that time so, I have to learn to work smart and not just hard. Something will good will happen.
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Old 07-03-2020, 08:55 AM
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**I have to learn to work smart and not just hard. Something will good will happen.**


Yes. And like I said, keep up the meetings.
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Old 07-03-2020, 09:32 AM
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I feel for you and its a frustrating part of the system that I do not agree with.

How can we expect someone to exit prison and continue to contribute to society if we refuse to let them?

There are obvious exceptions of course when it comes to employment of ex-felons. But in general....we should not punish those that committed crimes in their distant past today.
I appreciate that, bikerguy. Much of this stuff in terms of the bad just goes with the territory. I'll get over it. That's all anyone in my position can do. Thanks again for the input and support.
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Old 07-03-2020, 12:12 PM
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You seem to be a very good person, you give a lot of people here in this forum valuable information that makes it much more bearable by sharing many experiences and opinions. You always have a lot of empathy and honest words. The sadder it is to read through which time you go through. Even though we are, in a way, all dependent on our employers, your dignity and pride are greater than a shi * Walmart. I hope that you find the job that fulfills you and does not label you in any way, you deserve better. You are a proud man.
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Old 07-03-2020, 02:13 PM
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I'm sure walmart dipped in on that money for hiring a felon tho.
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Old 07-03-2020, 02:19 PM
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This is why you don't tell anyone, especially a probation or parole officer. Nobody wants to live or work with anyone that allows the government on their property. "Oh I was checking into target A and while there noticed target, i mean person B acting suspicious"...nobody wants that. Cops are not supposed to exist and neither are parole/probabtion officers.
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Old 07-03-2020, 02:23 PM
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I hope you sue the ass off of Walmart and maybe put in a complaint regarding the PO. No wonder people don't get ahead after prison. The system makes it harder on them so that they eventually go back to have them rub it in your face and say I told you so. I don't know how old you are but if you're 62 maybe try out for early retirement at least that way you'd get some money to live off.
It's a set up! They never let anyone go. You make them too much money. Always dipping back into the herd when occupancy levels go down. Perfect way to do that is keep the animals on a tight leash. Alot of those businesses are actually government or politically run so they are triple double-dipping in. That why I won't go to certain businesses or hotels.
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Old 07-04-2020, 07:19 AM
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You seem to be a very good person, you give a lot of people here in this forum valuable information that makes it much more bearable by sharing many experiences and opinions. You always have a lot of empathy and honest words. The sadder it is to read through which time you go through. Even though we are, in a way, all dependent on our employers, your dignity and pride are greater than a shi * Walmart. I hope that you find the job that fulfills you and does not label you in any way, you deserve better. You are a proud man.
All that any of us can really do is to keep trying and that within itself can be struggle after so many no’s and so many failed attempts at any number of issues (employment, housing, relationships, sobriety, learning from the past, letting go of anger & resentment). Some people get out of prison and never return there. They never look back and for all of us, that’s the path we hope to take. Sadly, it’s not like that. I don’t know what the statistics are just now, but I think something like 50 % of us go back to prison within the first 2-3 years. I’ve been to prison here in Texas 4 times and the time frame (2-3 years) is roughly the norm for me. As of this month (July 13th) I’ll have been out of prison for 2 years. It’s been a hard 2 years. I’ve had 13 jobs in that time. Reported to 8 different parole officers. Slept in about 30 different beds. Have yet to rent or own or live in my own place. In these 2 years all the places I’ve resided have been or are halfway houses, homeless shelters or group homes. All the jobs I’ve held have paid somewhere between $7.55 an hour to $12.50 an hour. The job at Walmart was the $12.50 an hour stint there for a few weeks.

And while there is a certain amount of frustration, restlessness and irritability in the face of it all, I know that it could be considerably worse. I know that today (July 4th) there are possibly hundreds of men and women that will wake up tomorrow in jail simply because they got too carried away with the festivities in the course of having fun and letting off a little steam. That could be me. I have no plans today and will stay here at the mission because of that fact. I know from experience.

I spoke with my P.O. yesterday and she assured me that she had nothing to do with my being terminated by Walmart so…..I don’t know? Maybe I’m wrong about that. The timing of it all and the way she reacted over the phone surprised me, a bit. A long with that, I’ve had several incidents in the past where a P.O. did have something to do with problems on the job and so……no matter the technical details of the situation, whatever problems come along are more a matter of simply saying that it goes with the territory.

One of the fallacies or perhaps hidden unknowns about life after prison is that it is much like one’s perception of what prison is like before having gone there. “What is prison like?” one may ask who’s never gone there. To which my reply most often is “Prison is everything bad that you think it to be plus all the things that you haven’t encountered or just now don’t know of”. That’s what prison is like. And life after prison is even more so true in that sense where the unknowns and “what do I do” in this situation now that I am on parole or now that I have a criminal record or now that I can’t go back to the same profession/trade/job I held before prison. What am I to do with myself? In prison you don’t have to worry about being housed, fed, clothed or the job you’ll be assigned because that is a living situation where it’s a one way relationship from start to finish in which “you do what you’re told to do or you suffer the consequences”. Life after prison is not like that and yet in the face of it all, there is a type of “learned helplessness” to overcome in the sense that you need to think for yourself and once again become an efficient problem solver, but that doesn’t come easy for some of us. Parole is not responsible for finding you a job nor or they responsible for finding you a place to stay. If anything, as an excuse to monitor a parolee and for the supposed sake of public safety, Parole can be a hindrance or obstacle to succeeding out here if you wind up with a busybody or a nitpicker or an undercover hater or a man eater or a racist man eater for a P.O. and believe you me, I seen em’ all.

If all of us knew to brace ourselves for the same parallels or similarities of re-entering society vs. entering prison for the first time, many of us would be better equipped for what’s up ahead. It’s not like though, is it? No…..I would not say to someone “re-entering the free world after prison involves all the bad things you can think of plus all the setbacks or problems you’ve yet to encounter or know of just now.” No one looks at getting out of prison like that. Getting out of prison is more like “I hear angels singing and music playing” and to some degree it is a truly joy felt & liberating moment to be remembered, but if that’s the case then why do so many of us go back to prison? Why doesn’t the bad taste that prison leaves in one’s mouth combined with the heartfelt joy/appreciation of freedom remain forever so in such a way that we never return to the closest thing to hell on earth, prison? Why is that?

I’ll tell you why because, what it takes to stay out of prison doesn’t come easy to all of us. Some of us get out and we’re ready to do what is necessary to stay out. Some of us aren’t. Some of us like me are mentally ill and yet don’t really know it or what to do about it. Some of us get out and we seem to think that because we did our time in prison that the past is behind us and the truth is that’s bullsh#t. The real truth about the past is, you best not repeat what you did in the past to be sent to prison or you’re likely to spend more time at the next rodeo in comparison to how much you did the last go around. That’s the truth about the past and don’t repeat it. But to say that one is to walk away from it in such a way that it’s over or that it won’t come back to haunt you……….I just got fired from a job where my primary responsibility was removing feces, urine and tampons from the bathrooms that at least 1,000 people have been at in a day’s time and for what? A robbery I pulled 23 years ago? And this is the sh#t that sends many of us over the edge with a “f#ck it” attitude or “what’s the use” or “it’s time to get comfortably numb” by way of chemical euphoria. Yes, on many days it very much is a “damned if I do and damned if I don’t” reality we live in as ex-felons and/or parolees. I get that.

After so many trips to prison, jail and all the other holding facilities to do with parole violations and/or substance abuse programs you learn to stop and take a break when the going gets tough out here. In the aftermath of losing the job at Wally World I’m sitting down for a couple of weeks and chilling out. I have a pattern of when I attempt to bounce back too soon from a bad experience, I relapse or blow up on someone that has rubbed me the wrong way. If I can sit down and take a breather then, I do so. If the wolf is outside the door and banging away trying to get in where paying the bills is concerned then, that’s a different matter. I have to get to work ASAP, but most often I can afford to sit down for a minute and regain my composure.
The way we react to the negatives out here in the free world and the way we regain our composure when something gets into our feelings……..that’s the unknown part that we can’t see in the beginning or how we’ll react or what’ll come of the next episode when we use or when we drink or when we blow up on someone or when we give up and revert back to the old way of life of living in the gutter.

Honestly speaking, I’m still mad as hell about the way that Walmart handled me. I am, I still into my feeling, but I’m a little better than I was a few days ago. I know more so than anything else, you have to pick your battles in prison and out here in the free world. You have to learn to pick your battles. You have to have a certain amount of “fight” within you at all times to wage and hopefully win those battles, but you can’t take on every single fight that comes along. You only have so much “fight” in you to spend and exert, if you keep on fighting a losing battle or picking battles that are never to be won then………..what is one to do with a broken heart or broken mind or a “what’s the use in trying” attitude.

I can’t take on Walmart the way I’d really like to and want to in the sense that the pen is mightier than the sword and so……it’s time to move on no matter how I feel. It’s times like these that you really earn the right to be out here in the Free World because there are days when nothing comes easy, but yet, here I stand.
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Last edited by Firebrand; 07-04-2020 at 07:21 AM.. Reason: grammer
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  #35  
Old 07-04-2020, 11:02 AM
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I appreciate that you give me / us here an inside of your thoughts, your views, believes! Your words, you hit my heart and you really made me tear up. Normally; I’m really not the person who wants to open up in a forum, stay mostly in the background reading and love to keep myself private lol.

For sure you’ll understand that there is hard to give any advice for people who never experienced anything like that!

You see the world from two perspectives. It is apparently difficult to let go of the past, all of this from suffered trauma will seem to accompany you most of the time if you are confronted with it again and again (housing, job ......)! Where's the hope for the hopeless? It can be love. It can be an encounter with valuable people or even you have not the time to lean back, lean back for a few days and try to get your mind settled and prepared.

Even if you are overwhelmed by negative experiences because a system seems to label you so, you will go on and “fight” on because prison is not a place you want to be. Every day is a new opportunity, even if you get tired, you are very strong. Most people certainly have mental problems and yet you stand on both legs like a proud man and person and do not let yourself be humiliated. You are much more than the result of a bad decision. I am really very impressed by your seemingly very strong personality.

Crushing such rocks is a hurdle! But that's the only way to continue. You can also ask for help if you need help. If I can do something for you, please feel free to contact me via PN.

I am "just" a European who tries to help people. My first encounter with someone behind bars was a "friend" who was executed in 2014 in Texas (death row). Here I understood that there are valuable people and beings who have to pay for ONE wrong decision in life. Either it costs your life or your mind. I am not a friend of the Texas system. I have also experienced differently, manipulative people who play with kindness, with feelings, simply with people, those types of beings who are likely to go in and out of prison. But then there are also people you wish “a chance” from the bottom of my heart.


Wishes are often not enough, we can also help those who need help. I love rules in life and I always lived that way.. I never choose the wrong path that was always against my principles, I’ve been always straight forwards in words and actions….

I’ve a father who kicked me out before I turned 18, had no roof over my head, moved in to a friend, searched a job and finished my school, went to school evenings, university classes and so on….. worked much to pay all my bills, so yeah in a different way I know exactly how it feels to feel that pain and many other things the only thing which helped me was the love for my friends here in my country! That’s why I’ve chosen years ago to help those who are forgotten, because we all need someone who cares for us, love us no matter what.. when hope is gone, then there is nothing we want to fight for.... to turn negativity in positivity is a hard way - simply exhausting.

But yeah with 2 people it became really a personal level and made it over the pond, visited in person a few times, weekly video visits over 3 years already, my trip this year will not happen, thanks covid-19 and it breaks my heart because I want to be there for my friend (just friends, not about relationships) and it pisses me of that I can’t be in AZ this year.. but I know that I’ve at least one guy I helped and will help when he’s out in 18 months, because he’s labeled with SO and that’s not the easiest of labels… and it was also that only label I JUDGED (!!) on people before I met him, through a friend of him, who put him on this christmas card swap in this forum 3 years ago.. lol so I never knew why he is behind the fence, but I never asked for it, but at one point he shared the reason for being in prison but at that time he was already close to me and a good person. I simply didn’t know before what it includes. To me it was simply important to talk with people who stick to rules and no write ups, others I wouldn’t support, that’s my choice, because that’s the way I act in life! He became a really close friend and I know that he’ll need support of all that reasons you counted and I’m not going to give up on him……because there are people who are it worth like he’s to me and even I got off topic .. that’s just my experience I wanted to share – just to show you respect, because I thank YOU for sharing a part of your story. Again, if there is anything I can do, you’re welcome to message me. I’m really sorry for any language barriers, I’m used to speak German smile. Keep your head up, you’ll rock it!

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Old 07-04-2020, 12:45 PM
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Yes, Texas is a right to work state and because of that it’s very much an employer’s paradise while it is an employee’s hell in many work settings. It’s been that way in this state for a good long while, too.
I attempted to gain employment with Goodwill a couple years back and they wouldn’t take me because of my 4 robbery convictions. They work with felons, but not violent felons. In some ways, what we (violent offenses) is parallel to what those who are convicted of sex offenses, but I wouldn’t want to trade places with them. Life after prison for them (S.O.s) is a challenge beyond words on some days. It’s hard for those in my situation at times, but at the end of the day we have to keep going.

You might try reaching out to the Miles of Freedom group based in Dallas. they help with reentry issues like employment. It could be worth checking into & maybe they can give you suggestions. At least you know they've heard stories so yours won't be new to them. http://milesoffreedom.org/
Also, there's a resource list on the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition website that might have some places to check. Here's the link to that. https://www.texascjc.org/county-reso...ounty_value=57
Good luck & keep swinging. It only takes 1 yes to change the world.
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Old 07-04-2020, 10:24 PM
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Firebrand, I was saddened to read of your experience. It sucks, and of course you’re disheartened. I’m glad a new job is on the horizon. You have a lot to contribute and I hope your new employer sees that, that you enjoy the job, and that the day to do improves in time.
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Old 07-04-2020, 10:36 PM
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The exact same thing happened to my husband, but with target. Totally up front about the criminal record, hired, then fired after two days of working because of the criminal record.

No way to sue because it’s an “at will” state.

It’s a shame
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Old 07-05-2020, 06:26 AM
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You might try reaching out to the Miles of Freedom group based in Dallas. they help with reentry issues like employment. It could be worth checking into & maybe they can give you suggestions. At least you know they've heard stories so yours won't be new to them. http://milesoffreedom.org/
Also, there's a resource list on the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition website that might have some places to check. Here's the link to that. https://www.texascjc.org/county-reso...ounty_value=57
Good luck & keep swinging. It only takes 1 yes to change the world.
Thank you, I’ll check those leads out and see what I can come up with. I appreciate your input.
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Old 07-05-2020, 06:27 AM
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Firebrand, I was saddened to read of your experience. It sucks, and of course you’re disheartened. I’m glad a new job is on the horizon. You have a lot to contribute and I hope your new employer sees that, that you enjoy the job, and that the day to do improves in time.
Thank you for the kind words and support. We’ll see if the new job works out or not. I’m still waiting so, time will tell.
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Old 07-05-2020, 06:33 AM
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The exact same thing happened to my husband, but with target. Totally up front about the criminal record, hired, then fired after two days of working because of the criminal record.

No way to sue because it’s an “at will” state.

It’s a shame
Yes……..I knew or suspected that when you were awaiting your husband’s release, the road ahead for him might be much the same as it is most all of us here in Texas that look to start over with the hope of a “happily ever after” post prison experience. And……that’s not to say that it can’t be, but it just winds up being in the course of things to come that there are a lot of hard days out here with seemingly no explanation or understanding of things in general other than to say “that’s just the way it is” or “it is what it is” and that’s not much live for or look to when it comes to support or the confidence needed to carry on.
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Old 07-05-2020, 08:24 AM
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I appreciate that you give me / us here an inside of your thoughts, your views, believes! Your words, you hit my heart and you really made me tear up. Normally; I’m really not the person who wants to open up in a forum, stay mostly in the background reading and love to keep myself private lol.

For sure you’ll understand that there is hard to give any advice for people who never experienced anything like that!

You see the world from two perspectives. It is apparently difficult to let go of the past, all of this from suffered trauma will seem to accompany you most of the time if you are confronted with it again and again (housing, job ......)! Where's the hope for the hopeless? It can be love. It can be an encounter with valuable people or even you have not the time to lean back, lean back for a few days and try to get your mind settled and prepared.

Even if you are overwhelmed by negative experiences because a system seems to label you so, you will go on and “fight” on because prison is not a place you want to be. Every day is a new opportunity, even if you get tired, you are very strong. Most people certainly have mental problems and yet you stand on both legs like a proud man and person and do not let yourself be humiliated. You are much more than the result of a bad decision. I am really very impressed by your seemingly very strong personality.

Crushing such rocks is a hurdle! But that's the only way to continue. You can also ask for help if you need help. If I can do something for you, please feel free to contact me via PN.

I am "just" a European who tries to help people. My first encounter with someone behind bars was a "friend" who was executed in 2014 in Texas (death row). Here I understood that there are valuable people and beings who have to pay for ONE wrong decision in life. Either it costs your life or your mind. I am not a friend of the Texas system. I have also experienced differently, manipulative people who play with kindness, with feelings, simply with people, those types of beings who are likely to go in and out of prison. But then there are also people you wish “a chance” from the bottom of my heart.


Wishes are often not enough, we can also help those who need help. I love rules in life and I always lived that way.. I never choose the wrong path that was always against my principles, I’ve been always straight forwards in words and actions….

I’ve a father who kicked me out before I turned 18, had no roof over my head, moved in to a friend, searched a job and finished my school, went to school evenings, university classes and so on….. worked much to pay all my bills, so yeah in a different way I know exactly how it feels to feel that pain and many other things the only thing which helped me was the love for my friends here in my country! That’s why I’ve chosen years ago to help those who are forgotten, because we all need someone who cares for us, love us no matter what.. when hope is gone, then there is nothing we want to fight for.... to turn negativity in positivity is a hard way - simply exhausting.

But yeah with 2 people it became really a personal level and made it over the pond, visited in person a few times, weekly video visits over 3 years already, my trip this year will not happen, thanks covid-19 and it breaks my heart because I want to be there for my friend (just friends, not about relationships) and it pisses me of that I can’t be in AZ this year.. but I know that I’ve at least one guy I helped and will help when he’s out in 18 months, because he’s labeled with SO and that’s not the easiest of labels… and it was also that only label I JUDGED (!!) on people before I met him, through a friend of him, who put him on this christmas card swap in this forum 3 years ago.. lol so I never knew why he is behind the fence, but I never asked for it, but at one point he shared the reason for being in prison but at that time he was already close to me and a good person. I simply didn’t know before what it includes. To me it was simply important to talk with people who stick to rules and no write ups, others I wouldn’t support, that’s my choice, because that’s the way I act in life! He became a really close friend and I know that he’ll need support of all that reasons you counted and I’m not going to give up on him……because there are people who are it worth like he’s to me and even I got off topic .. that’s just my experience I wanted to share – just to show you respect, because I thank YOU for sharing a part of your story. Again, if there is anything I can do, you’re welcome to message me. I’m really sorry for any language barriers, I’m used to speak German smile. Keep your head up, you’ll rock it!
The Walmart experience is not the first time I’ve been faced with those type circumstances or the events surrounding a job termination due to the past. I’ve been here more than once in this place to do with matters such as these. As I’ve said before, I’ve been dealing with jail/prison/parole since 1989 and along with that I come from a family that’s been to prison or now is in prison. My father went to prison here in Texas for accessory to robbery just after W.W.II ended back in the mid-1940s. And so, I’m no stranger to any of this stuff. The thing that makes it hard is in spite of what you know and know not to do, the same results are to be seen as well as, the same rations afforded you to survive on.

Many of us are expected to maintain out here on what amounts to the “crumbs off of the table” where wages/income goes. Yes, the act of slavery is not legal in the United States nor would anyone want to admit to it if it were or are, but the principles of slavery are alive and well. And perhaps, that’s the thing you really gotta hate about this place deemed “the land of the free and home of the brave” or a place where “constitutional rights” are proudly claimed or “All men are created equal” and a host of other slogans that are true of some, but not of others.
In many ways what we say has changed for the better or has been improved upon for the sake of learning from history in the effort to be “civilized” or to maintain the rights of a civilization or a society is really nothing more than just a play on words. Is that to say that the life I live right now is as bad or even close to someone who was a slave prior to 1865? No, it’s not. I’ve never known that type of hardship. Then, what is to be said of the similarities or sameness that I speak of or claim to be in existence? What are the parallels?

1. You don’t keep us in bondage with chains & shackles. You keep us in bondage with prisons sentences, years of parole, years of probation, background checks that prohibit many of us from being anything more than modern day slaves, curfew monitors, and GPS monitors.

2. You didn’t capture us on one continent and then by way of the ocean ship us to another continent for the sake of forced labor, you arrest us on this continent and ship us off to prison by way of a chain bus/blue bird and then force us to work for free. Here in Texas, I’ve given the State prison system 18 years of free labor. Where my drug problem is concerned, my mental health issues are concerned, my need for skills/education to do with earning a living………..everything you’ve afforded me since 1989 has been a “generic one shoe fits all” experience or an equation that adds up to “You’re on your own + you figure out = We don’t give a f#ck.

3. You don’t torture us with a bullwhip or the fear of being lynched when we consider rebellion. You torture us psychologically and to some degree physically with prison facilities set up to inflict the pain of things like temperature extremes, sleep deprivation, the use of sound by way of a speaker system so loud that it’s deafening at times, 100s of lights in a room or large dorm that are so bright/hot many of us develop light sensitivity problems and something else that goes with it in my opinion (migraine headaches) poor diet, pepper spray, administrative segregation/isolation, the not knowing or “When am I getting out on parole” in the face of setoff after setoff after setoff, shaving your head and completely removing anything unique or authentic to with one’s identity and a few others I can’t think of just now.

4. As the result of that torture and in the effort to brain wash us you know that what you really want us to do is to exist and think on the level of “learned helpless”. Tell on yourself, tell on everyone around you and don’t try to problem solve or figure out what to do in a given situation unless you consult with one of us first (Correctional Officer, Parole Officer, Probation Officer, Police Officer, Attorneys). Classes such as Cognitive Intervention/Anger Management, Substance Abuse Felony Punishment Treatment (SAFPT) here in Texas, Shock Probation, the Super Intensive Supervision Program (SISP), Boot camps, SAFPT aftercare programs here in Texas that are conducted by the likes of Volunteers Of America (VOA), the Abode, Mental Health programs created for monitoring convicted felons/parolees like the one here in Ft. Worth called Project RAPP (Rehabilitation Alternatives for Parolees and Probationers) and Metro Care (SNOP) Special Needs Offender Population. All these groups in some way or another share a common thread about them that I’ve personally seen and on more than one occasion, in the background of it all there is the overtone and sentiment of “learned helplessness”. Don’t think for yourself, don’t act before you consult with us first, tell on yourself when you do wrong, tell on someone else when do wrong and wait for further instructions. Don’t go anywhere, don’t do anything, and don’t think about anything we don’t like because we’re always watching and especially when you least suspect or think that we’re watching. You’re helpless….if you haven’t learned anything by now then, you best become acquainted with what it means to be or to exist in the state of “learned helplessness”.
There are several other points of interest that could be referenced to for the sake of the argument to do with modern day slavery, but these 4 are the ones that stand out in my mind the most.

The solution to this problem is not a matter of winning vs. losing. It’s not to do with what to do as much as it is the way that you do it. No one knows when things will really change for the better concerning prisoner rights, life after prison, the life of a convicted sex offender, the life of a convicted violent offender, the life of a repeat offender, the life of someone who is mentally ill or the life of someone is deemed “institutionalized”; none of us really knows when there will be light at the end of the tunnel in these matters. All we can do or I can do in a day’s time is simply try what I know will work out and to stay away from the behaviors that always never work out that lead to death or contribute to recidivism.

Many of the people that I most admire and have the greatest respect for are those who died as martyrs in the fight or war on oppression, greed, power, selfishness and entitlement because of royalty/linage or race or social status. Joan of Arc, William Wallace, Jesus, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa and host of others. These are people that never gave up and sometimes I really think that’s the strategy and the pearl of wisdom to achieved “Don’t give up.” “Don’t lose hope.” It’s not about “dying this way or dying without ever having known or really had this or that:. All of us are destined to die. It’s not about the dying part of it in this life, it’s more to do with “I’ll die trying”.

Perhaps the greatest parallel and hidden truth of all among our kind in prison on parole or handicapped by a criminal record is the fact that in the sense that the “greatest trick the devil played on mankind was or is that the devil would have us believe that he isn’t real”, we as a group are to believe that the reason why are our lives are so hard is to do with the choices we made. It’s my fault, don’t live in denial, acceptance is the key to my problem, confess, you’re a sinner, repent, be grateful, don’t complain, it’s your fault. And these messages are repeated and re-enforced many times over in a person’s life when they get caught up in this life style or if by chance they were born into it like some of us were. And there are generations and generations of us that have come along and will continue to come along until something changes.
Thinking outside the box, focusing on what is relevant and not straying towards fantasy or euphoria to escape what is inescapable, taking it one day at a time, gaining understanding and a true connection with the Spirit within are ways to walk and keep strength. Many of us are plagued by a conception of God that is meant for the sake of controlling or we believe in the God of our Mother and Father’s understand, but not of our own or we’re little children who’ve never matured or grown past the perception that God is Santa Claus.

Enough of that. Walmart…………..eat my shorts, Wally.

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Old 07-06-2020, 07:21 PM
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Fire: just remember this: the best revenge is, LIVING WELL!
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Old 07-06-2020, 10:56 PM
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It's all a lie. The USA is the worst, most corrupt land. its all the same families running everything, unethical experiments, etc. and it's all based off of stealing...stealing intellectual property, stealing property, etc. The reality is they are pieces of shit ruining our lives.

Fortunately, we are starting to keep stats on police crimes and other things.

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Old 07-07-2020, 06:34 AM
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Fire: just remember this: the best revenge is, LIVING WELL!
That’s really and truly the one truth or fact that stands head & shoulders above all others….live well. It’s easier said than done on many days out here, but living well is possible and it’s also probable provided you don’t get into your feelings about the life on life’s terms part of it.
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Old 07-08-2020, 07:55 AM
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It's all a lie. The USA is the worst, most corrupt land. its all the same families running everything, unethical experiments, etc. and it's all based off of stealing...stealing intellectual property, stealing property, etc. The reality is they are pieces of shit ruining our lives.

Fortunately, we are starting to keep stats on police crimes and other things.
There’s a lot of stuff in prison as well as, here in the Free World on parole or in the aftermath of discharging a sentence completely that can be and often times is discouraging. There are common points in the negative sense that can be reoccurring setbacks to do with employment, housing, rejection by society as a overall whole, discrimination and most of all “I didn’t know what to do the last time this happened and I don’t know what to do right now as it’s happening again”. These are the unforeseen “thorns in one’s side” that seemingly won’t go away or come back to haunt us over and over and over again.

My Dad was granted a full pardon from the governor here in Texas sometime between Post WWII – early 1950s. You don’t see those handed out any more here in Texas, that’s one of those “it’s a thing of the past”, but in spite of the fact that he was given the best of the very best life after prison green light/ move on with your life/ blessing from the highest authority in the State of Texas. When background checks became the norm in mid 1990s, he was “dissed “when applying for a part time job at an upscale restaurant in Dallas for a bookkeeping/management position to supplement his retirement income (SSI). I can still remember him coming home and discussing this. He said:

“They refused to give me the job because of the felony I committed back in 1946-47 and served time on. When I told them that I received a full pardon from the Governor for that, they said”:

“It doesn’t matter, sir. You have a criminal record and that’s that. We can’t hire you.”

So……….in the aftermath of his dilemma and mine as well, there’s only one thing to say, do and remember. You know how you keep from losing a fight? You don’t give up, that’s how. There are some hardships out here we face that are hard to look at with a sense of “Where am I going with this? This keeps happening over and over again. Am I ever going to catch a break?”

Answer- Maybe….probably….and with the certainty that other problems like this or similar to this will come again, no doubt. But, I have to remember, this isn’t about winning as much as it is about “not giving up”. If you give up, you lose and when you lose…….it’s always the “freedom part of it” that hurts the most, matters the most and is the real thing to be protected. Without that, nothing else matters and it’s easy to forget that.
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Old 07-09-2020, 01:30 PM
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You know, I've read through this whole thread, and I see so much of what you're going through is what my husband has been through, and STILL dealing with! He's out here busting his tail to do the right thing, but he's still branded for something that happened over 30 years ago!!

He had great plans for when he came out. I tried to get him to temper that a little bit because I already knew how cruel our society can be. I didn't want to dampen his spirits, but at the same time, I could see him being crushed. His first parole officer was tough, but fair. To make a long story short, he got busted on a parole violation for having a letter opener in his car. Louisiana considered it to be a weapon....petty assholes.

When he came out the second time, he had a female parole officer that was a beast. That didn't last too long because they had words, and he often proved her wrong about certain things. She called him arrogant and a smart ass. LOL It wasn't about that. It was about his refusal to be bullshitted and he knows the law where his parole rights are concerned and his refusal to be intimidated. I know it wasn't funny, but at times I had to snicker because she would get very pissed off when he brought her facts.

Right now, he is extremely blessed because he has a PO that actually wants him to succeed. The guy comes here once a month for residence check, and that's it. When his mother passed, the PO actually told him to go and they didn't bother with a travel pass.

However, like you, he has had society snub its nose at him, and like you, he always reveals everything. "Ah man, we'd love to have you, but you have a record." All the things you speak of, he has been through. It's difficult for me to see, but I support him every way I can.

I'm not overly fond of society right now, nor have I been for quite some time. I've seen countless times how it deals with former inmates, and not just with my husband, but with other people I know. How in the hell can society expect an ex-con to stand on his/her own whey they are treated as pariahs???
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Old 07-09-2020, 04:16 PM
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Yes……..I knew or suspected that when you were awaiting your husband’s release, the road ahead for him might be much the same as it is most all of us here in Texas that look to start over with the hope of a “happily ever after” post prison experience. And……that’s not to say that it can’t be, but it just winds up being in the course of things to come that there are a lot of hard days out here with seemingly no explanation or understanding of things in general other than to say “that’s just the way it is” or “it is what it is” and that’s not much live for or look to when it comes to support or the confidence needed to carry on.

Yep, it’s a system that wants you to fail, sets you up to fail, and then blames you when you don’t succeed. My husband has always been able to find a job pretty easily, but those jobs are garbage. The good jobs are often promised and then snatched away, even with complete,honesty.
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Old 07-10-2020, 07:53 AM
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You know, I've read through this whole thread, and I see so much of what you're going through is what my husband has been through, and STILL dealing with! He's out here busting his tail to do the right thing, but he's still branded for something that happened over 30 years ago!!

He had great plans for when he came out. I tried to get him to temper that a little bit because I already knew how cruel our society can be. I didn't want to dampen his spirits, but at the same time, I could see him being crushed. His first parole officer was tough, but fair. To make a long story short, he got busted on a parole violation for having a letter opener in his car. Louisiana considered it to be a weapon....petty assholes.

When he came out the second time, he had a female parole officer that was a beast. That didn't last too long because they had words, and he often proved her wrong about certain things. She called him arrogant and a smart ass. LOL It wasn't about that. It was about his refusal to be bullshitted and he knows the law where his parole rights are concerned and his refusal to be intimidated. I know it wasn't funny, but at times I had to snicker because she would get very pissed off when he brought her facts.

Right now, he is extremely blessed because he has a PO that actually wants him to succeed. The guy comes here once a month for residence check, and that's it. When his mother passed, the PO actually told him to go and they didn't bother with a travel pass.

However, like you, he has had society snub its nose at him, and like you, he always reveals everything. "Ah man, we'd love to have you, but you have a record." All the things you speak of, he has been through. It's difficult for me to see, but I support him every way I can.

I'm not overly fond of society right now, nor have I been for quite some time. I've seen countless times how it deals with former inmates, and not just with my husband, but with other people I know. How in the hell can society expect an ex-con to stand on his/her own whey they are treated as pariahs???
In many ways, prison is what it’s always been from the very beginning. It’s a hard experience meant to be difficult with the intent of being so harsh that no one who knows anything about the place wants to go there to begin with and furthermore, no one wants to go back there. The concept, the hatred, the fear and the negatives to do with prison are somewhat well defined or a very black and white issue not hard to figure out. If you don’t have your freedom then, you don’t have anything.

Parole or completely discharging a prison sentence altogether is not like that, though. Starting over was for a long time the hardest part of getting out, that and staying out of trouble. Work hard, do the right thing and be patient. That’s the formula for success that most all of us continue to believe in and adhere to upon release and regardless of what ever changes have come about here, in truth…………..that’s about you can do. If you want to live out here and not in there, the course of action is relatively simple. In the worst of times, “don’t give up” is the battle cry to be heard and taken to heart.

Still………..I look at my Father’s experience of the 1940s when he got out prison and what followed (in his words and from what I gather), I look at my older sibling’s first incarceration here in Texas and what followed in the 1970s and then I look at my numerous incarcerations (4 all total) and what I’ve been dealing with since the early 1990s there are differences between what they faced upon release and what many of us in the here & now are faced with……………..the world is ready for us when we get out of prison. The problem is, most of us on average are not ready or prepared for what awaits us when we get out. Why and to do with what?

“It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity” – Albert Einstein

When the presence of global positioning satellites, cellular communications, the information highway/internet and the natural born human gift of “problem solving” evolved or progressed to certain point in the 1990s, it should have become obvious to everyone who’s ever had an “X” on their back that the Free World is ready for us when we get out. We’re not the only ones (ex-felons &parolees), either.

Deer are perhaps an even greater or more extreme if not vivid example of what I’m talking about. Once upon a time some 400 years ago in this land (America), about the only things a deer had to worry about where the possibility of death was concerned were the arrows that Native American Indians shot from a bow or something like a pack of wolves or mountain lion………..that’s about it. In this day and time…….a deer ain’t got a snow ball’s chance in h#ll. Deer rifles, rifle scopes used to shoot from long distances with the greatest of accuracy, hunters who wear camouflage clothing, dear spray that mimic the scent of female deer in heat, deer sound mechanisms that sound like a deer…….what’ll they thing of next, right? If you’re a deer, you live in a world that is ready and waiting for you come deer season. Such is the same case for those of us who’ve been to prison or must find a way to survive in a world that for the most part is not felon friendly.

Now that I’ve cried in my Wheaties over the Walmart mishap for some 10 days nonstop, I’m able to calm down and look at my part in things as to what went wrong, what needs to be changed on my end and what my truth is and the “what my truth is” part of it, that mean’s different things to different people, it really does.

What went wrong? I was prepared in the beginning for the possibility that Walmart wouldn’t hire me because of my felonies and I was prepared for the possibility that maybe they world because of how old they are (4 robberies dating from mid 1980s-late1990s). What I wasn’t prepared for was the “Yes, you passed a background check on June 16th and welcome to Walmart Family, but then again on 2nd thought, as of June 26th……..nah…..it ain’t happening……cleaning toilettes when the store is closed or not…..we don’t want your kind even if what you did is 23 years old or older” and that’s the part I wasn’t prepared for.

Being prepared or being ready when we get out is big deal for us, but we don’t really facilitate or use the right mental, spiritual, emotional tools needed nor do we make use of the support around us in the right way. What we do at best in prison prior to getting out and what to do is we “overthink” things and we continue upon release to “live by our wits” which was a tendency that led us to prison to begin with. When you talk about the traits/characteristics of dope fiend mentality, criminal addictive thinking, power thrust, the victim stance, concrete thinking, old war stories, feeding the ego……..all these defective forms of problem solving once again prove their failure to get much done other than coming up with enough money to score dope, go get laid, go get into trouble and ultimately go back to jail or prison. Where Society is concerned and the safe guards put place to do so goes, they’re ready for us. In their defense, who can blame them when you look at people that have come along in history like Ted Bundy, Charles Manson, Jeffery Dahmer, Richard Ramirez (Night Stalker) or closer to home here in Texas like Kenneth McDuff, Henry Lee Lucas or Ricky Lee Green? And so, I get it.

Still and once again in looking at my Dad’s approach to things and the success he had upon release, he was a man of principle and that’s what he lived his life by after he got out of prison. He did the right thing because it was the right thing to do and that’s the long and short of it. He wasn’t a cry baby about it, either. Maybe a part of my confusion or inability to cope at times is the fact that the circumstance of today are not the same as way back when or what they were back in the 1970s for my older brother at the time. They didn’t have:

1. More ways to high on some kind of drug than you can shake a stick at.
2. A dope house on every corner in a part of town and the liquor store just up the street a ways and over, all lower prices on everything with the ability to buy more for the money.
3. Back ground checks
4. Electronic monitoring
5. Numerous programs/funding added to the parole/penal system for the sake of monitoring and creating jobs for state employees.

None the less, what the real truth about our lives and what we are to do out here? For those who have been convicted of a sex offense, patience and tolerance of what is to follow is essential for them. For those of us who are deemed violent offenders, we prove to be often times the ones that have the greatest need where mental health issues are concerned and we’re also the ones that need to sit down for a second in the aftermath of Walmart like experiences or events that leave us hurt or offended for the sake of regaining our composure. Our worst enemy is the “eye of the tiger” sentiment that led so many of us to prison to begin with. For non-violent offenders…….I don’t know, I’ve never been one of them, but there’s a course of action to take just as there are things to stay away from. For many of that group, if they can stay sober and stay focused on what’s in front of them that proves to be the greater effort needed.

Sometimes there is no getting ready to it where coming home is concerned. It’s do with willingness to live by a set of principles no matter what the cost or the outcome and that’s a strange thing to say or consider among the likes of many of us.

We endure a process of torture and brainwashing in there to a large degree. We get out with a victim like mentality without knowing it often times and we attempt to re-use the same problem solving methods or thinking patterns that led us to prison in the first place. Thing’s like entitlement, high/unrealistic expectations, denial about the desire to use/drink, hyper sex driven frustrations, resentment, guilt, anger used as a form of power to get things done…………that’s what many of us come home with as the tools or hang ups to be seen. And it takes time to see that. It takes a lot of time.



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Old 07-11-2020, 07:22 AM
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Yep, it’s a system that wants you to fail, sets you up to fail, and then blames you when you don’t succeed. My husband has always been able to find a job pretty easily, but those jobs are garbage. The good jobs are often promised and then snatched away, even with complete,honesty.
As long as he’s got you to come home to and share his life with, it’s all good. He’ll catch a break somewhere. You’re the best part of his life and he’s blessed because of that.
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