What’s it like to get out of prison after 28 years
I went to prison in 1982 and was released Feb 2009. To say the world I stepped into was a shock, it was a total shock. I felt everyone could tell I was a convict. I could feel the stares, going into stores you see people watching you. In prison you develop a sense where you are always aware of what’s going on around you. Your gaurd is always up.
I noticed people would cut the line in front of me and not think nothing of it, people would talk shit and if I checked them somehow I became the bad guy.
Society has made it so hard to get a job, with all them background checks, can’t rent, fill out a app for a job, list your last 3 employers and why you left. So you get creative on your answers, I put down I worked for the state. Get pulled over, cops whole demeanor changes when he runs your name. Some people don’t like you just because you doing better then them, and it’s my fault your stupid.
You scare people for no reason, trust issues all around. There’s no way I can make others feel the way they feel it’s them. Everything can be cool then they find out you were in prison that long. Some ask questions, some shun you, some don’t change its no factor to them, but once word gets out your judged by people you don’t even know haven’t even meet them. You hear it through friends, some will even say something when they hear another talking shit about you.
All in all out here is way way better then in prison, I’ve been out now for 7 and a half years, I’ve seen stuff that would get you killed on the inside. Out here people snitch, call cops, and not think twice of what there doing. I still hate pigs and always will. For I see them as bad as convicts on shit they do. When a pig sees another pig violate another person’s rights, harass him, beat him and don’t do something to stop the offending pig to me he’s just as dirty. When the pigs got shot up and everyone spoke how bad that was, what came to my mind was shoe just went to the other foot. But society don’t get to worked up when a pig kills one of us.
Prison made me into the person I am. Product of my environment. I can function well and do out here,but that underlinine factor of prison will never go away no matter what I do. No credit history,own a house but can’t barrow a dollar, no medical history, no job history, learn to use smart phone and computer. So much is differant, it’s a system set up for my failure that what society has created . But I won’t fail and I won’t become one of them.
What’s it like to be an unattractive woman in a superficial world?
- The irony in my situation is that being an overweight person should make me more visible to people, but the only thing that it has made me is invisible. On many occasions, I’ve felt invisible to the men I’ve liked. I’ve been friendzoned and how! You know those memes where the woman says “Aww, you’re such a nice guy. Why can’t I find a guy just like you?”. Well, it’s happened to me, except that the man wanted a smart woman who was just like me, but obviously prettier. I’ve definitely become jaded as a result of this, and I always assume that all a man looks for in a woman is (conventional) beauty.
- I’ve always been fortunate to have pretty and amazing women as friends. This was something I never had trouble dealing with. Maybe it’s something I do, but I find almost all women pretty. As a result of being surrounded by so many beautiful women, I’ve always been considered as the wing-man for many men, who talk to me just so they can get with my friend. I cannot count how many times this has happened. And almost always, they stop talking to me once they’ve gotten the woman’s number. I have learnt to deal with this by refusing to be the middle man.
- In Indian families, it’s common to judge a girl by her beauty. Since I score a big, fat zero (pun intended) in that department, I’m considered to be a burden for my parents. It’s not uncommon to hear my relatives whisper things like “But how is he ever going to get her married? Just look at her!”. My mother was worried when I was going off to hostel, and a particularly caustic elder lady consoled her saying, “Oh don’t worry! I’m sure she won’t do a love marriage in college. Her looks would turn anyone off!”. Another one pointed to a cousin of mine and told me, “Look! She’s the beauty of the family. And what are you? Nothing!”. Every time I meet them, I hear a new insult, but I’ve learnt to disregard them and develop hide-like skin.
- As an overweight person, you’re entitled to receive advice and insults from every damn person, including strangers. People stop you on the road to tell you that you’re a disgrace, and that looking at you made their morning go sour. Auto drivers give you tips to look better and reduce weight, because otherwise you’d break their auto (cue laughter). Tailors tell you that walking most definitely works. People in buses look at you like you’re the biggest pile of excrement they’ve ever seen and wrinkle their noses. Again, I’ve learnt to hear it from one ear, and leave it out the other.
- Oh the assumptions people make about you! The fact that you like walking doesn’t make sense, you’re so fat. You don’t eat as much as I thought you would, you’re so fat. It’s weird that you can dance well, you’re so fat. I didn’t think you’d be so active, you’re so fat. I’m surprised you’re a nice person, you’re so fat. Good god, the wide variety of assumptions people make cracks me up. Of course, they are no more in number than assumptions about pretty people, thin people, whatever, but still!
- Being overweight is my weakness and I will be attacked for it, whatever the matter. As a kid in school, when I got into any debates, the only closing argument the other party could come up with is, “Oh yeah? Well, you’re fat and ugly!”. No shit, Sherlock. I thought people would grow up as time passes, but I came across the same kind of people in college too. People would always bring up my weight to “put me in my place”.
- Not being considered as a conquest by men, is sort of nice at times, because you can be yourself with them. No one ever worried about introducing me to their boyfriends, or crushes. I never pretended to get the attention of men I liked, because I have always assumed that they’ll never like me. So, that part of my life is drama-free.
- I am extremely self-sufficient and I never depend on anyone to do anything. Sure, there might be women who don’t ask their significant others to do things for them, but I am yet to come across one, or maybe I’ve been around too many co-dependent relationships. I do everything by myself, and I have no problem doing so. Unlike many of my female friends, I don’t feel like a loser if I eat alone at a restaurant or sit in a bus listening to music or go for a movie by myself. This might sound crazy but I’ve been preparing myself for a ‘life as one’. I’ve picked up a lot of hobbies that will keep me occupied so I don’t feel the need for a significant other.
- Like all the women have mentioned here, being unattractive gave me a lot of time to work on my personality. I read a lot. I have always been funny. Some people say I am smart, I am not really sure about that bit. I am nice and helpful to most people. I am sort of an interesting person as well. So, the space I occupy in the world is not a total loss, I guess.
- I developed a very different view of what would qualify as a tragedy, looks wise. Bad hair days…um, aren’t those every day? Got a horrible sun tan…heh, talk to the blackened hand, sister! Anything related to looks and how my friends weren’t happy with themselves, I’d brush it off and tell them to chill. I don’t know if this helped anyone but my friends, but they’d always feel better after talking to me. Honestly, I love them so much I never noticed anything but how beautiful they were.
So, what does it feel like to be an unattractive woman? Like I’ll never be good enough.
What is it like to be a kleptomaniac?
I didn’t steal because I was destitute. I stole because I had different emotions — fear, anger, frustration, and desperation — all banging up against one another. Shoplifting became the release, and the release became an addiction. I felt entitled to shoplift because I felt that I had suffered unfairly in my life and that stealing redressed these wrongs. Let someone else be the victim.
I thought about shoplifting before I got out of bed in the morning. I’d go on binges. I’d lose myself. I stole from so many stores that I literally lost track of my whereabouts and relied on merchandise tags to tell me what store I was stealing from. I wasn’t aware of what I was taking, just grabbing things off the shelves.
Look around your house: Everything you’ve paid for, I stole — camera equipment, houseplants, paintings, shoes, CDs, videocassettes, DVDs, mouthwash, aspirin, batteries, film, lightbulbs, a fan, towels, gift wrapping, coats, sweaters, books, magazines, envelopes, and children’s toys. I had a twelve-by-twenty-foot storage room filled with things I’d never use.
I wore a baggy coat, and in summer I wore loose-fitting clothing. I’ve heard of people who line shopping bags with aluminum foil to scramble electronic sensors. I always carried razor blades, a pair of pliers, and a screwdriver to remove security tags. I preferred stores in older buildings because they weren’t designed with shoplifters in mind, and I looked for places in the store with columns where I could hide from cameras.
One time, I was trying on shoes in a department store and deceived the saleslady into going to the back room. While she was gone, I put a pair in a bag and walked out of the store. I should have never looked back, but I immediately returned to the store. The saleslady must have been looking for me because when she saw me, I was surrounded by sixteen store detectives. I knew they had me. And they took me to a jail cell that was right on the store premises. I wasn’t alone. I had lots of company in there.
I’ve been arrested five times. Each time I asked myself how I could do it better the next time so I wouldn’t get caught again.