Brace yourself. These are my riotous ravings. They are the fruit and flowers of my conscious inspiration, pollinated with my perturbation... It is my reinforced vertebrate's vivisection's and variations on carnal mortality mixed with an attempt at intellectual deconstruction.
Cowards and how to make a soufflé...
I have a bitch to pitch. So bear with me or soldier on, matters not to me. I won't be offended...
Here's the thing, I can't email the people I am actually mad at because
it would make things so much worse..., but if I don't name names and
just spew here, perhaps it will make me feel better? Nes pa?
Most people know that my husband of over four years (four years? Really?
How time flies when you are being shunned...) oh yeah, I digress,
husband of four years... spent time in prison. A lot of it. Ten years to
be exact. He has been out over four years (no I did not meet and/or
marry him while he was inside sheesh) with few issues on his parole
record aside from forgetting to attend a few appointments (Homer noise
*DOH!*) and the alternative health processes of his life-mate. All in
all, he has been primarily very successful in his re entry, but not
without a very important component. The thing most people lack when they
are coming out of their self-imposed exile in the desert as it were, is
peer support. A network of family and friends who help stabilize a
person during a time in their life when they both need AND desire the
most support. People who make it worth-while to put your shoulder to the
stone and push it up the hill again until your own happiness and
recovery of a meaningful life is enough.
This seems lost on
some people. Yeah, I get it, he's a quirky guy and when folks find out
that he has been in jail, they find it hard to reconcile his calm, quiet
and polite demeanor with what they know he served time for. Just ask
him, he will tell you, though he does not enjoy dwelling on the past bad
acts and he feels it is disrespectful of the people who were injured,
he does not hide the truth from any who seek to endure it's influence as
it passes through.
All this being said...
I WOULD REALLY LIKE IT IF PEOPLE WOULD STOP CALLING HIS PAROLE OFFICER!
STOP IT, STOP IT, STOP IT!
My husband now works as the project coordinator for a criminal justice
transformation project funded by a three year grant. So what that means
is, he spends sixty hours working in a week and gets paid for twenty.
All because he desperately believes that all people with a criminal
justice background in the state of Alaska deserve to find the same
success he has found in his re-entry through peer support and peer run
agencies all over the state.
WHY IS THIS SO ANNOYING TO SOME PEOPLE? I have no idea.
There's some seriously nasty folk claiming altruistic intentions who
work in the criminal justice side of rehabilitation that are just plain
project ruining assholes and I am for one wish I was more shocked at the
cowardice of calling his parole officer for weird and stupid
reasons...like to ask if maybe John shouldn't be allowed to commute to
anchorage, 98 miles does seem a bit far... doesn't it? No? Well... why
is it then that he is not filling out a travel pass every week?
Something he had addressed and then reached a mutually satisfying
process of accommodations with his parole officer. Even though it's a
pointless exercise in a red tape clogged bureaucratic process of a
laughable level of incompetence and it can cause his job to
jeopardized... And not just jeopardized in the sense that he can get
fired for not being able to fulfill the anchorage office work
availability he promised in his contract, but the project itself. by
creating unrealistic expectations, political hurdles (as if there
weren't enough already) and road blocks just because they think its
wrong for a felon like him to have any position of influence in their
world. So we will punish the non-profit that employed him in this
position by playing hide and seek with their grant money, or we'll abuse
our authority to try and force the non-profit to fire him on a whim.
Even judges are not immune to petty bull it would seem.
those of you who keep calling his parole officer, I hope you are proud.
You have (not-so-stealthily as you might think) attacked someone who is
trying to assist in healing a very real rift in our community. One who
has enough of an insiders knowledge (pardon the pun) that it might
actually be successful! God forbid... You would have succeeded in
getting another "dangerous" felon off the street and back into prison
regardless of his good behavior and obvious commitment to change with
your cowardly and libelous rumors/attacks if it weren't for the support
his peers and family provide him with.
Escaping the prison of
mental or behavioral illness and a history of criminal behavior forever
and the duration cannot be done if every time those men and women start
to get their heads above water you begin hysterically clawing at their
eyes while weighing them down with endless reams of paperwork that are a
foolish waste. And rules that exist vestigially at best and at worst,
create, cultivate and perpetuate the loopholes through which a felon can
be violated repeatedly and dragged back into the pit regardless of his
own acts and intent..
I would really really like it if when
someone has served their time they were actually done and reinstated as a
citizen. All the way. Because if you think prison ends when you walk
out the door you are wrong. A different prison exists that is almost too
cruel to bear. It has invisible but just as oppressive bars that stymie
any chance to ever be treated like a human again. It steals away your
constitutional rights and makes you forever locked in a position most
comfortable for the system to violate you in. Whenever and however they
want. And even at the end of this year when my husband is off parole,
they will still be lurking and limiting and telling him by their actions
and intimations that he will never be a real boy. Why can't they be
honest and simply admit it openly?
We have to reorient our
thinking towards people like my husband. They are real people! Some are
sick, or broken, confused and twisted viscerally by trauma, pickled and
fried on substances, damaged and lost inside of a world they would not
have chosen for themselves if they truly knew at the time they had a
choice coupled with a clear understanding of what anti-social behavior
does to your life force and the people you could have loved instead.
Mean people suck. But I guess I have to remember that for most, "there
but for the grace of god go I" is cliche only because it is a true
statement. Analyzed by the wrong microscope, there is not a one of us
whose life shines free of any stain or blemish.
So I forgive
you. But I do it begrudgingly. May-hap God(dess) will provide me with
the intent necessary because I won't be able to do it on my own.
It’s less than nine days till the 37th Moose Pass
Solstice Festival, and I am in charge of the food booth which will serve at
least a thousand people over two days. And I’ll be damned if it doesn't feel
like I am treading water in soup while I am at it. It happens slowly, even somewhat gently at first. The
gradual and inexorable drain, going almost unnoticed midst the heady pace of a
life being lived... but I feel it all the same. It’s a sneaky pull by events
out of my control at my heatedly disputed reserve energy tank. You know the one
I’m talking about. It’s how you always managed to be tanked up and ready to
rock when you were 19 in case of impromptu partying or a road trip, or
something shiny... And it didn’t matter if you had only slept twenty-seven minutes
in the back seat of an Impala and you smelled like cheap vodka and burned hair…
Then suddenly the snap is out of your rubber band. Suddenly, you forgot why you
have the rubber band in the first place. Time passes so quick…