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For most of my life I never feared anything. Prior to my incarceration I never cared about anything other than myself ( consequences, the impact of my actions on my children, and most definitely..the impact of drugs on my community) meant nothing to me It was easily justified by my belefs. I was a savage.
My fears began in prison. The fear of my kids well being while gone, the fear of losing my parents, to disease, the fear of me not making it out....but most of all...the fear of going crazy. I've seen people go crazy overnight.
15 years of isolation gave me the opportunity to think. You cannot run from yourself. The moment that you have any idol time these thoughts would engulf me...so it was very important to stay mentally busy.
I'm not educated. I received a certificate degree from LSU in liberal studies. Not an actual Bachelors degree....a worthless certificate degree that ensures me a job at Jack N the Box.
Prison for the most part is easy once you understand the "rules". They are insane rules that absolutely makie no sense to anyone other than an inmate.in prison. as insane as that sounds...the rules worked.
Prison is nothing more than tribal living with people who hate each other....But we understood that we have to live with each other so these rules were non-negotiable. most prison stabbings are committed to one of your own "tribal members" for breaking these rules. Time and time again...a young savage killer comes in with that street mentality of "me, me" me". A badass who's going to do it his way........whether he liked it.., agreed with it....embraced it......depending on what tribe you're a member of (skin color, gang affilliation) he is part of a collective. The rules ensure common ground and respect for people you hate.
I didn't realize the impact of beliefs until shortly after getting out. I was into it with anybody and everybody who I felt disrespected by. Little things "spill a drink on me and not apologize"....I would assault you. There was a getting out party for me.....at this party/bbq....a dear friend of mine (joking) asked how many men I fucked in the ass. A guy I've known 35 years...knowing he was just trying to be funny and meant no harm. I literally tried to beat him to death. I was not able to because I was pulled away from him.....but in my mind (my beliefs)wanted him dead. Many other friends were upset with me for quite a while because they understood that he meant no harm. My wife was terrified that night...not of me....but of me....if that makes any sense/
The point of all this: College courses...., the law library,... deep thought,... a close connection with my children while in prison..... had me believing that I was not effected by prison. When clearly I had become part of it.
This is the very reason that I bash religion as I do.....The belief.......It is very possible to reason with a savage (myself) as long as those beliefs remain somewhat a part of reality......but you cannot reason with insanity. Not everyone is reachable or approachable... I've seen it over and over. I fear peoples beliefs because I've seen what people are capable of in their justification of the actions they take as result of those very beliefs.
How do you rationalize with a person (any color, any gender, of any tribe) that embraces the belief that death is better than life.????? You see , in my case I was able to easily see that I was very wrong in my reactions to people when I got out.....but it still took a while. I stayed away from friends for a couple of years..., worked a lot...and had a grandaughter since then. I get it. We have to allow people to be themselves.....we have to accept behaviors if we want to get along.
But I ask...at what point do we stop? At what point does a belief become intolerable? All behavior starts with a belief...so what if you can't change someones belief?