Tuesday, July 15, 2014
It occurred to me that I no longer evaluate people the way I used to. Like so many adults, I have realized that the innocence and naivete that I once had, is now lost. I expect that this happens at different times for everyone. In my own particular case, it has been an evolving adaptation. That evaluation was something I once had, but is now long gone, lost and forgotten. Now though, I am feeling as if I want some of it back.
In my previous life, the one prior to my incarceration, I was lighthearted. I never took too many things too seriously and considered most everyone I came in contact with, as a friend. Trust for me, came almost instantaneously. I truly felt that people, for the most part, were fundamentally ‘good’.
Looking back, I was indeed naive and implausibly green. It is very disturbing because, as a young adult, I lived in my own version of reality. I mean there is no doubt in my mind that my concept of reality then was so distorted, so convoluted. But that was the way I believed life to be at that time.
ELEVEN YEARS LATER:
When I meet a new person now, I subconsciously size them up. I scan them head to toe to decide where I think their weakest points would be. I focus on their eye contact, the firmness and size of their hands, the air of confidence in the tone of their voice . It is as if I am continuously preparing for battle. In my mind, I ask myself: “what is the best way to win a physical fight with this person?”
Instinctively, I know that the majority of the words coming out of other people’s mouths are gross fabrications. People have ‘angles’ and need to present themselves in whatever way they see fit to accomplish their goals. I trust absolutely no one and feel as though every person around me can, and will become my enemy at some point in this game. You may not understand my choice in the word game, but I assure you, in prison, it is very much just that.
In no way is this a “normal” way of thinking, but is my “normal” in here and it keeps me alive and unharmed…