Am I Institutionalized?
Leroy Stallworth DW8515
Greetings to my TSC family. I have spent the past 25 yrs in prison so I know that I'm 'institutionalized' on some levels in terms of how society at large functions on a daily basis. The things we have to endure behind these prison walls has in some ways have made us more callous from what the norms are out in society. I know full well who I WANT to be but every day I awake I ask myself will I be allowed to be that person today or will I have to make the decision that I NEED to be the old me to feel like a person that matters(?). Every minute of every day I am beset on all sides by entities that want to break the barriers I have erected between who I was & who I am now. To be able to overcome the oppressive environment perpetuated by prison staff & fellow prisoners alike, can be a very daunting task. Disrespect seems to be the theme of every day. From daily being threatened with obviously false & unfounded sanctions that may have the effect of destroying everything that me & my camp have worked towards for the past 25 years, to being treated by members of my same class as if I'm not worthy of common courtesy & mutual respect. From daily being served 'food' that isn't allowed to be offered as fare to the general public to being mistreated, misdiagnosed, under/over medicated by sub par medical staff who don't seem to care about your well being. To daily being forced to ingest & bathe in water that the authorities know for a fact is tainted or forced to wear clothes that are mildewed & foul smelling because they are laundered haphazardly. I know these may seem like the rantings of a petulant person but I'd bet that if someone unfamiliar with daily life in prison were plucked out of their daily life & forced to endure the things I've spoken of, they would either break mentally of physically or become 'institutionalized' on some levels just like those of us who endure have become. In jail you either break on some levels or you're broken on all levels. There's no choice!!!