This might sound sick, but as Borce Ristevski’s sentencing yesterday, it reminded me how much I missed my Corrections work. I felt like a weirdo pouring over the screen trying to get some more details on a case I had watched in bewilderment for a while now.
As most of you know, this year I decided to take a hiatus from my prison work and venture full feet into business coaching. Its always good to change things up work wise and I dont like feeling static or unstimulated in life, so to totally change career direction had been an opportunity I had seized and still continue to take on….with excitement.
Little did I know ‘all the feels’ I would experience in leaving prison life. I have found myself in recent days emailing my old group “Co-ey” or co-facilitator, just to say hi. My ears prick up more with the crime section of the news report, looking out for my past clients. Have they stolen a car? or shot someone? just to check on what they might be up to. In a sense, Im sure there are people out there reading this thinking, why on earth would you be so ‘sad’ about not seeing society’s outcasts, or people who didn’t deserve support or care in any way. But, I cant help it. They had been a part of my work life since it pretty much started, and without them I feel strange.
However, the reality also was the keeping up with my corrections work meant that I was literally drowning in paperwork. Saturdays and Sundays were spent catching up on all my outstanding paperwork and it was relentless. I mean, I am busy now but back when I was juggling that work (pretty much full time), plus the wellness centre and starting my coaching life, I was literally strangled for hours in the day to get it all done. So something had to give.
What I probably miss the most is the ‘realness’ and candidness of those interactions. It was a place I fit in, strangely enough despite not having a criminal history (I promise), a place where I was comfortable. Everything was ‘straight up’, no bulls#@, sure there was dysfunction and chaos, but it never seemed to bother me. People just ‘got me’ and ‘I got them’ in corrections world. There was no confusion about who said what, or how it was being said, we all spoke the same language.
So now as I try and navigate a different work world, I find it fascinating. Had I become SO accustomed to my corrections career life that the way I interacted and functioned as a person, was actually very different to the rest of the world? I know I had always been different to everyone else since a very young age, as this was constantly pointed out to me in school, but I didn’t realise how different I actually was compared to others. And it leaves me wondering what sort of footprint corrections life had played in moulding me as a person. Possibly it left a LARGE footprint, and I never even knew it had until now.
In the end, I feel I will become a more rounded person as a result of my foray outside of the prison walls but sometimes I just want to go and hang out back in my group room again. But now I must challenge myself to ‘do different’ and ‘be different’ in some ways.
Anyways, Im sure all my amazing psych comrades are still doing an amazing job and holding the fort for me…. until I return one day…
Your Ol Prison Dweller