Posts Tagged ‘quote’

I’m at the Milwaukee Secure Detention Facility (MSDF), an institution in the Wisconsin Prison System (WPS), participating in the Earned Release Program (ERP). On Thursday it was back to business as normal after the snowstorm.  The morning started off with group member Augie Prescott from our ERP group reading his autobiography.  His relationships were mostly with the various pickup trucks he has owned while touching on his girlfriend he had.  I guess what I took from it mostly was what sacrifices we made for drinking.  Ms. Grey, our ERP Group Coordinator, didn’t have any questions of significance for him nor did we.  We were done early so we had a  casual conversation in our group about real estate, cars and jobs.  After lunch, I had a good talk with ERP member Scott Dietz about his ideas for multicolored tints for motorcycles and cars.  He’s the idea guy.  He’s got all this going on but he doesn’t have anywhere to go when he gets out either.  So there’s a bit of a disconnect there.  When Ms. Grey returned we watched a movie called “I Don’t Know What To Do Decision Making Skills” by Guidance Associates.  To be honest, it was the worse video I’d seen here.  The dialogue was something where you’d expect Wally and Beaver Cleaver to show up in the next scene.  They lost the room almost immediately.  The whole point was to think through the decisions we made which was quite valid.  Afterwards we got a couple of worksheets for homework weighing the positives and negatives of making or not making a decision.  It wasn’t real clear how to do it but we’ll get there.  Afterwards we had our Weekly Community Meeting.  Callie Andre Charles had the current event, dealing with the bank robberies and its effect on ERP.  He did a very good job on that.  One of the other ERP Coordinators announced that due to lack of participation by some in the meetings we would now have to write down our comments to the quote, word and defense mechanism of the week and turn it in.  Yeah I’m rolling my eyes a bit.  But the good news is tomorrow is Friday, this weekend is the Super Bowl where the Green Bay Packers will be crowned Super Bowl 45 Champions and week 8 of 26 is complete.


I’m at the Milwaukee Secure Detention Facility (MSDF), an institution in the Wisconsin Prison System (WPS), participating in the Earned Release Program (ERP).  Yesterday absolutely nothing happened.  Really!  All the ERP Coordinators including Ms. Grey were involved in meetings all day.  The next day we started off by reading the fifth chapter of Houses of Healing by Robin Casarjian, entitled “Anger and Resentment: The Myth of Power” that dealt with inappropriate anger, reactions, unresolved anger, what’s under the anger, facing and owning your anger, how to release it and what you get by holding onto it.  It was an excellent chapter.  I suspect I have a lot of issues here but getting into this, it feels like I’m going to need something beyond this place.  It’s just not safe for me to plow into this stuff it feels like here.  After that afternoon session was a showing of the movie Philadelphia starring Denzel Washington and Tom Hanks.  Before the movie finished it was time for our weekly community meeting so our group was the last ERP group seated in the dayroom.  Today it was my turn to do the “quote” for the meeting.  It was “I Love You But I’m Not Your Hostage”.  We have to explain the quote.  I wrote mine and since your reading this you get to hear it too. 

When I first came to prison, I often became angry with those that claimed to love me because it seemed like they wouldn’t do anything for me or were forgetting about me.  I often had thoughts like “well if they wont’ do anything for me, wont’ come see me more or write more I’m not gonna know who they are after I get out.  I came to the realization that I was actually holding these people close to me hostage, threatening to take away my love for them if they don’t do what I want or what I think they should do.  It’s a continuation of the same kind of sick manipulation of people I used to do on the streets.  Fact is what I do when thinking like this isn’t love at all but rather blackmail. It’s the idea I think I am somehow or should be the center of their universe.  Love isn’t based on what they do for me but rather, on what I want to do for them.  For me to expect anything of those that love me is wrong.  They didn’t put me here.  I did.  I should be grateful those people are still there and if they actually do help me that’s just a blessing.

After it was complete, the group didn’t seem to like the explanation or didn’t understand it.  It just went over flat.  It’s okay.  It meant something to me.  The group was restless today I don’t know why.  Afterwards Ms. Grey made the comment I’m too hard on myself.  She pulled the group back together to finish the movie and assigned us to write a paper on what we thought the movie was about.  Since tomorrow is a furlough day, there’d be no group but we would hang out in our cells and well we have an assignment to work on now.  We returned to our cells.  When I got there, the notepad I write these blog entries on was missing.  I asked my cellies if they’d seen the notepad and Andre Charles used this opportunity to snap on me accusing me of accusing him of stealing.  I tried to explain I wasn’t accusing anyone to no avail.  But then he started talking about me to Brian Whalen and when I tried to defend myself he said he was having a conversation with Brian and I was interrupting. I just ignored it from there.  It usually takes a few days for things to blow over with him.  But as Week 7 of 26 draws to a close I am getting comfortable as I’ve gotten into a routine.  Though plans for the future are up in the air    I believe that things are somehow, someway going to work out.

I’m at the Milwaukee Secure Detention Facility (MSDF), an institution in the Wisconsin Prison System (WPS), participating in the Earned Release Program (ERP). To start off with I wanted to mention these entries may seem different to you than in the past.  The entries are shorter and I don’t engage in much reflection or commentary like I used to.  Basically its because I don’t have as much time as I used to with all the ERP work I have now.  So please bear with me.  Anyway, our ERP group started with the final 2 videos from The Price of Freedom Is Living Free by Jack D. Cooper.  It dealt with our resistance to change, responsibility, irresponsibility, respect and disrespect.  Cooper’s video and workbook thus far are by far the best I’ve seen so far despite the age (one of the main characters sports a mullet if that gives you any idea).  Ms. Grey, our ERP Group Coordinator, I think has taken advantage of my inquisitive nature I think as it seems to jump start group discussions. She’ll challenge me on something and that gets the group discussion going. I am probably more willing than some to engage her in the discussion that some others.  Today her challenge was that I was playing the role of victim by not being willing to challenge my ex-wife and daughters on decisions they made.  If you’ve been following along you know that situation was a difficult one.  I’d learned to pick my battles and by the end I was fighting for my own survival.  But its another example of things I’ve realized on my own while blogging before I got here.  I’ve got to respect and care for myself first before anything else will work.  LOL.. I should have written a book instead of blogging – as if anyone would have wanted it.  But I’m beginning to understand this groups dynamics.  Just cause I’m called out, its not personal and might be done for other people’s benefits too.  After group, I got the poster ready  with my quote for the community meeting next Wednesday.  It reads “I Love You But I’m Not Your Hostage”.  I came up with that earlier when I was realizing I really had no right to be angry with those that claimed to love me yet might seem to have forgotten me, deserted me or not done what I wanted them to do.  And of course, the idea that when I got out, I’d “punish” them by cutting them off somehow would follow.  But the point is, that’s not love, that’s blackmail and it’s a continuation of the same kind of manipulation I practiced in my relationships prior to prison.  As soon as the quote went up, people started approaching me about the quotes meaning.  Some agreed, some didn’t.  It’ll be an interesting meeting next week.  After supper, cellie Malik Pearl, appeared and announced he was out of here.  It seems that dispute between the cellies next door I told you about had gotten so bad and they decided to move the instigator and Malik asked to move.  We’ve all been getting along so his timing is curious but I certainly don’t blame him.  The guys there are friends of his and lets face it, its just a matter of time before cellie Andre Charles blows again.  But for now our cell has gotten really quiet and peaceful.  I’m going to ride that wave while it lasts!