Prison Pete

Wednesday, April 27, 2005
  Prison Pete -- The Formative Years Part II.
I really hooked into life in the new neighborhood. Instead of flying the roost and seeking a college away from home, I ended up staying local and coming home every weekend. I was the momma's boy.

How you match my low self-esteem with my criminal behavior, well, that is another of those discussions about untrained people, i.e. the alleged counselor here making snap judgments. I cannot help but think how different my life is now.

Frank and Roger had homemade spaghetti today. I made no comment. Yesterday when I made the bean salad, Frank was sticking his nose in every few minutes. "What you making Pete? You putting mushrooms in?"

I often joke about how it is a good thing when other prisoners do not want to be my friend. It is actually true. I am happy to be left alone, working on things I like.

I am actually too busy to sit around and talk about the same things over and over. I do not have time to watch TV. I was going to skip the hour walking today and get right to work, but I realized the best thing for me is to not neglect any area of my mind, body or soul. The exercise is not only physically good for me, it gives me time to be by myself and also push myself to exceed the level of walking as far as pace goes.

Okay have we digressed from the subject far enough yet?

One of the aspects of my personality we worked on in the counseling session at Club Fed was my view of myself as a mealy-mouthed little nerd type that was always doing what others wanted me to do. I saw myself as someone that was not exerting my will but working on those things that other people would praise me to do. The old "whatever you want me to do is okay with me" attitude.

The fallacy of that position is that it can setup an entitlement complex. Since I do all this great stuff for everyone else that means I can do this or that. Examples of that could be as simple as me working late into the night at my first job (before I was arrested) and then showing up some time after 9.00 AM the next morning. As my boss, who was only a few years older than me, constantly reminded me, he did not care how late I stayed at work, but I was supposed to be at my desk at 9:00 AM.

Instead of taking his instructions to heart, I would internalize the anger and say "Who does he think it is!?!" Internalize is the key; I would not actually stand up for myself and say "Hey, I am doing the work of two people, plus all the special projects you use me for!" The other thing that begins to develop is a strengthening of my narcissistic personality traits.

Why am I a "healthier" person today? I have lowered my expectations of what life owes me and decreased my seeking of my value solely through the praise of others.
Interesting. My warden (husband) exhibits this behavior. Always doing things that people would praise him for. OMG. You should see his face light up when someone tells him what a good job he's done or what a wonderful person he is and you're right about the entitlement complex. I hear often, "Well, I did such and such, you, he, she, owes me..." There's always a string attached to the good deed. And I can say that the man is very angry with life.
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