Why Prison Isn’t Restful

by adustyframe ~ August 13th, 2014

I was reading blogs in my feed the other day and stopped cold when the 1st words on one were,

“Prison,” she said after sharing with me how desperately tired she was, “is starting to sound really good.”

I have no clue how I found this blog or why I decided to follow it and I can’t remember leaving comments there before but I know I’ve followed it for quite awhile.

The post was about how desperately we need to rest and what real rest is, etc. It was a good post except for the prison comments. There was a little more about how if prison means you can lay on a bed and read a book alone it didn’t seem bad.

And then a “We laughed”……

I felt sick. Literally sick.

I know people say thoughtless comments and I’m sure I’ve been guilty of that once in awhile. But laughing about the misery of others and thinking it means you’d get a rest is so so so far from reality that I felt I had to say something.

I left a comment~

“I know this is a thing people say and I get your point about needing rest.  But please people “I wish I could go to prison” is a horrible thing to say.  It’s not restful in the least and it’s a horrible heartbreak for the family.

I opened my feed to catch up on blogs this a.m. and your 1st sentence has left me feeling shaky and sad. That’s not your fault it’s because of our history but still. It’s a glib statement that no one with a bit of  compassion should ever use.”

I left links to my prison category to help anyone realize why wishing for prison isn’t a good idea and I left a link to my “What Not To Say” post.

My comment is still in moderation even though other comments were published after that one.  I asked why and said I apologized if it was a glitch that left my comment in limbo and there has been no moderation or reply or even an email. Maybe just maybe the blogger is perusing my prison posts to try to understand and isn’t sure what to say….that would be a great scenario right?

This blogger contributes to a group blog where the article was also shared and I considered leaving a comment there but decided I didn’t want to be some weird internet stalker. I also felt sad reading all the comment that said things along the lines of “Oh yeah I wish I could go there for awhile. I need a break.” Or “I hope it’s like Martha Stewart prison.” etc.

I just couldn’t read anymore and I began to think that people who say those things and joke like that wouldn’t care that I think it’s hurtful to say that.

The blogger not moderating my comment or replying did bother me. I’ve been trying to decide why it bothers me. There have been 2 comments here that I didn’t publish. One said, “please don’t publish this I want to tell you something….” and the other was in response to a discussion in the comments that I just didn’t want to continue discussing.

I thought about reasons a blogger may not publish a comment (and I do get it’s her blog she can do what she wants…) foul language, name calling, insulting…..

I think it bothers me because I know what I’m talking about and I didn’t leave the comment to be unkind but to share a viewpoint from someone who’s been there.

If I were to joke on my blog about a disability or life circumstance that hurt someone or made someone think, “Wow she needs to get a clue” I truly hope that I would care. I hope that I would at the very least privately email the person and say something like, “I didn’t think about what I was saying and thank you for pointing out to me why what I said is hurtful.” Even if I didn’t mean to be insensitive and even if the rest of my post had wonderful points. I hope I would think about why my words were hurtful (or wrong, or just plain uninformed).

There were a total of 6 comments on her post too so it’s not really like she was just overwhelmed with comments.

I’m not going to link to it and I’m considering not following it anymore (big deal right?! 😉 ) only because I want to get advice, teaching, etc from people with compassionate teachable hearts.

So without further ado, here are a few reasons why prison isn’t restful.

1. It’s loud. Slamming doors, inmates calling to each other in other cells, banging on walls, TV’s, intercoms, guards giving orders.

Ok seriously have you ever heard a prison door slam? Not on TV but in real life? It’s the most awful sound and it’s LOUD.

2. The mattresses are worse than camp mattresses. And you’re sleeping on them way longer than you’d sleep on camp mattresses. And I’m so 100% sure they were disinfected between inmates (right?!)

3. Your schedule is not your own You work when they tell you. You eat when they tell you. You stand for count when they tell you. You be quiet when they tell you. You shower when they tell you. You get fresh air when they tell you. You go to class when they tell you. You go to see people they tell you to go see when they tell you to go see them. You see your loved ones when they tell you you can see them.

4. Your books have to be sent in from a retail establishment so you’re probably going to have to wait a long time between books. Or you can go the library cart and see what’s there.

5. You have very few choices. If you’re hungry while you’re reading, you only have food if you thought ahead to buy junk food from canteen……and if someone though ahead to put money in your account before the cut off for ordering from canteen passed. If that didn’t all come together right, don’t worry. You can get some overpriced junk food in 2 weeks!!

6. Your cellmate may or may not contribute to the ambiance….you probably won’t be on the lovely mattress reading books all alone. You knew that right? Your cellmate may be lovely or they may not. They may make comments about your reading material. They may try to pick a fight with you about what you’re reading. They may not….who knows.

7. Don’t even go to the “I’d be alone if I were in solitary” comment….solitary confinement is very very very difficult. VERY. Sometimes you may not even get bed linens…that includes a blanket. It’s never quiet in solitary. You may not get reading material in solitary…a Bible if you fight for your right to have it….MAYBE.

8. You have no idea how your family is doing. You can find out in 15 minute increments a couple times a week….that is if paying $7 or more per phone call is in the budget of your non-incarcerated loved ones.

9. If you’re sick you may have more time to read and “rest” You’ll probably not feel like reading much though. If you have the flu they MAY give you Tylenol but you won’t have anything that you may have at home to help you at least try to tolerate the healing process. You’ll be on that lovely mattress with all the sounds and cellmates around you.

10.You  don’t get to choose how long you get to “rest”. But the good news is that when you’re done with your “prison rest” if you do anything they don’t like you may get another rest for awhile!

I could go on but I don’t know….I think you get the point. The thing is I know I’m singing to the choir here. You all have been along with me for a long time. You’ve been here while I learned some of these things along with you.

Too bad the blogger appears to be uninterested in thinking about prison’s lack of rest or that saying things like that is really clueless.  I can’t fix that I guess and if she doesn’t care then there’s not much I can do.



5 Thoughts Shared to Why Prison Isn’t Restful

  1. Chava

    I think that so many of us just say what comes to mind and just don’t really think it through. I’ve said stuff before (even blogged it) and later on am like, what in the world was I thinking?

    Humans are a hurtful bunch and we definitely act before we think.

    I don’t think she intended to be hurtful in her post. It was insensitive and thoughtless yes but I don’t think she wanted to be hurtful. The odd thing to me is just completely ignoring what I shared with her…..

  2. Barbara H.

    Wow, that was indeed a pretty thoughtless statement on her part. I hope she takes your comments to heart.

    If she’s on a free wordpress blog, they’re set up to send any post with more than one link straight to the spam folder – sometimes even with one link. If it did that and she’s not in the habit of checking her spam folder, she may not have seen it. Just one thought as to why she possibly didn’t respond. OTOH, if she did see it and just hasn’t responded – just sounds like more of the same thoughtlessness.

  3. Lisa of Hopewell

    EXCELLENT. I just stopped by to say I visited my son in [adult] prison for the first time. If people only knew……… Keep telling the story.

  4. Sara McD

    I’m sorry, Lizzie.

    Anyway, I wanted to say the same as Barbara- links, especially multiple, sometimes send a comment into the spam folder.

    That could be 🙂 But I did leave another comment that was published~ I asked why my comment was still in moderation?…..so that would have maybe drawn attention to it. It’s ok 🙂

  5. Lisa Beth W.

    Maybe she’s ashamed of herself but doesn’t want to draw attention to it by publishing your comment. It’s too bad, and I’m sorry, Lizzie. (((hugs)))

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