The ache for home lives in all of us. The safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.Maya Angelou
Home is where we should feel secure and comfortableCatherine Pulsifer
I’m not suggesting that my childhood home caused me problems. I’m confident in saying that without my childhood home I’d have been in a lot worse position than I was, and that wasn’t great as it was. My own issues saw me disengage from my family and not the other way around, however, that was many moons and many identities ago and is a place I no longer live, either metaphorically or physically. Time has a habit of doing that.
I would suggest home is very much something not only subjective but is also changeable. As the old saying goes ‘A man’s home is his castle’. A quote coined by English judge, Sir Edward Coke, in 1644 and basically means ‘at home you’re your own boss’. As Maya Angelou said, “The safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.“
After a while, whether it was because the environment suited the person I was/am, or whether the person I was/am had adapted to a specific environment meaning I could thrive, prison became home. I didn’t return to my cell, my landing, my wing, my houseblock, I returned home at the end of my working day. Unless I was on the wing working and even then, when it was time to go behind the door, I’d go home.
I’m not saying it was the right view to have but it was the view I had. I’m also not saying I didn’t sometimes find it hard and stressful but then I could never say life out here isn’t sometimes hard or stressful. However, my perspective of prison became one of prison being my home. Again, I’m not saying it was the right thing to do but it is what it is or was what it was. As Catherine Pulsifer said, “Home is where we should feel secure and comfortable.”
I’m not complaining because it was what it was and there is nothing I can do to ever change my past. As I said prison became my home and my experiences have enabled me to be the person I am today, something I wouldn’t change for the world.
It was because of my perspective of prison, which I grew into, that enabled me to turn my life around in that very environment. I could almost say my reason for doing so was that I grew out of it. My heart was no longer in it, as such.
I personally feel I had learnt all the lessons I had needed to, and prison finally served its purpose. I should say it finally served my purpose as the purpose of prison is to lock people up the judiciary, and I suppose society, deem are untrusted to walk the streets. It was a shame I couldn’t have learned the same lessons as my peers while I was at school, but I must admit school wasn’t right for me. The school I was permanently excluded from was most definitely not for me, so I shouldn’t really say school as in all schools.
A good friend of mine says, and quite rightly, the criminal justice system pathway includes just as many exit signs as it does pitfalls and one thing which always comes to mind when I think of those exit signs is, whose job is it to spot them?
I had gotten to the point where prison became my home and rather than look for the exit sign, I was more focused on the entrance. Is it rational to see prison as home? If you think it isn’t then how is it possible to spot other rational signs like an exit sign? I recently read a statistic which stated 95% of people in prison don’t want to be there. Not only are they there but as things stand, many return and return. I did and I became “secure and comfortable.“
So, whose job is it to spot the exit signs?