November 22, 2014

Are you safe in federal prison?

I talked to a close friend of mine today. It was great to hear his voice. He filled me in on a recent “guys trip” He took to the Fort Lauderdale boat show. He also described the things going on in his life and how his boys were doing with their post college jobs. This type of communication lets Me know that the real world is still out there waiting for my return!

There was a pause in our conversation, his tone changed and he asked me if I was physically safe at my new “home”? I honestly replied and told him that after the first few days in prison, I had no concern about my physical well being. In fact, It may be more dangerous to be on the streets in many of the large cities in America than in Prison!

That said, there is an underlying level of tension and anxiety that goes along with being in Prison. It is something that sits in the back of your mind as you go through each day. It is difficult to describe. It is similar to that feeling you get when you go to that funky restaurant in an undesirable section of town. Your know the feeling, you are constantly analyzing your surroundings and evaluating if anything in your proximity could possibly be considered a threat.

There are times when this feeling evaporates for a period of time, and then returns. I suspect this feeling will become less prominent as I better tolerate and become more familiar with my new surroundings. This anxiety shows up in measurable terms in my blood pressure figures which were normal prior to my arrival at prison and are now elevated. Living with a certain level of mental strain is simply part of the punishment associated with a prison term. Another lingering consequence of making poor choices.

Ken Flaska

P.S. A public Happy Birthday to my Beautiful Wife who has somehow found the strength to stand with me during these challenging times!

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