February 26, 2015

I made a personal commitment to writing only about the positive aspects of the rest of my sentence in prison, so I’ll try to find a way to shed a silver lining from this topic. In the same breath, I also feel that it’s important to remain informative about my journey through prison, documenting my experiences, enabling me and others to remember how difficult life in prison can be, giving myself and others knowledge and the tools to make better choices in the future. This past week my new celly’s true colors having been shining through, of course it’s nothing I can’t handle, but I still find myself affected by some of his actions. It’s not until the actions of my celly affecting my strict daily routine, that’s where I have to draw the line in order to move forward. Confronting others has never been a quality of mine, I have a passive nature, I know it’s unhealthy, so I do what I can to face my fears and grow as a person. It’s funny, I was watching one of Joel Osteen’s sermons the other day, and he was talking about how easily people can be affected by their environment, keeping them from growing to their full potential. He made this relatable by talking about a fish in a small tank, never growing to its full size, restricted by its environment. Prison is much like this; inmates are constantly affected by their environment, strengthening the ever so powerful recidivism rates that plague the system. One example of this is the thought of women and sex in prison. Over the last four years of my sentence I’ve done fairly well at keeping these primal urges under wraps, doing my best not to think of women by focusing on other, more important things in my life. Many men get magazines like Playboy and what have you, but I don’t, looking at pictures of women sexualizing their selves will only make things more difficult. I’ve never been in a cell with pictures of naked women all over the walls until now, and like a fish in its tank, I can see that having to look at these pictures on the wall is affecting me; I’m starting to think about women more often. This isn’t the big problems I’ve been dealing with my celly about, the specific problems aren’t important. What’s important is not allowing these environmental issues to take control of me, restricting me from my full potential. So I digress. So many times in prison I’ve had to make tuff decisions in order to secure my chances for greater success, so I confronted my celly about my issues with him, he didn’t take it as well as I had hoped, he acted a bit childish to tell the truth, but the point is that I drew the line in the sand once again, I told him that I can’t allow his unhealthy daily life to intervene with my goals and preparations for the future, so I did it again, facing yet another fear, reaching another goal, moving forward in life. Life is full of struggles; it’s how we deal with these struggles that make us better or worse as people. I’ve grown a lot in prison; I needed to face each one of these problems, making me stronger as a man, preparing me for the rest of my life.

Steven Dybvad

 

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