April 24, 2013

The Word Inmate...

by Jesse Wilson (author's profile)


Jesse Wilson
12th post

The word inmate carries so many ugly connotations, they are too numerous to name. These connotations constantly attack who you are as an individual - constantly they strive to destroy the truth of your being - this word inmate robs you of your name. It automatically, as soon as it's used to describe you, tells people you are not to be trusted, period. You are dangerous and criminal. You are evil and heartless. Nothing about you is human other than your physical appearance. And even that is suspect after years of tattoos and penitentiary pallor.

A couple of years ago I got a first hand glimpse at how I am viewed as inmate. Oh, I knew, but this glimpse was a painful splash of truth.

It was Halloween, I had to be rushed out of the prison and taken to the outside hospital for emergency surgery. This need for emergency surgery was due to bogus and barbaric medical treatment at the prison.

I was chained and escorted to the hospital by seven or eight cops pointing guns at me. None of this is new. As an inmate you are chained up a lot. And guns are constantly pointed at you in one way or another.

The hospital was packed with trick or treaters and their mothers. I'd not thought about how I looked to others as inmate. My mind was spinning seeing all I would never again be a part of. Just looking at freedom so close had me totally depressed. Then we go through the lobby, me chained, surrounded by cops with guns. The mothers started grabbing their children in full terror. Some of the children were crying, and the cops were looking at me with pure hatred in their eyes. The looks, the hate, the fear, all told me I did not exist. I was now only a connotation of inmate. I was convict, prisoner and monster. I made children cry and mothers afraid by the simple fact of my presence. This realization hurt me very deeply.

Once I returned to the prison and was locked in my cell alone, I began to feel the weight of this realization. Also though I felt a sense of comfort being once again locked in my cage, it's hard to explain how this reality affects my mind. I will die in prison under the connotation of inmate. Outside of my family and a few friends, that's all I'll ever be, that's all I've ever been.

Sometimes I look at old photos of myself with family just to remind myself that I was not always inmate. Really it is hard to understand all this. I lose myself inside of solitude more and more as these years pass. I'm afraid that one day I will only be inmate. It's this fear that pushes me to reach beyond these walls. There are so many times I would just rather close down and live in my mind. But I know that is what inmates do and I'm Jesse not inmate.



Replies (1) Replies feed

Tanvimongia Posted 7 years, 3 months ago. ✓ Mailed 7 years, 3 months ago   Favorite
Jesse this post has me in tears. Surely you are not an inmate in our eyes you are a beautiful elegant soul with a pure heart. If only the government could understand that we are more than just one action. We all are. Your being is defined by your loving heart and caring soul which we all know you have. And although these guards may treat you as an inmate in our hearts you are Jesse Wilson a beautiful writer and a loving human being. We love you and I pray for you every night and day. The universe watches over you every night and day and the sun the skies and the stars wish you peace with every passing day. You are Jesse. You are eternal. Your being is far more than the penitentiary pain and your soul will find peace.

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