Photo by Wesley Tingey on Unsplash

Where does the mind go as we try to strive inside a place where we are only meant to die in?

While in this machine of rehabilitation. Set apart from a solid creation we’ve strayed away from on a time or who when we eventually see the error of the old ways in the old days and time was defined only by an emptiness inside. I’ve come from many places and yet, have been nowhere. Have seen so many things while I remain so blind as the sands of time trickle away unmoving in this pain of space. My no place.

How much longer must I wander about without a sense of direction from reflections of a distorted reality society deems one like me is so unfit to be a part of? The start of unheard cries I’ve tried to deny beside a plain sense of who I can be because it used to be all that relieved the pain inside my mind and this child’s cries.

I have reached out to find myself only to be confronted by a lot of people I did not know, yet it was me who refused to see. Having thought of many ideas, old beliefs, some said I was wrong, I said they were right. They must know better than I. Why? Because they said so.

How can I reach out, teach about without a doubt of being heard from those hurt already by what was before I looked to see the belief they’ve had in me ever so deeply? When now society hates me as memories haunt me as freedom dauntingly wanes just out of touch. What for should I stand grand holding hands to pray; trying to stay above the ground that consumes too many who have never found self amidst the wealth of truth in their own identities they’ve never seen? As that was once just like me, one who refuses to be free because of the times I have tried to make sense of while the God above declines at this time to let me go. My feeling of emptiness, so full of emotional turmoil, even self-doubt of living without. A fear arises only to be forced repression upon my own suggestion in my lesson of life.

Have I remained so blind to see that I create my own misery in this place of miserable individuals who compete to do less than the next man who grandstands about the hell he’s done- the nothing he’s become? From birth he’s begun to hate himself, his own existence, resistance, as society says you create your own destiny in this land of plenty who care nothing more about you? But then, what dies that makes me in this sea of mass confusion that gives only the illusion of a reality one is worth more dead than alive as we wonder why they keep telling you to try beside the next man whom you can’t stand next to because he’s everything just like you.

When those in power struggle to devour the sensibilities and almost tranquilities of being happy now that another struggles just to remain alive. And you wonder why, Who am I? Who am I?

 
Disclaimer: The views in this article are those of the author. The Prison Journalism Project has verified the writer’s identity and basic facts such as the names of institutions mentioned. The work is lightly edited but has not been otherwise fact-checked.

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Jeffrey Shockley

Jeffrey Shockley is an African American contributing writer incarcerated at State Correctional Institute Fayette in Pennsylvania. He has been serving a life sentence since 1999.