Sorry for the delay in posting this. I planned on writing it after my meeting last night and, well, I failed. It was a great meeting. Only the second I have been able to attend since my release because of scheduling difficulties and a complete inability to communicate with my I.S.R. agents. We are supposed to call a voicemail number anytime we deviate even slightly from our schedule that we submit every week. I should back up and say that every morning before 10 AM I have to call the voicemail with my schedule for the day, which I basically just read off of the written schedule I have already submitted. Sound redundant yet? Anywho, for the first week, I had the times for all of my meetings incorrect, and I had not left myself nearly enough time for transportation so I called every day I had a meeting to ask permission to alter and nobody ever called me back. EVER! So I stayed at home which is the protocol for when there’s any confusion. We do not have a number that we can call to communicate with a person. I have spoken with many of my fellow ex-offenders and they say they are experiencing the same frustrations. But hey, what a luxury to not be behind bars, right?
St. Paul is what I consider to be my hometown. I haven’t lived here in a decade, but there are still some familiarities about it. In the nearly two weeks since my release from C.I.P., I have progressed from complete confusion and overload, to confusion and overload. I’ve gone out grocery shopping a few times and always I have trouble. Here are some examples of what makes me want to run….. Did you know that at Aldi (kind of like a grocery store) they don’t have bags to put your groceries in? True story. So after I take a quick tour around the store looking for anything at all in a size larger than individual, and canned fake duck meat, per special request from mom, I realize I need to go somewhere I can stretch out my very limited funds. There were only two people in line until I decided I wanted to check out what I had, then everybody seemed to sense that I was on a tight two-hour leave from house arrest and they all fell into line before me. Move forward ten minutes– So the clerk asks me if I want to buy bags and I just stare, as if I don’t understand the question, because I don’t. So she asks me again and I say no and she just puts my stuff back in the cart. Fortunately for me, I had been sent along my way with a number of tasks to complete along with all my shopping for the week so I had a bag of bags that I think I was supposed to bring to a store, or maybe throw in a river. I don’t know. And then I went to Cub Foods where everything went much smoother.
I think the term anxiety would suffice. I’ve never been diagnosed but it seems like that’s what I’m dealing with. Wherever I am, I want to leave. I blame others for being the cause but it is probably me. For six months we were not allowed to speak or even look at people without permission, we were told what to do, never having to ask questions. Now out here I am left to my own devices. I don’t know how to talk to people. I can’t sit still. I bummed a cigarette from somebody after the meeting last night just so I could talk to them. Then I left and drove straight home with 45 minutes of free time left, and I don’t get any free time. What do people do? O.K. I give up. Mother is hammering…. next time. Bye.