Initially, I wanted to write one post called The Tangled Web. The aim was to cover the topic of trust and deception, and I did that, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that there was too much left unsaid (or unwritten). So, I composed a second part, but still felt as if I should’ve written more.

I know how it feels to be released from prison, hoping a life of legality and responsibility would in some way prove to others that I’ve relinquished the craziness of my youth, that I’ve changed, but I’m reminded of my mistakes with every job application I submit. It doesn’t seem to matter that I was arrested and convicted 25 years ago, when I was 16 years old. I’d still get denied mediocre employment positions because of it. I will tell you, the journey hasn’t been all bad, I mean, I got my Bachelors degree in English Lit (with a concentration in creative writing), and I was able to teach GED classes because of it, but the hours would fluctuate dramatically from one semester to the next and, after six and a half years, it became increasingly clear that I couldn’t rely on it as my main source of income, so I gave up teaching to seek out a way of life that I could settle down with.

But back to The Tangled Web. I feel it appropriate to talk about my struggles with securing meaningful full-time employment in this post because I believe the idea of acquiring it is one of the biggest deceptions for the ex-felon. Now, I’m not speaking negatively because I won’t tell you it can’t be done. There are countless stories of guys getting out of prison and thriving while utilizing those classic methods of progression society swears by. What I’m saying is that, for most ex-cons, if you wish to realize your dreams, you have to do it by unconventional means. You have to think outside the box because, let’s face it, most of those sought-after spots inside the box are reserved for people who do not have a felony conviction.

Now, for us ex-cons, we tend to get out of prison under the false impression that free society is a morally upstanding bunch. We often mistakenly believe the values of free people are somehow different from ours, and we regard this difference as the primary reason we landed in prison when, in actuality, the sole reason for our incarceration was that, as I’ve stated in a past post, we failed to adhere to a rule that society set in place. That’s it, nothing more. Being imprisoned isn’t a reflection of everything you are, it’s merely and simply a consequence of a past mistake. Everyone makes mistakes.  “All have sinned…” (Romans 3:23) There isn’t a person on earth who’s infallible, but prison has a way of making it seem like the prisoner’s mistakes are somehow greater and more heinous than the free person’s mistakes. The truth is that the tobacco industry is responsible for killing more people in one year than every convicted murderer who is currently behind bars. And the medical industry creates drug addicts on a daily basis; more than 20 million people (in the U.S.) are currently addicted to prescription drugs. And Hollywood is currently under fire for sweeping aside rape accusations, and then annually doling out prestigious awards to those same people who raped so many women, never once holding these Hollywood execs responsible for the disgusting crimes they’ve committed. And the Catholic Church has been harboring and protecting pedophiles for decades, maybe centuries, and continued to do so even after thousands of Catholic Priests were accused of molesting children, I’m talking hundreds of thousands of accusations worldwide. So, fellow ex-felons, you’ve been released into a world that will flog you for stealing a loaf of bread to feed your family yet turn a blind eye to the millions of counts of murder and rape being committed by those within their own circles. So the idea that those never-been-incarcerated civilians, free society, is a morally upstanding bunch, well, that’s a joke, and it’s the biggest deception of all.


4 thoughts on “The Tangled Web III

  1. As a person who’s never run afoul of the law–and one who is more rule abiding than most, who won’t cross an empty street if the sign says DON’T WALK–I have still found myself facing the realization of how lucky I was that stupid mistakes I made in my youth weren’t observed and punished.

    This is where privilege really shows its two faces: I was white, middle class, both smarter and better “educated” than average, a gender-conforming type of girl…

    I don’t think ALL punishment goes back to these factors, but, as a math major who understands statistics, they are very easy to read. The same crime done by people who fall into different categories on the census chart receive radically different punishments.

    I think you will keep returning to this “one subject” again and again because it is an enormous, complex one with many shades of grey. As a blogger (who tends to ramble!) I find that I often end up needing multiple posts for what seems like a single idea. Keep writing them; I’ll keep reading. 🙂

    I hope the process brings you–and others–peace and greater success.


    1. Good Morning. Thanks for reading and commenting. I agree that THIS particular topic will be revisited many, many times. That is without a doubt. The appearance of being a morally upstanding citizen, the facade of being a law-abiding civilian, the deliberate projection of appearing to be a good person, is what most people are trained to do from birth. It’s something I think about all the time. I always wonder why so many people are so hellbent on conformity. It’s like they’re under a spell.

      Just the fact that you can read my posts and understand what I’m trying to convey, my side of things, shows a certain open-mindedness that many people don’t possess. So, again, thank you for taking an interest in my writing and commenting.

      If you keep reading, I’ll keep writing. 🙂

      God bless you.


  2. That goes back to my previous reply (they’re out of order), about others labeling, and being wrong.

    It’s THEIR distorted perception, and WRONG! (Emphasis stronger now.)

    I’ve called it a “preconceived notion” in my writing, too. In my lifetime? There’s no way to destroy that delusion in another’s mind. It leads back to your previous essay on lying or deception… eyes are veiled.

    Only Christ drops the scales on one’s eyes. There’s nothing more frustrating than having no large platform, and God knows you feel like you’re falling through a crack too.

    It’s not necessarily true though. If you reach the ONE person He desires, then that’s all it takes. Remember that. Persistence pays off like the law of gravity. It’s also in the Bible via a parable.

    Still with you,


  3. Making matters worse, for those who have worked from as far back as the 1970’s….work itself is changing drastically. Even those without a “past” are having extreme difficulty. We are becoming a nation of contract and entrepreneurial workers. Even retail and service jobs are scarce and hard to keep. I can only imagine how it looks for someone trying to “go straight” after a few mistakes. But rest assured, self-reliance and self-education matters, especially if regular education is out of the price range. There is no formula for “reasonable success” anymore, there is no security, the Middle Class is an illusion, and we are all on borrowed time if we do not reinvent ourselves. My advice: don’t wait for approval from the masses. They aren’t interested in anyone but themselves, and they cannot believe such bad luck is happening to them, too. Find a niche, and be happy with paying your bills…then YOU are the success story!

    Liked by 1 person

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