Though this blog is was originally intended as a resource for offenders in Massachusetts, much of what I write about is applicable to sex offenders in every other state and many countries around the world, especially in Western Europe. Even other non-sex offenders trying to navigate prison, probation and parole, or employment and education opportunities can glean relevant information from this blog and apply it to help overcome their own struggles.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Anxiety Dreams

I have 38(ish) days left on probation.  My papers say I'm to be released July 12 but probation says it's actually the 13th.  A few weeks ago probation said their official printout indicated release was supposed to be in November-also incorrect.  You really have to stay on top of things and make sure you know what probation's paperwork is telling the officers.  Anyway, release day is coming up soon.

I've been trying to compare the last days of probation with the last days of incarceration.  Situationally, they are different,  but for me, the cognitive processes are the same.  When I was incarcerated, there was always this generic rumor and fear someone was going to fuck up the end of your bid by attacking you, getting in a fight with you, snitching on you, or somehow otherwise getting you in a situation where more time would be tacked on to your sentence by forcing you to lose good-time or picking up another bid.  Call it neurotic, but it was just part of wrapping up on the inside.  Not that I made enemies in prison, but think about it: if you pissed off someone bad enough and he knows you're being release soon, he might just want to get to you before you leave.  Never underestimate the power of grudges and of guys needing to save face in prison.

Wrapping up  probation presents a different set of neuroses.  My victim and his family are on the outside; would they want to get back at me somehow via lawsuit or worse?  Is all of my probation paperwork in order and fees paid?  Am I going to screw up on the last days of 10 years on probation? etc...  I can go on.  Other than having a surprise balance to pay probation, everything is fine.

In the past week,  my brain has decided to incorporate some worst case scenarios into my 4am REM sleep. Some reasonable dreams and some crazy-ass dreams.  My first anxiety dream revolved around a scenario where I was in a mall (danger) telling some boy I saw not to drink the water from the toxic water fountain and reflecting pool (even more dangerous to do).  I then had the sinking feeling that I had violated probation by having contact with a minor without adult supervision and that I was going back to prison.  Nice, right?
Do Not Even Think About Fucking With Me, Sex Offender!

Another dream I have been having the past few nights revolved around me having to go in front of a judge to get released from probation.  The "fun" part of this dream was the judge overseeing my case was Patty Hewes of the show "Damages" on FX -  the only legal "drama" I have watched since being released (the show is totally about the characters and less so about the cases).  If you know who and what Patty Hewes was like then you already understand my concern.  Needless to say, in the dream she was not sympathetic toward me.  Patty Hewes (played by Glenn Close) was a New York City attorney who was ruthless, relentless, homicidal about winning/losing a case, and got what she wanted most of the time.  I don't remember the dialogue of the dream other than "fuck I have Patty Hewes as my judge"!  Of course, she is the type of lawyer you absolutely want on retainer.  So thank you Glenn Close: you have totally mind-fucked me for the past few nights!  I wonder what Freud would say about all this.

Anyway, the reason why I am writing about this is to convey the fact that some of these anxieties and fears may creep up on you, haunt you, and follow you 'til the end of your incarceration or probation/parole.  I hope it's normal.