Bit of a concern

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ShadeyBiz89's picture

Athena, you've mentioned I need to "tell you my secret" for people not trying me that much... I don't really have a fancy explanation for you. I have been told by a couple of my PPs that it's just the way I write that lets them know I'm not going to tolerate people who think they can underhand me, and they're right, that's a fast track to failure in my book. Something about how I come off to them, my personality is fairly fiery and strong willed and I think that's a part of why it took me so long to find someone (and a couple others) who can match me. I'm not everyone's cup of tea, and I know that. 

People like to state boundaries from the first letter, I think it's presumptuous to do that because it kind of implies you're assuming or expecting the worst, that they're only out for money or handouts, or whatever. Which can also offend some people, especially those who genuinely aren't. I communicate them without referring to that in making my focus letters and personal correspondence. 

I'm fairly tolerant and I try to look at things from the inmate's perspective before I judge and come to conclusions. Even if I don't like whatever it is that was done, but it's hard to do. It sounds like in your case you were triggered from past experience, and in that case I certainly am not intending to dismiss your concerns as invalid. They are perfectly valid and your limits are where they are and he should be respectful of that, and of you, if he's really a friend to you he will be. People who can't accept you as you are don't deserve you, it's as simple as that. You may have limits they don't agree with or like, but that's not up to them, it's up to you. His reaction will tell you all you need to know.

Kirsten's picture

Shadey, I'm fully with you on that one. Plus, I'd like to share a little anecdote for Athena and others from my own experience.

to "tell you my secret" for people not trying me that much...

Many ppl (not just in prison, but many of those in particular) haven't grown up in "ideal circumstances", to put it mildly.

As you all know, I've got several penpals. Regarding my family there's some stuff regarding my mother I generally do not share with ppl. Not bc of being ashamed, but because sharing this stuff to me is sth. I don't share with ppl I don't trust, as I fear judgment & prejudice and am unwilling to take this risk  if I don't really care.

As some of you also read the first guy who ever replied to me from WAP will be on parole at the end of July. So, he started wondering about whether to tell new ppl he'll get to know that he's been in prison or not.

I replied to him sth. like: "Well, that depends. 10 yrs from now you probably aren't going to introduce yourself with: "Hey, I'm X and I've been to prison. But there probably also will be ppl you'd like to get to know more and deeper and for those there might be a time where you're going to tell it." Having the mind he has, he asked whether I spoke from experience. And I said: "Not of prison experience, as you well know. But there's sth. I choose very carefully whom to tell it." He didn't pry into me, other then: "whether or not you tell anyone anything is totally up to you." True, as so often. 

Two or three letters from there I did tell him and called a spade a spade - and I never regretted doing it. He reacted like someone who cares does, undramatical, yet empathetic. And he's the only one from my pps who knows that stuff. Whether I'll ever tell it to any of the others, time will tell. I don't plan it, nor do I rule it out completely. I didn't plan it with him, either. But when it came to it, it never caused regrets. 

I'm not saying "Do it!" or "Don't do it!" it fully depends on the ppl involved & on the process you go through together in writing.