Received a letter in the mail the other day. It was from the vice president of my college. I immediately went into my “Oh shit, what did I do now” mode. Turns out it was a good letter. I’d made the dean’s list. I’m a good student and a great web designer, and that’s the part I let the public see, the part I try to focus on.
But the minute I’m away from school, I’m brought back to the reality that I’m also a parolee. An ex-con that has to make urine drops, can only go certain places, has a curfew. I have 7 months left until I discharge, and I suspect I’ll feel this way even after the chains are off. Busting my ass to turn my life around but I know I’ll always be a felon.
Asked my case manager about my “Oh shit” mode. Seems I may have post traumatic stress syndrome. I am a veteran, but it has nothing to do with that. My problem is that every time I see a cop, every time I hear keys rattling or the sounds of handcuffs clicking, I immediately think they’re sending me back. No, it’s stronger than that. In my mind I know they’re sending me back. My pulse races. I walk in a big circle around the cop. I turn around and go the other direction. No matter how great of a mood I’m in, my quality of life drops from an 8 to a 1.
Let me know if there’s any of you out there who have similar experiences.