This world is nothing. An illusion. Death is the release.
I've wanted somehow to convey to you the sensations - the atmospheric pressure, you might say - of what it is to be seriously a long-term prisoner in an American prison.
The part of me which wanders through my mind and never sees or feels actual objects, but which lives in and moves through my passions and my emotions, experiences this world as a horrible nightmare.
I find it painful and angering to look in a mirror.
When they talk of ghosts of the dead who wander in the night with things still undone in life, they approximate my subjective experience of this life.
My eyes, my brain seek out escape routes wherever I am sent.
That is how prison is tearing me up inside. It hurts every day. Every day takes me further from my life.
Paranoia is an illness I contracted in institutions. It is not the reason for my sentences to reform school and prison. It is the effect, not the cause.
Because there is something helpless and weak and innocent - something like an infant - deep inside us all that really suffers in ways we would never permit an insect to suffer.
Imagine a thousand more such daily intrusions in your life, every hour and minute of every day, and you can grasp the source of this paranoia, this anger that could consume me at any moment if I lost control.
Most important, you learn never to trust a man, even if he seems honest and sincere. You learn how men deceive themselves and how impossible it is to help them without injuring yourself.
I feel that if I ever did adjust to prison, I could by that alone never adjust to society.
As long as I am nothing but a ghost of the civil dead, I can do nothing.
One morning I woke up and was plunged into psychological shock. I had forgotten I was free.
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