Rodney Fenner

How Much Time Is Too Much Time? by Rodney Fenner

Hello world. Time is a term of measurement. It is also a relative term. For example, what may be long to us as people, isn’t long to the earth. Meaning that 50 years to a person is a long time, but 50 years to the earth is nothing. As I said, time is relative and the 8 years I’ve been incarcerated pales in comparison to the 28, 34 and 42 years that some people I know have been in. At the same time, this 8 years feels like forever to me. When you cook something, a set time is given so that you don’t overcook it and make it inedible. I feel like I’m being overcooked. The time feels corrosive to my mind. At first, I could cope because the time felt unreal and distant like a bad dream, therefore it was easy to be detached from it and operate in a routine robotic manner. As time progressed, it eventually became real and I decided to distract myself from it, which became beneficial to me because of what I was motivated to use as a distraction. I wanted to change and time afforded me that opportunity to do it thoroughly. Now, I’ve grown and changed to the point where there is nothing else that time in here can do for me that would be positive as far as my development as a man and a person. I’ve gotten my GED, gotten an electrical certification, written two novels, am writing one now, have ten more story plots ready, written three poetry books, I’m currently studying screenwriting for my first movie, created a business plan with a myriad of products and services, created a business plan for a nonprofit rec center for my neighborhood, learned how to market myself in various ways, continuously built my body and sharpened my mind. I feel so ready, but it gets to a point when the waiting is so exhausting and exasperating that it’s discouraging. You begin to lose interest and motivation when you’re ready, but still being caged. More prison time isn’t conducive to any goal in my life or the health of my mind. When food gets burned, it’s burned from the outside in, and that’s what it feels like is happening to me mentally. This time is burning me. The surroundings sometimes make me feel mentally catatonic. Right now the burn is only on the fringes of my mind, but I can feel the searing. I can feel it encroaching on me. I fight it as much as possible, but who, really, can fight time? In my case, the key to my freedom is to give the time back and without money for a lawyer, that solution is completely contingent on people who are mostly callous towards prisoners and don’t even know me to do something specific with the law. The probability of that isn’t worth mentioning. As a prisoner, what do you do when the only solution to your problem isn’t an option? So for me, as it stands right now, time is my enemy. I’ll be 31 on the 24th of this month and if my time doesn’t change, I have 7 years left. I don’t have children, but I want at least two. Time is working against me in that aspect because I’ll be 38 when I get home and I want to be with the right woman first. Also, I want to be stable enough to have children before I do it, but how much time will that take? Some may think I’m overreacting and to those who haven’t been incarcerated for a significant amount of time or who don’t intimately know someone who has, I may be. To those people I ask, how could you possibly know or begin to comprehend what prison time does to the psyche? Living amongst people who’ve been down for insane amounts of time and have forever to go or may never go home has made me acutely aware of the effects of time in here on the mind of a man or woman. The intricacies are incomprehensible to most who haven’t been here for a significant amount of time. Prison time is much different than any other time. Even short stints have effects that are undeniable. The fact that time changes people is indisputable. It doesn’t matter if you’re free or incarcerated. Can you say you’re the same person now as you were 10 years ago? 5 years ago? Think of what you may be right now over the span of those 10 years with the circumstances and conditions of prison life. How much time is too much time? She does that time begin to destroy you mentally? If we can agree that after a certain amount of time, you’ve become a different person, why aren’t incarcerated persons psychiatrically evaluated after said amount of time? Why aren’t they then returned to society based on whether or not they are emotionally and psychologically stable enough? Of course, the type of offense and its severity would be factored into this as well, but is it not inhumane to leave a person in prison after they have been truly and fully rehabilitated? Peace.

Rodney Fenner
DOC #1436377

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