Ex-Cons Reveal The Prison Habits They Had Trouble Letting Go Of After Their Release
_Prison is a no joke, no fun situation, and surviving prison is a miracle unto itself. One's life as an inmate is not their own. Your every second is monitored, accounted for and controlled. Each person who lives has to figure out ways to get through and survive and if possible, thrive. There are a ton of daily quirks and routines you pick up along the way. Some you don't even notice until you breath free air again. _
Redditor _\KimJongChilled _**wanted to know **Ex-cons of Reddit: What was the hardest prison-habit to break after being released? **_Some of the answers will surprise you. _**
ONLY PLASTICS FOR YOU FRIEND!
Staring at sharp things. Like there is no desire to use them inappropriately but you are just kinda shocked they're there and available for use. You might be surprised what qualifies as a sharp object. I remember whenever someone tried to hand me a knife or something to cut veggies I'd be afraid to touch it. Glass was the biggest thing though, just mirrors in all the bathrooms. real ones. I could smash that shit and have a big jagged weapon, i cant believe this italian restaurant has such a dangerous thing in their bathroom. stopping thinking of objects as weapons is hard.
THANKS FOR SHARING...
Going to poop with my underwear up to my thighs to hide my junk. It took a long time to go back to pants around the ankles.
YOU MAY HAVE SECONDS AND THIRDS...
One of my foster sons came to us from juvie. Every meal his arm was around his plate and he woofed down his food. My mastiff couldn't keep up. He always ate back to the wall hunched. Took my wife and I a month to show him no one would take his food and we had plenty more. Funny part is he went in the Marines and did 8 years got out honorable and is now working in corrections.
HOARDERS: PRISON EDITION.
I don't smoke, but every time someone offered me a cig I would pocket it. on the inside thats a bartering chip, took me about a month or two to break.
NOTHING WRONG WITH A NEVER NUDE.
Not wearing shoes in the shower. Eating with forks and knives. Having salt and pepper for food. Not always having to watch your back. Being able to get food when you want it, and just get up and leave to go for a drive or something.
THERE IS ALWAYS HOPE...
Constantly looking over my shoulder. By far the hardest conditioning to break, which I haven't and doubt I ever will, is the constant pessimism and cautious optimism. You see, when you're waiting to work your way through court, get a deal, and get sentenced, you will have your dates changed 50 times, hope for certain things only to be disappointed, and any time you are told something hopeful it doesn't work out.
As a result, I never get excited for something until it actually happens. When my wife told me we were pregnant (I already knew from her symptoms that she was but still, you never know for sure till you take the test), I was obviously happy, but because I'm always cautiously optimistic and rarely show emotion, I couldn't feel comfortable or excited until I knew that my developing daughter was healthy. Even then, it didn't really hit me till she was born.
You can apply this to anything especially big events. Getting engaged, planning the wedding, buying a house, ANYTHING. I still hear from my wife how i wasn't crazy surprised or excited to be having a kid. I was, I actually was the half of the relationship who was dead set on a kid when my wife supposedly could've gone either way.
You just can't get your hopes up or look forward to anything until it is here or has happened. I've been home over 7 years now and with my wife for 6.5. She's truly the catalyst that motivated me to truly change my life and to not give any more of my life to the system, but she'll never know how happy she makes me because she misinterprets my cautious optimism/realism for pessimism or indifference.
I didn't use a fork for a few weeks. Ate everything with a spoon without thinking. It's not the most interesting thing but I hadn't noticed it posted here.
NECESSITIES ARE VITAL...
Hoard feminine hygiene products. We were super limited on the number of pads or tampons they gave us. They didn't give any to the women in holding cells. There was dried and fresh menstrual blood on the floor and concrete benches, and a drain in the middle of the rooms like they intended to hose down the room, but if they did it was not often enough.
JUST CHANGING LIFE IN GENERAL.
I eat fast.
I don't sit with my back to the door in public.
I always scan crowds constantly.
I question WHY people are nice to me.
I carry extra clothes, water, and various other things in my car in case I need it. (Not a hoarder but harder to get rid of stuff)
I don't like being away from home overnight.
I also quit eating boiled eggs, I over season my food, and I refuse to drink Kool-Aid anymore.
LIVING WITH THE SILENCE.
Not an ex con but my step dad has been in and out of prison for the majority of his life, he always said that whenever he gets out of prison you're so use to to it being loud all the time that when he got home he couldn't sleep because it was so quiet.
WHY JUST ONE LEG?
Dude I work with said for the first little bit after getting out he would take a leg out of his pants when he'd poop. Not sure how common that was, dude's a fighter though, so maybe that had something to do with it.
I was only locked up for four months in total, all things considered I got off easy. Hardest habit to break was just doing something without telling someone else. Hard to remember that there's no authority figure once you're out.
LUXURIATING IS A GIFT...
Taking as long as you want in the shower. For the longest time after I got out, I took less than 5 minute showers.
EVERY MOMENT COUNTS, USE THEM WISELY...
I had to completely change my sense of time. I agree with all the people who said they ate super fast, but then we would slow walk back from the chow hall- any excuse for a few minutes more outside.
I made sure I never consolidated enjoyable things. If I had a snack- I ate it and concentrated on it. If there was something good on TV, I watched it. Now, I'll snack while I watch a movie because there aren't enough hours in the day- but on the inside I was trying to make hours and days go away.
I've got a good job now, and nice respectable friends, but I still react to confrontational situations more quickly, decisively and... efficiently than they do. I'm able to pull back at the last minute, but it's pretty clear that violence is not a tool in their arsenal.
JUST GO ABOUT YOUR DAY.
I spent 72 months in prison for a tragic car accident that I had caused. After I was released I kept telling my wife exactly what I was doing without her asking. She thought it was funny at first but after a few weeks of it she was starting to get bothered.
THE MENU HAS BROADENED.
Making prison commissary-only food. Everyone around me thinks it is gross as hell to throw summer sausages, pickles, cheese, doritos, cheetos, and such into my ramen noodles, but good lord, I can't stop, and I have been out for five years.
STOP THE OVERLAPPING!
Doing laps. In prison, every time you get time on the yard, you do laps. Seriously, almost every single person does it too. When you get out, it's hard to break that habit.
GOOD NIGHT SWEET PRINCE...
My ex would sleep a certain way all the time. To me it seemed like he was sleeping as if he was in a coffin,his arms crossed and wouldn't move the entire night for a couple months. He eventually broke that habit.
JUST GIVE SOMEONE A CHANCE.
A somewhat-friend of mine did a few years and the one habit he couldn't shake was distrusting people.
He said that people in prison are never nice, if they're nice it's because of a hidden motive. Up to this day he still doesn't trust people who act nice / generous / helpful / .. towards him.
SOMETIMES YOU FIND GOOD HABITS IN THE STRANGEST PLACES....
I did almost seven years. Been out two years. I'm 35. From Wisconsin. Wisconsin has a law called "Truth in Sentencing," _you do 100% of your time. There are multiple head counts where the guards make sure that all of the inmates are accounted for. Every morning at 5:00 a.m. I felt like I was doing something wrong if I slept past 5:00 a.m. It took me almost six months before I slept past 5:00. Even now, 6:00 a.m. is sleeping in for me. It has allowed me to never be late to work, and show up everyday. I was a drug dealer with no work ethic, and I slept until noon. Ironically, I am more successful than I ever thought I would be because of this habit. I actually just got poached by another company who offered me a 150% salary increase. Nice to see you, new tax bracket. In two years, I have become a model parolee. My life is great. I married my wife last September. I go to therapy for a multitude of conditions that manifested while I was a guest of the state. I was diagnosed with general and social anxiety disorder, and PTSD. I was out a few months and I had a panic attack. I had no idea what was happening to me. I was literally paralyzed and afraid. I thought prison ruined me. It made me a better person in general. I am not praising Wisconsin DOC by any means. The guards dehumanized the inmates and treated us like pure garbage with no hope. They always told people _"You'll be back."I won't be back. People that go back produce job security. They want people to come back so they do what they can to steal your dreams. I changed myself. Prison allowed me to step back and really look at my life. I saw who I hurt. I saw who was there for me. I saw who abandoned me. I became focused on change after my third year. I contemplated suicide because I wasn't even half done with my sentence. After I seriously thought about hanging my life up I committed myself to being the best human being I could be. I revolted by behaving, teaching myself things, and being positive. My life is now amazing. I'm surrounded by people who love me and support me. All of the \_"ex-cons" _reading this, and people just interested in this thread, that label is bullshit. We are human beings with feelings. We can change. Stay positive and stay hopeful. Never give up. All of my fellow Redditor's, one love.
Don't let people fool you. Shade is shade is shade. An insult wrapped in a buttery prose is still a knife meant to slash, no matter how fetching the vocabulary.
If it sounds like a barb, it was. That is not to say that the act of subtly jabbing others, particularly in public, isn't itself an art form. Some of the best people I know can throw scolding tea on someone and the recipient will still believe they're standing in front of the witnesses bone dry.
We've all found little ways here and there to let people know how we really feel, but the insult detector on the receiving end has gotten better over generations.
Redditor u/jrabbit33 wanted to hear best shade they've been sent or witness to, by asking:
What are things that sound like compliments, but are actually insults?
I love a good backhanded comment. Doesn't matter if I'm catching it (which I usually am) or throwing it. It livens up the day. So bring me to the savagery.
Mirror MirrorJessica Lange Beauty GIF by FeudGiphy
"I love how you'll just wear anything."
The Courage You Have
"Had an ex-manger say my haircut was "brave" because I shaved half my head because I thought it looked cool. "Brave" was really code for "Wow. I think you're stupid for doing that and I'm going to be an a**hole about it."
"One of my favorite CosTubers did that about a week ago--Morgan Donner. She was doing a video about the history of hairstyles and kept cutting her butt length hair shorter and shorter, eventually buzzing it off completely. And I was like, "OMG YOUR BEAUTIFUL HAIR!"
WordsRead Beauty And The Beast GIFGiphy
"I have learning difficulties. I've had people say to me when they hear I am a writer "Wow, I'm so impressed someone like you can read!"
"Not a compliment. At all. Lol"
"Related to that is, "You clean up nice". It's basically saying you usually dress and look like crap."
"With all due respect… [place rest of non-respectful sentence here]."
Oh honey. I'm familiar with many of those. We as a society are a mess. I say that with all due respect.
Days Gone ByNo Way Wow GIF by Disney ChannelGiphy
"You look good for your age."
"That dress actually makes you look good."
"Good for you."
You & MeCbs Flirt GIF by Paramount+Giphy
"Why am I weirdly attracted to you?"
"I've found that, if it's preceded with a head tilt and a "ahhhh…" that's usually a sincere "Bless Your Heart". However, if someone says "well just bless your heart," you just got owned or are about to be owned."
You're not worth it...
"You have so much potential…. Meaning you ain't worth a f**k yet."
"I had a manager who constantly used to use that as an excuse to be extra jerkish to me. He said "I can see your potential, so I'm pushing you to do better" like somehow berating me constantly would make me want to work harder. I'm not wasting my potential stocking out a freaking Big Lots taking home less than $10 an hour, Greg. You're not worth it."
Luckyrude bon qui qui GIFGiphy
"It's a good thing you're pretty. One of my teacher's in high school liked to tell me I need to marry someone rich as an insult. I thought it was kinda funny actually."
This is why so many of us no longer have friends. Be nice out there and try to keep the savage chatter to a minimum. Or at the very least, just to those who deserve it.
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
Never take your kids to see horror films.
Traumatized Redditors recall some of the most horrific images seen on the screen when they were kids and have grown into adults who are still afraid of the dark.
"What was a movie that traumatized you as a child?"
Don't be fooled by family-friendly films from the 60s through the 80s. There's nothing G-rated about these films.
The Flying Car
"Chitty Chitty Bang Bang the kid-catcher kept me up at night."
"The scariest part of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was the creepy scene where they pretend to be clockwork dolls. Gave me nightmares about dolls for years and they still creep me out."
"The Neverending Story. The Swamp of Sorrows, the Sphinxes and the knight's corpse, the giant syringe for Falkor, and goddamn Gmork, especially that scene in that cave..."
"It used to be on the Disney Channel a lot in the early 90s, and if I saw something that thought even might be that movie coming on, I'd run to turn the TV off in a panic."
Not About Cute Bunnies
"My parents thought it was a cute cartoon about rabbits. Had no idea how violent and disturbing it was."
"This is the only correct answer."
"I also thought it was a cute bunny movie."
"I'm almost forty and f'k that movie to this day."
Not In Kansas Again
"Return to Oz. My grandparents bought it thinking it was going to be like the first one. Spoiler: it isn't. Comes complete with wheelies( these things that had long bicycle wheels as arms) a headless witch, and a talking jack-o-lantern that gets tied to a couch that can fly."
Golden Ticket To Terror
"Interestingly enough, I was always terrified of Willy wonka and the chocolate factory. When I watched it, I was the only one able to understand that it was child murder. Also I couldn't make it past the violet blueberry scene."
These scary films—one of which is oddly a music video—have scenes that kept people up at night for years.
The Moonwalking Werewolf
"Not a movie, but the Thriller music video by Michael Jackson at the part where he turns into a werewolf is the scariest most disturbing thing to this day."
That Bloody Indy Scene
"I walked in on my parents watching indiana Jones and the temple of doom. The exact moment was the scene with the guys heart being ripped out which scared me for years. Didn't know what film it was until I stumbled on the scene on YouTube a year ago!"
"Far far far from it bro lol. They rereleased the exorcist in theaters in 2000. I was 7. For some reason I'll never understand my dad took me and my cousin to watch this. We literally ran out the theaters crying when she floated and her head spinned. She was my main nightmare , I was scared of dark because of her. She's still my main fear if I'm in the dark lol"
People Avoided The Water After Seeing This
"Jaws. Was taken to see it as a kid in 1975, so I would have been around 6 years old. I spent the next year or two sleeping with my legs tucked up tightly beneath me, coz you know... bed sharks!"
"Also the scene with the head popping out of the sunken boat, I don't think I have ever been as shocked by a jump scare since."
Japanese horror films contain haunting images that are indelible.
The Wretched Curse
"The grudge. I'm 21 now and still afraid of attics until this day ."
Murderous Video Tape Footage
"I saw the Ring when I was 18. I told my boyfriend I wanted to leave within the first 15 minutes and he made me stay anyway. I spent the next few months in absolute freaking terror."
"It's been 20 years and just thinking about that girl makes me sleep with the lights on."
The market of product delivery is a fickle, sometimes senseless beast. There have been so many fads, inventions and ideas that everyone was sure would revolutionize the world. Moments of creative advertising and strategic planning and unveiling go into the perfect introduction. The budgets are blown are cash is thrown.
The heralding of something new and innovative is trumpeted. The hype is big and the anticipation high. Then every once in a while... THUD! What was to be the next big thing is the next big floppy disaster.
Redditor u/MexPoosyConoisseur wanted to compare notes on the items that left us disappointed, by asking:
What was hugely hyped up but flopped?
In my medium of art (film/tv/theatre/literature) the hype/flop game is the norm more times than we care to admit. Sending art to the masses is always a gamble. And every gamble has a loser.
I'll do Diet!90s 1990s GIF by PepsiGiphy
"When the Segway came out I remember an expert on Good Morning America saying that they would design cities around it in the future, instead of cars. Before it was called a Segway it was referred to as 'the thing' and new information about it was treated like freaking nuclear codes."
It's a Negative....
"Google+. It stayed in invitation only phase for way too long. By the time it was open to everyone, people forgot about it and it flopped."
"They also forced you to use it if you had any other kind of google account so people naturally resisted it. What they didn't understand is that people use other social media websites if they have something unique to offer. Unfortunately now it seems like every social media site is copycatting each other."
"I still remember 3D TVs were supposed to be the next "technological leap" or something. Even the World Cup was broadcasted in 3D. Then it just died out."
"Not just TV, but that era where every movie had a 3D version in theatres. As someone who wore glasses and is nearsighted, I was never able to watch them."
Yeah I gave up on cat toys early on, and dog toys. My dogs have never really been into stuffed animals, or squeaky balls. Thank God. And I always thought the Segway was weird and unstable.
Bad MovesTaylor Kitsch What GIFGiphy
"The Nivelle Offensive It was hyped to win WW1 for France in 48 hours. Instead it was so bad that it started a mutiny, got Nivelle fired, and had casualty numbers an order of magnitude higher than expected."
"Atkins diet-esque food items at fast food restaurants in like 2008 or whatever it was. They came and they went like the wind I remember KFC tried to get in the game at the time by claiming their chicken was healthy because it was low in carbs. That went down like a lead balloon."
"Juicero. The ultimate culmination of unicorn companies that make no sense."
"It was partially bankrolled by GOOGLE and I heard that people speculated that the DRM thing it had was so Google could harvest user data. That's gotta be the dumbest way to do that ever why would Google care about people's organic glorified juice box preferences."
"Ooooh. When I read that word, it rang a bell so I looked it up. I remember seeing advertisements for that thing. I think I remember seeing a video of someone opening up their packets and showing it was just... A mush. That you pressed to get a drink out of."
Not so Slender...
"The 2018 Slender Man movie... I remember before it came out it had like a 92% want to see on rotten tomatoes after it came out it got a 17% liked it."
"Honestly the movie shouldn't have been PG13. An R rating (which as far as I know was actually the original focus) would've been much better, as then the movie would've been more like the creepypasta and not like a child's fanfiction. It sucks the R rating was cut but "wOUlD sOMeOnE tHiNK oF tHE ChIlDrEN?????????????"
The Huntgeraldo rivera man GIF by South Park Giphy
"Geraldo Rivera's special Mystery of Al Capone's vault in the 1980s. 💩"
Well on paper they all sounded like good ideas. Maybe the issue lies in the execution. Try again perhaps? Except Slender Man and Geraldo. No, just no.
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
Subtext can truly be key when you can't say what's actually beneath the surface. We all know when we say, "I'm fine," we don't actually mean it. So how can we convey that with the phrase, "f*ck off"?
We all want to say it sometimes. Just a big f*ck off to that person who's annoyed the living daylights out of you.
Though, it's not always appropriate. Maybe it's your boss or coworker, maybe it's at the family dinner table, or maybe it's your romantic partner even. Regardless, it's not always the best time to actually yell at someone.
So we wanted to know what are some of the ways we can get the message across without actually saying those two little words that can land us in heaps of trouble.
Reddit users gave us plenty of answers to pull from, with some truly epic mic drops.
Redditor RaiAkshay asked:
"How do you say f*ck off, without saying f*ck off ?"
Here's some amazing examples.
Email come backs.
"Respond to a long, critical email, 'Received, thank you.'"
"Any time you begin with, 'Per my previous email...'"
"Or in the case of a long critical text, 'Unsubscribe.'"
"I just don't reply. When asked about it later I tell them I read it. Which I did truthfully. I just don't answer. It makes them mad."
"I do this too. You wanna go on a power trip in a mail, with tons of people in CC? Go ahead, I won't even answer."
Ending the argument.
"'I'd agree, but then we'd both be wrong.'"
"A similar one I like is 'There's no arguing with stupid people... so I'm just going to agree with you.'"
It's like a read receipt in real life.
"Reminds me of the Curb Your Enthusiasm scene where Larry David responds to the neighbor that tells him to never talk again to the kids at the lemonade stand. He responded with "Duly noted' and left with a big smile."
"Duly noted is a personal favorite and used on the regular. For whatever reason people seem unable to discern whether it's genuine or sarcastic when 'duly' is added to the front."
"Oh f*ck, do I need to stop saying this? I say this a lot especially over text."
"Yeah, but it definitely depends on who you are speaking to and context."
"These days I tend to go with 'okie dokie' or 'alrighty' when I'm responding in the affirmative. Nobody can misread those as being passive aggressive. My mother often responds to texts with 'k,' and I know she doesn't mean anything by it but it comes across as very abrupt and rude."
"Zero emotions shown."
"My old man once told me that people will always want something from you. If they can't get your love then they will go for your hate. Show them nothing. Give them nothing. Show zero emotions to them. It will drive people crazy and you will learn tolerance at the same time."
"This is what got me through having to deal with a few hostile coworkers in my time. Just let it flow right past you and stick to the practicalities. And laugh at their floundering rage later, when you're alone."
"This is key to shutting down d*ckhead customers. Source: was a barista for 5 yrs, waiter for 3."
"I will literally make that cappuccino 30 times before I let you see any sign that it's a problem. When getting under your skin is 70% of why they came to your store, it's withering."
"It's a way to prevent escalating a situation, but it's still not worth it. I worked in the hospitality industry (hotels) for several years. Being a doormat for entitled a**holes is half of the job, and the pay sucks. If you do your job well, you protect the business from negative publicity/reviews/attention at the expense of your self-respect."
"I think that's what a lot of people don't realize about customer service oriented positions: you may be wearing a white collar instead of a blue one, and believe you have a better job for it, but you will pay for it in self-worth over the long run. Unless you can make it to corporate, even the highest positions in the service industry are still subjected to dog sh*t behavior, and moving up is really about being subjected to that behavior less often."
"I was lucky enough to be well-educated (mostly at my parents' expense) and was able to switch industries, but that's not always the case. I would never go back, even knowing the 'tricks' of the trade and dealing with the different hassles of a desk job."
I'll call you.
"I had an old bar regular who was popular for negotiating complex legal agreements over a glass a beer. The absolute highlight of his unorthodox practice was when he was on the phone with someone while sipping on his 8th Miller of the day and said, 'No don't call me, I'll call you. That'll limit our communication, which is great because I hate speaking to you.'"
"I respect that man a lot."
"My grandfather always says, 'Don't call me, I'll call you.' or when we were kids, 'Go play out in the street, I'll call you in later.' He speaks with the driest tone of anyone I've ever met, not sure if he's kidding or just hates everyone."
Shutting down the conversation.
"I'm a fan of saying 'Well, good luck with that then,' and walking away."
"I have a Welsh friend who's a teacher. If he has to deal with a difficult parent, he shuts the conversation down with a 'There We Are Then.'"
"It's like a subtler, more Welsh way of saying 'C U Next Tuesday.'"
Take notes people, because now you'll have some great come backs that wont get you in trouble.
But at the same time, remember when people use these on you. There might be some subtext you've been missing.
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.