I had an encounter last night that I'm in deep struggle with. I asked for a "quick read and feedback" on a resume from someone who knows such things and is teaching it. He picked it up, took a glance, but not really reading. In a fraction of a second, he set it back down and engaged with someone else at our table. Never even said a word to me. Why does this matter? Because what you do to someone who asks for help, especially if you say you give it and all they really needed was acknowledgment in the moment, counts.
You don't have the answers? Cool, say that. Spend the half a second to say, "Oh, Ok...", before you set my paper down and pretend I didn't ask for the guidance you say you give. I have people ask me shit all day. There are two people fighting for clemency right now who asked, and I meet with, to teach them how to write the important pieces of their dark, painful lives to help them save their own futures. If I disregarded them, I couldn't live with myself. There's a thousand more just like them who find it hard to ask, because disappointment, belittlement, failure, let down and disregard have been what they have always known.
I get it. It's just a fuckin' resume. But its my god damned resume and I have so few people to give a shit already, I just needed the acknowledgment. It boils down to being so fucking alone that I can't hardly stand it. I'm chasing table scraps of emotional support to survive on. There are so few people in my world who provide that support and I do everything I know how to acknowledge them in return. They matter so much, it makes my heart hurt and I hope they see that from me. But they are sooooo few.
I've spent my whole life being made to understand that asking for help shows how weak I am. As a soldier, as a father, as a husband, as the guy in the responsible role of anything, if I ever asked for help, I failed something. Then I failed life and landed here. So, it isn't easy to reach out and seek guidance on the overwhelming things. But if that's what you say you do, be there to do it. All of us in prison have been discarded by someone. For some, everyone. This life is painfully lonely already, I don't want to regret the world for the feasts they posses. If you know someone who's struggling like me, take a second to acknowledge them. Screw that, since I'm asking for others, acknowledge me. As shitty as it feels to ask for your humanity, I'm doing it. If you feel like me, come to know me. And if you're really reading this, send an acknowledgement.... and read someone's damn resume when they ask...
by Rory Andes
It's a prison, not outer space. Say something!
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