His Shoes, His Story: by Rory Andes
A work of fiction based on someone’s truth (2 of 3)
I learned to deal with anger through health and fitness, as well as developing strong work habits. I’ve been a mentor to men half my age on how to focus their negative energy into building a better body and mind. I’ve done this for years now and I find enjoyment in watching them grow beyond the anger that brought them to prison, as I have. This drastically reduced my own anger and replaced it with self worth.
I’ve been involved in work programming for the majority of my time. I’ve worked all varieties of maintenance in several institutions including Twin Rivers Unit, Washington Correction Center, Washington State Reformatory and Airway Heights Correction Center over the last two decades. In these, I received positive evaluations and I am proud of my work. Moreover, I’m proud of what I’ve learned about procedures and machinery. While working with Correctional Industries in these facilities, I also have developed rich job skills associated with community employment. I have worked in the food production factory and in commissary and I value the teamwork, organization and the overall challenges that come when faced with heavy schedules and production timelines. I’ve also focused on self help issues through more formal methods. In 2012, I took part in a program offered for workers called Getting It Right and it taught me about how to recognize errors in thinking in the workplace. I used these fundamentals to build responsible, healthy workplace relationships and interactions.
In 2018 I attended a volunteer course titled Bridges to Life, a restorative justice program, and this experience showed me how to begin to forgive myself for what I did to John, his family, my family and myself. I felt things well beyond anger. It was a newfound empathy toward myself and I was encouraged to explore the loss I created for John and his family, not from a place of shame, but with vulnerability, compassion and humanity. This shift was groundbreaking and the connection I felt to this empathy left me with a want for more programming like it.
Currently, I’m enrolled in both a substance abuse and anger management self paced program that focuses on change through cognitive behavioral therapy, offered by a nationally accredited institute. I was willing to pay for these courses because being a better person matters to me. I’m understanding so much now about my past and how I had become so angry, so willing to do everything wrong. However, my greatest joy would come from training dogs…
by Rory Andes
Every prisoner has their truths. Learn them with compassion…
Email at Jpay.com using Rory Andes 367649
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Rory Andes 367649
PO Box 888
Monroe, WA 98272