we were told this today: “last night I was on the bus home after work, just like any other week day, not expecting anything especially profound to occur. I am aware that many ex-prisoners are hyper-vigilant, it comes from years of being on unconscious and often conscious alert. I think I hide this quite well, as in, I don't stare around at people or at a spot while scanning my surroundings. What happened caught me completely off guard and taught me something valuable about myself and more importantly, what other people that have been released from prison might experience too.
I was standing by the doors in the middle of the bus and there was one pushchair already in the space on the opposite side. We pulled up to a bus stop where a woman got on with another pushchair, so I moved down inside the bus to let her in and then it happened.
The woman looked around, then turned to me and asked, 'Would you hold her while I tap in please?' and proffered one handle of the pushchair to me.
I automatically took the handle and then felt not exactly overwhelmed but certainly profoundly moved by the trust and acceptance that this simple exchange conveyed in a matter of a few seconds in total until I handed back to the woman.
I'm sure the woman wasn't aware of what this meant to me and why would she? It did get me thinking though, about how we as ex-prisoners, myself included, accept distrust and unacceptance from others like it's normal and we kid ourselves that this doesn't matter.
It does matter.
Thank you to the woman on the bus.”