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It is deemed that this phase is part and parcel of life - by A

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'N' level student-inmate from institution A4

Consolation Prize

The definition of acceptance is the act of agreeing with something or approving of it. From what I perceive about acceptance is the process of allowing somebody to join something or be a member of a group. Instinctively, acceptance is not about liking or choosing. In general, everyone wishes to be accepted, whether by their peers, family or society. It’s only human to have flaws, as myself being an inmate. Being incarcerated long-term, I may face challenges with family and children. I even fear how society will judge and be unable to accept me.


Furthermore, acceptance does not mean it is going to be that way for long. I try to focus my acceptance on the present; alongside an open gaze in the future. In addition, I do not overfocus on the present as it will lead to counterproductivity. Even though I recognise that realistically I cannot change the current nature of this exact moment, it is deemed that this phase is part and parcel of life.


Facing my children is a great challenge. I left my daughter when she was turning four and at that point of time, I was also heavily pregnant with my son. Eventually they are the fallen victims to my repercussions as a mother. By the time I am released, my children will be young adults. They might have instilled in them, their individual perspective, perhaps a more matured character, and may have a different view towards life. Instinctively, the main question is, “will they be able to accept me?” it always lingers in the back of my mind. Even though it may still be years to come before the literal day, it is something so grave for a mother who always wants the best for her children. Apart from that, building a strong rapport, recognising their characters and understanding their lingo are important roles in reintegrating relationships with children. 


Acceptance is also a form of respect and acknowledgement. Nobody is perfect. “Who sets the rules? Who is to judge? Does society acknowledge me? Being incarcerated for such a long time has developed a fear in me; as to how the society would judge or treat me. Realistically, I may face challenges or obstacles as it is not an easy journey for me. If confessions are a measure of “correctability”, an offender’s potential to be educated and reintegrated into society, while redemption is often reserved only for those who display genuine remorse. It is actually easier said than done.


So often, people criticize others too quickly. Therefore, acceptance must be practiced consciously. It never occurs whereby I choose to accept emotional pain today and physical pain to my body tomorrow. Anyway, practicing requires effort at times like clearing in the field by walking the same path everyday. By practicing acceptance toward something, I may create and strengthen the neural path in my back burner.


All in all, there is no way I could go back because I am a different self now. In terms of trying to grapple with the huge controversy on acceptance, only time will tell. For now, I take one step at a time and count my blessings.

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