[Serious] People who did a long time (5 years+) in prison, what was your biggest shock of the outside world? from AskReddit
5 years for aggravated assault & robbery. I was 3 months past my 18th birthday when I was sentenced. I lived in a small railroad town in South Central PA. I guess one of the biggest shocks for me was how much the town had changed. The scrub land where we rode our bikes and dirt bikes is now a strip mall. My friend’s driveway is now the main road through that part of town. Someone fixed up the old dive bar and turned it into a fairly popular restaurant and bar. Hell, whole developments popped up all over the place! And while I wouldn’t exactly call the changes “gentrification,” the town certainly has improved as far as standards of living, without ridiculously increasing the cost of living.
Shock number two was internet access. AOL, NetZero, EarthLink, etc, were the go-tos then, but phased out within a couple years of my release as faster access from cable companies became more widely available and affordable.
You forget about the details of things. Like the way carpet feels on the bottoms of your feet. What it feels like to shower completely alone and without flip flops on. In prison you have a certain number of smells that you’re exposed to every day, think of them as the first page in a book. But when you get out you have the rest of the book available. It’s a lot to take in all at once. With social media and everything, there’s the acknowledgement of the passage of time. When I got locked up I left a lot of friends and family behind and did 3 years on my own, no visitors, no calls, no mail. When I got out it was a trip to get on Facebook and Instagram and see how everyone I was ever close to had moved on with their lives, having kids, getting married, getting fat, losing weight, starting and quitting jobs, falling out with each other, some even passing away. People think about a prisoner doing time but don’t understand that the time does them. You are frozen in it. While you’re stuck in a constant loop of the same day every day, the rest of the world moves on without you. When you get home, you feel left behind. It’s an anxious panic to catch up after that.
My father was incarcerated from 2003 to 2016 & the biggest shock for him was technology & how much McDonald’s has raised prices lmao
Just got out. Weirdest thing was seeing all these damn scooters laying everywhere
That’s weird to all of us
My brother served a little over 3 years but the morning we picked him up we stopped by a grocery store to let him grab some snacks. He’s walking back to the car with this stunned look on his face and finally as he gets to us he goes “I felt like I was on an acid trip I haven’t seen that many colors in so long, I need to sit down”.