Square Peg in a Round Hole

I was given what was intended to be a cut down, or insult last month, which I have taken, quite frankly, as a complement. It was however delivered by the man that gifted me with a black eye earlier, but that is an entire story altogether. The guy called me "Odd", said I dont fit in here (here, being prison), that I was a square peg in a round hole. "Well thank you", I thought. At the same time I have done much reflection and battled with the concept quite a bit. I need to change and confirm somewhat to my surroundings, but at the same time I value who I am, and want to stay the same.

Well one aspect not up for change is that I am surrounded with a lot of gay, bisexual, and transgender men. So, despite having a ring tattoo on my wedding-ring finger, I have refused to take off my gold band and grow facial hair. I have been told Im not the most masculine man, so I over-compensate by dropping "my wife" and my children" frequently into conversations daily. And so, I regress. Back on point. I experienced and saw some of the oddest behaviors while in Miami, waiting to be transported to prison. People were excited to see each other. One day dozens of men cheered when the "new inmates" walked in holding their bed bag in hand, and excited upon people's return. And the inmates yelled back with arms raised to greet "his friends" he missed during his freedom?

What is going on here? I have met so many that have accepted this lifestyle; have made little communities and proud of their incarceration. Proud of the crimes theyve committed, and boast of new crimes once their released. Individuals that continue to "sneak" in drugs and make alchol, continue committing crimes while in prison. Im a minority not by my race but by my lack of facial tattos. In fact Im an anomily as I only have two tattoos and received them before my incarceration. Prison Christianity is pretty different too. Many personalities dont mesh with my kind spirit, my way of giving. I have a hard time saying no. I always want to help, especially help those in greatest need, the underdogs. I also have a desire to be affirmed. I am a good communicator and a hard worker. However, none of these traits are that helpful or conducive to prison life. Maybe most inmates are 100% out for themselves, perhaps a necessity, because if they were not, no one else will be and that could be very detrimental to them.

I find myself easily taken advantage of. My traits of generosity and kindness are viewed as weakness. So I am learning slowly and by the hard way how to find a balance. I'm learning how to live, love, give, care, and serve and how to be assertive, to not apologize, to not share, to not give away, to care for myself, and look out for myself. It is not natural to me, but I am learning. Oddly one of the most happiest, content men I have met who has embraced his multiple life sentences is a friend. He is here for 118 murders, considered a serial killer. Very content. But it might be because he beat the death row. Yes, that is true, I dont fit in here. I don't belong here. I am odd. I am a square peg in a round hole.

"But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light…" I Peter 2:9