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Reply To: Incarcerated, But Not Imprisoned,” with Mythologist Dennis Slattery, Ph.D.”


Reply to James’s response (# 5640):

I was very moved by your reaction to this Mythblast, James, and feeling agreement with everything you wrote about the importance of finding one’s story and too, as others have said, rewriting the narrative or adding things to it to create a good ending that one seeks.

Thank you Dennis for your Mythblast and sharing your experience.

Reading Dennis’s posts and responses and James’s post and responses, what I am also getting out of the mix or blended ideas is that a guru and a guide can be two different things. Teachers are not gurus but do guide their students. And Dennis, the work you do is so needed, as both a psychologist and a teacher.

It is so good to be able to help build a fragile ego back up to where it belongs–meaning not ego as a bad thing, but for a person to have a healthy sense-of-self ego. So many people are afraid of the word ego or its definition they attach to it; however, a good healthy ego is vital to the vitality of the soul or spirit.

I have not been in the forums much lately, but James did tell me how I would like this Mythblast (yet I do mean to say too that they are all great!) and to check it out so I did, and I did like it very much as a ex-English teacher (!). I did not teach prisoners, but did at times teach classes for those who had recently gotten out of jail/finished serving a sentence (a joke was then that they were in class dealing with a different type of “sentence” as in sentence structure) and returned to school, and many of them gang members. Many students I had in other classes who had not been in jail were metaphorically imprisoned in their own versions of what they felt was hell or  hellish like a type of jail or inhibiting, etc., and with those students too it was a matter of much of what you have written about those you teach in jails. Mostly students would come to me to tell me why they missed class due to issues such as heavy drug addiction, domestic violence at home, being extremely ill and unable to pay to get their car fixed due to their medical bills, severe depression. Anxiety, and sometimes about writing itself. Putting their “self” on paper for someone else to see, etc. Fear of failure, fear of success.

On and on these narratives can go. So nice to do the work of helping with people’s stories.