Category Archives: Marcus Altheimer

Honesty

By Marcus Altheimer #832707
A.k.a ‘Mindful’

I’ve grew to the point of recognizing, pen pointing and correcting certain mentalities which lead me to a lot of issues I unnecessarily experienced earlier in life. I’m working on making correct changes in my thinking/ behavior. Ultimately transcending me into a more righteous man then my previous self.
Enclosed is another of the lessons I’ve learned/applied.
Some ‘Players’ from the ‘Game’ who’ve come from where I came from, or who are in my current situation would ask me, “Why disclose such truths to your partner?”
Or come with some stale game like,
“Never let the left hand know what the right is doing!”
In the streets, such knowledge is useful, but in building a solid foundation, that same mentality will cause rifts within a relationship.
By being completely honest at all times you allow your partner the opportunity of choice.
We, as healthy, independently-self thinking adults enjoy having a say in the choices we make in life. From the type of coffee you chose to drink in the morning, to more serious choices like which door do you use now that there’s no gender specific signs on public restrooms?
Take away a persons power of choice and they get upset real fast, Especially in a relationship.
Think about it, what if every coffee shop you went to told you that they would only serve you what THEY wanted to serve you?
Any dishonesty or deceitfulness at any time means that the relationship from that point is being built upon a lie. Most of the time its a small lie to begin with, which only turned big because one person was afraid to tell the truth, therefore taking it upon themselves to take away their partners ability to choose.
Because we are to afraid to be judged or criticized harshly, or in a bad light, we censor what we chose to disclose. But in turn we also effectively take away our chance for others to accept who we really are.
WHEN, not IF the truth ever comes to light, the one lied to are usually more mad about not being given the opportunity to accept the situation for what it was. (Although most can’t see that underlying issue, so they feel as if the behavior/situation that lead to the lie, is what the problem is.)
Both parties subconsciously know that’s not the real problem so the one lied to will eventually forgive. And the lier will continue to be dishonest.
Never addressing the real problem.
Both parties may then continue building the relationship lying to each other until eventually one or both get fed up an they go their separate ways, just like you’d eventually leave the coffee shops alone to make your coffee yourself or find a shop that will allow you your own choices.
The street game/games played on each other often create unresolvable dissention between each other. But because nowdays most are mentally unheathly, we believe such games are essential to our survival. We are all vulnerable human beings but most are afraid to admit that or let that side show. Therefore we
protect/hide our vulnerabilities at all costs.
By doing so it creates a false mask that one must continue to put on. One that portrays strength, one that portrays nothing being able to harm it. One that acts as if being lied to doesn’t effect it.
This in turn it desensitizes us to lies, while at the same time hyper sensitizes us to the truth.
We begin to expect the lies and become offended by the truth, as expressed in a the common saying, ‘The truth hurts.’
The truth only hurts because your so used to being lied to!
Then we lie to our partner and ourself by saying or believing we love each other.
Love isn’t decietful, its not afraid to be itself, it doesn’t fear being vulnerable. Love trusts its truthfulness is appreciated and will be returned in kind.
Love is transparent with its partner, it allows its partner the choice to accept it for who it really is. Love is not a game.
We should tell our friend/partner the truth about all things in order to always give them the opportunity to accept us for who we truly are, therefore at all times we’ll know that that person actually loves or accepts our true self rather then some facade.
If at some point something unfortunately comes along that our partner isn’t willing to accept then we’d now have a decision to make. We’d have to reevaluate our actions to see if they are worth continuing and risk losing our partner over. Or figure out if change is capable and if your partner is worth changing for.
That’s another reason so many people decide to just play a game, most people are afraid of honest self analysis, they are afraid of what they may see looking back at them in the mirror of self-criticism. And they are afraid to admit their faults and concede to change. By doing so they’d have to admit they are wrong. And some people can’t admit that, not even to themselves.
If you can’t keep it real with yourself what right do you have to expect anyone else to keep it real with you?
Honesty doesn’t always tell you exactly what you want to hear cause its easier, its stepping up to tell you what you need to hear, the truth, and being accountable for that truth regardless of the consequences.

Agree or Disagree? Feel free to send me any questions or comments. My info is on the CONTACT page.

Marcus Altheimer
DOC #832707

The Power To Persevere

By Marcus Altheimer
A.k.a ‘Mindful’

Let me first start with a poem By Tupac:

When your hero falls from grace all fairy tales R uncovered, myths exposed, pain magnified and the greatest pain discovered. U taught me 2 B strong but I’m confused 2 C U so weak, U said 2 never give up and it hurts 2 C U welcome defeat. When your hero falls so do the stars and so does the perception of tomorrow, without my hero there is only me alone 2 deal with the sorrow. Your heart ceases 2 work and your soul is not happy at all, what R U expected 2 do when your only hero falls.

While Tupac’s hero differs from my personal interpretation of his poem, the message is universal and the pain remains the same.
Think of the little child with visions of the North Pole and a jolly Santa Claus. A son with grand thoughts that all will be well once his father comes into his life. Or a person who has lost a love, believing that no one else could ever fill the void. In all will these examples joy comes from the promise of fantasies, dreams of the unknown, hope for a better future, memories of what was and images of what could be.
Ive heard said, What’s stimulating about relationships is the promise of what could be. No matter if those relationships are real, platonic, familial, or just imaginary, they give men, women and childern something to believe in.
But what happens when the opportunity presents itself to make our dreams a reality, but is then shattered by a nightmare? Nothing is as we expected, or as Tupac says, our hero falls from grace.
Santa Claus turns out to be a drunken old man in the mall, dad never shows up or if he does he thinks money will make up for his absence, or after years of wishing for a reunification with your lost love, that person turns out to be emotionally damaged with a lot of extra baggage.
The question that must be asked when reality slaps us in the face is, “Does love have the power to persevere through adversity?” I believe if the love is genuine, then the answer is undoubtedly yes.
In order for any love to be lasting it must be genuine, filled with essential qualities such as trust, honesty, communication and understanding. These qualities have the power to turn any short-lived infatuation into a genuine love.
Trust is more important then just trusting your partner to be faithful. In his book ‘When Love Is By Choice Instead Of Chance’ C. Anthony Taylor notes that, “We have to trust people to accept us for who we are…. We have to trust people to be sincere about the words they use to express their feelings to us.” In my experience nothing outside of the truth is absolute, and since trust is the basis of truth, it should be upheld and protected in its highest standard.
Communication and more importantly, honest communication, is the fundamental prerequisite to the inner workings of a healthy relationship. It allows both partners to express who they are as well as the expectations the have mentally, emotionally and physically. Honest communication must be a constant and is “Key to building up a relationships immune system; thereby making it not vulnerable to unnecessary vulnerabilities caused by dishonesty.” (Taylor).
Understanding is derived from other qualities such as Knowledge, Wisdom, empathy, sympathy, unselfishness, ect. It is a vital building block needed in the foundation of any genuine relationship. Understanding gives partners the power to be patient with each other, enabling them to give the benefit of doubt during inevitable times of human error.
Such acts of love must be given unconditionally, meaning without stipulations. When these qualities are freely given and are constantly practiced, they become tools to help withstand all adversity, even time.
Time is an adversity because it is always against us, yet even without it being on our side, genuine love has the ability to persevere through it. In Harold Percival’s book ‘Thinking An Destiny,’ he defines time as, “A means to measure day, night, month and year. Using these changing natural phenomenon because they are regular and produce the seasons, as marks to measure the flowing streams of events in life: Sowing, reaping, waking, sleeping, past, future, near and far.”
So we measure our lifetime by days, months and years. Broke down even further in o hours, minutes and moments. Yet while everyone is bustling around so concerned with not wasting a single breath of any moment, they unknowingly let life pass them by. An expression relates by saying, “Life is not measured by how many breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” And while the breaths we take in our lifetime are numerous and forgettable, the moments that take our breath away are rare and memorable, just like love. Thus one of the many reasons love will withstand the test of time is because when genuine, it creates lasting moments to reflect on in the future. Memories of moments when two souls were afforded the opportunity to connect. Such a sincere connection cannot be severed by the distance of time, for destiny is eternal.
When it comes to finding proof that love will persevere through adversity, the best to start would be adverse situations, such as prisons. Confirmation that love can conquer all is evident in the rising number of incarcerated men and women marrying and sustaining lasting relationships from behind bars. These relationships are often nurtured through years and in some cases life. Sophie Goodchild’s article in “The Independent,” titled ‘Jailbirds Make Good Lovebirds,’ suggested that, “Marriage in which a husband or wife is a jailed felon are less likely to end in divorce then a conventional union according to the first ever study of prison relationships. Only 1 in 9 weddings between criminals in jail and their partners end in divorce. This is almost three times more successful then the national rate.” The mentioned study was conducted by Angela Devlin, a respected author and expert on Britain’s penal system. It was a three year study that found the .ain reason these relationships are successful is due to the long courtships. In another study done in New York prisons, proof was given that married men able to participate in family reunification programs, where husband and wife may spend a couple days together in a private setting, have a recidivism rate of 19.6% compared to the general populations recidivism rate of 42.1%. This not only demonstrates the power of love persevering through adversity, but also love’s direct correlation to lowering recidivism.
Being incarcerated myself, I am surrounded by successful examples of love persevering through the adversity of prison. When I asked my comrade DJ, who is serving a life sentence, how he and his wife deal with the physical distancing, he smiled and replied, “Confidently, creatively and consistently.”
While those of us behind bars, as well as our partners, may at times find it difficult to deal with the meager level of intimacy allowed in the prison setting, this difficulty breeds an opportunity which allows us to devote even more time to building a genuine connection. Its time spent learning to love each other, work on our imperfections, share our inner struggles and appreciate each other for who we truly are mentally, emotionally and spiritually, rather then getting caught up in what we have to offer physically, materially and financially. It’s time spent peeling back the layers of defenses that have put up in response to past harms. It is spent revealing our deepest an truest selves, which is a breath of fresh air in this world of facades.
Those of us who take this time to connect with family, friends and intimate partner’s that deeply, have made the transformation from being emotionally bankrupt to what Bell Hooks, in her insightful book ‘The Will To Change: Men, Masculinity and Love,’ identified when quoting Olga Silverstein, ‘Liberated men who area empathic, strong, autonomous, connected, responsible to self, family, friends and capable of understanding how these responsibilities are inseparable.’ This shift in consciousness allows us to be ‘Whole, undivided selves practicing emotional discernment.’ (Hooks). This often leads to more stable relationships then we, or the women we become involved with, have ever had.
Now I’m not suggesting that relationships are immune to everyday adversity, so it only seems fair to address a couple situations that could undermine my original thesis statement that love has the ability to persevere through adversity. Some factors have the power to make it very hard to remain loving.
One factor could be if the other person makes no effort in the relationship. In such a situation where one involved has no will to turn towards a meaningful relationship, the chances of it happening or of making them are slim to none. In order for any love to be genuinely healthy an lasting, the love must be mutual.
A second factor that has the power to diminish love is continued damaging acts committed against you or your partner by each other. For some this could be one larger act, other may try to ride it out and allow many destructive acts to be committed before they become fed up, if ever. In such cases I’m an advocate of being patient with your loved one if the love is truly genuine, except when it comes to mental or psychological abuse.
Let the love you should have for yourself be stronger then allowing any kind of abuse to continually take place. Don’t allow your patience to become an excuse for cowardice, frightening you from leaving the situation alone.
Ultimately love can diminish for different reasons among various couples, a d while some may leave the situation with a sigh of relief, other might feel as if their hearts have been ripped from their chest, thrown to the ground an stomped on.
I once encompassed this idea in a poem entitled ‘When love fades’
‘When love begins to fade we wonder what has happened, why a heavy heart has replaced the joy an constant laughing; When love begins to fade happy endings no longer seem real, throat tightens up, wandering lost and sorrow is all you feel; The sun no longer rises and the moon don’t light the night, The stars begin to fade away and nothing at all seems right; The flowers no longer bloom and all the bees have lost interest, and the birds no longer sing their song in the morning for all to witness; No one deserves to feel this pain, the most painful pain ever made, That only comes at certain times in life when love begins to fade.’
While love for another is painful when it begins to fade, we should. ever think of it as a personal failure. Such times are perfect to reacquaint and reflect on the love we should have for ourselves. The love that should be just as strong, if not stronger, then the love we give to others.
In conclusion, love is a powerful emotion; add it to genuineness and you have a combination able to take on the world, a combination of adversaries against all adversity. Even if, as Tupac says, ‘Your hero falls from grace,’ genuine love gives us the power to pick them up and stand by their side. In those sad situations where the rational thing o do is walk away, then genuine love of self gives us the power to stand tall through it all. Love has been the subject of many sonnets throughout history, endless songs over the centuries, and intense passion among individuals across the ages.
With that said I’ll leave you with a quote from one of India’s greatest mystic’s, Marabai, who eloquently sums everything up.
“For those who have truly fallen in love, ho have learned to relate o each other totally, in body, spirit, mind and soul, who have willingly given their all to the great undertaking of committed love, every challenge is like the refiners fire that heats, melts, burns and sears to create a precious jewel. Each obstacle is a reminder that we are changeable, that we can grow and be transformed, that broken things can mend, that shattered relationships can be repaired. Each conflict tests our ability to heal and our belief in healing. Each healing can take us deeper and deeper levels of love, undreamed of insights and unheard of understandings.”

Questions, agree or disagree? Please feel free to write me. My info is on the CONTACT page.

Marcus Altheimer
DOC #832707

Loss

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Loss. Who hasnt experienced loss in some form or fashion in their life. Its apart of life and if taken in stride, has the ability to make us stronger from the experience, a lesson to learn an improve upon.
All thats easy to say until the loss is closer to home then previously felt. And what kind of lesson can possibly be learned from the loss of a loved one? Of course there has to be one, but such knowledge does not do much to comfort the heart.
At the end of 2014 an beginning of 2015 my little brother was
unfortunately incarcerated with me in washington state prisons.
I feel like I should have been able to say more to reach him so he didnt get out thinking it was ok to get back involved with the game.
When I caught this case he was only thirteen, still one of my snotty lil brothers, to young to be in the streets with me so I overlooked him, I was to absorbed by the lures the game disillusioned me with give my lil bros the love an attention they needed.
I believe that lack of attention, to some extent, helped influence their decission to follow in our older brother an my footsteps, choosing the streets over their basketball scholorships in an attempt to gain
recogination an acceptance from the brothers they subconsciously were still seeking attention from. I believe this cause, to a certian degree I know that is also apart of what lead me in the same direction.
On 12/27/15 my lil brother was shot an killed in the early morning behind the wheel of his car.
I blame myself… All my family are pleading with me to remain calm and not lash out, but I already know this! Who do they expect me to lash out at? Another inmate, what will getting in a fight accomplish, it wont bring my brother back and nobody in here is personally responsible for his death.
I cant lash out at the guards or the counslors, they are not the ones saying I cant go to my brothers funural. Its this messed up system, the system that my previous actions chose to lead me to be apart of. My thinking errors and criminal decissions chose this reality.
Its nobodys fault but my own that Im not there to console my family, to console my step mother, to be able to say goodbye or bury my brother. That burden rests on my shoulders, so I already know not to lash out at nobody else.
Its messed up, what makes me especially mad is being denied the chance to say goodbye. For no other reason then safety of the D.O.C. transport officers. The premise of their denial sounds good But its no secret that the dept. of corrections is constantly overusing the pretense of ‘Safety’ to get around whatever they do or dont want.
Its sickening. They say because my bro was a known gang member, but there is NO proof that the crime was gang related. The assumption of such, does not warrent the denial of allowing me to appear at the service.
Then they say, ‘well there has been no arrests made in the case so its possible the funural may be shot up.’ What! Where are we? last time I checked this was not the movies, or extremly violent 80’s or early 90’s. When is the last time a shooting took place at a funural in
washington state? That does not sound like a common occurance.
And what are the transport officers doing wearing body armor for and getting paid time an a half for? Obviously they are prepared for any potential threat and getting paid extra for the extra risk factors involved. These people continue to amaze me with their askewed reasoning. Whats the body armor for if not to be prepared? Is it a show meant to threaten or intimidate? If so, who are they trying to threaten an
intimidate? Us inmates, our families, the same public they attempt to convience that they are trying to protect? Please..
Then they wonder why there is this anomisity againist the ‘system’ underlying our thoughts an behavior. They breed this into us! They pretend to be focused on reform an corrections , yet condition more sickness into our minds then they cure!
Its no wonder alot of our sleep walking brothas an sistas get out of prison from serving a minimum sentence for a non-violent crime, then within a year or two are back for a extremely violent crime facing a maximum sentence or dead in the streets.
If a person isnt wise enough to recognize what this system an the people who uphold this system are doing to them, then they are bound to fall victim to it.
I went through the whole process I just mentioned, which is why I can see it clearly. Recidivism is an all to real disease plaguing our communities just like drug use.
I had previously did a couple years for a non-violent delivery of a controlled substance only to get out then come back for a violent gun crime.
I too was laying in a puddle of my own blood, luckily I survived those gunshots only to face years behind bars.
My experiences are supposed to be examples for others to learn from, but now I question, how can I expect to reach others if I cant even reach my own family?! I couldnt even reach my own bro, I swear his story is like deja vu to me except he wasnt as lucky as I. If you consider a twenty six year prison sentence lucky.
From behind the razor wire fences an cinder blocked walls to the pearly gates an golden halls, this is Marcus ‘Mindful’ Altheimer sending my love to Andres ‘Dre’ Altheimer. R.I.P. Lil bro

Marcus Altheimer
DOC ##832707