The trial of increased restraints and rules has now been going for more than two weeks. It will continue for at least another week, and I presume after that time the Committee will decide which restraints and rules they would like to keep for the longer term.
The trial to date has not been too difficult. The changes are still so new and I am still very aware of them, but I feel that I can take on the challenge. In time, when I do not have to focus on them, they will become normal routine. I do feel this is possible. I also have a feeling that because of the new rules the Committee are thinking about me more, the security guard does things for me and it feels strangely good.
There are a few things that have caused minor problems. The shortened hobble chain is not a major obstacle, but having the hobble chain directly connected to the floor was a problem. I’m used to being able to move around a little bit, now that was blocked from me. It affects me a lot mentally. Physically, there have also been problems from my feet being so closely connected to the floor so I could hardly move my feet at all. The chair tether stops me standing up, so I am forced to sit in exactly the same way all the time. Sometimes I have found my legs have been numb after sitting this way for long periods, unable to move my feet. Also, when I sat in the lower, comfortable chair in my living room the floor chain placed pressure on my ankles, making them sore.
As this is a trial, the Committee are paying close attention to my complaints about these things, and on the weekend (the 2 week mark of my trial) they changed the floor mounting rule. My hobble chain is now connected to the floor by a 30 cm long chain. I am happy about this – it makes a very big difference. Mentally, I still know I cannot move anywhere, but I can move my legs enough that I can sit comfortably for long periods of time.
Another problem has been that the back chain pulls down on the back of the collar so it presses on my neck. The rear chain is not heavy but still it has enough weight to change the position of the collar so that it bothers me and if I forget and bend forward it presses harder on my neck. I cannot put any padding under it because there is no room, and also because I do not have anything to use. Sometimes I used to use a thin scarf (where the skin was a problem with normal wear of the collar in the past), but when the max security rules were introduced I could no longer use scarves.
Last week I asked if I could start wearing a corset. This is something I have been interested in for some time. The Committee said that this was possible, but told me my corsets must have shoulder straps added to them. They are of the opinion that because I am sitting almost all the time, the corset will enforce a good posture to prevent problems. I had complained to the Committee about the back chain problem, and in response, the committee told me that when I use a corset, it will hold me in such a way that I cannot bend forward and therefore cause the collar to press on my neck. Therefore they have told me that the back chain will stay there and the length will not be changed.
The Committee have added another measure to my trial. They have decided that my clothes need to be marked with a clear, wide vertical stripe down the side. This new provision has been carried out over the past week. Almost all of my clothes were taken so that the stripes can be sewn on. I do not like this, it is contrary to human dignity, but on the other hand, it is better than wearing a uniform.
On Monday my clothing was returned to me. The skirts have a vertical stripe skirts and the other clothes have a large label with the word “prisoner” on them. I was quite shocked by this change, even though I knew it would be introduced. Being labelled in this way affected to me a surprising amount. My first thought was that I was glad no one can see me, and that I did not want anyone close to me or anyone to see me. Over time, I am sure I will get used to it.
This is, in a way, a trial of how I might react to having tattoos marking me as a prisoner, as has been discussed with the committee. It is part of reminding the prisoner that she must be isolated from normal life. This all sounds very cruel but it is a way to get the prisoner to understand that she has no chance to return to a normal life.
The other addition on Monday was the corset. One of my committee members made it, and she did a very good job. It is an overbust model, and has wide and comfortable elastic shoulders straps, which hold my shoulders back and really help me keep in the upright position required by the back chain. My collar is no longer a problem because I am always in the correct posture and because in the back of the corset there is a tab which can be used to attach the chain, taking the weight of the chain off my neck. The bottom of the corset is designed so that I can sit comfortably.
On the back, above the belt line is a small box that holds the laces, so that I cannot undo the knot. So even though this was a suggestion I made to the committee, it has now become another thing I cannot remove. It feels like a bug hug.