Friday, June 2, 2017

Growth, Fantasies and Hope

This will be the last post until August as I am going to the West Coast for a couple of months to visit family-Mom.

My higher self, the universe, God-put me here.  I needed this.  I don't know if I would have ever reached the point where I am now within myself as quickly-if ever.  I was too steeped in my denial of my addictions.  I am becoming who I was always meant to be.  I saw the opportunity for growth and I ran with it in the most negative of places-prison.  I am more clear now than I have been in my entire life.  I know who I am and I love who I am with all my faults and attributes.  I get it.  I get life.  And I love life now-even amidst the chaos of my environment.  For the first time in my life, I don't want to leave it.  I tried to end my life several times before my incarceration and when I first went to jail.  As many times as I tried to leave this earth and did not succeed, God must have a plan for me. 

So, I have been questioning this experience.  Life is a series of experiences.  What matters is what you learn from them.  So, I am in the experience of prison.  I have grown and learned.  So, lately, I have thought-what do I do now?  Do I just walk around these prison grounds being my best self and sharing light and love?  It may sound funny to some of you, but that's ok.  Is this what my experience is to be for the next 11 years?  Then I remind myself that it doesn't matter where I am-the journey is within me.  My human side feels my experience is becoming exhausting-the negativity, the chaos, the noise, the food, the abuse.  There is nothing positive going on here.  This experience has become stagnant.  The only thing changing around here is the guards.  And the change that happens with each new admin-warden.  Sometimes, they are stricter-sometimes not.  Every shift is different in the way they approach inmates so you never quite know where you stand.

I mean, can we just get some damn colored pencils.  Geez!  We all sit here and our creative yearnings are squashed and we have not much to do.  I am lucky, I work canteen every day but a lot of the inmates have no jobs and end up using drugs like suboxone which is a big problem.  Escape.  Who wouldn't want to escape the nightmare your living?  Especially the lifers.  I don't judge them.  For me, at some point, I will be going home and I have a daughter and I don't want my time here wasted to only end up where I began. 

The funny thing is I am happy and at peace within myself.  I go through things but not for very long.  My untreated medical issues cause me concern and mom has advocated for me over and over but still not getting the medical help you would get on the outside.  This happens to all the women here.  Very few staff in medical care about inmates.  They use their status as a way to dominate, control, belittle.  I worked at a hospital as a patient tech before coming here and was on my way to becoming an RN and I would never dream of treating a patient like I and other women have been treated here and no one cares-no one on the outside does anything.  I have seen the doctors retaliate against inmates who complain too much or their family complains too much.

Will my appeal be granted and I go back to court?  Will they transfer me to a different prison and do another 5 years with a new experience?  Or will I stay here and gain more knowledge?  I cannot allow life to become stagnant.  I dream of the day I get out and I can make a change for the better for those left behind. 

We all have moments when we fantasize about the "free world".  We joke about all the things we might still do when we get out-like washing our underwear in the shower, cooking everything in one bowl, selling a spot in the Walmart line.  This morning I was really in my thoughts about the free world.  I was envisioning going to a convenience store and picking out a drink-what kind of drink as so many choices?  My first thought was-don't spend the money: don't need it.  I know I am going to be paranoid about spending money as money here is very tight and you know your family is sacrificing for you to make things a little easier.  I feel for the inmates who get nothing ever-so sad.  I dream about living in a studio apartment which would feel like luxury to me.  Having 2 towels-wow!  I think about being in a relationship with a man.  I haven't had one since the love of my life died from a drug overdose 12 years or so ago.  I wonder what it would be like to date.  To be attracted to someone and have it be mutual.  What it would feel like to just hang out with someone you like-or even love.  Do fun things.  If I am not able to go back to court I will be 54 when I get out and I will still be able to have a life and do all the things I dream of.  Many women in here will never get to experience any of that ever again.  There are relationships in prison-borne from a need for intimacy and sharing but they are tenuous and fraught with issues. 

I try not to get my hopes up about my appeal.  We did get some good news.  The appeal judges did agree that my judge should have recused herself and that my lawyer did put the request for recusal in on time so someone is actually looking at my case but you try not to get your hopes up.  Just waiting for an answer.  If it happens that my time gets reduced I can't even imagine.  Too hard to talk about.  So many hopes in here get squashed. 

I appreciate any and all of you who read my words.  Not a lot of people here listen.  I think it is because to share how we really feel and what is really going on inside is too painful to think about.  Please send myself and all of us love and light on this very difficult journey.  Everything happens for a reason and that reason is to learn about love, compassion and forgiveness.  I think mostly to learn to love ourselves, feel compassion for ourselves and to forgive ourselves so that we can spread it to others.

See you in August.