Friday, October 31, 2014

Day 18 Part 2 (10/10/14) Once a drug addict...

Well, my roommate is back. The private time is over. It wasn’t long enough. She was facing 4 years and ended up going to a program and getting out of here. I guess the information I wrote up for her attorney really helped. She said she’s here until the end of the month. Then she’s off to “Choices” in Vista, CA. Their program is 100% better than being in this place. She is very lucy, hopefully she will do well in the program and get her life back together. You never know, the choice and opportunity is hers. I hope she takes and makes the most out of it. 
We are in facility lockdown. So, the entire facility is on lockdown right now. We don’t know why or for how long. It started right after lunch. The bottom tier had lunch in their cells and didn’t get any dayroom time. So thankful I got up and out this morning. Bottom tier did get to shower, but it was two cells at a time. Shower, back to lockdown. Then dinner rolled around, same thing, dinner in our cells, total lockdown. I asked the deputy if get to get out this evening and she said she did not know. Just depends if they release the facility lockdown. Again, we have no clue why we are on “full” lockdown. Sometimes I think it’s just a way to punish or show us who’s in charge. A cruel mental punishment. It boarders on abusive to me. I am not asking to roam the yard, just can I get out of my cell for more than 2 hours in day ? Well, I sure hope they release the lockdown. If not, I can survive, but I am praying we are not on lockdown tomorrow. It’s my Son's birthday. If I don’t get my call or my visit, I will be devastated. Hope this ends soon. 

Lockdown did end. We got out between 9-10pm. So, I was able to talk to my family. It was so nice. My roommate really irritated me. She got mad I was sweeping. Well, we have inspection tomorrow. She may not care, but I do. So I didn’t care if she was mad. All she does is sleep, lay around, and beg for food. It’s super annoying. Plus, she has no intention of getting clean. She’s looking for the quickest program so she can hit the streets again. It made me really angry when I heard her talking about it. You can’t help people unless they want help themselves. She’s a prime example. She doesn’t want help. I am upset, because I helped her with her lawyer / case, wrote her inmate requests for programs, wrote her Son and landlord for her, and got her a shower and new bedding. Along with a towel and a new clean uniform (I have to admit the last one was selfish and for me. She smelled bad and it really smelled the cell up). Then she turns around and has no intention of getting any help (she will be back here) and gets an attitude with me because I follow the rules. I refuse to get a write up or lockdown because of a strung out drug addict. So, deal with it or go find a new cell to move into. 
Time for bed. Thankful another day has passed. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Day 18 / Part One (10/10/14) Rise Above..

It’s Friday and I have the cell to myself. Top tier got the AM shift today, so I was up, read the paper, called my daughter, showered, watched a little law and order, then called my Dad. It was a good morning, but still hard. I think it’s a combination of I miss my family so much and the dread and anxiety that by 10 am, I will be back in my cell until dark. I know I am stronger than this and I need to keep fighting and pushing forward. But, it is so very hard. I feel like the walls are just closing in. I can’t escape, it’s horrible and on top of that, I just want to desperately see my Husband and kids. I hope they are doing ok. I worry about them so much. They are just a few miles from here, but it feels so far away. 
I got 4 emails today (I can be emailed and the deputies print and deliver them). I waited to read them until after dayroom time. They really helped lift my spirits. My Mom emailed me a quick update, my Dad sent me a hello and a joke to cheer me up, my Sister sent me a wonderful email, full of inspiration. “Don’t let them win. Some days will be peaks and others valleys. Don’t allow all your days to become valleys ! Strive for peaks and overcome valleys !” She is really wonderful. I knew she was always a good Sister, but she’s a saint through all this. Purely amazing. I love her and am thankful everyday for her love and support. 
Then I saved the best for last. My Husbands email was just unreal. He is so wonderful. As he said, we are soul mates and best friends. To keep me going, I just need to remember everyday how lucky I am to have such an incredible Husband who loves me so much. I didn’t even realize how special he is or how much he really loves me until now. He wrote this to me “When you are down, be brave. Rise above. Be sad, but don’t be weak. Be a warrior. Cry, but don’t let it turn in to a river to drown in. Know your Husband is here and will never leave your side. I have the strength of 10 men when it comes to protecting you. You are my life. My everything. Nothing will keep us apart. Not even this. This is nothing. I love you. Rise above, Rise above.” 
I love him so much. He gives me the strength to rise above. I feel so much better. I have such an amazing family and so much love and support. I will make it through this and be stronger in the end. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Day 17 / Part 2 (10/9/14) You help me, I help you..

The bottom tier got the AM shift. Of course I hear a bunch of ruckus going on and what do I see ? Two girls getting in an argument that’s about to get physical. Like I said, more problems downstairs. Glad to be away from it. But, they are risking lockdown for everyone. The deputy put a stop to it quickly, but I am really tired of this. The fighting, the arguing, talking back, and not listening to the deputies. It’s so frustrating. I’m trapped in a housing with women that just don’t care. I care, and I want to be in a housing where others care too. Care about getting out, care about not coming back, care about making real changes, and care about their futures. 
I discovered my bunkmate has been to prison more than once. So, we had a nice long talk about prison, the entire receiving process, bus ride, and booking. She gave me a ton of tips and information. I took notes and asked a lot of questions. It was so helpful. I am so appreciative of her knowledge and that she was kind enough to share it with me. We also spent the entire evening writing up information for her lawyer. She asked me to help her. She found out she goes to court tomorrow. So, I will have the cell to myself the majority of the day. That might be a nice break. 
It seems like it was a really good idea to move cells. Everything happens for a reason. I was able to help her and she was able to help me. 

I had a wonderful visit from my Sister and kids this afternoon. So, today ended up being a pretty good day. I am very thankful for my family and their love and support. I am so grateful that I have them to come home to. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Day 17 / Part One A whole new world..and roommate (10/9/14)

I am back to cell 27. Same cell and bed that I started in. I volunteered to move, because I feel more comfortable on the top tier. There is less drama and fighting up here then on the lower tier. It’s also much quieter. It’s a gamble, because even though my last roommate heard voices and talked to them, she was harmless.  I felt comfortable with the routine I had going. But, you have to take chances in life, so I took one. Just to try to get off this tier. Woke up early, did my cell exercises, got washed up, and wrote letters to my family. I moved cells. 

My new bunkmate slept most of the morning. She finally woke up. She doesn’t suffer from metal illness, so that was a plus. But, she is a strung out drug addict. She does meth and crack. She is in here for theft and burglary charges. I’m sure to support her habit. She goes back to court next week. She seems nice, we talked. I gave her the rundown on this housing unit. She said “I heard this was a behavioral unit. Why are you in here ?” I chuckled and said “You know, I keep asking myself that same question. I am a first time offender and don’t cause any trouble. I am trying to get out of this housing unit”. I hope one day it happens. As I talked to my new roommate, she informed me that she was HIV positive. Well, I was a little shocked and taken back. But, I thanked her for honest up front with me. I knew coming here there would be a risk. I know how it’s transmitted, so I will be overly cautious and should be fine. She said lots of people get freaked out about it. I am sure they do, but I know I can’t get it sleeping in the same room as her. I am actually more concerned that she takes a shower today. Not to be mean, but she smells like a wet dog. Sleeping and sweating all the poison out of your body has a nasty smell. Other than that, I have no complaints about her. She taught me how to play spades today. Playing cards with someone was very enjoyable and a nice change. After lunch we played another hand. Before she took her nap, she opened up to me, it was really nice. She said “You seem like a real good person, someone who is really strong, and had a good upbringing. Lots of support on the outside. Don’t let this place bring you down. Don’t fall for the people out there. You don’t need friends here. Don’t take this place home with you.This place will take people like you and change them to a life of crime and drugs. You seem strong and hopefully that won’t happen to you. Don’t let it”. I told her that I wouldn’t and always remember what my lawyer told me “You don’t make friends in there, you make acquaintances”. She laughed and said “That’s true” ! I don’t need new friends, especially the ones in here. I don’t have much in common and have no intention on ever coming back. So, I keep to myself and stay clear of any trouble. I like it that way.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Why ?

This machine. This no emotion video unit, is my only face to face communication with my Wife. Again, White collar, non-violent, first time criminal. This is what we go through 1-2 times a week. Complete with 3 second delay so they can monitor what you say. Enjoy your 30 minute visit. Well, 30 minutes is what you are supposed to get. My calculations say that your "video connection" starts late 70% of the time. That doesn't mean you get your 30 minutes as soon as it connects. Oh no. The clock starts precisely when your visit is supposed to be. So, you usually lose the valuable time you've been waiting for every visit. Of course, unless, you turn into the "squeaky wheel" or "thorn", which we DO. Once the time has gone past the 5 minute mark, we usually will go to the "clerks" at the check in and complain. One clerk out of the three is usually very helpful. The others, just let them doze back to sleep.  
My Wife will be strong when she talks to the Kids. But, when I speak to her one on one, you can see the sadness and depression pretty clear. Very hard to see and hear. She has lost a lot of weight so far. Even has lost a whole size in her "blues". The "Lockdown" diet as she calls it. You are so helpless. You can't get close to her and help. You can't give her a hug. She has been trying desperately to get her housing unit changed. But, no luck. She is in "transfer mode" NO CONTACT VISITS. Well, that makes a lot of sense. Not even for her children. I do not understand how that would hurt anything. What it is hurting, is her children. It is devastating to them. But, honestly, the Department of Corrections does not care about that. She is inmate 14755*** and is on lockdown 20-22 hours a day. 
She is not inmate 14755*** to us. She is Mom and Wife to us. We hope being treated like a caged animal, she stays Mom and Wife. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Day 16 / Part 2 (10/8/14)

Just finished lunch and a fight almost broke out. Who knows what it was about. Someone looking at someone wrong, someone butting into another inmates conversation, who knows. I don't know, but the one inmate who has already been on lockdown, was egging on the girl. "Let's go ! Come on ! See if you can beat my ass !" The girl looked like she was going to jump out of her chair and fight. I don't know who would have "won, it looked pretty even. They are both crazy. I said to Mama J "please don't fight. I don't want to be on lockdown this afternoon". The other inmate just wouldn't stop. Pacing, throwing her arms up. The other girls friends told her it wasn't worth it. It's not just a write and lockdown. It's additional charges. No fight is worth being in here longer. You have to be careful here because, there are girls here that are the "shit starters". The ones that don't fight, but convince others to fight and do their dirty work. You have to avoid them because they are not your friends no matter how much they try to convince you that they are. Real friends don't use you, they look out for you.
We all made it back to our cells without incident. Let's hope it stays that way. I want my full afternoon time.

So much for full afternoon time. We got out at 1pm and we were on lockdown at 1:30pm. Really ? 30 minutes ? I am sick of this. I didn't even get to call my daughter like I wanted and needed to. I am so frustrated. Another long unproductive day in my cell. I did talk to the deputy and she told me who and what to request to be moved to a different housing unit. So, I did that today. I just need to hope and pray it goes through. I do have a lot to offer and I hope they don't ignore it or forget about me. Don't leave me here to waste away.

My headache from earlier is back. I figured out what has caused it. They are doing construction outside and the smell of sulfur and rubber is coming through the vents in the cells. Remember, there is no ventilation in the cells except for the vents. I was smelling it yesterday and I smell it again.
The deputy listened and was nice enough to let us open the cell doors for fresh air. My headache is
almost gone.

I am struggling again today. I am better than yesterday, but my anxiety and depression won't seem to leave me alone. I haven't been eating and I keep crying all the time. I really hate feeling this way, but when all you do is sit around and wait for the time to pass you by, it's hard not to get down. I really miss my Husband and kids. I do my cell exercises, that helps me feel a little better. I also started drawing and coloring inspirational posters for my family. That helps the time go by and relaxes me. I finished my daughters today and am working on my Husbands now. While working on them, I came up with, "Posters from Prison". I could make these, sell them, and use the money for "Sisters for a second Chance".

I just took a crazy chance and volunteered to move back to the top tier. I think I am  going to be sick. I hope I made the right decision. It's 11pm and my bunkmate is fast asleep. So, we will see how tomorrow goes. My heart is racing like crazy, hope I can sleep.

Day 16 / Part One (10/8/14)

It was a quiet night. The snoring must have been a one time fluke. Thank goodness. I woke up feeling better and stronger after talking to my family last night. It’s still hard, but just a little easier today. 
We have a new deputy today. So, the sharing of the morning and afternoon has come to an end. The top tier got the AM shift, we will get the afternoon. It’s a bummer, because I prefer the split. But, at least this deputy gives us our full dayroom time, so I will be out this afternoon for over two hours. That will be nice. 
I had breakfast with my old bunkmate today. She is miserable. She wants out of cell one. She said she is going to try and talk to the deputy and see if we can get a cell together again. We’ll see what happens. 
I’m just trying to take it day by day and just go with it. That’s my new motto. Just go with it and take each day in stride. It seems to be helping me. 
When I talked to my Husband last night, he had gotten an email from my attorney about my upcoming court date. She says if we don’t come to a mutual agreement (highly unlikely), we’ll get a new court date and I could be here through December. I won’t be transferred until January. I like the idea of being close to my family, but I hate the idea of being stuck here for another 2 1/2 months. Where will I be mentally ? I am going to talk to the deputy about being transferred to work. I will take anything. Kitchen, laundry, sewing, landscaping, whatever is available. I want to work, be productive, and stay busy. I hope she can help me. It’s the only way I can survive (mentally) in here for the next 3 months. 
I went to bed with a slight headache and woke up with it last night as well. I am sure it’s stress related. I am hoping it goes away, I don’t want to have to go to medical and pay $3.00 for my visit just for them to give me ibuprofen. I am going to wait it out today and see what happens. 
Lots of “free” time on my hands, because I devoured all my books so fast, I was thinking more about the foundation I am going to start. Sisters for a Second Chance. Giving women a second chance to restore their lives and future. I am going to see what my Sisters think about it. The 3 of us together are very special. They are going to help me with this. I am very lucky to have two wonderful sisters. They are both amazing and so supportive. They are not only my Sisters, but my friends and I love and miss them so much. I look forward to a “girls” trip or day with them when this nightmare is over. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Day 15 (10/7/14)

Last night after day room time, we had to move cells. My bunkmate moved to cell one and I am now in cell 11. I am on the bottom tier. I finally get comfortable and now I have to start over again. When I got in the new cell, my new bunkmate was already asleep. It took a while to fall asleep, because my mind was racing and I was sad about the move. But, I finally calmed down and fell asleep.
After breakfast I usually fall right back asleep again. But, not this morning. My bunkmate was sound asleep, snoring away. Snoring very loud. Snoring so loud, I couldn't take it. I wanted out of here. I needed earplugs desperately. But, I am not sure how much that would have helped. She finally quieted down enough that I could fall asleep. I woke up to the cell doors opening as usual. The top tier got the AM shift first, so I cleaned the cell and did my morning exercises. The inmate before me colored the walls with pencil, so I cleaned and got most of it off. That is grounds for a write up and lockdown. There is no way in hell I am doing any days on lockdown. I also let the deputy know that the cell was already like that. The deputy was very cool and said she knew. She was appreciative that I had cleaned it. My new bunkmate is not that clean or organized. It's hard to to clean up all her shit, but I manage. I cleaned the heck out of our cell while she slept. When she finally woke up she asked if it was lunch. I told her it was only meds (when inmates receive their meds) right now. She told me she sleeps the majority of the time, which is fine by me as long as she's not too loud with the snoring.
I feel like it's day one all over again and I hate it. I just want to go home, I really miss my family. I just can't wait to get out of here. My bunkmate goes to court on Thursday, so she may go home. Then I'll be having another new bunkmate by the end of the week. I sure hope I get someone "normal" and decent.
Being on the bottom tier has an entire new group of women. There are more that suffer mental illness down here. Including, my new bunkmate who asked me if I ever hear voices. I told her no, I don't hear voices. She informed me, that she hears voices all the time and she's trying to get her medication dose increased. I thought to myself "Really ??". My bunkmate not only hears voices, she talks back to them. I am on a crazy ride and I want off NOW ! This is going to be a long rough week.
I am out of books to read right now, so I know that it's making my time harder. I wish I was busier. Too much time just sitting around. We tried to play cards right after dinner, it was alright, but she loses focus easily. We will be playing one moment and the next moment she's off in another world.
I can't wait for day room time this evening. I really need to talk to my family. I miss them so much. Today was really rough and I was really down. I called them right away. When I heard my Husband say "Hello" I cried. I cried pretty much the entire phone call. I miss my Husband and kids so much. Of course, my Husband was amazing and he helped me through it. He is wonderful. I am thankful for him everyday. I can't believe how much he loves me. I wrote the following for him today:

Please take care of me, my heart aches and depression haunts my days.
I miss you desperately, as my depression deepens, my only hope is your love.
I need not to be troubled or afraid, for I need to remember I am deeply loved by you.
You are my rock, whom I find protection from the turmoil in my life.
You watch over me and encourage me to be strong. 
I know you are always with me, as I gaze up at the stars.
I love you.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Hard to Understand..

As you can see in inmate #1476**** letters, her "out of cell" time is very limited and and never structured. Depending on the Deputy in charge that day, your time outside your shared 10' x 8' cell can vary wildly. There has been days that she got out of that cell 1 hour in a 24 hour day. I believe the most she's gotten out total was 4-5 hours. That has been less that 10% of the time. I found this very interesting. This was from  an article from an inmate on death row at San Quentin (CA).

He is allowed 5 hours of out of cell activities, which primarily consist of outside recreational activities (basketball, jogging, walking, and board games). Outside of the outdoor recreational activities, he is confined to his cell where he also consumes his meals.

Now, again, that is for a Death Row inmate. A man convicted of a pre-medatated murder. 
My wife was convicted of a white collar, non-violent crime. First offense. Hmm, What's wrong here ? 

Day 14 (10/6/14)

It's Monday and it's closing of week two for me here. This week seemed to go faster than week one. But, still not fast enough. I woke up feeling not too great. I didn't really want to get moving, but I forced myself to. After my cell exercises I felt better. We had laundry today. I always like laundry day. Nothing like clean clothes.
We have one of the better deputies today. She splits the morning and afternoon times between the tiers. I prefer being out for shorter times twice a day, than 1 long period once a day.
My morning was a good one, then after lunch, my roommate came back upstairs to find our cell door wide open. I guess her meds were missing and she had Ibuprofen sitting on the desk next to her bible which were missing. She didn't remember taking it, so we searched the cell and could not find it. The deputy came and did a quick search and cell check at lunch, but did not take the meds. So now, we have another episode. The conspiracy, the yelling, the slamming things, all the hollering about about God, demons, and the devil. Oh the insanity. This is really getting out of hand. They finally took the inmate in cell 13 away last night. So that noise is gone now. I just have to have it in full blast in my cell. I am getting close to asking to switch cells. I could deal with it, but it's now 2 or 3 times a day and it's getting very irritating. I am hesitant, because she is harmless and the grass isn't always greener on the other side. So, I am going to try and wait it out. I'm pretty sure she goes home in 15 days, so I will see if I can make it. An hour later, she finally quieted down and is napping. Time to relax. I feel like a Mom who finally got her fussy cranky baby to sleep. Total silence. Total bliss.
I finished my third book today. Now I'm on to number 4. If I don't slow down, I'm going to cost my family a fortune in books ! I am reading and finishing books every 2 to 3 days. I just need more to do. It's really hard right now. I feel like I am drifting into insanity some days. I want the hell out of this housing unit. I don't want to sit and waste away anymore. I don't want to tolerate the madness and insanity that surrounds me, but if I get transferred far away, I will hardly see my family. Two video visits is better than no visits. I can't disrupt my kids lives and expect them to travel 4-5 hours to see me. Plus, who can afford that kind of travel all the time, or who would want to spent 8-10 hours in a car. It's really hard. I want to be close to my Husband and kids, so it's worth it to me to put up with the insane cellmate, the lockdown, and boredom. I'd do anything and endure anything. Just have to keep reminding myself to stay strong and don't give up. I have my Husband and kids waiting for me.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Day 13 (10/5/2014)

Went to sleep with a big smile. I actually felt happy. I had a great talk with my Husband and Daughter. My Husband had great news he shared with me and I received 2 new books from my Mother in Law. Received  3 wonderful emails from my Husband  and my amazing Daughter. She has grown into a beautiful strong young  lady. I am so proud of her. 
My bunkmate and I laughed and joked last night before bed. I have not laughed hard like that in a while. It felt great. I had a moment of pure joy, it made me forget where I was and at the moment I was happy. It felt amazing to smile as I went to sleep.
Sunday is usually a day of rest for us, but not today. We were up before sunrise, had to get ready for inspection.  Cleaned and ready. Passed. 
My roommate did not get a milk for lunch and now she is furious. Yelling and hollering about a conspiracy. People stirring up mess, haters, and on and on. I have my roommate going off in the cell and the inmate in cell 13 (directly below us) going absolutely berserk ! Smashing and pounding on everything in her cell. She’s begging to be let out of her cell. They just leave her in there to yell and scream all day. A caged animal, that’s how she’s treated. He episodes come and go, but right now the chaos is out of control.  Sometimes it’s just too much. I just want to read in peace. Day room time can’t come fast enough today, It’s my only escape from this madness.
Day room came and went. It was a nice break, but it never feels long enough. After dinner was alright too. Got a lot of reading in. Reading a great new book called “Ashes to Ashes”. Getting lost in it. Love how it takes me away from all this for a while. But, after the evening time, I came back to the looney bin.  My bunkmate is off her rocker again tonight. Something about this particular deputy here sets her off. Her episodes are getting more frequent. It’s getting hard to handle. Imagine being in a 10ft by 8ft cell, with an 8” wide by 24” tall window on the door and that’s it. These cells don't have bars. It's a door. You have a mentally ill person you share this tiny room with who is full of rage and obviously hearing voices.  It’s weird, I’m not scared, more frustrated and annoyed. Well, I was able to finally shut her out and fell asleep. I have been blessed with the gift to be able to fall asleep anywhere and sleep through anything (as my Husband always told me). So, I closed my eyes and I was out. The silence was golden. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Day 12 (10/4/14)

Saturday morning. Another new deputy today. She is a good one. She is splitting the morning and afternoon with both tiers. Should be a good day. My bunkmate is back to herself today. No hard feelings toward her. People with mental illness are just misunderstood. You have to have patience and not be afraid of them. I think too many people just write them off because of fear and ignorance. I am no expert by any means, but I embrace people that are different. 
I got a quick call to my Husband this morning, that was nice. Also, got to wish my Son good luck at his soccer game. I really worry about him every day. I know me being away has an effect on him. But, how big of an impact is it having I wonder ? Will he eventually hate me one day ? Will he blame me ? Will he feel like I’ve abandoned him ? Will he have issues in life or in future relationships because of this ? If he does, it will all be my fault. A mother is supposed to love, protect, and take care of her children. Mom’s are responsible for them to be healthy and happy with little baggage as possible. I feel like a horrible Mom today. I don’t know what to do. I am powerless in here. I can’t be there with them, so how do I insure my kids my kids come out ok after all this ? I worry about my Daughter everyday as well. But, she is 18 and my Son is only 11. So, my Son being younger, I fear the affects will be much more traumatic. I feel so much guilt. Especially, if bad choices or decisions are made. From my own experience, I know what childhood baggage can do to someone. Especially if it’s never addressed or dealt with. I didn’t face or address my issues until I was 38 years old. I don’t want my kids to live that torment. I want better for them, they are my number one priority. I would give my life for them. I hope they know and understand how much I love them and how sorry I am for their hurt and sadness they have had to endure because of me. I wonder how many other Mom’s like myself are in this place ? Why are there not better programs for Mom’s and their children ? More so, for the kids, so they can have a fighting chance to break the cycle. Make changes for a better future. The kids are innocent in this nightmare. Give them a chance so they don’t end up in Jail / Prison, in abusive relationships, homeless, on the streets, in gangs, and / or addicted to drugs / alcohol. There should be counseling services, support groups, kids activities, and programs.  Special bonding visits and calls for kids and their Mom’s. Maybe even a Mom’s support group in Jail / Prison. Where Mom’s can meet and discuss what they are going through. Different ways to cope and ideas on how to stay close to your kids while behind bars. 
This trip sure is one rough road. It’s not always easy in our society to get a second chance when you make a mistake. That’s why I want to name my foundation “Second Chances”. I have to give myself and other women like me a second chance. Without second chances, it’s so easy to give up and we can’t give up. We need a second chance for ourselves and our kids. 
If you get in trouble or break the rules, you get lockdown (there are 2 lockdowns I’ve experienced. One because there is a threat to the deputies and 2 because they are minimizing inmates being out at once). When you act out, you get your own “personal “lockdown. In your cell 24/7. The inmate in cell 13, directly under my cell, is in “personal” lockdown. She is not adjusting well to lockdown after lunch at all. She was screaming and was hysterical about wanting out or something. It was hard to understand what she was screaming.  She was banging on the door, sink and toilet. She was out of control and went on and on for some time. Then she was just yelling. The crying and screaming had stopped. She was yelling like she was possessed by a demon.  My roommate was napping and woke up. She was like “Who is that carrying on like that ?”. At that point, I just burst into laughter. Sometimes it’s all you can do. My Husband always said “Better to laugh than to cry”. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

What's left behind....

After 16 years of marriage, you get comfortable. You lean on each other for love and support. You make decisions together. You raise your children together. Sometimes it’s tough love and the other one makes it better. A buffer. You see, touch, and talk every day. This is your best friend and Soul Mate. Then, the unthinkable happens. Your Soul Mate makes a very bad decision, a mistake. She is now facing incarceration. You try to prepare for it. You try to prepare your children. You try to get the finances in order. You do everything you can. But, it really isn’t enough to prepare you for the nightmare that is about to happen. 
You are immediately faced with the feeling of extreme loss. Almost as someone has passed. Your best friend, gone. But, you quickly realize you have 2 kids that also just lost their Mom. A twelve year old Son that has no idea why it hurts so bad. A hurt he has never felt. An eighteen year old Daughter who lost someone who was always there for her, her best friend. Now, as the sole parent, you have to find a way to make them feel the love that they felt from both parents. Hard to show and give them love when you are devastated yourself. But, you try. You try like you’ve never tried anything. You can see it’s not the same. It’s heart wrenching. You want your kids to be happy. You would do anything to protect them. But, you can’t protect them from this pain. No one replaces Mom. 
The first few days we stuck together. Didn’t want to be apart. Then it started to change. The pain was turning us. We weren’t getting along as much. It was very sad. I wasn’t the same Dad. I was very moody. Snapping easily. I was hurting so much. I realized, how am I going to be a good strong Dad when I need to get mentally healthy ? It’s still a struggle. I’m still trying. I’m nowhere near the Dad I was. But, I will get there. My Son seems to be coping with it the best. He is definitely sad, but he hasn’t shown any bad effects, yet. A therapist told me that we will see how it affected him when he’s 18 years old. I keep him as busy as possible. It’s the down time with him that worries me. My Daughter has been struggling. Very similar to myself. She has up and down days. I know she misses her Mom so much. I try to talk to her like her Mom did, and again, I’m just not Mom. They were buddies. They did so much together. They talked about everything. It breaks my heart to see her so sad. All I can do is keep trying. Things will never get easier, we will just get stronger.  We will have to learn to stay together and grow stronger together. There are so many more obstacles ahead of us. We know it’s not forever, but it sure can feel like it. 

Day 11 (10/3/14)

It was a busy morning. Girls going home, girls off to court, new inmates arriving, the cell doors and housing doors were opening and closing all morning long. It was hard to sleep, but I managed. Now that I have a “system” going, I’m not freezing all night. I sleep much better. 
I got a bunch of emails this morning. That was a pleasant surprise. I love the emails from my family. 
We have a new deputy this morning, so we will see how things go today. The bottom tier got the first AM shift.  I really wanted the first AM shift. I wanted to call my Husband this morning and wish him good luck on a new job. But, that didn’t happen, got stuck in this damn cell again ! I just want out of this place. I am sick of sitting around and wasting away in this damn place. How do they expect us to be contributing members to society if all we do is just sit around ? Sit around and get fat, stupid, and lazy. Most of these women sleep all day and night. They have given up. I can’t do it. I’m going crazy in here ! I need my mind and body to be moving and working every day.  If I were going to be tossed aside,forgotten, and left to waste away, you should have just killed me. Save the tax payers some money. Why waste money on food and housing on the worthless forgotten ones left to rot here. Just dig a ditch, kill us and it’s done. I am just angry and frustrated today. I was spoiled the last 2 days with getting out 3 times a day (morning, afternoon, evening) and now we’re back to this lockdown bullshit, out once a day. I just wish we could get on some kind of schedule.
It’s after lunch now and I’ve calmed down. I enjoyed my lunch at the windows in the sunlight. I came back in a re-read all the emails I have received from day 1. I am very thankful for my family and just need to focus on them and not what I can’t control. My Dad sent me this:
Be Happy ! Happiness comes from within. It’s not where you are, but who you are, who you love, who loves you, whether near or far. 
He’s right, I need to be happy within. I just need to think about my Husband, my Daughter, my Son, my Sisters, my Dad, my Mom, my entire family. All the love and support out there waiting for me. I am very lucky and blessed. That makes me very happy. Whether I am stuck in my cell or out of my cell, I am loved. I am happy for the love and support. 
The afternoon turned out to be a good one. We got out for 2 hours and 30 minutes today, 1:00pm – 3:30pm. I couldn’t believe it ! That was the longest at one time I have gotten out  since I’ve been here. It was amazing ! I enjoyed every minute and took full advantage of it. 
Then I had my visit with my family tonight. It was at 7pm, but they forgot to get me again. So, when I logged onto the video chat, we only had 16 minutes left out of 30. But, my Daughter went to the front desk and got another 25 minutes ! It was fantastic ! They all looked and sounded really good. My Daughter was beautiful, my Son with his handsome smile, and of course my Husband looks great as usual. I have the best little family in the world. I can’t wait until I am home. I look forward to the day we are all together again.  I miss and love them so much. 
I get ready for bed tonight with my bunkmate having a breakdown. She suffers from mental illness and she is having an episode. She is very angry. Slamming things and yelling about “wickedness” and “criminals with badges”. “Ali has something in store for their asses. You will be calling me by name. He can create an earthquake at anytime. God will strike you down. Wickedness in high places. The mother***ers all over this place”. I can go on and on. She is now reading loudly from the bible. Most people would be freaking out right now, but I can handle the insane, they don’t bother me. But, I understand now how she’s gone through so many different roommates in the short time she’s been here. This is not her first episode with me, but it’s the worst one so far. Her personality can turn on a dime. Well, never a dull moment in jail. We’ll see what tomorrow will bring. 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Day 10 (10/2/14)

Breakfast in our cells this morning. Don't know why. But, I hope it doesn't mean a whole day of lockdown. Usually, I go back to sleep after breakfast, but today, I couldn't. I was missing my Husband and kids. The anxiety of possibly being in our cells all day got to me. My mind was racing and I could not go back to sleep. I tried counting, but it didn't work at all. My mind was still racing. I did eventually fall back asleep.
We had the same deputy as yesterday, so, we get to split the time again. It's going to be a great day !
The girl next door in cell 28 gets to go home today. The deputy was waiting on her and she didn't want to leave. She woke her up an hour ago so she could get ready and pack. But, she didn't get ready. The deputy came over and said "It's time to go, let's go". She replied "I'm not ready, I'll stay another day". The deputy told her no and that if she didn't get moving, she was going to have to handcuff her and take her out of here. So, she reluctantly packed and said "I don't want to go. Where am I going go ?" I wanted to trade places with her. She can stay and I will go home. It was surprising, because I thought everyone wanted the hell out of this place. It's sad, she was a nice girl, a little crazy, but a free spirit. She was never mean to anyone and always had a smile. It's just not right when this is the place you want to be. Unfortunately, the odds are she'll be back. But, I hope she doesn't return. I wish her the best and hope to help women like her one day. Because no one, should ever want to stay here.
Enjoying the day room this morning. Watching Animal Planet. It's nice and quiet today. A lot of people are at court or got to go home today. So, it was peaceful and enjoyable for once. One of the new girls was enjoying the sun by the windows upstairs. When she headed downstairs, she passed out and collapses down the stairs to the floor. Everyone jumped up to get the deputies' attention. She was out cold. The deputy went to assist her and called medical. We were back in lockdown.
I finished my book today. It was amazing. An absolute wonderful story. A great read. I can't wait to tell my friend. She will love it. I will have to suggest it for the book club.
I didn't run out of tears, I got a little sad. I think my book was an escape and it made me happy. Now that it's done, I was thrown back into reality. So, I am a little depressed, missing my Husband and kids so much. I need the time to pass faster. I just want to move on past all this. I hope I get a new book soon and thankfully get to see my family tomorrow.
I go to sleep tonight, thankful another day has passed.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Day 9 (10/1/14)

First day of October. 11 days until my little Lion Cub turns 12 years old. I can’t believe I am going to miss his birthday.  That’s my baby boy. I miss his sweet smile and soft touch. I worry about him every day. I love and miss my babies very much. 
We have a new deputy today, I really like her too. She’s like the evening deputy. She doesn’t put up with anyone’s crap. She also splits the morning and afternoon time between the tiers. This is the best way to do it. It’s less time out of the cell at once, but you get morning and afternoon time. It’s a real nice break from being in lockdown for 10 straight hours plus. It was wonderful, we got an hour and thirty minutes in the am and an hour and 15 minutes in the pm. I wish all the deputies would split the time like that.  But, some deputies are better than others. Some have much more experience. It really shows. It’s the deputies that can’t handle it that keep us on lockdown so they don’t have to deal with us. Today’s deputy, she can handle it and I respect that. Today she did cell checks. 13 cells were in violation for putting pads on the vents. It is very cold in here, so the girls put pads on the vents to block the cold air. 2 cells were in violation for graffiti in their cells and 3 cells were in violation for using their toilet as a trashcan and clogging them.  I guess some inmates clog the toilets on purpose to get out during lockdown. I guess desperation will cause you to do that. I heard someone stuffed and flushed an entire grocery bag last month. The plumbers were in and out all day. While they were fixing the toilet, the girls got to be outside. After lunch we were notified of the violations and it would be up to the sergeant if we would be in lockdown the rest of the day. We waited to hear. Finally, lucky for us, only those in violation had lockdown. It was a relief not to suffer at the expense of dumb actions by others.  The 13 cells in violation were in lockdown the rest of the day.  No afternoon time, dinner in their cells, no evening time, and they all got write ups. I just don’t understand most of these women. I don’t fit in here at all, which is fine by me. I don’t want to fit in here or ever get comfortable.  I don’t plan on ever coming back after my stay.  I keep to myself and no one bothers me. I like it that way. You can’t sit, read, or watch tv without hearing the BS and drama around you. I feel like I am in junior high with all the cliques, bullies, mean girls, and trash talk. It’s ridiculous. If I had to describe jail (I technically am in jail at this point. Prison will come when I’m done with Holding) in one sentence. I’d say I was junior high with very mean teachers. I wanted to get out of here and help women find jobs and better themselves. I don’t think you could help some of these women. Some don’t want it and some don’t deserve it. I would just need to focus on the one that do want help and remember that there are good people in here. 

Day 8 (9/30/14)

It’s Tuesday and I have officially made it one week. It’s been one slow week ! I did officially make it an entire day without crying. So, things must be getting better or maybe I’m just dealing with my situation better. Maybe I’m just out of tears. I just keep reminding myself that it’s not forever and my family is waiting for me. 
Today was pretty uneventful. Back to splitting the time outside between tiers. But, after yesterday’s events, it’s to be expected. Top tier got the afternoon shift, so that was a nice change. I got to enjoy the afternoon sun. I have been reading this great book my Mother – in – Law sent me. “What Alice Forgot”. Read half the book the first day. I have been dying to get back to the book today, but my bunk mate is a chatter box today. She won’t stop talking. She usually takes two naps a day. One after lunch and one after dinner. That gives me lots of quiet time to read. But today, no naps. Just constant chatter, stories, reading passages from the bible, preaching, singing and on and on. I don’t want to be rude, but today I want to scream SHUT UP ! I can’t even hear myself think. I should not complain, because she is very generous and kind. It could be a lot worse, trust me. There are plenty of horrible roommates in this housing unit. The bad outnumber the good, so I am thankful for Mama J. I just would like some quiet reading time. 
The last two nights we’ve had a real no-nonsense deputy. She does not put up with these girls bullshit. She runs a very organized, tight ship. I really like her. With the group in this housing unit, you have to. I feel like they send all the crazies, troublemakers, and misfits, to this unit. I’m trying to figure out how I got stuck in this unit (come to find out later, this is a behavioral unit. Also, holding unit for new inmates. Makes sense huh. Nope). I put in another request to work while I stay here. Hopefully something happens soon. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

A husbands perspective 2

I hear it in her voice. I hear the pain and sadness. I hear the remorse and I wonder when is the punishment going to fit the crime ? Lots of tears lately from my Wife. Is 22 hours a day in a cell the right punishment for a first time, non-violent white collar crime ? Seriously ? That's one hour more than some inmates on death row. Clearly being housed with the mentally ill. Depression and schizophrenia running rampant.
You have an inmate that clearly wants to work in the prison. Laundry, kitchen, cleaning. Whatever. Why not let her ? Hard to understand.
I truly believe, if you cage human beings long enough, they will become aggressive, depressed, hopeless. I pray for my Wife. I pray for her to find the strength. I just emailed this to her:

When you are down, be brave. Rise above. Be sad, but don't be weak. Be a warrior. Cry, but don't let it turn into a river to drown in. Know your Husband is here and will never leave your side. I have the strength of 10 men when it comes to protecting you. You are my life. My everything. 

Day 7 (9/29/14)

Made it through the weekend. I am feeling stronger. My Husband says I sound better. I keep reminding myself of my choices. Give up, give in, or keep going. Every day is a battle, but I choose to keep going. I have my Husband and kids to push forward for every day. It's not easy by any means, but they make it easier to fight harder and endure. I do miss them so much, but each day gets a little better.
It's Monday, so that means it's laundry day. I can't wait for that fresh clean uniform. I am thankful and appreciative for things like laundry day everyday. Too many women around here complain and whine about everything around here all day long. I understand, sure I wish we had less lockdown time. I wish  we got to go outside more. I wish we had more visits. I can go on and on, but we can't dwell on the things we don't have. We need to be thankful for the things we do have. If these women would complain less, maybe we would have more.
This morning I got to talk to my Dad. It was nice to hear his voice. Also got a quick call into my Husband. Talking to him always puts a smile on my face. Got in some fresh air and some time on the exercise bike. We had a new deputy today, who was willing to split the morning with both tiers. Then let us all out in the afternoon. I was extremely excited. This was our chance. I just hoped no one would ruin it for us. All it takes is one bad apple and there are plenty of bad apples here. 2pm came around and the doors unlocked for both the upper and lower tiers. It was wonderful. I walked around a bit and stretched my legs. Then just sat in a chair with the afternoon sun beating down on me. Just enjoyed the warmth of the sun on my skin. It was very relaxing. Being in the upper tier, we usually don't get the afternoon. We are on lock down around 10am and don't get out until it's dark. So, I took in every second of that afternoon sun. Again, another thing I took for granted in life. A little sunshine.
It only took about 30 minutes , then the trouble started. In this housing unit, there are numerous women who clearly suffer from mental illness. Some more severe than others. I don't believe inmates with severe mental illness, should be in here. They need to be getting the help they need in a different facility or separate housing facility. Anyhow, one of the inmates named April, is one of the more severe cases of mental illness. She was licking her fingers and touching the floor, then licking her fingers again. It was not a good or healthy situation. One of the girls went to the deputy and told her what April was doing. Also told her she needed to go to mental health services. During this incident, Summer, another inmate, was trying to help April. Get her to stop and sit down and watch tv with us. But, April was getting hostile. The deputy got up and asked April to go upstairs and go to her cell. When April wouldn't listen, we were all ordered on lockdown. Then, April went after the deputy. Trying to hit her. The deputy took April down and ordered us again to lockdown. As we headed for our cells, two more deputies came rushing in. No one gave any trouble. We all went to our cells. But, there went our chance of more day room time and less lockdown. I wonder, is it just our housing unit ? Am I stuck with all the misfits? How the hell did I get in here ?
I hope April gets the mental health services she needs. People with mental health issues do not belong in jail. It's not fair to anyone. The inmate with the illness, the other inmates, or the deputies in these situations. Back to lockdown. It was nice while it lasted.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Day 6 (9/28/14)

It's Sunday and I get to see my Sister and Daughter today ! I woke up to more letters and got my books at breakfast. My Husband sent me a word search, crossword, and sudoku puzzle book. This should help keep my mind sharp. My Mother in Law sent me "What Alice Forgot". Looks like a great book ! I will be reading that today. I can't thank them enough for all they have done and continue to do for me. I am so fortunate for all my loved ones and for everything I have and have been given. My heart aches for those that aren't as fortunate as myself. I really hope that I can find a way to give back. I want others to feel the love and support that I have felt during this rough journey. just because we make a mistake, does not mean are bad. Good people make mistakes. My biggest fear and anxiety is finding a job again. Getting a second chance. There are so many obstacles we face when we get out of jail and or prison. Finding a job, finding a home, putting our finances back in order, finding treatment, getting back, and / or reuniting with our children. I want to put together a foundation that helps women coming out of jail/prison get back on their feet and get their lives back in order. If given the chance, I believe many won't return and will become contributing members of society and communities. It's when hopelessness,desperation, and lack of resources directs women back to drugs, alcohol, and crime. My first effort is Mama J. She gets out next month (OCT). She really wants to get into one of Father Joe's apartments. If she left today, she would be homeless. Her family is in Texas, I am going to see what I can do to help her get the info she needs to get set up before she gets out. She is a wonderful woman with a big heart. Always looking to help others. I want to see her succeed.
So, the deputy didn't tell me I had a visit at 2. I called my Sister and she was waiting downstairs with my daughter for our visit. By the time we got online for our "video visitation", there was only 12 minutes left of our 30 minute visit. Man, that killed me. But. my Sister, being the super woman that she is, got me another 30 minutes of visitation with them. You only get (2) 30 minute video visitations a week, so every second is cherished and means everything to me. You 1 hour a week to see your loved ones. 1 hour out of 168 hours in a week. So to lose that time can be devastating. But, my amazing Sister came through for us and took care of it.
It was great to see them. My daughter looks and sounds good. I worry about my kids the most. But I remind myself how resilient they are. They are the reason I wake up everyday and never give up. Every day I have my low moments, but I think about my Husband and kids. I force myself to be strong and keep going. Because, eventually, we all be together again.
I am just waiting for tonights free time. I can't wait to make the call to my Husband and kids. I'll then go to the window and look up to the sky for the stars and know my Husband will be thinking of me. My Husband wrote this for me before I left:

Look to the Sky and think of Me
Look to the Stars and that's where I'll be
Close your eyes and know you're going to be alright
I'll close mine too and be holding you tight

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Day 5 / Part 2 (9/27/14)

I made it through most of the day without a tear. But, after dinner, I could not hold it in longer. I miss my family so much. That's the hardest thing I have ever had to endure. I have hit rock bottom, so the only way is up from here. I spent most of my day writing. We finally got the afternoon shift instead of the morning. So after lunch, got to get out. Enjoyed the sun, rode the exercise bike, and watched Law and Order. I tried to call my Dad, but couldn't get an answer. It was upsetting, because I really wanted to talk to him. I love and miss him so much. He is the best Dad and means a lot to me. His love and support through this has meant the world to me. I thought I was just a disappointment to him, but that was not the case. He loves me so much and I love him, always have.
I hope my books come soon. I am feeling really down. At dinner, Mama J asked me "You really hate this place don't you", of course I do. I miss my family so much. I just want to be with them. I am also afraid of the future. Am I going to be able to support my family again ? Will I be the same person ? I don't want to lose myself here. It's so easy to sink into depression in here.
I had a good cry, cried it out and focussed on the positive. My visit tonight with my two favorite boys.
I made my evening. It was real good. I needed that visit. It was wonderful to see my Husband and handsome Son. He has such a gorgeous smile. He is a very special boy with a heart of gold.
As a Mom, I got two magnificent children. They fill my heart with love and make me so proud. I beam with happiness when I see them. I can't wait to hold and hug them again.
Finished the night off with part of a movie and thankfulness of another passing day.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

A husbands perspective

I am the Husband, the Dad, the best friend, and soulmate.
It's been a roller coaster nightmare. You lose the love of your life and your best friend.
The person you can't wait to share every moment of your life with. The person you text as soon as you hear something funny. The person you text "I love you beautiful, have a good day" to lift their spirits. It's all gone. There's no easing in to it. It almost as she's died. But, as my Daughter told me "It's not the same, because you can still talk to her" That is true. Just not whenever I would like. But, I guess it could be worse. Right now, I get a phone call a day for about 15-20 minutes. Share the call with the kids. So thankful it's daily. I don't think it's going to stay that way once she's moved. But, I'll take what I can get.
She also gets 2 visits a week. Video visits. 30 minutes a visit. Video visits are conducted through a 15" wide, 12"tall monitor with 2 telephones on either side. 2 out of three visits so far have started 12-15 minutes late. So, unless you complain (which most don't), you are out of 13-15 minutes of your visit. That is a life time for loved ones and an inmate that only has 2 visits a week. Usually, the "clerks" behind the bulletproof glass will try and accommodate your missed time. Which is cool. But, worrying about whether you're going to start on time is awful. So much anxiety.
There is also a delay on your call. I suppose this is so they can catch you if you are plotting to put like a file in a cake or something. Lame.
It's only been almost 2 weeks and I can see the difference in her appearance and the heavy sadness in her eyes. You try not to say anything about how you are struggling. But, she knows. She is such a "helper", I know it just kills her inside. What I would do to have "contact" visits. 30 minutes at least 3 times a week. To hold her hand, to give her a hug, a kiss. It really is an excessive punishment for a non-violent, first time offense. We hold on, we still love, we never give up. That's all we can do right now.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Drawing for my Husband

This is a drawing I made my husband.

Day 5 / Part One (9/27/14)

It's Saturday today and I get a visit from my boys tonight ! My Husband and Son are coming at 7pm and I can't wait. I told myself the goal today was to be positive, try and be happy, and not cry today. I received a lot of letters today. From my Husband, Daughter, two from my Dad, and my lawyer. It was nice to have so much to read. I am so thankful for my family. I love them so much and will cherish the love, support, and strength they have given me. It's sad it took this tragedy in my life for me to realize what I had with my family, But, better late than never, I lost my way, went down the wrong path, and made a mistake that landed me here.I felt alone, dealt with it alone, and struggled alone. But, come to realize, my family was here the entire time with no judgement, just unconditional love. I just didn't know it or thought I deserved it. Not only did I have my immediate family, but my entire brother- in -laws family was there as well. I am very blessed and thankful everyday that I have something to go back to after I do my time.
I wish I had more to do to pass the time instead of just wasting away the hours we could be doing productive things with our time. Giving back to the community. We could be putting in hard work. Just seems the system could use some improvement. We waste a lot of the tax payers money in here. Especially when you take people that have jobs and are paying taxes and put them in jail or prison. They can be punished while still working. They can pay taxes and contribute to society. It sure would cost less and we could put the money towards schools, higher education, health care, etc. It cost an average of $62,000 a year for each inmate. It seems ridiculous to spend this kind of money on non-violent, first time offenders, people who need treatment for mental health, and or drugs and alcohol .
People who have broken the law, but you wouldn't be afraid of to be their neighbor. They should not be crowding our jails and prisons. I'm sure there is a better way to save the tax payers money, contribute and give back to our communities,

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Day 4 (9/26/14)

Decided I need a routine. So, breakfast at 4am, go back to bed, get back up around 7-8am, go make a call, exercise, shower, enjoy free time. "Free time" haha. This sounds ok, until there's a lock down. Then it's all gone.
This morning I got my call in with my daughter. She is one special young lady. I love her so much, I am so proud of her.
Then a little bit of exercise on the bike and before I could get my shower in, we were in lock down. It wasn't even 9am yet. They had maintenance come in and do some work. So, it was another long day of lock down. It was real hard. I cried a lot, I cried so much. I was sick of crying. I just miss my family so much. I also worry about them as well. I am scared not being there with them. Able to help and protect them.
I received my first mail today. A letter from my Husband and Sister. That was really nice.
I spent my time today finishing the book I started and wrote letters to my family. I cherished the time at lunch and dinner. Short, but wonderful. You become thankful for the little things in here. The things you would take for granted in the "free" world.
Only got an hour again tonight. So after 10.5 hours of lock down, I wasted no time. I had to call my family. Had to clean my cell first for inspection tomorrow morning. Always being locked up in your cell, you don't get to sweep, mop, and clean. I hustled and got it done quick.
I was off to the phones. Had a great talk with my husband and kids. I was really sad and cried at my husband. But, he was so strong. He gave me the strength I needed to not give up and keep going. It's real hard not to give up in this place. You can lose hope real fast. I don't know how women with no support on the outside make it.
Mama J likes to sing. She sings to me to cheer me up. She is such a sweet and giving lady. She shared the following with me today to help with my struggles and sadness.

"Dear Lord, I am far from home and I miss everyone and everything. I think about my children and I wish I could tuck them in at night. I miss my Husband, my family, and our special times. I miss all the little things I usually take for granted. Help this time pass quickly, bless those I love and help them know they are always in my thoughts and prayers. Please bring me home safely"


Day 3 (9/25/14)

Sound, you become desperate to hear the unlocking of your cell. I am thankful for every second I get to step outside this cell. I wasted no time this morning, I was up and moving. First thing, call my husband. It was a great call. Last nights call was rushed, this morning was like we were having our daily talk with a cup of coffee. It really helped lift my spirits. Then I went and got some sun and and exercise. Our "yard" is a small concrete area, with tall 15ft walls and chain link over it. Like it was the ceiling. I rode the exercise bike and walked around as much as I could, showered and spent as much time as I could in the day room. I enjoy sitting and standing by the big windows. Just to look outside and feel the  warmth of the sun on my skin is nice.
Then it was back to the cell for lockdown. I couldn't hold back the tears today. The loneliness and heartbreak I felt for my family was unbearable. I miss them so much and the time goes by so slow here. I think "how am I going to make it through this ? Will I be able to ? Am I strong enough ?" I don't know if I can.
Mama J had a book she picked up that someone had left here. She let me read it. Reading helps the time and the tears. I read through three quarters of the book, "One Bad Dude" was the name. The miraculous transformation of a four time loser. It was a decent read. It kept my mind busy.
Had to have dinner our cells. That was disappointing. Just have to try and get used to this cell as my "new" yet "temporary" home. At least until I get transferred to my "permanent" home for the rest of my sentence. It is so very hard, this is going to be one long tough journey.
Got an hour and a half out tonight (7-8:30pm). It was nice. Got to talk to my Husband again and my Sister. Plus, got some more exercise in as well. Again, thankful every day for every minute I am out of the cell.
Commissary arrived tonight. Now I can write letters to my family and hope it helps the time go by.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Day 2 (9/24/14)

Starting from the last Post (next day)
After breakfast I was back to bed and asleep. Sometime around 7 am, I woke up to the sound of a loud clank. The cell doors opening. I got up and met my roommate. She is an older woman of 53 years. Her name is Carol, but she likes to be called "Mama J". She is a Veteran and a mother of 2 beautiful daughters. She immediately helped me out with all the info I needed to get situated in this place.
My wonderful Sister had already put money (along with my Dad) on my books and money on a calling card for me so I was able to call my family and order commissary.
I waited to call my family later that afternoon. I later regretted this decision. I spent the morning learning the ropes, getting the basics ordered. I ordered a brush, toothpaste, deodorant, wash cloth, and writing material (pencils, paper) and stamped envelopes. Then before I knew it, we were locked down in our cells. Got to come out for 15 minutes for lunch and again around 4pm for dinner for 15 minutes. You eat fast or you don't eat. You are not allowed to save or bring food back to your cell.
Today was horrible. I had nothing to do. The anxiety of the cell and being here, along with desperately missing my family was so hard.
Finally after 9.5 hours in my cell, we got one hour out. I didn't waste any time and called my family. I was so thankful for the phone call. Just to hear the voices of my husband and kids was priceless.
Lockdown at 8:30pm.
I spent the rest of the night getting to know my roommate before lights out at 10pm.
At least I didn't have any trouble sleeping, because I was so exhausted from the night before.

Day 1 (9/23/14)

I was sentenced today. I was strong, but it was very hard to say goodbye to my family. Especially my husband of 16 years this November and my children. My Daughter is 18 and my Son is 11 years old. They are my world. We are always together. This is going to be a rough road.
It was a long day. Day one always is. The booking process is not fast at all. I left the court house at 4pm, arrived at the jail and finished pre-booking by 5:30pm. Now the waiting game begins. The jail was just recently updated. It's now open booking instead of sitting in tiny cells throughout the process. It's a giant open room with chairs and a tv. The open booking process is much easier, nicer and can handle the volume much better than before (I spent a weekend at this jail when I was originally arrested for this crime back in 2013). I took full advantage of the free phone calls and talked with my family. I called my Sister and got to talk to my best friend (My Husband) twice. It was comforting to hear their voices and let them know I was ok.
8.5 hours later, at 2am, I got called to get dressed out in my blues and off to housing. By the time I was in my bunk, it was 3am. I was up again at 4am for breakfast.