Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Days 175 & 176 (3/16/15) Pretenders and Know it All's

Day 175 (3/16/15) 

Monday, the start of a new week. Today started out the week good. The day went by fast and we got our full long program. Plus, our room was nice and peaceful this morning. Missy was gone all day on ducketts and everyone else either read or slept. These types of days are rare and I enjoy every second of them. 
At dinner, H-Bang got caught receiving kites from “over the wall”. The workers in the chow hall are “over the wall”, so they are always trying to pass kites and items we can’t get on A-yard (make up, razors, certain hygiene items). They were passed where we turn our trays in. H-Bang is never low key and always brings attention to herself so of course she got caught. They pulled her to the side and searched her and confiscated her 3 kites. NayNay got caught in the sting too today. She got caught bringing food back from the chow hall and made her throw it all away. I always eat my food on the chow hall. I’m not risking going hungry, plus I don’t like eating in our room. 

Well, another fight in room 4 today. This is now starting to get out of hand. Missy got smart with NayNay and that was it. NayNay doesn’t really like Missy so, a little attitude and that was it. NayNay went off, then Missy goes over to the window and starts crying to her girlfriend in room 5. Then, another girl in room 5 is asking what’s wrong and assumes that it’s H-Bang, which drags H-Bang into it. That’s it, everything blows up. H-Bang wants to fight Missy now. Missy and H-Bang are yelling at Missy. Missy is trying to tell H-Bang that everything was blown out of proportion. H-Bang wants to fight people in room 5 as well screaming down the hall that it’s going down tomorrow at program behind the porta-potty. Again, a loud mouth telling on yourself. Who does that ? I’m really starting to think that H-Bang is all talk. That it’s just a front that she can kick ass and just because you are 5’10” and act like you’re a man, we are supposed to be afraid of you. I have never once been afraid during all her tirades and hoopla. I have not seen her do a damn thing and the fight she got into that got her in AD SEG, she didn’t even win. She was twice the girls size. If you stand up to her she backs down. She plays on peoples fear. It’s sort of pathetic and I’m so over the drama, bullshit, and all the heat she brings to this room. I just want to get off this yard without any problems. 

Day 176 (3/17/15)

Happy St. Patricks Day ! No wearing green today, as we only wear orange. A bunch of carrots all across this yard. 

No fight or “get down” today of course not. H-Bang didn’t even go out to the yard, so lame. But, Missy didn’t learn her lesson from last night. She’s on everyone’s last nerve right now. She is an expert at everything and anything. She is very rude, talks over people, interrupts everyone, butts into conversations she’s not in, and gives advice even when it’s not asked for. She has been to prison before, yet she acts this way ! Just because we have not been to prison, doesn’t mean you can come in this room and take over. It’s not happening, we already told her to pack her things and that she needs to move out. She says it’s in the works. It better be. She has been nothing but drama and a problem since she got here. Saturday is when they do “courtesy moves”, we told her what to do, but of course we don’t know what we are talking about. She knows it all and she’s going to do it her way and when it doesn’t work, I’ll be laughing. I hope she’s not surprised when all her shit is packed and out the front door. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

9/23/15, One year ago....

One year ago my Wife started a nightmare of a journey into the world of incarceration. Amazing how people can change in that amount of time. You either sink or swim. You either choose to live or curl up, give up, and die. The first week she was gone, I really had no clue how I even felt. Numb. As time went on, to say it was a roller coaster of emotions would be a a massive understatement. My kids and I have been through a crazy, emotional, difficult, lonely year. But, you know what ? We also changed for the better. We became self sufficient. We relied on each other. We became a better family. While it certainly wasn't easy and we had real battles trying to adjust, we chose to survive.
Honestly, I had no idea the things my Wife did for our family. That's my fault. I live with that guilt. I learned what she did very quickly. It was a tidal wave. Dealing with the onslaught of bills, loss of medical insurance, taxes, legal issues, and the kids school to just name a few. I didn't have time to feel sorry for myself. Lord knows some days I wanted to, but I didn't. I asked a ton of questions to family. They were a big help. That was the number one thing I learned. To ask. Ask for help. I was not used to that at all. But, this situation changes you. Humility will change you.
I think it took us 6 months at least to start getting a little more comfortable in our situation. My Son (12 years old) was settled in school. I made sure he was surrounded by positive people. Whether it be teachers or coaches. No negativity. I did tell those teachers or coaches closest to to him about his Mom. I was expecting some sort of meltdown or lash out with him. But, it never happened (so far). His counseling, along with keeping him very busy, really helped. He would slip up here and there, but what 12 year old doesn't.
My Daughter was a little different. This was her first year in college. This hit her extremely hard. She was very close with her Mom. She basically lost her best friend. The first couple of months of school were very tough. No motivation to be there. I don't blame her. I just tried to be as positive as I could, even though that probably irritated her ! I wanted to show her I will never give up and will always believe in her. She was at school to obviously learn but to also play softball. Softball played a huge role in getting her on track. Very thankful for her coach and her teammates. It was different for my Daughter. I didn't tell anyone around her about her Mom. I left that up to her. I will say, my Sister in Law played a huge role in getting her on track with her studies. Again, very grateful.
My Daughter and I became closer than we ever have been. It was touch and go for a while, but it really came together for us. We love and respect each other. I love talking with her. She's a great kid that has gone through hell. All her hard work was rewarded in late May. A full scholarship to play softball in NY. So proud of her. She left for NY in early September. It was one of the harder things I've been through. Letting go. I miss her. I am very thankful for my Mother in law for actually taking her to NY. She was an enormous help.
Here we are, one year down. The news is good. My Wife should be home soon. We are very excited, but a little nervous too. She will come home to a "stronger" family. A more self sufficient family. One that she won't have to feel like she has to do it all by herself. While we know we aren't finished with this nightmare yet, we know we have the strength together to get through it.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Days 173 & 174 (3/14/15) "It's hard on me, but definitely harder on my family"

Day 173 (3/14/15)

I made my 15 minute phone call to my family today that I earned from working. It was wonderful to finally talk to them after 59 days. I was able to talk to my Husband and Son, my Daughter was busy playing softball, so I didn’t get tot talk to her. If I get another call before I leave, she’ll be the first person I call. I miss my family and can’t wait to get home. This part of the process is definitely the hardest. It’s hard on me, but definitely harder on my family. The process really takes a toll on families. Being far away, no contact, and being gone and out of touch for 90+ days, it’s just not right. No one should be on the yard more than 60 days (with the exception of medical holds and disciplinary problems). 

After dinner, NayNay got into an argument with Jessie. Jessie has been drawing cards and trying to sell them for canteen items. She’s just starting out, so she was talking about how much to sell them for. $1.00 ? $2.00 ? NayNay told her $3.00, but Jessie thought it was too high. So, NayNay started to get mean and put Jessie down. She was out of line. NayNay acts like a spoiled child if she’s not right or things don’t go her way. She'll blow up. So, we were dealing with that most of the day. I’m not getting involved in any of this drama. I am too old for this. I just keep on writing or read a book. It’s easy to get sucked in, it’s harder to stay out of it. 

Day 174 (3/15/15)

It’s been a rough weekend. NayNay got woken up from her nap (sounds like daycare) today. Everyone was getting loud, laughing, and banging on windows. I was quietly writing a letter on my bed. I cherish every minute of quiet time in here, because it’s very little. Jessie and Missy were out of line and being childish again. At the window again, pounding on it and yelling through the window. Talking, flirting, and messing around with room 5. Who cares, but have some respect for your roommates. NayNay was done. She got up and was yelling at everyone. She doesn’t like the room. It’s changed. This is not how it used to be. She’s right, I understand. It’s never been the same since Miss Dolly left. In only 3 weeks time, we had 3 roommates go “over the wall” and 2 parole and go home. So, we lost 5 great roommates and now we are all trying to adjust and it’s not easy and honestly no one in this room is respectful or courteous. Everyone just does whatever they want. Before, we had room rules along with respect. It’s gotten worse since Missy arrived. NayNay was ready to get down with everyone. I just stayed on my bed and kept writing. Once NayNay calmed down, Smiley and I talked her through it and came up with some ideas and new room rules. Whether they will be followed or not is another story. 

“People are like stained glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light within”

Monday, September 14, 2015

Day 172 (3/13/15) Snitches Get Stitches

Day 172 (3/13/15) Day #59 in Classification 

Friday morning. Still on a high from yesterday. I want to go so bad, I am excited, but don’t want to get my hopes up too high. I don’t want to be disappointed. There are lots of women on this yard for 4-8 weeks after seeing their counselor. But, I’ve seen others leave in 1-2 weeks, so anything is possible. I just have to be strong and stay positive. My time will come. 

“Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are “Something to do, Something to love, and Something to hope for”

Got to go to the law library today. I got to take a trip through B-yard and then to the main yard. It was so beautiful. I took my time and enjoyed the walk. Everything is so much better and taken care of over there. The library was actually smaller than I expected. There was not much we could do until we are endorsed, classified, and off this yard. But, the three women that worked there were very helpful and went over a lot of information and answered all our questions. I’m glad I went, it was a nice break to get out of my room and a pleasant trip “over the wall”, even though it was temporary. Because it is “over the wall”, we have to be escorted, so it’s time to head back. I’m in my own world, just enjoying being outside. As we are leaving the main yard, we got through a security gate / checkpoint that takes us back to B-yard. As I enter the gate, the girl in front of me gets “run up on” by a woman on B-yard. She starts yelling at her and starts swinging. I’m like WTF ! I back out of the gate and watch this woman go off. She’s punching and takes the other woman to the ground. Just beating the crap out of her and screaming “You snitch ! You told on me ! I lost my kids because of you !!”. The officers let them fight, then told them that that was enough. The woman wouldn’t stop, so they pepper sprayed them both. That didn’t stop the woman, she kept on beating her. They finally pulled her off the other woman and took her into the building. They picked up the the beaten woman (Flo), handcuffed her and hauled her back to A-yard. They were talking to the woman that did the beating (Astro), they were trying to calm her down. But, she kept saying how she had lost her kids because of Flo. It was very sad to see and hear. When I heard the officer say her name (Astro), I had heard of her before. H-Bang talks about her. I believe they are from same neighborhood and gang. Flo is from the same area as well. I guess Flo talked to try and get out of trouble and her talking got Astro 12 years in prison and her kids taken away. In the end, Flo ended up getting 30 years and is now a snitch. She has a long road ahead of her in here. Some people may joke about this saying, but in here, it’s no joke, it is very real. “Snitches end up with stitches and end up in ditches”, and that is the truth in here. That fight was like “Welcome to prison”, this is real shit. Flo just got here on A-yard yesterday. She is still in a muumuu, but was able to go to the law library. Which is not normal. What I’m saying is, “they” made that happen. It was set up that way. I guess Flo knew she was going to have the “catch that fade”. Prison life. 
I’m learning about gangs, life being in a gang, and life on the street more than I ever wanted to know. It’s crazy, and they live and die by these rules. This is no joke and I think a lot of these women playing games and being dumb on A-yard have a huge wake up call coming. 

A fight broke out in 503 on the way to dinner. It was a lot of in your face shit talking. Then one of the women shouldered the other and turned around to walk away and the other woman swung on her. Then, it was on. They brawled. The cops came in and broke it up. But, one of the women got clocked with a cup and was bleeding all over. 

Just a “normal” day here at the Central California Women’s Facility. The Wild Wild West. No security levels here, all mixed together. 

Monday, September 7, 2015

Days 170 & 171 (3/11/15) The last step...

Day 170 (3/11/15)

Happy Hump Day. I can always hear my Son saying that from the commercial. I sure miss him a lot. 
Well, it was another big day for muumuus. TT (Tiffany) got her muumuu and is finally going “over the wall”. After waiting 113 days in receiving, she’s on her way to Folsom. I’m wishing her the best. Not sure what H-Bang is going to do without his (her) girl. Now another roommate. This entire room has changed in the last two weeks. It’s only Smiley and myself left from a month ago. We see TT off and after dinner, they brought in the newbies. One of our new roommates is “Missy”. She’s been to prison before, back in 2009. She’s married with kids and is from Shasta County. She seems pretty cool. Our current room has 7 first timers. (5) 30 somethings, 2 babies that are 21 years old. 2 are gang bangers out of the bunch. 2 from Orange County, 4 from LA, 1 from Shasta, and one from San Diego. I hope the mix and vibe stays nice and keeps calm. 
I’m still waiting for Jackie to go “over the wall” so I can start working in the office. 
They handed out ducketts tonight and I finally got my dental duckett ! The last step in the receiving process. Woohoo !

Day 171 (3/12/15)

I have been here for exactly 8 weeks today. Went to see the dentist today. Waited in the waiting room for 2 hours for a 15 minute appointment. But, I didn’t care, I enjoyed being out of the room. I got the “score” I needed from the dentist. No issues. As I left the dentist, I walked back to my housing unit nice and slow, enjoying every second of the sun and fresh air. As I’m walking outside to my housing I see my roommates waving and banging on our window holding a pass. It was MY pass to see my counselor !! No way !? I was so excited, I ran to my room and my roommates slid it under the door to me, I practically sprint down the hallway to his office, grinning ear to ear. After filling out my paper work, I find out I qualify for everything. As in all low security programs. So, I chose to go to fire camp. This is exactly what I wanted. I am so happy, I can’t wait to go. My counselor said I should be gone in 1-3 weeks. I hope he is right. If so, I’ll be off this yard by the end of the month. I am so looking forward to the day I get my muumuu.