With my freedom stripped, I awoke one morning in a cold, barren cell with the realization that I was alone in my journey. With that epiphany, I used my anger to fuel my drive in becoming a better woman.
For a while I suffered from embarrassment, hiding in prison from my community because I was ashamed of the circumstances that led to my arrest. I was disappointed in myself, for I knew that a prisoner was not how I was suppose to spend my life and that I was destined for greater things, least of which entailed languishing away on a legalized plantation.
However, my sentence ensured me the time needed to piece myself back together. I’ve spent the last some-odd years attending various self-help classes as I diligently worked to rebuild my self-esteem and sense of self-worth. I ensconced myself in groups dealing with battered women, focusing on its effects, triggers and signs so as not to find myself hostage in another toxic relationship. I enrolled in Feather River College to achieve my associate degree in arts and humanities and entrepreneurial business certificate.
Working to get through every lonesome day, estranged from everyday that I thought I knew, days would run into years without letters or cards expressing support from not only so-called friends but family, too. It’s not easy being locked away in prison having to fight, through unyielding determination, to ensure your freedom without support, love and reassurance. For the women who are weak, they often fall victim to drugs, violence or peer pressure. However, for those few who are stronger, it fuels their determination in obtaining a better life for their children and themselves. If you believe in change, then you know everyone deserves a chance separate from the influences of the past behaviors and actions. It took years for me to learn to forgive others; however, faced with the fact that if I can’t begin to let go and forgive without judgments and resentments, how can I expect others to do the same for me?
Central California Women’s Facility