Remember, as far as anyone knows, we are a nice, normal family.
…to my blog! Yes, I have decided to start blogging again. I used to do it years ago and stopped, but I wanted to start it up again. It’s therapeutic, and I love to write, so it’s awesome all the way around.
A little about me…I’m a 33-year old housewife and mom to two wonderful boys, B (14) and C (8). I’ve been married to my husband, K, for 10 years now – we’ve been together for 12.
Oh, and I’ve been to prison.
Yup. I got out in May 2013. I used to have a nasty little Rx pill addiction due to a Fibromyalgia diagnosis and was on about seven different meds at once, including (but not limited to) opiates and benzos. I quit working about four years ago to be a stay-at-home mom (luckily, my husband had a good job that could afford me to be able to do that), and being a bored, pilled-out housewife that was a slave to fashion caused a new addiction – shoplifting. It started out light, and I got about four misdemeanors, probation, and community service before I started kicking it up a notch – stealing over $1500 worth of shit gets you a felony. I committed three acts of felony theft over a three-month period and landed myself in prison for 8 months. I got clean, and lucky for me, I was put into a Christian dorm which allowed me certain privileges (like, not having to work). I attended “classes” six days a week, ranging from anything to Bible studies, learning how to reintegrate into society, how to be a good mother/wife, and Celebrate Recovery. I was given the chance to be a part of our leadership program and be Secretary of our dorm, but for political reasons (yes, seriously), I was not re-elected for the next month. Didn’t matter to me, really – it was a pain in the ass having to babysit 52 women.
I learned a lot about myself when I was there. I realized how selfish I had been to my family and vowed never to hurt them again. I lost 35 lbs. while I was there, and each and every time my mom saw me (she and my husband had a rotating visitation schedule – she’d come one weekend, he’d come the next – and if he couldn’t for some reason, she’d come in his place), she would go on and on about how great I looked, boosting my self-confidence. I went to prison a scared little girl, and by the time my time was up, I had become a stronger person who had learned that she controlled her own destiny and was solely responsible for her own actions.
I’m sure a lot of you have seen “Orange is the New Black”. This series is an extremely accurate depiction of prison life, sans the abusive, sexually harassing male guards…well, at least from my personal experience, anyway. We had only female guards…and they mostly slept or teased us by eating food that we couldn’t have (pizza, burgers) right in front of us. I also did not become a lesbian while I was there. However, a lot of girls did. It was referred to as being “gay for the state” and “bulldagging”.
Girls get lonely in jail, and a lot of them had daddy issues and were former addicts. Instead of drugs, they’d use girls and food to fuel their addictive nature. That being said, all of the drama is real. You get sucked right into it. I have never “fought” a girl before…nor had I ever seen a girl fight. I did there. I stuck out like a sore thumb there, and once the Mexican girls found out that I was half-Hispanic, I was automatically “protected” and looked after. I was very naive at first, and I allowed people to take advantage of me. Over time, I learned the ways of prison, and I became wary of what to look for when someone tries to take advantage. Everything works on a barter system. You pay for things with commissary – whether it be services or goods. I paid girls to do my laundry for me (which included them hand-washing my laundry in the tiny sinks we had and drying them at night by laying them across the tables we ate on). Once, during a lockdown (a process that includes the prison staff locking down the prison to search everyone in it for contraband), we were stuck to our bunks and I got bored, of course. I asked one of my bunkies if I could borrow a picture of her children and I drew them. Once everyone found out I could draw, I was like the goose that laid the golden egg. Everyone wanted me to draw pictures of their family members for them to keep or send home. My friends encouraged me to make people “pay” me for it, but I thought that was silly. It kept me busy, and I was already being well taken care of, so I saw no point in being “paid”. Over the course of my time, I drew about 25 pictures for people.
Because you have nothing to do, you obsess over petty things and are attracted to drama…any kind of drama. The smallest things meant so much to us. Mail, especially. As a matter of fact, when I was released, I wrote to two of my friends and made sure I followed the correct prison mail protocol by sending cards, spraying said cards/letters with perfume, and adding stickers. My husband not only thought I was crazy, but that I was a lesbian. That was fun to deal with. Not.
My husband not only stood by me the entire time I was in prison (he visited me regularly and ensured that I always had enough money for commissary, my court costs, and phone costs), he surprised me by buying a two-story house in a story-book suburban neighborhood and waiting until I was released to move our family into it. I had stopped smoking (obviously) while I was in prison, and everyone in my family fully expected me to stay away from cigarettes once I had gotten out. Unfortunately, old habits die hard, and that was the first thing I wanted upon my release. I started smoking regularly immediately, much to my kids’ dismay. To them, it symbolized that I hadn’t changed my ways and that I hadn’t learned my lesson – further causing them to mistrust me and the fact that I might leave them again. I had to ensure them that this was not true.
Speaking of my kids, It took a little while for them to adjust back to the fact that I was home again. My 14-year old had transformed from a boy to a full-on, deep-voiced, 5″6 tall teenager, and my youngest had transformed from a baby into a little boy. They resented my being gone – especially my oldest. He was the hardest to transition. My youngest developed separation anxiety and was terrified that if I went somewhere, even to the gas station, that I wouldn’t return. It’s safe to say that I traumatized my children, and I really regret it – I’ll regret it for the rest of my life. We are slowly but surely returning back to normal, however. It’s been a year and two months now, and I feel much more “normal”, but I still tend to let it identify me as a person. When I was released, I felt the overwhelming need to tell my “story” to any new friends I made that I started becoming close to. I’ve learned now that this is not necessary and that all it does is open the door to being judged from the get-go of a relationship. Of course, I realize that this sounds contradictory because I’m blogging about it, but again, I am choosing to blog about it because it is therapeutic for me, and I simply do not care anymore what others think of me. 😊
I do not have any desire to steal anything at all anymore since I was released. I do not have the desire to break any laws at all. I really did learn my lesson when I went to prison, and I feel as if God put me directly in that path for a reason – I desperately needed a life change. My mom is in denial that I chose to do the things that I did consciously. She believes that it was “all the pills”, and that I was in “rehab” while I was in prison. That was another thing I learned while I was in prison – how much it must have hurt my parents to know that their little girl was going to prison and that there wasn’t a damn thing they could do about it.
This is my charming albeit dark back-story. I decided to let all that read this know about my dirty little secret because some of my future blog entries will most likely include flashbacks and/or reflections about my time there and what it did to me as a person.
Of course, I will also be including hi-larious anecdotes of my life now, raising two extremely intelligent, witty little boys…and living with one charming, adorable, supportive (yet sometimes douchey) husband.
I hope you enjoy.
Remember, as far as anyone knows, we are a nice, normal family.
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