Monthly Archives: December 2014

The charge was murder

I’ve put off writing this entry for a really long time, not because I`m nervous about it, but because I think others are nervous about it. I used to tell people that my husband was in prison for drugs. “Yeah, drugs, such a shame”, I would say and I would feel my entire being tense up. Obviously no one is screaming from the rooftops that their significant other has been charged with murder and is now in prison with a life sentence, but I don`t want to lie. I don`t like lying. I don`t believe in it, especially not when it comes to the “big stuff” in life. Definitely not when it comes to how you live your life and what and who you live it for. I spent so long letting things not add up with others, pretending so much while I would say “I think he has another year or so left”. Well, another year has turned into years and people wonder and I no longer have the capacity to be anything but truthful.

Yes, my husband is charged with a murder that happened quite a while ago. That is not to say that it is something to take lightly or to be swept under the rug, but I`m simply stating that it happened many years ago, that the details of the entire story are unknown, skewed, manipulated, and no one actually knows what happened except for one person and that person is not my husband. You don`t just wake up one day and think to yourself “I`m going to kill someone today” unless you really are some seriously fucked up person and in that case, you probably shouldn`t function in society freely. The truth is that things happen, circumstances are brought together in the worst way, evidence is forged, interview tapes are “lost”, the only other eyewitness is the one who told the accused what he did. He didn`t ask what he did, but he told him. Suspicious. The law is not cut and dry and though it seems that corruption and set-ups and lost evidence of innocence only happens in the movies, it does happen in real life and at a much larger volume than we would like to believe. Why don`t we want to believe that? Because we know it could happen to us, it could happen to anyone. We are all just one bad situation away from life in prison without parole. You just don`t know.

I will never say that my husband is guilty or innocent, and neither will he, but the circumstances surrounding his case are messy, forced, unjust. Now, you may be thinking I`m some naive woman, some brainwashed spouse, someone with just a few screws loose. If I thought for a moment that my husband was some whacked out murderer I would come out and say it. I believe that some people truly do belong in prison, so I`m not out to defend the entire inmate population. I`m simply here to say that not all prisoners are made alike, just like not all free people are made alike.

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2 years

It’s almost baffling to believe that it has been 2 entire years, today, since my husband was attacked in the chow hall at Lovelock Correctional Center and somehow has had the entire incident turned around on him with the help of some very corrupt prison guards and another inmate who is now out roaming the world as he was released on parole earlier this year.

I remember waiting for him to call me that night and then the next night and the next. The call didn’t come for days. Finally, he called on a Saturday, telling me he had been attacked, he was in “the hole” and that he was being set up by a guard who didn`t care for him(later we found out it was a group of guards). I was calm as the sea on a sunny day. I didn`t even raise my voice and I definitely didn`t cry. I only asked him what he needed me to do. What he needed me to do was call his parents and inform them and see what could be done.

Well, two years later, and countless calls from family and legal motions filed with the court, my husband is still stuck at Ely State Prison, where he was moved to in early 2013 after he had been charged with assault and battery because of this set up. Legal work takes time, a lot of time, but the lack of care for human life and seeing the flaws in the system has been eye opening and sickening.

Even as my husband pursues legal action, he still has a right to transfer back to Lovelock(which is much closer to me and where he should be), but they have refused to take him back. No reasoning, just no. It feels like the entire prison system is working against my husband, and ultimately myself because this is MY life too.

I’ve adapted, as I always do, but the pursuit of anything fair is tiring and drawn out. My husband keeps my hope up and I keep him motivated to do everything in his power, with little resources and limited contact, to fix this situation. If he was a problematic inmate and was guilty of assault within the prison, I would say fine, let’s do this time and not push buttons. This is not the case. Correctional guards are playing(and lying and manipulating) with people lives and even in the worst places, that isn’t acceptable. You don`t get to play God. You don`t get to decide what someone deserves and you most certainly don`t get to throw stones when your own house is made of glass.

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Making memories out of misery

Yesterday I had my last visit of 2014 with my husband. It was bittersweet, but I truly found myself living in the moment and really “going for it”. What does that mean? It means letting down my guard, embracing my life and my choices wholeheartedly and laughing in the face of the misery that tends to creep up on me, sit on my shoulder, and eat away at the happiness I have with my husband.

Yesterday I kissed my husband like I would never kiss him again because you never know. He was being funny and I roared with laughter until my belly hurt and I wanted to cry. An inmate I didn’t know asked me to make him laugh for his picture, while I was waiting outside of the bathroom, so I did some faux kung fu moves like some kid who just watched a Bruce Lee movie. Then I spun and spun until I was dizzy. I made the inmate laugh and my husband watched me like he had never seen anything so wonderful in his life. I felt myself really let go and just have a good time for the first time in such a long while. I felt my heart explode in my chest in that moment. I realized that this IS my life right now, this IS my choice and I am not sad because of it.

The prison has become, strangely, my safe place, somewhere I feel comfortable. I`m excited to arrive and sad to leave. Yesterday, driving away, I felt like a piece of myself was being left behind, and really it was. In that moment, I knew that home was no longer a place but it could be a person, a feeling, a drive, arriving and leaving, the way someone smells, kisses, breathes. It could be a million things and it could be nothing. My home away from home happens to be a maximum security prison and because it houses the king of my tired, excited, ready for more heart, I embrace those barbed wires, steel doors, calling to schedule a visit, the long road, the scary feeling, and the overwhelming urge to run from it all.

I think by now that most people don`t think I`m crazy anymore, but are genuinely intrigued by my life, my love, and not that it matters to me(because I would do this regardless), but it feels good. It feels like maybe I`ve made them see my idea of home, my intense love for my husband, and I’ve let them in on just a little bit of the beautiful memories I’ve made out of a unique and hard situation.

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Antifragile

Every time I read an article about the human condition, on how we break and put ourselves back together, I always try to apply the information to my life. How does this help me? How does this help my situation? MY situation. This morning I read an article about how to become antifragile. Now, you may be thinking that “antifragile” isn`t a word, and it isn`t really, but the concept is still there.

Being antifragile introduces the idea that chaos, hardships, and pushing yourself, actually makes you better, stronger, more resilient. If I did the same thing every day I wouldn`t learn, I wouldn`t grow, I would not thrive. If absolute madness wasn’t thrown at me from time to time(read: the last few years of my life), I would not be the person I am today. There are times when I think of my life as being beat down by the fact that I love someone in prison, that I`ve committed myself to this life(and sometimes it feels like I’m in over my head). It feels like someone or something is pulling on my legs, pulling my entire self(physical, mental, spirit) under the choppy waves. An eerie calm comes over me after the initial struggle and then I act, I kick so hard for the surface, break through the ties that bind me and take a deep breath. I never realize it at the time, but being dragged beneath those waves, those uncertainties, make me so strong. I am not the same person I was 5 years ago, but especially, I`m not the same person I was 2 years ago.

I’ve said it once and I will said it again, and this time proudly, this life is not for everyone and I now realize and believe that is takes some serious personal strength to ride the waves of this commitment. My life isn`t conventional by any means, but I was made for this. I carry the ability to cope, to adapt. I’ve been made to become antifragile, not by running from the chaos, but by holding its hands, by letting it drag me under once again, only to allow me to feel the freedom and strength that comes with kicking to the surface. I am strong, I am proud, I am ready.

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The holidays, sacrifice, and the ultimate gift

We are in the thick of the holiday season now and I would be lying if I said it was an easy time of year. I tend to lose my life footing around this time, becoming maybe a bit emotionally unraveled, but quick to get it together again. The last few weeks have been tough between being alone(read: not lonely), trying to grasp onto some sense of a normal bond with others on a level of that which I have with my husband, and general dodging of questions from others. My co-worker asked me the other day if I was going to be alone forever. At the time, I didn`t think much of it, because it isn`t something I really think about it. I live each day as it comes, trying to have faith placed in the next day should I be so lucky to have it. This person also said that he thought I deserved someone to come home to, someone to hold my hand when I’ve had a hard day. Just that simple statement struck my core. Something as simple as holding my husband’s hands in a time of distress is not possible. They are just hands. They are just holding onto eachother, but that is some cosmic experience right now because it so rarely comes at a time when I actually need it.

My sacrifice is my life. My life in exchange for a bond that I truly believe cannot be made with anyone else and believe me I have tried. I’ve been asked to “settle”, to put up with shit from others I know wouldn`t make me happy, to go down the “normal” road of being with someone I may or may not like in the long run for the sake of playing house and having kids. No thank you. As it is, when I was younger I told my mom I would never even get married, so Jeremy got real lucky in my actually saying yes to him after many years of him asking me. Is my sacrifice worth it? Yes and No. There are days where I stand strong in my marriage, where I feel like the universe has truly given me something for a reason, and my faith is unshakable. Then there are days where I am a shell of a person, trying to find fulfillment in others who serve me no purpose but to pass through, questioning my life choices. It’s a push and pull. It is not easy but it is possible.

What is the ultimate gift in life? To be loved. Not just loved, but loved unconditionally. To be loved for all the darkness that exists between the light, between your smiles, between your good days, skinny days, “on” days. To be loved for your scars, your disgusting “things”, your sadness, your fuck ups, your oh so flawed body and thoughts. That is a gift. I know people that like my pretty face, my pretty thoughts, but what I have in my husband is someone who stares my demons down, looks them right in the eye, and does not flinch. People may think it is unfortunate that my husband is in prison(and it isn`t by any means anything favorable), but I think the real unfortunate occurrence in life is when people don`t get to experience a bond with another human being who will love them when they are whole and when they are in a million pieces with no idea of how to put themselves back together. I seek that in my life, those rare humans, those imperfect beings that will love and understand me through it all. I have found that in my husband, and on a friend level, I have found that in a few people whose disgusting, raw, messy, beautiful nature makes me happy to be alive, to feel, to be as open as I can.

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