Tag Archives: judgment

I love you and I hate prison

This is a statement I make so often that it almost comes out automatically, thoughtlessly, sometimes even as a filler in conversations during difficult times.
“I know, baby. I know”. He says this every time, but not automatically or thoughtlessly or as a filler. He just knows and then he is quiet, thinking of the next string of words to step on, hoping they aren’t a land mine. Sometimes success, sometimes a lost foot. You can’t argue with facts, but you can chock life up to something more.
“I love you and I hate prison”. Not BUT I hate prison; AND I hate prison. I don’t know why I choose to say it that way. Maybe because I don’t like to say I love someone but, because but means conditional and I hate conditions. Too much of my life is spent in a conditional state, under conditions.
Quite often I wonder how we got here to this loving the human but hating the prison place. Not you, the reader, and I, but Jeremy and I. I’m a poser of questions there are no easy answers to, but I ask them anyway. Somehow the you in “I love you and I hate prison” always has the answers for me. What’s my favorite answer to my question about why we came to be? Why did we come down this path? Why did the pieces arrange this way and why have we clung to each other for dear life all these years?
That fate exists. That sometimes souls come together because they were meant to be and not randomly. Is this a designed path? Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? I don’t know, Freddie Mercury. Prison feels a bit like both sometimes.
“Whhhyyyyyyyyy???” I ask and whine or I ask and then laugh and then whine.
“I have loved you since before you were born. I have always loved you.” He says.
How can you argue with that?
Prison or not.
love-universe
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A wasted life…?

Definitely with a question mark at the end.
How we spend our time and who and what we devote our time, energy, and love to is solely up to us. Only we knew who pulls our heart strings and why. Only WE, ourselves, truly know the depth in which we swim in our own sacrifice and the reasons we do. The point is: we get to choose and I’ve chosen Jeremy. I haven’t chosen the prison or the, at times, stifling reality, but I’ve chosen another person and that’s MY choice. Even in moments of absolute despair, I can say that I chose and this is my life.
It’s actually quite rare that I get “hate” letters(I hesitate to put the word hate here, but maybe confusion? Ignorance?) and it’s almost never from random strangers on the Internet but instead it’s been people I know, who are breaking away because they don’t understand my life and don’t want to or it’s people who don’t know me and think they do. These people think because we’ve interacted a few times, that they now have an up close, front row seat to my life and should definitely let me know what they think about me and my commitment to my husband.  So, they must know best, right? Yeah. Right.
I received a message last week in my Facebook “others” box that was less than friendly and it made me laugh and shake my head before finally deleting it but….it stained me underneath the surface. It did, and I didn’t even read it all. I zeroed in on the part about Jeremy being a monster and not a man and then on the part where this person called me an idiot, pathetic, and let me me know that I’m wasting my life, my time, and my energy. I’m sure the rest of this very long rant was more of the same, but I got the gist of it from the few lines I read.

I could say that any person I know, or don`t know, is wasting their life on their priorities. I could say that what others choose to spend time on is meaningless, hopeless, silly, and idiotic, but I don`t because it isn`t my choice. If loving someone is a waste of time, then I guess that is exactly what I`m doing on my journey. I`m wasting all of the time, but the time will pass anyways, so waste or not, I get to choose.

wasted-life

When you were young

 Keychain

“What people think is not what they know”

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The prisoner vs. the person

Saturday night blogging/September 14th, 2013

My blog is titled wine. work. prison but I rarely talk about work or wine so let me sum it up before I proceed with this entry. I like wine. A lot. I didn`t really drink wine until I moved to Nevada and married Jeremy. It was a new adventure for me and a far departure from the Jack and Cokes I was used to drinking at the bar. Wine has gotten me through some hard times, but has also been a source of connection, fun, and learning. I should write more about that sometime. Work is a pain in the ass as I`m sure it is for a lot of people. I hate my job. I`m sure that is pretty normal. Wine helps me deal with work which in turn helps me deal with prison. There is the connection 🙂

My husband is almost off of disciplinary segregation and I got to talk to him today for 15 minutes. When I talk to him, I watch my phone, and I am aware of every single minute, trying to make them last as long as possible but the time still passes harshly and quickly. The 15 minutes is over before I know it and I`m left staring at my phone, trying to replay his last words, trying to somehow transport myself back 5 minutes. Just 5 minutes. That isn`t a lot to ask for, is it?

I`m drinking my tried and true mood booster, wine, and I`m watching Lockup: Raw on MSNBC tonight. I watch this show a lot. It allows me to feel closer to my husband in some sick and strange way and I actually enjoy it. Before Jeremy and I were serious I wanted to be a parole officer. I wanted to work with inmates. I wanted to be the change I wished to see in the world. Now that all that is gone and passed and everything has been turned upside down, I like to watch Lockup 🙂

In between drinking wine, and watching Lockup I was thinking about how I know Jeremy, how I see him as this wonderful person while the rest of the world views him as this horrible inmate, this monster, this drain on tax dollars.I`ve only ever known Jeremy the person. I may know his back number, I may go to a prison to visit him, but I don`t classify him as an inmate. I see Jeremy as my husband, this man who has my heart, this person who is away from home right now.

For a long time at the beginning of our friendship, I had no knowledge of Jeremy’s crime. I didn`t know what the newspapers said he had done, what he had said he had done, what I thought he had done. I didn`t want to know at first. It didn`t cross my mind. I was getting to know this person, this soul, this human being. Sometime later when I found out about his case, I didn`t flinch. I had a sadness deep inside myself, but it didn`t change my feelings. When you get to know someone, thinking they have a clean slate, your perception is different, your thoughts are different, your devotion  is different, even in the face of new information.

Jeremy had never been some weirdo trying to get me to send him money or dirty photos. He asked nothing of me, yet he gave me the world with his words and with his love.

I search his name online frequently, just to see what new article has popped up about him, seeing what past pen pal is now trying to sell his letters and it both frustrates me and makes me laugh. These people do not know a person, they know a name. They know only what their own mind allows them to think. To those people: I am sorry you do not have the pleasure of knowing someone so wonderful, so caring, and so unbelievably different than what has been printed about them in the media.

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Hey mom: I`m in love!

I don`t remember exactly when or how I told my mom I was “dating” someone in prison, that I was in love with this person, and that I desperately needed her help getting out to see him some 600 miles away, but she was always supportive. Some people may think my mom is crazy, and maybe she is, but she has always, always, always supported my love for Jeremy and in that department she has really excelled as not only an understanding mother, but as an understanding human being. Over the years my mom has gotten to know Jeremy well over letters, phone calls, and a few visits. She has told me that she considers him her son. That is how amazing and wonderful of a person my Jeremy is.

Just because you’re caught up in a bad situation, and have made some mistakes doesn’t mean you’re a bad person not worthy of an actual life and love. I imagine that when people learn my husband is in prison they think I must be crazy, stupid, or otherwise naive to my own lifestyle, and that I must not really know the man I love. I will say that there ARE manipulative people in prison, but there are manipulative people down at your local 7-11 as well. The location or circumstance shouldn`t dictate how you view a person without getting to know them. I saw through the prison stamp on my letters from Jeremy and the barbed wire around the place I was entering. What I found was one of the best people I have ever met in my entire life and will probably ever have the pleasure of knowing.

Not all inmates are monsters, just like all free people aren’t always the best examples of upstanding citizens, and I sincerely feel like some of the people we have standing beside us on the streets are far more deserving of prison time than some of the inmates I have had the chance to get to know through Jeremy. It’s like society thinks that one mistake makes  you this terrible person that can never again function with other people. I am here to tell you, firsthand, that is the farthest thing from the truth. These inmates are your brothers, sons, husbands, boyfriends, and these inmates might just even be the reflection when you look in the mirror. I often wonder how people can pass such judgment as if they lead the most pristine lives, as if they aren’t one crazy incident away from a prison cell. These inmates are human beings; my husband is a human being.

I get to experience, vicariously through my husband, how the state of Nevada treats their inmates, and quite frankly it isn`t something I would wish on anyone. Like I said back in my first post, I`ve heard and read that Nevada is one of the worst states to be incarcerated in. The level of corruption that exists both on the tier, behind those walls, and at the central office of the NDOC, where life changing decisions are made, is astounding. I won’t say that ALL correctional officers and officials are bad because I have met my fair share of decent ones, and ones that I might even be friends with in another life, but some of these people I wouldn`t trust to bag my purchases at the local Wal-mart. Some of these officers are 1. Not too bright, and 2. Don`t have a professional or ethical bone in their body. Yet, the state of Nevada is giving these people a gun, a badge, and free reign to do what they think is “fair” in regards to the inmates. Who is supervising the bad apples while they supervise the “bad apples”?

It’s pretty sick if you really think of it. I imagine how frustrated my husband becomes with the officers yet has to keep it together because these people, who can barely manage to spell properly on a report they have falsified, will make his life hell if they want to. There is no one watching these “correctional” officers, and I dare say that some of them are worse than some of the inmates. If you’ve kept up with my blog you know that my husband is currently at a maximum security prison because a correctional officer that does not like him has falsified her report about an attack on my husband, and has made him the instigating party simply because she wants to. Even if you’re innocent, you’re guilty because you might just rub one of these gun slinging idiots the wrong way and there goes any small amount of freedom you may have. I will say that I`m mad as hell right there with my husband, but keeping a level head and working through this mess the legal way in order to ensure that my husband’s name is cleared, and that this individual is held accountable. Very frustrating, and mentally taxing when I think about it all.

I got sidetracked on a mini rant about the inept nature of some of Nevada’s finest. Back to my original, derailed train of thought: My husband is a good person, no, a GREAT person, who happened to be at the wrong place, at the wrong time, with the wrong people, and here we are. There are some people who will think that Jeremy is getting what he “deserves” and they can certainly think that, and I pray that these people never find themselves in a situation where everything aligns for the worst. I`m sure a lot of people I know have looked Jeremy up online but I haven’t had any of my friends drop off on me as of yet. People closest to me, who have gotten to communicate with Jeremy, are blown away by his good nature and often ask me “How is he in prison?”.  If you believe everything you read online or everything the media tells you: I feel sorry for you and you will never know the truth about anything in life. Not everything is as it seems and I`ll talk more about that in another blog. But for now, take a good look at  yourself, and realize that you are no different than some these inmates .

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