You worked hard to get to this. Ten arrests in three quarters of a year, dozens of charges, half of them felonies. It still took all it took to get you actual prison time.
You won’t be out real soon, even with good behavior.
As sick as it makes me, all anyone really feels now is relief. For themselves, for you.
I don’t check every day now to make sure the sticks are in the windows. I don’t sleep with the 44 anymore when I’m here alone, though your friends, the real danger, are still in and out. But I don’t worry about you robbing my neighbors. And I don’t wait for the phone call telling me somebody’s dead.
Your life will never be the same now, but I doubt you’ve totally grasped that. I doubt you get that you won’t be able to just pick back up where you hadn’t even started to go. I don’t think you know yet that you won’t be able to return to old relationships as they used to be, or that you can never “go home”, or ever turn back the clock.
I doubt you know that I held your four year old boy on Christmas day, and that he announced to the room that his Mommy will be out of jail by his birthday. He’s not sure when that is, but he’s sure Mommy will be out of jail then. She won’t be, but he’s been convinced.
I doubt he knows that Daddy has 41 months. I doubt he knows Mommy’s not far behind. Of course he doesn’t know. He’s four.
Your three year old, remember him? He’s a baby. A baby holding a stocking. They both are. There’s a picture of them both in my phone from the day, holding Christmas stockings of goodies.
They don’t scream and hit as much, and they seem to like being held more. They’ve been away from you for so long now, they’ve calmed down alot. No one’s driving them around, smoking meth and oxy in the front seat while they sit strapped in their carseats in the back seat.
Healing is possible. There’s always that hope. It takes alot for some people, but it happens.
What stops some people, isn’t even a blip on the screen for others. I don’t know what it will take for you. I know it isn’t losing your kids, and it isn’t ten arrests. I can tell you it takes alot of determination to change, to get clean and stay clean, to learn everything anew. It takes alot. There are still drugs even in prison.
But it takes something more than just determination as well. It takes surrender, and a changing of the heart. Some people must become completely broken before that happens, some just never will find it. Many just die first.
Sadly, they take others with them, too. Some of those they take don’t lose their whole lives, just find themselves derailed into a wreck not of their own choice or making. Some of those they take end up heartbroken, or with a broken spirit, and some grow up with a twisted notion of what love is….”Mommy will be out of jail by my birthday.”
Mommy won’t be out of jail by then. Mommy is going where you went when you “got out of jail.” She’s going to prison.
This is your chance. It’s the only one you have left. You can choose what you want to take from prison; who you want to end up being, what you want to become now. No one else can choose that for you. It isn’t going to be easy. You gave away so many of your rights, but you do still have that choice. I hope you choose well. You may not get another chance to choose.
PS- B? I can’t forgive you yet. I know I have to, but I’m not there yet. And I don’t want to see you, or write to you. I don’t want to think about the fallout that’s in all our lives from your selfish actions. You didn’t care what you did to us, and you would have taken everything if I didn’t get this way. I am responsible for protecting so much for so many others, and you would’ve taken it all; you would have ruined me, and them. As it is you took so much, and I don’t just mean the shit you stole and pawned and sold. You destroyed things so much deeper than that.
And you know what? People felt sorry for you. But you didn’t feel sorry for the people you hurt. Good people who worked so hard for what they had, people that were trying to do the right things. And I don’t think you feel sorry for them now, either. I think you feel sorry for yourself.
I can’t forgive you yet. I can’t pray for you either. But I know others do, and I believe in the power of that. I don’t begrudge you that. Maybe one day I will be able to pray for you, too.
What I can say is that I wish you well; I wish you a better life than what you’ve made yours into. One in which you can use what you have been, to be something better. And I guess that is a kind of prayer. It’s the best one I have right now.