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Sunday, November 2, 2014

#46 - Digging Deep and Finding My Bravery for Jail (Journal Entries through January 8, 2014)

I've listened to "Brave" dozens and dozens of times on repeat in the car this week, getting my courage up to go back to jail.  On Monday I caught a glimpse in the review mirror of them all singing at the top of their lungs - from Hunter all the way down to Bryer.  It doesn't just take my bravery, but our whole family.  It's hard and I don't like it, but music has an effect on us to help carry us through it. 

(Random Girls Camp video has nothing to do with my jail time, other than the song that was so inspirational for me going in.) 

Brave, by Hilary Weeks

There are moments when you feel it and you know,
Something amazing is happening within your soul,
And nothing can hold back what's inside you. 
Let it move you.
Let it lead your heart.
Don't be afraid to let yourself believe in who you are. 
Cuz today you're gonna be brave.

You are brave.
Let your brave come through.
Let it define you. 
You are meant to be brave.

Get your shoes, grab your courage, open the door,
You're about to see a you you've never seen before
And Heaven will be there beside you.
In the moments when the walls seem way too high,
trust your instincts, breath, and start to climb,
Cuz you have always been brave. 

You are brave.
Let your brave come through.
Let it define you. 
Cuz you are meant to be brave.

When you think you can't,
Strong when you have fallen
Bold enough to stand and be. 
Brave!
Brave!
Brave!
You are Brave! 
Let your brave come through.
Let it define you.
Cuz you are meant to be brave.
You are brave.
Let your brave come through.
Let it define you. 
Cuz you are meant to be brave.

There are moments when you feel it and you know,
Something amazing is happening within your soul,
And nothing can hold back what's inside you. 


Even with feeling close to God, it doesn't make it any easier to leave my family.  The morning before I came in was rough.  After a week of preparing all the details, schedules, rides, meals, sports, scouts, and the house cleaned up, I felt weak and tired, and still felt like I was abandoning my family.  I told Hunter good bye and kissed him on the top of his head as he left for school.  I said, "I'll see you next Wednesday by the time you get home from school."  He said, "Oh, it's today you're going to jail again?"  I felt defeated and emotionally drained that he wouldn't remember.  Maybe I should count is as a blessing that he is always so optimistic and happy and doesn't let things get to him. 

Sawyr has an Indian diorama due at the end of the week, and I wanted to make sure he got it done and could turn it in early on Wednesday.  He finally had his Indian tribe and huts placed and glued just how he wanted them.  I decided to take the kids to school so he wouldn't have to maneuver his project on the bus.  He climbed in the car and I shut the door behind him.  By the time I got in at my side of the car, he was crying.  I didn't realize I shut the door on his project, knocking over the plastic deer and play-doh cactus he had worked so hard on.  Piper was mad that I had misunderstood how she wanted her hair done.  On the way to school I just about slid through 2 intersections on icy roads taking them to school.  By the time we got to the school, I was also in tears.  I kissed them both on the tops of their heads and told them to have a good day, feeling that would be hardly enough to carry them through a whole week without me.  Any other morning wouldn't have been a big deal.  I could walk them in to school or make them a treat for when they got home.  We could talk about it, apologize, and move on.  I felt guilty and frustrated and disappointed that I was having to leave them for a week in jail. 

When I walked in the door back home, I was an emotional mess.  My mother-in-law was there ready to take Walker and Bryer for their day.  She asked if I was okay.  "It's a crappy day to go to jail," I cried to her, already completely defeated before 8 am.  She hugged me until I could pull myself together.  I want to know what the big purpose of all of this is.  I'm tired of this process and I only have 9 of my 42 days served. 

Jason drove me the 2 hours on slick roads.  We held hands tighter than normal and he talked me into being okay.  I don't know what I would do without him.  He reminded me of funny things the kids said, how this will all be over soon, and how strong I am.  Too soon we pulled into the jail and kissed good-bye.  I have thought today a lot about how Jason does it.  I can't imagine how he feels to drop me off, completely unsure of what I'll face this week, not being able to check in, and feeling helpless in protecting me as he always has.  Maybe that's why he could only drive me to the jail.  He emotionally couldn't walk me to the doors or to check in at the window.  It's so hard being at a point that we have to say good-bye.  A couple should never have to endure the things we have together.  It could have made or broken our marriage.  We chose to let it strengthen us.  It still doesn't make it any easier to say good-bye and know he'll be Mr. Mom for the week without me. 

Check in was a lot of the same as last time.  I will never get used to the sound of the heavy doors shutting behind me in each room or hallway I walk into.  I will also never get used to the feeling of being 'ushered' from the guard behind me.  When I'm shopping and ask the clerk to help me find something, s/he will lead me to where I need to go.  In jail, the guards have been trained to walk behind the inmate, so they give verbal cues of where to turn, when to stop, and what door to wait at.  The guard asked if I had any medical conditions that prevented me from sleeping on a top bunk.  When I answered no, the guard asked again if I was sure.  I learned that most inmates come up with some medical reason why they can't have a top bunk - bad knees for climbing, seizures, anything that will keep them from sleeping with the light in their face I am sure. 

Once I was changed into my stripes in a private area and was waiting for the guard, I said a prayer to myself that I will be both strong and tender this week.  I prayed for my Bunkie again also, that whoever I will be rooming with would be who God wants me to spend time with.  The guard took me back with my bedroll and the few items I had left at the jail from what I purchased last time I was there - shampoo, conditioner, a hair brush, and writing supplies. 

I walked through the door to the common area and the heavy door shut behind me.  Here I go again...  Karen saw me walk in and her face lit up.  I have to admit that it was nice to see a familiar face too and know she was still there.  At the same time, I felt a little strange walking in and already knowing someone in jail.  The guard directed me to a cell upstairs where a woman was sleeping on the bottom bunk.  When I put my pile on the table, she woke up and rolled over.  It was a lady I remembered from last time I was here and I felt instant relief.  I hadn't gotten to know her very well, but I had watched her enough to know that she prayed before she ate and I hoped that meant good things were in store.  I asked her what happened to her Bunkie from when I was here before and she said she is in The Hole (solitary confinement) for fighting right now.  Immediately I felt like I was intruding.  I can't explain a feeling of not being in the room I felt I should be in.  First, the girl's personal things were still in there.  She had only taken her bedding with her to The Hole.  I didn't want her to get out and find that I had taken over her place.  And if she's in there for fighting, I don't want to step on toes with a person like that right away.  It's a strange feeling to be directed to a cell, but not feel like I'm welcomed.  Second, I spiritually felt like I was supposed to be somewhere else.  I can't explain that feeling because the lady that was in there was clearly 'safe.'  She would be a good Bunkie for the week!  Why did I feel like I shouldn't accept that? 

After I got out of the shower to wash the routine flea chemical out of my hair at booking, a guard came in and asked me to move to a different cell 2 doors down.  Even though I had already started trying to settle in and had made my bed, I felt relieved that I was being moved.  There was a new girl that had just gotten there that was on the bottom bunk.  I moved my things down to her cell at the top of the stairs.  Pretty soon the girl whose bed I had taken was released from The Hole and came back to her cell.  I'm glad I wasn't there when she returned. 

*****

My new Bunkie seems nice, but is pretty quiet.  Her name is Rachel.  Even though she's new to this facility, she's been transferred around enough to know other girls.  In the common area there are 4 metal tables and I've watched the girls cycle through here.  The longer they are here, usually the closer they get to sitting at the table closest to the door.  It's like the coveted junior high table where the popular kids sit.  Rachel has only been here a day I think and she's already sitting at the head table.  I have no desire to try to 'fit in' at the popular table where the regulars sit, but I'm intrigued at how the dynamics work and change as girls are transferred in and out. 

I got my few things organized in my locker and my bed made and then just sat on my top bunk.  Ok, I'm here.  Now what?  What am I supposed to do?  I just want to leave.  I want to go home and hear how my kids day went at school.  I want to smooch on Bryer and read books with her and Walker on my lap.  I don't want to be here.  What could be more important than my family?  Especially with the rough morning we had together.  I want to go home and make sure everyone is okay.   I don't want to try to find some way to fill my time when there's plenty of more important things that need done at home.  I said a prayer to help me understand why I have to be here when I haven't done anything wrong.  I don't deserve to be serving a jail sentence for a medical misdiagnoses. 

I wandered downstairs to say hi to Karen and see what books there were under the stairs ready to be taken to the library.  Karen filled me in on the fight that went on and the drama since I left.  Karen was the one to be attacked, as was her side of the story.  The other girl had another story.  At first I felt even more upset.  After so many neat experiences with Karen, I felt frustrated that she hadn't kept that up while I was gone.  As I have thought about it since, I can't blame her.  This is a rough place.  I only lasted 9 days last time before I was completely shot and ready to go home and rejuvenate.  For the 3 weeks I've been home and spent Christmas with my family, she's been here.  She did say how much she loved the milk carton gifts she got to open at Christmas and told me that she had parts of our Christmas scene she saved for me. 

*****

After a boring stroll through the common area and saying hello to a couple of girls I remembered from before, I found the jail handbook and took it back to my cell to copy down some wording for the requirements for Good Time.  Karen told me before that I could get 5 days off my sentence for being a 'good inmate,' so I wanted to make sure I was following all the requirements to make that happen. 

"Every county inmate serving a jail sentence in the jail who has a good record as a prisoner and who performs the task assigned to him/her in an orderly and peaceful manner, shall upon the recommendation of the sheriff and the judge, be all owed 5 days off their sentence for each 30 days sentenced.  Housing fees must be paid in full before good time is allowed." 

Last time I was here I put in for the jail seamstress position, but they had denied me the job because I am a temporary inmate.  I decided to put in for another job, just to be sure that I was attempting to receive a responsibility.  I don't want them to have any reason to deny me 5 days less in this place than I have to be here.  I've been paying my week at a time for housing fees as I come, but I will bring enough next time to cover the remainder of my sentence. 

*****

I want to get to know Rachel, but she's a little intimidating for me.  She's quiet, so I don't know what she's thinking.  She sits with the girls that have been here a while, so I guess that automatically makes me feel intimidated by her.  When she woke up this afternoon, I got up enough courage to ask her a question to try to start a conversation.  I asked her if she knew what the process is to get property that's been shipped in.  She didn't know, but she said she could ask one of the other girls.  I don't think she was being rude, but she was so short so it's hard to know how to take her.  I'd much rather her ask one of the other girls so I can huddle in my cell.  Karen and Crystal are the only other ones I feel comfortable talking to. 

I have property that my mom ordered and had shipped in while I was home.  Everything has to be shipped in brand new from a website.  No personal packages since people smuggle things in that way.  (Weird!)  I think there's a CD player with headphones, a Hilary Weeks CD, and some crochet supplies from my grandma.  If I could get my items, at least it would pass the time learning to crochet and I'd have good music in my ears. 

Last time it took me a day or two to figure things out and settle in.  I hoped it would be quicker this time, but I'm feeling pretty lonely trying to find my purpose here. 

*****

Before I came in the first time, I made a decision not to ask the other girls what they are in here for.  I wouldn't normally introduce myself to someone new on the outs and ask, "So, what are you struggling with?"  or "What are your temptations?" or "What big things have you done wrong in your life?"  So I don't ask these girls either.  I've had to get creative with how to introduce myself or how to start a conversation. 

I went outside to break with some of the girls today.  We were just standing around so I asked one of the girls what she likes to do when she's out.  She looked at me and offered one word.  "Drugs."  I was kind of taken back at her honesty and didn't really know what to say to that.  She's young, maybe not even 20 yet.  "Well, that's honest," I told her.  I asked her what she used to do when she was younger and she listed off years of volleyball and swim team with awards she received.  It threw me off to hear about all these successes when, here she sits, in jail.  Maybe she was exaggerating, but she didn't really have a reason to lie to me. 

I'm going stir crazy.  I just want to go home.  I have such a hard time going a mile a minute in Mom-mode to down shifting to a slower pace with so little to do.  I borrowed Karen's Bible and finished my day with an inspired verse I opened up to: 

Luke 22:42, "Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done."

The footnotes sent me to 2 other verses (Mark 14:36 and John 6:38) that are similar.  So timely, it reminds me of the pleading I did to God before sentencing when I was facing a maximum 180 days.  It was also the words Christ spoke when He knew the hardest part of his life's mission He needed to fulfill.  I had asked God just this - please don't make me endure jail time, but then added - if it's His plan, then I will try my best to go willingly.  The judge decided on 42 days - a lot less than 180!  Not what I want, but what God wants for me, and maybe for whatever connections need to be made in here.  This week will be for Him.  Not for me.  Not for my family.  But definitely for Him.  When it gets to be too much, I'll rely on that.  And I have to have faith after I've prayed so sincerely for a Bunkie that I am supposed to spend time with.  I have to know that Rachel is who He has chosen for me.  I'll try to be brave.  Let a new week begin... 

2 comments:

  1. My heart aches for you, Krissi, and the telling of your story. Looking forward to hearing the next bit

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    1. Thank you for reading Celeste. ;-)

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