Sunday, November 28, 2010


I was in Dallas County Jail (Lew Sterrett) for 19 months following my trial, during the initial stages of my appeal.  Once I settled in I started writing book excepts.  Following is one:

The slamming of the heavy steel doors convulse with such finality.  I am surrounded by ugly, drab grays and beiges that speak no words of comfort.  I have no choice but to touch the ice cold barren steel of the tables, seats, sinks, showers, toilets, "beds", walls and bars.  All of them closing in on me as my heart shutters and my skin crawls and itches.  There is the constant clanging of the keys against one another and against the doors, sounding like fingernails on a blackboard.  I hear chains being dragged, scraping across the cement floors but can't glimpse the living corpse they are attached to...only pictures in my starving mind.  I smell stark disinfectants trying to cover the foul odors of those detoxing as they expel the rancid chemicals they have ingested while on the streets of the free world.

There always seems to be at least one woman wailing; for their soul hurts unbearably.  I join them sometimes, but only in my mind, so as not to show vulnerability and weakness.  I see the constant artificial light pressing in on my eyes.  Even when I try to sleep its vibrating fluorescence pierces my closed eyelids.  I dream of an invisible protective film forming, leaving a heavy thickness, covering the windows of my soul.

We argue among each other for toilet paper - the measure of gold in here.  The guards tell us there is a shortage and sometimes leave us with none.  They tell us this is due to budget cuts, as they shrug their shoulders and walk away with a smirk on their faces.

Over the intercom system I hear the blaring of names and numbers for women going home or on to the next place in the system.  I keep waiting to hear my own name, even imagine it sometimes, but it never comes as I remain a prisoner.

I found ways to survive.  In the beginning I was mad at God for allowing this.  I'd pray to Him about my anger and tell Him I was no good as a vessel to Him.  I turned to reading books, reading about a book a day.  I'll have to admit it took me two days to read Rhett Butler 's People by McCaig.  In almost three years I read over 1,000 books.  I wrote in the quiet times while everybody else was sleeping and I would play an occasional game of Spades or Canasta while at Dallas County.  Cards were not allowed at the next stop.

I came to realize I was getting an opportunity to see if I really believed what I had been teaching my son with autism.  Before the trial I had worked many hours, weeks, months and years to convince my son, Nate, that our world was a good place and gave him compelling reasons to join us in our world.  I showed him that happiness was a choice and could be attained anywhere under any circumstance.  Now the universe was testing me.  I would survive, with my sanity, choosing happiness and maintaining a positive attitude....but it took me some time to get there.  I would not play victim to the men who falsely accused me.


  1. fantastic and very powerful.Thanks for your honesty.

  2. This IS powerful.

    I'm speechless.

  3. I am depressed just reading about your experience. It seems that everyone that has ever been in prison must have PTSD. Absolutely horrific!

  4. Audrey I have read your comments, you are in my prayers, I am a prison minister, I write, visit & mentor inmates, one of the inmates I write has been unjustly incarcerated for 21 years for a murder she didn't commit, she has been through horrific experiences, so I know your plight, God be with you! Prayer for her also, her name is Shirley Southerland, she was falsely accused in Harris County, a coverup gift from corrupt officials. Jan4him