Sunday, January 30, 2011

First Impressions

Now you know the jest of my case so I'll share something else with you.  My first weeks following the trial, while incarcerated at Lew Sterrett (Dallas County Jail) I was in a state of shock somewhat...I suppose it could be called culture shock.  Up to this time I had never visited or really known somebody in jail.  And here I was living there.  My first impressions reflect my fear and became one of my book excerpts as follows:

     For anyone who believes hell is on earth, they only need to spend one week locked in a county jail to affirm their belief.  The justice system is based on fear and power, no compassion whatsoever.  No wonder it grows, no wonder rehabilitation is practically non-existent and the return rate so high.  Repeat offenders abound and carry their felony records as if they were a badge of courage.  The more felony raps or "paragraphs" of prior and current offenses listed on their indictment papers, then the higher their status.  They trade blame on crimes as if they were dealing in the commodities market.

     Fire is everywhere, in the tanks of general population, among the single cells and  within the holding cells.  Meanwhile the court rooms are sizzling - the fire held down in an attempt to emulate respect.  The sizzling is nothing more than the sounds of manipulation coming from all directions: the courts, the prosecution, the defense attorneys and the alleged criminals.  Its a wonder if ever a word of truth is uttered in the hissing environs.  How can anybody recognize truth or for that matter justice with all these layers of deceit?

     On the outside of the courtrooms, back in the big holding cells, there is a hellish cacophony.  Throughout there are erupting volcanoes spewing out hatred and bitterness; the burning lava sliding over everyone in the cell and spilling out onto the guards.  Interspersed are the individuals threatening God's wrath and proclaiming the end of the world is here.  While underlying all is the uneasy rhythm of the street talk, a dialect which is barely discernible as a derivative of the English language.

     If you are looking for a quiet space to center yourself before meeting with the Judge it will not happen.  To stay in silence and search for that peaceful place inside yourself cannot last long.  The inmates do not like silence, if you are not willing to share in the constant patter and discuss your case then it is presumed you are a baby killer and your life is in imminent danger.  As a matter of protection you enter your "confidential" information into the data base designed and disseminated by the inmates so you can be placed in the appropriate slot among them.

          Narcissism is rampant.

          Entitlement unbridled.

          Anything for negative attention.

As time went on I found a small number of women I felt comfortable with, things seemed to settle down somewhat, or I finally became acclimated and was able to go about my days with less fear.  I learned that fear had a paralyzing quality to it and would not allow me to move out of danger if necessary.  Mostly I read and read and read.  I allowed this time to become an educational opportunity.  I remembered in the busy-ness of my life before all this I quite often said I did not have enough time to read as much as I'd like, and wished I had more time.  I needn't remind you of the old saying...Be careful what you wish for!  Sometimes, while incarcerated I'd even pretend I was in a nunnery....silly I know... but finding that quiet, peaceful place inside became my survival.



  1. Your story is so powerful! Keep writing! Your blogspot's title "All things work together for good" is bittersweet...we don't know why, but we must trust. We must trust that God uses ALL for his purpose. Even the bad. I know that God's plan will be revealed. I know that you will be cleared! By faith, I am promised!

  2. You have such a wonderful way of writing. ... And I'm glad you're writing.


    (And thanks for all your great comments on my blog!)