Thank you so much for the awesome letters. I’m still working to write you all back, but please know that even if I have not written you back that your letters mean the world to me! Also, if you write to me, please include a return address inside. I have read them wrong sometimes and have had a few returned. You are all super rad, thank you!! I couldn’t do my thing without the epic support work going on! So a huge thanks to everyone doing any degree of support work. On to my next ramble:
So, holidays in prison can be a total bummer. I mean, the food is generally better than the usual day-to-day (hell yeah fresh veggies!) Besides the better food, they are just hard. There are several levels to this… A lot of the women I am in here with are mothers. Children are missed just a little more on holidays, and they are worried about a little more too. A lot of the mothers here constantly worry about how their imprisonment effects the consistency in their children’s lives. There is no other time this is discussed more than around the holidays. Not being able to carry out traditions, provide physical closeness during this emotional time of year, or to provide gifts (although there are some pretty cool faith-based groups who attempt to give gifts to children of incarcerated parents for the winter holidays, regardless of faith, but they don’t fill the need), are all things that are worried about. Mothers in here worry about conveying to their children that they are loved.
Besides many being mothers, women here are caregivers on “the outs” for aging parents and other family members and they have a very hard time being away during the holidays…worried about who those people will spend their lives with. PRISON DOES NOT JUST EFFECT THOSE INCARCERATED!!
It is also just sad to be away from my family (whether created or born-into family) during the holidays. On a personal note, I know that Christmas is going to be hella hard on me. I was never raised religious, but what I do believe in is the love of my family and every year I have spent Christmas with my mom, dad, and brother (who are awesome people), but this year I’ll be in the custody of BOP and I will be real, this makes me very sad. In regards to prison effecting much more than those incarcerated, I know that being in prison over the holidays is going to hurt my whole family and it is hard knowing that there is nothing I can do about it. We are close in our hearts and our minds and we have been making sure to remind each other of our love via phone, letters, and joint projects.
Sorry if I just bummed you all out. I want to assure you that I am doing fine. I just wanted to be real about my experience.
In other news, a huge shout out to CAPR folks as well as numerous ABC chapters and many unnamed groups of people and those of various ranges of kinds of political groups doing support on behalf of all of us.
A huge shout out to the rad folks in Honolulu,HI who keep writing me. You all are incredible. Will you please send me your return address? I haven’t been able to get it right and would love to get back to ya’ll.
Also Denver ABC thank you so much for your constant support.
To all of your, thank you and happy holidays!
PS, Sad Christmas music came on while I was writing this, and I am finding it really funny.