and I didn’t die, not even once!

           My parents came to visit me today and I cried. A lot. It was very unexpected by all parties involved. Something about my mom’s freshly painted fingernails, the way she tried to die her hair, that she’s worn my favorite color to every visit… Her hands, soft but aging, her face still beautiful with big brown eyes surveying the visiting room trying to figure out how her daughter (stuck on her like glue growing up) could end up here. My dad – eyes maintaining a cheerful glimmer, sad but encouraging and hopeful. The faint scent of cigarettes he shouldn’t be smoking but that I won’t lecture him tonight… He looks thinner, tired, greyer. Everyone likes my dad. Like my mom, he’s the best. I’m the worst.
           
My dad starts to animatedly tell me about Cashew and Coppola. I picture their furry little faces. I look at the bored deputy sitting behind my parents. I burst out crying. The boulder had officially fallen.  To say I was suddenly overcome with guilt bc of a very sudden realization of where I am would be an understatement. Today, 62 days into my incarceration I was finally crushed by the weight of my reality.
           
But I didn’t die.
Instead, after adequately freaking out my parents by the end of the visiting hour, I returned to my dorm with my inmates. I talked through the pros and cons of giving custody to grandparents with a crying inmate facing a big decision, I laughed about a deputy’s pat down style with some other inmates returning from visits (a pat on each shoulder and a tug on a toe), and settled down finally to a game of scrabble. As reigning scrabble queen with an ever increasing high score, I let a 19 year old drug trafficker from TJ score 58 points with the controversial word “pet sex”. There was much debate and laughter and junk food and companionship and I was glad. I’ve known since April that Jail is where I was supposed to be. Its one of those things God asks of us and we stubbornly refuse to listen. I know also that I am supposed to be here because for the first time since I moved to San Diego in March 2014, my anxiety has plummeted. I can count on one finger the # of anxiety attacks I’ve had, and it was only because a lady in front of me on the jail bus had a seizure (that story for another day). I’m actually more terrified of being released. In jail, I am protected from bad friends, bad relationships, financial issues, career moves… In jail, I am safe. I have women to talk to that care about being better than who they were yesterday, women that find strength in their struggle and offer their strength to women who don’t.
As my release date draws near, I worry when I picture myself “on the outs”. Who am I going to be? What am I going to do differently? Will I finally hold myself to a higher standard? Will I go back to eating carne asada fries everyday? These are the questions that keep me up at night.
I miss my computer, guys. And I miss most of you. Thank you to everyone that has written me, from the bottom of my heart & soul. It’s so easy to take people for granted when you have your freedom. To all those that have written me, there’s about 20 girls in Las Colinas that think you’re awesome for bringing joy to this girls heart.
God bless you, everyone. I going to eat some more sugar and processed Junk food!

Vans

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