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  #1  
Old 12-01-2008, 09:44 AM
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Default Finding Myself Again

Today is the first day of December, and one year ago, I will still locked inside a prison cell. One month from now, on January 1, I will celebrate the first anniversary of my release. I find myself taking stock of my life now and I'm trying to find myself again after plummeting from the sky like a fallen star.

Now, I am able to see the beauty of myself again despite what I underwent. I am able to stand up stronger against those who wish me ill. I am able to walk away, like a lady, when someone insults me. I am proud of the lines on my face and the tattoos on my arms that mark the passage of time.

It doesn't matter to me anymore what people think of me. I am happy with myself. Though the world tends to look at me with only one perception of who I am, I see myself as a kaleidescope of color and possibility.
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Old 12-01-2008, 12:34 PM
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Mary_Magdalene,

You, truly, have much to be proud of!! Congrats on the year anniversary, but much more..... best wishes for the future ahead of you. You certainly sound as if life has changed the way you view it now, as well as viewing those around you.

My hubby just got home 4 months ago, and it doesn't matter which side of the fence you did your time on... the truth is that the experience can WILL change you. It is up to each one of us, whether, we let it change us for the better or worse.

How refreshing when we discover that we are not who "man" says we are, but we are who God says we are... period. That's all that matters.

Continued best wishes for your future.

Blessings to you,
Walkonwater
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Old 12-01-2008, 09:49 PM
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You GO, girl! All of the good things in life lay ahead of you...!
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Old 12-02-2008, 06:46 AM
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Thanks from my heart to you both for your support and kindness. It feels good to be free. It feels good to be strong. I'm done with self-hatred and with people who want to push me back down. I'm done with the anger. I feel like someone I always wanted to be at long last. Somehow, making the mistakes and going through the hell that followed them made me a better woman. That is what I am going to hold onto from this day forward. I'm tired of looking back. That part of my life will always trace itself across my heart, but it will not stop me from the life that stands before me.
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Old 12-03-2008, 02:27 PM
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You know I have to say thank you for giving some glimmer of hope that I can make it through this and still be able to function. I am facing 25 years with parole eligibility in 12.5. Right now I am so angry about so many things that I am not sure I can make it but thank you so mucn for the light you have provided at the end of the tunnel.

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Old 12-04-2008, 09:33 AM
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You know I have to say thank you for giving some glimmer of hope that I can make it through this and still be able to function. I am facing 25 years with parole eligibility in 12.5. Right now I am so angry about so many things that I am not sure I can make it but thank you so mucn for the light you have provided at the end of the tunnel.

Hangingmyhead,

If I have given you some glimmer of hope, then I am so glad that I posted this. I know how it feels to be where you are right now. The year before I was incarcerated was probably rougher than the time I spent inside the prison walls because I was so scared and uncertain of the future.

All I can do now, after being released, is put one foot in front of the other and refuse to take any steps back. Whatever happens, you will do the same. I wish you love and peace. I send you my hopes that everything goes all right.

Mary Magdalene
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Old 12-05-2008, 01:54 PM
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I've decided to continue posting on this thread as a kind of ongoing project in which I document my redevelopment on the outside.

At present, one of the things that I have to work hard to deal with regularly is the cruelty and lack of compassion among members of my family (excluding my Mom and Dad, who support me fully). Can you imagine that my own sister and her children shun me? And, when I'm forced to be with them (or they are forced to be with me), I have to be the one to step up and act like the grown up in the situation because if I don't, they will just make jokes at my expense.

How do I combat this? Well, I speak to them and say hello to them. And, then I leave the room. After that, there is no further communication. My grandmother always told me that "A real lady always knows when it's time to leave." So, when I'm in such impossible situations, I just leave the room and that way save myself from ridicule. This way, I at least maintain some pride.
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Old 12-05-2008, 04:16 PM
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Being on the outside of family and of society sometimes is a part of being free, I guess. I don't look backward too much, and I try to remember that we are all outsiders sometimes.
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Old 12-05-2008, 10:07 PM
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Thanks from my heart to you both for your support and kindness. It feels good to be free. It feels good to be strong. I'm done with self-hatred and with people who want to push me back down. I'm done with the anger. I feel like someone I always wanted to be at long last. Somehow, making the mistakes and going through the hell that followed them made me a better woman. That is what I am going to hold onto from this day forward. I'm tired of looking back. That part of my life will always trace itself across my heart, but it will not stop me from the life that stands before me.
Mary, thank you for your posts. You chose exactly the right username for yourself. Mary Magdalene had led a very rough and tumble life until she met Jesus. He saw the beauty and potential, He saw the "diamond in the rough" and she was His special chosen one, for it was she who was the first to find His tomb empty.

The sky is the limit for you now, dear one. All good things to you...
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Old 12-06-2008, 10:50 AM
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Mary, thank you for your posts. You chose exactly the right username for yourself. Mary Magdalene had led a very rough and tumble life until she met Jesus. He saw the beauty and potential, He saw the "diamond in the rough" and she was His special chosen one, for it was she who was the first to find His tomb empty.

The sky is the limit for you now, dear one. All good things to you...
Justus1,

Thank you so much for your kindness. I hope to live up to the promise that lies before me. I know that the Lord released me from bondage for a reason, and I believe that He has a plan for me. I believe that part of that plan is learning how to fly again after falling from the sky. Each day, I learn a little more. Right now, I'm walking, sometimes stumbling. But, one day, my wings will lift me up once more and I will fly, fly, fly and become all that I was meant to become. I plan to honor Him and to honor my promises to Him.

Love and peace,
Mary Magdalene
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Old 12-06-2008, 09:25 PM
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Mary, thank you for your posts. You chose exactly the right username for yourself. Mary Magdalene had led a very rough and tumble life until she met Jesus. He saw the beauty and potential, He saw the "diamond in the rough" and she was His special chosen one, for it was she who was the first to find His tomb empty.

The sky is the limit for you now, dear one. All good things to you...
what a beautiful post!!!!! congrats on your newfound freedom!!!! always remember it doesn't matter what bad things people may say about you as long as you don't talk bad about yourself!!! hold your head high, you are a person of value!!!!!
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Old 12-07-2008, 10:43 AM
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Justus1,

Thank you so much for your kindness. I hope to live up to the promise that lies before me. I know that the Lord released me from bondage for a reason, and I believe that He has a plan for me. I believe that part of that plan is learning how to fly again after falling from the sky. Each day, I learn a little more. Right now, I'm walking, sometimes stumbling. But, one day, my wings will lift me up once more and I will fly, fly, fly and become all that I was meant to become. I plan to honor Him and to honor my promises to Him.

Love and peace,
Mary Magdalene
You may be stumbling, but He's there beside you making sure you don't fall to the ground.

I can't wait to see the final product, dear, do keep us updated.

Remember, when times are tough, that God HAS to take us down to that small ball of clay so that He can begin to re-shape us into what He destines we are to become.

He will often put us through the "refiner's fire" as we work on ourselves and grow to be more like Him.

When God was asked, "WHEN will I be done with the refiner's fire?" He replied, "When I can see myself in your image".

I thank Him every day for that fire, as painful as it has often been.

One day we will walk with Him in heaven, I can't wait to meet you.
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Old 12-08-2008, 08:09 AM
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You may be stumbling, but He's there beside you making sure you don't fall to the ground.

I can't wait to see the final product, dear, do keep us updated.

Remember, when times are tough, that God HAS to take us down to that small ball of clay so that He can begin to re-shape us into what He destines we are to become.

He will often put us through the "refiner's fire" as we work on ourselves and grow to be more like Him.

When God was asked, "WHEN will I be done with the refiner's fire?" He replied, "When I can see myself in your image".

I thank Him every day for that fire, as painful as it has often been.

One day we will walk with Him in heaven, I can't wait to meet you.

Justus1,

Your words touch me deeply. I believe in what you say. The refiner's fire burns, but out of it, we become all that we are intended to be in God's eyes. I wish you such love and I know that our souls will meet in heaven some day.

Love,
Mary Magdalene

-----------------------------------------------

Thoughts for Today:

I try very hard to stay in the present tense and not look back, but sometimes I think about what I did and feel such sadness. Why did I make those choices? Why did I make such terrible mistakes? I don't have the answers to these questions. All I can do is try to make each day from here on out important and valuable. All I can do is try to give back to society in some way to help others who are struggling with problems like those I had. I pray that some day the world will be more open to me and I can find a job that will allow me to do something truly meaningful to help others. For now, I will write and hope that the words give hope to others. Hope: such a beautiful word and so crucial to survive.
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Old 12-13-2008, 10:38 AM
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I was watching a film last night called "Death and the Maiden." The film examines the life of a woman whose world was derailed after she was taken prisoner and tortured for an extended period of time. Later, she has a chance to confront her torturer and exact revenge if she wishes to do so.

As I watched the film, I thought of how nice it would be if there were someone else that I could blame and take revenge on for derailing my life. But, the problem is: I have only myself to blame for doing that. What this thought led me to was the idea that I simply have to forgive myself for the mistake I made and move on. It does no good to continue punishing myself emotionally and mentally for a mistake I made a long time ago. So, today, I have tried to start forgiving myself truly in the deepest sense for my crime and letting go of the pain.

For the first time in a long time, I feel freer.
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Old 12-13-2008, 11:38 AM
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keep your head up. the past is the past. good luck to you
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Old 12-26-2008, 10:35 AM
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This was the first Christmas I've spent at home post-incarceration, and it was great to be free to eat well and enjoy being with my folks. It made me stop and think about thngs really hard. My greatest focus is on trying to remember to be grateful for the freedom that I now enjoy and to be patient for the rest.
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Old 12-27-2008, 01:34 PM
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Sometimes, I feel very small in the great scheme of life. I feel that I'm tiny in comparison with all the people around me. Maybe it is because I am having to rebuild myself and my life from the ground up and do so with all the strength I possess. It is not easy, but no matter how problematic it all is, no matter how tough it seems, no matter what the cost, I persevere and will continue to do so until I reach the top of the mountain. It may take the rest of my life, but I will reach the summit.
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Old 12-30-2008, 07:38 AM
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The year is almost over and I'm hopeful that 2009 will offer us all hope for a brighter tomorrow. I have so much to be grateful for. 2008 was a tough year, but I survived the first year out in tact and with energy and good health.
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Old 12-31-2008, 05:53 AM
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It's New Year's Eve and it's going to be a good one. I plan to enjoy the simple things: some good food, some good iced tea and some quiet time with the family. I haven't set any resolutions yet, and I don't know that I will. Somehow, I have always thought resolutions were dumb because I never keep them. Instead of resolving to change anything, I'm just going to continue doing the right things and working hard to make my future the best it can be. Tonight, I will remember all the people who have helped me this far in my journey.
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Old 01-04-2009, 06:10 AM
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At last, we're into 2009, a year that I believe will prove to be better than the years that have recently passed. I have found a new optimism to help me on this journey, and this optimism has been hard-won after all that has transpired in my life. These days, I am working hard on meditating and keeping my mind free of the negativity that led me to do such stupid things in the past. I no longer react to things impulsively. I force myself, instead, to reflect on matters before I take action. Just this simple act of putting space between events and reactions has saved me a world of trouble and I believe this 'impulse control' is what will see me through the rest of my journey. I feel at peace and free from my own sometimes poor judgements.
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Old 01-05-2009, 11:02 AM
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Memories

When I need to get re-focused and find my center again, I go back in my mind to the first day I was released. It was January 1, 2008. I had spent so many days and nights inside the walls and much of it in silence without a view of trees or sky prior to that day. I remember how it felt to walk out for the first time through that big metal door, to see the sky, the parking lot and the world I had lost. I couldn't believe it. I felt as though a great weight was lifted from my chest and I could breathe again.

I remember getting into the car and smelling the car and being reminded of how it had felt to drive before and how long it had been. My Mama gave me a pack of cigarettes, a coke and a Snicker's bar, and I lit the smoke and popped the coke can and just smiled and smiled. I kept touching her to be sure it was real.

I was so happy then. I was aware in that moment of all I had lost and how fortunate I was to have a chance to re-gain it. So, now, when I'm having a bad day (or I think I am), I look back and remember all the simple things I took for granted before prison, and how happy and lucky I felt that first day when I was able to get them back. I never take anything for granted anymore.
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Old 01-06-2009, 01:47 PM
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I don't want to gloss over my post-incarceration and leave out the fact that it's hard as hell out here to survive. One of the toughest problems I'm facing at the moment is the fact that my significant other lives in Europe and I live here in the U.S. Since I can't go there right now because of parole matters, I am pretty sure I'm about to lose the relationship. It's hard. I guess I'm just going to have to let go and move on, but I wonder what would have happened if it hadn't been for my problems, my past?
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Old 01-08-2009, 08:50 AM
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They say that it is always darkest just before the dawn, and I'm beginning to believe that is true. Just when I was feeling so down about everything, I got a new writing contract. It isn't the answer to all my problems, but it certainly helps restore my confidence in the possibilities of the new year. I have a little angel watching over me and I've known that for a long time now. Thanks angel.
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Old 01-09-2009, 06:50 AM
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Mary Magdalene -

I've just found your thread and I'm so knocked out by your honesty and courage. You've achieved so much in the last year, I'm sure you're going to make it. Congratulations on your writing contract - that must be a real encouragement to you. Please do keep this thread going.

With best wishes and prayers,

Jane
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Old 01-09-2009, 01:30 PM
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Mary Magdalene -

I've just found your thread and I'm so knocked out by your honesty and courage. You've achieved so much in the last year, I'm sure you're going to make it. Congratulations on your writing contract - that must be a real encouragement to you. Please do keep this thread going.

With best wishes and prayers,

Jane
Jane,

Thank you so much for your kindness and words of encouragement. You have no idea how much it means to me. It's good to hear from you and I wish you peace and love.

Mary
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