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  #51  
Old 02-05-2009, 02:10 PM
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The life of a freelance writer is sometimes perilous. Though I have had a steady contract for a short while, I am fully aware that I am always just one mistake away from the end of the contract. I made a minor screw-up on one article and the publisher/rep. got so pissed off that I'm sure he'll cancel me after I finish this set of articles. I hope I'm wrong about it, but I know how things go in this business. Regardless of the quality of your work, if you make one mistake (and even if you make every effort to correct it), you're done. That's why they hire you cheaply because you're expendible.

It's a good thing I have a decent amount of perspective on things in life or this would really get me down. But, when things go like this, I always go back in my mind to where I was and how far I've come and I remember that this is temporary. Life is too short and freedom is too precious to let things get you too down.
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Old 02-06-2009, 06:03 AM
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It's a brand new day, and I am very relieved that I was able to negotiate with the publisher and keep this assignment. Whew. I was worried. In any case, this whole contractor's life made me start thinking about my world now vs. what it used to be before prison. Before I got into trouble, I lived a very comfortable and easy life. I was fortunate to have plenty of cushions around me to keep me from knowing about how hard it could be. I had enough money to save and to stay on top of all my expenses. I had plenty of friends (though now I wonder if they really were that). And, I had all the things in life...the illusions...that keep you from knowing how tough the world really is. Ah well. I lost all that when I got into a mess of trouble with the law and ended up inside a wall with razor wire. Now that I'm out, I don't have any of the comforting illusions that I once had. I know what rock-bottom is and I try to live the best I can. The hard part is holding onto your humanity after going that far down the pipe. The harder part is being empathetic with people in your life who neither know nor care to know how far down you can truly go.
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Old 02-06-2009, 05:45 PM
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God be with you, you are a strong women and I love your writting. Thank you.
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  #54  
Old 02-06-2009, 06:17 PM
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Thank you for the blessings and for what you said about my writing, Judean07. You did my heart good posting in this thread tonite. I send you all my hopes for peace and happiness in your life.

God bless,
MM
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Old 02-07-2009, 12:59 PM
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Loneliness is a rough enemy to face. I pray for comfort and the wisdom to make this loneliness be a tool for strength rather than a force that destroys me.
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Old 02-07-2009, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Mary_Magdalene View Post
It's a rainy day in February and I'm inside enjoying a quiet afternoon. I wrote several articles this morning, and I'm pleasantly tired from doing so. I have a lot of energy for doing the work and it keeps me from brooding. Sometimes, though, in the quiet of the afternoon, I feel the silence around me. I have meditated on this silence. I believe that all beauty, all truth, all understanding, in fact, all life comes from silence. There is a void and we fill it. There are many people who live an entire life running away from silence, fearing it. The television is always on. The radio is always playing. The voices are always chattering about so much of nothing. I feel that the only way to make peace with yourself, with your soul and with whatever comes in the next life is to embrace the silence and make it your friend. It is in silence that I write. It is in silence that I think. And, it is in silence that I love.


I just read this one this morning, but it was great timing! I laid in bed this morning thinking how our rainy dreary day would be perfect for playing old fashioned board games with the kids all day in front of a nice warm fireplace. Except, we have not kids nor fireplace. So, of course I started thinking that I should have gotten married and had kids when I was young. They would be in college (or military) by now, and we could be empty nesters by now. Oh well, such is life! The funny thing is that I never wanted to have kids until recently, now in midlife. Some of us really are s-l-o-w. LOL!

I used to always have to have music on, 24-7! Silence allowed me to think and regret my own mistakes and dwell on a 'possible future' that I had thrown away! Instead, I should have found peace with myself & God and faced what I had done and why I did it. At that point in time, I could have appreciated silence more. As I've gotten older, I have learned to relish peace and quiet. I 'hate' to think that I actually fit into society in this manner, since most people would rather be distracted by entertainment, than to see what is really happening in the world today. Peace and quiet (both mental and physical) allows us to 'stop and smell the roses' and appreciate what God has given us to enjoy in life. Now, I listen to music because I actually like the lyrics, or it takes me back to really good memories - no more distractions to 'fill a void'!

[quote/]These are hard times for the whole world economically and socially. Sometimes I wonder what life will be like in say 10 or even 20 years. I wonder if we might go back to a simpler existence by necessity or if we'll just keep on progressing technologically until everything is robotic. I pray for a kind of melding of the two extremes with a return to at least some form of simplicity and a modification of the technology that leaves so many jobless. I pray that we will all look to each other for some of the love and understanding that so many of us turn to drugs and alcohol for. I pray that we will have some kind of harmony in this world before I make my final journey to my spiritual destination. [/quote]


Last week I heard on the news about how we are discussing artificial intelligence and how machines will be smarter than humans by 2050(?). Shouldn't be too hard! I hope they learn from their mistakes better than we do! These hard times are brought on my our own shortcomings as humans, which we never face up to. It is greed, dishonesty, laziness, and probably a few more that we allow to run our lives. If we simply lived our lives guided by a strong sense of self responsibility and caring for others, then we would avoid most of our problems in society. These 2 core issues are why I never liked humans. We are different from all other animals, and yet so many of us choose to live like animals. It does not matter if we are convicts or Presidents/Kings - all of us have to make choices every day about how we will live our lives. Congressmen and business tycoons live like animals, just like the "dregs of society", until they/we choose to change and live by a higher standard! The more advances we make in science/engineering - the closer we place ourselves into positions of gods, where we (artificially) create life and control it ourselves. Like many other things in life, technology is only as good or as bad as we choose to make it.

[quote/]It's a brand new day, and I am very relieved that I was able to negotiate with the publisher and keep this assignment. Whew. I was worried. In any case, this whole contractor's life made me start thinking about my world now vs. what it used to be before prison. Before I got into trouble, I lived a very comfortable and easy life. I was fortunate to have plenty of cushions around me to keep me from knowing about how hard it could be. I had enough money to save and to stay on top of all my expenses. I had plenty of friends (though now I wonder if they really were that). And, I had all the things in life...the illusions...that keep you from knowing how tough the world really is. Ah well. I lost all that when I got into a mess of trouble with the law and ended up inside a wall with razor wire. Now that I'm out, I don't have any of the comforting illusions that I once had. I know what rock-bottom is and I try to live the best I can. The hard part is holding onto your humanity after going that far down the pipe. The harder part is being empathetic with people in your life who neither know nor care to know how far down you can truly go.[/quote]

This is great to read! You have expressed to us all just how important having our priorities in the right place is! Like our parents who lived through the Great Depression and learned how to live on less, save money and appreciate what they already had - you have learned all that without having to survive years of destitute poverty. Very importantly, friends are the people who stand by you no matter what happens in life. Fair weather 'friends' are not friends at all - just a clique. This why I believe hope is one of the most important things in life, and friends/family is vital in supplying us hope in hard times.

It is good to read that you still have your writing contract! I have no idea of what type of writing you do, but is it helped by your internal reflections and loneliness, or would it be more beneficial to work part time at a regular job in order to provide a bit more financial security with a steady (partial) income? If not a part time job, what about some type of charity work? It would help alleviate loneliness and may inspire your writings some. The healing part of it could do wonders also! Even one day a week could be a huge help to your peace and healing process. I know as humans we tend to be social creatures and crave interaction with others at times. It is vitally important for a healthy psyche in all of us.

You are most certainly a great example to the rest of us who also struggle with common issues, but are either afraid to express them or have no one to share them with. Keep your faith strong, as it will give you the strength to face everything else in life! Find real/honest friends nearby who will support you (and accept your support when needed) and don't try to face all of this alone. You're right, loneliness is a hard thing to deal with!
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  #57  
Old 02-09-2009, 05:37 AM
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Charlie,

Your response moves me so much. It feels good to read your words because they have a lot of depth and insight in them. I also sense your innate kindness and thank you for sharing it with me.

You give me some real motivation to try and keep dealing with all the issues that come along with post-incarceration. Who would ever imagine that re-entry into society would be almost as hard as entry into prison? It's like learning to live all over again when you thought you knew how to do that already. But, that all changes when you've been inside.

You are an inspiration to me, Charlie. You are so real and that realness is one of the rarest qualities on earth. You deserve all the happiness that God gives you and then some. I think your idea about charity work sounds like a great idea, and I'm gonna pursue that. My writing is a big part of my daily life and it earns my pay. I write articles and web content for health & fitness websites, as well as for international companies wanting to develop a U.S. web presence. It's not the kind of writing that feeds my soul, but it feeds my hunger.

Thanks so much for all you said, for your encouragement and your kindness.

Love,
MM
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Old 02-09-2009, 11:31 AM
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Mary - Since you write about health & fitness, you will certainly appreciate that spiritual and mental health are the most important aspects of our health in general. The connection between stress and cardio health has been well documented over the years. Part of this (of course) is directly dependent on exercise and interpersonal experiences. The other aspect is your outlook on life and your own inner peace.

I''l use myself as an example. Most/many people think of a good weekend as laying around watching football/nascar/fishing and drinking a few with good buddies. To me that is a waste of life. I have a good weekend when I get projects done, and can see tangible results on large projects. I may be totally exhausted on Monday morning, but if asked - I had a great weekend! It is just a matter of how we are individually wired. I am more focus/goal driven. The problem most tiems is I have so many goals! Right now (and for the past 6-9 months) I have 5 major projects ongoing at once. I have had to drop one for one, and once I get another job I will finish up 3 more. Once they are done, I will really get moving on the fifth one. To give you an idea of the scale of these, one is a custom designed and built VAWT. I should be recieving the 80 magnets and 1/4 mile of magnet wire today, in order to hand wind the 15 stator windings. The generator (electrical portion) has over 600 individual parts in it. I've already built and erected the towers, and run the conduit underground. I have all the electrical work to do still. This is just one project on the list!

Each of us must find out what makes us happy (in a healthy way) with ourselves. If we are not at peace with ourselves, then we will never have peace with the life that we make for ourselves. And, we do make our own lives - no matter how great or miserable they are. It can be extremely tough to learn to place more emphasis on the positive things in our lives, than to allow ourselves to be pulled down by our limitations. Some people do much better at this than others. I spent 20 years allowing myself to be pulled down by the negative, while others bounce back and move on quickly.

You mentioned that writing about health & fitness does not feed your soul. If you start writing about (or living) your passions (even just a little bit at a time for private reflection), this might just give you a needed boost for your own satisfaction and peace also. I found this in rock climbing for several years, and in the time spent with my brother on the rock. Competitive rowing filled the void for a couple of years before that. Martial arts got thrwon in with 2 different styles, but my heart was not in either one (anger got in the way again!). When I was young, it was JOSP shooting every weekend, but that doesn't happen anymore. LOL. Now, I just want to help others, even if just one person benefits from it.

I hope you can find some outlet for your loneliness, and an inlet for your peace. One or two really good friends is all you need in life. They will stick by you no matter what, while the others fall away at the first sign of hardship - but then we all know that by now!

Time to enjoy Tennessee Ernie Ford's 'Big John' and aspire to something great!
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Old 02-10-2009, 05:15 PM
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It has been a really long time since I felt truly angry, but today I experienced that emotion again. I was thinking about some of the things people have said and done to me since I got out and I started to feel genuine rage. I was thinking: "What the hell. If anybody's got a right to be pissed off, it's me!" And, so I allowed myself to feel mad today. After a few hours of it, of ranting and yelling at the walls, I took a long nap. When I awoke, I felt relieved. Sometimes, I guess it's important to allow anger to come in, but for me, I can only do so when I'm alone. Fortunately, today was a day when I had that luxury.
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Old 02-12-2009, 08:54 AM
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I made a vow to myself to be honest on this journey, and so I honestly report what I feel here on most days. I say this because what I'm about to write is not positive.

I am tired. I am wounded. I have no faith today. I have nothing that I want to live for. And, if I could be taken up to heaven and leave this earth right this instant, I would only be too happy to go.
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Old 02-12-2009, 11:44 AM
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Mary - Even though T.W. had great success in his life, while fighting anger, deep depression and addictions just remember that we all make our own path in life. He wrote great stories/plays and yet still lived in misery. Living the life of a dark & moody artiste is not a healthy thing for any of us. He let his resentments build up and become toxic to him. Don't let this happen to you too. We all have internal battles to fight, and it is simply a matter of winning the important ones, more often than losing them!

I have been so close to suicide before that I have actually seen it play out in my mind. I have heard the sound, and seen what happens as I drop in a heap to the floor. I saw my wife run to the area immediately after wards and break down. I have stood there frozen during this 'experience' unable to get out of it until it played out. That was last year. And, no I don't share that with her, as it would only hurt and not help in any way.

I've also learned that a person who I thought that I could really look up to and respect mentally abused his wife for decades, and taught his children to do the same (by example). Over 2000 people attended his funeral, because he had selflessly helped so many people outside his family instead of concentrating on his own family! Two men in my family have shot themselves to death. Two mentally abused their wives. And, this in a family whose women were raised to trust in God more than anyone else. That faith and belief in marriage being forever gave them strength to make it through the hard times, even though they could have easily walked out. My own mother almost walked (not because of abuse, but other reasons) out, but she stayed because of her faith and my parents are old, healthy, and very much in love.

One thing that has helped temper my feelings of 'poor me' in the past is the knowledge that so many other people have their own hardships to deal with also. It is just a little bit easier when you know that others also have their own crosses to bare in life. Anger is not as easy to deal with though.

My paternal grandmother was given to a neighbor by her abusive father, because he did not want her anymore. (Her mother had died during childbirth) This was at a very young age (single digits), and her neighbors raised her as their own child. She married an angry man who mentally abused her, and eventually shot himself (we were told it was lung cancer for many years, because he did this when we were very young). She eventually went deaf and blind, living by herself on the extreme border of Baltimore City. She was robbed once, while living over 40 years in the same apartment. She was also the sweetest person that I've ever met. One day, my father found her slumped over her breakfast bowl (on his weekly trips to check on her), dead. The city and the county fought over which should jurisdiction should send out police to file the reports on her death for couple of hours, which of course wore on my father who just wanted her moved and prepared for cremation with some type of dignity. She died quietly from old age, and from natural causes. This happened a couple of years after I got out, and I still kick myself for not spending more time with her - but all we can do is learn from our past, and not dwell on it. I know that one day we will be reunited in heaven, forever healthy and filled with joy.

Between my anger and past thoughts of suicide, I have an uphill battle everyday - IF I let life get to me! My family has a history of both, so I can either continue the "Tradition!", or I can be part of breaking this trend.

I still would much prefer to be taken to heaven, than to live our the rest of my life here on earth. However, this is for a different reason than guilt or anger. I appreciate that God has a mission for me to fulfill here on earth, and that I have to find out what it is and do it to the best of my ability for the glory of God.

We all have to focus on the positive things that we CAN do in life, and leave behind the things that we are not allowed to do anymore. Everything in life happens for a reason, we just have to be willing to learn from these experiences and move forward.

One thing that I sometimes fall back on for strength is to think about our men and women in combat, and think about their sacrifice and that of their families. Especially the wounded vets, whose lives are permanently changed by grievous mental and/or physical wounds. When I think of these people and the strength & selflessness that they exhibit, that helps me appreciate what I have now, and to thank God for every day of health and freedom. Now that helps me, but we all have to find something that helps us in our own lives. There are many examples of strength everyday, we just have to look for them!

Helping others helps us also! Please find a church (or charitable organization) that you can be part of and who will support you when you need strength! When you help them help others, you will feel a hundred times better about yourself! If I had done this years ago, I would have avoided much pain and anger in my own life!
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Old 02-14-2009, 08:49 AM
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This is goodbye for now, everyone. Thank you to each person who has been kind enough to encourage me and offer advice and good will. I have come to a turning-point in my life now and it's time to stop writing about what I'm doing and start doing something.

I have a world to see, a life to live, a job to do. I will come back some day and go on with this journal. But, for now, I need to re-focus.

Au revoir,
MM
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Old 02-16-2009, 06:56 AM
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Mary,

I as I am sure others here hate to see you go.

Your words have inspired me to keep plugging at life and not to give up when times were dark. I have probably been home longer than many here - close to seven years - certainly longer than I was inside - however some things and events in my life still effect me much the same way as the day I walked out the gate.

You writings and the conversations they inspire has let me know that I am not the only one facing the challenges I have faced over the last seven years - and knowing that others have faced those challenges and their solutions to them has inspired me to not give up.

Mary, no matter where life takes you in the future you are always welcome here and part of the PTO and Straight Talk Family. Don't be a stranger share your successes and failures, but most of all know that you inspire others to their own successes by letting them know that you cannot succeed if you do not try.

Being a sailor at heart first and foremost in this life, I bid you:

Fair Winds, and Following Seas in all of your endeavors,

Till we meet again, my friend

Patti
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Old 02-16-2009, 10:36 AM
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Mary - Please keep in touch with us and let us know how you are doing. You will be in our prayers to stay strong and see success come your way!
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Old 04-11-2009, 05:58 AM
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It's been awhile since I dropped by, but over the past few days I've been drawn back here. My life has been unpredictable during the last several months and I am continuing to learn things on my journey.

I became really sick and have been in and out of the doctor's office quite a lot having tests run to find out the nature of the problem. I'm not one to cry about my problems or to publicize my difficulties, but it's been tough and it will probably get tougher before I get better.

Having been sick and being so often in bed I've had a lot of time to think about my life. And, I've come to some conclusions about it that are reassuring to me. I have decided that I love myself and my life regardless of the past. I love spending time with family and friends, playing with my animals, talking to the people I care most for. I love to write and to spend quiet time cooking and just watching the colors of the trees change. If these are my last days on earth, I am content with who I am and with what I have done. I have shown those that I love how I feel and I have given all I could to them. I have made amends for any wrongs I did in the past. So, I feel that I am moving on toward the best part of my journey, whether that be in heaven or on earth, I don't know.
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Old 04-12-2009, 12:23 AM
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Hi Mary,

I just found this thread and read it from the beginning.

Your writing is captivating...I just couldn't stop reading. Even when you said you would be gone to do other things I wished you well, but felt a loss that I wouldn't be able to follow your journey through your posts.

I'm sorry to hear that you are ill and I hope you are well again and can live the life you deserve, one of happiness and inner peace.

I started reading the threads on Straight Talk to gain insight. I have a loved one who is doing life. Since I have no experience of being locked up I read as much as I can to try and be the best friend and advocate for him.

Thank you for sharing yourself...it has really helped me understand things better.

Actually, thank you to anyone who has shared their experience, through you others are able to help those who are still living that life.

I will keep you in my prayers,
Connie
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Old 04-15-2009, 06:33 PM
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Clacord,

Thank you SO much for your kind words and your generosity of spirit. It does my heart good to read what you wrote. It's a hard life sometimes, and being sick a lot lately has made it tougher than usual. But, I really believe that I'm like a cat with nine lives, and I'll come back from this just like I came back from prison. Sometimes, I feel like Lazarus after coming back from the dead, yet I do keep coming back and going on no matter how tough.

Love,
Mary
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Old 04-16-2009, 08:16 AM
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Acceptance of reality has been perhaps the hardest part of my emotionally charged life. From early on, I had a vivid imagination and that is probably why I decided to become a writer. It has always allowed me to imagine other worlds and other times and to create fictional worlds that are somehow easier to cope with than the real one. However, prison taught me the value of facing reality head on and coming to terms with that.

This does not mean that I do not still feed my inner life with all the rich foods of imagination that I need and thrive on. I do, but I also make it a regular habit every day to take a sober look at the world around me and accept it for what it is. Sometimes, I write straightforward realism and that is what this journal is about and many of my articles that I write these days.

It is hard sometimes to look at reality. The love I thought I had with my partner of a year and a half ended. I have had a tough time coming to terms with that. Old friends who I thought truly cared for me abandoned me and have not contacted me since I was released. I accepted that. But, despite these losses, I have managed to keep my head up. I have been and continue to be sick, but I have to face that and cope with the pain. Yet, I still count my blessings each and every day.

I have a home. I have a body that still gets me from point A to point B. I am still attractive for a woman of my age and take pride in that. I am still able to look myself in the mirror and feel proud that I am who I am and that I overcame what I did. And, I am fortunate enough to have a loving mother and father who support me and love me no matter what time or tide brings. For these things, I give thanks. And, for these reasons, I keep trying even when it would feel easier to just sit down and say, "I give up."
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Old 04-16-2009, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Mary_Magdalene View Post
Acceptance of reality has been perhaps the hardest part of my emotionally charged life. From early on, I had a vivid imagination and that is probably why I decided to become a writer. It has always allowed me to imagine other worlds and other times and to create fictional worlds that are somehow easier to cope with than the real one. However, prison taught me the value of facing reality head on and coming to terms with that.

This does not mean that I do not still feed my inner life with all the rich foods of imagination that I need and thrive on. I do, but I also make it a regular habit every day to take a sober look at the world around me and accept it for what it is. Sometimes, I write straightforward realism and that is what this journal is about and many of my articles that I write these days.

It is hard sometimes to look at reality. The love I thought I had with my partner of a year and a half ended. I have had a tough time coming to terms with that. Old friends who I thought truly cared for me abandoned me and have not contacted me since I was released. I accepted that. But, despite these losses, I have managed to keep my head up. I have been and continue to be sick, but I have to face that and cope with the pain. Yet, I still count my blessings each and every day.

I have a home. I have a body that still gets me from point A to point B. I am still attractive for a woman of my age and take pride in that. I am still able to look myself in the mirror and feel proud that I am who I am and that I overcame what I did. And, I am fortunate enough to have a loving mother and father who support me and love me no matter what time or tide brings. For these things, I give thanks. And, for these reasons, I keep trying even when it would feel easier to just sit down and say, "I give up."
Wow Mary, you have quite the gift of writing. Your spirit shines thru your words.
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Old 04-17-2009, 05:43 AM
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Fineline, You are very kind to say what you did, and I thank you deeply.

.................................................. ..........

Today:

Some mornings I wake up after a night of fitful dreams and feel the strange sadness that I cannot shake off. This is that kind of morning. My mind is filled with worry and uncertainty about the coming days. I wonder what the next test will show at the doctor and I wonder when surgery is going to happen. I also wonder if I am going to be all right.....

How I long for someone to take me in their arms and tell me it will be all right. I think that it would help, but at the same time, I have to stand up and be strong and not fall apart. This, I must do on my own.

When will the happy days come again?
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Old 04-18-2009, 09:55 AM
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"What a difference a day makes.....24 little hours..."

Fortunately, a good night's sleep restored me to a better state of mind and a better feeling in my whole body. I need to remember the next time I feel like I did yesterday that 24 hours of rest and self-care can lead to a better day. I must remind myself that if I just wait and have faith and hope, the next day may bring what I want and need.

Sometimes when the world seems darkest and the most horrible, I lose all sense of possibility. But, now that I am feeling better, I remember.
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Old 05-25-2009, 07:21 AM
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i have found your post very uplifting and full of hope may god bless you with a bright future
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Old 06-10-2009, 11:16 PM
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Mary

This is a great thread. I've been on a similar trajectory over the same timeframe. It helps me to read this thread. I'm in some tough parts, and it sounds like you may still be too.

Nothing is ever easy. I watched the movie "New World" (from 2005, with Colin Farrell) recently. The part of the movie where all those guys just fell to pieces trying to hack out their first winter really struck home with me. I mean, they came from the cold, wet nastiness that is England, and coastal Virginia was just too harsh for them?! But, of course, the rub was that they had departed from their well-known orbits of life, which they'd depended on more than they ever imagined. And that departure left this legion of well-prepared tough guys just as defenseless and effectively helpless as a bus full of abandoned kindergartners.

Now, I wouldn't dare say that movie was a realistic model of anything. But I will say that it helped me put my finger on just how hopeless it can be for people to try to move on to new territory. In my experience, when you try that, preparation, education, you name it...it all goes out the window. Everything is n times harder, every obstacle looks just like the sky falling down around you, and you can lose every bit of perspective you ever had, in a matter of seconds.

But what can you do about it anyway? My theory is that if you make yourself follow a path for some amount of time, you'll come to love it, even if it's not that much fun. The fact that it takes an entire bureacracy to keep prison from ever being enjoyable can be seen as a testament to the ease with which humans come to love things. If this theory is any good, then the trick is keeping yourself locked onto your new path long enough that you start to like it. I am pretty sure this happens inevitably, as long as you don't have someone else sitting back, constantly trying to piss in your cereal every morning. But the "long enough to like it" part is where any trace of predictability disappears.

I once learned a trick for getting little tasks done, especially when procrastination has set in. It went something like "force yourself to do it for 10 minutes, and if it's just too miserable, then allow yourself to procrastinate a little more." For 99.9% of stuff, if you spend 10 minutes of earnest effort, this works. I imagine that blazing out a brand new life for yourself is not too much different, except in scale. Like, maybe 10 minutes needs to be 10 months or 10 years.

Well, that's at least how I'm approaching it now.
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Old 08-03-2009, 01:08 PM
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Many thanks for your kind remarks and insights, XYZPDQ.

It's been quite a while since I've posted anything, so I decided to write something today. I have undergone so many things since last I posted. Major surgery was the most recent thing, and I'm two weeks into recovery at this point. Physically, I'm still a bit weak, but emotionally/mentally, I'm strong. Hopefully, within the next week, I will be even better.

I started writing a book about my experiences with crime and punishment and the aftermath. I've gotten about two chapters into it, and I'm hopeful that I will actually finish it within the next year. It's difficult to write it because it brings back so many painful memories. Yet, I believe that it may be a book that could potentially help others--families, friends, ex-cons. At least I hope so.

I continue to remain optimistic about the second half of my life, though it is a slow and difficult process. I never knew how hard it would be to get back on my feet after what happened. Of course, if I had known, I would never have committed a crime. Hindsight, as they say, is 20/20.

The best thing I can say at this juncture is that I no longer have nightmares about prison life. I have stopped having flashbacks. And, I have started to define myself in ways that don't really include 'ex-con.' The sad part is that everyone who knows me still defines me that way, and it seems that the only people who ask about me or check up on me are those who pity me. I hope that after I am recovered from surgery that I can relocate and start anew. It's not that I want to run away from the past, but it would be nice to know people who don't immediately think of my past in terms of how they relate to me.
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Old 08-05-2009, 04:36 PM
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The one thing I can say for sure is that I tell the truth at all times now. That means that even if it's unpleasant or less than appealing, I say it anyway. The first part of my life, I spent way too much time lying--either to please other people or to get out of trouble. I just don't live that way anymore.

So, the truth is: I am at the point of wondering if it's worth it to keep on trying to get through this life when all the odds seems stacked against me. I think that maybe it would be easier on my family and what remaining friends I have if I just quietly disappeared. Somehow, that sounds like the answer to me. Disappearing would allow me to let go of the pain, of the past, and of the burden I am to others.

I really need to think this through.
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