She was different today. And I'm angry. And aggravated. And frustrated. And tired.
But I'm proud too.
She sported a different look than normal when she walked in. You could spot it immediately. She said that she needed to talk. She needed to say something that was hard for her to say.
She proceeded to tell us that she's been incarcerated already for more than 10 years. She comes up for parole in March. March the 25th will be her 11th anniversary inside. "But," she said, "I want to see if I can get them to postpone my parole hearing for a year. I'm not ready to get out and go home."
Wow. That's a new one. That's different. That was a surprise. That wasn't expected. That's one that I hadn't heard before. And, of course, I couldn't imagine it, and wondered why?
Here's what she told us:
She told me that the use of drugs contributed to her crime and is the reason that she's here. And yet, she's still been doing drugs the whole time of her incarceration. She's still using. "And," she said, "I need to get myself well. I don't need to go home still having this problem. I'm afraid of what will happen if I do. I mean, I want to go home. I know my family, my daughter(!), wants me to. But they don't need me like this. I'll only make things worse if I go home still sick."
She's signed up for all of the drug rehab programs. She's got a determined mind. She wants to be different. She wants to beat this thing.
She cried the whole time she talked. Her tears literally dripped from her cheeks. I don't think she could believe that she was saying it. She said that the people will think I'm crazy in here. Who does this sort of thing?
I've never been so proud of her. I guess I'm totally clueless. Though I knew something... this, I never would have known. But, like I said, her face already looked different. More relieved. Tired. But more open. Beaten. And shamed. But looking up because she'd hit rock bottom. Hopeful. Relieved. Ready. :)
I don't know if the extended stay is her answer. We're working toward figuring that out. I think that perhaps if we could get her paroled that we could get her in a transitional home with programs to help and perhaps that would be better than the place that she's in. I'm searching for answers, asking people who know more than I do, and praying a lot. God will give us the wisdom. I trust Him to lead us in the right direction.
and this is what gets me.
Though I guess I've known about it, I've been infuriated ever since! It's not new news. I've heard the tales. I've been told the stories. It seems to run rampant in most (if not all) prisons. But why can't we do something about it? Why can't we stop it? Why are drugs so prevalent in our prisons? If drugs are so often the enemy behind why the person was imprisoned in the first place... then why can't we get it out of the prisons while they're incarcerated in order to help them detox??? How are they doing this? But more, what can we do about it? Ugh... tonight it makes me saddened and sick that our system so very much fails us.