Orange is the new...orange.
I went to the slammer. And, there is nothing glamorous about it. I sincerely apologize to everyone I hurt. It sucked dragging my friends, family, and the person I loved through the mud. I did my time, I paid my fees, and will tell you all about it. I lost everything I had been working on for years. As an overachiever and A type personality doing anything I could to climb the ladder. I was on every board you could think of, I was twenty days away from becoming the Vice President of my region and had the world at my fingertips. Until, I made the worst decisions, over, and over again. I wanted to protect the man I loved, I wanted to be sure that he was safe. So, instead of telling the "whole true, and nothing but the truth" I told the partial truth. I left out details and tried to do the best I could in front of a Grand Jury with no lawyer present (lawyers can't be present during questioning during a Grand Jury investigation). And, to be honest, my best sucked. He tried to protect me, I tried to protect him, and it cost us both dearly. To this day we are still trying to navigate our ways through this situation, a year later we're still talking about it. My time at county jail. You wear your sweatpants all day long and you can choose between; orange pants, orange socks, orange sweatshirts, an orange shirt, and if you're really lucky and want to rock shorts, orange shorts that is. I swear I'll never buy anything orange again. Orange is not the new black. We all make mistakes. We're all human. And, my mistakes were on the front page of the paper. I neglected to tell my parents and family about what was going on hoping it would all disappear and my parents were at a Christmas party when they saw the newspaper. I did not win best daughter of the year award by making my mom cry. "It's all just a big misunderstanding, Kid." Big Suzy (I nicknamed one of my buddies who was the lead of the pack: Big Suzy) told me that while we were cleaning up lunch. Washing the plastic trays we had just served the rest of the team on, all 67 of them. We ate with a plastic spork and drank the purple kool-aid. If you would call it that. More like purple sugar water. I worked the kitchen shift to help break up my day. Because I was the rookie I got to rinse all the tray's too, and, because I was the rookie it was more like taking a bath then rinsing pudding off the trays. Jail will change you. Big Suzy told me that like it was just another normal thing to say. And it did. Yours truly spent six days in a modified summer camp. Where you get to hang out, play cards, read, eat, sleep and just. Be. And, the biggest decision you'll make all day, is what time should I shower? Love Hurts. I made horrible decisions and it has lead to many consequences. Let's get back to the important stuff. Let's talk about summer camp without the fun. Cold chicken patties, soggy french fries, hot dogs with condiments? Forget it. I quickly learned that I needed to start saving dry cereal from our 5:30 breakfasts as snacks for later. Our days were structured like Tula's days. Eat, play, sleep. Eat, play, sleep. Every day is Groundhog Day. Every day blends together like the one before it. And before you know it, it's been 3 days. Day three was the hardest for me. I never felt lonely, afraid, or scared. I did feel full kind of, I prayed, and I read. I colored A LOT. And, I thought. I thought about what got me there. Why the hell I was there and how can I be sure to never come back. I learned humility, honesty, and love. I watched CO's (Correction Officers) walk into our pod with a Dunkin' Donuts. No joke. Who does that? We're standing for head count at 7:00am and you're strolling in with a coffee that would probably taste like heaven. And, yuck. I don't even like coffee. Unless, I'm competing. It's good before a race. I learned that my problems are not that big. There are women out there who have much more to worry about than I do. Children they no longer have custody of, families, husbands, and the fact that they may not get out until they are too old to have a family of their own. Women who are stuck in the system for decisions they made when they were twenty. There were women in there who were on their way to prison to serve life sentences. Oh, I should explain that. I was in county jail. It was not glamorous, fun, or anything I would recommend. There is no jewelry allowed, no lotion, and certainly not a mirror. For some reason the ladies thought I looked like an American Girl Doll and I think it's because my lips were so chapped they looked like I had lipstick on. There were officers on a power trip, there were officers that were kind. Just like people, the prison system in NH has its fair share of diversity. I just saw one PO at the gas station the other day. I think it's important to own this story because it's part of me. It's part of my past, my life, and made me who I am today. It is not something that I'm proud of and as an A type personality who likes to be perfect in everything I take on, this has taught me that everyone makes mistakes. We are human. We are people. We are all here trying to make the best of where we are. Don't be judgemental. One thing that I have learned is that once you have something on your record it's hard to break free from it. Not everyone should be forgiven or ignored, you know, murders and sexual predators, but not everything should be held over your head forever. I am grateful for the opportunity to share my truth and appreciate you all forgiving me and putting the past behind us. And, I'm just grateful to be on the other side of that wall.
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