Thursday, May 15, 2008

inside out

I have forgotten over time how being a prison mom has changed my life and what happened to get me here. Sometimes it takes seeing how other people I care about are potentially affected in their own lives, tangled up with a child, a relative, a spouse, lover or friend inside. The world I lived in suddenly became a really dangerous and unpredictable place. I think of the premise of the movie Poltergeist, how insulation of suburbia is an illusion. It could potentially be the gateway to hell. My home, which I worked very hard to make a safe place, suddenly harbored criminal intent and activity, whether that was truth or not. Brandon wrote in his latest letter to me asking about his personal possession still at home, "I also had a Ronson Superlighter given exclusively to Korean War vets. Sucks that the cops would take my little curios. Shouldn't bother me, but it does". That zoomed me back in time to the day I watched people I did not know go meticulously through my son's possessions and take stuff, and there was nothing I could do about it. They just took.

At that time I never knew what the next phone call was going to be, what I should say, what I should do, who to ask, who knew, what was wisdom-I was terrified in my ignorance and supposed cocoon of safety. Months of that pressure began to work it's effect. Emotionally I was coming unglued. I needed to find help. I think I went through the stages of grieving without putting a name to it all. But I needed shoring up, and I needed to learn to trust with greater strength and energy than I ever had needed to in the past. The safety net was there-I just had to be willing to fall, and I clung to everything I thought I had with all my strength until there was no more.

I still feel mistrustful of authority, still look over my shoulder a little and am extra careful and cautious in ways I wouldn't have been before. There is an innocence lost. Most of my son's possessions either found their way to a garbage can, are rotting in the local police station or I think were sold, at the least the really valuable stuff. It's only stuff, but like Bran said, it still bothers me. At the time it devastated me. My life isn't the same, and my heart is on my shirt for those who have suffered and are suffering as we have.


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