What It Was Like On The Inside ~
I swore I’d never, ever, forget………
Original Journal entry written 10 Jan 08~
“The walls in this place she was in engulfed her, ON EVERY SIDE. Almost completely made of cinderblocks and metal. All of it painted a putrid, sick, yellow that just didn’t quit…. There were 10 bunks, 2 tables, 1 sink/toilet/shower; shared by all. All made of metal. Startlingly, ice cold, shiny metal.
She shared this place with other women, the number changed daily. But there were a couple, who like her, were there for a long time. The sounds were so overwhelming; gates and doors slamming, inmates and guards yelling. All hours of the day and night, literally. And those guards clanging keys….almost as if just to tease her… But she knew they weren’t there to set her free.
At least not now. Not for a very long time; for what ended up feeling like a relentless, insidious, nightmarish, never ending time. And then there were the lights. Always on, always bright, literally 24/7.
And it was so cold. She was so very cold all the time, no matter what she tried to stay warm. They kept it like that on purpose. They’re theory was that freezing inmates keeps them from fighting as much as possible; because then arms and hands are more likely to be pulled tightly to themselves for warmth as opposed to up in the air fighting someone, which happens constantly anyway.
She’d been in a place like this before… too many times. But obviously not enough; obviously, since here she was once again, and not just for a day or two.
The pain of her surroundings were just shy of unbearable. But nothing hurt as much as, or was as difficult to deal with, as the pain of being locked away from her family. That alone felt as though she was dying. Dying from the inside out. A slow, miserable, tortuous death, that’s exactly how it felt.
She’d been in so much pain all through her forty-two years on earth, both physical and mental; but nothing had ever compared to the way she hurt now. The more it hurt the more she tried to put it into words… But there simply were no words to convey it. Bottom line was she had no idea how long she’d be there; she just knew each day was one too many.
The guards were mostly cruel; all but a rare few. It didn’t matter why you were there, or if you’d been proven guilty yet because to them all inmates are criminals; pure scum in their eyes. It was like the incarceration itself wasn’t enough punishment. The guards seemed to act as though their job there was their personal mission to punish every inmate, every shift they worked. Each day she longed for her family; her children, her husband. Each day she cried out, but only to herself, to be saved, spared…
In her heart though she knew no one would hear and if they did no one would care, not in that place. No one, except the God she still managed to have faith in. But also a God she knew was disappointed in her; a God she knew would not let her free anytime soon, and for good reasons she would later come to understand.
She prayed to Him each day anyway, at the very least it seemed to bring her some peace moment by moment. It was all she could do…for now. Each night before she closed her eyes and tried hard to fall asleep, she’d cross one more day off her hand made calendar; wondering how many more make shift calendars would she make, how many more days would she cross off? How many more could she endure?”