Let me just start by saying this all began at around 8:30am…

So 1st, I’m in no way a well-functioning morning person!!; 2nd, it’s another store day… which means more stories, lies and stress that I’ve already been prepping myself to deal with and ; 3rd, I got an appointment, today, to get a stomach x-ray… that I’m not eager to get.

Ok, so the general scene and mood is set. I’m up getting ready for store… already in a kinda shitty mood… in reluctant anticipation of the store day to come! So, I run up and check the JPay, (our electronic message provider) just in case I might have gotten a new message over-night. I guess you get what you ask for sometimes… so best be careful what you ask for! I did have a message, that basically just gave a designation of being “911” emergency-worthy. So, I immediately shot outside, to fight through the crowds and get on the phone to call home. This was a task in itself, see we don’t have any phones in the unit… you have to go outside to use them. And there are only 24 phones (when they all work right) for 720 prisoners. They kinda work on the buddy-system more than any conventional method of order… homeboys pass them to their other homeboys, so it pays to have friends!

Anyways, I get out there and get on the phone, just to hear some shit that I woulda never wished to hear (there ended up being a picture to follow) and saw some shit I never needed or wanted to see. Turns out my daughter was having some shit plastered all over social media, by some other girl who felt this was the best way to deal with her piece of shit ex! This is 1 problem with social media, that wasn’t an option for me when I was younger, thank God… ‘cuz its way too easy to inflict some serious and scarring damage, with a couple clicks of a keyboard! Stuff like this, that can have a huge impact on the target of your attack… as well as the collateral damage that affects the families and loved ones with these actions! Trust me, this has been eating at me physically… giving me headaches, stomach aches and a feeling of anxiousness that’s at new levels.

Well, this conversation was the beginning of a couple more bad follow-up phone calls… all the while I’m still having to deal with the regular stress and anxiety of prison, that’s multiplied by the fact that its store day. So, now I got the stress of the b.s. at home weighing on me as I have to deal with the business of the store day… picking-up money, chasing guys around (reminding them of their debt) and listening to the excuses that are as much a part of store day… as getting the store itself.

My stress level is at an all time high, by lunch time… a million things going on in my head, all at once. I was literally 1 breathe away from going to the hole (segregation), at least 5 times. I’m just so thankful for the guys I do have, who were there to kinda watch after me and keep me from compounding my problems even worse. Luckily I got a grip on that, but the day didn’t get any better… I just wasn’t gonna create an even worse situation for myself, in here.

OK, so lunch comes… I skip it ‘cuz the food they feed us is a ridiculous excuse for an edible meal. But, I do have the Dr. appointment to go to and the x-rays to take… I had actually forgotten about this, ‘cuz there’d been so much other shit going on with everyone else, that I actually forgot about my own (directly) personal problems. Really after the x-rays, now its just a waiting game til they get me back over in June and I find out anything… this is quality health care, that moves at 1 speed no matter what the situation! Of course, that time frame isn’t even a guarantee right now… cuz who knows how this COVID-19 is gonna play out? Its just been getting worse out there and with how things are running in here… everything is almost at a standstill.

So, back to the phone, to talk to my daughter about this, who honestly didn’t apply the same level of seriousness or share the same concern that I did. This is a level of disrespect that’s just unacceptable to me… I know I’m locked-up and unable to really affect a change, which just makes it all seem even worse. But, I would NEVER allow for this type of disrespect to be tolerated, if I was out there… but of course I’m not and that’s what really kills me. I’ve said this before… but failing my loved ones, (by not being there) is a punishment I continue to feel every single day!

Now I’ve been dealing with a stressful day, in prison (a bit more than the norm)… an exceptional amount of family drama, that’s just been continuing to snowball outta control for too long… and unknown health concerns. All this really happened before 1pm… I knew the rest of the day could ONLY get better, but fuck I always thought these things came in 3’s… but its always been more like 3 times 3!

It just went on, 1 thing after another… and the weight of the day was beginning to take its toll on my mental as much as my emotional well-being. It would’ve been a pretty bad day, as it was, just cuz of the Dr. appointment and dealing with the stress that comes with a store day… I never could of predicted the situation with my daughter, tho. That was a sucker-punch, for sure, that I never saw coming! And it was so much more than the picture, that was maliciously being spread around… more than some feud 2 girls were having, over some loser guy. No, it was the culmination of several things that were building up… from past issues that had carried-over into the present, to the complete disrespect that she’s invited and allowed in her life! Then to top it off, I’m looked at like the one who’s wrong, for wanting better for her… that I wish she’d want for herself. I don’t know what to do?? Do I allow it to continue, just hoping things don’t go the direction I know all too well? Or do I give ultimatums, that will almost guarantee a defensive response?

That’s the internal struggle I’ve been dealing with for way too long now.

She’s the most important thing in my world and someone I look to and think of for strength, on those days that I don’t feel as strong as I need to be in here. But now, I can either try and be her friend and be there for her… and basically watch her walk a path, to an end that I’m all too familiar with –OR– I can be the father she’s needed all along and risk driving her away altogether?! I’ve tried finding a middle-ground, but it’s gotten harder and harder… especially when I have to compete with some losers, who are just too eager to enable whatever she wants to do with zero boundries or restrictions. What kills me, is how she can confuse someone who really cares for her, loves her (unconditionally) and ONLY wants the best life for her… with a person she can easily just cut-out of her life. And then consider those people who just allow her to run unchecked as the people who really care about her and are her family now?!

I refuse to give up on her, but can’t sit quietly by and watch her put herself in a situation that can cause her harm… I say this, not necessarily because she’s messing up like that right now, but because I’ve lived a similar lifestyle and have personally seen EVERY possible consequence/outcome. I too confused the care and attempted-help from family and true friends, as an unnecessary and annoying nuisance that I got tired of hearing. It took me a long time and a lot of pain, to be able to clearly see in hindsight what was going on.

I don’t know… I realize more of my posts lately have taken on a similar theme, but there have been quite a few bad fuckin’ days… which will undoubtedly be followed-up by many more. It’s inevitable… and these are a lot of the issues, we as men face everyday in prison. Then these issues are compounded with the stresses, anxieties and the multitude of other emotions & issues that come with being incarcerated.

Fuck it, I know I need to learn a better way to deal with the struggles, that are thrown at me. 1 of which is just getting it out of me, by writing it here… but from experience, I know that each new shit-day is just 1 step in a never-ending stairway of shit-days. I can either trip up it, as I go… fall down it and have to work my way back up… or learn how to walk up each step with effcient, effective and healthy strides. Steadily gaining ground and moving forward in my life!

Really I’m just crossing my fingers, in hope, that I’ll wake-up to a better day tomorrow?? At least get a day break, in between… not sure if it’s deserved, but it’s definitely much needed right now!

Share the story