Who Am I? This is a question I’ve never would’ve been comfortable answering let along writing about, and for the most part letting others read if it wasn’t for this very welcoming, and comforting program called Broken Together, and the men in it who have also experienced some of my pain and struggles.
Who Am I?
This is a question I’ve never would’ve been comfortable answering let along writing about, and for the most part letting others read if it wasn’t for this very welcoming, and comforting program called Broken Together, and the men in it who have also experienced some of my pain and struggles. Which is why in these next paragraphs I will share with you who I felt I was, a little bit about what my life has been lie, and after almost 2 decades of being incarcerating who I am now!
I felt I was a teenage kid that at the age of 12 began doing dumb stuff like stealing bikes, cars, and breaking into houses just for fun, and because my parents couldn’t afford to buy me nice things. Then at 13 began smoking weed, because I guess other kids around me were doing this, and having sex which unfortunately for me lead to catching my 1st STD. Then at 14 got into selling drugs, and making money that I knew my parents wouldn’t be able to provide me with looking at it as a way [page break] for them not to have to worry about me financially, and gangbanging putting my heart into a lifestyle I felt was easy, and the only way to accomplish having everything especially somewhat of a good life. I felt street life was that life, and that the[re] was no better love than the love of my block, the homies I grew up in it with, and even with a lot of their funerals I attended which only left me hurt, angry, and ready to retaliate. I still felt I loved the street life, who I was, and that I kind of had it figured out, but I didn’t know yet what really came with all of this.
My life as you can say has been like not a good one yet, at least not to my liking, because unfortunately for me, and like many others my street like lead me to living a prison life thus far for 18 years now, one in which I made a choice to take on a 20 year sentence instead of taking my chances at trial. All my hardships, and problems have come to me while being incarcerated. Difficult times, and situations that have made me value [page break] life, and what a good life outside of this place where I’m just free. Definitely not a street life anymore! I have places myself in a lot worse situations inside this place making mistake on top of mistake I feel I’ve grown from being places in segregation for long periods of time making me really hate this place with a passion, but what really hurt, and hit me hard was that at the age of 23 I came close to death in here after getting my wisdom tooth pulled out by a dentist at Menard Correctional Center which lead me into an 8 day coma with huge visible scars everywhere, and physical and speech therapy for various months. All this only left me appreciating, and loving my life no matter how hard it can get. Then on Jan 9, 2022, I lost my best friend, my dad, a very good man who passed from brain cancer, and I was left shocked, feeling somewhat broken, and still having to figure out how to live with a smile on my face, and appreciate life everyday, but I’m not gonna give it all to you. Just some, a little about what my life’s been like.
Who am I now? I can honestly say that after feeling like prison has taken [page break] a lot from me due to my bad decision in the first place, and almost taking my life as well after my tooth extraction. That I’m a good string man after all, who has just made mistakes, but takes these mistakes, and learns from the,. A man who understands everyone around him either here in prison, or outside of prison has their pain, their struggles, and is possibly having it harder than me. I’m a man who has learned to appreciate everything, especially life, and people. I do appreciate Broken Together, and the men in it as well, because after so many years of being locked down inside a cell, I’m beginning to open up, and communicate with others thanks to them, and this program. I just lost my uncle 2 weeks ago recently who was incarcerated in Cuba for 15 years, and kicked out during the Fidel Castro regime in 1985. The locked up here in Wisconsin in 1988 for a 32 year sentence, and recently released last year. This man lived majority of his life incarcerated, and died off a flukey car accident recently driving past an 18 wheeler when its wheel flew off, and smacked his car causing him to crash. [page break]
Talking to him over a phone this past year when he was released then hearing this bad news, and how unfortunate his life was. All I can hope is that for him his next life will be better than this life for him. I mean he basically lived a prison life, looking back at his life, and mine I am not a man who will be happy outside of prison, and will value everything, people, time, and every free minute, and every moment life offers me outside of this place. Forever smiling, and always open to helping others in some kind of way, while living my life in the world as a free man. This is who I am!
(Do not use without permission of author.)