Before my incarceration and even before I picked up my first gun I had lost focus on my childhood dreams.
Who Am I?
Before my incarceration and even before I picked up my first gun I had lost focus on my childhood dreams. As a child growing up I loved to play soccer, playing soccer was more than a hobby to me. I aspired to become a soccer player, it got to the point that in 2015 I had played a tournament sponsored by ESPN and Disney in Florida. Sadly, on July 3, 2016 I lost a friend/brother/teammate due to drowning. At the time I didn’t know how to react. I had lost focus on my dream trying to find redemption for my friend.
Losing my friend in 2016 really messed with my mental, and even though it wasn’t gun violence, picking up a gun was my way of coping to how angry I was. I started having a lot of trouble with drugs, and mentally not knowing how to communicate my thoughts and feelings. Eventually it led me to a mental hospital for 2 weeks because of my anger issues. I use to head butt walls, punch walls, and started getting very aggressive towards a lot of people. Later on after that I caught an attempt murder. Being in a cell for the first time in my life was an experience it’s self but once they told me that my case carried [page 2] 6-30 years plus 25 years for the gun enhancement, it made me view life differently.
Now that I’ve come to Stateville MSU and have the opportunities to better myself I will take advantage of them. I have joined 2 programs so far and am currently working on my GED. Being able to obtain my GED would not only be a sense of relief, but something I could be able to show my parents, that I’m more than just a fuck up. AS far as the programs go, they are more for bettering myself. The first program I joined was a surprise. My friend, yes my friend not “the guys” or “homie” Luis Vega had signed me up, not knowing what I was being signed up for, I’m glad he did. The program is called Broken Together. We talk about past trauma and current situations we go through. We vent with each other, a stress relief, and a learning experience. Bettering myself mentally and emotionally would help me in the long run for my re-entry into society, help me communicate with others without sounding or getting aggressive and avoid certain situations that could lead to re-incarceration. My second class is a peer education class where I learn how to facilitate programs such as anger management, conflict and resolution, etc. This class doesn’t just keep me focus but it makes me feel like my time in here [page 3] is not going to waste, I will be able to grow and help others grow as well.
People ask me all the time if I’m not doing these things for good time then what an I doing them for? I tell them all the time that I’m doing these things to better myself. One thing I don’t mention for selfish reasons is that I feel my friend/brother/teammate is guiding me through these hard times where I feel like the whole world is against me. I think that now after doing half of my 8 years at 85% I’m not perfect, but I feel that I grew mentally and emotionally into a better and improved person.
(Do not use without permission of author.)