JH Artwork

JH Artwork

Writing Exchange 2006-2018

This blog was created to display some of the powerful writing being done by incarcerated youth. Participants currently include juvenile hall facilities in Siskiyou, El Dorado, Placer, Fresno, and Butte County. Students are given journal topics and asked to write what needs to be written. Several entries are handpicked from each classroom site and posted to the blog anonymously. Students at each site then read the material together, discussing the writing and connecting with others.

Planned Exchanges

Planned Exchanges 2018: May 24; June 27; July 25; More To Come!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Entry #128
If you really knew me you would know I don't have a real Father. You would know he promises me the world, then crushes my dreams. You would know he smokes the white devil. You would know when he's falling he drags me to the depths with him. You would know he lies, steals, and cheats from family to get what he wants. You would know he stole my car and other possessions to buy meth and smokes. You would know I've had guns in my face because he stole from the wrong person. You would know I've watched him smash people’s heads in with jack handles. You would know I've had to fight my dad so he wouldn't hit his girlfriend. You would know I've had to fight for my life because of my Dad's stupidity. You would just know. But you don't and no one does.

Entry #129
Throw it all away for just one month of freedom. I dream that I'm at home with you every night. When I wake to find you not here, I lay in my cold lonely cell full of rage. I cry because I'm caged in and I can't do anything about it. Now I have no rights, no freedom. I'm treated like a child when I've had to be an adult for the past five years. Forced to grow up and fend for my own. Grew up on the streets. I try to leave and it beckons me. I try to change but I can't. The poison that I've consumed just keeps finding its way back to me, destroying me. I want to live free and be me but the poison takes over, makes me change in ways I can't explain. Without it I'm in pain, with it I feel ashamed. I see the pain in your eyes, so I just run and hide. Never facing my problems, always running. When will I learn to live for me?

Entry #130
Why I Wake Up
If you really knew me you would know that my daughter is the most important thing in my life. She's the reason why I wake up every day and do what I got to do. She made a big change in my life. Each time I see her every week she looks more and more like me. It’s like I’m holding a baby me again. Her eyes, her big smile, they make my day no matter the situation I’m in. She's growing up so fast it’s unbelievable. She means the world and more to me. I'd kill and die for her. She's daddy’s little girl. When I hold her I don’t want to let her go. I wish I could take her back to my cell to show her off to my celly. If you really knew me you would know.

Entry #131
Who Knows?
If you really knew me, you would know that I've been through a lot. I'm sort of a mess up if that’s what you want to call it. I've been to the hall about 8-9 times. And yet I still haven't learned my lesson. I continued to take everything and everyone for granted. I continued to break my parents' hearts, while at the same time breaking my own because of it. I haven’t had a first pay check, haven’t had my first car, I haven't even gotten my high school diploma, and I’m already on the edge of heading to prison. I pray to the Man up top each and every night to forgive me for my sins and it seems to help me sleep. Who knows? At this point only God can judge me. I may not show it very much, but deep down inside I'm both scared and stressed. That doesn’t help any. I mean not knowing what’s going to happen, and having these people playing with my life is a messed up situation, but I try not to dwell on it. I live day by day hoping that all of this will result in my favor.

Entry #132
Who I am
If you really knew me you would know I have been through a lot of events that would destroy the hearts of most people. I have been in foster care. I’ve watched my mom destroy her life with drugs and I have been in situations where I have had no one there for me in my life. If you really knew me you would know I am not a bad person but I will defend my family from drug abusing people. If you really knew me you would know that I do not start fights. If you really knew me you could see through me when I tell you that I am fine and you would see the thousands of scars and wounds that have been inflicted on me throughout my life. If you really knew me you would know when I am threatened I will defend myself and that is the only time I will fight. If you really knew me you would know I am not a violent person although, like a rat, I am trapped in a cage. Lastly if you really knew me you would know my dark, sad past, filled with rage, anger, sadness and fear defines who I am.

Entry #133
Trust and Regret
If you really knew me you would know that I use to be a really nice person. You would know when and why that all changed. If you really knew me you would know why I turned to the drug life. You would know why I can't trust you. If you really knew me you would know all the pain I feel and all the horrible things I've seen and done. If you really knew me you would know why I cry myself to sleep at night, that I'm ashamed of myself and that there are regrets I have to live with day in and day out. If you really knew me you would know that I'm truly sorry for everything wrong that I've ever done. If you really knew me you would know why I am the way I am. I'm glad you don’t really know me.

Entry #134
Nobody Knows
If you really knew me you would know how badly I don't want to be here. You would know how much I want to be there for my little brother. If you really knew me you would know how hard I try to keep myself together and not completely break down. You would understand the pain and the years of regret I feel inside me and that I must now live with my whole life. If you really knew me you would understand why I'm always so quiet. If you really knew me you would know how hard I try in school to make my mom proud. If you really knew me you would know how badly I want my dad to tell me he loves me, just once. If you really knew me you would know the never-ending shame and guilt I feel for being the reason my mom and grandmother don't speak anymore. If you really knew me you would know I don't trust anyone. If you really knew me you would know how much I've changed the past 2 years. You would know this lifestyle isn't me. If you really knew me you would know the reason I got put onto probation and became a ward of the state is false. You would know how hard my parents and I tried to fight it. If you really knew me you would know how much weight is put onto my shoulders. You would understand why I keep repeating old habits. If you really knew me you would know that if I could do it all over again I would, and I'd make it all right. If you really knew me you would know how much I've been hurt and beaten down. You would know how hard I try not to let anything get to me. If you really knew me you would know how bad I am with alcohol. You would know that I can't stop once I start. If you really knew me you would know what’s in my heart. Nobody really knows me.

Entry #135
Searching for Family
If you really knew me you would know that I came from a parenthood of drugs. Both my mom and my dad used while me and my relatives were young. I think that it affected my brothers and sister more because they were older and they actually knew what was going on. But then as I got older I started noticing my mom wasn't going to sleep till around 4 AM and sometimes not at all. Or she’d be up a couple nights until she came down and she would sleep for almost the amount of days that she was up. There were times when I didn’t think she was going to wake up. My dad used to get high and think that there was someone talking to him from the ceiling… probably not the best thing to see your dad talking to the roof. So I started not coming back to the house more and more. I used to just spend the night at my friends’ house, bring some clothes over for school in the morning and then just go straight to school with my friends. I started smoking weed and drinking, trying to escape the fact that my parents were getting high. All my other siblings were older and living somewhere else. My brother was kind of staying there but not really. He used to just come home and get fresh clothes then leave again. That’s where I got the idea from. So when this was happening I felt alone, left out, and abandoned. I ended up making the gang my family.

Entry #136
Ground Zero
My life feels like it's sinking fast in a vast ocean
I'm slipping from the mountain that took so many years to climb… back to ground zero where I belong
Playing again in my head like an annoying song.
Now I wake up to the sound of a pop, first thing I do is look at the clock.
It’s way too early to be up right now, but I don't have a choice because I'm in the hall. Nothing to do but to throw my stress ball.

Entry #137
Cool AirIf you really knew me you would know that I'm a good person.
         that I made a mistake.
         that I love my family and spending time with them.
         that I like to watch movies and stare at nice cars.
         that I like to go on long bike rides.
         that I love books and swimming.
If you really knew me you would know that I like to get up really early in the morning and go outside to get that cool air into my lungs.
If you really knew me you would know that I hate being in juvenile hall.

Entry #138
If you really knew me you would know that I run away a lot. You would know that I have it really good. You would know that I do drugs to get out of the thought that I am going to get in trouble for running away. If you really knew me you would find out that I am a very nice person when I want to be. You would know that I am the girl that gets bullied a lot and will bully back. You would know that I never had a child’s life so I act like an adult. You would know that I have a mother that did drugs and is now clean and sober. You would know that I didn’t want to turn out like this way, with a drug problem, but did anyway. You would that I don’t get along with people my age. You would know that if I keep doing this stuff I will end up in prison where my dad has been my whole life.

Entry #139
Nothing but lies came from your beautiful lips...“I love you.”All the time I spent with you, wasted. So far away I can’t even ask you if what we had was real...six months later I still see your face in my dreams. You left me with, “I’ll be back,” and I never saw you again. I loved you before and after you cheated on me, hoping one day I’d have you for myself. I was so oblivious. How stupid did I look to you and to everyone else? I love you. I loved you. I don’t love you anymore.

Entry #140
If you really knew me, you would know I'm really not a tool. If you really knew me, you would know I'm afraid of love. If you really knew me, you'd know I try my hardest to impress my mom but it always fails. You'd know that my cousin was shot before my eyes and died in my arms. If you really knew me, you'd know I hate myself dearly. You'd know my father hates me too. You'd know I hate fighting because of my mom. If you really knew me, you'd know I like Juvi better than my own mother's house. You'd know I'm afraid of my thoughts. If you really knew me, you'd know I'm afraid of the future and what it holds for me. You'd know I want a place to call home. I only know me...

Entry #141
One More Chance
I have been in foster care and group homes since I was 2. I was removed from the home due to being abused by my dad and my foster mom. I had been chained to a bed so tight my wrists opened up. There was really no way I could stay in the home.
I have anger issues that continue to get me locked up and when in the hall, room arrest. I am tired of fighting, but it is almost a habit. When someone talks badly about my family or to me, I feel like the incredible hulk. I can't control what happens. Now that I am almost 18, I have one more chance at making my life better. I will need to avoid using drugs and alcohol to take care of my problems.
I hope someday I can go to college and become a fire fighter. The odds are stacked against me, but I can make it in life if I just put my heart into it.

Entry #142
All I have left is this photo of you. I sit alone in my cell, the only company I have is you smiling up at me. It makes me remember all the good times we had and makes me think of all the good times that we will soon have. It's crazy all the memories and emotions you can feel all at once, just my looking at one photo. At first I smile but then I cry. I smile because of your smile. I smile because I know you’re out there waiting for me and I know one day we will be together again. I cry because I love you so much it hurts. I cry because of the months we have in between us before I get to hold you again. One day I'll have you again and I promise we'll never be apart.

Entry #143

I sit in Juvenile Hall thinking about where my life has gone. So much time I have spent in here, so much time I have wasted. I'm only 15 years young, and I've already spent more then 2 years in Juvenile Hall. I’m sick of being in here. I feel conflicted and condemned to myself, the thoughts that fly threw my mind. I sit in here wondering if I'll see my girl soon, if ill get to hold her. The more time I spend in here, the more time I think to myself that my life is going nowhere. I need to get my life straightened out. I need to make right choices so I can be with my girl. There’s so many things I wish I could take back but I can’t, I’ve got to live with my mistakes and learn from them. I have made mistakes like everybody else. I can own up to the mistakes. I made them. I am who I am.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Entry # 91
Why did he hit me?
Why did he cheat on me?
Broken promises, broken hearts
I want my son, I want to leave,
His demon eyes stinging mine,
He promised, he lied,
I ran to my son, he stopped me.
Locked me out, I got back in,
Trying to claw my way free,
A sharp pain in my head and ribs,
I turn to see his fist, pulled back.
The pain is nothing in comparison.
A black hole opening up in my chest.
Sucking all my air, I go black.
When I come to, I grab my son and leave,
Our neighbor comes to help.
Next the cops,
Statements taken, words spoken.
I’m told I’m going to my grandma’s house…
A lie
They take me in.
Now all I need is my son, to hold,
Tears stream, nightmares scream.
Why am I the one inside?

Entry # 92
Being behind that door the moment it closes, the first thing I think is, “Damn, when’s it gonna open?” I miss everyone on the outs: my friends, my family, an even people who irritate me. I play lots of card games with an annoying roommate, and sometimes I don’t even play the right way. I read a lot of interesting books that I haven’t even heard of. I bounce my little green stress ball off almost every brick in my room. I’ve even counted each one four or five times, 436 large white bricks. Whenever I can sleep I do. I don’t get much at night. When you’re in the hall it makes you appreciate everything a lot more! I miss my own boxers, socks, my choice of food, when and where I sleep, and my girlfriend! I miss people I don’t even like, and food I never think of. Being behind that door when it closes reminds me of everything I miss.

Entry # 93
Being alone
Ha what’s new?
Being lonely
What a story.
Every time those cell doors close I feel scared.
You ask why?
Because all I see are those mortifying white walls.
All I hear are those horrible voices telling me that this is all a lie. I’m never going to change.
The home girl crystal has me on lock. She’s the master and I’m just another puppet.

Entry # 94
Why do I keep getting locked up? I know why, because I keep doing the same things over. I just want to get off probation and get home. First I need juvie, where I am in my room looking at four walls, a cold hard toilet, and a sink. Man I need to stop getting in trouble. I need to get my stuff together and forget the drugs. I need to do better in school. I need to raise my grades. I need to be more respectful to my family. I need to get my life back on track. I need to stop worrying about girls until I get my life straight. I need to make my grandparents proud of me, but when I keep getting locked up it doesn’t make them proud. When I get out of juvie I need to start helping my grandpa because he just had surgery and he has to keep coming to my court dates and my IEP’s. It doesn’t make me feel good. I need to get out of here so my grandpa can get some rest. I need to treat my family better. I have been treating them like crap. My brother, I need to respect him because he is the only brother I got and I’m the only brother he has. We both need to learn how to respect each other I am always going to love my brother even though he doesn’t like me doing drugs. My whole family doesn’t like me when I’m doing drugs because I do stupid things when I’m high. I usually get in trouble. That is why I keep getting locked up. I need to stop with the drugs.

Entry # 95
It is light, but it is dark
You passed, but still at home
I want to remember, but have to forget
Dads never there, I wonder where he is
Friend’s second, but families always first
I’m not alone, even though I’m never home
With this mark, I will always remember
It will always be light

Entry # 96
Being lonely is the worst feeling ever. All I think about is my son and my baby’s mom. I can’t get them out of my head. When I think about them I cry behind locked doors. I’m just wishing I could go home to see my mom because I know she just wants me to be the little boy that I once was and I know she misses me too. When I lay in my cell I just pray to the Lord cause that’s my only hope, but when I get out of this hell hole I’m going to stay out. I’ve got a family and a son to look up to me and I know I’m not going to be there for my son’s birth and that kills me inside. That’s one place I really wanted to be. He and his mom are the most important things in my life and world. I’m missing my family and I can’t get that out of my head because I know I can do better then what I’m doing now. It takes a man to raise a child.

Entry #97
The day passes and my life stands still. Time freezes. I look around and see if my angel is my by side, but I see darkness. I try to find a light of hope but yet again I see nothing. I pray to my god for help and faith and strength to help me get through my day. I try to smile but when I do it’s just a fake smile to hide my pain and if you ever look in my eyes you’ll see what I mean, the pain inside of me. The love of my family comforts me, but when I realize that I can’t be with them that little light I saw is gone once again.

Entry # 98
I’m in Juvenile Hall
Stuck inside these four walls
With nobody to write
And nobody to call.
I cannot wait
Until I get out of this place
Even though it’s a long time
Until my release date.
When I do get released
I promise not to come back
I’m going to make sure
That I stay on track.
I’m going to get out and get a job
No more being a lazy slob
I need to do this
Not only for me, but for my family.

Entry # 99
The worst feeling about being back is just that I’m back. The part that gets to me is the expression on my mom’s face when I see her in court. I see the disappointment in her eyes. My family says “it’s like raising my dad all over again, but worse.”

The part I hate the most is the feeling I get when I have to walk myself in the room alone. Knowing that as soon as it slams shut with a “bank, click” I’ll be stuck in the little room until I hear “pop, click.” I feel like I’m just rotting away in that room with the same routine: bad smells, trash talkers, and the constant banging that drives me nuts! All I can think about is how stupid I was to get put back here yet another time.

It gets worse every time I come back. My mom stopped visiting me. No one ever writes me. I feel alone accompanied by my toilet. I have no control over my life. In here I’m as good as a programmed robot going through the motions day after day. Another thing that’s depressing is I can’t even turn the lights off to sleep. I am in no control over anything in my life when I am locked up, like a caged animal. White walls and blue doors. Every morning I wake up and they put me in a depressing mood. I can’t hold my head high in here. I wake up itchy from the uncomfortable blankets that they give us to sleep with. My pants and shorts either fall off or are so tight I can’t breathe. With this yellow shirt I could be the suns twin. I’m a lonely soul trapped in a white room with a blue door.

Entry # 100
You were my world
That completed me and filled my hearing with joy
Endless times we would spend talking to each other
About the craziest things and funniest times we remembered
Together we would laugh and cry
Now it’s a part of me that’s not fully complete
Because you are not here
I try to play back the times in my head
But it can never be the same
When I begged God why take you away
Tears filled my eyes like a little stream
And now I look at it as you being
Away from all this crazy mess

Entry # 101
The time ticks by
Clocks counting down
Time slows down
Only an hour and a half left
I hear the clock in the back of my mind
Only it screams like a banshee
A forbidden mistress, this witch of time
Tick-Tock, goes the clock
Time counts down
Maybe I’ll stay here
Maybe I’ll leave
It’s up in the air like an opening kick off
An hour now
My heart skips a beat
Sharp breath as I see the time
Short time
Delicate time
But in the end
Not enough time

Entry # 102
When I’m in my cell I’m kind upset. When I get out I want to be better, a better kind of person for my family again. I would do anything to be with my family. I don’t like it in here, but I messed up and so I am punished for my behavior. I miss sitting on my bed at home with my pit bull. He’s my life. I wish I could be there with my family. My dad’s really upset with me for being in here, but I told him when I’m home I will be a better person and I will try my hardest to stay the out of the hall.

Entry # 103
It’s like this, I take them chances, I roll them dice, being in this game ain’t nothing nice. I did big thangs Makin’ no chump change, But the question is can I change? I can change! And if I gotta prove it then so be it.

Entry # 104
When I first came in I was mad and ashamed. I had a life…. Now I have to cope with someone telling me what to do. I was out with the homies and the family, kicken it, partying. I was up to no good and it caught up with me. Now I’m stuck. My mom’s finally getting out. Nine months have past and it doesn’t even seem that long. I been here seven months with a 2 week break. Time just flies. Soon I’ll be getting another chance. Can’t wait to be out, see my family and walk my pit….To see a beautiful girl and let her know. Only one more month to go. I’m going to get my life back. No more locked doors or getting hours. I’ll be home and living my life.

Entry # 105
How do I deal?
I deal crack, guns, anything I can get my hands on.
How do I cope,?
I cope with keeping my mind a blaze, but sometimes that doesn’t work.
So I go grab a bottle, and what I mean by ‘grab’ a bottle is really grab it, five finger discount.
Who do miss?
It would be freedom, I can’t wait to get off probation, and not go down that road with her again.
I’m not alone, I have my boys, but the thing that’s messed up is we keep coming in and out of here. Why cant we stay out there?
It doesn’t matter. It’s too late, but not too late to change.
What it feels like to be locked down?
It’s not too bad, yes it sucks, but there are times where I feel like it’s all good. It’s times where we are rappin in the vent, to thinking back to the old times we had.
I don’t know. It makes me feel like we are just one big family.
We understand where one another are coming from.
I hope we can make it through this every day struggle.

Entry # 106
Who cares what I do? I can tell you easily. The only people that care are the people close to me. There is my fiancé and a couple of friends that have dropped stuff that they were doing just to help me.

Not many people know I’m in here. Not many people care. But me being in here actually sorts out my true friends from the fakes. I’ve been through here a few times to know that my immediate family doesn’t care. I’ve been out there so long that being in here feels like a vacation, because out there is a lot of work while in here all you do is go to school and eat.

I’ve made plans to stick close to, obviously, those who care so I don’t end up making the same mistakes as I usually do because being in the hall sucks. Nevertheless, it has given me a chance to look at the stupid stuff that I did and laugh.

Although I am one of the few that care, I think that it doesn’t even matter about my past or future. It just matters about the present and then the outcome. I do all I do by choice. Most of the time I am the one to blame, but not this time. This time it’s my mom. She decided to be lazy and do drugs instead of getting a place to stay.

Entry # 107
Every day is a troubled day,
It’s an everyday thing to me
Mean, nice, hatred,
What is a real friend who knows?
Always there for you,
A true friend doesn’t get you to do the bad
But the good
You are there for them
But where are they for you?
Doing their thing
In trouble every time
Can’t see them
For a really long time
Doing their time
Problems come and go
But stay in your record
Try to do good
But it’s harder than you think
Once, twice or even more
When am I going to stop getting locked up?

Entry # 108
Being alone is all bad for me. But when I’m locked up I’m not alone, I’m with my friends and homies. They show love and I show it back. I deal with loneliness by keeping my patience thinking about a lot of things I can do when I’m out. It’s hard because I miss a lot of friends and family. I miss my family more than anything. I always think about wanting to do good so I can be with them and make them proud.

Entry # 109
Captivity, isolation is what this is,
Dying for the liberty and emancipation of a kid,
that does not succeed but one day will,
people say it’s easy but I promise it’s all up hill.
I’m being held in a box,
I’m in custody, But I’m accomplishing so much,
There is nobody on this earth that can touch me, I’m am lucky!
People say there is a difference between heaven and hell but I promise I live both everyday in this cell,
I’m realistic, never again ballistic.Already leaving this messed up life I had,
I’m hoping to live this new life without a drag,
What I do realize is that I’m becoming a man,
I bow my head and raise my hand, I’m winning.
I’m moving on!

Entry # 110
I cope with my being locked up by thinking about the little things in life and enjoying them. I also take care of things I usually don’t do on the outs, like working out and brushing my teeth 3 times a day. When the cell door shuts I workout till I’m tired, then sleep. Plus we eat 3 meals a day and that helps me sleep. I think about getting out and how much easier I can make things for myself. I go outside at least once a day so it’s not so bad in here. It’s a big step away from county and a giant step from prison. I deal with it trying not to worry and knowing that if I do, time will go by slower.

Entry # 111
It’s sad being so accustomed to where being incarcerated does not affect you. This place is a home away from home. Sleeping is the best. My dreams can take me places. I think I’m dealing with it, but perhaps it’s really messing with my mind. When I get out getting locked back up is always in the back of my mind and that’s what brings us back. What I mean is that we’re always thinking about it on the outs, so we never fully eliminate this place from our minds and that’s what I believe makes us return.

Entry # 112
“You can’t do it alone”
I believed those lies!
Over my dad,
Over my twin brother,
And everyone I ever loved.
I need new words
I need stronger emotions to portray.
Feeling lonely and lost seems so miniscule
I wish I knew you now,
I could give you so much more love,
So much more to be proud of!
I Love You Mom
I don’t cry anymore
Your pain is finally gone
I smile to the heavens and know you’re in a better place.

Entry # 113
I lost two friends, more like brothers , both taken by overdoses,
How was I supposed to cope?
Instead of a pipe I got a bottle, my own kind of dope,
Life started to look like a downward slope,
Only thing left was my love, spread wide like the wings of a dove, but when push came to shove …
My addiction prevailed, the last of my soul, had just been killed,
Anger built in my heart, decisions not smart, now I’m in Juvenile Hall, in my cell doin’ art .

Entry # 114
Every time the doors close I take a deep breath & tell myself, “The thug life, I wanted this.” I look at myself in the small ass mirror & then I smile because I see all the things I screwed up. I ask myself why couldn’t it of been someone else instead of me? I’m not that bad. There are way worse criminals than me. Then again, I can’t do anything about it, so I deal with it & wait till I get out. My anger gets the best of me. I start punching my door & head butting it because I like feeling pain when I’m angry at myself. I do pushups until I can’t breathe & pound on my chest to encourage myself to do more. This life style is really messed up, but I choose it.

Entry # 115
The sky is dull but the sun is bright.
People die and kids cry.
The poor suffer and the rich do too.
Children laugh and have fun while the old
Are grumpy and all alone.
Everyone has a different perspective on
What goes on.
Day by day and night by night, not everything is
The same we all have different sights.
I see blue and you see white.
Nothing ever changes we just see it in different ways.

Entry # 116
Being alone… it gets easier I guess when you’re locked up. That sort of thing happens. I just try not to think about where I’m at. I know it’s for my own good. My mom only wants what’s best for me. That’s what makes me miss her so much. There are a lot of parents that don’t care and sitting in my cell made me realize that. At the end of the day when those doors lock, I just think of how I can change.

Entry # 118
When I was lonely I did not have my dad. I did not know him. I became increasingly upset because no one was there for me. At my sports games I never had anyone to cheer me on like the other kids.

I went to a foster home in 2008 and that is when I first met all of my family. I was 14. This guy came up to me and said, “I am your dad.” I didn’t believe him at first and even told him so. He had been in prison for the past 12 years due to his abusiveness. It is still hard for me to forgive him. I was only 2 when I was taken away from my family. I don’t really see him anymore. He is still involved in some hard drugs and it is hard for me to just sit there and watch him do it.

If I ever have kids, I will take them out of the house, teach them what is right and wrong, and stay out of prison. I will be there for them.

Entry # 119
A lost soul
I walk upon a broken road
No more hope
My survival consists in the cold
I’m on my own
I always have been anyway
Standing tall, don’t care what any say
Though many may
Diss on what they don’t know
But I’m proud of the road that I chose
Feeling down
The pain gives my gut a tug
Out of luck
No more love
I’m feeling stuck

Entry # 120
Like a rabid animal at first I’m detained.
White walls surround, this is my cage.
Paranoia…calm down!
I still feel rage.
My little brother grows weaker.
I’m not there to stop his growing addiction.
He will kill himself, God please imprison him.
My mom cries for her lost sons.
It’s my fault and the drugs.
I need to get out in order to save life.
The ones I love are standing on knives.
If I had another chance, oh Lord I’d
Keep myself right.
Me and my loved ones must follow Gods light.
The world whispers my name, taunting me

Entry # 121
It all started at the age of twelve
Something went wrong and I knew my life was going to hell
Turning to my gang and the drugs too
Put me in situations I never thought I would’ve been through
Seeing the pain I put in my mom’s eyes
Wishing everything could just be a lie
This life that I live isn’t a joke
You can be rich one day and the next morning wake up broke
It takes 365 days for the earth to spin one time
But it only takes one step for me to change my life

Entry # 122
You never really think your alone tell the cell door shuts then you are alone, completely alone, like nothing you ever imagined. I hate when the door shuts, but I’ve learned to live with my mistakes and realize that this is how it has to be. This is how I’ve learned to cope, I just have to accept that I have no other option. Then your cell turns into your home and your cell mates turn into your family.

Entry # 123
I don’t like writing about my life because it makes me feel bad because of the things I went through. It hurts to talk about it. I’ve been through so much, in and out of juvenile hall over the last two years. I have to take care of my mom and my girl. I’m about to have a kid. I can’t keep getting locked up.

Entry # 124
Sitting in a room full of juveniles, taking on the world, trying to bear it all. I’m supposed to be the good one. Sorry mom. I didn’t mean to disappoint you by coming here, but there’s a first time for everything. I never thought things would be this way. Being stuck in a cage. I wish I was at home with my family instead of in here with my brother acting tough and manly.

Entry # 125
Being alone isn’t so bad. It gives me time to think and time to learn from my mistakes so I know how to do things better. I miss my family and all my homies. I hope they will all show up to my family visit. When I close my door and step into my cell I think of what it would be like to be in prison if I actually end up there. I also try to strengthen myself, so I work out. Not just physically but mentally too. I want to be able to have my mind straight.

Entry # 126
I’ve known you since I was 12,
I really loved you and cared
You were never doin’ well
In and out of a cell
You were the best boyfriend I have ever had and a good friend
Every time I thought of you I never thought what would come upon you was death
I look back and regret not bein’ there for your last dying breath
I imagine the day you died
Posted with the homie on the block
The homie see’s the killer
Next he hears shots
Blood everywhere
Died so young
Only 18
You’re in loving memory
Never to be forgotten
I love and miss you

Entry # 127
Being away from my family is not fun
Sometimes I think they will just be done.
With me locked up for doing drugs
I should have been there with open arms for hugs.
My little brother is at home alone
I didn’t know I was hurting him by getting blown.
He’s like an only child, yet with two brothers
I think when I get home he will feel smothered.
The first thing I will do is eat macaroni
On second thought I think I’ll have raviolis.
I can’t wait to see my Nonnie
I love her more than money.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The past several weeks, students at Table Mountain School in Butte County Juvenile Hall have focused on poetry writing.  Many will be entering the POETRY 99 contest through the Chico News and Review.  http://www.newsreview.com/chico/ballot/poetry99

Entry #68
Catastrophic disappointment fills my mind,
Accelerated to the coast of irritated blue decisions,
Regret, Probation.
Clean treacherous love turns into red viciousness,
Narcissistic disappointed brother,
Decided menacing runaway.
I can still hear her voice, “Go home to your sister.”
Making medicine or is it?
I hate this place,
I wanna kill her,
I could hear him like he was right next to me, “When I look up at the sky I wish I could know she was looking up at it too.”
Nope, she just brushed her teeth, staring at those white walls.

Entry #69
Teeth decaying,
Manufactured obeying,
Lost Hope,
Front row seat: dope,
Packed for head of fire,
Slipping through the floor of quicksand,
Introducing bio mom,
Her way of saying good-bye,
Is the way of the bomb,
Hi mom,
High mom,
“You do too much, you will surely die.”

Entry #70
The Place I Once Knew
Life kept paddling memories back,
Blue smoke filled the room.
My unachieved life failing, falling apart,
Broken and left to die.
The world will never be as I remembered,
As my life fades the memory of my mother intensifies,
As I leave this earth it will never leave me,
The place I once knew, gone.
Where was I supposed to go?
I have nowhere.
As my restless soul wanders my mind is in another place.

Entry #71
Doors of Pure Anger
I shovel my bad memories away in a campfire of terror
Locked behind doors of pure anger
My life’s like a mystery,
The darkest place of night
Nothing can frighten me.
I’m a nightmare, a demon below in a pit
Nothing can kill me,
I’ve been sick for so long the flu runs from me
My family is worried
They’re losing hope
My soul is so empty I feel broke
I’m going crazy
It’s too much to bear,
So I bare it all.

Entry #72
Care Less
I don’t get it,
Why I’m incarcerated yet again.
My careless brother got me here.
Emotions—I don’t care.
Hate and hurt building up.
The cell door shuts, but it’s ready to bust.
Anger building.
Casual people don’t even care.
The annoying locked door.
Daycare. I want a life.

Entry #73
Reluctant Retreat
I’m misguided by this apparition,
This Holy Spirit apparition is my outlaw,
Blown away by my new decomposed determination to win,
There are no false movements,
Creativity is my only crisis,
I’m confused regardless of my regrets.
My spirit and my faith are what lead me to temptation,
I’m young and equipped,
I can get through this reluctant retreat.
A monstrous project I will one day complete.
My new apparition, the shackle free elite.

Entry #74
Dirty with Pride
What does it mean to live?
Or to laugh? It doesn’t mean being detained,
It’s not blending with society.
I long for a freight train with wind blowing in my face,
tugging at my clothes,
dirty with pride.
Craving new sights,
meeting new people,
and making memories for the future.
For now, I am lying on the tracks pondering…
All who wander are not lost.

Entry #75
Cold ice glass pipe, lost friends, and foul drugs,
She thinks I need to get my shit together.
I don’t know,
There are no life rules.
Stranded in a burning blizzard,
White hot like my drug of my choice,
Encaging like the bricks of my nasty cell.

Entry #76
I am dealing smoke
Trying to name my consequences
Wondering how long I will last?
Looking on the internet, I find people looking for me.
Out my back door, I hear the homie whistle asking me to deal more.
My mom, she wants me to change, but I am like, “Wow, that is so hard.”
Now that I am locked up I think to myself in my cell: “There is no point.”
I wonder if the only reason why I say that is because I am locked up.
It was the last mistake of my life…or maybe the first.
Unless I stay the way my mind is in.

Entry #77
That Same Night
My name is broken soul
I have been sober from white smoke for a long time.
It makes me feel sick,
When I picked up the bottle that same night, I picked up the gun.
Locked up and then out on the run.
Back with me, myself, and I,
Hurt but I can’t tell why.

Entry #78
I’m raking my yard of lost control.
It’s not even my yard, it’s my group home’s.
Then I’m getting on the internet dealing with my bro’s drama, pasting pictures on my wall.
Gonna help navigate.
Longing to decorate my Christmas tree and chill with my family while drinking some hot chocolate, playing games with my brother, and helping cook dinner with my grandpa.
I want to go home.

Entry #79
Repetitive Occuring
Why do you have to be so blind
Go smell that purple flower
Take a stroll along the highway
Stay away from school
Everything I imagine keeps occurring
Go move that rusty shovel
Go pick some colorful flowers
Along the highway
I don’t wanna go to school
Everything keeps occurring
She tripped over that rusty shovel
She was too blind
So many cars are driving on the highway
It's time to go to school
Occurring occurring occurring

Entry #80
Extricating Destruction
I pick up the pipe and the reaper crawls into my lungs.
It brings me a mind filled with hatred and a heart turned to stone.
My insides rot.
My mind dwelling with why?
Why am I like this?
Father dying, I sit and destroy my life, but not only mine, my father’s too.
All I’m asking for is guidance,
Please come down and extricate this reaper from me.
Cleanse my mind and make me pure again.
I LOVE YOU DAD and nothing can crawl in-between our relationship.
Not even my drug of choice!

Entry #81
Another Monday drinking a bottle of scotch.
Missing my mother, stuck on addiction
Remembering a powerful dedication to family,
But now all I have is a crazy adventure with a glass pipe.
Trying to battle the demons
Nothing left but the hustle of drugs and thugs
Absent hope smoking dope.
Addiction will rule.

Entry #82
Passing Time
I landed in hell in this cell
Grinding my teeth and playing cards to pass the time
Waiting for my delaying exit day
My public defender negotiated with the vultures
So I can achieve my freedom, I walk on a sidewalk that leads, ends.
No, I need some light on the very dark place I’m going,
Every day I wake up to the pain and sweat wondering how many days left.

Entry #83

More and more confusion targets my addiction
Denial and death thrown upon me, bring me nothing but pure rage
No rules or responsibility
No more adventure or sobriety
Tell me! Has there been an evening you find yourself cowering underneath a table
A heat blazing in the center of you like a campfire
I don’t want to believe I’m burning but reality hits and I take a look
Damn, it’s so visible
I hear people screaming in this treacherous heart I know as “cell.”

Entry #84
Strange unique love
Was destroyed above
Victory leaving probation
Winning our mission
Hates a strong word
But yet, it has occurred
Promise me anything
As I’m starting to lose everything
Like the weather man making predictions
Trust against Faith
Lies with Disgrace
Addiction wouldn’t say good-bye
And Sobriety was too shy
Left without a trace
Couldn’t see her face
Lost all that beautiful hope
A red menacing dope
Such a very small town…
But no one likes put downs
Jumping in my conversation
Yelling with Destruction

Entry #85
I’m sitting here locked up behind four walls.
Killing time in Juvenile Hall.
I did the crime,
Now I must pay: Forty-Five to life.
If I could go back
I would do things differently.
If only I could go back.
All I can think about is one more chance.
How I would make my mom smile.

Entry #86
It’s Not  a Déjà vu
Tails of my incarcerated thoughts
Feeling melancholy.
I can never be happy in this
Depressing incarceration.
As I entered this pale place my emotions began to rise, it’s not just déjà vu.
I’ve been here for an astonishing seven times and I want out of this black hole.
Bright red face of anger.
The world goes on without me to gaze upon its lustful beauty.
All I think about is burning green into ash colored gray to sooth and release these dark emotions.

Entry #87
Anxious Death
Anxious death awaits me while I’m stuck inside my thoughts.
My mind jumbled up in knots.
I sit in my cell of self pity and ask myself why?
Why is it I can’t be the person I want to be?
Living life too fast and I can’t slow down.
Remembering the look on my mom’s face.
Why am I an embarrassment to my family, when I know I can make them proud?
Why does it feel like I’m living under a dark cloud?
It's time for me to do better and to stand out in the crowd.

Entry #88
I don’t get this.
I’m here because I went on the run.
Running from what I was suppose to achieve.
I don’t get this.
I feel my room is like a dungeon
And I’m a demon taking over.
I don’t get this.
I want to learn from my mistakes
But I keep messing up.
I don’t get this.
I want to leave and never come back.
What do I do to achieve this goal?
Should I change or just be smarter about what I do?
I really don’t get this.

Entry #89
Bless You
Filling my sorrow
Only 17 years old and I have a problem that I wish upon no one
I was a good kid until my soul broke, stomped out by a girl that I loved
I should be out, I have listened better.
I have changed.
I need to get back to school.
I need to make my life better.
I need to get back to my family.
to help with our garden.
I have listened better then the last time.
I can identify my fun side.
People offend me and my dangling anger sinks me into quicksand.
I sneeze my anger out.
Heading down
And wanting out of this trouble
They always find a way to lock me back up.
I’m tired.

Entry #90
Bored, sitting here.
Wasting time.
I keep coming back for “stupid shit.”
I write the same line over and over.
"Welcome back, we kept your room open."
Man, this place gets to me.
I’m leading the life of someone I’m not.
Committing crimes and getting caught,
I keep swearing I’m not going to fall,
Trying to live above the law.
Well I’m going to live by the book.
Gonna keep it straight and quit living it like a crook.
It’s not working out being a criminal, cause I keep getting caught.
It’s time to lead a new life.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Entry #33
You are my moon
Only with your influence
Can I pull the tides of my dreams over the shores of earth?

You are my stars
Only with your illumination
Can there be light in times of darkness

You are my wind
Only with your breeze
Can I wisp away the hot rays of uncertainty?

You are my river
Only under your currents
Have I been eroded into who I am?

You are my rock
And you are not perfect
But then again, nothing really is

Entry #34
The rock in my life is my little brother. He is a year younger than me, but at times, it seems that he is the mature one. He has never been locked up or in trouble with the law. I would die for him. We have been through so much together. There was a time in our lives when we were separated for a while, but even so, we kept each other in our hearts. God brought us back together. At the time I was too young to understand it, but now as I look back, I realize how lucky I am to have him in my life. I can’t forget and NEVER will; my parent fought so my brother and I could be together. Adopted or not, they are my parents. Even though at times, most of the time, it might seem ungrateful, but really in my heart, I am so thankful for the things they have done for me and my brother. For that alone, I love them. My brother is my life and I can’t think of ever living life without him. Even when we argue, I still love him.
What can I say, we’re brothers and we always will be.

Entry #35
I have felt so down that all I wanted to do was end my life. Well, I have talked myself out of it, knowing I have someone who loves me. I know I may not have someone on earth, but I do have someone and he has changed my life. When I sit in this green shirt every day, all I see are the brick walls. Here, there are so many rules I have to follow. I wake up at 6 am every morning, grab my towel, take a 3 minute shower, and put on a new shirt. I sit in this county and wonder why green? Why blue pants and shoes? All of our clothes are Bob Barker. There are ten other green shirts around me. When will I see my family? Will they be there for me when I am down to the point that I have knife in hand and think down the stream, not over the bridge? When will I wake up and apologize to my loved ones. I will do it no matter how hard it hurts.

Entry #36
When I walk out of the hall there are a couple of things that I want to do. First I will go see my friends and family, just to check in. I will call my dad and tell him I’m out, ready to move in with him or I’ll go live with my best friend.
One thing that will be different when I get out is that I will be eighteen and my mom doesn’t have to let me live with her. I might be on my own and I will have a lot of responsibility on my shoulders. I just pray that my mom will forgive me and at least try to help me do the right thing. I know that the only way these things won’t happen is if I don’t believe in myself and let someone stop me.
I plan to stay out of trouble, stay away from the police and go back to school, so I can get my high school diploma. After I get my diploma I will go and sign up for junior college. I will look into taking classes to become a RN or a Midwife, because I always wanted to work in health care.
I want to change the things I’m doing because if I don’t who knows where I will end up in. That’s really why I need to grow up and get my life together. I don’t want to walk out of here and just leave everything I told myself in booking. I want to walk out of here and know I’m going to change; I want to know that the person inside of me will come out and not just die. I want to achieve my dreams and goals. When I walk out of the hall I hope nothing is the same but my name and my birthday.

Entry #37
The day I took my first hit off of a dope pipe was the same day I heard that my child passed away. I was sitting at home on EMP (Electric Monitor Program). They gave me the big 180. I was stuck at my pad and as soon as I got home, I lit up a black and started to think about things. One night I got a call from my girl saying that our baby died. She was only 4 months old. All of a sudden something in my stomach curled. I hung up, cut my EMP, and took off. Losing my daughter was the most difficult thing that ever happened in my life. The next thing I know, I am drinking and popping pills. A couple of my friends asked me if I wanted to smoke some dope. I took the pipe and smoked the rest of the bowl with them. After the first hit, I felt like I was superman. Next thing you know, I’m strung out on meth. I was strung out for two weeks. It wasn’t long before I was dealing and eventually got caught up. Looking back on it all, I wish I would have talked to my parents before I left that night.

Entry #38
When I walk out of Juvenile Hall…First I’m going to be on my way home. When I get home I’m going to take a long shower, brush my teeth, and then get dressed. After I’m finished getting all squeaky clean and getting dressed, I’m going to go to the shop so I can get my hair done. When I’m finished getting my hair done, I’m going to most likely go to Home Town Buffet and eat all I can. The most important thing I’m going to do when I get home is talk and text on my cell phone. The difference in my life will be me. I’m going to stop getting high, drunk, and going to parties. I’m going to have a positive attitude and pay more attention in school. I’m not going to hang around people that do bad things. The most important decision I’ve made to be different is to go to church more often.
I know I’m going to have a lot of temptations because I’m so used to just being me and not caring about anything else. To be honest I’m scared of my temptations because I know if I don’t think right, I will end up back in Juvenile Hall fighting another case. That is one thing I don’t want to have to do.
I’m going to change my whole life around and also change who I choose to hang around. I’m not going to smoke weed, drink, or party anymore. It’s going to be very hard but I have a lot of faith in myself.

Entry #39
Who is the rock in my life?
I don’t have one. The only rock I know is the one I put in a pipe and smoke.
It keeps my mind free
Of the words they speak to me.
Who cares? When my life’s in the gutter,
When I’m looking into the eyes of my own mother,
I have forsaken her. My corruption has finally changed my fate.
Now I’m sitting here alone in this cell with no one there except for the words that I said that day.
They are etched in my brain like an endless mind game.
Within these stone cold walls are my stone cold thoughts.
I have lost what I had and anything of worth.
I have turned my back on the people who gave me birth.

Entry #40
A few weeks ago if you asked me, I would have told you that the only rock in my life was the one in my glass pipe. But when I have time to sober up, it’s no mental fight. The one and only rock in my life is my father who has always looked out for me. I feel ashamed at the place we are now: no home to call ours. I know it is time to go….to Florida for a better cause.

Entry #41

My rock is my dad. He has always been there when I needed food, clothes, and a place to sleep, so I don’t have to put up with violence in my household. The qualities I admire about him are he is a great cook and he is always available when I need someone to talk to. He actually listens. He loves fishing and he’s always respectful when you should be. He let me down when he was struggling with drugs and alcohol and couldn’t stop. I have done the same with my drug problem when I was struggling, but I’m working to stay sober and clean. I hope he will always be in my life and not leave mine like my other dad has.

Our next conversation will be about my future and how we will stay away from the harsh and hard drugs in this world. Drugs change us so much from who we really are. I am a good kid and I can help out people a lot. Whenever it comes to my harsh drug problem I tend to do stuff I normally wouldn’t do and I regret the stuff I have done so much.

Entry #42
Sometimes I think I should have gone away, never to return, but I know now, running away from my fears is a bad idea. I have been running from my past for 3 ½ years. It’s not worth it, because in the end, it always seems to catch up to me. I have been in and out of the hall since I was about 13. The last time I was here was because of running from a group home placement. The judge said that was the last chance, but he found a spot in his heart ad he will let me out one last time. On the 15th I got committed for 90 days. He said if I ever return, I’m gone: gone to a group home. No more chances. This time I’m going to prove I’m not a screw up anymore. I can find a way to do what’s right.

Entry #43
When I walk out of the hall I’m going to stay out of trouble. So I am getting my record sealed because I want to go in the army. The thing that I want to be different is to stay out of trouble and out of places like this. The things that will be the same is that I’m going to still be around guns but in a good way. I’m going to be learning new things in the army. Another thing that will be the same is I’m still going to help my mom with the problems we may have. One of my dreams is to put my mom in a house that she has wanted and to make her happy. She deserves to have something nice. Mom has always supported me and was there when I needed her. I want to stay out of trouble because when I am in trouble I can’t accomplish my goals. I want to stay away from the temptation of doing drugs.

Entry #44
When I walk out this place I am scared of what I might face. I wish I could just disappear without a trace. Doesn’t everyone at some point wish that? Sometimes their life may be upside down. When all they want to do is turn it around. I have the power in my hands but that is something they can’t stand.
What will I do? I am not sure because the love for crystal is so pure, well at least I think it is and I’m not too sure I want to kick the habit. I feel like a rabbit without any food not knowing where to go or who to turn to. I am completely stuck, like glue I am not sure of what I will do.
Temptations, they’re all around even when I look up especially when I look down! There inside my head and that’s the worse spot they can be. Oh how I wish I could just be free from me maybe things would be easier.
Change, what does that word mean? It’s something beyond what I can do. I just can’t stand it and I’m losing it too. So when I walk out of the hall what will I do? Maybe I’ll go back to crystal who knows? Do you?

Entry #45
The rock in my life is my grandma. I value her love beyond measure. She helped raise me. I know I can call her at any time when I need her. If I was to get released at 4AM, she would be the only person I know would come to get me. She has never let me down, but I wish I could say the same. She never said I was a disappointment, but I could tell. She said she worries about me, worries so much that she went back to seeing a therapist. I took her love for granted and I never apologized. I believe our next conversation will be about my time in the hall. I’m going to apologize for stressing her out. I’m going to let her know I’m done drinking. I bet she’ll remind me of the time I climbed two stories to get to see her.

Entry #46
My dad wasn’t part of my life until my mom died in 2008. He is what kept me going. He bought me clothes, loved me, and was always there for me. Things went bad for me when cancer viciously took over my mother’s body. I couldn’t control myself. I started drinking and doing drugs, doing things I always told myself I wouldn’t do. I started hurting the people I love the most, like my dad. I would drink and drink because I couldn’t take the torture of the thoughts going through my head. I blacked out, recalling only that I was looking down at my dad. I had made him feel my pain, my rage, my fear of having nothing. This is what changed my life. I find myself screaming and apologizing. I found myself in here having no life.

Entry #47
The person that I would consider as my “rock” would have to either be my grandmother or my older brother. The reason why I chose those two is because no matter what kind of problem(s) I have or what kind of situation(s) that I get myself into they’re always the ones who I can go to and talk to about anything, and they will never judge me or get mad at me for the trouble I get myself into to. They have also been the ones who I can go to talk to about my father passing away. My older brother, John, went away to college last year, but no matter how busy he was with his school work he still made time to call me. On some occasions he would take a trip home for the weekend just to make sure I was on the right track and I had no problems that needed to be talked about. The same goes for my grandmother, she lives in another city but she is constantly calling almost every day just to make sure that I’m staying out of trouble and that I’m doing good in school. Also, she is one of the only family members that writes letters to me on a consistent basis when I am locked up. If it wasn’t for my brother John and my Grandma I can honestly say that I do not know where I would be today.

Entry #48
When I get out of the hall I will go home with my family and eat a lot of food. I will chill with my father and brothers and kick back and relax. We will catch up on things; ask how everyone else has been doing since I’ve been locked up. Then I’ll go see my mother and she how she’s been doing.
The things that will be different is I’m not going to go chill with all my boys all day and night like I used to do the last time I was out. I’m going to go look for a job anywhere I can find one. I’m going to stay occupied so I won’t get into trouble when I get out of the hall. I’m going to get off probation this time when I get out. I will go to school to get my high school diploma. I will stay away from the drugs and alcohol.

Entry #49
The rock in my life is my grandpa. He has always been there for me and never let me down. If I call, he answers the collect calls and talks to me for however long, no matter what he is doing. I feel bad just writing this and realizing how many times I have let him down, getting expelled from schools. The time he found out I was smoking weed was probably the worst I have ever felt. I know he was very disappointed. I know I let him down just coming in here and for what I did to end up here. If I could take it all back, I would. When I get out I am going to tell him I’m sorry. I will try not to let him down ever again, and he will tell me I better do more than “try,” but I can’t promise anything. I wish I was more like my grandpa, smart and a hard worker. He has a nice house and car. I know that if I keep doing the drugs I won’t have any of that. Instead, I will be prison bound. I don’t want that, but if I let the drugs keep ruining my life, that’s what will happen. I know when I get out I won’t just change, but I will work towards it. It’s something I know I can achieve.

Entry #50
Everybody has a person in their life that they can look up to….someone who is always there through the thick and thin…somebody who’ll give them the time of day to sit down and listen. I hope those people know how lucky they are. Some of us aren’t so fortunate. Some of us have to keep our thoughts to ourselves. Some of us don’t have that special somebody to even give the time of day. So, I ask myself, who has been there through everything? Who did you cry to when you were all alone? Who stuck by your side when everybody turned their back on you? You want to know who stuck by my side? Me. Who did I run to when times got rough and there was absolutely no one I truly felt safe and secure with? Me! I put myself through so much that I went into this game by myself and I’ll be happy leaving by myself. I’m thankful that I was mentally and emotionally able to get through it by myself. So for those who have someone special, be thankful. Some of us might not ever have anyone else but ourselves.

Entry #51
When I walk out the hall I will go back to school get my grades up, catch up on my credits and work hard so I can graduate from high school. I will stop doing drugs, stay sober and try not to get tempted because I don’t want to hurt my mom anymore. I get tired of being tired when I’m on that stuff. I want to make my mom proud of me. I will be on probation till June, but I’m going to chill for those six months off probation so I won’t come back to this place. My temptations will be drugs, but I am not going to let it get to me this time. It isn’t worth me losing my mom’s trust and it isn’t worth me looking like a ghost all strung out on drugs. When I get up out of here I’m done doing drugs.

Entry #52
When I get out I am going to get her done. I will be a good kid. I will not come back here ever again. I know I can do what’s best for me. I know I can make my family proud. So when I am on EMP, I will not screw up, because if I do I will come right back into the hall. I do not want to return. I will stop all my bad ways before I get out of here. I want people to trust me. I know if I do good, they will.

Entry #53
When I walk out of the hall I am going to get a job. I will get started at a junior college so I can eventually get a better paying job. After junior college if I am doing well I will transfer to a four year college. What’s going to be different is that I will stay away from drugs and negative people. I will stop taking life as a joke and game. Nothing will be the same except still loving my family and being there when they need me. I am going to avoid my temptations by playing football and jogging down the canal. I might take time out to go swimming with my nephews and nieces. I will change my life. It will be way better than what it was and people will know it. I believe that if I can change a lot of my friends could change with me.

Entry #54

Throughout my life the only solid person I’ve had is my Grandpa. He passed away when I was only ten. Since then my life has been going downhill. He was the only positive adult that I was around when I was younger. I never let him down but if he was still around I know he’d be very disappointed. I admired the fact that he was always supportive to everyone. His presence always kept me up. He isn’t in my life now but he’ll always be in my heart. If I could have another conversation with him, I’m sure it’d be one I remember for the rest of days. Mt Grandpa continues to be my rock. I look at him as my only fatherly figure. No other person will ever have the influence on me that he has.

Entry #55
I sit here and stare at these white brick walls, the numbered blue doors, and the steel toilets, wondering, why me? Why now? How can one minute you be having fun hanging out with your friends and then the next you’re in the slammer looking at a lot of time? Sitting in a cube, a blue mattress hardly comfortable on a cement slab, just wishing I could be home in my bed and in my own domain. I wake up in the morning at 6AM, groggy. I hear my door pop and the last thing I want to do is get up in that misty shower for three whole minutes, Woo-hoo! It’s barely enough time to wash myself and then I wonder what I could have done different. I sit here in this environment, where everything’s timed: how long your shower, how long you eat, sleep, and I’m honestly surprised that they don’t time how long you’re going to the bathroom as well. I wish I could have done something else or said “No” to all the bad choices I’ve made in m life, but I guess from now on I’ll always be asking myself, why me? Why now?

Entry #56
When I get out of the hall, I want to change my decisions, but not who I am. I want to become successful and actually be somebody. I’ve got to man up now because I am having a child and a kid can’t raise a kid. That’s a man’s job, my job now. I’m going to start going to school more often and get the education I need to in order to get a good paying job so that I can help raise my child and help make them a better person, like I am trying to become. I can change when I get out of the hall.

Entry #57
I have an addiction, but not to drugs. My addiction is the hustle. I like the easy money. Making a couple of thousand made me feel like I was doing right. “Money is life.” That’s what I thought. Now I’m in juvie missing out on my son’s life. He can walk now and I wish I could see it, but no. I had to see that dollar sign one more time. I have seen so many horrible things happen to people because of money. I have done bad things to people that didn’t have it coming. Money, guns, drugs, and hommies have been my focus and now I have missed almost a year of my son’s life.

Entry #58
As for me, I have not rock in my life. I can’t depend on anyone but myself. I’m 16 years old and have been living mostly on my own. My mom has been in and out of prison, always in fights. As for me, I picked up her traits. I cannot go a day without getting into a fight, but that has just led me behind a door that I never imagined I would be: locked up. I guess it is good that I am here. I can stay out of trouble in here.
I wish I could change my past. I wonder where I would be if I went down the right path and not the wrong. I have three sisters, a brother, and an eight year old niece I miss so much. I sit in my cell at night wondering if she will remember me.
I sit back and wish I would have listened to my grandma and stayed in school and not gotten into trouble so much. I wouldn’t be in the position I am in now. I wish I would have never hung out with the wrong crowd and did the things I did. I hope that one day I will open my eyes and stop the nonsense. I want to do the right thing. I have to learn from my mistakes and take responsibility when I make them.

Entry #59
When I walk out of the hall the first thing I am going to do is go sign back up for school. When I am done with that I am going to go to a program that helps teen’s get jobs. I will have to be serious about getting a job because that takes commitment. I know that my mind will be different and I am going to have good intentions because I do not want to be back here locked up. I actually want to be doing something with a good cause. I will have a complete attitude change because attitude really counts out there in the world. I also feel that it’s not going to be easy because I know some of my old ways, like smoking, will be a problem. I think that if I have a smoking problem that can hold me back from my job or even stop me from getting a job, but I am one hundred percent sure that if I am really serious about doing what I say I want to do then I need to let old temptations stay in the past by being responsible and stay out of trouble.

Entry #60
Who is the rock in my life? I don’t know. I wish I could answer that myself. When I was twelve, my cousin was. He would protect me from our demons, the demons that now haunt my life. Who is the rock in my life? I wish I could tell you, but it would be a complete lie.
I was with my cousin every day until he died. We had just moved to Chico. I was 13 and was sitting with my friend smoking, kicking it with my demon. I got that call that ruined everything. I ran all the way home thinking that this was a horrible joke. I was at the end of the hospital bed. My cousin had been shot in the head. It ruined everything. Now my demons are in control. Who is the rock in my life?

Entry #61
The one person I can always count on is my mom. I could be in a different state and need to be picked up and I know I could call and she’d be on her way in a heartbeat. I don’t understand her at all though, because I always let her down. I’ve been in and out of the hall 10 times: always making empty promises. I can’t stay in one place. I have an addiction to drugs and alcohol. Recently I added a new heavy drug to my variety. I can’t stop, won’t stop. I love my family, but I can’t live with them for more than a few hours. We have our differences. I guess you could say I am the black sheep of the family. I love my younger brother and would do anything for him. My parents don’t like us communicating in fear that I might change him. Little do they know that is my worst nightmare. I’m still not completely sure why or how I changed. All I know is I need to keep my head up and remember that I’m in control of my life decisions, nobody else.

Entry #62
When I Walk Out Of the Hall
The day I walk out of this place, I’ll know I will probably be one the happiest people alive. The first thing I am going to do is eat as much good food as I want. I’ll actually go to my grandmother’s store and get some chicken.
Before I actually leave, I will meet with my probation officer in his office. My requirements are simple and easy to follow. So I know what I’ll do when I actually leave. One of my requirements is to finish school. I plan on graduating from high school and to get my diploma. Next I’m going to work on going to college. Since in six months of ‘Aftercare’ I can accomplish getting my credits up, I can work on what I want to go to college for. My goal is to go to Cal poly in San Luis Obispo.
I will be different. My way of life I will drastically change so I will fit into society. That is the reason I am here. Society will be the same. That I can count on.

Entry #63
The rock in my life is my grandmother. She’s the most solid person I’ve ever known. My grandmother was able to go through an abusive relationship, not bitter or phased. She taught me the true definition of unconditional love. My grandmother is such a balanced and strong person, it amazes me. In her lifetime, she has been a nurse and had 12 kids (not including all the foster kids my grandparents raised). Even though none of the foster kids were her own, she gave them unconditional love as well. And on top of that, my grandma had a brain tumor before I was born and she wasn’t supposed to make it. When she lived a year after that, the newspaper wrote an article about her. Whenever my grandma is going through something, she doesn’t show it. She wants nothing but the best for everyone. I love her so much and I know she loves me more than anything. Even though I’ve done some grimy things in my life and ran away, my grandma has always been there for me no matter what I’ve done. She always encourages me. My Nana has never let me down. I want to be more like her because she is so caring, loving, and forgiving. I’ve never trusted anybody else in my life how I trust her.

Entry #64
I shouldn’t have picked up that crack pipe. I shouldn’t have done it. I should have stayed home and loved my baby sister. I should have left the drugs behind when I had the chance. I should have told my grandma that I loved her before she died. I should have loved my mama better. I should have tried harder for my girlfriend. I should have gone to school. Now I have to take one more year of high school. I should have stayed home instead of running the streets wondering where I would sleep. I shouldn’t have picked up that crack pipe. I should have kept my life.

Entry #65
When I walk out of the hall I really have to make some changes. I have been getting locked up since I was fourteen. I have locked up ten times and it’s time to break the cycle. When I get out I need a plan. I am going to finish high school, look for a job, start going to church, and focus on my relationship with my girl to keep busy. What is going to be different for me is that I am going to find new friends, ones that are supportive, and keep me out of trouble. I am not going to abuse drugs anymore because they screw your mind up and are bad to your health. What’s going to be the same is I am the same person with the same mind I had before. I will still want to get out and do the same things as before, but it’s time to break this cycle and do something different for a change. I will make my family proud.

Entry #66
I remember how I felt the morning after from what I had done, thinking I had gotten away, but no. The phone call came and it felt as if I was hit by a car: as if the floor had fallen from under me. The call was from a friend saying the police were looking for me. Now I’ve done it. Everything I’ve done has caught up with me. I remember thinking that my whole life was about to change. A few days later, the police were knocking at my door. There was too much evidence. After the questions kept coming, more lies fled from my mouth. They knew. There was nothing I could say. I know what I did was terrible. I had to face it. My mom was balling. What have I done? Now I’m in juvenile hall. I never thought I’d end up here.

Entry #67
The one person that I know I can always rely on is my grandma, who I call Nonnie. She always gives me good advice and tells me what I need to do to be successful. She never sugar coats anything and I love that she loves me as much as I love her. I don’t ever want to disappoint her or make her feel bad even though I have a few times. She has never let me down and is always there for me when I need her. I hate when she feels lonely or is hurt by something me or one of my brothers did. I want to be able to be there for her whenever she needs me, like she’s there for me. I’m going to be there by staying sober and educated for her and myself. I think the next time I see her and talk to her we will both be very emotional because we haven’t seen each other in so long.

Friday, August 17, 2012

August 17, 2012
Entry #18
When I walk out of the hall, my life will be changed forever. Before I came in here, I didn’t care what happened to me or my loved ones. I was too high or drunk to care. My mom and sisters would cry when they saw me….all bruised and too wasted to stand up straight. They would beg me to change my ways and sober up. I thought, “Why the hell do you even care? I have been on the streets the past four years, doing whatever I want and you have been too busy with your lives and family. Why didn’t you care or try to stop me when I was 12?” But in reality, they did. I was just too drunk to notice them. It was nobody’s fault but mine. I’ve been locked up for three months now. 90 days of battling my demons. 90 days with nothing but my own thoughts. I talked to my mom the other day. She told me one of my really good friends died of an overdose, died over the same shit I would do every day. I was shocked. I couldn’t believe it. I thought it was some sick joke, but my mom wouldn’t do that. Then I thought about how lucky I am. I am still here. When I walk out of the hall I’m going to quit with all the bullshit. No more drugs or alcohol. I’m going to devote my life to myself and my family. I’m going to change forever.

Entry #19
If I could let my past stay behind me and not use it as my excuse, I would be ahead of the game with something wonderful to say. If I could go back in time I would have said “No.” If I could hold onto my cousin I would have told him I was sorry for the way I acted. If I could ask my biological father, I would have asked him one thing: Why did you choose drugs over me and my big brother? If I could have three wishes, I would wish for my life to turn out a success that I worked hard to get by myself. Then I would wish for my family to love me. If I could give my mother back her right leg and the chance to walk again, I would. If I could help someone, I would help teens caught up in sex trafficking to be brave and beautiful and to have self worth. If I could I would be brave for them because I made it out and will never live my life in the dark again.

Entry #20
I don’t know you
And you don’t know me
But that doesn’t matter
Our dreams still shatter
I was 90 days deep, “Damn EMP”
They gave me the big one eighty
And it wasn’t even me.
I’m innocent! DEJ Ha
That’s taken away
“When’s it gonna?”
I ask myself
Now! Not now, but RIGHT NOW…then BLAHOW
I’m back
But this is it
I’m cutting the bull
It’s about time
My boo calls me “Daddy”
But that doesn’t matter
I don't got no caddy
Nor any children
So I've got to stop acting like one
I got three siblings coming up behind me
My worst nightmare…
They’ll be just like me.

Entry #21
I’m an addict. I didn’t believe it at first. I hated the fact my parents chose meth over their kids, yet here I sit almost eighteen in this juvenile hall, realizing I also choose meth over my own child. In my use, nothing really matters but getting high. I wasted a relationship over the drugs. I lost control of my life as the drugs took over. Since I was always chasing the high, I didn’t have time for family or friends. The dope made me anti-social and depressed. I tried to quit. I really wanted to quit. In order to do so successfully, I had to make it through the comedown and withdrawals. Every time, without fail, I would be smoking or snorting some more. I got to the point where I wanted to die. I was ashamed of the drug use. I tried to hide it better. My brother came up to me one day and asked why I looked sucked up. I played it off. Pretty soon I noticed people talking and looking at me. I would look in the mirror and say, “Nothing’s wrong.” The drugs had put a pair of cracked glasses on my face so to speak and I wasn’t seeing the truth. I was in denial. Me an addict? No way. It went against my morals. I hated tweakers. Now people were saying I was one. I would get so pissed and fight people who said this, but they were right. I just couldn’t see it in the fog of my drug abuse. Even people I smoked dope with were telling me that I should be dead with the amount I smoked. At the time I took it as a compliment or sometimes even a challenge and I would do even more. My tolerance to the drug went up and so did the bill of the drugs. Before long, I owed a lot of people money. Money I still owe and still don’t have. I went from being all about my family, even early in my addiction. I was all about my family, but like watching football on TV, I couldn’t stop what was going on. I depended on the drug to get up for school. It wasn’t what I wanted. It was a necessity. I now realize I have been an addict since the first time I ever hit a dope pipe. Addiction is a disease that isn’t curable. You can only put it to the side until it resurfaces again. So here I sit almost 30 days clean, fighting my disease. Some days I feel all alone in my fight. Most days I rely on my friends and family to provide the support I need. I hope they do so when I get out too.

Entry #22
Nowhere to go
Nothing to lose
In the hall
The wounds I am bleeding through
Nobody to help me when I am feeling blue
My anger rising and my patience slacking
So I got to do what I got to do
End up in jail or not
In the streets I will always be known as “That one fool.”

Entry #23
The pain has vanished. My heart melts the feeling. Inside my chest growing. I need more. I do not want to come down from where I am. I feel so safe but that does not mean that it’s true.
Up and down, stop toying with my mind. Sixteen and on the fence. Which way should I go? I am stuck but I never falter. Drugs in my path. What do I do? Screw it. Everyone else does it, so I’ll do it too. I feel powerless over my actions.
I hear the lighter spark.
I get anxious.
I don’t want to do it.
But my body insists.
The drugs have taken control.

Entry #24
When I walk out of the hall I will go home. I will go home and I will see my mom and my grandpa and I will also see my girlfriend. I really plan on moving out of this county, going to the bay, and spending a lot of time out there so I can get my stuff together. Hopefully I can get a job and continue to do what I was doing before I made the mistakes I made that put me here…But if you would have to ask me I would tell you that I would not take anything I’ve done back because I don’t regret it. If I didn’t do what I did, I would not be the person I have become and I am proud of who I am. I will not change myself, but I will surely change the decisions I make in the future.

Entry #25
When I walk out of the hall, I’m going to be stupid juiced. The first thing I’m going to do is go to my Nana’s, take a long shower, and do my hair and make-up. Since it will be my birthday, I’m going to have my whole family get together so we can go out to eat. This time it’s going to be different because I’m different. I want the best for myself. I want to do greater than my family members ever thought I could do. The biggest difference is going to be the look of pride in my Grandparents eyes when I see them. The difference with my family will be awesome. Coming here has taught me how to communicate better. Nothing will be the same. I won’t be on the run, using heavy drugs, going to parties every weekend, or throwing parties every night. I won’t be pulling licks for money. I’m going to get a job. I know I’m not going to return because I want to do better for myself and my family. I have goals that I’m going to achieve. I will be so busy working, going to school, doing homework, and hanging out with my family that there won’t be any room for trouble.

Entry #26
When I walk out of the hall, I’m going to be happy to be in my own clothes. EMP is going to drive me home for my 180 days. The first thing I’m going to do is run up to my 10 month old baby sister, swing her into my arms, spin her around into a hug, then kiss her a million times. She will probably cry because she won’t remember me after four months, but I don’t care.
A lot will be different. I won’t have all my friends with me because they all turned on me. I’ll always be home and not getting in trouble. I’ll be nervous to go anywhere. I will be paranoid. My extended family: gone.
When I get home, I know only a few things that will be the same. My mom is there to look after me and comfort me through my current struggles. I have all of my siblings to keep me company, lots of family friends for barbeques, and I’ll still be in independent study. I am thankful to have family that cares about me, no matter what I’ve done in the past.

Entry #27
When I get out of the hall
Will I rise or fall?
“Everyone comes back”
But that’s not a fact
I’ve changed in these conditions
I sat and listened
To the directions they’re givin
I’m dead in here
I want to be living
I was playing the role
Where drugs had control
My mind and sole
To think of my options
Time to stop coughin
This place will haunt my mind
To my heart, it’s made a burn
Now when I walk out of the hall
I will NEVER return.

Entry #28
I never had a mom growing up. She left when I was two years old and I haven’t seen her since. Over the 15 years growing up she tried to contact me a bit, but I don’t want to hear from her or talk to her. Not now or ever. I always said to myself, “Forget her. She left you and doesn’t want you.” I made it a goal later in life when I am older, when I am ready, that one day I would contact her and ask, “Why the hell did you leave me and why wasn’t I a main priority in your life when you had me.” No matter what she says, I am too angry to let her back in my life. I know she’s my birth mom, but that is all she is: a lady who gave birth to me and then left. I can now deal with the fact that she left, but what hurts more is that she is trying to get in touch with me now after 15 years. All I want is the truth about these things. For now she is just a faded memory.

Entry #29
When I walk out of the hall I am going to go home, take off my shoes, grab a soda, go into the backyard, and light up a cig. It’s what I really want right now. I’ve been smoking for almost seven years, since I was ten years old. Now I am almost 17. Where has time gone? I haven’t had a normal teenage life. I’ve been getting locked up since I was 13. I’ve been in and out since then. The last four years have been rough for me. My life stays the same and time keeps on ticking, but who cares? You live and learn…but with me, I guess I don’t learn. It’s hard. I hate being on probation. I just want to smoke weed and have a good time and get on with my life, but it feels like I will never get off. I just want to see my nephew. He is about to be one year old in October. I miss him. I will do anything for him. Uncle just wants you to know that he loves you.

Entry #30
When I walk out of the hall I will never look back. I will never come back either. I have been in here way too many times. It has just been a waste of my time and my life. I don’t think anything will ever be the same again except for my family’s love towards me and the love I give back to them. When I walk out of the hall I am going to stop using drugs and drinking. The drugs and alcohol have taken over my life and I want it back. So when I get out I will be changed for the better. I will have a better grasp on life and live my life my way.

Entry #31
When I walk out of the hall my life will be different. I lived in another state with my aunt, but since I got locked up, she is done helping me. I’m going to be living with my grandparents from now on. I hope I can stay clean and stay out of trouble. My biggest fear of getting out is doing drugs again. I really hope I can change my life and be a better person. I hope that one day my little brothers can look up to me and my family can be proud of me and love me not only for who I am, but for the things I do as well.

Entry #32
Sometimes I Wish
Sometimes I wish I would’ve made the right decisions. It sucks when realization hits while you’re sitting in a cell. Maybe if my family was emotionally stable I wouldn’t have made a pact with the devil. Sometimes I wish I would’ve learned from my mistakes in the beginning. Sometimes I wish I didn’t seek destruction in my life. Sometimes I wish I would’ve refused to play in the devil’s playground. Sometimes I wish I would’ve never learned how to stab myself in the arm. Sometimes I wish I would’ve made the right decisions.