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!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Entry #1184
Three Little Boys and an Alcoholic Mother
I always thought that I was the best child out of all of us, but look at me now. Most of the time I look at the mirror in my cell and I see this little boy who just wanted love and affection from his mother but never got it. I remember when I was thirteen years old and watching my brother being murdered by lung cancer, and all I could do is cry because I could never take the pain he was suffering from. The most painful thing that I've felt was losing my brother for life. Then it happened again four months later; my second oldest brother went to prison for life because he got convicted of murder. The worst part about it is that he supposedly killed my cousin. Then it happens again. My mother lost it. She starts drinking more and stopped caring about me, blaming me for everything that was happening and I started believing her. All I can say now is that the little boy who just wanted love and affection will never get it, but every day when he looks in that mirror I see all the pain he's gone through. Somehow he still smiles.

Entry #1185
The First Time I Ever Smoked Meth  
The first time I ever smoked meth I was chilling at my homie's house. I would always go over to his house with my other friends. I'd bring weed we'd chill and smoke. Sometimes we would drink but mostly we would smoke. Life was going good. It was probably the best summer I ever had but at the end of summer my friend was moving out. I went over to his house to help him move. When I got their I smoked a blunt and was getting ready to sit in the living room when my friend that was at my homies house asked me if I wanted to try dope. He said it makes him feel really good, so I said “Yeah.” I was always that person that would try any drug put in front of me. When I tried it I liked it a lot. It made my chest feel good and my head would get numb. I felt like I could do anything and that night we moved his whole house. I regret doing the drug though. My whole life turned upside down after that. My friend was not supposed to say anything about it to anyone but it turns out he told his girl and she told my girl and my girl dumped me. After that I didn't really care about anything. I started smoking meth more but on top of that I would steal cars and started getting involved in gangs. Eventually I got caught for a few cars that I stole and got put on probation. My life has never been the same since. I wish I would have never tried meth. I believe if I had never tried it I wouldn't be in the situation I'm in today.

Entry #1186
My First Time…
This is my first time being locked up. I never thought I would end up in a place like this. I guess that’s what happens when you use hard drugs and steal cars. At first I thought I was the baddest chick around because I looked good and was about my money. Now that I’m here and have done 7 months I’ve learned a few things. I am 2 days away from my release date. I remember when I first walked into detention side. I didn’t want to talk to anyone. The people who did try and talk to me were given my attitude at its finest. Sooner or later I had a whole lot of enemies. Then, came my court date. I was mad when they gave me six months. It was then that I decided to make changes in my life. I worked hard at making the best of my time. Here I am, a whole different girl from what I once was. I now have goals for myself, and dreams on top of that! My first time here was a living hell, don’t get me wrong, but through the struggle comes new things. When I get out I can say that I am living proof of someone who has changed their life for the better.

Entry #1187
Mixed Up
I always thought I'd be a good kid and never get mixed up in bad situations, or crazy life.
I always got good grades in elementary school, and hung-out with all the good kids all the time, but that all changed in Junior High. After Elementary School, my life changed around for the bad. Junior high affected my whole life. I started affiliating with a certain gang, wearing a certain color, started using drugs, like weed and other heavy drugs that made me feel good. I was hurting my mom the most. I got too caught up in the bad things I was doing, and didn't really realize how much I was hurting her. All I wanted to do is kick-it, smoke, and ride around town with the older vatos I looked up to. I wanted to put my name out there. I looked up to the older guys, because I've never had a dad in my life to look up to, and they were there to give me advice when I needed it. I started getting into fights, getting jumped a lot, and always had to watch my back everywhere I went. My mom realized I was changing, and she wasn't happy with it. I used to listen to her cry, and watch her cry because she was disappointed, sad, and scared that she might lose me. I got too mixed up in a messed up life, and didn't realize it was going to affect me, but not only me, my mom also. I've hurt her so much, but now I'm willing to change and make her happy.

Entry #1188
Back On Track
I was hanging out with the wrong crowd, doing drugs, running from the cops, hoppin over fences, breaking into places where I could find somewhere to sleep and where it was warm. I was always hustlin for money just where I could get something to eat. The cops were always on my tail so I finally decided to turn myself in. When I was about to, I found out that my baby momma was pregnant so I went on the run again to be with my girl while she was pregnant. I was on the run for almost a year till I got caught up but the only thing that made me happy was that I got to be with my girl when my baby boy was born. But now I don't even get to see my baby boy.  My ex that had my kid moved 200 miles away from me and now there is no way I can see my kid. People will never know what I go through everyday not being able to see my child for the past 3 years. I only got to see him when he was born. After he was born she took off with my baby boy and my money. I just wish I could at least talk to my kid, at least for my baby boys birthday, but I just need to get my life back on track to make that happen. I just wish my baby momma would let me see my kid or at least be able to get pictures of my kid and hopefully be able to have my kid live with me. I just hope one day I'll be reunited with my kid again. It's just so hard for me being away from him for so long, so now all I do to get rid of my pain is drink my pain away or smoke till I can't feel anything where I just feel so numb. I just want to be able to see my child again.

Entry #1189
Group Home For A Year
I went to court and was sentenced to a group home. I thought it was going to be all bad because I went to another county. It looked like it was going to suck, but after the first month or two, it wasn’t so bad. Before I knew it, I was weight lifting every morning and playing sports. I went places I had never been before like the ocean for the first time and seeing snow. I did crazy bike riding in contests way up high on dirt roads with big jumps while flying downhill. Also, I snowboarded, surfed, went to water parks and Six Flags Magic Mountain. It was one of the best things that had ever happened to me. I went to Yosemite National Park and stayed in cabins. I experienced so many different things while I was in the group home; I couldn’t have asked for anything better. Why? Because it changed my life and I learned so many different and new things. I still know how to do all those things. I’m very proud to have experienced it for the first time. It’s something I never want to take back.

Entry #1190
The first time I got arrested I got arrested, I was with my girlfriend (at the time), my friends, and my girlfriends friends. We gave a homeless man money to buy us alcohol so we could get drunk. Later that day we met up with another one of my friends and went to Big Lots to steal dust-off . We huffed it, we huffed so much of it I'm surprised I didn't die..... My mom found out because my brother told her. He was scared because it just made us stupid, drool, and just laugh. My mom told my dad and when my dad found out we were already on the way to the store to get some more. I was by the front door and my dad came in and grabbed me. He yelled "Call the cops!" So I threw a swing at him and he let go of me and dodged it. When I ran out the door my dad and another Big Lots worker was chasing me so I started throwing rocks at my dad to keep him away. I was mad at him for putting me on blast in front of my friends and everyone in the store. One of the rocks flew past him and hit one of the workers and cut his hand open. I ran back to my house and was hanging out with my friends in front of my house when a cop pulled up. He got out of the car and asked us all our names. When I told him mine he read me my rights and took me into custody. I spent the night in juvenile hall for assault with a deadly weapon. Luckily I got out the next day.

Entry #1191
Horrible Journey
The beginning of a horrible journey
In cuffs watching the hills and fields
Entering the threshold of the bad fortress
Filled with mistakes of society
Some innocent, some guilty
The search of uncomfortableness
 Walking through the halls of despair
The door opens to familiar faces
Ones seen on the outside
A joy rushes through my body
Like the white bloods cells in my veins
My mind filled with satisfaction
A horrible journey turned
Hopeful experience
The loneless of the room overwhelms me
Tears of regret, for disappointed ones
I tell myself I will change
When I finish this journey
But it’s only the start

Entry #1192
Here I Am
 My first time in juvenile hall was tough. I kept thinking about my family and friends. I kept thinking in my head what was going on, on the outside.  I was going crazy I felt like I had no one there for me. I was alone in a cold white room with four walls just staring at me. I was about 14 years of age. I was scared and didn’t know what was going on. I didn’t know anybody. I was there for about two weeks until I got released.  I was in there for violating my probation. Every night I kept thinking to myself I needed to get out, but the days took forever. I eventually got used to it though. I got along alright with the other kids. I thought to myself for two years I will never go back there, but here I am in another county writing a letter to whoever is going to read this.

Entry #1193
Frozen Desert 
The first time I got stuck in the desert was last winter. We were supposed to go clean up the farm after the snow melted. I didn't think so little ice could stop us. There was barely any ice or snow on the ground. The ice that was four inches thick cracked from under us and we started sinking into the mud and water, we worked for hours digging and pushing to get out of the mud. One of our friends tried to help us get out but they got stuck too. We worked all day, after many hours of moving ice and trying to get the two trucks unstuck from the ice and mud, my friend and I walked back to the farm to get some tools. We walked at least three miles through thick sticky mud and slippery melting ice. My friend called the people that we were there with to ask what we were supposed to do next. We went to the closest neighbor’s house a few more miles away, the only neighbor. No one answered so we went into their warehouse of canned food and we ate. After we "borrowed" some food from them we started back, half way there the sun set and the temperature went below freezing. The coyotes and wolves were everywhere. It sounded like we were standing right next to them. Our clothes were wet and we were cold. The people that we were the with found an old abandoned house that was blown down by the wind to camp in for the night. No windows and the doors were broken. We started a fire in what used to be the living area. The next day we chased down this Chevy and they helped us, did donuts and showed off making our little Toyota look bad. They towed us out and we drove home.    

Entry #1194
I sit here and I think about my life. All the times I’ve cried wishing things were different, all the times I said I’d change and still went back to my old ways, and most of all, all the times I tried and gave up. I sit here and I think, what will happen next? Will I continue on this road of destruction? Or will I switch to a path that will lead me in the right direction?

When I’ve known something for so long, I’ve spent every day doing that something, trying something different just seems…wrong. It seems as if doing something else is impossible. Change is something most fear, it’s something I fear, but mostly it’s something that most want but are afraid to go after. It’s like if I go to Six Flags and see the huge roller-coaster that I’ve wanted to get on for half of my life. I’ve always dreamed of getting on it, of feeling the fresh air hit my face, and of putting my hands up enjoying something that makes me feel alive, but yet I don’t get on it because I’m afraid. Afraid because I’ve never been on a roller-coaster before and I’m afraid because I don’t know what’s going to happen.

It’s the same with change. I’ve dreamed about, wanted to ride it, but as soon as I came face to face with it, I backed out. I backed out because I didn’t know what to expect and because fear took over. I backed out because I was so used to having my feet on the ground that there is a part of me that didn’t want to know what it would feel like to have my feet off the ground and being turned this way and that. When I’m in the life of the streets, change just seems…nonexistent. But once in a while I feel as if I want it to exist. I want so much change in my life it overwhelms me and then I just go back to believing it doesn’t exist.

Right now change is something I believe in and also something I don’t believe in. How is it possible that someone like me, someone that has committed crimes, who has talked bad about people, who has done the unthinkable, who has hurt loved ones and more importantly hurt herself, who has done all of these horrible acts, able to change? I guess now I’m willing to find out.

Entry #1195
Where is the Blinker?
The first time I stole a car, it was my mom’s jeep.  I went over to the high school with it after picking up my homeboy.  We tried to do some donuts in the parking lot.  He was tripping out because we were only like 13 years old.  My sister slept through the whole thing and my mom was at her boyfriend’s house.  I’m surprised I didn’t get pulled over.  I didn’t’ even know how to turn on the blinker.  There were hella cops in that town too.  It was really more like joy riding than stealing.  I didn’t really start stealing cars until I was tweaking daily.  It is even hard to remember what car it was.  I have probably stolen 75 cars since that time.

Entry #1196
Eleven Days
The first time I came to juvenile hall was in 2015.  I came in here for selling molly. I was scared cause I had never been in juvi before. I knew I was in big trouble and figured I let my mom down. My mom always has a lot on her hands because of me, so I knew she would be stressed out hearing about me being in juvi. When I first came in I was stressing because I lost a lot of things: money, drugs, my girlfriend, and friends. I stayed in here for a month, got 12 month on probation with DEJ and got out early. I stayed clean for 5 months and went on the run for a half a month. Now I’m in here for a VOP waiting for the day I get out…. 11 more days. I’ll have ankle monitor for 45 days and then be on probation for another 3 months. All I have to do is do the things that keep me out of trouble and behave and put more effort in my life to get off probation.

Entry #1197
1st Experience in Juvenile Hall
My first experience ever being locked up was one of the most stressful times in my life because of the fact that I didn’t know what to expect. I was nervous about how it was going to be in here, I thought it might be like the prisons you see on television but I soon found out it was nothing like that. I also wondered how the other people that were locked up were going to look at me and what they were going to say to me when I walked in. I thought I might end up fighting my first day being locked up. Once I was down for so long I realized it was nothing like I imagined, actually in reality it’s like daycare in here.
For the most part it’s not that bad, it’s just boring and after a while I started to miss my family and friends more and more every day. I missed being able to come and go as I please, eat when I please, and be able to see my mom and daughter. The most stressful times for me was going to court and thinking about how much time I might get and when I would be able to see my family and friends again, I would sit in my room and think about my life and what it has come to. I realized I’m going in the wrong direction and I need to get it together. I told myself when I go out I was going to change my ways for the better, but when I got out it wasn’t as easy as I thought to change. I ended up falling back in my old ways because honestly it’s hard to change when you are trapped in your old ways. Somewhere down the road I ended up back in here even though I got off probation and was out for over a year.
The life I fell into is what got me here. The way things are now of days and depending on what type of life you are living you have two choices, kill or be killed.
This time I came back for a very serious charge that could have got me sent to CYA. I ended up getting lucky and blessed with a sentence of eight months, instead of doing years in custody away from my family and my daughter. All together I did almost a year. To some people that wouldn’t be considered lucky, but when you realize what charge you were facing and could have had a couple years because of it, it is lucky. It sucks to be away from my daughter for so long, not being able to see her grow older and help her through life. When I finally make it out of here I plan on making it to the top.

Entry #1198
The Other Way Around
The first time I came to the hall I was 12 years old. I came to visit my brother and he was 16 at the time. It was  a family visit with my mom, dad, my brother and I. I never thought that it’d be the other way around. The second time I came to the hall it was me going in at the age of 16. I has in here for a little over a month. I was good for six months after getting out, but then I got a charge with my brother that brought me back in. Now I’m 17 and I’m in the  hall for the fourth time hoping to focus on myself more and to achieve the goals I have set for myself to move on in life not just for me but for my family as well. Because I am 17 and close to graduation, I am fearful they will make me stay longer in the hall.

Entry #1199
Role Models
My first time smoking weed and drinking alcohol happened at the same time. I was about 7 and I was with my cousin. She was 17 at the time and she was taking me out to Burger King. When we got through the drive through we drove to my cousin’s boyfriend’s house. As we entered the door it was so smoky I couldn’t even see straight and my cousin’s boyfriend was with one of his friends. They were each drinking a 40oz of Mickeys; one was unopened on the coffee table and it was for my cousin. They were smoking out of this long glass thing that I later knew as a bong. I remember I was young and had a general idea what it was for but had never seen anyone use one in person. I just knew it was definitely not for tobacco. After a while I summoned up the courage to ask if I could take a drink of my cousin’s 40oz and they all laughed and let me try it. Honestly it was still hella cold so it tasted pretty bomb and then I asked if I could try the bong and they laughed again and explained how it worked and that I had to suck all the smoke in really hard to clear it. My cousin put the bong to my lips and lit it for me and told me to keep sucking which almost made me laugh and mess everything up but I kept a straight face. When she lifted out the bowl-piece I sucked really hard like she said to do and I still remember the milky white smoke leaving the bong and burning the crap out of my little 7 year old throat. I coughed really hard and blew out the smoke and I was kind of mad they didn’t tell me it was going to make me cough so hard and so much but my cousin just patted my head and said since I was so young I just had a set of virgin lungs and that If I smoked more often I wouldn’t cough like that. Anyways I took another drink of my cousin’s 40oz and it soothed my throat and for the rest of the time there at the house I was just chilling thinking about how cool I was to be the first out of all my little kid friends to smoke  weed.

Entry #1200
The Biggest Event To Take Place In My Life…
The biggest event to ever take place in my life would have to be when I overdosed. That event still haunts me to this day. The crazy thing about it is that I can only remember parts of it; taking my blood pressure at a grocery store and seeing the reading:  203/131. My heart rate up in the 180’s. I recall lying on the floor not being able to get up because of the pains in my chest and constantly yawning in effort to get a full breath of air. I remember getting rushed into the E.R and seeing all the doctors around my bed, but quickly it all went black. 36 hours later I wake up in a new bigger hospital after getting out of the intensive care unit. For some reason, I survived and everyone was blown away. That week and a half of my life, spent at three different hospitals, really made me realize how much the little things in life actually mean. I almost lost it all for good, you know? It really opened my eyes. So yeah, that would have to be one of biggest events to take place in my life.

Entry #1201
12 Years Old
The first time I smoked meth, I was 12 years old. It was a crazy experience…unfortunately, I fell in love. There was a list of things that I did that day. It started off smoking a blunt with my homie. When we finished he pulled out his pipe and we smoked the roach, but while we were smoking probation rolled up on us and violated him, but let me off because I wasn’t on probation yet. I was so depressed as I walked to his brother’s house to tell him what happened and when I got there, he and one of his friends were smoking dope. They asked me if I wanted a hit and like a dumb little kid I did. A hit turned into a bowl and a bowl turned into three and the next thing I knew I had an ounce of dope in my pocket, I was driving a stolen car, and had just stabbed a kid on my soon to be  high school football team. I ditched my stolo in a field behind my cousins and ran inside. I got arrested by the PD a week later with a new tattoo. I spent six months in juvi….my first crimes.

Entry #1202
Here Until Wednesday
The first time I did meth I was 14. I went on a really bad binge. I got really mad at one person for like five days. One morning came and my mom made me really mad and I took it out on that one person. I beat him up and I snatched his keys out of his hands, and me and my cousin dipped to someone's house and did some more meth. Then my uncle called the cops and we came back and I tossed the keys to him. My cousin and I went to my house and the cops got us there. I went to Juvy for 21 days and got out. I did ok for two months and started doin a lot more meth then I did before . I got a dirty test, ran for five months, and then turned myself in. Now I'm here until Wednesday.

Entry #1203
First Time Driver
I didn't know how to drive. I was told to get behind the wheel. I didn't at first. The next day I said I wanted to drive. So I was told to get behind the wheel once again…and I did. I was so nervous. It was my first time behind a wheel actually learning how to drive. A cop started tailing me and I pulled over and they just passed me by. I began to get frightened. I eventually started driving out in public roads instead of driving back roads all the time. My first time driving was awesome because I felt the adrenaline rush pumping through my veins as I was driving.

Entry #1204
The very first time I ever experienced juvenile hall, I was wondering to myself what the heck was I doing with my life. It came as a surprise to me. I’ve never been locked up before and it was going to be a new and weird feeling experience. It was an eye opener. It was extremely cold and what made it even colder was lying down in an all concrete room. The guard soon called my name in a rude, disrespectful way, which made me mad. I couldn’t say or do anything to him because he had the authority over me. We walked down an even colder hallway to the housing pod where I would be located. The officers fed me this crappy looking food, which I did not eat due to the fact of how gross it looked. A month later I was released from juvenile hall. I thought to myself how I was never planning on ever coming back again... but then again I was wrong.

Entry #1205
Life for me has always been hard, but it was the stupid choices I kept making that got me locked up. My first time in Juvie it was no big deal, but the second time in Juvie is when stuff got real. I never thought that it was going to be me; I thought that my friends would write me and that the longest I'd stay is a month. Well I was wrong. My 6th time in Juvie I got locked up for a year. My friends never wrote me and it seems like my family's never here. I want to go home but there's no one there. I'm soon to get out. Just a couple more months for me, and that's when I'll be free!

Entry # 1206
Not Me
My first experience using hard drugs occurred when I was 16. At first I would only smoke marijuana but after a while that wasn’t getting me high enough. So I started popping Xanax and drinking codeine syrup. I don’t know why I enjoyed the high, I just did. I would use it daily if I could and when I couldn’t, then it was every couple of days.
After a couple of months of using all that I tried cocaine. My first time trying it was amazing to me. It made me more social and I just felt more confident on it. I wouldn’t do that as much as the other drugs though. I later went on and snorted meth, I liked the feeling. It was more intense than the other drugs I had tried.
Because of the drugs I got into trouble with the law it and that really opened my eyes. I stopped using hard drugs. I crashed a car while under the influence and my friend was severely hurt. After that happened I stayed clean for months changing my life around.  I knew I had messed up bad.  I was sober for almost a year after my accident. But they still sent me here without a drug test or anything. And everyone in my pod says that they should have tested me, and that they were all tested.  I’m not an addict and I don’t need this program. I was just having fun and since I stopped using with my own will power proves I’m not supposed to be in here.

Entry #1207
Stolen Car, Stolen Adolescence
When I stole my mom’s car I was on drugs (meth) and other heavy drugs such as well. I stole my mom’s car and her wallet and drove all the way to sac town and got more meth. On my way back I got in a high speed chase because I was scared to get caught with over two ounces of dope(meth) because if I got caught with that much dope my mom would disown me. For one I stole her car and for two having drugs on me, especially meth because she would think I was doing drugs with my dad. When I was on drugs I didn't go to school. I didn't care about my family or anything but the drugs where my friend was that was supplying me.

Entry #1209
Harsh Reality
Early morning, eyes open, birds chirping, life wasted, pipes twisted.
Minds trippin’, wishing I could stop this vicious cycle of drug abuse.
People always sliding through saying, “What it do?"
Windows always open, people jumping through.
Continuing to break my curfew.
If only they knew what I'm really going through.
Until that day when I thought I was getting away with everything,
Probation came and took me away.
I lost the dope game
But now I see that what I was doing was not okay,
And I gotta pay for the bad decisions that I've made.

Entry #1210
Easy Peasy
Stealing was simple, but I never stole from my friends or family. That’s just the lowest of the low. Eventually after stealing from stores or from random people it didn't provide a rush anymore, and that’s when I knew I had a problem. I stole a car from the person’s drive way and got caught up a day later. Then a short time after that I was able to steal someone’s house key without them knowing and go inside when they left out of town. Easy peasy. Stealing used to be thrilling; you go big or go home. After so many times I didn’t really get that thrill anymore unless I tried to one up myrself constantly. It’s a bad thing to get into. But it brings a rush like you see in the movies, the adrenaline is pumping. Basically real life cops and robbers. I always knew the trouble I could get into but after getting away with it so many times I didn’t think I would get caught. But my consequences were pretty "bad". I got caught up for car hopping and being drunk in public then a week later got caught up for the car. I ended up with a year on probation and did a weekend in Juvi when I was 16. Then my life basically spiraled after that. Shortly after my 17th birthday I got in more and more trouble going to juvi for more and more time. I finally hit my last chance and ended up with a longer sentence. No one wants to be baby sat. But it’s the consequence of my actions that I am facing. I've decided how I want my life from here on out and being locked up isn't on the agenda.

Entry #1211
Pain and Lies
The first time I was lied to was not the last. Pain. Maybe others don’t notice, but lies hurt people. I have been lied to many times before. What really pisses me off is that the person who lies to me the most is my so called mother. Constantly she buys two packs of cigarettes and always has a full tank of gas in her car to go see her boyfriend of the month, but never has money to get new clothes or the time to come visit me. She puts me through so many ups and downs that she just plain disgusts me. I would never want to live like her. I once heard that parents should be role models to their children. Well in that case I have never had parents. Nobody knows the pain I have or the demented thoughts that dwell in my twisted mind. I am suffering. They haunt me in my sleep. I am unique. I am not a part of her. I will never be like her. But most of all, I am better than her. She says that she loves me. Lies. I love myself and need nothing but love from God to live happily. I have forgotten what she said, forgotten what she did, but I will never be able to forget how she made me feel.

Entry #1212
Poem for Change
I was ten when I entered the game
I remember when my mom told me to stay
I heard her at night screaming in pain
I saw all the tears running down her face
I worried all day if she’d be okay
I thought I’m doing all this cause I’m chasing fame
Damn, but, I want to change

I am gentle, loving, caring, and kind
I think I never saw it coming through my gleaming eyes
 I need to get my stuff together and put down the pipe
I try to move on but damn I love the high
I feel down and depressed like I’m breaking inside
I forgive myself for pushing the ones I love away
Now I can change

I will be successful and learn to stop
I choose to quit drugs and yup that includes pot
I dream about my mom, it makes my heart drop
I hope I can stay sober, just a bubble I need to pop
I predict one day I can be a C.O. yes like a cop
I know I’m ready to live my life this way
Yes, I know I will change

Entry #1213
Intense, painful , exhausting, but I couldn't give up. I knew once it was over I would feel better. Nobody was around, it was very quiet, I was determined to make a sound of joy, the sound of throwing a big rock into a lake or when somebody falls and hits the floor hard. I knew when I was taking on this challenge it would be a fight. But this fight I wasn't planning on losing. I knew if I lost I would feel like crap the rest of the day, like I was carrying a big weight inside of me. I wanted to feel like a champion, like Rocky Balboa when he knocked out Apollo Creed. I had many fights before but none like this one. This definitely was a first experience fight for me. I knew I had to go back to the basics so I used my skills that my mom and pops first thought me when I was little and learning. I was determined to hear that cheer I had gotten before when moms runs to your pops and tells him he did it! He did it all by himself! He is such a big boy! So I pushed through the fight, felt my face getting really hot! Veins popping out like their going to burst, and boom there it was. He came down hard! Ooooh did that feel so good. I knew that was a win for sure. I finished up immediately then went straight to the mirror and told myself with my hands held high, you are the winner! By K.O. I defeated the undefeated constipation!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Entry #1148
My mom was on both sides of good and bad: a good influence and a bad one at the same time. She’s a strong woman who overcame a lot. She had a drug addiction for the longest time that was tearing our family apart. I had to witness it first hand as I was growing up. My mother hit rock bottom, but as the strong woman she is, she persevered and worked hard at recovering from her addiction and getting her kids back. It took a while, but my mom did her best and eventually got my sister and I back. She got a place at an SLE called E-House. Those were the best and the worst times. We would have good days and bad days, but the bad days felt like they were outweighing the good. It was a hard point in our life. A few years down the road my mom got us our own place where we didn't live in an SLE anymore. Watching my mother overcome a hard life and rebuild it from nothing just to provide a roof over her kids and to put food on the table was enough to realize I have the strongest coach in my corner, someone who will always be there for me. Even though I messed up my life, my mother was always there to try and get me to do better and raise my self-esteem. I chose my path and life and there is nothing I can do about it but get over it and build myself back up. And, I always have the best person to look up to.

Entry #1149
Open Doors
          I remember her words like it was yesterday. I remember the words she would always tell me, “Te Amo Mija.” It still goes through my head like crazy. I was a little girl and my mother passed away.  My sisters and I were taken away from my dad because of his drug addiction. We went to a foster home, and were there for a couple of days. My family realized they didn’t want me growing up in the system. My family didn’t want me nor my sisters to think that we were alone.
         My aunt came and got me and my sisters from the main court downtown. My aunt really enhanced my life. It felt like I was back in my mother’s arms. Everything was going the right way.  My aunt would always give me good advice, but one day I started running away and doing whatever I wanted to do. I couldn’t stand living with her. I took her kindness for weakness, and tore our relationship apart. She didn’t trust me and gave me up to the system. Now I realize that people just want the best for me and they want me to be a different person, not like everyone else.
         After a while my aunt and I started talking again. And she decided to get custody of me, but she couldn’t. Now I live with my older sister and it’s different to be back with family. I started taking things serious and my family and friends have opened their doors to me again.

Entry #1150
Ready To Live
My mom got sentenced to 17 years in prison, and my dad’s about to get out. I didn't grow up in the best house, and I’ve never been friends with luck. I’m following in my father’s footsteps, trying to make a buck to eat. ''Nana my hunger is killing me, feed me PLEASE!'' My mom was never there and my dad didn't really care. I always relied on my grandma to be there and I know that’s not fair. I've done 11 months in the hall and I got 6 more to go. I now know what I have to do. My father’s footsteps are getting too small and mine are getting too big. Starting my own path. I am ready to live

Entry #1151
Best Thing
I grew up with only one parent (mom). She was raising three kids on her own. Idk who my biological dad is but I call my step dad my real dad. Here’s the thing, I called him dad because I thought he was my real dad. I was pretty young when he was in my life, and he treated me like I was his son. As I got older I started to realize he wasn’t my dad. He got locked up for 10 years and served 80% of his term. He recently got out. Last year he was out and I saw him. It didn’t feel the same with him around. I felt like I don’t need a dad because I got my mom. My mom’s the best thing that ever happened to me. Without her I wouldn’t be able to live my life. When I was younger my mom was in the system for a while. She was in an out of jail. When she was in jail my grandparents had to take care of me and my little brother. My sister always lived with my grandma anyhow. I was at my grandma house and one day all of us were outside playing with my sister’s turtle. Out of nowhere my grandma pulls up and goes, “Look who’s in the passenger seat.” My mom. I was so happy; all of us were. Long story short, my parents are great. I love them and always will. EVERYBODY MAKES MISTAKES.

 Entry #1152
Mom, a lost soul who loves to fly really HIGH.
Dad, always saying, "You’re going to be just like your mom, always locked up."
Mom, only met her once
Dad, breaking his back to feed a family of 9
Mom, gets out and guess what? Back on the run
Dad, never hit us but my feelings were bruised
Mom, feels like writing me a letter from jail
Me, I'm locked up wondering "Who are you?"
Dad never seems to sleep or even come home.
Moms out, met and made amends, while staying at her place
Dad seems to get skinnier
Mom, still working and buys us clothes
Dad can barely keep a job
Mom has an apartment now
Dad has gone insane
Mom, "I love you son."
Dad, "Where the hell have you been?"
Mom, "Your bedrooms a mess."
Dad doesn’t even have a house
Me, "Funny how things change, trippy, ain’t it?"

Entry #1153
A flower that haunts my dream,
A golden red with emerald green,
It is so serene, never to be seen,
Iris, my flower of dreams

Entry #1154
Worth Fighting
For the last three years I’ve sat and listened. Some things I hear are that I’m brilliant, but at the same time I hear that I’m worthless and broken. I don’t know which one is actually true anymore. I had everything, but somehow I’ve thrown it all away, so I guess I’m worthless. I don’t know how to cope with anything anymore. I can only push people away, which means I’m broken. Yet, I keep sitting here thinking everything will change, but deep down I know it won’t. Is it even worth fighting for anymore?

Entry #1155
Change Poem
I was lost.
I remember his evil face.
I heard “You little piece of shit”.
I saw my mom get hurt.
I worried it would never stop.
I thought he’d never get put behind bars.
I want to change.
I am smart.
I think life is worth living now.
I need to prove everyone wrong.
I try to leave drugs behind.
I feel powerful.
I forgive him.
Now I can change.
I will be happy.
I choose to move on.
I dream to see my mom happy again.
I hope to never use drugs to feel good about myself again.
I predict I will be successful.
I know I will make it.
I will change.
    Only The Strong Survive.

Entry #1156
Probably Not My Last
When I'm locked up, I feel trapped inside a little room. When I'm on the outs I feel like I'm on the run 24/7. For that reason, I'm always inside. I'm usually with my friends, I'm never home because my dad and I are always fighting. The reason we're always fighting is the 30 pack of Budweiser bought every day after work. Eventually I just started running away and getting into trouble with friends, drinking and smoking at the high school or skatepark which got me caught up in the first place. Now I'm locked up in a facility where there is no smoking, drinking, or even cussing, plus I’m in a small cell most of the day. This is my forth time here and to be honest probably not my last.

Entry #1157
The Best, The Best!
I can hear his words in my head like a good repeated dream. My grandpa, he would always say to our family, "The best! The best!" even when it wasn't the best. Whenever we had a meal he would always say "This is the best! The best!” Whenever we did something together it was “The best! The best!” To me, I always thought he said this because really he meant it was the best he was with his family at the moment. He didn't really think what we were eating or doing was the best, it was he thought being with all his family that was the best, that we were together spending time. He opened up my eyes to realize how important and meaningful it is to be with family, surrounded by people you love and that love you back. What could be better than that? Nothing! Because it is the best! The best! I love my family and every time I get to spend time with my family I'm going to cherish every minute of it.

Entry #1158
I don’t want to be here, but I have no home. When I’m surrounded with people I still feel alone. I miss my family and their hugs, but all I do is make bad choices and do drugs. Before school, by mom said do the best you can. Afraid of failure, instead I ran. I continue to run away because I feel free but the demon I’m running from is really me.

Entry #1159
Never Again
Never will I love again.
I tried to stand with the world on my shoulders and wound up on my knees.
My soul screams out please. My heart just won’t beat.
I cried puddles of tears that seem to drown me.
I’m spiritually crying but physically you won’t hear a sound.
I’ve watched my mother cry and my family mourn.
My daughter is the love of my life.
I constantly did wrong and I pray she knows what’s right with all the might that’s in me.
I can’t seem to shake this pride and envy that swells up within me.
I know God is calling but I’m just tryin’ to learn my destiny
Father, if you are listening, I pray you don’t let them get the best of me.
I’m afraid to go to sleep because that’s where I face my fears.
My heart is broken.
My soul has been shedding tears for years.
Never will I love or breathe again. This lifestyle of mine I wish I can disown it (but pride gets in the way)
Empty and hollow is how I feel on the inside.
Never will I love again.

Entry #1160
Gone For A While
                My mom’s been gone for a while now, and we haven’t talked for months. It’s almost like my whole family doesn’t want me to be part of them anymore. My Dads not really a dad to me, I met him when I was eleven, and I’ve only seen him a couple times since. It’s been 4 years since the last time I’ve seen the guy. I never understood what I did to either of them to be treated like I don’t exist and I’ve really started to hate it. I miss my mom; I just wish she felt the same.

Entry #1161
Street Knowledge
Streets were my home
The drugs were the exit for my pain    
Running from the cops was fun        
Underground was where we met  
Guns solved my problems
Girls with hella drama
Live life as a criminal
Ending in a place where dope ain't made
Krank was my drug to stay awake
Never liked it  
Over time my body was not acting right  
We all made mistakes 
Lived my life how I wanted
Ended up missing for a couple of days
Ending all the stupid stuff I did and put an end to the lifestyle I would love to change         

Entry #1162
I was a boy who had a lot of dreams and hopes. I remember my dad always getting drunk and arrested. I heard my friends call me “Flaco” because I’m skinny. I saw my grandpa’s grave and felt really sad. I worried about getting lost in drugs and alcohol and leaving school. I thought I was going the right way by getting high and drunk to ease my pain. But, I want to change.
I am respectful because to earn respect, you need to respect the people around you. I think that the world should be clean and neat and filled with fun. I need my diploma and I’m heading for college. I try to be respectful and stay out of trouble. I feel glad because I’m doing good and trying hard. I forgive those who hate me or don’t like me. Now, I can change. 
I will be a better person and become an AA member. I choose to live a sober life and get new friends. I dream about sky diving; it should be scary and fun. I predict that I’ll be working as a preacher. I hope to get my G.E.D and go to college. I predict that I’ll do good and never fall again. I will change.
Entry #1163
My grandma has always looked out for me, for my best interest.  She is always telling me to stop running the streets.  When I am on the streets, my dad is always looking out for me.  There would be people saying I did this or that.  He wouldn’t tolerate it.  He had my back and always has.  The two of them are hard headed.  To be honest all three of us bump heads.  My grandma and dad argue over the kids.  My dad’s girlfriend is a little bit crazy, you know.  She is always trying to take the kids.

I have visiting tonight.  My sister, brother, dad, and grandma will all be here.

Entry #1164
A Brother
My older brother has always been someone I look up to. I grew up without a dad and he basically filled the spot. He has always helped me and supported me, even now while I sit in juvenile hall. He has done so much for me in life; I can't even explain how happy I am to have a brother like him. From changing my diapers when I was a little to teaching me how to play sports when I got older. He recently got married so I don't see him that much anymore. But I know we will always be close. I love you brother!

Entry #1165
Thoughts in My Head
Your touch, your smile, and your scent I miss…
As the days go by I wonder if I still exist.
I ask myself, “Do you think about me?”
I think about you.
Do you love me still?
Have you moved on?
Are you being faithful?
All these thoughts go through my mind while I’m incarcerated…
I think of all the fun times we had, wondering if there will be
more to come when I’m released, or will you be gone
blown away like dust in the wind?
Until then I’m being patient, waiting until the time
I feel your touch, see your smile, and smell your scent.

Entry #1166
I can remember her words like it was yesterday, “I choose the drug over you.” My ex-girlfriend and I were arguing over nothing. After the last time I was released all we did was argue.  She always told me it wasn’t her arguing with me, it was the drug. It grew old to me and one night I asked her, “It’s either me or the drug because I’m tired of being hurt.” I thought I knew her better, but she told me, “I choose the drug over you.” I didn’t want to believe what I had heard… I asked her if that was what she really wanted and she repeated herself. I gave her everything she wanted and we have been through so much, but it was over between us just like that. She gave me no choice. I couldn’t believe that she let the drug take her. Now she’s chasing after me because she sees that someone else is making me happy. But honestly, I’m glad that we broke up because I wouldn’t have met the person that makes my heart beat a little faster.

Entry #1167
Steady Ticking
I’m at a loss of words, nothing to write about….bored out of my mind, silence surrounds me along with muffled voices and the steady ticking of the clock. Thoughts of being free and starting a new life in a new city.

Entry #1168
My parents have always been there for me no matter what.  Throughout my whole life they have always been providing for me and my other four brothers.  They would struggle sometimes, but at the end of the day they would always have food on the table.  My father said very little would stop him from seeing me.  He recently found out from his doctor that he has cancer.  When I found out I was crushed.  I still am and I am always worrying if he is OK.  I won’t know because I’m in this s-hole and as long as I’m still in here I am going to continue to worry.  I wish my probation officer would at least come in here to talk to me so I could tell her how I feel.  I’ve had three nightmares about him passing away and none of the staff here seem to care.

Entry #1169
Thinking Twice
I will always think twice
Too much pain and sorrow

However there’s always a tomorrow
Ugly but ferocious
Righteous and always evil
Takes away who I am
Solid but will never break

Bloody tears and hatred
Ever will I laugh?
Cautious and nauseous
All down and out
Unusual and crucial
Serious and deadly
Evilness and sympathy

Irritated at the world
Trouble it awaits me

Many people can demonstrate me
Annoyed kills all happiness
Too much power will devour cowards
Tiny but very cruel
Ever will I surrender?
Right and never wrong
Sunny days never fade away

Entry #1170
Moving From One Place to Another
I have been in endless foster homes, starting when I was three. My first foster home was in Grass Valley. The parents were Bill and Cathy. They were always doing plays with puppets and they would scare me. They were also using clowns, so now I am scared of all those things. I hate them! Those foster parents were physically and mentally abusive. The other families I lived with were almost always abusive too. There were some foster homes I liked, but that number was tiny compared to those I disliked.

Entry #1171
Life Crash
I can remember like it was yesterday watching my father slowly fade away. Knowing that he’s soon going to pass away. I know when he does he will be in a better place. As days go by, time slips away as we’re sitting there looking up at the sky. Knowing the doctor told him he’s got a couple of weeks until he dies. We sat there and cried and I screamed asking God why. As a couple of days pass I slowly watch my life crash. My dad was dyeing before my eyes as he gasps for air in my arms. He was gone and disappeared. I sit here and remind myself of all the things we could have fixed when he was sick. I soar threw all my memories knowing that I will always remember him.

Entry #1172
I believed in you. I believed in us, the only thing I felt when we argued and fussed. Remembering the day I met you, you became my friend instantly then I fell for you. So hard I fell that I left everything behind for you. You became mine, the thing I wanted most. You always told me you would be there for me. You made a promise that no matter what you would stay by my side. I trusted you. I believed you, but then the day came when you simply had enough. The red river became ever so real as I had held you so close to my heart. I heard your last words be, “I loved you the most.”

Entry #1173
My mother, my queen, my best friend. I love her so much, I would do anything for my mom. Not just because she’s my mother, but also because the things she’s done for me as my mother.
Growing up we never had much. My mom divorced my brother’s dad and we’ve been on our own since then, just the three of us. Along with the fact that we are the black sheep in the family and my dad was never in the picture. She never wants anybody’s help, she’s an independent woman. She has only had a few small jobs and even when she didn’t she found a way to keep food on our table and clothes on our backs. She definitely didn’t raise me to do the things I’ve done.
My brother moved out of state with his dad, so it’s just been me and my mom the last three years. I don’t even know how she put up with me. I started seeing this boy, staying gone for weeks, then months. Doing things I never thought I would do. She never gave up fighting for me. She would stay up all night trying to get a hold of me and going to people’s house asking if I was there or if they knew where I was.
Most people wouldn’t put up with a child like me. Now I’m 18 and I finally opened my eyes, my mother is still by my side. Call me crazy, but I’m surprised and glad my mom is still healthy enough to even walk. She has very bad health and I had her so stressed the doctor said she had to slow down before she had a heart attack or a stroke. She’s doing a lot better now that she can sleep and live life. I have the absolute best mother and I’m going to spend the rest of my life making it all up to her.

Entry #1174
I Know I Am
I can remember her words like it was yesterday
My aunt always told me, “Don’t do that. You’re eventually gonna get locked up. I’ve been there, I know what’s gonna happen.” I didn't listen…now I'm here in Juvy always remembering what she said, her letters explained what this place was like. But I knew I was going to end up here. I knew one day by the life that I lived I was going to be here so I need to be a man about it. I always had to be my own man since I was 8 years old. My parents couldn't really care for me. Dope had their brains messed up and I used to follow them and watch them do it. It messed my head probably as much as the dope did theirs. My family were my friends. They were always older than me, so I looked up to them. They fed me when no one else could. For that I will be forever grateful. Later on, my parents broke up and I didn't know what to do, so I went with my dad and my brother. My sister was sent to Mexico and I haven’t seen her since.
I knew I was heading the wrong path, but what other choice did I have? I had no rides to school, so I was forced not to go which eventually led to hunger. My friends told me I have to make money and make something of my life. “Don't be a dropout who does nothing, be a dropout who makes it.” So I started 'hustling'. People always told me “You are something special, I can see it in your eyes." My whole life I thought I was different and to this day I still do. I believe I can make it without school. Some think I sit at home and do nothing, but I think about my future every day. I know what I have to do. I have to take risks to get to where I want to be, even if no one believes in me. It doesn't matter because no one in this world cares where I'm going to end up except me. I have to do things for myself and I will prove that I'm worth more than what people think of me. I know I am...I know I am... When I get out, I work every day. No taking breaks. I don't have long before I'm 18. I have to make something of myself.

Entry #1175
Sobering Thoughts
I’m in again. I hate but love it at the same time. I hate being here, but I love being here. I can try to get off probation. While I am here I’m not misunderstood or have depression problems. I just seem to not stay on the good side of the law, but I’m trying to change all that and my sobriety is always good while I am inside.

Entry #1176
I can remember her words like it were yesterday, “If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.” She would always tell me this when she would put me on timeouts and, I’d complain. She’s never done any time, but looking where I’m at now, I realize what my mom was trying to tell me.

Entry #1177
Think Positive
                My dad is an amazing person. Without my dad in my life I don't know what I would do. I respect my dad, he not only takes care and provides for me, but all my sisters as well. When I told my dad I'm stuck 8 to 14 months, I felt like a failure. All my dad said was, "Think positive! You can do anything you set your mind to!" My dad is an amazing person, he is always there for me, believes in my ability, and knows exactly what to say to pick me up and motivate me when I'm feeling down.

Entry #1178
Started from the Top now I’m here
1st- Life was simple when I was younger.
2nd- Then Daddy left Momma with none.
3rd- Went from living in five bedrooms to motel rooms.
4th- Searching for a place accepting Section 8.
5th- Turned fourteen and became imprisoned.
6th- Introduced to a monster then nothing was the same.
7th- At fifteen I’ve seen things you only see in hood movies.
8th- December 18th came around, sixteenth birthday jail bound.
9th- Christmas Day special visits Momma came to see me with a sad present.
10th- Two of my brothers passed away between my birthday and Christmas Day.
11th- Finally free, but not of the game, alcohol, or weed.
12th- Stranded in the rain, pack of Newports hardly numbs the pain.
13th- Family looks down on me talking a gang of smack on me.
14th- Seventeen running the streets, watching my back because people are after me.
15th- Momma ain’t seen me in 120 days; she is worried I’m going to come back in a grave.
16th-”Let’s take a trip upstate?” They say “Money comes easy and the feds ain’t there.”
17th- Things go wrong and police call my mom to tell her the search has been done.
18th- Seventeen spending time in county.
19th- Ain’t never had a felony, why’d I choose to take someone’s identity.
20th- Praying to God to take away my mistakes.
21st- Judge gives me a chance and says I can go back home and not come back.
22nd- My p.o says probation just ain’t my thang and he’s gonna let me off.
23rd- I’m juiced few weeks and I’m back out like I made no mistakes.

Entry #1179
A Re-Do or Two
I would like to re-do the night I got arrested for the crime I am still in custody for today. That night was one of the worst nights of my life. One of the craziest parts about that night is that I can’t even remember parts of it. The second thing that I would re-do or take back would have to be the days when I first started to drink alcohol. At first it was fun to be out and party but it quickly turned into much more. Alcohol opened the door to drugs and drugs opened the door to a new scary world that I would have been better off staying out of. So yeah, if I could take back or re-do two things from my past, those would definitely be the two.

Entry #1180
Her Words Yesterday
I remember her words like it was yesterday, "I love you I just want the best for you babe". Honestly those words mean a lot to me because she means a lot to me. I really feel ashamed of myself for abandoning her just because I decided to stay active for my gang, but in reality I should have been active for her love and affection. It also hurts me inside to know that when I was with my boys, she was home alone feeling like I betrayed her. I truthfully would have had more of a good time with her than with anyone else in this world. I'm sorry for acting so ignorant and skeptical; I just want you to know that I love you I miss you and that I am legitimately shameful for not listening to you when you just wanted the best for me.

Entry #1181
He lurks in the darkest of places,
He wears robes of woven fear,
If you listen closely you can hear,
But you’ll never know when he comes,
Because he takes at random for fun,
But don’t cross his path,
Because it’s guaranteed you won’t last,
And he knows no mercy, as far as I see it.
He’s claimed more lives than any others,
There is only one and no other,
He has many names given to him by others,
But he is most commonly known to others as Death.  

Entry #1182
Who Am I?
Hey come see me with my dolls. I enjoy throwing them against walls. I scream and cry, I bash my head purposely and you ask why. Dien blut ist mein is what I chime, all while I play with kitchen knives on my free-time. I haunt and I joke, I hit and I choke. My life is still, creative, destructive, and crisp like a dollar bill. I’m no ordinary boy. I am one who people call a toy. See me stand up all on my own, but never stay in a room with me alone. Charming, smart, and a bit sharp. Do you know who I am? Don't you know I'm Chuckie man. 

Entry #1183
I can remember her words like it was yesterday. She’d say, “You can do anything you want if you put your mind to it,” and for a while I started believing it, but things don't always turn out good for me. I'm like, crap, isn't their anything I can do to make things right? I'm just tired of the way I have been living my life because I keep getting locked up for not thinking before I act. When am I going to get out?