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WRITE

Writing Exchange 2006-2017

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 2017: December 15

Planned Exchanges 2018: January 19, February 16, March 16, April 20

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Entry #1401
First Day of School
                The hardest thing I have learned is that I have anger problems.  Since the first day of Kindergarten I was always set up….pushed out…never part of the group.  When they handed me work, I was diagnosed with autism, ADHD, Bipolar Disorder, dyslexia, and speech problems.  Teachers would look at me funny and ask, “Why can’t you just do your work?”  It hurt to say, “I just can’t.”
                Around the 4th grade I was put in a special ed class and I rode the short bus.  People would make fun of me and call me retarded. It hurt, what they said, but I learned to not let the words soak in. Still, my self-esteem and confidence went down. I started looking down at the ground. I started mumbling. I was sad and depressed. Grades stayed at D’s and F’s. I no longer wanted to go to school. I knew that if I went, I would be bullied.
                I started to go into counseling because I had problems at home. My mom didn’t understand what was going on. By the age of 11 I would blow up really easy. I would take my anger out on the wrong people because they might have said something that would trigger me.
                My dad was really never in my life. He was a drunk, an alcoholic.  He left when I was one and returned when I was five.  When he would drink, he would get very violent. One night he drank too much and I ticked him off. He punched me in the mouth and threw me down the stairs. I went to the hospital. He messed up all of my front teeth. My mom kicked him out again. I felt resentful towards him. Ten days later my mom went to the doctors and she was pregnant.

Entry #1402
Excuse Me
God, can you hear me? Are you there when I'm sleeping between brick walls on a thin mattress?
Are you there when I feel no remorse for the things I've done?
God can you hear my prayers? Because I think it's just getting worse.
Do you see me on my knees asking, not for an easy life, but for the strength to endure it?
God, is it true everything happens for a reason? So....then my mom leaving was for the best?
God can you hear me?

Entry #1403
First Time Falling In Love
                The first time I fell in love, I was heart struck. I fell for boy who really didn’t give a ****.  He told me a lot of lies and I believed them. I don’t know why, maybe because he looked in my eyes and told me he would never cheat or lie.
                He used to walk me home and always told me I’d never be alone. He told me we should have a baby and we would be his world. That all changed when he got himself a new girl.
                I sit in my cell day by day wondering if he will ever change, wondering if he will ever love me the way I’m saying. I still think about him every day. I wonder if I cross his mind anymore. I wish he would just say “Hey, can I see my baby even though we aren’t dating. I was so in love I felt so dumb. I now think he never gave a ****.
                Now I’m in love with my beautiful daughter and I know she won’t bother to break her mother’s heart and I won’t ever break my princess’ heart.

Entry #1404
No Regrets
I'm so glad to have both of my parents together. Even though I'm the only kid out of eight that put them through all this, they never gave up on me once. When I get off probation I'm going to give them all I got because they deserve it. I know I brought them down but I'm going to make it right. I don't want to regret when it's too late. I don't want to see tears coming down their faces again from what I did. The only tears I want to see on their faces is when they call my name on stage when I'm graduating from college.

Entry # 1405
Hard Lesson
Maybe if I had been led by example, not by following other people, I wouldn’t be in the position I am in.
That’s the hardest thing I have learned.
For the past 4 years I have been messing up.
In and out, in and out of the Hall.
Why?
Because I followed the wrong people. I didn’t want to think the people I looked up to were hurting me.
Nor did they.

Entry #1406
The Monster
I guess as I grew up, I learned never to trust, that you never really have anyone but yourself.
Nothing's ever given, always earned.
When I lay awake, avoiding the monster to come, when I close my eyes... he's still there.
There's never an escape, he's everywhere.
In the words of the person beside you, in the next thing my mind reminds, when I look in the mirror... he's there.
I try to escape, but I'm trapped under his cape.
I hide, but I'm still in his eyes.
He causes torment and pain to where I will never be sane.
Makes me feel like it's my fault and, he's all I got.

Entry #1407
Rice and Enchiladas
I am from my cold cell wall, from getting doors shut on me all day.
I am from the warm two story house.
I am from the roses in my grand-parents yard, the cherries on the trees.
I am from Friday movie nights and light brown eyes, from George and Caroline.
From be back when the street lights come on and don’t leave at night.
I am from a Catholic family, going to church on Sundays.
I’m from Mexican and Italian blood, rice and enchiladas.
From the smile on my mom’s face and the walk of my daughter.
I am from pictures hung along the walls.

Entry # 1408
Suffering
My step-dad, I thought he was cool at first. He took us on hikes and back packing trips. He liked to teach us about the world outside of our little town. He was one of the most amazing people in my life. We even had the same first name for God sake! But then, quite abruptly, all of that began to change. I can remember the first time he threated to kill me, the first time he beat me. I can remember crying to my boyfriend almost every week. I can remember my mom turning a blind eye because she was so desperate for love. I don’t blame her though. If he made her happy, I would suffer for her, like she suffered for me.

Entry #1409
Falling Leaves
I am from Robin Jeans, from Ferragamo and Jordans.
I am from the carpet where the vacuum can’t pick me up.
I am from the woods, the leaves so high up, I’m never bothered until I fall down in the Fall.
I am from an artistic family, we are all talented, from my Grandma Gail and my father, and we are the Bs.
From green eyes to brown eyes.
I am from Toledo, Ohio, where I was born,
From homemade macaroni and ribs.
From the ribs I broke to the John Deere and the broken arm to football.
I am from California with my grandma who gives me support and love and the wisdom I need.

Entry #1410
The Beginning
My mom and my dad were very young when they got married: My dad was 19 and my mom was 17. Two years after I was born they split up. My dad ended up moving on and I was back and forth between them until I was about 3. Then my dad went to prison for arson. I lived with my mom until I was nine years-old... until my dad got released. He had no place to stay at first. Then he found another girl. I moved in because I got held back in school and I couldn't focus while I was in class. I moved, but still did bad. Then CPS got into our lives because of the living with no power and being left alone. I told my dad I didn't want to go back to my mom because she was struggling with three other kids. I missed him a lot and I wanted to stay with him, but CPS ended up placing me in foster care because of his living conditions. I lived at a foster home for a year and then I moved in my grandma's house. By that time I was 12 and I wasn't happy living with her because I just wanted to live with my dad.  I ran away and stopped going to school when I was 13. I wasn't doing very well, I had no money and no place to sleep. So I started selling drugs.

Entry #1411
I Want To See You Make It
I am from the ghetto.
I am from the wind chimes that sing in the breeze.
I am from the freshly cut vegetables in the rich soiled garden.
I am from Mexican traditions and hard workers, from Mom and Dad to brothers and sisters.
I am from schooling and life lessons.
From don’t throw your life away and I want to see you make it.
I am from the Catholic home where having faith is not an option.
I’m from Mexico’s homemade chili and handmade tortillas.
From the life lessons of my dad’s past, the ambitions of mom’s heart and the fortunes of my older cousins.
I am from the sweat and blood my parents have shed so that my brothers and sisters and I could live where and how we live today.

Entry # 1412
Thoughts
As I sit here day by day
I start to think of a better way
So when I’m out I won’t get locked away
As I sit here I think of escape
But when I think it is just a waste
Because I’ll come back another day
My mind begins to wander again
It’s like a grenade and I just pulled the pin
All my thoughts start to explode
I try to stop them or at least get them to slow
I can’t stop them and words begin to flow
And next thing I know I’m back in my cell
Because I told them how I truly feel.

Entry #1413
Missing
I was only sevenyears-old the last time I saw him. I didn't know that I wouldn't see him after that. Now that I'm locked up I ask myself, "Where are you dad? Why did you leave me, am I just a disappointment to you?"

I ask myself these things because I feel like I have to blame someone, when really I'm the only one to blame. I don't know what was going through my dad's head when he left. Maybe he didn't want to have the responsibility of taking care of me. Whatever it was, he couldn't have known how much it would affect me.

He didn't even consider that someday I would need him to be there for me. Now I just think of him as a selfish, greedy bastard that I hope someday realizes what he's done. As I grew older I knew that he wouldn't come back. I told myself I wouldn't be like him. Then when I started drinking and smoking, I remembered seeing him do these things when I was a kid. I thought to myself, “Is this who I am meant to be, just like him?” Later on I realized that no matter how much of him I had in me, I could still make a difference in my life.

No matter how much devastation he brought to my life, I won't let him or my past get in the way of being successful. I don't know where my father is now. I just hope he knows that I don't hate him. I just pity him, for missing out in his son's life.

Entry #1414
Present
I live by the second
Not by the minute
People say look ahead
But I’m stuck in the present
I can’t look back
I can’t look forward
It brings back too many memories
Or things that will never be
When I look back
There’s too much violence and drugs like crack
I remember when I was eight I began to pack
For a time I’ll run and never look back
But when they find my bag,
They beat me and lock me in a room
Where I’ll be trapped.

Entry #1415
Right From Wrong
The hardest thing I ever had to do was not to keep going down the path I went down, because I never learned right from wrong. I never had a role model when I was growing up. My mom and dad left my sister and I when I was three-years-old. My mom left because she had her new boyfriend and they were smoking meth. My father was in prison. One day, she told me she was going to the store. Years passed by and I really never knew what happened to her. Someone told me she was In a different state, locked up because she got caught up with meth in her car and did a year in state prison. My father...I really just never knew what happened to him. He would always be in and out of prison ever since I was born. So when I got to the age where I was able to do things with my "friends" that got me in trouble I never learned my lesson. I didn't care about anything because of how stressed out I was, always wondering if I was going to see my mom or dad again. All these years went by, me always getting in trouble. I wrecked a car with my brother; broke my ribs and he broke his arms. We ran. The cops caught us. It was a hit and run, so I got locked up for 3-4 months. Ever since, I've been in and out of the hall. They gave me 12 months this time. It’s me not caring that got me down this path. The hardest thing I've ever had to learn was to care when you're down. I just learned it the hard way.

Entry #1416
Mom
My mom, I love her so much! She is my pride and joy, even though I’m in juvenile hall right now. One day I will make her proud. She enhances my life, making it so much easier by doing everything she can for us and being a strong single mother. I want to thank her for everything she’s done for me. I want to thank her for being my mother and father because my dad wasn’t man enough to step up to the plate and do his job. I want to thank my mom for being strong not only for herself, but for six of her children too. I appreciate my mom for all the things she’s done for us, even when times were tough she never gave up. I want to thank Mom for sticking through all the hard times that we had and for never giving up on herself and her kids. I thank her for working twelve hours a day as hard as she could just to make sure each and every one of us kids had a roof over our head, food on out table, and clothes on our backs. I thank her for not giving up on us no matter how hard times got no matter what the case was she was always there for each and every one of us kids. I thank my mom for all the love and safety she provided to us kids when we needed her most! I love you Mom and I thank you for being there for my brothers, sisters and me through thick and thin. I thank you for being strong for us no matter how hard times got. Thank you Momma, I love you, my queen.

Entry #1417
Hero
I had a very good dad. He recently passed away from liver cancer. He was 52 years old when he died. He was born January 1965 and died December 2016. Growing up I had a difficult life because I was always around drugs, bad influential people, and never really had discipline. But my dad was always there for my ass no matter what I did or where I was at. I overdosed and got taken to UC Davis then to Sierra Vista Hospital because the doctors thought I attempted suicide. I was just trying to get high. My dad was there EVERY single day and we lived in Oroville so it was at least a couple hour drive. When times were bad and money was low, he still found a way to put clothes on our backs and food on the table. I miss my dad so much and I wish he was still here. I don't think it was his time to go. Stupid cancer just came out of nowhere and stole my dad from me and my family. **** Cancer. I remember when I was little and he would leave places. I would always ask where he was going and he would tell me, "I'm going to see a man about a horse." As many times as he said that, he never came back with a horse. He was always so funny and tried to lighten up everyone's mood. When we were out eating we would have little wars with straws shooting crushed ice at each other. Or when we went swimming, when I was little, he would let me ride on his back. It felt like he could fix pretty much anything. My dad is and always will be my hero. I love you dad.

Entry # 1418
Confused
I’m confused.
I’m lost in a maze and she is the exit.
Countless dead ends of misery, sadness, and pain with twists and turns, hope of finding the exit.
The exit is all I think about and what will happen once I’m out with all the desolation and suffering and confusion I’ve experienced while inside?
Confusion and love burn inside like a fire.
Then I find the end and what I see isn’t confusion, but illusion as it is.
I open the exit and there she stands, with arms wide open.
But I notice something: she seems broken, while I was lost in my own emotions,
Worrying about what might happen and wallowing in my own pain.
The person I cared about most was experiencing the same thing.
How could I be so selfish?

Entry #1419
Strangers
There are faces everywhere I go
Most of them are ones I don’t know
They scream and shout as I run
I stop and think what have I done
When they find me they point their guns
When they reach me they slam me to the ground
Now all the faces still unknown surround me.

Entry #1420
Motivation
I have a great mom who is always there for me no matter what. She never misses a visit unless she has no way here. She's worked hard her whole life and watched over me growing up. When I was struggling, my mom helped me do better. She always motivates me. I am very happy to have my mom in my life.
               
When I get out, I hope to be able to buy my mom a place to live and a good car. I'm going to be on a straight path, doing what I can to stay out of trouble, and taking care of my son.

Entry #1421
I Miss Him
I just lost my grandpa one month and two weeks ago and we were closer then he and his own son. I miss my grandpa. He died one week before I came in here.  I miss him. I want to be with him right now. My dad wants to be with him right now, too. But he would just want me to do good and graduate from high school and go to college. I miss him. I wish he was still alive and so does my dad. I just want my grandpa back.  

Entry #1422
Rewind
                I am from bullets, from crime and death. I am from pollution in the air, dingy and dirty. It feels like poison in the lungs. I am from city buses and city streets whose tires and sounds I remember as if I saw them every day.
                I am from red and blue lights from black and white cars. I am from act and ask questions later, from roll one and smoke one, I am from stop crying and toughen up and get things done on my own.
                I am from McDonald’s large sodas and fatty foods, from a hole my father got from a bullet, the mouth I shut to keep my backside from getting whipped.
                I am from a folder in my closet to keep from spilling old pictures, a lot of unforgotten faces. I go to sleep and dream about unforgotten times. There are many times I wish that I could rewind.

Entry #1423
Childhood
I am from bunkbeds, from thrift stores and yard sales. I am from pictures, lawn chairs and the swimming pool. I am from palm trees and yellow grass. I am from no food at the end of the month and lots of food at the beginning. From little sisters and living with grandma and grandpa. I am from yelling and arguing with angry little sisters, from “stop fighting with your sisters” to “you have to go to school.” I am from church every Sunday afternoon. I’m from a hospital and a small town, cookies and milk. From the times at the lake, from the camping with cousins and all of us being short. I am from my childhood.

Entry #1424
My Crowd
Long cold nights, thinking about my life
I'm going to do a lot of time. I really hope the days fly by.
My whole family’s locked up. It's really sad how we all switched up.
I need to get out. My whole family is stressed out.
I have court soon; it might be my last day in this hall. 25 to life.
I'm just trying to get things right. I was always doing drugs.
Hung out with the wrong crowd, look where I'm at now.

Entry #1425
Locked up
My father and I
Always doing time
Sometimes I really just need to be alone
Sorry Mom, I can't come home
Just like my dad sitting in a cell,
thoughts got me thinking I'm going to hell
I talk to my younger sister every now and then
I tell her to tell all my friends I said Hi and Bye
But I'm locked up
Stressing so hard it makes me want to throw up
I'm doing so long, I really got to grow up

Entry #1426
Choices
The hardest thing I've had to learn is it doesn't matter how many times you get away with something you will always, in the end, get caught if you keep it up.
My mom was a drunk and a pill popper. All the way up to the day she passed away I saw her under some sort of influence. After that I sort of fell down the same path. Then I started to commit crimes with my friends. I would get high and rob anyone that was worth a couple of bucks. My mom wasn't a criminal, just an addict, lost in the moment, who didn't have the right people to help her with her addiction.
I developed a heavy, everyday addiction. I was selling drugs, robbing people's houses, fighting, carrying a gun, and stealing people's cars. Now I'm locked up for over a year. If there was one thing I could change, it’s my poor choices. And I would have never tried the drugs that changed my mindset in such a negative way.

Entry #1427
Decided To
The hardest lesson I ever learned was that you really should think about choices before you make them. The biggest choice I have made in my life was should I or should I not smoke dope. That’s the biggest choice I have ever made and, of course, I chose the wrong choice. It all started when I began hanging out with some new kids at my new school. When we became really good friends they told me that they did dope. They asked me if I wanted to try it. The first couple times they asked, I said no. They continued to ask. So one day I said screw it and decided to try it. What I really didn't see coming was the bad places it would take me and the horrible things it would make me do to feed my addiction.             

Entry #1428
Exhausting
My real father is locked up and not really in my life at all. My mother and step-father are both very successful. Both of my parents are very strict as you could imagine and are always pushing me to be as successful as they are. It’s very exhausting trying to meet all of their demands, and sometimes I just snap and do whatever I want. It’s pretty frustrating because they act like they’re perfect and have never done anything wrong in their lives when I know they had just as much trouble growing up as I am right now.

Entry # 1429
COLD DAYS
These days are all so cold,
Making me feel like I’m 70 years old.
Which isn’t good, it’s bad.
I’m only 16 years old!
These days are always testing me.
Why they always testing me?
I try my hardest to not let them get the best of me.
I’ll be damned.
But whenever I look back,
It seems they do get the best of me, so I guess I am damned.
Goddamn.
I know it’s not good to look at things that way
But how else should I look at it?
It’s a stupid, worthless idea to look at it in any other way.
I put a smile on my face, try to look happy, but it’s all fake.
I feel like I’m gonna break.
Break apart.
But to break away
From all this hate
Sounds great. Even though it feels like it’s too late
To determine my fate
It feels good
To imaginate.

Entry #1430
The World We Share
I am from a hole in the roof, made by hot firemen.
I am from the barricade, in which we ate canned raviolis.
I am from the bush that burned down in flames.
I am from a place where music comes every day, from my father, mother, two obnoxious brothers, when we all want to play.
From never walking outside with wet hair.
I am from Biblical quotes and handcrafted wooden crosses.
I am from California, with mac n cheese, pizza for meals.
From the times of endless trips to the mountains, and camping to cliff diving and games of paintball with my brothers.
I am from the world because the world is my home with my family in which we share.

Entry #1431
Maslow’s Needs
                I had to learn how to grow up at a young age. My dad passed away two months after my thirteenth birthday and my mom had been going in and out of jail. Eventually she ended up in prison and I was just starting my freshman year at high school. My sister who was twenty at the time had 5,000 dollars of my mom’s money that she was supposed to use to take care of the house with. She blew through all of that money with her boyfriend in about a month. She would never buy food for the house so I wasn't eating very much and I ended up losing a lot of weight. I was getting a little over 200 dollars every month because my dad passed away at 47 from a heart attack and my sister was taking it all and saying that I needed to help pay rent. I decided that I wasn't going to stay there with her so I packed up a backpack full of stuff and left. I moved to my older sister’s house and I asked her if I could stay with her and her husband. It was nice living with them for a while. I was going to school and eating everyday. I even had my own room. I had just turned 14 and I had a little job working for my friend’s dad doing things around his house, like digging trenches to fixing pipes and helping to install fences.
                Then everything started to happen again. It started with her husband not wanting to take me to go buy some new shoes with money that I had. Then he started saying that I couldn't eat food during the day. They would stay up late at night and I was still trying to go to school every day. He told me that if I wanted to eat I had to stay up until dinner or I wouldn't get anything. They wouldn't have dinner until the middle of the night at times. It all ended when one day they were supposed to come back at around four with 100 dollars pulled off of my card so I can get a pair of shoes and go to Chico. They showed up about 5 minutes before the very last bus came. My sister’s husband was trying to make me go down to the store for him before he gave me my money and I was telling him that I didn't have time to or I'd miss the bus.
My sister finally got him to give me the money and as I'm leaving he tells me not to bother coming back. After that I stayed in Chico with my aunt for a while but they didn't have much room in their house. So for the next year and a half I was just staying with friends who would let me stay over for a couple nights at a time. I stopped going to school. I was more worried about where I was going to sleep or trying to figure out how I could get something to eat. By the time I was 16 my brother and my mom got an apartment together and I lived there. But around that same time is when I started messing up. I started partying a lot. Drinking and doing drugs with friends. I was also selling drugs to help my family pay rent and other bills and feeding myself and the friends I had living with me. I was doing this so consistently and I was making a lot of money. But eventually I got into an argument with my brothers girlfriend and she kicked me out. So I was staying with a really good friend of mine for a while and I didn't have to pay rent. I went from there other friends and to my other sisters for a while and I've been doing the same thing until it all finally caught up with me. Now here I am in the hall.

Entry # 1432
Role Models
Both my parents have been good role models in my life. I just chose not to listen to them. I was very defiant, but especially my momma. She tried helping me the most, but I would not listen. I would truthfully go back and fix things with them if I could. Both my parents have done so much for me, and I wish I could tell them sorry.

Entry # 1433
Reality
Being in a locked facility,
Trying to take your mind out of reality,
Some get lost in books, music, or writing,
But the common thing is we are all trying,
Some people are hurt but refuse to be caught crying,
We all have things in common,
Like being hidden from society.

Entry # 1434
Learning
It was hard for me to learn how to cope with my anxiety, even though I don’t have it completely under control. I’ve mostly been able to. It’s been getting somewhat better, but I know that it will never go away. I need to learn how to keep it under control and I can learn how to let it be a less devastating thing. I can’t let it consume me anymore.

Entry #1435
A New Plan
Four walls closing in, feeling depressed
all I ever wanted was to be free like the rest
locked in my room all I can do is sleep
when chow comes I can barely eat
thinking about where they might send me.
Lost in my thoughts and my whole body feeling empty
I have always done this alone
now I have a daughter and she needs her father home
thinking back to the day I ran
wishing I would have waited and just went with the plan
I was so close to being out, but now I'm back with new charges
waiting for a court that’s so heartless
one day I'll be out with no probation
but until then I'm counting down the days until my graduation!

Entry # 1436
My War Against Aggression
The hardest thing I’ve had to learn, I’m still learning. While I’m sitting in my cell, my brain is burning while it earns back the trust of my heart. I still can’t trust my gut instinct because my thoughts of good and bad are so far apart. Where do I start? I guess I’ll start by learning the art of owning my anger. Zoning in until I can put my aggressions on a hanger in the back of my mind. I’m so close. I try to stay silent on my mission but everyone knows. The beast is awake and he’s ready to explode. But no. There is no mistaking me for the monster you made me out to be because I run the show. I’m sure you’ve already been told, that there isn’t any stopping me when I say I’m going to be something, I’m going to use every part of me to be what I set out to be. I will achieve something greater in life, and I’m not a liar. Right now I feel higher than I ever did on weed. It’s my natural high to find out what secrets my mind is hiding from me. My aggressions will not overcome the sea of peace that has washed over the barren terrain I didn’t know was my brain. A wave of light from somewhere in the distance shined so bright it tore through my sights and let me envision a life without the disease we call violence. So I can teach my daughter to love not hate. So she will have a better fate than I started out with. Then and only then will I be done with my mission:
My War Against Aggression

Entry #1437
Who Matters Most
The hardest thing I had to learn was putting someone else before me. I grew up a spoiled kid I always got what I wanted. I did not like my cousins or siblings around my grandpa. When I got something I did not like to share with anyone. If I had money I would keep it on me. Once I got pregnant at fifteen, I had to learn how to put my daughter before me. Now I do not get jealous when my daughter is around my grandpa because I understand he is treating her how he treats me. When I have something I have to share with my daughter. If I have money I have to buy her things she needs before I buy something I want. I learned to put someone before me, my daughter.

Entry #1438
For Kathy
I was born in the struggle tryna make it out the jungle,
As a young'n everyone told me I had to hustle,
I was 14 hitting licks for your TV,
Running thru your house stealing everything I see,

I be doing big things ain't no point in doing small,
Grand Momma always told me "you a man stand tall",

That's my angel up in heaven inspiration to us all,
I remember when I was six and I was holding you,
And you told me the successful were a chosen few,
I be tryna live right and be a better you,
But lord knows there'll never be another you,

Late nights in a cage had me soul searching,
Like what's the meaning to this life if mine ain't working?

But Ima do it ima get it ima make it out,
Hand my momma the keys to that new house,
She live on a beach but got a pool now,
That's a lavish ass house and I'm so proud.

Entry #1439
The System
The hardest thing I learned was that I was stuck in the system (foster care and juvenile hall.) I got put in foster care at a young age because I was abused.  Foster care was scary; being a little kid going into someone else's home. But I also felt relieved…safe, in a way. They bounced me around from foster homes to group homes. My mom never came around for visits. She was either drugged out or in prison. Juvenile hall became my home when I started to do drugs or was getting into fights. The foster system didn't feel like placing me anywhere so they had me arrested. This happened a few times until my crimes became too big. So now I'm locked up, waiting for time to go by...just waiting...  

Entry # 1440
Struggle
Have you ever been told you can be what you want
But when you try you find out that’s wrong
When I tried to be what I want
I got in trouble with the law
That’s when the struggle hit my life
Getting put in custody for a bunch of lies
Thinking of a time I knew how to love
But that’s long gone now,
Look what I’ve become
I’m a person stuck in the system trying to change right
But for that to happen, it’s an internal fight
Every time I get close to the light
It seems as if I’ve lost my sight
Because my anger takes control and sends me to the night
Where I will be lost and forgotten in some time
Now I’m counting the bricks losing my mind
Telling myself it will be all fine
It sucks the days go by fast but the weeks go by slow
Everyone told me to put on a show
So I can get off probation and stay at home
I always wonder if it will end
Dealing with the system since about age ten
When I hit my teens I spent most of it in custody
Because the choices I made turned out to be ugly
When I finally got out, I thought I could make it
Then I got locked back up where I have to fake it
Now my one goal is to change my ways
While I am locked up counting down the days
So when I get out I can make it all go away.

Entry # 1441
Even Though
When I was young, my dad developed a bad drinking problem and it caused my parents to split up. When I was just 7 years old, my dad left and pretty much disappeared for about 7 years then he came back into my life.  I learned that he had been stabbed by his ex-wife and he still had a drinking problem. Now, my dad is a big part of my life and I admire him very much. He is my best friend even though he still abuses alcohol.

Entry # 1442
The Positive Side
My mom is beautiful. I love her so much. She would never neglect us, always there for her kids. She does a lot for us. She’s a shoulder I can cry on, only been in here for a day and I miss her so much… #1 supporter even though I would abuse her, but we’re good now. We worked everything out. But now she’s stressed out worrying what I’m doing. I feel so bad. I cry mostly every night knowing I’m disappointing her and my lil’ siblings and my big bro barely home….damn. She loves me. Hearing her cry makes me want to die ‘cause I want my mother, the one who gave me life, to be happy…I need to get my mind right, to make her see the positive side of me.

Entry #1443
Locked Up
There’s a place full of lies
Where you hear muffled cries
All the way through the night
Some of us wish we can get high as a kite
Living in a room with a 24/7 light
We at least can pass by the time
We can play cards, sports, or listen to music
While we’re waiting to be released into society
But while we’re stuck some of us face anxiety
We’re dealing with people who try to change us
When we don’t listen they give threats that weight us down as much as a bus
They try to keep us until we grow old
But we just fake it until their fooled
Then when we are released
We mess up and get drunk, disturbing the peace
So if we would have just listened
We would have had a chance at a new beginning
So this time around we should try
So we don’t grow old this way and die
Because then that would be a waste of our whole life.

Entry #1444
Slavery
People always say they’re full of bravery
But they have nothing compared to those who dealt with slavery
They got hit, whipped, or ended up dead
Because of people who thought they were better because of their skin
Those people got messed up in the head
Watching their brothers, sisters, mothers, or fathers end up on their death bed
There are still people who believe it is right
But if they had to do it, they would die in a night.

Entry #1445
Mom
                Well for starters I’m not exactly sure I could judge my mom. Nonetheless, I can’t classify her as good or bad. Let me start by saying she is something alright. Yeah, of course, I love my mom, but some things she does well, it’s pretty far out there. I know I’m not perfect either, but, I feel that she could’ve done a way better job at raising me and all my brothers.
                I really do love her, don’t get me wrong. She’s absolutely one of a kind and she’s beautiful inside and out, but plays too much. What I mean about that is she would go through to the extreme just to get a point across to me and all of my friends I grew up with. Despite all that I’ll always love her no matter what…that’s my mom regardless of anything I might say or claim. How can I, according to her…she brought me into this world and she could just as easily take me out. It is not a bad thing that she will do the most just to get through to me because I am not always going to listen to her. I am pretty hard-headed. Guess you could figure out where I get my stubbornness from. Yeah. Mom.
                 Regardless of all the mistakes made on both sides, I will always love her and never forget everything she has done for me. Although I know we both have always meant well, we have had our rough paths and doubts. We have bumped heads and had our disagreements, but despite it all, I know in the end my mom and family will always care for each other. That thought right there is the best feeling ever and that will never allow me to forget the true value of family.

Entry #1446
Sometimes
I’m sitting here in my cell, a tiny form of hell.  Lying awake, thinking about decisions I wish I never made, decisions that were huge mistakes, decisions that straight up wasted a part of my life away. Everyone tells me everything I do is wrong, but I think it’s all okay so I roll my eyes and continue on anyway without a backward glance, but right here, right now I just want another chance.

All day, all night, my mind is full of fright. I’m afraid, so I fight. I’m afraid of the light but the darkness helps sometimes. I’m tired of all the lies and all the sleepless nights from being as high as a kite. Sometimes I hear that voice in my head that says “What the **** are you doing with your life?” Most times I can’t deal with all the strife that comes along with life, the pain that makes me go insane and want to end my life. It’s depressing, I know, but sometimes those thoughts don’t do much but grow.

The fire in me grows and feels like it’s exposed to a burst of air, ready to explode without a care. It’s fueled by anger and rage and it leads me to participate in things that make my mind deteriorate and disintegrate to dust and most times I feel like worthless rust on and old forgotten and beat up truck that learns not to give a **** because life will go right on by without even looking you in the eye. To watch all the days just fly away is a pain no man, woman, child should ever have to sustain and no one will have a clue if they look at you what you’ve been through, you’ll honestly believe no one cares about you.

Do we just feel that way sometimes? Do we do all the drugs to just pass the time? I know I’m sitting here trying to rhyme as a way to tell you what’s going on in my mind. But I’m happy you are all giving me the time of day, even though I don’t think you care anyway. I know sometimes I wish I could go back to the good old days, you know? When we used to fight over the T.V. remote and not when we were gonna get another baggie of dope. Sometimes there isn’t any hope to help me cope with all this crap I’m trying to fit into a rap, but life goes on whether you like it or not. So once in a while just stop, take a breath, and think, don’t stress your mind out like you might do every week, because sometimes it’ll make you even more weak.