So, the point is, I had forgot what I wrote here last time, how I was thankful for prison. Not so much anymore. I am thankful my son is most likely not going to get strung out on heroin in there, but he's still using from what I can tell and even though he's not even at prison yet (he's in jail). That's not even my greatest concern.
My greatest concern is what he's turning into and how he's insistent that he has no choice to affiliate with a gang once he's in there - and how that's going to totally change who he is. It will harden him.
I personally know 4 people who've been through the system (serving a year to 15 years in CA prisons).
Person 1 was in and out and it changed him completely. He was bitter, mean, angry, and ended up dying 2 years after he got out the last time.
Person 2 served 15 years straight, came out and tried to change his life but the prison mentality was hard to shake so instead of walking away from a fight he engaged in it and is back serving another 15 after only being out 8 in between (long enough to have two kids that won't have a father around now).
Person 3 is someone I am writing to specifically because of Keven and he is very concerned for him. He wrote out all the things he suggests for Keven to do to avoid affiliating with a gang and begs him in this letter not to take that path. I hope Keven listens but doubt he will. This dude was in the gang that Keven will affiliate with. I don't even feel comfortable writing about this person anonymously because there's a good chance he'll be murdered when he gets out. If I told you his name and you Googled him (or his uncle) you'd know I'm not exaggerating or making this up. I wish I was.
Person 4 is Anthony. He's aware of his thoughts and actions and does his best to not be the angry, hateful person he was while in prison. He knows Keven very well and told me his thoughts on what will go down - and they are the exact same thoughts I have about it. Keven is a follower, he's easily influenced, he wants to appear as a "tough guy" (but is NOT). I can imagine "higher ups" taking advantage of him and maybe him picking up more time because of it.
Speaking of Anthony, I am so glad he's in my life. There were many times over the years I wanted to turn my back on (and did) but now he's a comfort to me. I can see his sincerity in wanting to better his life, his struggles break my heart. But we have fun together. We laugh. We talk. He's affectionate and loving and appreciative - all things Keven is not. If I try to hug Keven he goes limp and barely tolerates, Anthony gives bear hugs...and honestly that's the only human contact I have! My sister and I aren't huggers with each other and I don't have any local friends. Dog and Cat hugs are a pretty good substitute, but not quite the same as the human touch. As Bruce put it:
I ain't lookin' for prayers or pity
I ain't comin' 'round searchin' for a crutch
I just want someone to talk to
And a little of that human touch
Just a little of that human touch
You might need somethin' to hold on to
When all the answers they don't amount to much
Somebody that you can just talk to
And a little of that human touch
I do plan on getting some hugs from Tori, Annette and Joy in September. I'll write about that after it happens :)
Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara