Little Victories

 

1/27/14

One need not always trust in the 'large' things -  Isaiah 31  King James Version (KJV) 31 Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help; and stay on horses, and trust in chariots, because they are many; and in horsemen, because they are very strong; but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the Lord!

One need not always trust in the ‘large’ things –
Isaiah 31
King James Version (KJV)
31 Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help; and stay on horses, and trust in chariots, because they are many; and in horsemen, because they are very strong; but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the Lord!

I’m reading your letter to be about how you feel imprisoned, somewhat like  I am experiencing, although our prisons are different. No matter what either of us does, we can’t escape. This is God, working on our outer selves, which is essential to allow God’s Spirit to be released. Praise God for how you’ve been able to surrender to this discipline, and for learning patience with our children. I’m so glad to hear the boys are branching out, and aren’t so afraid to do their own things. I’m so proud of their growth amid all of the things they’ve been through. I just pray they see how loved they are by God, and are being taught by Him in so many ways. God is working on Nate so he can learn to discern who his real friends are, and to not feel ashamed for speaking out against injustice at school. God is using my suffering to teach them, to reach others, as well who need to realize the anguish and injustice in their own backyards.

I have to admit, I’ve been under attack now for over a week. I’ve not been happy with what God is allowing to happen in my life. I stay confused and blocked from understanding what is happening to me. I know I have to work through it, and am battling this selfish outer man. You have been so encouraging throughout this whole ordeal, and  know your love for me is real. I just feel so weakened and alone lately, and have to just give it to God…

I’ve noticed my eyes become blurry after reading awhile.  I have to pull the book or paper away from my face to be able to ready clearly. I used to have 20-15 vision, but only God knows what being in isolation has done…

I’m watching 60 minutes and listening to how there is such a shortage of psych0logists and therapists across the nati0n; and stories like what you’ve been through recently with our boys. Then they talked about how there are lack of beds in the institutions for the extreme behavior needs like what we experienced with my two children that led us to end up like this, due to not having adequate care in the mental health fields. If you can google this, maybe you will find some support sites so you have other people to talk to, and can maybe even get some help with our case. Isn’t it amazing how much has to happen before things like this come to the light?

Speaking of lights, this crew tonight is the one that often leaves our lights on until midnight, which was the main reason I wrote the grievance about not having any relief from the lighting. Tonight, though, they went out at 10:38 p.m., which is so wonderful! Even the little things feel like big victories!

 

 Hebrews 12:11 New International Version (NIV) 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.


Hebrews 12:11
New International Version (NIV)
11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

1/23/14

I received the Black SAT Prep book yesterday and began reading it.

Looking over all of this material makes me scared; it’s been a long time since ’91 when I graduated high school, and I can’t get any extra study guides off of the internet. I haven’t seen algebra in almost twenty years, and I never had Geometry! I know this is going to be tough, but God has a plan for me to succeed. I’m just not sure how to get help. I will check in the library here to see if there are any text books, but I doubt it, and the GED teacher is not friendly. But, it could be due to some of her students…

Didn’t you take this in 1989? What was your score? I need help with passage-based reading, sentence completion, all of the math…they are recommending a ‘Blue Book’, and it references this other book a lot. I’m reminded of Hebrews 12:11, so knowing this isn’t going to be joyful right now, I will endure the training, because of the importance of the end results.

It is obvious he needs mental assistance, but the guards just play with him

1/9/14

Taken from an article in the examiner on mental health conditions

Taken from an article in the examiner on mental health conditions

I was listening to the radio show Focus on the Family today.
It has been such a valuable tool in teaching me how to raise the children.
They have so many good ideas. That’s why I’ve been writing so much lately about the boys, because their faith needs to grow so God’s power can truly be amplified through our family as a unit.

I’ve asked the boys to forgive me for being a bad example sometimes, and to try not to follow in those steps. Today’s show talked about how important it is to be a good role model as men to our daughters so they will pick appropriate men later in life. It discussed how girls are affected by the lack of a healthy relationship with their dads, and how they expect their adult relationship to give them what their father didn’t or couldn’t. You used to do this to me, and we have talked about the importance of my being loving to my daughter in the past, and so I spent more time with her, on her home work, going to school and advocating for her when there were school issues, getting off work and going to her soccer games. It has become clear to me in listening to this broadcast that you take time and forgive your dad, because you did subconsciously punish me for how your father treated you, and took quite a bit out on me over the years. You know I only tell you this so you will release some of the pain in your heart over the past. I hope you will find these broadcasts somehow and listen to them.

The Sgt. has come next door as the guy keeps pushing the green button, which is only for medical emergencies. Apparently his legal mail is not going out, so there is now another guy there now, as well, which is really only to frustrate the other inmate further, not help. His legal matter is coming up in two weeks and he doesn’t have all of the information ready. It is obvious that he needs intensive mental health assistance, but the guards just play with him. They pepper sprayed him a few weeks ago, in the cell that I am now in. That could be why I have more upper respiratory tract infections and my nose bleeds some….things did calm down a little after they talked to him, but it looks like he will get written up for this. They gave him 3 last week. It is excessive, and will keep him in here for a long time, when he truly needs services.

I’ve prayed to the Lord for his entities to be released, as well as for all of us trying to endure this frigid coldness. Most of the men sleep in the floor in an attempt to get away from the cold, but I just can’t sleep next to the toilet like that, and we have no way to clean – but you know all of this. Why can’t they just fix the heating system? No one listens to our grievances here, so we just give up trying. The morale is so low, but I know must set examples. I told the other men that I have been sending grievances about the lack of heat.

Well, after several days of the lights being on past 11:30pm, they’ve cut the light off at 10 tonight. Maybe my grievance was read by someone?
I also know that I’m being led to write a grievance to CPS in my own words, but I just can’t sort it all out, and keep praying on how to word it in God’s time.

May God be with you in my absence.

It’s been two years since I’ve had a piece of chicken…

1/1/14

Lunch today surprised me so much – chicken thigh with the bone in! I haven’t had a real piece of meat in two years! Praise God! We also had apple pie, greens, white rice with gravy and cornbread. The chicken is so great! I saved the leg to eat tonight with my eggs and toast. I saved the apple pie to eat later with my milk.

 I can't believe how much I miss fried chicken, or just real meat...

I can’t believe how much I miss fried chicken, or just real meat…

I pray we go outside tomorrow. I truly need some fresh air, and more space to move around.
In this new room  I only have about 30 or 40 square feet to move around in.

This is for 23 hours a day for five days straight, but as it is too cold for the outside rec with no coats, I am usually in this tiny space for 24 hours for eight to ten days at a time; sometimes longer. I think it has been almost two weeks since it was warm enough to try to go outside.

I’m going to ask for another pair of pants tonight. I’ve had the same pair for two weeks now. They let us change out once a week on Wednesdays, but I don’t want to switch them out until I have to. I was such a proud man and hard on everyone. Yes, your love was always there. Thank God He put you in my life. God has a purpose for all this suffering, Rochelle. We just need to wait patiently for God. This process is all part of God’s plan.

1/2/14
Your visit was so great; I have missed the boys so. They are growing so fast! You looked very happy.
Did I tell you that dad sent me a Christmas card? Everyone in the pictures looked so great. You have been doing such a good job of raising our boys on your own. God has been guiding you well.

1/3/14
I got all the information from the transcripts you requested, and got it ready and sent it on to the lawyer. I also noticed that during the past week, the lights have been staying off in the mornings until 6:00 a.m. with breakfast being served after that. God is so great! Your grievances is being used by God as a way to make change. We have also been served a little more at our meals.

I’ve been reviewing your complaint to CPS, and you’ve covered most everything. You have such a goo memory, there were just a few errors in time, but it’s so hard when we can’t talk on the phone or even face to face, just through glass. I know it is hard to remember things and then run to the car and write them down, or write questions to me on your arm before you come in to visit; and then the visits are only once or twice a month. There’s so much against us, I don’t see how you get anything done.

I’m wrapped up in four sheets and three waffle blankets. If we could have a quilt or cover it would make a big difference. The cement is so cold when it’s cold outside. We still do not have warm air through the vents.

They just threw my grievance back in my cell from the charge on 12/13, saying that they would refund the cost of this med call. But, only one follow up is allowed per fourteen days of a visit. Well, my first sick call was in July, and the others were due to the lack of care post-op.

I got my shower a little while ago and traded for some more coffee. I feel a little warmer, and can try again to write my story to CPS. It is harder to do than I thought it would be, to relive all of the injustice that happened to our family.

The prison has never addressed my pain post-op

12/27/13 I received your letter, with the grievance and the emails from Congressman Howard Coble, and as well as the Senator Trudy Wade. Your grievance to the Guilford County CPS/DSS was remarkable.

How much pain it must have been to relive our time with them. God must truly be behind this path, for Him to help you endure that torture again, remembering each detail.

I hope you will feel better soon. I continue to pray for your health to improve. For myself, I want so badly to feel whole again. I attempted to exercise Monday, and paid for it, dearly. I began standing toe touches, slowly working down to my toes, only doing 26 at a time.  Along with standing bicycles, with my elbows bending to touch my knees, 25. Also, side bends, with 50 in a set. Then 25 pushups in a set. I ended up with 100 toe touches, 100 standing bicycles, as many push ups and 2oo side bends. Now remember, before this surgery I was doing 1,000 pushups. This morning, I couldn’t even get out of bed without dragging myself along, as my right side hurt so bad. I took ibuprofen all day long. It didn’t stop for three days! So, I am nothing near ‘normal’ for me. The prison has never addressed my issue with pain post-op, and there is still something wrong with my intestines. There seems to be a lump  I can feel with the toe touches.

Your short letter brought me so much joy that you mailed with the second prison complaint follow-up from November. I wept to think how much I mean to you that you would put yourself in front of all these state people for me. Even as you face so much adversity, you continue to encourage me to try harder in here to be heard.

Only God can know my heart, Rochelle. I was never good at words to tell you how much you mean to me.

12/28/13

They woke me up at 6:25 a.m. to tell me I had to pack up, and am moving to D-wing. I only got two hours of sleep from the door slamming, and am exhausted and grouchy. In the new cell, the light is directly overhead, but

the air is not facing me when I sleep! Praise God, it is barely moving in the vent! I will not have to wear all of the extra clothes. There is also a seat now, whereas I had to write while hunched on the edge of my sleep ledge before. I did lose my extra mat to lie on. We sleep on what looks like a kindergarten mat, no mattress.

So, everything you’re writing to these people is starting to get to them here. I trust God will keep improving conditions through you!

I wrote to my case manager, and he answered back saying that my review date for seg has been moved forward to January, instead of waiting until February. There is a chance I may get out of seg by the end of January. Even moving to the close ops would be an improvement!

I know that this false charge has been a way for us to be put in a place to stay still and seek Him for our strength.

Thank you for allowing God to build a better relationship with us, and Him. We have grown so much closer in the past four months, and my own strength and belief is much stronger now.  I miss you so much!

I am reading Wednesday’s paper that I got on Friday today, as I draw each one out so they last through the weekend. this helps me to have some distraction in this new place. I’ve finished the bible study correspondence you sent. I wish I had a longer, harder one. In this new area, I’ve noticed that there are many in here to talk to themselves, even to the point of answering. So, this is where the ones go that have to stay long periods. I was in a revolving door wing, for those with only 40 days or so time.

This is no way to exist. No wonder they crack. God help us all. I now don’t feel alone in my distress.

I simply thought I was weak.

The torture is not something one can fight; it is administered on us day after day.

I am now in a room with very little space to move. The handicap room had 20 more square feet of space.

That is tremendous loss of space! But, I can see the sun through the windows now, and it warms my wall! Praise Him for the small things, always. I don’t have to wear all of those layers, and …I won! I won, I won, 30 stamps! So far no losses with 15 games .

I’ve been trying to clean. Obviously the last one here had some disagreements with the staff of Marion Correctional ICON.

I can’t remember the last night I slept more than two hours. That psychologist needs to stay in here for a few weeks with only two hours of sleep and see if she still calls it ‘normal’. Or maybe more like four months like this.

Now, I can hear a t.v. Can’t see it, but it is such a blessing to at least hear something normal, anything. I can hear the news, and I may be able to even hear the Super Bowl! If I’m still back here, of course.

God has been working through you in such great ways. Rest and follow God’s instructions. I so long to hold you in my arms. You are such an unselfish woman who has allowed her outer self to be broken so that God’s spirit may truly shine for the world to see. Through all of our trials and suffering God breaks the ‘outer self’ so He might shine through on the earth. As we embrace the suffering, and accept the need to surrender, then true work is done!

(Battle of Carchemish) Jeremiah 46 ~ 10 For this is the day of the Lord God of hosts, A day of vengeance, That He may avenge Himself on His adversaries. The sword shall devour; It shall be satiated and made drunk with their blood; For the Lord God of hosts has a sacrifice In the north country by the River Euphrates. 11 “Go up to Gilead and take balm, O virgin, the daughter of Egypt; In vain you will use many medicines; You shall not be cured.

Even if  I have to  be like Jeremiah and proclaim God’s word for 40 years, so be it! You should see me dancing around my room.

I won!

They say 2 hours of sleep is normal if you don’t exercise (111 days in isolation)

I have started to scare myself with how much joy I have now for God.
You are such a harbor me; through all of these trials you’ve never wavered.
I feel our hearts are together always, even through these walls of cement.

They came today for the sick call I wrote ten days ago.
They also answered my request forms saying they won’t give me copies of my medical records.
I have to write to Raleigh’s Department of Corrections, so if you can do that, maybe they will give them to you. They took my blood work on November 19th. I can’t get through to them how much pain this is, and they will do nothing but just tell me to expect pain, to work out, like I haven’t been trying. No one actually does anything. But, I will try to hang on in faith, and give God my burdens.

Praise God! He is moving mountains through you, Rochelle! On our limited canteen list it was now offering for us to purchase multi-vitamins and glucosamine! We were never allowed to get vitamins until now! He is working mightily through you. I wrote to the unit manager giving thanks and asking if they could please allow us to get fish oil.

12/20/13

I was the psychologist today for about 15 minutes. I explained about the sleep deprivation and the lighting, and the extreme cold and she said that 2 hours of sleep at a time was normal without any strenuous activity. Even after I explained my depression, bouts of crying and hopelessness, she said that she couldn’t help and that it didn’t warrant a full psychological evaluation.

She said that things would be better once I’m out of isolation. REALLY? I only have about 90 more days.

The only way to get any version of ‘help’ is if I try to hurt myself or others. Great.

We went outside this morning. IT was so great to finally get outside. I could smell wood burning! It was so homey and reminded me of the fires we would burn sometimes. The leaves and wood smelled so real! I’ve not smelled that in three years now.

12/22/13

I see the importance of celebrating the birth of our Lord now. Before it was more selfish in nature, but this is much bigger; it’s about showing love to others to spread God’s unending love to all. I wish you all a Merry Christmas and may His love fill your hearts as He has mine.

You have brought me out of a pit

12/19/13
I feel God’s presence even more, as I work to get past feelings of negativity and doom.
I now see things in a different light. There is a new perspective and a way of looking
at what is sightly to God, not my own selfishness.

I will start a draft for the CPS complaint you told me to write so they are forced to see
the results of their falsified and incomplete findings. Guilford County must be made to rectify their illegal and unconstitutional decisions. They just say whatever they like on reports and then alter the truth to meet their own agendas of increasing their bonuses and trying to justify their funding, instead of looking fully at what is happening in the entire picture. They are never forced to see the repercussions caused by their mistakes and lack of training, even altering what they report to make themselves seem in a better light, while other children are receiving no help that they so sorely need.

They actually gave us a Christmas bad today – with ramen noodles, some chips, a rice krispy treat, a Snickers bar, and a Slim Jim type stick, as well as a granola bar. To some this would seem laughable, but to those in isolation who are not allowed to purchase ANY extra food items, it’s a huge treat!

I got your card today, and it reaffirmed what my humanness needed – a confirmation of love. I ask your forgiveness, you’ve been so strong! Please forgive my unbelief, how could I ever doubt? Your cards and letters have brought me out of a pit where I continue to throw myself and hide. My whole heart melted reading your card! With God’s strength I will build my self worth.
I thank God for a wife such as you! Even as they’ve torn the whole back off of the envelope due to your colorful stickers of angels on it.

Being indigent, I have to make my meals draw out longer, and I try to win as many stamps as I can, and hopefully they will give me a pair of shower shoes. Oh, and I have to send home most of my court papers and old mail as I am toting around so much stuff, and I can get in trouble. Just put the mail up, and get it out as you wish to write a book about all of this. It would make a great romance novel!