You are like Ruth, you never turn back…

Hey, look – do you hear me? That’s what they yell in here all day long. I hope to never hear that again when I get out…

I got an orange today for the first time since September. It was so good! The things we take for granted…

Today around 2 pm it got so cold. I wonder if they are turning on the air conditioner? My hands and legs were freezing. I did get a shower today, and that warmed me up some…I also did some push-ups; only two sets of 35, and toe touches. I noticed I’m losing some muscle mass as I don’t well enough to exercise fully.

1/10/14
I received your letters today, and your card. It reminded me so much of that one property we were looking to buy in the mountains before all of this happened.

Hey, I finally got a new battery for my radio! It takes about 3 weeks to get when you’re in ICON and indigent. But, they did put fish oil on the list of the limited things we can order.

I am reading on Ruth today. She is like you; you never turn back. You will only press forward, knowing God has a plan for your life. She worked so diligently and then became one of Jesus’ grandmothers. You, like Ruth, have courage and are a child of God.
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1/11/14
I was up late last night and couldn’t sleep. I started humming this little tune, and it got louder and louder, and then I looked at my watch and saw the date- it was the tune I’d sing to Alex when he was bouncing on my leg or when I would hold him when he couldn’t sleep when he was so small, so long ago!
Happy Birthday Big Bear! God is so great to put that tune in my head to remember you! That became a special tune for when I was with him, but I still don’t know where it came from! It made him laugh and coo, and thinking of that is refreshing to my spirit. God wants to remember all of the little things that bless us, but we never thank Him for. I love you, Alex!

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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 is good to see the sun, even if it is too cold here to feel it

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1/6/14
It has been a difficult day; so cold that I had to wear 3 pairs of socks, 3 each of shirt jackets and undershirts, and 1 pr of pants.

It’s going to perhaps even get to 0 degrees F tonight. I have written grievances to the Sgt, Unit Manager, the Cpt. and to the assistant superintendent. It is a request for a work order for the heat to be fixed. I know nothing will be done, but it does give you a path when writing an injunction against the treatment in isolation.

I have been working on my letter to CPS and I’ve gone through 100 sheets of paper trying to hand write this grievance, but I can’t get it right. I only have two sheets of paper left now, and one has a stain on it.

I’m so hungry. I think from being so cold that my body has used all of its resources to stay warm. I haven’t had any coffee today, either. It’s pretty bad. I’m having a lot of back pain too, and had to take some naproxen for it. Does your back hurt lately? I am so tuned in to you still that I can feel your different body aches and pains.

1/8/14

I saw the psychologist lady again today; she is no help whatsoever. All she asks is, “How can I help you?”, and then she interrupts you before you finish, and she interrupts saying she can’t do that. I told her again that I wanted a psychological eval and she says that there isn’t any evidence to suggest that I need one. Her response is, ” You should have stayed out of trouble so you wouldn’t be put in isolation,” as if she could stand the heat from being locked in a cell with no moving air in August. It’s no wonder the people go crazy – there is no rationale in a place like this. The lack of compassion by those who work here is alarming, as we are seen than less than human. She ended the ‘visit’ saying that if I needed her to let her know. Wow; as if she has done anything so far.   I told her that I would have to get my wife to call Raleigh to get any help, and she answered, “You just do that”.  Such is the attitude here in general.

The nurse came by to have me sign for a new diet that  I asked for, which should include wheat bread, and more fruit instead of all of the straight starch we are forced to eat now. There may actually be some ‘real’ meat.

It is nice to see the sun on the wall, at least, even if it is too cold to warm my room.  I am doing my best to surrender to the fact that God is in control, and it’s been so hard to let go of that need to fix things on my own. I try to be content and not look to man to meet my needs. The lessons are becoming easier to understand, but I must still the drive to want more.

I will be strictly monitored on this new diet that took several months of requesting to get on; my canteen – once I can order from it again, my weight will be checked each month and if I gain any weight I will be taken off of it, as well. It is not practical but I will try to earn this better grade of food.

The lights have been staying on past 11 or even 11:30 p.m., but 10 p.m. is the policy, even though they have the lame excuse that the lights are on so the men can shave, some times until 12 a.m.? We didn’t even get showers tonight, when there’s no reason not to, other than they don’t follow their own policies, yet expect us to. The Sgt. says there’s no policy in seg about turning off the lights, as long as the guards are working on things for the men. I find this very hard to believe.

I waited until 2 a.m. for grievance forms about this, but none came, so I finally laid down. I know I need to stand up for these things as long as it isn’t about pride, as I want to do things for God’s glory. When we delay obedience to God, by doing things on my own, it makes it more difficult to receive further instructions. The more our faith grows the easier it becomes to wait on God’s timing.

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!