I'm learning that there are some good people here, and some not so good people here.
The culture here is certainly different than outside, but not drastically so, or maybe it is and I don't notice it because I grew up in a very masculine learning household and my entire adult life has been either in the Army or confinement.
Note: my brother is only 20.
I sense a low sexual energy level, but that might just be because the average age here is early to mid 30's. They ship people to federal prison after all appeals are through. Nude magazines, like Playboy, are allowed but nothing hardcore or homosexual is allowed in the DB. Personally, I'm trying to suppress and maybe snuff out my sexual desires. I feel some pain at the loss of female intimacy, but I try not to think about it right now because it does me no good.
Probably my greatest fear right now is waking up 20 years later and still being here or in a different (federal) prison. Like just waking up and seeing that I've spent more than half my life in prison and never have done anything in/with my life and just being a complete loser. That scares the shit out of me and it's like there's nothing I can do to stop it.
My brother then questions whether he should have taken the plea bargain, and basically lied. See, he certainly didn't believe his actions were the real him, and most of us didn't either. So, no, he needed his day in court. And sadly, the jury did not buy the drug defense. Not one iota.
I wonder sometimes if I made the right choice fighting it, or if I should've done something else. I wonder if it's ok to lie to get what you want. I think people may feel that way; I don't want to feel that way. I grieve so bad sometimes. Sometimes, I don't care. I've been practicing zen meditation.
I'm not reading the books you sent me at the moment. Don't get me wrong, I love the books you sent me, I'm just doing several things at once and using most of my energies adjusting.
I love you sis.
Now speaking of book shipments, I could not have been more tormented over such a small detail. I had placed my second order with Amazon that very day, and based on my brother's letter, I canceled it. And modified it.
Let me go back one month to when the defense witnesses were being shuttled to the airport post-trial. The atmosphere was strained and sad. "What next," was the question lingering in the air.
Someone in the van asked me what my brother liked to read, and I answered, "Science fiction and fantasy."
"No! You can't send him that crap! You can't fill his head with magic or any of that nonsense. That's what got him into this mess in the first place!" That was another strong-minded parent jumping in.
"But I was asked what he liked."
"No! It's all wrong."
We were on the verge on getting into an explosive argument when we arrived at the terminal. My cheeks, and ego, stinging, I realized how wrong that parent was...but not until now.
Allow me to paint you an image of my home life. My man is professional full-time magician! Our lives are literally and figuratively filled to the brim with magic. We have bunnies and parrots and doves. Our living room is decorated with pirate swords and other swashbuckling paraphernalia. Harry Potter wands adorn his magic room. We have discussed painting the nursery with Mickey and the Fantasia cast. We embrace our imaginations, and we still live in reality.
So, when I sent my first Amazon shipment of books, I felt guilted into sending books of substance — books on science or in a spiritual vein. The second shipment, that I canceled, I had chosen the great classics, including Hemingway, Fahrenheit 451, A Brave New World, and more...which may be suitable in time. But give my brother a break. If you want someone to enjoy learning, let him have what he wants, not what you think he needs.
My brother is acclimating and trying to fit in with fellow prisoners. He is adjusting to a "long one". He has time. Lots of it.
So, in that vein, with my man by my side, I selected my second shipment of books to my brother:
- 2 player's handbooks, 4th edition, on Dungeons and Dragons (if he doesn't like them, he'll be super popular when he hands them off to his fellow playing inmates);
- The Count of Monte Cristo (yes, it's about a prison break, but they are not dumping bodies from the cliff side at the USDB, so it's not to give him any ideas, and it is one of my all-time personal favorites and a great read);
- Treasure Island (a short, fun read, and a classic);
- Jurassic Park (again, I'm a Michael Crichton fan, and the book is much better than the movies).
So, all fantasy, science fiction or "escapism" books. I don't believe my brother will be any worse off for reading this "nonsense". You know what, I'll bet he'll even thank me for my choices.