Douglas, 58

Meet Douglas…

I am a survivor and my hope and my prayer is that in telling my story, someone will hear it and know that they are not alone. This is something that we deal with as child survivors. We feel that we are alone and have no one to turn to – especially behind these walls.

Incarcerated: 30 years

It wasn’t until I reached a point in my healing where I could talk to my father again. It took me 36 years. I lived in absolute terror of my father. He was abusive on all possible levels. He molested me when I was seven. It’s something that I’ve learned to handle with a lot of work. I just couldn’t live locked away anymore. In my father’s household, boys don’t cry and don’t show emotion, so I shut down. The only emotion acceptable to my father was anger. I enlisted in the Navy at 17. I stayed angry. I learned the way my father raised me was set in stone. At home my job in life was to protect my younger brothers and sisters. By the time I got out of the service, between my training and the way that I was raised, I didn’t see Scott as a person, when I took his life, he was a target. I emasculated him because of my childhood trauma of being harmed and my anger towards all sex offenders and child molesters. I didn’t have the tools I have now to deal with someone hurting the girls. If someone hurt them they answered to me. It was like flipping a switch, especially after I found out he raped my friend’s wife. I am a survivor and my hope and my prayer is that in telling my story, someone will hear it and know that they are not alone. This is something that we deal with as child survivors. We feel that we are alone and have no one to turn to – especially behind these walls. I’m working on accepting how empty I was of empathy, compassion, and feelings. The Victim Offender Education Group and the Veteran’s Healing Veterans Program laid the groundwork for the trauma and healing. They helped me deal with my criminal thinking, how I wrongly took the law into my own hands. I had to learn that contrary to how I was raised, taking an action like that is not my responsibility. I am not the law. It’s helped to tell my story and to be able to walk side by side with my sister on our path of healing. She’s the one that got me to understand that forgiving my father was not for him, but for myself.

📸 Dougles’ 🎤Interviewed by Edwin and Miguel, our inside West Block Correspondents

Douglas was featured in a San Quentin News article, “Looking back on a legacy of woodworking”

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