Harry, 46

Meet Harry…

I miss many things about being outside, but it’s what I have missed that has inspired me to change.

My crime was the vicious assault on my girlfriend, a crime that should have never occurred. I will never try and create an excuse, there are however, circumstances that led to it. I believe no one is born a criminal or with the sickness to go against societal norms and create havoc. Yet, there are situations that enable a person to think crime is okay.

My attributing factors: I was a very hurt individual, I carried the abuse I suffered as a child around with me. I had little to no self-esteem, my alcohol abuse was a coping mechanism, a self medicating crutch to deal with my fractured soul. Unfortunately, I led myself to prison by carrying around pain and not having a proper venue to release it.

It started when I witnessed my dad being assaulted by my mother, she then turned her rage onto me. It left me feeling powerless. Peer pressure didn’t help, while I was being hit by my girlfriend, friends told me that all she needed was to be smacked, to learn her place.

Foolishly, I took these words to heart and that ignorance weighs heavily on my conscience. I am sorry for the terrible acts I committed that night. The ripple effect can never be forgiven. I created a void in her life, it furthered intergenerational domestic violence and if her kids perpetrated, it would be entirely my fault.

Prison has been a wake up call, it locked up my body and freed my mind. Standing next to sobriety and my college degrees, my biggest accomplishment is that I learned to love myself, to speak about my pain instead of masking it, to control my anger and understand that it is normal. I feel that in order to fix anything you must first realize it is broken.

I miss the memories I could have built with my family and the difference between loving someone and being in love with someone. I learned that I am worthy of love, mostly. My wife is helping me understand love during our journey. My daughter is a blessing and slowly trusting me and allowing me into her life. I am still looking to connect with my son, it will occur in God’s time.