Skip to main content

I murdered him using a knife. I stabbed him in the commission of a crime. I take full responsibility for this deadly act that has changed so many lives. I not only murdered him but also impacted his family and the community as well. I personally hurt, injured, and tortured all kinds of people because I did not want to take responsibility for my feelings and emotions about what was going on in my life.

That alone was not enough to put my hand on someone to murder at that time; I had challenges and things to change in my life, let alone knowing what they were to make me put my hands on someone to murder. Was it drugs or the abuse from my father hurting my mother when I was a kid? Do not get me wrong, they had a part in it, but I had an addiction to alcohol and drugs, and it became a problem for me; the people around me, my father and mother, did it, so I wanted to do it as well.

I knew nothing about chemical dependency or it becoming a disease or loss of control, so in prison, I learned about it. I learned about chemical dependency, drugs, crack, cocaine, violence, and crack-crime. I also learned that I still had my own choice not to do the wrong I did, so I started thinking about why and where I went wrong in my life.

When I was a kid, I felt no true happiness, no peace within, or no love. Yes, I had a mother, a father, and a sister. I attended school daily, had a place to stay, and had food every day. Sure, sometimes there was no heat or lights, but I still had a family –– so why did I feel so isolated from everyone?

I did not know then what I know now because I felt my parents were not interested in me or what I was doing in school. I never remember my family asking me to play football or any sports or telling me he loved me. Years later, I found out it was because his father did not express himself openly, which is why I did not know how to interact with those around me.

Now I know why I had no personal growth, did not feel love, or did not know how to give love; I had no self-understanding, self-worth, a high chance to fail, which is what happened, and no peace of mind.

I was restless and dissatisfied and did not know why I lacked trust in others or myself. I never knew how to express anger or thoughts to others. When I was in school, I had no ability to listen or be alert to understand the teachers; although I graduated from high school, I still felt like I learned something the day I was locked up. At that time, I thought I had no choice but to look deep within myself because I felt like I had hit rock bottom.

For the first time in five years, I did everything I could to stay away from everything that put me in prison, which was me not taking responsibility for myself just by opening my mouth. Indeed, my father did not express himself to me, but that is still no reason for me to murder another man.

Today, I am a changed person. How I have made that change is by:

First, I now have a brand new family. I am in the family of God, and I have brothers and sisters worldwide, plus an all-knowing heavenly father who loves me very much.

Second, God is still on the throne, still in control. He is also still in the prayer-answering miracle-working business, so if I remain faithful to God and believe He can and will put me back in the graces of my family members and society, that is what true love is.

The love of God helps me express myself. I now know I can have the greatest idea, the best game plan, and the best attitude, but if I cannot convey these things to others, I cannot hope to succeed. I now know I do not live in a vacuum. I must interact with those around me, and I must do it effectively to achieve my goals.

That is true love: four little letters that form a word spoken by all but understood by very few. Nothing is more substantial, sweeter, or greater than true love; God is love, and to know God is to experience true love. When we experience and recognize the kingdom of God that is within us, then we can have and share true love with others.

I have received the Humans of San Quentin paper from a friend inside, I thank both of you all for helping me to open up.

Leave a Reply

Receive more inspiring stories and news from incarcerated people around the world.