Robert, 35

Robert, 35

Meet Robert…

Once I began to understand I was the boss of my brain and commander of my thoughts, I changed.

Incarcerated: 14 years
Housed: North Kern State Prison. Delano, California

As a youth I was deceived and misled. I was taught to fight for something that really had nothing to do with me. I was manipulated to believe that the cause was just. My presence was needed to accompany those who sought to hurt others for their own gratification. I learned that my decisions not only hurt the victim and his family but mine as well. Since I’ve been on this self-help journey, I have had to focus on some ugly truths. To understand that just because I was taught a specific way, does not mean it was right. Once I began to understand I was the boss of my brain and commander of my thoughts, I changed. I now know how to control my anger and not act out of emotions. I now have the tools to make positive decisions and forgive those who hurt me. Once I received my sentence, I thought God had given up on me. Then, he blessed me with my soulmate.,She taught me that just being Robert is more than enough. I give her credit in helping me discover who I am. Before she came into my life I was an insane little kid who was looking for love and acceptance in all the wrong places. I thank God that she brought love and light into my life. I want her to know that she is my wife for life. I was raised in a single parent household where substance abuse was the norm and physical abuse was constant. I was made fun of for my weight which helped me develop the attitude “Ima hurt them before they hurt me.” Since being incarcerated I learned that people can only affect me if I let them. I want whoever reads this to know you are more than enough and you don’t have to pretend to be someone you’re not. We are responsible for how we think and act. You think positive then positive things will follow. Don’t give up. Change will come if that’s what you want.

Steve, 49

Steve, 49

Meet Steve…

I want people to know that being in prison you can stay lost or you can allow it to rehabilitate you. Me, I chose to let it rehabilitate me and that’s when I found myself. I began to smile. I felt good inside. Going to church, participating in self-help programs.

Incarcerated: 10 years

Housed: North Kern State Prison; Delano, California

I was lost. I failed to listen to direction. I thought I could find my way on my own. I realized that it only got darker and I couldn’t see the light. Then I decided enough is enough, I  began to listen as I came to a fork in the road. I was able to take the right path and listen. I was on the wrong path with addictive behavior and I lost the trust of the community and my family. I want people to know that being in prison you can stay lost or you can allow it to rehabilitate you. Me, I chose to let it rehabilitate me and that’s when I found myself. I began to smile. I felt good inside. Going to church, participating in self-help programs. Because of the impact of my addictive behavior in the community, I vow to never use drugs again and help those who have fallen to that lifestyle. I’ve grown up and I learned to take responsibility for my actions. I learn that I couldn’t transform without God on my side. It’s because of Him I came out of the darkness and found the light. All praises go to God because I’m thankful for the change in my life. Since I’ve been down God helped me to accomplish a lot. I have completed many programs with many certificates. To the community, the victims in my case, and my family: I know there is no amount of words that can take away that traumatic experience you went through that night. But I want you to know that I’m a different person now and I’m truly sorry for my addictive behavior and I’m asking everyone that I affected to please forgive me. I was lost, but I’m found. Thank the Lord. To my family, thank you for your support and love and prayers. Everyone who reads this: you can change. All you have to do is change the way you think. I have compassion and empathy that I know is working because I watch a movie and something bad happens. I tear up. Prayer works.

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