Dale, 67

Dale, 67

Meet Dale..

“I thought I knew the pain of being alone, but I didn’t really.”

Dale, 67

Incarcerated: 15 years

When I was watching the show, Hachi: A Dog’s Tale, I cried- a hard cry. I didn’t give it much thought and I actually hid it from my cellie. A week later, it came on again and I told my cellie I was watching it. He said you cried the last time, and I said – at least I can still cry! I watched it, and yup, I cried again. The story is about a dog who waits for his human for years to come back from work, where his human has a heart attack and dies. This dog waited every single day for his human to come home until he died. The next day I was thinking, why am I crying over this show? I’m getting teary-eyed just writing about it. I asked myself why this affected me so much?! So I applied this to my life, looking for that elusive, why? I considered my life, I am the oldest of five, and eight years older than my first sister. For eight years, I was the star in everyone’s life and when my siblings were born that was taken away. Feeling unloved, I searched for love outside the family. My father was in the Air Force, and we moved every three or four years, so I looked at this. Many more whys come up. Long-term friendships are unknown to me. This dog’s longing for love typifies my longing. I thought I knew the pain of being alone, but I didn’t really. I considered that because I couldn’t get the affection the way I wanted it, I closed off. I find it hard to accept the love and acceptance others have for me. I don’t know how, but I know this now, and I am trying to accept others’ concerns for me and learning how.   

 

Mike G., 28

Mike G., 28

Meet Mike G…

 “Today after a lot of healing and participation in self-help groups, I finally feel free.”

Mike G., 28

Incarcerated: 8 years

Housed: San Quentin

Growing up my childhood was very unstable, my father was an alcoholic, it took a toll on my family. At 11, my older brother and I started running the streets, he was 14. We were very close, I looked at him as a father figure, he was all I had. When I was 18, my brother was murdered. The only father figure I had was snatched from me in a very traumatic way. I was the last man standing in my family, it was my responsibility to look after my mom and two sisters, but I couldn’t, I was a mess! After my brother died, something changed in me, I was in a very dark place, the pain I felt was eating at me. I never gave myself the chance to grieve and deal with my emotions. I was a ticking time bomb, and unfortunately, I did blow up. Today after a lot of healing and participation in self-help groups, I finally feel free. Ironic right? I feel free while in prison, but for so many years I built my own prison inside of myself. And today I feel blessed, I have a beautiful family that loves me. One thing my brother’s passing did for my family, is that it brought us closer. Being vulnerable is something new for me and it’s liberating. Thank you for this opportunity to be heard.

 

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