It’s been a long time since I have blogged.

by Tamara Sawyer

My friends have been faithfully reminding me of this. There are all kinds of reasons why, but when my husband actually sends me an e-mail and asks why I have not been blogging…Well, that clearly means it’s time to blog again.

The absence of my words is not due to my being “down” or “depressed” as many friends are asking. I am actually on a quiet journey that many people in life don’t get to go on. I feel blessed. Recently a friend blogged about how in her writing about the beauty she finds in the battle they are in (her husband is in the progressive stages of ALS) that people feel somehow she is in denial, or uttering the “good Christian girl responses” to their plight, or using it as some sort of marketing ploy. It was in that moment of reading what they are going through that I realized that what my battle is and what I face daily, and the way I am dealing with it is precisely where I fell off the blog bandwagon. People don’t understand it, judge it, have opinions about how I am dealing with it; the list goes on and on. And then there are the haters. Oh boy they hate. Then there are the people here who read our e-mails that tell other inmates what is being said, and they hate. They feel that perhaps I am not taking this whole “jail” thing seriously. Perhaps I am not. But I sure am using every last minute of my time here to come out on the other side of the mountain and survive and thrive. No one can take that from me.

There will always be haters. I have learned that should you ever find yourself the victim of other peoples bitterness, smallness, or insecurities, remember things could be much worse…you could be them. It’s hard for most people to believe that sometimes people move far beyond both the life altering negative effects of a life trauma, whether emotional or physical, and the usual perceived post traumatic growth. Often we don’t just grow when we have been through something like this, we revolutionize our lives! We own the word vicissitude! Ourselves and others transform and transcend our own suffering even while enduring it. That’s what I feel like is going on right now in my life. It’s where I am. I am reaching to the farthest corners of my mind to take advantage of this time. To reflect back on things I had not had time to reflect on, to grow, to think, to ponder, to read, to re-new and re-connect with what I am passionate about. I truly believe and now understand how people who have survived any kind of trauma in their lives often transform the worst thing that can ever happen to them into the best! That’s what I am doing every single day.

There is a woman here who I am very close too. Her son was shot in the back of the head on New Years Day last year (2013). It was her only child, killed needlessly by a random drive by shooting. He was 19 and had his whole life in front of him. When I tell you there is NOTHING, NOTHING, NOTHING, that can ever happen to her that she will ever have to fear again and not think she will be able to live through it, it’s that. I have learned that only when you have lived through something that you think is the worst possible thing that can ever happen to you, and you survive, can one truly say…I am leaping Lord, I am not afraid because I know you are there to catch my fall, pick me up, wipe away the tears, and point me in the right direction and I will survive! And I will be better for it!

Now understand me when I say it’s still a struggle. For instance, about 2 months ago I was eating a delicious “heart healthy” veggie burger they serve here every Wednesday, harder than hard that burger was…when I realized that one of my teeth that sit right next to my front tooth that has a cap on it was jutting slightly forward. I then realized it was loose. When I tell you I freaked out…you would have roared laughing like my roommates did! I was up all night, in a cold sweat…immediately went to dental sick call the next day with the tooth still in my mouth where as I was laying in the chair the dentist said to me “okay let’s just pop this thing out and see what we have underneath.” I replied, “What do you mean?” She said, “well if there is decay or the tooth underneath is cracked we will have to just pull it, and that’s usually what happens when these crowns pop off like this.” I said, “well then what do we do about my tooth?” She said, “Well, you just won’t have one!” I said, “LIKE YOU MEAN I WILL BE TOOTHLESS?” She said, “yes, I’m afraid so. The BOP doesn’t allow us to do crowns!” I have never shot up out of a chair so fast in my life. I let her know that she wouldn’t be touching my tooth this day and out the door I went! Long story short I nursed that tooth along for 2 months until it finally fell out. I was sick about it. I had nightmares about being toothless. The night it finally fell out, I have never been so relieved in my entire life about anything! Half the women here have no teeth, and the stress of babying that tooth along was all consuming. The next Monday I walked into the dentist here, she looked at it, told me nothing was wrong with it except the stem on it was a bit short and promptly re-glued it back in! I have learned that I don’t ask enough questions. I make a lot of assumptions. I am still afraid of things that I really have no control over. And I am learning and growing and I am only going to get better as time goes on.

There husband and friends how do you like this?

Many more to come.