This letter was written by a person incarcerated at Pleasant Valley.
When they took our visits, my mom was planning to come to see me from Mexico. But, when the pandemic hit, that plan had fallen through and was no longer possible. I’ve met my mother only three times in my life.
When I was 10 my mom passed away. Or so I thought, at the age of 17, my godmother pulled me to the side and asked if I knew the truth about my mom? I replied, “no.”
She said, “Well, your mom is alive and your dad is in Missouri and you have brothers and sisters. Your mom and siblings are in Mexico.” And I just couldn’t believe it. All this time I thought I was the only child and experienced the loss of my mother and it wasn’t so.
Shortly after, I was arrested.
Before I found my mom and siblings I was at a point in my life where I felt hopeless and tired. I always had an obligation to the structure of prison life which expected me to do anything at anytime. Usually it meant getting in serious trouble, trouble I just couldn’t afford to get into.
And for the most part, in 24 years, I have two serious 115’s (write up misconducts). Which is amazing really but the presence of my mom changed my perspective on everything and really saved my life. In 2018, the day had come, the vest that I’ve been carrying for 21 years was activated. A red light was blinking and it was only through the grace and mercy of God that I was able to see it flashing and feel it.
I was asked to pass a piece of contraband, and as soon as I touched it, I felt a strong sense of danger. I knew in my heart this is it, the detonator. My obligation was to go to the yard and be brutally stabbed to death. This is what was expected of me by my own friends.
I survived but it took a devastating toll on my mental health. By 2021, I was barely starting to get a little better but then the pandemic hit and I was regressing. Not being able to see my mom devastated my morale and I became worried she or my family would get sick.
The only thing that helped me was college kept me busy. I am a student of college, I have a 4.0 GPA and I am a good person. I made mistakes and I am truly sorry. It is people like you that make me feel human and I appreciate you all.