Week Twenty Four

I have been at Camp Coleman (aka Club Fed) for 24 weeks now.  I am still amazed everyday by how the justice system works, and how many people are here, that could be on home confinement, saving the government $37,000 a year per person (not including their medical costs).  Is it just me, or would that be a nice way to help the budget?  Put them on home confinement, on a monitor (that the inmate would pay the costs of) and have them work, pay taxes and start paying their restitution.  I have met several people that when they arrived here, had to leave a full time job, which was helping to support their family, and they could have been paying back what they owed, during all of this time.  Now they will leave here, pray for a job, and figure out how to get their family out of the hole they are in, and pay off all of their debts.  Chances are they will end up on some sort of government assistance, which is more money out of the budget, while they try to get back into the real world.  I hope President Elect Trump looks at this system while he is trying to get the budget figured out.  Take the first time, non-violent offenders out of these camps and save the government some money.  Now I guess I should not complain, I don’t have to cook, do my laundry or even clean the bathroom, so in the end, this was just an extended vacation for me.  I am starting to get nervous about going home.  I can’t wait to get there, and will probably drive my children crazy wanting to be with them all the time, but after being here for even the short time that I have, there will be some re-adjustments when I get home.  I have one friend that is going home in a few months after 5 years and another that will be soon after 11 years.  I just can’t imagine having to re-adjust to the world after 11 years of being out of it.  And as I have said before, they are not prepared.  A lot have no computer skills except for sending emails, very limited life skills, since so much has changed in the last 10 years. They have never seen Facebook, Twitter, etc., don’t know the difference between an iPhone and an Android, and you should have seen me trying to explain a Roku & streaming Netflix and Hulu instead of cable.  There is so much out there they are going to have to learn.

I received my first couple of Christmas cards and was so excited.  It is great hearing from people I have not seen in months.  It appears we can leave them up during the week too, so our cube is starting to look a little Christmassy.  My aunt sent me a copy of December’s Southern Living magazine and we have been drooling over the cakes and cookies in it…I cannot wait to get home for a real piece of cake with thick butter cream icing…yummy!!!

Next week is graduation for our Threshold class.  We get to wear caps and gowns and invite some of our friends (from here, not home 😦 ).  I have taken more away from that class than anything else here.  We did have a long discussion on forgiveness, and how can we ask for forgiveness, if we still have not forgiven people who have hurt us.  We also learned that just because you forgive someone, does not mean you have to start spending time with them, it means you let go of the anger in your heart, and allow yourself to go on with your life.  We wrote a letter to someone forgiving them, and were told we could mail them if we wanted to.  I did not have the address for the one I wrote, but I do want to say, that I have forgiven my father for not being there for me and my brother, not putting us first in his life and not seeming to care.  He has 6 grandchildren, his own blood and as far as I know he has only met two of them.  I am sad for not having him in my life, and that my kids do not know him, but I am no longer dwelling on it.  It is his loss, and I will not let it effect me anymore.  That was a tough one…but it does feel good to let it go.  I still have more to forgive, but it is a start.  I have been very lucky though.  When I was 5, my mother remarried, and my new stepfather took over.  He became Dad.  I never referred to him as a stepfather, and he never referred to us as his stepkids…we were his kids.  Through all of my issues and troubles I have caused, he has been there.  He could have very simply said, she isn’t my kid, but he never did, he always just wanted to do what he can to help me.  That is a blessing that a lot of people in my situation do not have and one I appreciate very much!

I am getting closer to going home!  Still praying for a miracle to get me home sooner.

Have a great week!
Julie

8 more chicken days!
4 more visit weekends!
2 more blanket exchanges!

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