“I will love myself despite the ease at which I lean to the opposite.”~Shane Koyczan
Ive had a weird week and Im trying not to let it spiral me into places I dont want to be. I managed to get arrested and spent a night in Remand, a maximum security jail where I was triple bunked and supposed to spend 45 days. I didnt. I was basically only there for about 24 hrs. Survivable and not nearly as exciting as everyone thinks it is. Unpaid traffic fines resulting in a warrant. I got chased down and caught for tinted windows. Woohoo! Apparently there is a shortage of real crime in this city. As a result of that brief stint in another institution setting and the resulting community service type work Ive had to do have tail spun me slightly.
It’s crazy how anonymous institutions such as jail treat people. I also finally had to acknowledge the reality of how career criminals come to be. After years of a snotty, arrogant “Just get your life together” attitude I had a pretty severe reality check. The two girls I bunked with are both career criminals in the truest sense. Super nice girls but far more experienced in that world than I will probably ever be. Fact: You actually do learn more about crime in jail than you do outside it. I learned more how-to info and terminology than I ever thought I wanted to know. As far as jail as a whole, outside the little world that was the cell I spent all but 20 mins locked in, the whole thing was a bit like being a child again. I had no voice. No one listened and every single person of authority I encountered simply passed the buck to the next one and washed their hands of the situation. Once that door closed that little cell was entirely cut off from the outside world and no one cared what happened in it.
Deja vu in the most brutal way. I can remember huge tracts of my childhood being exactly like this only substitute a bedroom for a cell.
And then finding out the true extent of how far the ostracizing, defamation and plain lack of care went when I finally went through my foster care file. Once again I am a commodity, a number on a piece of paper.
A nameless source of income.
It’s easy to see how foster kids transition from “care” to crime so easily. The brief and fleeting bit of power and control they get from committing whatever it is they do isnt even slightly tempered by a return to their childhood upbringing. It’s not punishment. They’re used to it. Anything else would be outside the norm. Even I, with my good girl relatively normal lifestyle, wasnt bothered by being locked up and had accepted the fact that I would be there for over a month with a surprising ease. In fact I was pretty sure I’d been in worse foster homes with less comfy beds than the floor I was stuck with in Remand.
And now Im struggling with the ‘have I finally become what Ive always been told I was’ label. What value do I really bring to the world if all Im ever going to be is an anonymous element of slave labour for various parts of the government. Me and my damn labels and need to categorize and define every little detail. I didnt turn into a mass murderer, I turned into an obsessive filer, labeller and catagorizer of facts. Some days I think a mass murderer would be more manageable.
As a result of all this nonsense Ive had to work from 8-4 daily in a sort of a community service program with armed guards. I assume it’s like a step up from regular community service. It’s still run by Corrections. Some of the guards are assholes, although for the most part they’re quite a bit more normal than the guards were in Remand, and pretty much everyone working there right now is considerably more criminal than I am with my measly traffic fines. It’s almost embarrassing. Not even almost. Ive been telling everyone Im there for window tint and no one seems to ask questions beyond that although everyone is pretty happy to share their life stories which in itself is a bit weird. Every criminal Ive ever known wont say ‘nothing about nothing.” The people at this program will chat my ear off if I stand still long enough.
I try not to stand still.
On the upside I do get to now keep all the money Ive been saving to pay my fines off and put it into the RV! Yay!
What have I learned from my little foray into crime?
Jail is far more survivable than you think.
And don’t tint your windows, you’ll break out in handcuffs.