Picture this: you’re 9.5 months pregnant, locked up in a room, laying on a bottom bunk bed. You start feeling contractions, and immediately start panicking. You’ve heard stories before of other women who lost their babies because the guards took too long to get them to the hospital; you don’t want that to happen to you. You try to calm yourself down, but the next contraction hits you. This baby is coming out, now.
This was my story 4 years ago. I was incarcerated for 8.5 months. Had my son in jail; had him ripped away from me just 2 days after giving birth to him. Missed a year of milestones with my daughter, and 4 months worth of my son’s life. And here I am today- a successful business owner. It wasn’t easy. One of the hardest moments of that time was my son being taken away from me. Any guard who came across my path always said the same thing to me- “you don’t belong here”. Tell me about it! The guards who were with me at the hospital felt my pain so much when they took my son, that they themselves cried. It was tough. Now, imagine having been through a cesarean section, and needing medication to help take the pain away and the nurses refusing to give it to you (there were MANY addicts in the prison). No pain meds, no wound care, puss coming out of my incision, and no baby boy (my scar and stomach is still numb to this day). I had 1 of 2 choices- I could either give up on life, or fight to get the hell out of there. There was never really an option; I had to fight. I have 2 children who need their mother. So, I dug deep inside of myself and found a way to forgive everything and everyone I could think of (including the person who put me in jail) and forced myself to have internal peace. In order for me to be able to function inside of that society, I had to be at complete peace within. Because I knew that if I didn’t check my emotions, my anger, my rage, I would hurt people in there. So I fought that voice inside of my head telling me to slam someone’s face into a wall, or to kick someone’s face until they stopped moving (yes- there was that much anger inside of me at that time). I had to find a way to let it go. And God reached his hand down from heaven and touched my heart. And I asked him to piece all of my broken-ness together, and He did. And I was at peace. And not too long afterwards I was released and with my kids.
The crazy thing is, I was only incarcerated for 8.5 months, but coming home was a major transitioning for me. It took me almost 2 weeks to transition back into normal life. I still can’t sleep or use the bathroom with the door closed, or go down State Road without having a panick attack. And unfortunately, I’ve learned that I have the really bad ability of compartmentalizing myself and my emotions towards people. I’m still trying to learn how to undo that. But I’ve grown this amazing resiliency in life. And despite it all, I still believe in people. I own a small business- coaching and consulting people in starting their business ventures. I am a successful grant writer, and an amazing mother. I have met, surpassed, and SMASHED all of my personal and business goals, and I am currently starting my venture into real estate investing. All by the graces of God.
NEVER let a situation, circumstance, or bad decision determine your life. I was looking at 2-5 years in an upstate prison, but God saw fit to only have me serve 8.5 months in jail. I could’ve lost my life and my sanity, but God saw fit to restore me. I am still learning how to open up and trust people, but I made a promise to myself and my children that I would not let myself be put into another situation where their mother would be taken away from them again. I feel like I should be a motivational speaker with all of the foolishness I went through and overcame. We have to believe in ourselves in order to make it through any situation. It’s not going to be easy (nor is it supposed to be), but we can do it. I know that if I could do it, anyone can do it!
We are who WE believe ourselves to be!
Be legendary Kings, be extraordinary Queens!