Like I said earlier, the things I’ve seen growing up became normal to me. I had plenty of good people in my life, they were just doing things that are considered bad. I would go to school & come back & be exposed to everything that was goin on. At a really young age I started getting fascinated with the street lifestyle; smoking weed; drinking; selling drugs; women; gangs; and guns. The fact that I seen everyone around me doing it, and the fact that I wasn’t because my mom tried to keep me away from all of it made me want it even more.
I knew everyone in the gang & they all were like family to me. They were like big brothers. I felt loved & protected. And I felt important cause they all took me in. They never let me be involved in anything that they were doing, though. They would all be out on the block selling & using drugs, but they never let me do any of that. But I was still there, and I payed attention to everything. I think I was fascinated by all of it. I wanted to do everything that they were doing and I wasn’t gonna let anyone stop me.
I knew I didn’t want to be like the guys on the corner, but I also didn’t know what I wanted to be once I grew up if it didn’t involve getting rich from drugs. Like, I didn’t know much about working a regular job or having a career in a field. That all seemed boring & it still didn’t guarantee that I wouldn’t have to struggle. I struggled enough growing up & fast money made me feel like I could take a lot of those struggles away.
Yeah, I lost so may close friends since I been locked up. I really don’t blame anyone. Well, I blame some of them sometimes because I feel betrayed, but then again, I realize that I cant blame any of them. And I try & put myself in their shoes, me being convicted & sentenced was just too much for them, cause out of all people, they didn’t expect me to be taken away. I wasn’t just the rock for my family; I was there for everyone that needed someone to be there. Its hard losing everyone, but im all good. I use it as motivation to get out of here. I’ll re-start with everyone once im home, and leave some in my past.
Being able to live the street life & have her did make me feel whole. That’s crazy how you see that. No matter what I was going through, I knew just hearing her voice would take all of the bullshit away; at least for the moment. And being able to have someone to love & protect helped make me feel whole too. That’s why I said having her & having my younger sister born really changed me a lot.
I DON’T LIKE MAKING EXCUSES; THE CHOICES I MADE IN MY LIFE, I CANT GO BACK & CHANGE. I CHOSE TO LIVE THE STREET LIFE INSTEAD OF PLAYING BALL. I REALLY CAN’T UNDERSTAND WHY THOUGH. I TRIED TO GIVE IT UP, BUT I COULDN’T, AND I REALLY DON’T KNOW WHY. I THINK ABOUT HOW DIFFERENT MY LIFE COULD BE IF ONLY I DECIDED TO FOCUS MY ATTENTION ON SOMETHING OTHER THAN THE STREETS. SOMETHING SO SIMPLE COULD’VE CHANGED THE COURSE OF MY LIFE. BUT AS SIMPLE AS IT MAY SOUND, ITS NOT REALLY SIMPLE AT ALL; IF THAT MAKES ANY SENSE.
I THINK IT WOULD REALLY HELP IF I WERE TO GET OUT AND ACTUALLY BE ABLE TO LEAD BY EXAMPLE: BY GOING TO COLLEGE, STARTING A CAREER & BEING A MENTOR TO YOUNGER KIDS. ALL IT TAKES IS FOR SOMEONE TO INSPIRE THEM, THATs IT. LIKE D-ROSE INSPIRED ME. IF IT WASN’T FOR HIM, I WOULD STILL BE LOOKING AT EVERYTHING THE WAY I USED TO. STILL LOOKING AT THE WRONG PEOPLE AS MY IDOL.
I’VE BEEN STRESSED BECAUSE THE PRISON WENT ON LOCKDOWN TODAY FOR NO REASON. THAT MEANS NO MOVEMENT AT ALL. ITS NOT LIKE WE GO ANYWHERE ANYWAYS, BUT I GO TO SCHOOL. AND I’M THINKING THAT THEY’RE GONNA KEEP US ON LOCKDOWN FOR THE WHOLE WEEKEND TOO. THAT MEANS WE WON’T GO OUTSIDE. WE ONLY GET TO GO OUTSIDE & EXERCISE & USE THE PHONE AND ALL THAT ON THE WEEKEND. AND IF WE’RE ON LOCKDOWN, WE JUST HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL NEXT WEEK. BUT THAT’S REALLY NOTHING NEW AROUND HERE. I GUESS I’M JUST TIRED OF BEING LOCKED UP & THIS PRISON LIFE. I ALSO MISS MY FAMILY EVEN THOUGH I’M MAD AT THEM RIGHT NOW. AND I JUST WANT TO GO HOME. YOU KNOW?
I do think being at the residential home really taught me alot about myself and taught me a lot of things that the streets couldn’t. Just being able to live with out having my guard up all the time really gave me a peace of mind. I really did love living that lifestyle, but it was still very different in a lot of ways & that made it hard for me to fully commit to that life style because I had a piece of me that missed my old neighborhood because that’s what I was familiar with.
I think going through some of the things & experiences that I went through made me strong mentally. I say that because, some situations are so stressful or complicated & hard to deal with, but you know that you have to find a way to fix the situation or make it right, all you have to do is stay focused & try your best.
At one point I got tired of all the B.S. & I wanted something better, because I did know right from wrong & I tried out for the football team my freshman year in high school, but I quit because I couldn’t resist the urge to go back to the fast life, no matter how hard I tried. The same thing happened my 8th grade year in junior high.
I WANT TO TELL YOU MORE ABOUT MY EXPERIENCE THERE AT THE RESIDENTIAL HOME. IT WAS LIKE A GROUP HOME. IT WAS A NICE PLACE. GOING THERE WAS ONE OF THE BEST THINGS THAT HAPPENED IN MY LIFE AROUND THAT TIME. AND ONE OF THE WORST DECISIONS I EVER MADE WAS LEAVING THAT PROGRAM.
I THOUGHT ABOUT EVERYTHING THAT YOU SAID IN YOUR LETTER AND I WOULD LOVE TO SHARE MY STORY WITH YOU. I’VE BEEN WANTING TO SHARE MY STORY FOR A WHILE, I JUST NEVER HAD THE CHANCE TO.