You know those high school skipping stories that everyone proudly reminiscently brags about? I don’t have any. Or how about school detention for being tardy or inappropriately using your bunsen burner in science class? I don’t have any of those either. In fact, I do not like getting in trouble. I like everyone to play nice and get along too. I follow the rules.
Don’t get me wrong. I can be a very silly, carefree girl, but it does not involve defying authority. Climbing the Charles City, Iowa water tower at 19 while very inebriated at my cousins wedding, is one of my most scandalous moments.
Which is why, the fact that I spent a day in jail, incomprehensible to anyone that knows me.
Due to the circumstances and people involved in my arrest, I will leave the reason for my apprehension a mystery. Rest in the knowledge of my character, and trust that it was truly an injustice. An injustice that reached deep down inside and pulled out a strength I did not know I had. Another layer of empowerment, bringing me to the woman I am today. Hooray to jail! Let’s not get ahead of ourselves though, the Hooray came later.
Minutes before I was to embark on a day of boating with my spiritual center friends, a fun way to cope with a blistering hot Phoenix summer day, a police officer walked up to me.
Dressed in my bikini, with sheer black pants as a coverup, he asked me a simple question. I answered back with a simple answer, expecting to be further questioned so I could explain the circumstances surrounding their inquiry.
Evidently, they were not interested in any explanation, because I was consequently hand cuffed and escorted to the backseat of the police car. Somehow, someway, I grabbed my sweatshirt moments before the arrest, which probably saved my life. (I may sound like I am exaggerating, but not to me, I will explain later.)
Surreal is the most inexplicable nonsensical way to describe the rest of my day. Knowing how sensitive I am, I think the angels took half my soul in their care and protected it, because half of me was conscious to the events surrounding me and the other half numb.
I felt Grandma O too. She had been passed only a few years, but I have felt her presence very strongly in precarious moments, and this one was not exempt. I could taste the love expressed from a bite of her homemade blueberry pie, the warmth of her kitchen protected me, and her smile sustained me.
Jail was cold.
Being cold is my personal hell. Fire and brimstone is a welcome respite compared to being cold. I was cold for 14 hours, minus the 30 minute transport to downtown mid day, and when the officer took pity on his shivering criminal by allowing me to sit in the sun for 15 minutes.
Jail time prior to the judge deciding what he wanted to do with me, is not innocent until proven guilty. I was treated like a mass murderer. No patience. No empathy. No compassion. The energy of the workers was dead. It was a very cold, negative, dark place. I remember the man who was taking my fingerprints, he was kind. The only kind worker in the downtown facility.
Sheriff Joe does not want you comfortable. He placed bars on the cinderblocks in the cells, so there is literally no place comfortable to sit, except for the toilet resting in the middle of the room. In jail, their is nothing to do but sit with your thoughts. Nothing. For these brief stays, there is no TV or reading materials either.
Suddenly something landed in my lap. Someone threw lunch at me. Even though I did not appreciate the manner in which my food was delivered, and the fact that my traumatized nerves were so exhausted from trying to keep warm, making me unable to eat, my peanut butter sandwich became a source of entertainment.
Thank God I was slotted to see the judge at the end of the day. Had I not been selected, it would have been one more day of frozen hell. You know the phrase, “your only given what you can handle,” divinity knew I was at my limit. If your questioning the validity of that statement, ask my bathroom drain as it filled with half the hair on my head that week. Jail was my chemotherapy. I lost at least half my hair.
After being formally announced safe enough to be returned to the outside world by the court, I was placed in another cell. Whew, I would be out in the AZ warmth in minutes. Nope. The process of releasing me took another 3 hours. How can this be so hard?
I had an inmate at this point, a young girl. Jail was part of her world, but I connected with her. I saw how we truly are all one. We all have that piece inside of us wanting a better life, but just don’t make the decisions to facilitate those hopes, and may need a little encouragement to get there. I listened and became that for her, even if it was for a brief space in time. She said, “I know you don’t belong here. You have nice teeth.” She broke my heart with her observation, eliciting tears I tried to hide.
Engagements like these with those I share this earth plane, are defining. They give me an opportunity to expand a bit more, raise my awareness, and be better, making any challenge worth it, even jail time to an innocent, white straight teethed girl like me. My inmate has stayed in my heart to this day.
The subsequent blessing of anger management class continues this story in another blog, this one is getting too long.
Release to Unleash!
Have you been wrongfully accused of something?
Did you create resentment or make peace and find the good?