I was young nurse, overwhelmed with life. I’d have periods where I could keep it together, and periods where I’d fall apart.
At one point, I used other people’s credit cards to support a drug habit.
After my conviction, I went to prison and I lost my kids to the state. That was worse than any time behind bars—being told I’m no longer a mother.
Eventually, I found a determination I didn’t know I had.
I fought hard to get back into school. I have a Masters now, and a strong employment history. I’ve reconnected with my daughter. I’m a supervisor, I’m a homeowner, I have friends and family and a pug who all love me.
I’d like to do more in life; I want to make an impact. I was an RN; now I sit in a booth at job fairs. I’m limited to the work I do because of my criminal background.
I’m not the only one that’s experienced this – abuse, addiction, and incarceration. Actually, let me say I’m not the only woman rather than one: I’m not the only woman that’s experienced this. I want to speak for women even in the smallest of ways. Women are already behind the eight ball, then to become named a criminal sets you up to be scorned, shamed, sidelined, and labeled more harshly than men. Society hates women – especially mothers – who stumble and fall.
I want to be the voice for these women.
My daughter calls me a fixer, because I can always see the good in someone else’s situation and help them make it better. So here’s me looking at my life: there’s gotta be something good that comes out of this.
But for now I walk around with this albatross. This label that says you’re not fixable, you’re not salvageable. When does that stop?