This phrase was offered last week for the women writing inside Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility to start their writing during group time. Many tender pieces emerged, including this one. DB, who wrote it, was unable to read it aloud. But at the end of group, she wrote ‘I have to learn to read my work aloud, especially when it’s about my children. Maybe it will help me in the end.’ Comments like this reinforce the value to the individual of writing and having her words witnessed. Her quickly-written response to the prompt follows:
“For years I longed for . . . . someone to call me mom, look up to me for advice, guidance, send them to school. I finally got that opportunity and I fucked up worse than I ever could have. I’m sitting in jail with no one to call my own. I mean, I know they’re MY children. But do they know that? I mean, they were so young. I know 17 more years of this Hell will be pure torture, not having them in my life. But I still long for the day when I can finally see them, hug them, and let them know what they really mean to me.
It’s amazing how you can long for something so bad, and in a split second have it be torn away like it was never a part of your life.
One chance is what I need; just one opportunity to prove myself, prove that I am worthy. I am a good person, mother. Why won’t anybody give me that?
I know that I will see them again, so I guess maybe that’s what I long for now. Just to see them again. I know when it finally happens, nobody will ever take that feeling away from me. EVER.
L – O – N – G – I – N – G . . .”