stranglehold addictions

The majority of Vermont’s  incarcerated women struggle with serious drug and/or alcohol addictions.  These stranglehold addictions fuel criminal activities and prevent them from creating healthier lives.   Even doctor-prescribed drugs such as Suboxone and Methadone, used to treat their addictions, increasingly become abused substances.

Here’s one incarcerated woman’s reflection from last evening’s writinginsideVT circle.   K.H. writes about what her addiction has cost her:

It’s hard to believe I have two beautiful babies.  Who would ever know considering that I, their mother, do not care for them the way mothers do.  I, a selfish, rotten, junky, drug-addicted mother, care more for drugs than my children.  I know what you’re thinking, “How can a mother be so heartless?”  And I can’t answer you!  I know it’s a awful thing, but at least I can admit it.  I wish it were not true.  I have lost everything and didn’t care, but I tell you now–there is only time left to care about my children and not myself, and that means doing what it takes to keep my family together. 

‘what is growing in you and what is dying away?’

With these questions we ended last night’s writing circle inside Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility, where our circle had just doubled in size in one session. With so many women new to our practices, I was stunned by the honesty and depth of responses to this question. Over and over, the hunger of women inside to be heard, validated;  to connect, change;  emerges loud and clear in voices ranging from muffled and scared to determined and strong. What follows are some of their responses:

Hope is growing in me. Despair is dying away.

What is growing? my spirituality, my connection in this world. What is dying? self-hatred.

Faith is growing inside of me; lies are dying away! Continue reading