For a woman in prison, the layers of loss over a lifetime are thick and plentiful.
The stories I hear in the writing circle convince me that nearly all incarcerated women have experienced not just one, but several traumatic losses as children or teens.
These usually include: loss of a beloved family member who held their world together, or the loss of physical safety, or the loss of innocence.
Almost universally, this intensive loss remains unresolved in heart and mind, and rears its ugly head at some later date.
Drug use occurs as a way to mask the erupting feelings. And criminal activity begins as a way to fund the drug habit, or to survive, or to keep a dysfunctional male relationship intact.