Forward by Christopher
I think one of the more difficult aspects of doing time is dealing with the myriad of personalities from the passive to the outright aggressive, everyone with their own agendas and views.
In men’s prisons things are a little different than in women’s in that some of the acts of revenge that might fly there would cost you dearly here. But that’s not to say men don’t seek revenge for perceived injustices. They do. I’ve witnessed unimaginable acts of revenge such as an angry tattoo artist intentionally tainting his ink with Hep C and HIV and then performing work on unsuspecting victims. Yeah, I know. You’ll never catch me getting a tattoo in the joint.
Revenge. The most hideous word in the English language.
Revenge has been the basis behind feuding families for generations, and in prison when revenge rears its ugly head very bad things happen. Male or female, it doesn’t matter.
Highschool or prison? Girls or women? When you’re mad or upset what do you do to decompress? What about when you’re mad at someone in particular? What’s your reaction of sweet revenge?
At home questions like these wouldn’t cross my mind. But being here changes my perspective. When a man scorns a woman, the reaction is out of heartache. What happens when a woman scorns another woman?
Living in a women’s prison, you’re around 3,000 different personalities, hormones that are off balance. Young, old, short-timers, long-timers, you’re never aware of what will set a person off.
Jealousy of what one has will cause theft or destruction of property. I saw one female pay a laundry aid to put bleach in another female’s clothes, all because she wouldn’t sell her something she owned.
Things simply happen because someone just doesn’t like you. Whether it be for what you look like, your religion, skin color or who you hang out with or causing evil things to happen to you out of spite or boredom. From placing pee or poop on someone’s bed, wiping their ass with someone’s pillow while on their menstrual cycle, to stealing one’s toothbrush, scrubbing the shower drain with it and replacing it back to its rightful place.
Walking through the showers knocking clothes into puddles of water, stealing laundry bags and towels. Sleeping with another girl’s girlfriend. Putting hair removal in shampoos. Stealing commissary from one another and turning around and cooking with that person, appearing like they supplied their portion.
The most common is contacting another woman’s man, whether it be their husband, pen pal or sugar daddy. It doesn’t matter. They seek to take anything they can. They don’t care about the pain and hurt that it causes others.
I’ve seen women come through these doors with a complicated case. The vulgar comments begin. The other women will act as if they are saints, judges, attornys and prosecutors. One lady came in with a child sex case. The women around her shredded every picture of her children and left it as confetti on her bed with a note that said, “You don’t deserve to see your children again.”
Another came in because of a child murder case. Someone made a baby out of yarn, a fake knife stabbed through it with ketchup smeared all over the woman’s bed.
I’ve heard comments made to these women causing me to look with confusion at the person saying it. Confused at how her mind even operates. For instance, I’ve heard females called diaper munchers, saw another eating at the chow hall and a passerby said, “At least she’s eating weenies and not that baby’s vagina.”
On top of being sentenced to prison with years of your freedom taken away, we’re sentenced to things like judgement, criticism, hate and vengeance with no place to run and hide. None of this is listed in the small print of your sentencing agreement.
These are just some of the things I’ve seen and heard in my 2 years. I’m sure over the next 13 years the list will grow. It’s sad because we are all here for something. I believe in women empowerment. Here behind walls, at our lowest point where society and the system continue to beat us down we continue to help do it to one another, too.
Have you ever thought about how the things you’ve done to others, what if they were done to you? How it would make you feel?
Felicia (ORW) (OH)
Felicia co-writes Lettersfromchristopher with Christopher.
Read more of Felicia’s essays along with every post from March 2019 through April 2021, in the book titled ”Behind The Wall: A Prisoner’s Journal, by Christopher Monihan.
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