The First Year Without My Dad by Ashleigh


So Chris told me I could write about whatever topic I picked, and after much deliberation I’ve chosen my year of 1st’s. My Dad, who was my dude, passed away last July so I’m just now finishing up the 1st year without him by my side, holding me up through this struggle. I know loss is loss and grief is grief, but being behind these walls exacerbates everything ten-fold, and to me the loss of my Dad was the loss of an entity, a giant, a nightmare come all too true.

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The First Day In County Jail

I’ll never forget my first day in county jail. I’d stepped into a world that I only knew from television and Hollywood movies, and like every Hollywood movie about crime & punishment, Hollywood’s depiction is nothing like reality. The only thing Hollywood gets right is the fact that it’s stressful. This is especially true if you’ve never stepped foot into a county jail–any jail, for that matter–because this is the day you were arrested.

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My First & Only Time Being Arrested By Felicia (Ohio Reformatory for Women)


January 24, 2018, pound pound pound (the sound jerks me awake), and I lay there frozen for a moment in time. It has been 16 long days awaiting this moment anxiously. EVERYONE knows that knock. I knew before the door opened that it was the cops and a detective.

My ex is at the door. Before opening he has checked and verified my suspicions. He looks at me and says “are you ready?” Tears well up in my eyes but I don’t blink, I will them away. He opens the door.
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The First Time Going To Commissary

“I’d heard a lot about commissary. Guys were telling me that it was like shopping at a local grocery, which I found hard to believe. I mean, this was prison, c’mon really? That sounded ridiculous. Guys were always pulling pranks on each other, and this sure sounded like one.”

I had been at reception for a month now. The daily routine involved attending sessions where you were tested and evaluated in order to determine your security level and which institution you would be sent to. There were psychological and IQ evaluations amongst a battery of medical tests and immunizations. Then it was off to dental for examinations and treatment if needed. This is what every inmate goes through at the reception center, and it’s exhausting.

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