This Prisoner Serves Peace

Mental Illness

Harold Sanford Carter III/112150

807 Cushing rd

Warren, Maine 04864-4600

Mental illness

My antisociol ways bring me trouble.

A disorder of Personality.

The cause of recidivism No doubt.

Prison and Psyche rehab, I do Not doubt.

Along with alcohol there is trouble,

with against the norm Personality.

Hate antisociol personality!

To fix the life Path there is so much doubt,

Against the grain brings me so much trouble.

I must conquer it; or face more Pain No doubt.

This incarnation of Personality trouble.

Growing up Incarcerated and the Uncertain Future

Sophie,

I apologize for my lateness.  It wasn’t intentional.  It’s more or less what you were requesting.  I understand what your “blog” is.  A tool, for prisoners like myself, to let their voices be heard.  Now, the real question is, what do I have to say that really means anything?  Then it came to me.  I’ll tell you my story.  (What I’ve done, what I’ve been through, and what I’ve learned.)  Here it is:

I’ve been locked up for nearly ten  years now.  It’s become, more and more my reality.  My past, it seems, is more a dream.  That I visit from time to time.  A part of my life forgotten.

I was eighteen when I came in.  Just a kid.  I’ve practically grown up behind bars.  My crime is Manslaughter.  I recklessly caused the death of my neighbor.  I got into a confrontation with him.  Which escalated quickly.  He lost his life.  I lost my freedom.  And I’d do anything to take it back.

I relive my actions from time to time.  I always arrive at the same conclusion…”Why was I so intent on hurting this man?”  I mean, it would have been so easy to just walk away.  But all I was concerned with was proving myself to my friends.  As if that would confirm who I was.  I’ve learned over the years that men are plagued with the idea “to be a man, you must be tough”.  This isn’t far from the truth.  However, we’ve twisted the true meaning of being tough.  There are many forms of toughness.  And only one, in which we senselessly hurt another.  We never truly understand until we’ve grown in mind, body, and spirit.  (In my opinion.)  Unfortunately, there are some of us who have learned too late.

I have a little over two years left till my minimum release date.  “I ask myself, what am I leaving with?”  There is so much uncertainty.  I tell myself that I want to do good.  I want to change, for my families sake.  I tell myself that they’ve been through enough.  I’ve been through enough…

…Then I’m shaken back to my current reality.  As some guard disrespects me.  Treating me like I’m some inferior animal.  Intentionally taunting me because I’m an “inmate”.  Using their authority as a tool.  And depending whether I react to their taunts, will determine if they’ll want to search my cell or not.  In other words, toss my cell, as if a tornado had come through.  Smiles plastered on their faces.  (Which razes [sic] eyebrows when considering the D.O.C. motto…”Integrity, Respect, and Professionalism”.  Hypercritcal [sic] nonsense!)

It’s at these times that I ask myself, what am I leaving with?…”If we refuse to see ourselves as flawed and imperfect; Able to learn from our mistakes.  We will forever remain a destructive and distrustfull [sic] race; suspicious until it is too late for redemption…When we’re all damned”.

(P.S.) Tell me whether you want me to write about something in particular?

Ben

New Hampshire State Prison

6/23/2011

Falling into the Well of Addiction

In A.A., they say that a person will only be clean and sober once they hit rock bottom; once they are sick and tired of being sick and tired.  Well I cannot imagine being any lower than the situation that I am in right now.  I am the rock at the bottom of the darkest well known to man, Prison!

The question you may ask next would naturally be, how did that happen?  Some would say family trouble.  No, that is not it.  No mother or father?  No, I have two loving biological parents.  AHH, must have had a rough upbringing?  My childhood was fantastic.  Some sort of abuse then?  Absolutely not!  Well, I guess that wouldn’t be totally true, because I put a lot of effort into abusing myself and everyone who has ever cared about me—but no, I had a perfectly normal upbringing.

Before I get into all that, let me describe to you how I was a pebble on a 21-year tumble ever so slowly to the bottom of this well shaft, only to hear  my own echo, a shattered image of myself, where I now speak to you.

I was a happy child with two loving parents that brought me to church every Sunday.  I never missed a day of elementary school and always had good grades.  I was involved in a little lad football, pee-wee baseball, and I took karate classes.  I was the perfect blond haired bambino that everyone adored.  My only childhood trauma was the passing of my uncle ***.  I was at ease with the fact that he was in heaven.  My only disconnection that I lacked in family life was the tremendous age gap of my parents and me.  They loved me to death and vice-versa, but by the age of eight my father was in his sixties and mom was well into her forties.  Looking for the bond that I could not find at home, I looked outside the family and found love, attention, and a strong since [sic] that I belonged in the projects of Portland.

I remember my first teen age friend.  His name was Chris and he was homeless while on the run from the Maine Youth Center.  I really looked up to him.  He ruled his own life and listened not to his parents nor authority, but only to his feelings!  I felt that I was his equal when I’d drink and smoke with him.  His father later turned him in to the youth center where Chris committed suicide.  My fondest memories of him were his laughs when I got in to petty trouble or choked on smoke.  What I could not have possibly realized at that age was that I was a pebble beginning to form into a rock of a long fall to where I sit now.

My desent [sic] into the well was a blurry twenty plus year addiction spree.  I replaced all of my morals installed in to me as a good child by my parents with drugs and alcohol.  All of the affection given to me by my family was transformed in to the monster of addiction that I had become.

At ten years of age I had to be removed from my home by the police for fighting with my mom and dad. I was put into a jail cell for the night.  Now you would think at age ten a jail cell would be a rude awakening and a reason to quit my rebellion without a purpose, but no in that cell I was introduced to the thugs that I now call family.  I was fighting a war that I had no reason to be in, a war against my family and all authority for putting me in that cell.  Jail only solidified my stance of war against all that have cared for me.

At twelve the pebble was rolling at an incredible speed.  I assaulted my mom, dad, and older sister.  I was sentenced to the Maine youth Center until my eighteenth birthday.  I was in and out of that door until that very day.  I took L.S.D and got into cocaine use by the age of fort teen [sic].  By the age of sixteen, cocaine and any narcotic pill I could find would be ingested in to my system.  It was the only escape to the reality of addiction that I have come to love.

The Maine Youth Center did nothing but let me know that the state had become yet another target in my war against the world.  I was discharged at eighteen worse than I went in.

When I was nineteen, I found the downtown side of drugs, (opiates, benzos, etc.) which helped me deal with the pain of my seventy-year-old dad’s death and a year later my best friend Jimmy entered heaven.  My every move was a calculated step to place me to an early death.  I vowed to Jimmy through my prayers that I would be joining him very soon.  If I did have a spark of life in me, it was surely gone now.  I became a heroin addict at age twenty.  I would consume as much heroin as I could to escape the reality of life.  I used my addiction as a shield.  Instead of dealing with myself I ran.  It was all I knew.  The love of family was only a distant memory.

I was arrested for robbing a pizza man, which led me to a halfway house in Bangor, where I stayed eighteen months clean.  I was in love with my childhood sweetheart, but even my love for *** could not help me escape from the prison of addiction.  Heroin was my warden.  After ten years, my relationship with *** ended.  I felt close to death in body and in spirit.  I had crumbled!  In the back of my mind, I had a distant voice of my youthful childhood asking me to return.  At this point, it was only an echo that I could barely understand.  I thought the only freedom from this sickness was to overdose, and I did just that on 6-28-02.

To me my imprisonment was a reality to myself.  My addiction was an escape from my imprisonment to a deeper cell.  Only I could not see the difference.  I was blind to all reason.

At the age of twenty nine in a haze of fift teen [sic] or more 2mg. klonipin and a daily dose of 170mg. of methadone I walked into a sports store on Dec. 01, 2002 with the intent to shoplift and was chased a block and a half down the street with the end result of homicide.  I hit the bottom of my well.

Now I am sentenced to a term of 35 years with all but 25 years to serve in prison, for the crime of felony murder and robbery.  I wake up everyday [sic] wondering if my sentence is a blessing or a curse.  I did not mean to take a life on that morning of December.  I lost my life the second I started falling into the depths of the well.  I cannot bring back a life and knowing that I will be in torment for the remaining of mine.  I can only hope to reach others through my story and stop the fall before it’s too late.

I’ve been locked into addiction since I was eight years old.  I’ve been a prisoner all of my life and now I am actually a prisoner, I feel free in a sense.  Life is better now than I ever thought it could be.  There are no gray areas in a free fall into a well.  I can only hope that I am able to stop one pebble from falling before its [sic] to late.

–Johnny