By Stephanie, a Truth Be Told graduate.
I am Stephanie, graduate of the 2013 Talk To Me Circle class at the GEO Lockhart Unit. I came into this class with an open mind, willing to learn, but my main objective at the time was to have something to show parole. I had just gotten a year set off (a delay in release). I knew why I had received this set off. It was because the system was tired of me. You see I had spent the majority of my life in and out of prison. More in than out. I am a fifty-year-old, repeat offender. Been to state jail three times, TDC (Texas Department of Corrections) two times, and out-of-state once.
My prison journey started at the age of 19. So as much as the system was tired of me, I had finally become tired of it. So I signed up for everything that had a dotted line and embarked on the Truth Be Told class with my all. I really was tired of prison life. I knew I needed a change or I would die in prison or lose someone close to me and not be able to handle it. I took the Circle class where you have to write your truth with Katie Ford.
I was very distanced and I held my feelings inside. I didn’t know how to communicate very well. I felt I would do good with the writing. At least it was a start and I would let go of some of my junk and pain. In the beginning, I didn’t know that was a way of healing and finding your truth. I give thanks to Katie, because that’s a tool I learned from her and Truth Be Told, my tool of journaling. See I had never journaled in my life and this has helped me to face my truth. There were other tools as well as writing my truth. I learned to speak my truth, that I still have a voice, and that I am somebody besides a number. Most importantly I learned how to change and never go back to prison.
This class provided me with personal and spiritual growth. It’s true that these tools have held me together. I’ve been out for three months now and it has been a challenge for me. I have to constantly remind myself that I can do it, that I can ask for help, that I am not alone, and to trust in my Father’s Words that he will make a way. I am holding on and expressing my feelings through my journaling, because I know that God has got a blessing with my name on it and it’s not a TDC number.