Extra! Extra! Read All About It! My Tell All Story is Finally Here!
Well, I’ve put off this post for just about as long as I possibly could, and now I’m down to the wire and might not be able to post again very soon. Actually, I did write this post maybe a month ago, but it got deleted from my computer in one of those horrific, slow-motion moments where you feel your heart drop into your stomach as you realize you’ve just lost hours off painstaking, emotionally draining work that you can’t bear the thought of having to do again because of some dumbass move that you did that wiped it from existence. So it made writing it again twice as hard as it was even the first time, lol.
You may remember a couple of months ago when I went silent for a while, promising a forthcoming explanation when I returned. And you might have guessed from my not-so-subtle, my silence was due to a little time in jail. And now, it’s time for my final sentencing. “But DD…” you might be asking, “How… after 37 years of avoiding any involvement with law enforcement whatsoever, despite committing multiple felonies a day for decades and associating almost exclusively with outlaws, felons and ex-cons… how did you let this happen now? What could have caused this involuntary incarceration? Did you get sloppy? Let your guard down? Get caught up in the wrong crowd? Did somebody snitch?” I guess a little of all of this I suppose. I got to tell you guys, I hate to be a complainer or whiner or bitch about my life, because generally, I’ve got my health and even after all these years of chronic drug use, I still feel young and strong and full of vigor and vim, so overall I have no right to complain about anything. But even when I try to list all the shitty things that happened to me in the past year, it soon becomes comical because; it’s so absurd. To prove my point, and to add a little (dark)comic relief, I’ll just list the first 10 things that come to mind…
- Husband was killed in a car crash
- My dog, a beautiful Coon Hound named Jane, was stolen
- I was evicted from two apartments, both for reasons out of my control
- Was diagnosed with Hepatitis C
- Was charged with my first felony – make that three felonies.
- Was the victim of a long con that took me for literally tens of thousands worth of cash and good, and included hacking my bank account
- Was imprisoned the one week this summer than Phish played California
- Had all my jewelry that my deceased husband gave me stolen by my roommate, who also put me out of business by moving into my place and stealing all of my clients, product and investment money.
- Was raided by the cops due to an idiotic move on my roommate’s part, which resulted in everything I had just replaced after begin taken for everything already twice this year taken again by law enforcement, including every electronic I owed (literally anything that plugged into a wall) and my drug safe with well over $10,000 in drugs.
- I’m about to serve my first real jail sentence after two decades of avoid law enforcement because of that raid.
So, there’s just a sample of the absolutely shitty things have made up my 37th year of life. Now, I’ve gone through “rock bottom” – multiple times – like anyone who’s used drugs for as long as I have probably. And isn’t that. This didn’t happen because my life is spiraling out of control due to excessive drug use. In fact, I’ve used significantly less this year than I ever have since starting dope. I’ve been actually amazed at how well I’ve done and so have my friends. It couldn’t have come at a better time either, since I’ve been repeatedly incarcerated without a moment’s notice, multiple times. I didn’t have to suffer through terrible withdrawals. All the mystery of jail was directly related to how shitty jail is, and had nothing to do with kicking drugs! So that was good at least. 🙂
Anyway, let’s cut to it. Mid July my roommate and I were up early with a friend ours who came into town and came up to visit. It was just a little after 6am when I heard a sound I’d never heard before but recognized instantly, a deafening pound on the door on the door, followed by a dozen, over-testosterone, middle-aged, past their prime, small-dick-syndrome’d, sick-of their careers, mid-level LAPD and Sheriff’s subordinates just there for manual labor and with no real idea what the raid was even for in the first place shout “THIS IS A RAID… BLAH, BLAH, BLAH” And then the door came down. They handcuffed my friend first, and for a moment I wondered if they were really after him, but then they proceed to handcuff me and my roommate and then separated him from the two of us. I didn’t know exactly what they were looking for, but they went through everything. In fact, not even the search warrant provided any real clues as to what they wanted. It basically stated that they had permission to look for and take anything that might be used in a felony. I had initially hoped that most of the stuff would be returned; since they literally took everything that plugged into a wall. But as it turns out LAPD is keeping everything confiscated during the raid. No room for negotiation. I don’t know what the cops needed with my 48” HD, plasma monitor. It doesn’t store data and could not have been used to store criminal information. But I’m sure they know just what they’re doing and only take what they need in order “To Protect and To Serve”. They even took my driver’s license, which has made everything that has happened as a consequence of this whole affair damn near impossible to get through. You try to move without a driver’s license or ID, rent an apartment, a storage unit, a moving truck, etc.
Anyway, that soon became the least of my worries as they hauled me off in the back of a cop car with my roommate. I didn’t know what they had or what they were going to charge me with, but I did know that I left my drug safe out and unlocked for the first time in months that morning for a really stupid reason and I knew they had found everything in it. It contained literally every drug you could probably name – in massive quantities, including over 400 hits of acid, a quarter ounce of MDMA, 18 grams of DMT and the list goes on and on and on and on and on. It still makes me want to cry. So I try not to think about that too often. After we were booked, I was held in the female section of the East Los Angeles facility, where was the sole inmate. There were two or three dozen male inmates, but no other females, which made the whole area extremely creepy. But luckily I wasn’t there for long. The head investigating officer came back to see me towards the end of the day to tell me they were releasing me. He gave me his card and told me to call him this weekend if I wanted to talk or tell him anything about my roommate, which of course I didn’t. I left the phone number in the cell actually, which turned out to be a big mistake.
I was out for about a week before they came back again, this time with a warrant for me. What made the whole thing even that much more unbearable was that it happened the only week of the year that Phish was playing in California. They told me they would have warned me if I had updated them with my new contact number, which made me want to kick myself. But it was too late now, no getting out of it once the cuffs are on. They were confident I was going to be released on bail that same day anyway. I was hopeful as well, since my parents had already agreed to front bail money for my roommate. I figured they’d just transfer those funds to my bail. So off I went down to Lynnwood – Los Angeles County Jail for Women. But when I got there I couldn’t get a hold of my parents. I didn’t realize that even the three calls they give you when you first get there required to recipient to have money on their phones. That’s so asinine. Nor did I realize that it took like a day to process the whole transaction. So I kept calling back, panicking about why they wouldn’t accept my call. By the time they got an account set up with money in it, I was out of the holding tank and in locked up in my own private hell – the jail’s psych ward under suicide watch. They through me in there because I was kicking drugs, which of course I wasn’t as I mentioned earlier, but they thought I was. It was the most miserable week of my life. They don’t allow you clothes, socks, shoe, sheets or bedding. They pump freezing cold air into your tiny, constantly lit cell 24 hours a day. They bang on the door once and hour and make you move so they know you’re not dead. They don’t let you out of your cell, ever for any reason. No shower, tooth brush, rec time outside, toilet paper – nothing. And you get the most disgusting tasting peanut butter and jelly and stale bread you can possibly imagine for two meals a day. And of course it doesn’t come pre-assembled. Nor do they provide utensils. It’s just a plate with a package of squirtable jelly, a package of peanut butter and two stale piece of bread on a plate. I really don’t know how they could possibly make such a classic, staple meal taste so awful. It’s like fake, playdough food or something. The treat of the day is breakfast – bran cereal and a carton of milk, but no spoon. You might take your eyes out with that or something. The only sounds you hear are the screams from other psych ward inmates sporadically day in and day out. I’ve spent time in SHU, and this was 10x worse. Thankfully, after five days, just as I realized I was actually suicidal, they opened the door and ask me if I wanted to go to my arraignment. I wasn’t allowed to go to my first scheduled arraignment because they needed to watch me for longer. I jumped at the opportunity like someone had just offered me free tickets to Hawaii for a month. We got to the court house at about 7am, and of course, I had to spend all day in the little holding cell because my case wasn’t called until 5:05pm. I was only in the court room for about 5 minutes, but I heard the words I’d been dreaming of since I arrived in Lynwood a week early, I was to be released on OR, partly based on my parents giving them a good report on me, but mostly because I had never been in any real trouble before. Of course, because I was in psych, I had to go back to the jail and spend another day until I was medically cleared to leave. But once I walked out of there, freedom never tasted so good.
Finally talking to my parents was a huge relief for all of us. I didn’t know why they wouldn’t take my phone calls. I kinda thought they were sending me the message that I was on my own. And they didn’t know why I didn’t call back after the first day. They kinda though I assumed they had abandon me and ad no way to reach me and tell me otherwise. It was a relief for everybody to straighten all that out. I know the whole thing was almost as stressful for them as it was for me. Turns out my dad thought I could post my own bail with the card he had given my for my roommates bail from inside. Maybe I could have if I had been in general population, but you can’t do nothin’ in psych. I also saw that he had been trying to email while I was in there. I thought that was very endearing 🙂 I love my parents.
Anyway, that was around the beginning of August. I had three court dates since then. The bottom line, I took a plea because I couldn’t afford a lawyer and I didn’t realize I could request a new public defender – mine was a piece of crap. All he did was pass messages between me and the prosecution/judge. There was no helping me get a better deal, let alone trying to get me out of it. All he did was tell me the sentencing options I had and relay my messages back. I’m so freaking stupid for not standing up for myself and fighting this case. I got charged with basically everything my roommate did, because we lived in the same household, plus my drug charge, “running an establishment for the sales or manufacturing of narcotics” – basically, running a drug ring. Because of the sheer quantity of drugs I had, they wouldn’t believe it was for personal use. So I pled out to only one charge which gives me 3 years formal probation, plus either 190 days in jail, 90 days jail + 45 Cal Trans (labor), or 6 months inpatient drug program. And now I have to tell them what my choice is. I decided I’m going with the 190 jail because it’s automatically reduced 50% to only 2 months. But with overcrowding, most women, non-violent offenders are only serving about 10-20% of their time, so it’s very likely I’ll be out of there in 3-4 weeks. Of course, I can’t count on that. I need to set my expectations for two months and consider any early release time a blessing. The thing is, I’m not sure if they are going to take me directly to jail after I tell the judge my choice, or if they’ll give me a few days to get my affairs in order before turning myself in. Which totally sucks, because I don’t know how to plan for the day.
So, as you can see, I’ve had a very eventful couple months. And none of it has been any good. As you can imagine, the expenses accrued during all of this have been enormous. And I haven’t even begun to replace what was confiscated by our men in blue. I’ve gone through about six old, dying computers that were given to me by friends and an equal number of phones. I keep buying Obama phones on the street, but you never know how long they’ll stay active. The latest one just died on me today. I’m probably in the worst financial shape I’ve ever been in. Now, here’s the part I debated adding. Admitting I need help, let alone asking for it, has always been extremely difficult for me. To wit, this is the second move in a row that I’ve done entirely on my own. But my best friend is always talking to me about swallowing my pride and asking for help when I need it. And if there was ever a time I needed to take his advice and ask for any help, it’s now. At this point, with the move finally done and my court dates less frequent, I need to start working full time. And that requires constant connectivity and mobility. I’m a copywriter and graphic designer (and novelist by moonlight). And in order to keep up this blog and get my career back in full gear, I need to replace what was confiscated. I need a good quality laptop, wireless access, phone, printer, scanner and everything necessary to service and stay in communication with my clients. If anyone has anything they can stand to part with, any donations would be immensely appreciated, more so than you could ever imagine. I’m also trying to save a bit of money for my books when I turn myself in, so I’m at least stocked with Ramen and as comfortable as possible during the first week or so I’m in jail. I’m not risking the chance of psych ward again, which means staying mum about any medication I take. So my body will probably have some adjusting/detoxing to do. If you can help with any of this, I would gratefully take any donation you can part with. Just shoot me a message and let me know if you’re interested and I will give you a shipping address. While electronics are my most urgent need, I’ll accept anything you feel could help. And if you’re feeling extra generous, there’s always a donation link with my bitcoin account information at the top of this blog. I apologize for even adding this portion of the post. But as you can see I’m in a pretty rough spot right now. And to top it all off, I’m currently homeless, waiting in limbo until I find out when exactly I’ll be in jail. Please don’t feel obligated in anyway. I understand most people are going through tough times. But if you happen to be in period of bounty and would like help someone out, as I said, it would be appreciated beyond belief.
Anyway…. I’m sorry it took me so long to get this post out. As I mentioned long ago at the beginning of the post, it’s hard to write about all this so bluntly and honestly. And I already wrote it all once and lost it! That was painful, lol. So I apologize for not filling you in sooner, but thank you for taking the time to read it all. I will continue to keep you updated in a more timely manner from here on out. But if I suddenly go silent for a month or so, you’ll know what’s up. Always feel free to look me up using the California prisoner inmate search and write me while I’m locked up! I’ll try to post my number before going in so you can send me letters if you want to. It would be nice to have the distraction while I’m in there and I promise I’ll write back! 🙂
I hate to dwell on all the negative things. But telling you all of this serves two purposes. 1.) I didn’t want you to think I am just being whiney and petty when I talked about having a bad year. I wanted to press upon you the gravity of my whole situation and how really bad things actually got. 2.) More importantly, I needed to tell you to keep this blog real. If I didn’t tell you I’d be doing an injustice to the blog and to my readers who have opened up to me and been so incredible trusting and honest and shared so many private, intimate matters with me. I feel so honored and grateful for your openness and trust. The only way I know how to thank you is to be equally as real and honest we you as you are with me. This blog is supposed to be the real story of me – a real girl, making her way through life, love, work, play, and yes, heroin addiction. I wanted the world to know that the life of a heroin addict doesn’t always look like the stereotype. There have been times I’ve been unemployable and penniless and times I’ve been gainfully employed and prosperous. I’ve been homeless and I bought a house on the beach. I’ve lost all my friends due to the needle and I’ve made wonderful friends who were able to see past my track marks. Life has highs and lows no matter who you are. It just so happens that my number came up and life threw some shit at me…. a lot of shit. But if I didn’t tell you guys about it, if I only painted a rose-tinted picture all the time, then this whole project – this blog and everything it has come to represent – would be no authenticity behind it. And anyone who visited would be able to spot the inauthenticity in an instant. And that would make me sad! So you guy get the full story; the good the bad and the ugly! Trust me – it’s hard for me to write about this shit. As I’m sure posts like “The Monkey on My Back” aren’t easy to read, I can assure you they aren’t easy to write either. It’s hard to publicly confront your failures and put it out there on the internet for all of prosperity to see. But it can also be very therapeutic. Honestly, I’m extremely grateful to have a place like this where I can purge my fallibilities to the world without judgment. So, thank you for giving me this space and for supporting my little project. I sincerely hope that you get as much out of it as I do. I want everyone to feel they can talk about anything here without fear of judgement. I trust we are a group of people who have had very similar life experiences and share common views of the world. We can provide support to each other in an environment of our peers and don’t have sensor our conversations. I’ve got to say, all of you have surprised with how open and honest and trusting you’ve been in communicating with me, and it’s only because of your openness that I feel so comfortable sharing my own experiences so frankly. So, thank you! This blog wouldn’t be in existence without you and your participation. I just hope I provide enough frivolous, fun, quasi-educational content to balance out all the serious stuff so that you guys can at least laugh more than you cry! 🙂
Have any good jail stories of your own or any advice you can give me before going in for my longest stint yet? Please leave them in the comment section or email me directly. It’s always nice to know that I’m not alone and that many other people have served much worse sentences and survived. I’d love to hear your stories and learn how you got through it!
Peace, Love & Rock ‘n Roll