A Watched Pot Eventually Boils

February 16, 2014

This morning I had a scheduled visit with my 21 year old son in prison. But as I was being ushered through the security line this morning, much like I have been every other Sunday for nearly a year, something hit me.

For the first time since my older son's arrest last March, I stood in that line and felt something other than anticipation, fear, sympathy, or regret. Instead, I actually felt rage.

Suddenly it dawned on me that because of my son's actions (or inaction in the case of seeking mental health treatment), my life and the life of his younger brother will never be the same.

I will never be able to erase the gut-wrenching experiences from my memory. And neither will my younger son. What 17 year old knows just what to wear in order to move quickly through the security line at the state prison? What 17 year old even knows someone in prison? My 17 year old visits his older brother there.

What 17 year old has to endure the echoing sounds of inmates' heckling while walking from the parking lot to the entrance of prison? What 17 year old has to listen to the jingling sound of the prison guard's keys while being escorted through several locked doors and up an elevator to a filthy telephone room? And what 17 year old has to see the image of his older brother dressed in gray-white scrubs perched on a stool beyond a grimy plexiglass wall? My 17 year old does.

So yes, I feel angry today.

And I think it's about time to be angry. The last eleven months have been the absolute worst days of my life and I'm sure my younger son would agree. Do I have sympathy for my incarcerated son? Of course I do. But today I am letting myself feel angry for once. I'm allowing the rage to wash over me and fill me up to the brim. Because it's time.

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