“News” Sources

Do we really get our “news” from Facebook feeds? I’ve always considered it a much like a “social” gathering or a party line of the old telephone days. You might hear what your friends think about something or what’s going on in the neighborhood, but you won’t really find any investigative reporting, something to base any decision on.

That made me think. Where do I get my news? It’s difficult to say. I read blogs, search out information from other sources when I see posts that intrigue me. So many times I get bogged down with so much conflicting information that I give up trying to understand at all. You know what I’d like? A reliable local and state news. When something is going on in town or in the state, someone runs out to it and reports back what’s actually happening. Maybe they could add some commentary about it, speculation maybe, and maybe some links to other people that wrote about it. Every town needs someone like that! And then we could all read them and take the information in. Is there something I could actually do to help? Voting to have someone else do something or protesting by standing on a street corner doesn’t count. Then we could actually do something.

Sometimes our little “What’s Happening In XYZ” groups can be like that. Someone’s car broke down. I have a minute and some tools to help! Someone’s dog is lost. I saw him on this street! Someone’s family member passed away. Let’s set up some financial help! But that doesn’t cover things on a bigger scale like the whole county or state. I wonder what that would look like?

I guess I’m just wishing more people would just look for ways to actually report what’s going on to the world in real terms and ways to really provide help instead of just campaigning to change or add new laws and tax others to get the help they think is needed. Kind of like that saying, “See a need. Fill a need.” and by that, I don’t mean see someone else in need and vote for someone else to take care of it in the future.

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Transferred

This is the next chapter of my story. To read the previous chapter or to start at the beginning, click HERE.

The next thing I knew there was a voice at the door. An officer asked me to get up; they were transferring me to the county jail. It was several hours later. I asked what was going on and the officer said that bail had not been paid, they can’t keep people at the city jail over night, so they were transferring me to the county jail so that I’d be processed in time to get a cell for the night. “It looks like your husband doesn’t believe your story. He hasn’t even been here to bail you out.” I knew in my heart that wasn’t true. He was probably doing everything he could, as quickly and smartly as he could. I trusted my husband. He’s always been my hero. But then my heart sunk to my stomach. I’d be spending the night in jail? Visions of tv shows kept running through my mind and they were not pretty. Suddenly, I felt warm, protected. I’d be ok. This must happen all the time. It’s really no big deal.

The officer cuffed my hands again and walked me to a police car. He put me into the back seat of the car and he got in with his partner, a woman police officer. They seemed in high spirits, just doing their daily work. Did they even care about the person in the back seat? Or was I just cargo to them? That’s when the officer driving looked back at me.

“Scared?” he asked. I answered, “A little, yes. I’ve never been in any trouble before.” He just smirked and looked at his partner. We pulled out of the parking lot and headed toward the freeway. I knew where we were going. I’ve had jury duty before and I had to walk by the county jail from the parking garage. When we were on the freeway the officer said, “If my wife were in jail for something she didn’t do, I’d sell the new truck I just bought for bail money and get her out immediately. Ten percent of a $50K bail? I wouldn’t let my innocent wife go to county over night for $5000.” I sat there thinking that would be ridiculous. We just bought that truck the previous weekend, on credit, brand new. Everyone knows it’s not worth what you have a loan for the moment you take it off the lot. We’d planned on having that truck until it fell apart. Sure, he’d get cash for a bail bond but we’d be out a truck and all the money. I’m innocent, so I’ll be getting my bail back right away. I’m sure he’s just looking for the cash from friends and family. That takes time. I was proud to sit in jail and not do something stupid out of panic. “It doesn’t look like he buys your story this time. Probably been suspecting something was going on for a long time. He’s taken your kids and left you to us.” I just sat there dumbfounded. I couldn’t believe he was talking to me like that. What a horrible thing to say. Who do they think I am?

They continued to chat in the front seat as we drove the county jail. Pulling through the large gate with barbed wire along the top, my heart dropped. This was real. I was walked in and sat on a bench with several other women. They chained me to the bench with the others. Some paperwork was exchanged and the officers left, the heavy door closing and buzzing locked behind them.

Within a few minutes, a guard came and unlocked our handcuffs. We were asked to follow him to another room. It was a processing room. Completely made of concrete block, including bench seats along the walls. There was a large window facing into the main building. The whole thing reminded me of a warehouse, like Costco only for people. I walked in and sat down among the other women. Some were just sitting there, some were worried, some seemed a tad frantic, probably drugs, I guessed. Most of them were talking to each other.

The women I sat next to began to tell me her story. “I hope this doesn’t take long. I turned myself in, outstanding warrants.” “What for?” I asked, being polite. “Unpaid parking tickets. I got a babysitter for my kids and came in because I knew the babies father would do it when he found out. I can’t have the police coming to the door. They’d put my kids in foster care. Who knows when I’d get them back?” Unpaid parking tickets? Here in this dungeon place for unpaid fines. Another woman chimed into the conversation. “I’m here busted for driving with a suspended license.” Seriously. Most of the women I talked with were in county jail for minor crimes against the state, fines not paid, etc. None of them were there for violence against others, thrown in jail to keep them from hurting anyone else. Most of them would spend at least a few days here, I found. They couldn’t afford the bail until a hearing, so they sat in jail until they were called to court. So strange. This doesn’t seem the way we should be treating “innocent until proven guilty.”

I sat there worrying about my babies. They all seemed so worried as I walked out of the house. What was going on? Was my husband going to be able to find the money and bail me out anytime soon? How long was I going to be here? My sons had never spent the night without me. A woman opened the door to the room we were in and called several names to stand and follow her. My name was one of them.

We were walked down a long hall through several locked doors and ushered into a bigger and brighter room much like the previous one, concrete block walls, block benches along the walls, a drinking fountain in one corner and a toilet in another. My eye was drawn to it. No privacy whatsoever. Thrown in a room together with no privacy, no contact, no personal kindness or respect, because we were accused of a crime.

I sat down in the first open spot on the bench. A woman with long black frizzy hair looked up at me as I sat down. She smiled and I smiled back. “First time?” “Yes,” I answered. “It’s ok. We’ll get dinner soon. How long have you been here?” I told her I wasn’t sure, I didn’t have a watch, but they had brought me to city jail early this morning. It was strange to sit among these women and talk like we were at the beauty parlor or a doctor’s office. Most of them seemed nice and a little worried. The subject of bail came up. I’m not sure how, but I distinctly remember saying that I was waiting for my husband to post bail. “How much did they set for you?” one woman asked. “$50,000,” I said. Several others looked up in surprise. “What in the world did you do?” “They accused me of armed robbery and attempted car-jacking.” I suddenly had an audience. The girl sitting next to me just stared at me. We all swapped stories for a bit and felt a little more at ease. These women were just like me. There was nothing to fear except the unknown.

Every so often, while we were talking, an officer would come to the door and call a few names. Those women would follow that officer down the hall. “Processing.” a woman said when I looked confused after them. “We’ll have our turn eventually.” In time my own name was called. I stood and followed the officer. We were led to a large open shower room, much like the gym showers in high school (which I had never used). Again there was absolutely no privacy. In threes, we went to a window where a female officer stood. They handed us prison clothes, instructed us how to use the shower, and informed us that we were required to use the soap they provided. We walked to a bench by each shower head, stripped down, showered for three minutes exactly, toweled off and put on our “uniform.” Our personal effects were picked up and put in a bag with our name and number. Then we were led to another large holding cell like the last.

I have to stop here for just a minute. At this point, I was mortified. I don’t think I’ve ever been so embarrassed in my life. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever shared this part of my experience. This is how we treat humans, like animals in a cage. Before you mutter to yourself something about “That’s just what has to happen.” “You’re in jail, what do you expect?” “Unfortunate, but it’s for security.” or “Don’t get in trouble with the law and these things won’t happen.”, I have a few things to say. Everyone in this room is only ‘accused’ of a crime. They are supposed to be innocent until they are proven guilty. The only thing they are guilty of at this point is being unfortunate enough not to have been bailed out of jail until they can be tried for their alleged crime. Your mother or sister or daughter could have an unpaid parking ticket and be treated this way. I used to not care before this happened. I used to grumble the same statements before I learned, first hand, what our “justice” system does to people. I really have no words to describe how this experience changed me and my way of thinking. In some ways, I’m thankful for the education. In other ways, I weep for those who do not have resources and spend inordinate amounts of time in jail away from their families because of it.

I wasn’t thinking about this as I walked from the shower to the next holding cell. I was thinking only of remaining calm. I was terrified by stories of jails. I was haunted by the looks of my husband and children as I left. And I was filled with anxiety about what was going to happen to me next. I sat there, quietly praying. “Lord, protect me. Lord.” I couldn’t think of anything else to say but I did feel peace. If I had imagined this situation, I’d have seen myself falling apart in tears, holding my knees to my chest, hyperventilating or refusing to move. But here I was going through the motions, following instructions. I was not crying. I just sat there. And then they called my name. Bail had been paid. I was free to go.

Read the next chapter HERE.

The Park

Sitting here with my laptop at the regional park while the boys try out a new trail on their mountain bikes. I already went for a walk and got bored. I’ve read my books and written in my journal. Here I sit, in the truck. You’d think I’d sit outside under a tree, but that’s less comfortable. There are creepy crawlies there that would draw my attention. I just can’t seem to relax. I’m happier in my pretty truck with the seat all the way back and my bare feet up in the window. The breeze is blowing through the trees and I can hear a few families nearby. The sounds of the city are intermingled with the chattering of squirrels, the staccato of woodpeckers, and various bird calls.

I’m glad we moved away from here. This used to be the only place I could escape the city streets and we’d come here often when the boys were little. The train ride around the park, an ice cream cone, and a walk around the pond was enough to wear them out. Sometimes we spend hours in the zoo looking at all the local animals. We read all the signs, fed the goats, and watched the animals do their thing. We’d play on the playgrounds and climb trees. We’d bring bikes and ride the trail that went around the whole park, stopping every hundred yards to check out something exciting on the side of the road; a nest, a bee hive, a dead squirrel. We’d sit in the shade and just watch. We’d sit beside the pond and try to get the ducks or peacocks to come up to us by sitting very still with a cracker in hand.

When my boys were young we had an “adventure backpack.” In it we kept a pair of binoculars, a cool hand-held microscope, a bandana with animal tracks on it, a few pamphlets about birds and animals native to our area, some snacks, and various other things we believed would be best to have on any adventure. There were always a couple of sketch pads and pencils. Occasionally, I had to clean it out when it became heavy with rocks, acorns, and other treasures.

I was reminded of all the fun we had when we came here because of the families I saw as I walked around the park. The whole train was filled with people, the zoo parking lot was full, a few paddle boats were on the pond, several families walked along the path together or rode bikes on the road. It’s not crowded by any means, but it’s busy for a Friday morning. It is still summer yet. When school starts in the next couple weeks it will be odd to see any children here on a weekday. It makes me sad.

For us, this was their “school.” Wait. It wasn’t school at all, it was real education. There wasn’t a moment they weren’t learning something very important and compared to that time spent here, school would have been a waste. A “field trip” here wouldn’t have been the same. Even having friends with us most days would have ruined it. There was something magical going on here every week. I had an inkling of it while it was happening. This vague joyous feeling that something wonderful was being built.

One day sticks out in my mind as extra special. There was a day when my boys wanted to ride their bikes very far, so we brought the bikes here and we set out to make the loop along the dry river bed. I told them to go as far as they liked but to stop at any forks in the road so we wouldn’t get separated. They were pretty young and new at riding bikes. I could still catch up fairly quickly. Off they went, full speed, their little blond heads under helmets bobbing up and down as they peddled their hearts out. It’s a long straight trail, so I could see them pretty far. I walked as fast as I could without running.

About ten minutes into the walk, they disappeared around the bend. I grew up at this park, so I know where things lead. This was about where the trails split; to the left, up the river bed and down into a wash, to the right, down into the parking lot and some tall trees. I was about twenty feet behind them as they made the turn. I quickened my pace. Would they stop at the fork? Or would they be so distracted by the “call of the wild” and continue up the trail or seek the refuge of the trees?

As I came around the bend myself a minute later, there they were, leaning over the handle bars of their bikes talking like two old friends. My son looks up, “Mom, I see NO forks but I didn’t want to get lost, so we waited here for you to catch up!” It never occurred to me that they didn’t know what a fork in the road was! “That way!” my younger son yells, pointing to the trees. It was getting hot and one mile of riding was enough for them.

We headed for the trees, the boys pushing hard on their small bikes across the grass. When we reached them, they threw the bikes down and collapsed on the grass spread eagle on their backs and I joined them. We lay in the shade looking up at the tree tops. “What kind of trees are these?” asks my older son. “They are eucalyptus trees,” I say. “Koala bears?” my younger son says. “Koala bears eat the leaves, but I don’t think we have koala bears at the park.” He stares up at the leaves hoping to see a koala bear. A woodpecker lands on the tree and begins to peck away. “What’s he looking for, Mom?” “Bugs,” I tell him. “The woodpeckers peck a hole and then put an acorn in it. Then they come back later and eat the bugs that have started to eat the acorn. They are acorn woodpeckers.” They attempt to make the same sound as the woodpecker and laugh hysterically. We break into the backpack for a bag of crackers and an apple. I tell them we should probably head home soon, Dad will wonder what happened to us if we don’t get home in time for dinner!

While I’m putting the bikes into the back of our truck, the boys scramble to climb into the backseat. Both ask for juice boxes as I buckle their seat belts. Driving across town back to the house, I’m thankful we’ve chosen a slower life and can enjoy days like this.

Today, as we came to the hill near the entrance of the park, my sons well into their teens, their mountain bikes loaded in the back of our truck, my younger son lights up when he sees the hill of brush and the sign to the park. “Now I remember this place!” He’s never one to be very wordy or excitable, so the outburst is a sure sign of nostalgia and excitement. We pay the entrance fee and pass by the ball fields, “Mmm…grass.” my older son comments. He’s always been a fan of grass, something we don’t see much of in the desert at home. I’m not sure they will want to make the one hundred mile drive out of the desert to ride here too often, actually, I’m hoping they don’t, but it was worth the drive today, just to remember it, just to see the look on their faces as they reminisce about their childhood. It makes my heart happy to know they already look back and think how great life has been so far.

“Entrusted” Bible Study

The-A-Team

Several things have come together over the summer that have made my path very clear. This bible study coming across my path was just the beginning. It came through my feed at the beginning of the summer just when I was looking for something different. A Beth Moore study is what started my journey toward accepting Jesus Christ and over the years I have looked into doing another one. It was the video’s that stopped me from starting one, the cost of getting them really. The workbook was usually around $15 but the videos were $99. I could never justify the cost of that for just myself to watch once. But the videos are the best part of a Beth Moore study. Her vibrancy and honesty, her enthusiasm and joy come shining through when she speaks! It just wouldn’t be the same to only read her words, although her books are wonderful and I have several. And then came this study! For the summer, the videos would be released for free online once a week while we all went through the workbook at home. I could NOT resist and I’m so glad I didn’t!

I posted on my Facebook feed that I would be doing this study and I’d love to know someone else out there was also reading it. We could exchange messages and “talk” about the lessons. A new local friend volunteered to do the study with me and we could talk in person once a week. It was an answer to prayer! I have desperately needed someone to actually talk to lately. Reading and writing is great but talking and listening is my passion, my “learning language” and I had so missed it. We both dove into the study head first and enjoyed every minute of it.

The study brought tears to my eyes and a few angry sobs. I actually had to close the book, turn off the video and leave it for another day a couple of times. Nerves were just too raw, memories were bubbling to the surface, and a path was being lit that I wasn’t sure I wanted to journey down. This was at the exact time I had jury duty trigger memories of my arrest that could not be set aside. I was struggling with what to do with them and if I should do anything at all. And here came Beth Moore, God bless her! Once again, a messenger from God in the form of a tiny woman with a healed broken heart and southern accent I could NOT ignore, showed me exactly what I needed to do and why.

Something huge happened to me 13 years ago. It could have broken me and it didn’t. God moved in amazing ways in that one year and since then He has blessed my life in so many big and little ways, I had begun to grow accustomed to it, to take it for granted. For that reason, I need to tell that story. I know God wants me to. He’s entrusted a life changing truth to me and I’m being led, no, pushed toward sharing it. I may not get kudos, likes, or shares, but someone out there is reading it and they need to hear it. Someone out there today, or tomorrow, or maybe even long after I’ve gone to Jesus needs to hear the words that are pouring out of my soul. It may take me a whole year or two to work my way through that story, but God will be glorified by every word that I write. It’s as if He’s whispering in my ear, “You are healed now. Share it with others. Don’t be so selfish. You know I’m right here behind you.” This past summer it has begun to feel more like a yell and a shove instead of a push and a whisper. I will not ignore it. I choose His work for me and I will thank Him every day for the peace, joy, and love I’ve found while wrapped in His arms over the last 13 years.

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Taken In

This is the next chapter of my story. To read the previous chapter or to start at the beginning, click HERE.

The unmarked police car was in the alley behind our house. A woman and the detective that interviewed me led me out our back door, across the backyard, through our garage to the alley. Once we were there, they handcuffed me and read me my rights before they ducked my head and had me sit in the backseat of the car, buckling the seat belt across me, just like on tv. Honestly, that’s all I was thinking as we drove out and down the street towards the police department. “This is just like on tv. I feel like I’m in an episode of “Law & Order.” They must really research that show.” Dumb, isn’t it. You’d think I’d be panicked or at least crying, but something put an aura of peace over me and I just took it all in like I was watching tv. Someone, at some point, would say they were making a reality tv show and I had done a great job.

As we began the drive to the police department, the detective told me that he had explained where we were going to my husband and that he said he would bail me out as soon as he could. Was he trying to reassure me? Did I look scared? I felt numb. The police department was about twenty minutes away without any traffic. They talked as we drove but I can’t remember exactly what they said. It sounded like two people talking shop, where they’d eat lunch, what they’d do next. I sat there quietly thinking about the street we were on and the freeway we were headed to. I’ve made this drive a thousand times growing up in this area. I never in my life thought I’d travel it in the back of a police car. I noted the plastic molded seat with a place for my cuffed hands behind my back. Interesting. I always wondered if it would be very uncomfortable riding in a car while practically sitting on your hands. And the metal divider between the backseat and the front. I remember seeing that on “Cops”, when the arrested person was usually angry or drunk, kicking at it or hitting it with their head. Who else had been in this seat? What was their story?

Thirty minutes later, we pulled into a familiar parking lot. The police station was on the same block as the mall that was robbed, the one that I worked at when I was in high school, the one my friends and I used to go ice skating at as kids. It’s also near a local theater that I always wanted to work at. I’d been doing live theater since high school. I started acting in junior high, but by my second year of high school, I knew I’d found my art, set design and building. I dreamed of going to college and becoming a famous designer on Broadway. I’d been so many shows at that theater and I knew the police department was in the same center. It was so strange to be coming in this way.

We parked and the detective got out and opened my door, helping me stand up without my hands and not bump my head. They walked with me across the parking lot, one on each side of me. I’ll admit I was embarrassed and hoped no one I knew saw me at this moment. Everyone I know will attest that I’m quite talkative, especially when I’m nervous, so it would come to no surprise to them that I remarked as we walked up, “This is so weird. I never thought this could happen to me. It’s like I’m on tv. It just can’t be real.” The woman officer with me said, “It’s probably very weird to you if you really are innocent.” I sensed a tone in her voice. Was it disbelief, cynicism, incredulity?

When we walked through the double doors and into the lobby, there was a lot of hustle and bustle. People lined up to talk to the clerk at the front desk. People at sitting on benches. People waiting with papers. We moved toward the back of the office. Several other officers greeted the detective as we passed. I heard things like, “This your robbery suspect?” and “Hey! No troubles picking her up?!” I just hung my head and followed him. Mortified is the word for what I was feeling. They couldn’t be talking about me. We continued walking, passed through a locked door with a bullet proof glass window, and he sat me down in an interrogation room. One table, two or three chairs, a recording device, and one-way glass mirror. It just got more and more surreal. He told me we would talk here and I could answer a few more questions for him. Maybe we could get to the bottom of what happened. He was cheerful and seemed sorry to have to do this to me. I was grateful for his kindness. He left the room.

A few minutes later, he came back with a small stack of papers in his hand, hand written notes, and printed things. He asked me if I needed anything to drink and I asked for a glass of water. I really could have used a cup of coffee though. They had pulled me from bed and I’m used to at least a couple of cups before I face the day. I was starting to get a caffeine headache. He brought a paper cup of water and sat down across from me.

“Have you been read your rights? Do you understand them? Do you waive those rights and wish to talk to me?” I answered yes. “I haven’t done anything wrong and I’d like to clear this up if I can.” He started to ask more questions. I don’t remember the conversation word for word but I do remember certain things. He asked why I knew the area we were in so well and I explained that I grew up there, my family still lives in the area, and we come here often. I mean, seriously, it isn’t a small town. Forty thousand people live in this one city alone and it’s surrounded by cities that have a considerably higher population. The odds of talking to any random person in the area that knows the mall and its surrounding restaurants is pretty good. It seemed like a strange thing to be hung up on.

He asked about my family. Did my husband and I get along? Who watched the kids when I was out? Where did I keep my clothes in the house? Were we having any financial trouble? I told my life story and all the details. I like to talk and I’m not hiding anything. What could they possibly take and use against me?

He then told me that I had described perfectly all the places that the robbery suspect had been, that they didn’t find any of my clothes around the house so I obviously had another place I was living, and that two people had identified me in a photo line-up as the person that robbed them and the person that had used a stolen credit card. They were charging me with armed robbery, attempted car jacking, and fraud. Felonies. I’d be held until bail was paid, $50,000. He assured me my husband was probably working on it. He could get a bail bond anywhere. I couldn’t imagine what he was going through at that moment.

He asked me to follow him and we walked down a hall to “processing.” There the detective took his leave and I was finger printed and photographed by another officer. Believe it or not, there was levity here. The officer couldn’t remember how to make the finger printing machine work and had to leave to get help. We both laughed. I wondered how many people they put in jail here. Then he took me to a holding cell. He told me I’d be here for a while. “It’s not very comfortable. Sorry about that.” Amazingly enough, I was still cheerful, though nervous. I told him that I was the stay-at-home mom of two small children, any chance to take an uninterrupted nap is a good one. He smiled, shut the door, and left.

I sat there alone for the first time since I heard the knock on my door. I quietly looked around me and took it all in. A real city jail cell, just like Mayberry. A cot, a chair of sorts, and a toilet and sink, all out in the open with no privacy whatsoever. At least I was alone. Bathroom privacy is a hang up of mine. I hear about couples that shower together, leave the door open when they use the toilet, or let their babies in while they are in the bathroom. Not me! This is one of the things that separates us from animals. Growing up, I dreaded using the public bathroom stalls at school or worse going outside in the woods on camping trips. I even shut the door when I lived alone in my own apartment. Looking over at the open toilet, I thanked God that I had gone before we had left my house. My husband would bail me out soon. I can wait.

As I sat there on the edge of the cot looking down at my feet, I took in my appearance. I had thrown on the first sweatshirt I could find and the jeans that were at the end of my bed. I didn’t even put socks on, just my tennis shoes. I had pulled my hair back in a pony tail, brushing it with my fingers. I looked like I had been up all night drinking. I was tired, very tired. At that moment, I prayed. “Lord, help me remain calm. Help my husband through this.” I laid down on the bed after a bit and fell asleep. My personal best defense against stress!

To read the next chapter, click HERE.

Bothersome Dreams

Last night I had an awful dream! I woke up with a start and couldn’t stop crying. Even when I got up and walked to the kitchen to get a drink of water to shake the sleep, I started crying again when my son asked me what the dream was about.

My husband and I were in the truck in the front yard like we had just gotten home from somewhere. Suddenly several cars came up the driveway and stopped in front of the house, people started getting out, rushing to the house looking around. When we got out of the truck, a woman turned to me and asked who I was. I answered and she gave a look. It was a bounty hunter, like you see on tv shows, with the police. She wanted to ask me a few questions and I asked them all in so the boys wouldn’t be worried about what was happening and come out of the house.

I sat across our dinner table answering questions. My husband and our sons were in the living room with the police. I was worried that they were scared. I knew my husband would be very anxious. I couldn’t believe this was happening again. I wanted to not answer any of their questions. I knew I shouldn’t. I knew I should ask if they were detaining me, if I was under arrest, but I was terrified to my bones of going to jail and I kept thinking I could possibly clear this up by talking to them.

They asked me if I knew what this (an old video tape cassette) was, what my favorite food was, and where I had just come from. Every time I answered she would look at the others as if to say, “See! This is totally the person we are looking for!” I knew I should stop talking and let them arrest me if they wanted to. It was obviously what they were there for. But I couldn’t figure out how to say it without looking more guilty. That’s when I woke up crying sobbing.

I can’t believe this still bothers me so much. Writing my story is what is bringing it to the front of my mind. Sometimes I wonder why I’m doing it. Why not just leave it buried and forgotten? But then I think about how many people this could happen to, how many people it has happened to, and how many people are sitting in jail right now for crimes they did not commit but didn’t have the lawyer I had to get out of the box they put me in. And I think of all the people that believe they are innocent of any wrong doing, so it can’t happen to them. The blade of “justice” hangs over all of us, whether we know it or not. Maybe if more of us knew what could happen, we’d be more careful about giving up our rights. That’s what my dream was about. I know my rights. I know what I should do. But will I have the strength to exercise them, to do what I should do, if the time ever comes again? Will my children? My husband?

And then I think there are probably so few people that will believe me, or take me seriously. I doubt that most of my family and friends, those who know me best, even take my warning experience to heart. What is the point of reliving this in my mind and sharing it?