By Dar Bryant
Please Read, It will Change your perspective..
An idea was presented to me a couple of years ago, but didn’t really register with me until My meeting with a new client at the Dream Center.
A young lady about 22 just released from prison after serving 4 years on a drug charge. During our initial meeting she began to tell me her story. I don’t usually do the female intakes, but I was the only one available at the time. And something about her struck me as a case I needed to pay attention to. I don’t get drawn in to easily, but this young lady’s story was one that kept me up that night. She was blonde fair skinned, Full sleeve tats on both arms. Even though she didn’t look it, she explained her early childhood was normal, very typical.
(I will tell her story as she told it to me)
“My life was great until I was 8 years old when They found a mass on my spine. Turned out to be cancer, and the tumor had to be removed. But my Dad was self-employed and had been ever since he had gotten laid off from Olin. So, we didn’t have insurance, and the surgery and bills were expected to surpass 100k. My mom and dad were riddled with worry, but then after about 30 days My Dads mood changed, and he seemed less stressed and more focused. Mom Tells me I am going to have the surgery after all. Dad got a new contract and it would pay enough for the 50% down that was needed. Long story short. I got the surgery and it was successful. Our lives seemed to be getting back to normal. That was until one night when we were woken up by a loud bang at the front door. It was the cops. They come to arrest my Dad. I watched in horror as they took my dad in his PJ’s and in handcuffs out of the house. The only way I can explain the feeling I felt, other than being scared is, I I felt Bare and exposed with a certainty that our lives would never be the same. Dad had committed fraud for almost 200k. That’s how he had paid for my surgery. Now a whole new feeling came over me. Guilt, because this is my fault. He was sentenced to 10 years. I’m now 11 years old. Mom and I were alone, forgotten, shunned by family and friends. After about 6 months she had a nervous breakdown. She had no means to provide. We had to get on welfare. They put my Dad in a prison 200 miles away. We didn’t have money for gas to go visit him. I would lay in bed and my heart ached so bad I miss him; I missed my life!! The guilt, the shame and all of the sideways glances from the kids at school, I couldn’t get them out of my head. The teasing was relentless. In a small town, nothing is secret. I began to grow distant and withdrawn. I started using drugs when I was 12. And for a brief moment the pain, shame and guilt would abate. But only to return. I didn’t have money to pay for the dope, so if I couldn’t find a place to steal it, I turned myself out and traded sex for drugs. My mom got to a place she just didn’t care, she had crawled inside of a bottle. She never drank before Dads arrest. As time went by mom slipped farther and farther into alcoholism, and I slipped deeper into my addiction (Heroin to be exact). By the time I was 15 I had already been with 50 guys, had had 2 stds, and I had done drugs every day for 3 years. And the pain was just as real then as it was the day my Dad was arrested. For 4 years I have had no Christmas, no birthdays, I have only seen my Dad once. We can’t afford the phone calls from prison, he does write all the time, but it’s not enough. I miss him and my life so much. He was suppose to be getting out soon, but he didn’t make his parole
He finally makes it and is scheduled to be released in 90 days. and I just turned 18 , I’m looking forward to that when, I get a call from my aunt, Mom was killed in a alcohol related car accident. She had hit a semi head on. Oddly, I was numb. I don’t even remember the funeral. However, they said I was there. Totally trashed, but there.
One week before my Dad is released. I am arrested for possession with intent. I was making a delivery for my plug to make a little extra for myself and I get caught with a ¼lb of H. I get 8 years, and I serve 4. About 2 years into my sentence my Dad get’s lung cancer, he passes 4 months ago 3 months before my release”.
Now this young lady sits across from me, Shattered into a million pieces. Her dad goes to prison for stealing money to pay for his daughters surgery, and no consideration was ever taken about what would happen to the family. None. Their only crime is they didn’t know how to deal with the circumstances. Their lives are shattered Dreams of a future gone. All because of a fathers love for his daughter. The mom spent the remainder of her years in misery, as well as the daughter. What could have happened differently that would have changed the course of events after the Dads arrest? No one can predict when some one is going to commit a crime, so we can’t do anything about what happens before the arrest, but there is a whole lot we can do after the arrest to make sure a family doesn’t experience the same fate as this young lady’s. We must break the cycle.
Imagine how things would been if:
1.) The mom and daughter had a mentor
2.) They had regular family visits to the prison
3.) The little girl received Birthday and Christmas presents from her father
4.) And if the little girl had an advocate to intercede any harassment.
That is exactly what the KWIP program will do
In 2020 we will roll out KWIP (Kids with incarcerated parents) and it will change lives.
The cost for this is $1000.00 per family for one year.
Would you please consider sponsoring a family in 2020?
Any amount be will be appreciated.
Go to www.thedreamcenterofalton.com to donate