The captain of her heart

[thuh kap-tuh n uhv hur hahrt]: There were three videos shot for this song, known as the American version, the European version, and the Bollywood version.

The House That God Has Forgotten Part 45: The one that got away

Last night had me thinking a lot. Not the type of thing that keeps me awake at night, but something that has had me well…thinking.

Give me a minute of your time and bare with me here.

I think a lot about the motto we have “Breaking the evil circle” and what it means to you and me. What does it mean exactly? There can be a million different definitions, but the one I take from our government sanctioned department of corrections is that we are supposed to help people so they do not commit crimes again.

We do it often, we help. Sadly to say sometimes (all too much) we see the same people walk in and out of The House That God Has Forgotten like the doors we go into when we go into work every morning.

“That guy was here a couple of months ago, but he was on the 10th floor then” says a voice on the 12th floor as the look down on the promenade cells and see the video in the camera.

“Oh yeah…I remember him” says another voice next to me.

“He sat on my floor too.” says the third voice.

All from different floors, all memories of the same person.

I like to think that almost anyone can change even according to an article in the BBC even psychopaths can change.

“I wouldn’t want to write off treatment completely because most current programs are quite basic, and a lot of work is going into this area. But these people need a long time to get better, and they need to choose to do the treatment themselves,” Blumenthal says. “I think one also has to accept that there are some people who are treatment-resistant and are extremely difficult to reach.”

We try to reach our younger prisoners by spending time with them (some of which I do not understand to be honest… perhaps they work, but what I see there could be more that is needed to be done).

In order to achieve our goal… we would need to have one guard for every inmate. Let me explain a situation I was in.

Once upon a time there was an inmate. I spend a lot of time with them. When they first came into The House That God Has Forgotten they were under observation for narcotic abuse. In other words, they were getting off drugs and feeling like shit.

I was there, giving them that extra blanket and liquid food. The “Just try to eat something, it will make you feel better!” or the “Don’t worry..it will get better soon”

I watched this person go from lying in a cell on the edge of a bed throwing up to turning into a very vibrant and happy person. They literally lit up the room when they were in it. They were funny and interesting to talk to. They had been through a lot in life, and they used drugs to cope with it.

Three of us. It took three of us. Conversations day and night (literally) to get them to want to make a change. It took the third person wading through tons of twists and turns to get through the jungle of legal processes to get them into treatment.

But by God we were not going to let this inmate fall through the cracks! We would not stop until they got the help they needed.

They did eventually get it. They left and one day I got a postcard at work.

“Calandra, I am doing great here and things are getting better.”

It made me proud. I hung it up in my locker and would look at it every single time I thought of an inmate that I could actually help change. I did my job, I broke my first evil circle!

It was a great feeling. It made me feel like I WAS doing my job, so do not get me wrong here, it does feel awesome to help other people.

I think a lot about the drug addicts and the alcoholics that come walking through the doors of The House That God Has Forgotten and how we push had for them to want to make a change, but above all they HAVE to want to make the change themselves.

There are many people that sit in that have mental illness that cannot take care of themselves. It seems easy to say to someone to meet a professional and get on medicines and take them, but coming from a person who is in this situation it takes extreme discipline and above all it takes wanting to do it.

Trust me, it is more fun to be off your meds sometimes then on them because many people will tell you that they “want to feel again”.

It’s not easy for someone who has an unstable environment to pick through pill boxes and take them twice a day. It is not easy to make that commitment to not drink because you know that it can effect you, maybe not much…but that tiny tiny bit.

There are a lot of people at The House That God Has Forgotten who cannot be compared to me. Not meaning to brag, but I am the model patient. I take my medicine, I have a job, I have have a family, a daughter, two cats and a dog. I do not understand the Facebook groups I am in where people talk about not being good friends (I stopped having friends all together for some reason).

I myself have never committed a crime, or for that matter been accused of one so I just do not know how hard it would be for them to get out of the evil circle. BUT I read a lot about people in the same situation who are not at The House That God Has Forgotten and life seems hard enough without being in jail.

I think about the people that have smuggled in drugs. People that were subjects of economic reasons to do it. I do think breaking the evil circle can work for them, but how do we make it so they can function on a level of not being on the brink of poverty.

There are just so many factors to the issue that sometimes it makes our lives at work seem a bit “in effective”.

A lot of times I have to look at is as The House That God Has Forgotten is a storage area, waiting for the real work to be done at the prisons with their programs and such. BUT I have worked at a prison (A high security one at least) and there was little to be done there either.

In order for us to be able to “break the evil cycle” like I said we would have to have 3 people on the case.

And sometimes that does not work.

I remember hearing about my inmate.

“They are going to school now, and have a job” a co worker said after meeting them at the subway station “They look really great! They say hello by the way”

The next time I saw them they were hanging on the wall and having to be held up while walking down the corridor.

“Oh please! Tell me it’s not true!” I said to my colleagues as I saw them coming in my direction.

“What happened?” I asked but got no response. They were too messed up to answer.

It broke my heart. And it shows me that there is nothing we can do but perhaps hope that they find their way out of the mess that has plagued them for so long.

Myself defeated that postcard for some reason fell off the magnet in my locker and it got lost in there. Eventually it was gone.

The only though that comes to mind when I think about it is this:

“And Jesus wept.”

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