So, I want to know your most life changing memory, I don’t care about what it is! It can be the moment you got married, the moment you first shit your pants, and anything in-between! (p.s I hope you didn’t ever shit your pants, but it happens.)
Mine was September 3rd 2016, it was the day I got arrested. This might not seem like a good day for me, but boy was it a learning lesson. I will tell you the story. Three days prior I had been sick from drug use lying in my bed, praying to the god of my understanding to find me a way out of this terrible life I was living. I was awaiting a warrant to go out after stealing thousands of dollars in bad checks. That day, my boyfriend was arrested after the police knocked on the door and asked for him, he tried sneaking out the back door before they saw him, but he lost that battle. Once I was told of his bail three days later, my sister and I took a ride to the city and got our drugs, I saved the $260 to pay for his bail. I had been told I’d have a warrant, but I did not that morning. I went to this little park by my spot and met a man with his niece and nephew. The man asked me if I was a drug addict, because he had a clue as to what was going on. I said, yes, I am, are you a cop? He explained to me how he spent four years in prison in erie over petty larcenies he had committed years prior. He told me to be careful on the ride home, gave me his number, and told me not to get pulled over. He was a cute, scruffy looking young man. I was a thin, fairly thin, sickly looking girl with long blonde hair and the look of a 14 year old. Well on the way home my sister, whom had a license when I didn’t, says to me that her stomach is ill and she couldn’t drive. I called the bail bondsman who asked me to be there at 4:30🕜. It was 3:45 and I was quite aways away. I began speeding on the freeway after doing just a tad of my stuff. I began speeding behind a silver car and as I past a turn around I noticed a state trooper, as soon as I passed him he flicked on his lights. “Omg, whitney. I might be going to jail, we need to clean the car up CLEAN THE STUFF UP NOW!” My sister nervously threw everything around, and stuffed it in the glove compartment. I pondered switching id’s with her but something came over me to tell the truth. The man was heavier set, with a big cowboy hat on. He asked me for my license and registration which I said was no longer in the car because I had taken it out last week. He took my name and disappeared. As he came back I noticed another cop car pulling up. I knew what was happening. He asked me to step out and handcuffed me. He asked what was in the car and I said there were some things in there he wouldn’t like. He kindly went up to my sister and said, “get rid of everything bad in here at home, properly dispose of it and return your grandmothers car.” She left with all my money, she left with everything. I was taken to a traffic court, and the cop tried to have the judge arraign me on a felony for checks. I cried, hoping the judge would feel pitty on me. He said, ” I cannot set a bail if I have no criminal history on you.” I was taken to the jail, and after telling the cop I was addict, he felt happy I was captive. I at that point felt free, my life was about to change. I was about to go through terrible sickness and no one could touch me, not the drugs, not my boyfriend, not my own disaster of choices and I was liberated. I was put in holding and met some amazing jail cops, they laughed with me and cracked many funny jokes. They found it halarious that my boyfriend thought he was getting out and now I was getting booked with him. I was then taken downstairs to the womens pod. I watched a woman clean up the floors by her self while everyone else was in their cells. I was brought to a cell with a ratty sheet, a wool blanket, toothbrush, toothpaste and a bar of soap. I put my sheet on my bed, and looked at myself in this ugly gray and black striped onesie. I got in my bed, and fell asleep. I woke up feeling awful already. I was put on the doctors list to meet with the doctor and get tylonel for withdrawals, not that I wanted that. I was then taken to another judge to be arraigned. I waited with a group of girls dressed in street clothes happily awaiting a bail and a ride home. One girl said she smashed her mans guitar because he cheated and she felt no remorse. After hours chained and waiting, I went in front of the judge, sick, and lied saying I had an appointment for detox at a local hospital and needed a bail. He set he had to wait a week to set my bail and my heart sank. I went back to the jail and cried and cried, I was only allowed out for one hour to shower and use the phone. I tried calling an old boyfriend, tom, who answered once and then quit answering. I talked to my mother who assured me they would get bail when it was set. For a week I was so, so sick, but my mind was strong. I tossed and turned in my cell, sweating, throwing up, and tying blankets to my legs tightly to slow down the leg spasms and cramps. I laid awake and prayed, and prayed. God got me through it. After a week I was granted bail and my grandmother paid 500$ to get me out, the money I had prior had been spent by my lovely sister who would also get a warrant based on my charges that month. I got out and felt freedom, I felt so happy, but darkness set over me. I slipped, used again and as I stumbled in the house my grandmother said, “you are going back to jail my dear….” Another town police showed up looking for me, as i hid in the closet under a pile of laundry on the phone with my boyfriend who was in jail. They left after my grandmother said i wasn’t there. The next day I went to my local police station to answer an appearance ticket, I was sure I would be fine. They directed me back to the jail to get fingerprinted. When I got there they asked me for my phone and told me I was being rebooked. I began frantically crying, asking how this could be. The jailer said I had 6 more warrants for checks they hadn’t ran. I cried and claimed I was going to die, and the sarge simply said, “if you change your life this is just a blimp in the road”, and then I was led back downstairs to change, and go back to my cell where I would spend 4 more months.
That moment that seemed so big, was a beautiful blimp in the road. I am ever grateful for the kindness I received in that jail. I have been clean nearly 2 years and am now a nurse. I thought my life was forever ruined, but with time it wasn’t.