” Solace In Forgiveness Is Power”

Hello, My name is Rory Gilmer, this will be my initial blog to behinddthewall. After reading several articles, I’ve decided to chime in with you guys.
To find solace in forgiveness is power. A power I reclaim as my own. The moment I chose not to forgive, I chose to give that power away. Now I choose to take it back! The action of forgiveness, in itself, is never for others, but to free me from the strife that holds onto my spirit.
As I get older I realize my view on certain situations change. At one point in my life, physical violence was my way of handling any negative situation. Wrong or right, I would fight to prove my point of being as tough as, or tougher than my opponent.

I also used to believe in an eye for an eye. Whatever pain you brought upon me, I planned on returning the favor x’s 10. Who wants to be the same all of their lives? That’s why I take my change of mind as a blessing. I can tell you this for sure – not me. I’m continuously trying for a better version of myself. That something inside of me that makes me special, I know it’s there. Therefore, I should continue to look. I have looked deep within myself and found that I harbor a great deal of pain and resentment due to other’s transgressions against me.
I have never let go of the pain that my heart has felt when I whole heartedly give myself to another, only for them to treat my love like a disposable razor. Or the anger I feel when people speak about homosexuals as if they are lesser than, rather than equals.

It’s not that I don’t want to let these feelings go. I know better than most that holding onto these negative notions only stunts my growth as a person. Sometimes I think maybe I just don’t know how to let these feelings go. I’ve lived enough to know that the first step is becoming aware that something is out of place, that there’s a problem. It’s at that point that I must begin my search for an answer. A friend once told me, “It’s okay to forgive, but not to forget.” I don’t know if I can wrap my way of thinking around that concept. I’m more of a ‘accept a situation for what it is and move on’ type of person. I have to find the balance that I’m comfortable with when it comes to dealing with any problem or situation. I guess what I’m saying really boils down to: can I choose which problems or situations I deem important enough to salvage. If I choose not to indulge in either one anymore, I must honestly, with my whole heart, let it go. To do less would only taint my growth process and set me back further than I was before this crisis came into my life.
The worst thing about past pain is that it makes me doubt my wisdom, or my ability to make sound choices. Today I’m making the choice to forgive those who have hurt me and move on. It’s all about my state of mind. You see, I now know, through life’s lessons, that the only limitations I have are those I set for myself in my own mind. My mother always tells me, “Everyone does not think like you and that’s okay. It doesn’t make you wrong, nor them right. The situation just doesn’t work for you.” With that being said, I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.

One Love Rory!

“My Beautiful People”

My beautiful people this is BigBoy. I want to hit on a topic today that is really grabbing at my heart right now. But before I go into that i need to give a shout out to one of my partners that i met while being caged up in the Twilight Zone that has passed away. Man it is a tragedy that he got out there and after only eight weeks found himself moving to fast in the wrong lane. It can happen to anyone of us that don’t pay attention to the traffic we surround our self with. It is easy to fall victim to the very thing we vow never to be around again. My friends I want you to wake up everyday and remind yourself that there is nothing that you can put in your body that can take away any torment or pain that may have been brought upon you. Life can be hard especially when you are young. The only thing that beats the pain is persistent and struggle. Listening to those who love you and have been through what you are going through is a BIG step in the right direction. Over coming drugs in your life will never be easy to deal with; its very hard to get out of that life when you fall into the wrong lane (DRUGS). Stay strong my little brothers and sisters and keep your focus on what is important… LIFE.
R.I.P Shawn “Skeeter Cremeans
Now ,I want to touch on the subject at hand which is people not being there or giving up on those that has been locked away for any length of time. I know some of your love ones may have done some straight foul stuff when they were out there in the wrong lane. There may be no excuse other than not having the proper guidance growing up or being influence by substances that they should never put in their bodies. That is something I will hit on another post. But for now i want you all to focus on the young ones that are coming out of these places they call Rehabilitation Prisons (The Twilight Zone).

These places (THE ZONE) is not giving us any type of learning (education) and or resources to become a better man or women. At the end of the day the young people, our future are coming out much angrier and far more secluded because so many of you find yourselves’s pushing them away. Let me tell you that the world moves much faster than the Twilight Zone. So upon entry to the free world it is so easy to fall victim to the things that got them in the Twilight Zone to begin with and often times much worse comes as in my partners case.

I am asking you to stop and think what you could do for one of these young people that will be taking your place in the world thirty, forty, or even fifty years from now. Something as simple as a talk, a hand held out to help him or her up (A JOB). The break you give may save a life. I know that everyone can not be saved my people but i know many can be reached. Keep love in your hearts and blessing will follow.

BIG BOY!

“Father’s Day Message”

Hey old preacher, how’s life treating you? I was sitting here thinking about Daddy and Uncle Joe. Well I guess I was thinking more about growing up and the men I respected as a boy. The more I thought about them, memories of you were as plentiful as those of them.
All my life I’ve thought of you as family. I was just laughing about something I remembered when I couldn’t have been no more than 12 or 13. You were trying to show me how to line the saw up so I could cut a straight line on the chalk line that marked the board. I said, “Reverend booker, I just can’t do that. I’m left handed.” And you thought that was so funny. You just laughed and laughed. You said, “Boy, I been watching your daddy cut boards since you were born! You think I can’t cut with my left hand?” Then you cut one with your left hand as straight as can be. The part that I remember most is: you allowed me to mess up, I don’t know how many boards, until I got it right.
I could go on and on about the life lessons I learned at your side. I hope it’s suffice for me to say that you’ve always had a special place in the memories that I hold most dear. I just wanted you to hear it from me that I appreciate all of the life lessons that you taught me.

Happy Father’s Day
~Prentice

“Twilight”

As I sat and talked with my brother here in the Twilight Zone (federal prison) about being broken by the system, someone asked me how I had been locked up so long and withstood being broken by the system. It has been a few days now since i was asked that question.
Sheer obstinacy may have been my greatest weapon. I’m too stubborn and unyielding to believe that because I was in prison that my life has no worth. When the question was asked, I said to them that there was no magic, we must take one day at a time. However, after having time to think, I now go to tell them that the magic lies within each of us, in our will to overcome what ever adversity that is flung our way. We must refuse to accept degradation, to let anyone decline us to a low, destitute, or demoralized state.
Strange One asked, “Why, what is it that puts one person and not another on the streets when times are hard?” My reply was that some people are indeed stronger than others. Not just physically, but mentally stronger. Why? I can’t say for sure. Perhaps they have triumphed over despair in their lives already and come away more confident, willing to fight harder to survive, no matter the odds against them. Facing hardships is how we come away with the calluses of life. That tough mental skin that prepares us for harder times in the future. The Twilight Zone is a place where we must continually develop calluses to survive everyday life. The trick is not allowing those calluses to become ‘callousness.’ We must not allow ourselves to become heartless, inhuman, inhumane, soulless, unfeeling, unsympathetic creatures.
The Twilight Zone has its own built in mechanism that keeps many of us from allowing the calluses built in by our lifestyle to become the callousness that many of those in the free world believe that we have. What happened to Skeeter is one of those times when that mechanism kicks in. At times like that we become family, friends, teachers, and philosophers to each other. We come together as one allowing all of the positive attributes of society to come to the forefront. Often during times of hardship in the Twilight Zone there’s almost a spiritual like comfort that we share. So, I guess what I’m rambling on and on about to answer Strange One’s question about enduring the the Twilight Zone for son long is that I’ve grown calluses, calluses thick enough to protect my mind (heart) from the many difficult situations that come about from being here, that I have no other means to control.
Boogalu asked a question that stung. First let me tell you a little about Boogalu: he is that kid that came to the Twilight Zone with at very best a high school education. he spends 70% of his time in the law library. His strongest motivation, his toughest callous, where the Twilight Zone is concerned is his continuous fight for his freedom. Ask him about any policy or law on the books or pending that has to do with being incarcerated for distribution and he can spit it right of the top of his head. His single-minded focus towards gaining his freedom would be admirable no matter what that focus was placed upon. I’ve seen him stand in front of his locker for hours reading law with a dictionary as his constant companion. He said to me once that that dictionary was his best friend because it told him what people where saying about him when he didn’t understand the language.
Boogalu is special in his own way, but the question he asked threw me for a loop. I never saw him in that light. The intensity in his eyes held me as I listened to his words. He said, “Twilight, if we all mean the things we have been saying where Skeeter is concerned, then how can he die?” The first word that came to my mind was ‘wow.’ How could I answer a question of that magnitude? I wasn’t sure, but I was sure that I must try. After listening to a few of the other guys talk I tried to bring myself into focus so that I could, at the very least, try to answer his question.
I said, “Boogalu, I hear you, and the best answer I can come up with is: as long as Skeeter’s memory resonates in each of our minds, he can’t die. That’s not just for Skeeter, it pertains to all of us. As long as we leave a mark on earth that lives in the memories of those who know us, then, we too, shall live forever. However, it’s the physical absence of our friend that we must now try to endure.”
Usually when overcoming a bad experience we just want to put it behind us and move on. We try our best not to linger over the guilt or pain, with good reason who would want to dwell forever on past mistakes or hurts? However if we refuse to look critically at the experience or the loss, we cannot hope to learn or benefit from it. Our hope should be to discover something of our strength, or conversely, we have been alerted to our fragilities. No matter which, we will have grown. I too, shall miss Skeeter. I also will thank him for allowing us to become stronger because of him.

I leave you in peace,
TWI-LIGHT

“Strange One”

Hello, my name is David, but in the Twilight Zone I’m known as the Strange One. I got that name honestly because I’m just a little bit ‘out there’ or as Twilight would say, “Strange.” That’s not a reference to my lifestyle, but to my personality. I’m also gay and that’s a reason others think I’m strange but it ain’t no sweat off of me. I am who the Creator made me to be. We recently found out some very bad news here in the Twilight Zone and I decided that I wanted to express my feelings about the situation. I wrote most of this on June 13, 2018.
I heard that Skeeter overdosed and died. It shocked me slightly, but honestly it wasn’t a surprise. When he left a few months ago I figured that was probably a possibility, but I didn’t think it would be so soon. When I first heard, I had to do some fact checking because we have this thing we call inmate.com, which is similar to any old rumor mill that you’re used to, just with a funnier name. The person I heard it from wasn’t known for spreading rumors, especially ones of that magnitude, but I still had to check to make sure,something I call research and development.
Let me tell you this: being in the Twilight Zone is hardest at times like these when you want to be able to just call whoever and find out if they know anything, or check facebook, or get online and check other sources that would have the information that you’re looking for and have the answer instantly. Unfortunately, you can’t do any of that here. I could have done a few different things to find out the information I wanted to know: I could have gone and asked other guys if they knew anything, but that would, if it wasn’t true, spread a rumor of bad news around and ruin other guys’ days, so scratch that idea. I was able to get on the email computer and sent a request to my people to look it up, so I might be able to find out, but being that they’re in a different part of the country than he was, and they don’t know anyone in that area, it was hard for them to find any conclusive information about him. They limited their search to the obituaries. It hadn’t been long enough for there to be an obituary yet so that search was a bust as well. I had to suck up my pride and go ask an officer (always the last resort) to see what he could find out for me. He went online right then and couldn’t find anything about the rumor either. I breathed a sigh of relief because I thought maybe it was just a rumor, or maybe he had overdosed but had been saved and hadn’t perished.
The next day, unfortunately, I found out the worst. The same officer that I had reluctantly asked to look into the matter saw me on the way to chow and told me he had done some more research “last night and this morning” and that my friend was no longer with us. Let me tell you, that will ruin your appetite immediately.
I know you’re not supposed to form attachments to people in an environment like this. But that doesn’t stop it from happening. He wasn’t my ‘best friend’ or anything like that, but we understood each other in a way that a lot of the others didn’t. We always made sure that the other was okay. If one of us could help the other in some way that was needed ASAP we always did, no question. We had many talks about our struggles with addiction, and how we weren’t able to manage it. He didn’t have the greatest support network for him once he was released. He wasn’t locked up long enough for him to lose the insatiable cravings. Heroin was his weakness, and we were lucky enough to be in a facility that didn’t have any available. Once he was released to the area where he was from, it was everywhere. I’m not from where he is, but the prison I’m in is quite close to there. We watch what was the local news for him. People are dying left and right out there and unfortunately he was one of them.
Heroin, is also big in my hometown area, and I’ve lost a few people to it already. However, because I was going through my own struggle, I never really processed the loss of those friends. I wasn’t around them or in their day to day lives because I was already locked up and going through the court process of my case. I know I hadn’t been a part of Skeeter’s day to day life anymore once he was released, but he had been a part of my day to day life for the past year. Somehow that hit me harder than finding out about my other friends, but it has also brought up feelings and emotions that I had had to suppress while going through the crisis of coming to the Twilight Zone. Once you’re here though, you’ve got plenty of time to process things that you’ve suppressed. Skeeter’s death, opened a flood gate of emotions about him and others that I’ve lost recently. In my current state of mind I’m going through a lot of emotions, but anger is the most surprising of them all. I’m mad at him for hurting himself, I’m mad that it’s made me deal with other things I had been avoiding, and I’m mad at myself for avoiding those things. Worst of all, now I’m scared of making connections with anyone else while I’m in the Twilight Zone because I don’t want to lose anyone else like this.
I know people come in and go out of our lives all the time. Death is something we will all experience, but that doesn’t make it any easier. I’m still kind of checked out of my whole grieving process because I really don’t know how to do it properly. I do know this: Skeeter was everyone’s little buddy and he never made anyone feel bad about themselves. He was a light in a dark place and it has been darker since he left. Now there is a different kind of darkness surrounding him and hopefully something good can come from it, but I’m not sure how yet. To sum it up – I’m feeling some type of way about this, and I don’t like it!
If I were going to leave you with a message it would actually be a quote from Dolly Parton, “The way I see it, if you want a rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.”

Strangely Yours,
The Strange One

” Respecting Our Elders

Respecting our Elders

We now live in a society that devalues old people. Most of us thank the Lord that we’re not old, which depending on our age, could be anywhere from 30 to 90. We live in a time where youth has come to represent vitality, creativity, and accomplishment.
On the other hand, age implies wisdom and earns respect in some people. It seems to suggest to us inactivity, deterioration, and intellectual and creative drying up. How can we allow the number of years one has lived to have power, or better said, the lack of power over us? Every day of our life has the potential to enrich us and for us to grow. If we would just take the time to look around us we would see so many older people who are vital and creative. People who have strength of will and of mind who have a knowledge beyond that of us who have lived fewer years. We should be inspired by them. they have seen and endured much and still they dream. That alone, should show the young that, we too, should forever dream, and respect those who continue to dream because they have seen their dreams come true. To all of my elders, I salute and respect you.

One Love,
~TWI-LIGHT