I was trembling and nervous before I saw the judge. He was there while the deputies held the phone for conference court.
I was charged with a misdemeanor and three felonies. I was so embarrassed and vulnerable. I was at the judge’s mercy. I could barely remember the scene of the crimes charged against me.
The night I was thrown into jail I was blacked out completely. I remembered being beaten up by a female deputy at the local grocery store. I was shopping for a few items to share with my community members. I had no money and I was off my mental health medicine. I was very manic and unarmed. I had a small knife tied up around my neck which I used for opening cans. Colorado survival includes a knife in a pocket usually.
As I sit in court I think about how I never imagined I would be mauled by a officer and thrown to the ground. Having PTSD I was in consciousness and out of consciousness.
I came to in the general hospital. They were doing x-rays of my neck and back. Clearly to me they were broken and I think that the department covered this up. Next I was given 5mg of Haldol. Lights out again.
I woke up while they threw me into a jail cell. I was in so much pain I couldn’t even eat anymore barely.
The officers were cruel. There were other women in cells. The lockdown was 23 hours and we would get out if we were lucky. I didn’t get to shower for 2 weeks. I started getting an infection from poor hygiene. When the officers came and said I could shower I, being in psychosis, shoved the officer and they charged me another felony. I was so scared and needed medical help. I finally started taking my medical medicine. As days moved forward I improved and became more aware and less scared of what was going on around me.
I still had no idea of how long I would be locked away. I reacted by writing my feelings out and reading materials the jail had given us. My hair was very long and had been ratted from not brushing it. The jail offered us hair clippers so I decided to shave it all. I looked at it in the mirror. I looked like a boy. How funny. My best friend called me while I was in jail. He looked very worried over our video. My family sent me very little money for commissary. It’s not good to be indigent when you are in jail.
Painting by Gwynne Duncan