Journey of Faith

Don’t make my sister come!

So, we arrived at Cambridge Springs on December 24, 2019. I mentioned before that after all the processing that we had to go through, I finally was assigned a dorm and bed by 9:30 pm. (remember the day started at 4:00 am). I have problems with my hip/knees and have asthma. They decided that putting me on the 3rd floor in a top bunk was a great idea! The stairs to this dorm are better known as “stairmaghedon”. They are steep and there is about 9 steps per flight with a landing between them. Even the most athletic person was huffing and puffing after climbing these bad boys. I was also supposed to be “bottom bunk restricted”. The bed they assigned to me was top bunk. I wasn’t amused. There also wasn’t much that was going to be resolved at 9:30 pm on Christmas Eve. That was only the beginning, however. No one, should have to move on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, etc. I’m sure like most of us that were transferred that day, we were hoping to have a visit from family or make some phone calls home. When you’re transferred, your phone/accounts are shut off temporarily. My anxiety was still reeling from the night before, I had new anxiety of now being placed in general population, in a facility I was unfamiliar with. I was also placed with no one that I knew. The people that I did know that were transferred with me, didn’t stay long as they were moved to their program housing within that week. I felt very alone, in a strange place, and it was the holidays. On top of this, I should never have been placed on a 3rd floor in a top bunk. (Medical claimed that my orders expired, I guess they expired when I drove from point A to point B). That evening when I went to take my anxiety meds, I was told that they didn’t have them. This continued for several days, including me asking over and over again. (I found out later in a separate transfer that meds like this get flagged, and that they could’ve put a bridge prescription on it until I met with the psych Dr. to have them issued out of this facility). Honestly, they don’t care enough. Through time, you learn these things and are able to pass on that knowledge to others, so they don’t have to go through it like you did. To this day, I will be forever grateful fpr a CPS worker named Rachel. A CPS worker is another inmate who is able to take training, who also has mental health issues and is able to advocate for you and talk to you when needed. Rachel was able to go to her boss and have things set in motion for me to get my meds restarted. (I later thanked her and told her how much this meant me). This was a huge task since no medical staff was supposed to be back until after Christmas. It was like things stood still until almost the 1st of the year. Another reason, NO ONE should be transferred during a holiday like this. Every day I was calling home and in tears. I don’t mean just sad, I miss home tears, these were sobbing tears. Finally, the one day my little sis told my mom, “My sister doesn’t cry like this, I’m going up there to find out what’s going on”. She wasn’t going to rest until she put eyes on me. Her and her husband were the 1st visitors I had at SCI Muncy and the 1st at SCI Cambridge Springs. This meant the world to me because this wasn’t an easy drive for them. It’s about a 6-hour drive from their house then to the prison, one way. It was just nice to see a loved one, hug them and just feel that sense of familiarity. I did finally get my bottom bunk order fixed and swapped places with my Bunkie. Eventually, I was then moved to an entire other unit, called “C” unit where I would spend 95% of the rest of my time while incarcerated. I liked this unit for many reasons. All of the units were open units, meaning none of us were behind a door or in a cell. Well, there was one unit that did have this, but I was fortunate enough to only live there about a month. I’ll share that story later. This facility used to be a college campus. All the buildings and rooms were old and, the resembled college type dorm rooms. They were set up with 1 set of bunks on each wall (4 people total per room), with 2 desks, shelves, open closets and picture windows like you’d see anywhere else. We had the windows that could be opened for fresh air, but grates on the outside so no one could jump should that urge arise. When I lived on the 1st floor, which was about a year, it only housed about 25 people total. This helped my anxiety tremendously. There was a short period of time when I finally became acclimated that I was able to go to indoor rec. This was nice, because we could go up to the chow hall on certain days and meet up with friends from other units to play games or just socialize. I remember walking around the campus and seeing everyone in shirts with DOC on the back. It struck me immediately when I saw this when the Lord revealed to me that it didn’t stand for “Department of Corrections”. He told me it stood for, “Daughters of Christ”. From that day forward, I never looked at those shirts the same way. We all definitely were his daughters. By, February I was finally getting the hang of things at my new location. I received a wonderful visit from my husband, boys and my friend Andrea. Originally, I thought I wouldn’t hardly see anyone and here I was having a visit once a month. It wasn’t they every other week like in Muncy, but it was better than expected. I had pending visits coming up in March where my older sister/brother-in-law were coming and another visit from my best friend and her husband. Things were moving along, and then everything came to a screeching halt!


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