Thursday, September 29, 2011

Just trying to be Honest...

Journal entry...

Day 22

  Today I felt like I was sort of put on the spot for being open and honest about how I felt about marijuana and cross addiction. I’m just trying to stay honest so I can get the most out of this. I still get the feeling that some others disagreed to “play the program game” so-to-speak. I think that some others say what they say, just so they can complete the program. I’m still trying to be open to others’ input while staying honest with myself. The comment my social worker made about moving to where it’s legal got me thinking again. I just don’t know where to start to plan to relocate out of state while on Extended Supervision. A relocation may be in order anyway because I don’t think getting my license is even an option for another five years. I feel so overwhelmed.

(Counselor note - If you don’t accept the principle that is your choice, but it will also mean consequences)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Mother's Day

Journal entry...

Day 21

Mother’s Day

It’s hard to put my feelings into words here. Today I called home in the afternoon to talk to everyone who would be at my house. Everyone was there as I expected, and when they said how they missed me it made me feel like a bigger failure. Then I talked to Nana and she told me she thinks about me all of the time and misses having me around. It took all of my strength to not start crying right then, and even now as I relive those moments. I told her I’m doing my best to come home as soon as possible and that I loved her and missed her so much too. I can’t describe how it felt to hear her say that to me. My family haven’t been much for showing affection and expressing love for one another. I started trying to show it a little a few years ago. It started small by saying I loved them before getting off the phone with them while I was in the county jail. I hope it grows to be a more common scenario after I leave. I’m still not quite used to this open display and expression of love.



Journal entry...

(Counselor Note - Looks like you’re slipping.)

  Believe me, I’m not slipping one bit. I have an excellent memory when I want to, and although I’m writing this journal entry late, I still remember how I was feeling. It was the day before Mother’s Day and I knew my Mom was at home with my nephew and she should have been receiving my Mother’s Day card today. I added a note to her card telling her how I felt about her and why she means so much to me. This should have made me feel good, but as Mother’s Day got closer, I only felt worse. It hurt me that I couldn’t be there for her. I miss my family so much.


Cinco de Mayo, Still Fear of Freedom

Journal entry...

Day 18

  Today is Cinco de Mayo. Which tends to be a big drinking day for me. I know last year it was a non-stop party that day. It almost ended in a lot of people I know getting into trouble too. It’s sad to say, but I’m probably one of the few who is glad that I’m locked up on days like this. At least I know that if I’m in here today, I’m not getting into any trouble. Outside of here, everyday is unpredictable. Even though I’m confident I’ll be able to stay sober, I still fear my release date. Everything is so much easier to manage in here. I don’t even have to think very much in here. One day I hope this fear of freedom will go away. When I earn my freedom, I want to enjoy it.

(Counselor Note - Other than partying, how’s this day important to you?)


Monday, September 26, 2011

Chapter Six: Father – My Dad

Chaper 6 of the Autobiography... Letter F, Father.

Chapter Six
Father – My Dad

  My dad’s name is Vern and he was born in Janesville, WI on August 15th, 1957. His parents had divorced when he was young and he grew up with nine brothers and sisters. They had a farmhouse in the country that allowed him to roam around and get into all kinds of trouble. He was a typical kid growing up in those times. He had fun, and got into his share of mischief too. When he was a teenager he moved to Montana to live with his grandfather on his ranch. They did all kinds of different stuff out in the mountains, but the thing I was told most about was how strict my great-grandfather was. My dad and him would spend the day digging post holes and putting up more fence along the property line. They each had their own horse to get around on the property too. I heard stories about how people would come out there panning for gold even. It reminded me of the wild west when I would picture the stories in my mind. They also went hunting a lot back then. Bear, elk, deer, you name it, they hunted it. When he was sixteen years old he joined the US Army and was stationed in California. I don’t remember what ranking he achieved by the end of his duty, but I remember being told that he drove trucks there. Before the end of his term in military he had a bad car accident. He and some friends were off base one day and they were driving down the highway in a pickup truck. Two were in the front, and my dad and one of the others in the bed of the truck when the driver lost control of the truck and ended up going off the side of the cliff. The two men in the cab of the pickup truck died at the scene, but my dad and his friend in the back managed to survive through it by some miracle. The other man in the back of the truck with him lost a great deal of skin due to sliding down the highway, and my dad shattered his femur, broke a number of ribs, punctured a lung, and broke his neck. He was stuck on the side of the cliff and although he was as hurt as he was, he still was trying to get up so he could climb back up. His friend told him to stop and wait for help because he wouldn’t have been able to make it. He ended up in a nearly full-body cast for nine months due to his injuries, and in a wheelchair and crutches for quite some time after the cast was removed. After recovering from the accident he was discharged from the Army with a medical discharge and was granted disability. He then came back to Wisconsin to be with his family again. I don’t believe he was back for very long when he met my mother whom he married in 1978. They’ve been married for thirty-two years now and have three kids together, including my brother, my sister, and myself. My dad did his share of drinking while I was growing up and quit after he had a car accident on my fifteenth birthday. Although he had difficulties with it at first, he has been sober for over eleven years now and regardless if I’ve told him or not, I’m proud of him for it. He’s been a great role model my whole life and I’ve always looked up to him. Growing up with my dad was great at first. We spent so much time together fishing, camping, and just spending days together. He was a truck driver the majority of his adult life. After leaving the military, he took his experience and continued it as his career. He worked at a number of different jobs driving trucks and at the end of it all, it ended up taking a huge toll on his body. Between the accident he had when he was in the military, the accident he had on my birthday and his everyday life in the cab of a semi, he had really done some damage to his back. He developed a genetic deterioration of his spinal column and had to have a number of back surgeries. This has been an ongoing issue for him for a lot of my life. By the time I was a pre-teen I began to despise him due to some underlying issues I’ve had with him. I look back on it today and I know it was mostly from the lack of attention I was getting from him. Once I began acting up negatively toward him and I was getting into all sorts of trouble, we started growing apart. I don’t think either of us really sat down and thought our relationship was falling apart because of this. I think we thought it was due to other reasons. After having addressed some of these issues with my dad after coming to prison in the fall of 2010, I think we have finally started to close the gap between us. We are starting to understand each other a little more and starting to understand why we have done some of the things we have done to one another. I still love my dad unconditionally and want him to be a bigger part of my life. He is still a role model to me. He’s lived a difficult life and survived through some very tough times and I commend him for that. I know I have said to so many people that I don’t want to be anything like my dad. I’ve even said that living with him was a learning experience, it taught me how to not raise my kids. But looking back on all of that, I know now that it was so far from the truth. I can only hope to be as good of a man as my father one day. To be able to raise my children as well as he raised me. To find a wife that is as great as my mom has been. Sure, I’ll do some things differently, but he didn’t have a manual to work off of. He did as good as a father should be expected to do.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

T.V. = News, Outside Life

Journal entry...

Day 17

  Today the C.O. came and looked at my T.V.. Once he saw that was wrong with it he had me pack it up and fill out and exchange form on the back of my packing slip. He told me that they would exchange it free of charge and that shipping would be free too. I’m glad they’re doing something about it. It is one of my only accesses to the outside, my source of daily news. I watch very little T.V. outside of the news really. Hopefully it won’t take too long to get my replacement back. Unlike most of the inmates in here, my cellmates follow the rules and keep their headphones plugged into their T.V.s at all times so they don’t disturb one another. I’d rather they kept doing that, but I hate asking what’s going on when I see a headline on the news. I don’t want to bother them all the time. It shouldn’t be too long before I get my new T.V. back anyways. I’ll have more time to read now which is a better way to look at it.


My mind starts to drift....

Journal entry...

Day 16

  Everyday I seem to spend more and more time thinking about my autobiography, but every time I sit down to put my thoughts on paper my mind starts to drift. It often drifts to the point where I get little to no work done on it. I sure hope that when I start to type it that the words flow a little more easily. I think they should since I can type so much faster than I can write. I know in the time I’ve spent putting my thoughts on paper through a computer I’ve had much more luck keeping up with my mind. I wonder if my mind will ever slow down again? I’ve gotten so much better at my emotional control, but can’t seem to stop the anxiety and racing thoughts. I want to continue being able to live without the medication.



Journal entry...

Day 15

  Well it’s the start to a new week, but for some reason my early morning motivation was short lived. There are often days that I feel like I took on entirely too much. I’m getting down on myself because I’ve obligated myself to too much writing. Between my autobiography, daily, journals, reaction papers, workbook assignments, letters to my family and friends, and my internet blog, I’m feeling anxiety, failure, and frustration. When I think about it all at once it makes me want to give up sometimes. Not to mention I’ll be starting my employment module tomorrow. What’s next?

(Counselor note – Hopefully your future life! What internet blog?)
(Counselor note – Nice entries. 5/4/11)


They do all the thinking...

Journal entry....

Day 14

  Two weeks into the program now. I’m glad the time seems to pass quickly during the week while we’re in group discussions. Unfortunately outside of those times it really seems to drag. Some of it has to do with feeling overwhelmed with homework. Every time I sit down and start thinking, my thoughts start to race and I lose track of what I’m doing. It’s like I’m in fifth grade all over again. I thought I had my ADHD and Bi-Polar under control. I thought I was getting so good at controlling it without medication. Now I’m starting to wonder if it’s just my environment doing it. Being locked up means I don’t have to worry about anything. I don’t usually have to do too much thinking when I’m locked up. They do all of the thinking, I just follow the rules. Oh yeah, and I’m relieved they announced that they killed Osama Bin Laden today too.

(Counselor note – You’re Bi-Polar?)

~J. Doe

Saturday, September 24, 2011

...more bad news...

Journal entry...

Day 13
  Today I was hit with more bad news. When I was talking to my Mom, she told me that my brother was moving one of my best friend’s stuff out of his apartment. Then filled in the rest of the information. She told me that Jordan (friend) found out that his girlfriend was at a known drug house on his way to work. So he stopped there on his way and got his girlfriend to leave with him. Later he was arrested at work for kidnapping & false imprisonment, after someone at the house called the police on him. He’s one of my few sober friends anymore and we were going to be each others support when I got home. He just had a child with his girlfriend and now he faces losing everything as he is already on probation. It seems like every time I get a decent person to help me in my life, it all falls apart somehow. I pray that everything works out for him somehow.

(Counselor note – The one that came for Easter?)


Bombarded By Some Quite Disturbing News

Journal entry...

Day 12

  Today I was bombarded by some quite disturbing news. I found out my Dad is going to need another back surgery. This makes me nervous enough as it is. I’m scared for him. It only seems like he gets worse after every surgery. Not only did they tell me this, but they also found out he’ll need to see a Vasculatory Surgeon prior to having the back surgery. Apparently his legs are swollen, turning black, and he can’t feel his feet. No one seems to know why, but they need to get it fixed before they can operate on his back. I know this would be happening regardless if I were out there or not, but it reminds me that my Dad is doing things at home that he shouldn’t be and wouldn’t have to if I were home to do it for him. I feel partially responsible for his condition. Not to mention, I wasn’t told about his condition willingly, I had to ask how he was doing before they said anything. I feel like they don’t tell me a lot when I’m locked up. Like I need to ask specific question to get answers.

(Counselor note – How old is your Dad?)

~J. Doe

Internet Confidence

Journal entry...

Day 11

  Something I like about myself is that I’m a natural when it comes to computers. I enjoy tearing them down and rebuilding them. I like to modify them too. I got my first real PC when I was 6 or 7 years old if I remember correctly, and have only been separated from computers since then by pure force. I like that when I finish building one I can get immediate gratification for my efforts when I put it to use. Also, when I’m on the internet I can be anyone I choose to be. Mostly only when it comes to confidence in myself though. I feel much more confident when I’m not face to face with someone. I also miss my computer for it’s endless access to information. I’m always looking something up. Also, I hate writing, I’d much rather type.

~J. Doe

Chapter Five: Expelled – My Last Day In High School

Chapter Five of the Autobiography...  Letter E, Expelled.

Chapter Five
Expelled – My Last Day In High School

It was my last day in High School and I never even expected it. I was in my science class listening to the teacher speaking when the school liaison officer showed up to my class to get me. He told me when we got into the hallway that my probation officer was there to see me about something. This wasn’t unusual for me at this time. I was actually on corrective sanctions, from an early release from Ethan Allen School, but it’s basically the same thing. I was on an electronic monitor to make sure I was home by 5:30PM everyday during the school week and my corrective sanctions officer would come to see me at school almost every single day of the school week as well. 

When I got the Principle’s office to see her, she was in my Assistant Principle’s personal office talking to him and another very large man. When I came inside she asked me if I had skipped any classes lately and I told her I hadn’t. Then she explained that the day before I had missed three class periods. What happened was the day before I had gotten sick in school and they notified my parents to allow me to go home from school early, but they also needed permission from my corrective sanctions officer before they could allow me to go home. When they talked to her she said I had to tough it out and stay in school that day. Well, I didn’t think I was going to be able to do that so I left the nurse’s office and went out to my Jeep and laid down in the backseat and went to sleep for a couple of class periods. When I woke up I was feeling better so I went back to finish the rest of my school day. Well these class periods that I missed were the ones she was talking about me skipping. So when she finished explaining to me that I had missed them the day before her coming to see me, she then told me they were there to escort me back to Ethan Allen School for a weekend sanction. She said I could bring my homework with me and work on it over the weekend, but they needed to search my backpack before they put it in my locker to be stored for the weekend. When they looked inside my backpack they found a couple of bags of marijuana and some prescription medications. They immediately handcuffed me, shackled me, and belly-chained me and said I would instead be revoked from my supervision for the new charges. I didn’t have any new charges filed against me really. Instead they revoked my supervision with intentions of extending my supervision past my seventeenth birthday and expelled me from High School. 

When I was released on my seventeenth birthday with a mandatory discharge, I didn’t know what to do. I was stuck without a High School Diploma and no idea where to start looking for a job. I ended up having to get a full-time work permit from the YWCA after they verified my expulsion. Then I set out to find a job. I never thought having a High School Diploma would have meant so much at that time.

Confused and Frustrated: It’s Named “IF” by Rudyard Kipling

Journal entry...

Day 10

  I’m quite confused about the real meaning behind this poem we were assigned to write a reaction paper about. It’s named “IF” by Rudyard Kipling. I read the poem nearly twenty times before finally asking my cellmates what they thought. The two that read it both gave me different answers, so I figured it had to be one of those times where there were no wrong answers. Personally I’d like to know what the writer’s meaning was when he wrote it before I would write what my reaction to it was. I decided to wing it anyhow seeing as no one knew for sure what the author meant. I think overall I didn’t do too badly, but I also don’t feel like such a short assignment should be this time consuming. This is a lot of time I could have used to write my autobiography, but I was too frustrated to do that either.

(Counselor Note – So… Do you always need absolutes?) 

~J. Doe

Friday, September 23, 2011

When I'm Very Angry...

Journal entry...

Day 9

  When I’m very angry I tend to hold my feelings in until I can’t take it anymore. It starts with simple effects like gritting my teeth or clenching my fists. Depending on what other things may be going on with me to trigger my anger, it could be seconds or months before I lose it. When I finally lose it, my reaction could be anything from yelling at someone, hitting them is a rare and unusual occasion, or just breaking something. The real damage happens internally due to holding everything in. I know I drive faster when I’m angry too. I also tend to chain smoke. I try to vent sometimes, but it doesn’t always help. That varies depending on the response I get from the person I’m venting to. They could give me positive responses and be calming, or they could give me negative responses and push me further into anger. I also tend to use drugs and alcohol more often when I’m angry and that’s never a good thing, because it masks my true emotions that much more.

(Counselor Note - Why doesn’t venting always help?) 

~J. Doe

~J. Doe

My Favorite Person in the World

Journal Entry....

Day 8

  My favorite person in the world is my Mom. She’s an understanding and loving mother to me. She has been here for me unconditionally throughout my life. My Dad comes in with a close second. He is all of these things, although he and I have a few small issues. My Mom has been here to do anything in her power to help me along the way. Sometimes I might not agree with her decisions, but she always knows best. She knows what will make me a better person. Her problem solving skills are built in naturally. She always seems to have the best advice, and she knows me better than anyone else in the world. I love both of my parents equally, but I have to admit that my Mom is my favorite just by a little bit.

(Counselor Note - So… Why do you disappoint her?)

~J. Doe

Bombarded By Some Quite Disturbing News

Journal entry....

Day 12

  Today I was bombarded by some quite disturbing news. I found out my Dad is going to need another back surgery. This makes me nervous enough as it is. I’m scared for him. It only seems like he gets worse after every surgery. Not only did they tell me this, but they also found out he’ll need to see a Vasculatory Surgeon prior to having the back surgery. Apparently his legs are swollen, turning black, and he can’t feel his feet. No one seems to know why, but they need to get it fixed before they can operate on his back. I know this would be happening regardless if I were out there or not, but it reminds me that my Dad is doing things at home that he shouldn’t be and wouldn’t have to if I were home to do it for him. I feel partially responsible for his condition. Not to mention, I wasn’t told about his condition willingly, I had to ask how he was doing before they said anything. I feel like they don’t tell me a lot when I’m locked up. Like I need to ask specific question to get answers.

(Counselor note – How old is your Dad?)

~ J. Doe

Easter Sunday

Journal entry...

Day 7 Easter Sunday

  Today I had an excellent phone call home. My whole immediate family and one of my best friends were at my house cooking out for Easter Sunday. I don’t get a chance to talk to my brother, sister, or my friend Jordan either, as they aren’t usually at my house when I call. It made me feel really good to talk to them and hear their concerns about my wellbeing. It only shows that they care. I get a chance to talk to my brother every few weeks at most so it made me feel at ease when I heard he was being optimistic since I last saw him a month ago, as he was arrested for an OWI the night that he came to visit me. I was happy to hear from Jordan as well, and especially glad to find out he has been staying out of trouble, staying sober, and spending lots of time with his newborn son. This means a lot to me because I don’t want any issues to arise that may make me feel uncomfortable to be around either of them after I get out. The highlight of my day was talking to my nephew Logan. He told me that he loved me and he misses me. It made me want to cry honestly. I told him I should be home by Halloween so we can go trick-or-treating together. I haven’t seen him since October 30th of last year since that is the day I was arrested.

(Counselor Note - Huh?)

~J. Doe

The Hard Way

Journal entry....

Day 6

  I’ve talked about this with my family and friends a few times since being locked up. I’m really afraid to go home. Not “home” per-say, but outside of prison in general. I’m afraid of freedom I guess you could say. I’m afraid that although I feel as confident as I do that I’ve changed, I could be wrong. I’m afraid that after all this hard work and time in prison, that I’ll come across some hurdle that I wasn’t prepared for. Only to screw up and come right back to prison, or worse. I’m also afraid that my punishment for this crime isn’t going to be over yet when I leave. That I’ll have some judgmental P.O. who wants to ride me so hard that I fall apart. In my experiences I haven’t found many of them that believe in alternative means of rehabilitation rather than incarceration. I guess I will have to find out the hard way.

(Counselor Note - Nice entries!)
~J. Doe

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

My T.V. is BACK!!!

Journal entry....

Day 5

  After speaking to my mother on the phone I was quite relieved to find out that my T.V. could still be exchanged after it is tested by someone at the distributor. I was given contact information to have forwarded to the Property Officer to arrange for it to be picked up. I spoke with the unit officer who told me to write the info onto an interview request form and that it would be a while before anything would likely happen. I’m okay with that. Today I spent a short while making a list of possible subjects for my autobiography chapters. I feel slightly overwhelmed with all of the writing I have to do between writing back family and friends who have written me, daily assignments, and our ever-extensive autobiography. Not to mention I signed up to start my nine week employment module to start next Tuesday. I hope things begin to fall into place soon.

~J. Doe

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Optimistic... But my T.V. !!!!!

Journal entry...
Day 4

  I’m starting to feel a little more optimistic today as I’m getting used to the daily routine. Although I didn’t do as well on today’s pretest as I expected to, I still feel good knowing that I know a lot of the things I was taught in the past AODA programs I’ve completed. This afternoon I found myself quite angry and frustrated. After arriving at MSDF I found my T.V. to be slightly malfunctioning. There was ¼ of the screen that was a slightly different color that the rest of the screen. This afternoon I turned on my T.V. only to find this area to be bright white and unviewable now. So, my T.V. that is one month old, is defective. After checking my paperwork I found it could be exchanged for sixty days, but only if it hadn’t been engraved. So the DOC engraved mine with my DOC number before I even received it and they were the ones handling it’s transportation. Now I’m angry as hell because my T.V. that cost me $210 is screwed up while under someone else’s care and I don’t think there is anything I can do about it. The DOC should reimburse me for the cost of it in my opinion.

(Counselor Note - See me regarding this.)

~J. Doe

Monday, September 12, 2011

Chapter Four: Dirt Bike – My First Set of Motorized Wheels

Chapter Four of the Autobiography...  Letter D, Dirt Bike.


Chapter Four
Dirt Bike – My First Set of Motorized Wheels

Around the time that I turned twelve years old I came across a 125cc Honda Enduro dirt bike at a garage sale. I managed to talk my parents into buying it for me so I could ride with my brother. It was in excellent shape for a bike from the early 80’s. It was a nice white color and ran great. It just needed to be cleaned up a little bit. So after we brought it home I took a little time and pressure washed the decals off and did some minor detailing on the engine. At the time of getting the bike I had only rode a dirt bike once and I crashed it. So it was going to be an interesting experience learning to ride this one. I had a friend who’s family owned an auto mechanics shop on the edge of town and they had a significant amount of property that we could ride on. My brother had his own Yamaha dirt bike that he rode, and my friend rode an old moped. We would ride up and down this trail behind the shop for hours. The trail led along the side of a corn field and had an area toward the end that it widened out a bit where we had room to turn around and ride back the other way. There would be mud and dirt and dips and ruts along the trail that made it less boring. One day after I got much better at riding, my brother tried riding up next to me to race me down the trail and he somehow managed to get stuck into a rut that sent him off the trail to the left and into some trees. He came to an immediate stop in the middle of the V of two trees that almost sent him flying over the handlebars. Luckily he wasn’t hurt bad. A couple of bruises and twisted front forks and bent handlebars is all he ended up with. He was still able to ride back afterwards. After that day we were a little more careful, but the problem was the farmer who owned the property that we were riding on decided to sell the property to be developed. So I was back to square one with trying to find a place to ride at. I couldn’t ride it on the streets and didn’t have any property of my own to ride on, so I thought about the bicycle/horse trail that goes for miles in the country near my house. In the winter time it turns into a snowmobile trail so I didn’t think it would hurt if I rode on it with a dirt bike in the summer. I would ride my dirt bike down the sidewalk at an idle speed to the entrance to the trail and would ride up and down it for hours. It went all the way beyond the next town over but I never went any further than the next town. After being stopped by the town Police and told that they didn’t care if I rode on the trail as long as I wasn’t bothering anyone. They just didn’t want me riding it down the sidewalk to the entrance to the trail. They wanted me to push it six blocks from my house to the trail before I started riding it. It didn’t seem so bad. So one day I was out riding the trail with a friend of mine when we noticed an ambulance going down the interstate that ran parallel to the trail. We continued following the ambulance down the trail until we came across the car accident it was responding to on the road. So we just sat and watched the scene for a while until things started clearing out and then I drove the bike back into town. It was a hot summer day and the breeze felt good out there riding with the wind blowing through my hair. When I got off the bike at the edge of town I noticed it was kind of warm from riding it all day. So I pushed and pushed and pushed the heavy bike down the sidewalk. Sometime along the way the bike got away from me a little bit and was leaning at such a hard angle that it wanted to fall over completely and I couldn’t lift it up on my own. So I stuck my leg underneath it for more leverage but the muffler ended up laying flat on the back of my bare right leg and the burning made me let the handlebars go and grab the bike and fling it off of my leg. But it wasn’t in time to stop it from burning half of the back of my leg. It literally melted the skin right off of my leg and it was just hanging there. I had my friend help me get the bike upright and we pushed it to his house so I could put some ice on my leg. After I realized the ice wasn’t going to help any at that point I started the bike up and hopped on it and rode it home as fast as I possibly could. That day when I parked it at home, it was the last time I ended up riding it. I sold it not too long after. I still miss riding my dirt bike even though I got hurt. It was a learning experience for me.


Journal entry...

Day 3

  Today is 4-20-2011, also known as a pot smoking holiday. I used to know the history of the 4-20 celebration, but it’s history has slipped my mind at the moment. Typically in the years of the past I would be spending the majority of the day smoking marijuana. It usually turned into an all out day of partying. So I, for once more, can say I am glad I am here at this point in time. Rather than not knowing for sure how far my partying would have gone this time. There have been a number of instances since I have been locked up that I have said that I’m glad to be here right now. I’d hear about something bad happening outside of prison and just be glad I’m here, alive for one more day.

~J. Doe

Chapter Three: Canoe Trips – Surviving In Boy Scouts

Chapter Three of the Autobiography...  Letter C, Canoe Trips.

Chapter Three
Canoe Trips – Surviving In Boy Scouts

Around the age of twelve I moved up from being a Cub Scout to being a Boy Scout. Our Scout Leader was a close friend of the family, so it made it much easier for me to want to continue attending and participating in Boy Scouts. As part of our learning experience we attended a few weekend outings at a local Boy Scout Camp. During these weekends at camp we experienced a variety of different activities like learning to use a bow & arrow, starting a fire with flint & steel, or even making a shelter out of sticks and leaves in the summertime or out of snow, sticks and leaves in the wintertime. The most useful thing that was taught to us in my opinion was the proper technique of how to canoe. As much as I enjoyed the time I spent there, the upcoming experience was one I couldn’t have ever expected. We began to further prepare for a week-long canoe and survival trip. We were trained in CPR by our local Fire Chief also. We were allowed to bring a swimming suit, a couple sets of clothes, a compass, a survival knife, and the necessities to catch a fish (hooks, lines, sinkers, etc). Other than that, we only brought pots to cook in and tents to sleep in. After a final farewell to our families, we were off on our trip. I don’t recall exact locations anymore, but we headed north and were dropped off on the Kickapoo River somewhere. The first day we canoed for eighteen miles down the river before ending for the day. It was a stressful and exhausting day as the majority of us hadn’t had that kind of physical experience. At the end of the day we were so exhausted, but it wasn’t over. We still needed to pitch tents, cook dinner, eat, and clean-up before going to sleep that night. Some of us caught a fish here and there along the trip so far, so it made things a little easier. The constant downpour during the first day had me wanting to quit, I’ll admit. After a short pep talk from our Scout Leader, and I had a change of heart. That was the best decision I made for a long time after. I had the greatest time I ever could have imagined. Six days down the Kickapoo River, Wisconsin River, and Mississippi River. We even watched Bald Eagles soaring through the sky and even swooping down to grab fish from the river. I learned a lot about teamwork, determination, and untold amounts about myself. I never took so much time to stop and think about anything for any period of time before this, but had plenty of time to think while alone in the wilderness. We did a total of seventy-six miles of canoeing down those rivers in those six days. I saw wildlife that I could never have imagined I’d normally ever have seen. At one point on the Wisconsin River we even passed a nude beach too. We didn’t make it through the trip without any mishaps either, believe me. We came across a number of small waterfalls on the Kickapoo River that needed to be crossed. We didn’t bother pulling out and going around. Instead, we went right on over. Some of the group didn’t make it over so easily, and they ended up flipping their canoes over and dumped all of their gear and everything else inside as well. We all had to stop then and collect everything they lost, get them back in their canoe, and get back moving. Interestingly enough though, this still seems to be one of my fondest memories from when I was beginning to be a teenager, and I was still mostly innocent. I often think back to these times and wish I could do it again. I’ve talked to my old Scout Leader and she recommends that I start a new Boy Scout troop so I could share this experience with another generation. We no longer have a local Boy Scout troop in our area. I may think about starting another troop is I can regain the acceptance and trust that I would need from my community again.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

My Real Fear.

Journal entry....


  Right now I’m feeling sort of confused as to what I’ll write about in my autobiography. I know it’s suppose to be about me, but what I’m talking about is what type of content to use. My life has been all over the place, and I’ll admit it’s consisted of a lot of partying. I’m really afraid that what I’m going to write about isn’t going to be what’s expected. I guess my real fear is being a failure. A failure of the assignment, a failure of this program, a failure to my family, and a failure to myself. I hope I start to see some kind of light at the end of the tunnel so I can stop worrying. The anxiety and worrying I have of failing has plagued me throughout my life. I’ve failed so many things because I feared I wouldn’t complete them, so therefore I wouldn’t even start them. The fear and anxiety has consumed my life and the time I should be using to complete the projects. If I don’t learn to control this, I’ll never get anything done.

(Counselor Note - You write about YOU! What have you failed at? Or could be a chapter in your autobiography.)

~J. Doe

Chapter Two: Brother – My Closest Best Friend

Chapter Two of the Autobiography...  Letter B, Brother.

Chapter Two
Brother – My Closest Best Friend
 My brother’s name is Erick Noone Graf. He was born on September 7th, 1979 at the same hospital I was born in three years later. He and I have been quite close throughout our lives. So close that I would consider him to be my closest best friend. As kids we always hung out together. Riding bicycles together when we were young, and dirt bikes later as we got older. I think the greatest majority of my firsts were with him. Although he and I have had our fair share of bouts, we’ve managed to stay close to one another. I always enjoy just hanging out with my brother. Whether we’re doing something eventful, something important, or nothing at all. I’m content when I’m spending my time with him. Just like with my parents, I value my brother’s opinion more than most anyone else’s. If I date a girl, she usually needs to meet his expectations of someone he would choose to be my girlfriend. The reason for this is because if she’s going to be my girlfriend, she’ll spend as much time around him as I do, so they need to get along, and I don’t enjoy hearing from my brother, “You could do so much better than her!”
I don’t dispute the fact that he and I have fought each other (usually over pointless things) until we were bloody and bruised, but we always ended up making up sooner or later.
My brother and I are so much alike that we are often called by each others’ name. It’s quite common for us to be mistaken as twins or as the other one in general. We have even dated the same girl (Yes, at different times), and she even commented how much alike we were. The difference between my brother and I is that my brother typically thinks things through before acting, unlike myself. This could be why he’s hardly had any run-ins with the law throughout his life.
I’m really glad for this, because I don’t think my parents could handle another one of their children always in and out of jail, and/or prison. I’ve been enough of a stress on my parents in this aspect. But luckily my brother has always been there for me like the rest of my family has. I’ll admit I haven’t always been honest to him, and I’ve taken things of his without his permission, and he probably has a hard time trusting me. But, he’s been here for me through thick and thin, and I’m grateful for that. I know that if I had a problem with something, he would be the first person there to help me out.

Chapter One: Alcohol and Drugs – My Use

Chapter One of the Autobiography...  Letter A, Alcohol.

Chapter One
Alcohol and Drugs – My Use
  When growing up I never really expected to start using drugs or alcohol. Frankly I never did like the effect it had on the people I grew up around. But by the time I was twelve I started getting used to seeing people drinking around me more and more. So of course I wanted to give it a shot. I first got intoxicated from drinking beer. Then, when I started smoking marijuana when I was thirteen, I got put on juvenile supervision. At some point of the supervision I was mandated to do drug testing, which I failed. Once I failed the first drug test, my P.O. started giving them to me every week. Eventually I had to quit smoking marijuana, at least for the time being. Then I started having troubles going to sleep at night, so I started drinking heavily to fall asleep. I did this every night for quite some time. Before I knew it, I was used to drinking. As time went by I slowed down on my drinking, but increased my smoking of marijuana. There were a few occasions of experimenting with cough syrup around this age too. When I turned sixteen I was drinking occasionally still, and smoking marijuana almost daily. This ended when I was arrested for my first OWI and was revoked from supervision and sent to Ethan Allen. When I was released for the second time from Ethan Allen it was only a short while before I was involved in selling LSD and I was using it heavily while I was selling it. This didn’t last very long as I was finally arrested for my crime. Over the next few years I used alcohol more and more frequently as I was unable to use other drugs due to drug testing while on supervision. I did do some experimenting with different drugs throughout the years, but nothing ever amounted to more than one or two uses. My drugs use has primarily been with marijuana and alcohol. There was also a short period of time when I was sixteen or seventeen when I was abusing prescription pain killers. Then it happened again just last year. Before being sentenced for my fifth OWI last year, I was at home on house arrest for some unpaid fines. During this period of time I couldn’t drink due to an alcohol monitoring bracelet and I couldn’t use due to random drug testing. When it was almost a week until sentencing I gave up on everything. I didn’t care about failing a drug test. In my opinion, I was about to go through the worst thing I could have in over ten years. I had the option of staying at home on this house arrest for an additional year instead of going to prison. But at the time my father and I weren’t getting along very well. He didn’t even seem bothered the slightest that I was choosing prison over sitting at home with him. So I did something for the attention, and a bit of self gain. I stole all of his pain killers. When he confronted me about it I told him I guess he was going to have to call the police. While he was talking to the dispatcher on the phone I was consuming the pills. By the time the police officer came to the house I had met him on the front porch. He eventually put me into his car when he found out I was under the influence of some of the pills. I denied stealing the pills, but couldn’t deny the using of some of them. It was so obvious at that point. My eyes wouldn’t dilate and I was having troubles talking. The officer went back inside to tell my parents he was taking me to the hospital, so I consumed the rest of the pills with the hopes of not being caught with them. I was willing to risk my life to not get caught with them. I eventually woke up in the ICU at Beloit Memorial Hospital a few days later. I was hooked up to a bunch of different monitors and had a round-the-clock guard provided by the Rock County Sheriff’s Department. At some point I was taken to the Rock County Jail where I was put into the Secure Housing Unit. I was so deeply under the influence of these prescription pain killers that the next eight days were a blur. I don’t even recall speaking with my arresting officer or the drug unit detective. I admitted to stealing the pills and was granted some leniency. I was later sentenced to thirty-six months of consecutive supervision to my extended supervision. I’ve been clean ever since this incident and contrary to some people’s beliefs, I’ve had plenty of chances to use drugs since this day. Rock County Jail is a cesspool of drug dealers who’re still holding when they come in. I’ll be released from supervision on May 6th, 2017.

Autobiography Introduction: It's All About Me

First part of the Autobiography... 

It’s All About Me

   I eventually cover this information again throughout my
autobiography, but for the purposes of this introduction I want to tell
you a little about myself. My name is Jon Doe and I’m twenty
eight years old. I was born at the Beloit Memorial Hospital on
November 22nd, of 1982. I have one older brother name Erick who
was born in the same hospital on September 9th, of 1979 and I have
one younger sister who was also born in the same hospital on April
6th, of 1987. My Dad’s name is Vern and he was born in Janesville
on August 15th, 1957. My Mom was born in Beloit on May 20th, 1959.
They got married in 1978 and have been happily married ever since
then. In the following chapters I move into greater detail about my
life. I hope it is as enjoyable for you as it has been for me.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Alphabetizing My Life, The Puzzle That Is.....

(This is the beginning to the assignment which was an autobiography, everything is cited directly from the file received.  ~"3rd Person")


Introduction Pg 03
Chapter 1 A – Alcohol & Drugs Pg 04 - 07
Chapter 2 B – Brother Pg 08 - 09
Chapter 3 C – Canoe Trips Pg 10 - 12
Chapter 4 D – dirt bike Pg 13 - 16
Chapter 5 E – Expelled Pg 17 - 19
Chapter 6 F – Father Pg 20 - 24
Chapter 7 G – Grandparents Pg 25 - 30
Chapter 8 H – hangover Pg 31 - 34
Chapter 9 I – Ice Fishing Pg 35 - 37
Chapter 10 J – Jamaica Pg 38 - 44
Chapter 11 K – kitten Pg 45 - 47
Chapter 12 L – LSD Pg 48 - 50
Chapter 13 M – Mother Pg 51 - 53
Chapter 14 N – nightmare Pg 54 - 55
Chapter 15 O – Oaks Pg 56 - 58
Chapter 16 P – Police Pg 59 - 62
Chapter 17 Q – Quit Pg 63 - 64
Chapter 18 R – Rooster Pg 65 - 69
Chapter 19 S – Sister Pg 70 - 72
Chapter 20 T – Tubing Pg 73 - 74
Chapter 21 U – Under the Influence Pg 75 - 79
Chapter 22 V – Video Pg 80 - 81
Chapter 23 W – Washington D.C. Pg 82 - 84
Chapter 24 X – X-Mas Pg 85 - 87
Chapter 25 Y – YMCA Pg 88 - 89
Chapter 26 Z – Zoo Pg 90
Chapter 27 The Unwritten Script of My Life Pg 91 – 93
Chapter 28 Addendum Pg 94 – 97

Friday, September 2, 2011

I Have a Bad Feeling

Journal entry....

Day 1

  I already have a bad feeling about this group. 

  I’m scared that I’m going to be overwhelmed with so much homework that I’ll end up falling behind to the point of not being able to catch up. My number one fear going into this program is that I’ll try my hardest to work with the program, but it won’t be enough. Feeling like a failure is a huge trigger for me and I hope I can work beyond that too. 

  My second biggest fear is that I’ll complete the program, but it won’t be enough to stop me from going back to my old ways. I hope I can work on my insecurities and build some confidence in myself before I get out as they affect me in here as well as out there. I hope I fall into some kind of routine here soon so I don’t feel like I’m all over the place and don’t feel like I’m being caught off guard all of the time.

(Counselor Note - Depends!)

~J. Doe