Hi, friends. Happy Thursday and happy October!! I apologize that I haven’t posted since July. I’ve recently moved and I feel like it has been such an exhausting process. Since I’ve started settling in, I thought it would be a great idea for my first post back to be in observation of World Mental Health Day.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
For the longest time after the arrest I always described my mental state as “feeling like I was stuck at the age of 14”. As an adult looking back, it felt like my development was stunted. In all honesty, it took forever to grow out of feeling this way. Deciding to blog and share my experiences so openly was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, but there is so much hiding behind the scenes that enabled me to share my story. Somehow this experience has always felt like a slow motion car crash. As a kid, this was the most terrifying aspect. I did so much and participated in my brother’s case because it was impossible to understand that there was absolutely nothing I could do, especially as a child.
If only I could just turn back the clock and tell small Chelsea what she dreamed of knowing. She would hate me because my answers are nothing she wanted to hear. It’s humorous to me that at this place in my life I thought there’d be no way of surviving for ten years. Hell, I think I genuinely thought it’d only last for three years max. So many days and nights were consumed with praying to my Christian God to “just please end this nightmare or give me the courage to end it”. I just knew I couldn’t make it beyond the immediate now. With each passing day, the brother I knew on the outside was quickly fading.
I remember the first visit I had with my brother. I can’t describe the dreadful feeling I was overcome with leading up to the visit. Perhaps it’s only me, but this situation was very stressful for me so any and all visits – I was there. I refused to miss any opportunity to see my brother. In the following years, I began to look forward to these visits during the week. Most visits were great, but those awful visits are inevitable. With that being said, sometimes visits were just looking at each other. Almost like we were communicating telepathically. I knew everything he couldn’t say, and he knew everything we couldn’t say. These thirty minutes made the hours of wait time worth it. Some days we waited longer than others, and some days we didn’t get to visit at all. I would suggest to anyone visiting an inmate – familiarize yourself with the institution’s policies. I’ve been visiting my brother for a total of ten years, and it’s amazing how different visitation is now compared to the beginning of our journey.