Chapter 17. New Year, New Beginnings (January through May 2003)

I returned to my unit and greeted, for many assumed they would not see me again.  I now had several resolves, one of which was not to fall back into the money-hungry person I had been.  My sole purpose should remain as one being helpful and providing a service.  I did not come here to stack up on items from the commissary and besides the attorney had been released.

I was given a different room since my previous roommate was assigned someone else.  There were no hard feelings; in fact, he was the first to greet me with a hug.  My new roommate spoke English, worked in the kitchen giving me time to have prayer and study without distraction, in my room, instead of going to the chapel.  I began following the newly suggested method of conducting my day of involvement with the Lord from wake-up until lockdown, so from about 6:30 a.m. until 3:45 p.m., and only if I had something to do for someone then I would help them, otherwise, I dedicated my time to my “self-help” time as I called it.  I found suitable material in the chapel library and began an earnest study of the books.  As I progressed through them, a total of sixteen, it seemed as though God placed them there for my usage and in a sequence I found interesting because there appeared to be an order.  I would underline certain passages of relevance to me and rewrote it on a tablet and sent it home for safekeeping.  This activity lasted for ten months with written notes of about 400 pages!  (Note:  Those pages which were handwritten were later entered in my personal computer’s database and took me almost as much time, about 10 months in 2005, a project I began when I started working.)

Our Bible study group met again; however, it was attended by one less as he refrained from attending and I felt somewhat responsible thinking had there been no break, he and I would have benefited further, but as I observed him, he seemed intent on doing what he wanted and perhaps only joined in the beginning as a form of having something to do and wasn’t genuine.  So the four of us continued meeting, even having Ms. Garcia stopped by listening in, however, I could sense something was wrong.

An inmate, I had no previous contact, told me she was furious with my being returned to the same unit and made the statement, “Gotta get him out of here.”  I kept my distance not wanting to antagonize the matter, but within a week of returning was told to pack my things and she, personally, escorted me to the unit where the counselor who made my report while in “The Hole”, suggested I should have been.  I felt victorious in that I did what I felt was right.  I left and returned and if it were time to move on, fine.  God simply had plans for me somewhere else.

The first week of January 2003 brought me to Unit 2C and I roomed with an inmate almost sixty years old, illiterate even in his own language since leaving school when he was twelve, physically-impaired because of an operation on his foot as well as a catheter for urinating, in the beginning he and I got along well.  In the morning, I would leave the room allowing him to sleep because, as he indicated, he was “infermo” the word in Spanish for “sick”.  I would go out to the common area, with my books and study despite the noise and read until about 9:00-9:30, and then go back to my room.  After a month of being distracted, I decided to start turning on the light determining his being sick was just a ruse to be able to sleep until lunchtime.  Coupled with his laziness and poor hygiene, one day I noticed him with a piece of toilet paper wipe off the counter, held in his hand while using the toilet (sitting), wiped the catheter tube and then wipe his mouth prior to flushing!  I decided it was time to move, especially since in the two months I roomed with him, he used the showers—twice! And both of those times after my urging.  I had enough and relocated to another room and this roommate was completely on the other spectrum, very clean, English speaking and kept the room immaculate.  However, after a week, he relocated to another room which would be the beginning of a trend.  I would have five more inmates assigned my room and after several days, four days being the longest, seek other accommodations.  I believed the reason could be attributed to several things:

  1. I read all day and required the light to remain on,
  2. It drives me crazy to have someone brush their teeth and rinse their mouth in the sink where I shave and not spit into the toilet,
  3. I do not permit smoking
  4. There is to be no whistling, humming, singing, drumming, or unnecessary talking,
  5. I do not agree with a roomful of guys visiting, and…

no wonder no one wanted to live with me!  Makes me wonder why I had been married so many times!  However, later I learned and came to believe, the Lord permitted me to have a private room for the many hours of praying, meditating, writing and even crying if needed.  Surely I felt the pangs of loneliness but came to realize I am much happier as a single individual without the concerns and worries a relationship brings.  Whenever I was alone I wished to be involved with someone and when I was with someone, I wanted to be alone!  I came to accept there is nothing wrong with being alone, once you have come to accept it and learned to be your own best company.  But for now, thoughts were still on Mayra and hoped in being reunited with her.

In March 2003, during one of our visits, I broke down in the visiting room and was comforted by her.  There were several emotions I was experiencing and felt overwhelmed.  I missed her and entering into a period of incarceration which was foreign to me.  It now exceeded six months and there appeared to be no progress or end in sight.  I had not seen my attorney in three months and depression was setting in.  I have trouble with noise and here it was constant and in a language I could not, nor did not want to understand.  Sorry to admit it, but my Puerto Rican brothers were very immature, loud and did not seem to want to be any better than they were.  One guard mentioned to me, quite solemnly, that his people did not read and I observed he was right for the most part.  Those I did come to know did not finish school and literally would not pick up a book to read.  I could not understand how a man could spend so much time and not want to spend it in some form of adventure which can only be had in a good book.  Instead, they would use the heavier books and bind them together and use them as weights.  I spoke to one who stacked an armload of Bibles back onto the rack, not even properly, that using the Word of God in such a way could be damaging to himself.  He laughed and said he did not believe what I said, even after giving him a warning.  He was gone within a week because his life was threatened and placed in isolation!  Others would use the paperbacks as supports for pushups, ripping the covers off, misusing these valuable sources of entertainment.  Time and time again, I would get them and restack the rack.  So much time spent in using the books for building muscle and not a bit was exercised for the brain!  What a waste, the greatest muscle of them all.

One of the books pointed out that there are three roles in society:  parent, child and a combination of the two.  I was definitely a “parent”, and this Unit was definitely filled with “children”.  Had I been able to perform the third role, I would have had an easier time, but I failed to do so.  And, like children, they resented this “parent” and would strike out against me by rebellious acts.  There really was no reasoning with them.  Coupled with the nature of my case, I found myself the focus of unwanted attention in the form of food throwing and banging on my door as I tried to read or when locked in for the night and only the orderlies were let out to clean.  Once while watching movies, I popped some popcorn and settled to enjoy the film with the group and was hit by three oranges!  They weren’t tossed but thrown hard enough to sting and with enough power they would deflect off me and hit those around me.  Soon, I was sitting alone!  Determined not to look around to find out who was throwing the fruit which would have been futile, or make a threatening comment, I just left and went to my room.  God’s word of comfort was,

“I never wanted you to socialize.  It is not why I brought you here, to watch movies.”

So, I remained a recluse, keeping to myself and those who wanted to speak with me could find me in my room, where I felt safe and unmolested, except for the banging on my door.  After lockdown, the night orderlies would be out supposedly cleaning except for them whacking my door with broom handles.  I was in a dead sleep once and woke up because of such a pounding, caused me to strain a muscle in my stomach because of the sudden noise.  It literally scared me.  I tried to catch them, and once I did when I turned out my light but stayed by the door.  It was one guy who had two brothers here who were the culprits along with several others.  The night I actually seen them I hit my alarm button and saw them scramble.  In prison, one does not “snitch” otherwise worse things could happen, but I refused to play those childish and meaningless games.  I “snitched” and when let out of my cell pointed who they were.  I was advised to leave the Unit but could not understand why.  If I saw the problem, remove them—not me!

One day I approached the one I determined was the ringleader, the older guy with the two younger brothers.  I asked if I could speak with him in my room and he agreed.  I closed the door behind him and put the traditional towel against the window held by a bent toothbrush, which meant either I had to use the bathroom in privacy or there was going to be a fight since I was not in private.  I noticed him getting into a attack stance and asked him why they were doing this to me. He said guys like me are harassed in prison, so I questioned “who are like me”? What was it he heard?  People who abuse women or children have it hard in prison, but whatever was said about me got it wrong, because I did neither.  I invited him to review my paperwork and find where I ever abused any children and then explained why I was here.  Something happened because he was touched in his heart.  He told me he would put the word out and I would have no more trouble.  And it did stop, other than the few who insisted on trying to get a reaction out of me because of my dislike of noise, but eating in my room continued after having explained it to the officers who did not know me and assigned from quarter to quarter, why I chose to break the rule.  As of the writing of this chapter, January 2004, I still take my meals in my room despite the rules saying we aren’t permitted to do so.  If Administration has a problem with it, send me to “The Hole” where they will have to bring me my meals, and I won’t have to stand in line and I can eat, still, in the peace of my room.

God does hear and answer prayer.  On April 4, 2003, I wrote in my Prayer List for God to make it clear, in no unmistakable terms, what He wanted for me in regards to my marriage with Mayra.  Exactly one week later after being inspired to call Mayra after watching a rain shower, I learned she sought an attorney and began divorce proceedings.  When she told me, she was unsure of my reaction especially since just a few weeks ago I told her I needed her so badly.  I responded in a positive way because:

  1. God told me to give her to Him the day after I was arrested,
  2. While in “The Hole” December 2002, God told me when she asked about a divorce to not disagree and allow it to happen, and
  3. Here she was, just a week after praying about it, God making it crystal clear what He wanted regarding us. 

I was at peace with her decision and tried to assure her she had nothing to worry over, because she made me aware nothing would change between us, since we never were a couple to begin with.  I would still have her support and friendship.  I agreed with her and she never neglected me in any way, still taking my calls and requests, and ensured there was money in my commissary account, since I was almost out of the business of typing motions for other inmates.  Actually Mayra was wrong in saying nothing would change because once the air was cleared between us, we became true friends.  Our visits were better as our phone calls and letters.  This is what we should have had prior to getting married.  Like Louisa, I had done things in the opposite way.

I met with her attorney the following month and June 2003 escorted to court, and in Spanish, the proceedings agreeing to divorce Mayra, my fourth bride and second longest marriage.  I was both sad and yet glad, unsure yet certain, I was on the proper track in doing what God wanted in restoring my life to some semblance of normalcy.  However, it was not until November, just before Thanksgiving when I truly let go of her, fulfilling God’s word to me over fourteen months prior.  When I released all my hopes, dreams and ideas regarding her, I freed her to become even a closer friend for her own growth and relationship with God, without the entanglement of a relationship which started and ended badly.  I began making plans to resettle back to the United States and considered Puerto Rico as a ‘bus stop” on the path I called “Life”.

While still rooming with the older man, I met in the beginning when I came to this Unit, I met a young man, Enoc.  I made good friends with our second-shift guard, a Christian, who told me there was another man in the unit whose charges were similar to my own, although he could not or would not tell me who, because of the sensitive nature of the cases and the right to privacy and security.  However, this young man came to our cell to assist my roommate in writing a letter home.  God dropped a word in my heart he was the one.  And he was!

When he came to assist the old man a second time I asked if I could speak to him and we could talk freely because it was obvious my roommate could not speak a word or understand English, and I asked him if his case were similar to mine, and using the code word, “CP” for child pornography, he understood and we immediately became attached and begun a friendship.  People, no matter who they are and what they have done have a need to be heard and deserve humane treatment.  We all have problems, just different ones and although they differ in degree, it is what we have either been given, or chosen to be afflicted with and deserve the same love and guidance and deliverance.

I shared with him my experience and why I was here, to grow closer to God and believed our meeting was not a coincidence.  Enoc was an angry man and spoke harshly about his case in defense, yet would not accept some responsibility for what he did and struggled with God.  However, I believe most of his problems were due to a level of immaturity and that was fine.  Who among us have no incidences like this?  I invited him to study and pray with me, at a specific time daily, which lasted once.  He felt he could drop by when he wanted but I was firm and told him I did not work that way.  I had a schedule to follow and was very clear about maintaining it.  Most of our lives are the way they are because of disorder and one of my goals, here, was to discipline myself to have order in my life.  He could not see this and chose to go his own way, yet agreed he would read the entire Bible, and he did.  He was a little disappointed when I suggested the next step was to do it again, as I had, already three times before meeting him.  It had been my practice, prior to coming here, to read the Scriptures at least once a year.  Depending on my life’s struggles, sometimes the goal was achieved, other times not.

Enoc would have a period of time I called “his adjustment” when he would need to make some decisions what he would do in relation to God as well as his immediate surroundings.  His problem was wanting to “fit in” with the others and could not.  It became common knowledge why he was here and he, too, like me became the focus of some cruel circumstances such as being bombarded with foodstuffs while watching movies, yet he would continue to get that front seat instead of learning how to take a back row.  Once, someone dumped a bucket of water on him!  Due to his lack of restraint I begin to disassociate myself from him because I had my own battles at the time and did not want to be implicated with him.

We shared particulars of our cases, my offering advice since I had been here longer and this was not my first legal situation and have discussions about the process and how although tempted, one should not rush the case.  How the prosecution works and the defense, and what he as the defendant is able to do, without allowing yourself to be taken advantage of and not knowing your rights. I found being in Puerto Rico, although it’s a Federal case, the rules are different than legal matters of the state, and all documentation is done in English and not the language of this country, albeit a territory of the United States.  There is much confusion within the Puerto Rico populace as to what and who they are.  One third believe themselves to be Puerto Rican exclusively and want no oversight of the U.S. government, while another third want to be a state, and the last third composes of those who do not know what they want, but want the benefits of the United States and want the best of both.  There is a disproportionate group who refuses to learn and speak English although it is taught in their schools but because it is not spoken frequently many lose the ability or are unsure of doing so for fear of making mistakes and being looked down upon.  My fear, in the beginning, was when I am in trial will my jury adequately understand what is being said, even if they do speak English.  Nuances, inflection and slang may be a real problem and I wanted to make sure I am being fully understood especially since I’m told I speak fast.  However, when I looked at my own situation and compared it to the average inmate here, they were at a greater loss being everything oral and written is in English although all parties do know Spanish.  They would get an interpretation and my experience has shown there could be major problems with interpreters, especially where your life is concerned.

Let me be quick to add, there is another factor which needs addressing.  My wife told me when I got here to expect to find a greater degree of laziness with government workers, and it’s true.  If something requires a little effort, these people basically shut down and hope things will work for the better!  I criticized, constructively, many of them who asked me for advice and they did not know their Judge’s name, or case number, or where they stood in terms of their defense or where in the process they were in their case, or even the last time they were visited by their attorney and what the expectation was; coupled with their lack of interest along with their “lazy” attorney makes for a poor defense.  Literally, many of these guys are getting heavy-duty sentences and don’t know why!  My attorney could never say I was not on top of my case.  I made it a point to do so.  It’s my life.

To make a long story short and without getting into particulars regarding Enoc’s case, I advised him not to seek a plea but if one was offered to counter it and do not be afraid to go to trial if, if, he believed he has an adequate response to the charges.  He was afraid and took a plea informing me he regretted doing so and is now trying to reverse his decision.  Even if you are guilty, remember, you have to be “proven” guilty.  Your innocence is presumed especially if you have no history of criminal offenses.

Enoc continued having difficulty and because he would not assert himself and learn to self-segregate and stay focused on the reason why he was here, and due to an increased amount of aggression toward him and threats of bodily harm, he was whisked away in the middle of the night and secured somewhere else in the facility.  I remained in contact with him, through letters sent to Mayra who in turn sent them to him, and vice-versa, to encourage him to seek the Lord and to be reconciled with his legal matters and chalk it up to a learning experience.  (Note:  While editing this chapter December 18, 2007, I received a letter from Freddy informing me Enoc was back in prison.  Just as he was being released from his probation he threatened to kill his Judge, prosecutor and father!  I’m in communication with Freddy to arrange to get his address to write Enoc.)

It would be through Enoc I would meet Freddy, but through the Lord, I would really meet him and get to know him.  Freddy and Enoc both came into the facility at the same time and because their cases were similar, in terms of how they would be treated here, were kept together in “The Hole” and not coincidentally in Cell 106 where I spent my first thirty days!  Together we would talk generally, Enoc letting me know hints but not coming fully out with Freddy’s story.

As a rule, after I have breakfast and tidied my cell, I would close my door and have prayer and do my studying until lunchtime, then I would open my door.  This day, for some unknown reason, I left my door opened after prayer and noticed Freddy standing by the windows, across from my cell, enjoying a nice view of the shipping yard and Bay of San Juan.  I felt compelled to speak to him.  I did not know, at the time, he believed the reason my door was opened that day was for him.  He previously always seen it closed and considered it an invitation to speak with me.  He believed it to be a “sign”.

My first question to him was the same one I asked everyone I met, what God first asked me and after I learned the answer, I used it on those who believed in God, “Why are you here?”  He looked uncomfortable for a moment and admitted he did not want to tell me but later confessed he really understood why I asked him.  I was not interested in his case, per se, but wanting him to know the true reason why he was here.  Who really brought him here, to rest, and to be saved from whatever it was the Lord was not pleased with.

Within the first week of this encounter and after much prayer on the part of us both, he wanting to make certain God placed me here to be of assistance to him and for my part, that I could provide a means whereby God could help him, we began a series of meetings, one-on-one, counseling and prayer sessions, me implementing the techniques learned while in New Life six years ago in Pierpont, Ohio.  Freddy eventually opened his life to me, a story one cannot but be affected by hearing and one truly a tragedy and needing the Lord’s forgiveness, strength and healing power.  Again, for the sake of privacy and respect, I shall not mention any particulars of his case only to say I tried to advise him, in a strong way, to pursue a different route than the one he was traveling since this, too, was his first time in the judicial system and if any case merited having a psychological approach, his did, perhaps if not equal to mine then more, far more reaching.  He received the unexpected in terms of a sentence of more than thirty years and is trying to appeal, but has found rest where he is today and I remain in contact with him.  (Note: as of the editing of this chapter, October 18, 2007, I am no longer in contact with Freddie.)   (Note: as of the editing of this chapter, December 18, 2007, I have heard from Freddy and he’s informed me regarding his case and the second one he picked up in New Jersey which precipitated the federal case against him.  He’s asked me to look up for him, if there were any information on the Internet, which makes it public information and I was able to find one article which I will include here.  He’s also asked me to “ghostwrite” a book for him, so let this information be a precursor of what he will be telling all eventually.)


Prospect Park Page – 2004 news articles

Froilan GomezColon Jr., 44, of Prospect Park, spoke quietly and said, “I am full of shame, guilt, ….. “I took pictures of the rape and destruction.
http://www.longruns.com/ProspectPark/2004n.htm – 159k – CachedSimilar pages

September 25, 2004 The Record
‘You Are Not Human,’ Judge Tells Sex Offender
by Eman Varoqua

A former elementary school teacher who admitted videotaping himself having sex with children and then broadcasting it over the Internet pleaded for mercy and a shorter prison term during sentencing Friday – and drew only wrath from the Judge.
Froilan Gomez-Colon Jr., 44, of Prospect Park, spoke quietly and said, “I am full of shame, guilt, and remorse.” He went on to ask for a sentence that would allow him to get out of jail 12 years earlier than the 32 years he faced.
“You are not human. You are a defect of nature!” Judge Raymond A. Reddin barked back, calling the case “the most horrific I’ve ever seen.”
Reddin, ruling in state Superior Court in Paterson, sentenced Gomez-Colon to the longest jail term available through a plea deal he made – an additional 12 years to top off a 20-year federal sentence for the same crime.
Counting time served, Gomez-Colon will be 74 when he is released from prison. Gomez-Colon had asked Reddin if the 12 years could be made concurrent with the 20-year sentence.
Police said Gomez-Colon had a vast collection of homemade films in which he forced children he knew to have sex with each other, with him, and with others.
In one instance, he invited a man he met in an Internet chat room to engage in graphic sex with the children, despite their cries of pain. Gomez-Colon also posed the children in sordid scenarios for his films, police said. One victim tried to commit suicide, officials said.
“I can’t think of words to describe how repulsive you are,” Reddin declared. The Judge said he consulted a dictionary for help but still could not find the words to fully express his feelings.
The tale unraveled when an anonymous couple dropped off an unmarked videotape in 2002 at a police department in Puerto Rico. The contents of that tape led federal authorities to charge Gomez-Colon, who had recently moved from Puerto Rico to Prospect Park, with several child pornography offenses.
Gomez-Colon molested at least three children from the ages of 5 until their teens, authorities said, preying on both boys and girls. One child told officials the acts took place more than 100 times. While in Puerto Rico, Gomez-Colon worked as an English teacher at an elementary school, authorities said. In New Jersey, he worked as a security guard for a Montvale car dealership.
He is already in the second year of a 20-year prison term in federal prison for the crimes that occurred in Puerto Rico. When that time expires, he will be transferred to a New Jersey state prison to serve the remaining 12 years for sex crimes that occurred here.
Gomez-Colon pleaded guilty earlier this year. Lisa Squitieri, Passaic County senior assistant prosecutor, said authorities negotiated a plea deal so that the already traumatized children would not have to testify.
“It’s 32 years total in exchange for not having these kids testify,” Squitieri said.
The Judge said that, if not for the victims, he wished the case had gone to trial so he could impose a longer prison term. Reddin pointed to a report by specialists at the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center for sex offenders in the Avenel section of Woodbridge.
Experts there said Gomez-Colon expressed no symptoms of an internal struggle, or remorse, and that he referred to the actions as “an act of love.” The report said Gomez-Colon claimed the children asked him on several occasions for sex.
“You’ve gotta be kidding me!” Reddin exclaimed. The Judge said Gomez-Colon’s pleas for mercy “went in one ear and out the other.”
“You should never get out,” the Judge declared.

END

My plan is eventually the three of us will be united and I don’t necessarily mean in heaven.  The latest good news I received from him just prior to the time of writing this chapter is he is now attending Seventh-day Adventist services at his new facility. I was thankful to learn of his decision to do so, for it was he who came to me with the understanding the Sabbath was the key to worship and then for months I observed how the devil worked on him to try and take it from him, causing me to be discouraged in some ways, but I kept praying knowing his previous understanding was God-revealed and not of human origin.

God brought these two men into my life so confession could be made and although they were arrested after me by several months, and their cases completed many months before mine, I learned from their mistakes, but I recognized something else.  They came to depend on me for true friendship and guidance.  I could receive friendship from them but not guidance.  This was one area God wanted exclusive control and would have it no other way.  So, when they eventually left, I was alone of sorts, but grateful for the time we had.

My studies moved along a divinely ordained and ordered path and accounted a privilege of understanding never previously felt and recognized before.  In truth, I was a pretty messed up guy who struggled for years to maintain a strong, smooth and unaffected outside appearance.  These studies, coupled with the Holy Spirit, led me into what I called “breakthroughs” which destroyed previous thoughts and structures of life I built upon, my foundation, and I would find myself, in many instances, in pain and tears.  Those were my rudiments, my foundation God was knocking down.  This is who and what I was and I was losing grasp becoming truly exposed with no more of the defenses my ego spent years, my life, in developing.  God was truly recreating me into this new creation and it was not comfortable.

I understood why I was here and now God was moving into a new area and the question became,

“Where are you in relation to why you are here?”

One of the major areas God dealt with was in the area of self-esteem.  I saw for years I operated under false self-esteem.  Image was all I ever cared for and because I held many secrets, I could never be honest with others, myself and consequently, God.  I did not know who I was spending years being what I was—a liar.  This may be a strong realization, but it was true.  My whole life was a lie, carefully constructed, maintained and perfected for the one purpose of getting you to like what I presented to you, but not who I really am!  Oh, you would not really like me, if you knew me, so I shall let you meet who I want to be, or better, who I was able to construct.  I was a Dr. Frankenstein creating my own monster—me!

I imagine this construction began in my earliest years as a child when I had to cover over those parts I lacked like good fashionable clothing, or putting cardboard in my shoes to cover the holes, the hairstyle changes, the conformity to peer pressure.  We do not really understand peer pressure doesn’t end in our teens but is still carried throughout our life.  Wanting to appear to “fit in” where we don’t!  Perhaps it explains why I could no longer “conform” to the image as I saw these other inmates do just before a visiting day.  The special uniform is brought out and ironed.  The sneakers which aren’t worn all week come out and haircuts, shaves and even, yes, eyebrows are plucked just for a hopeful one hour visit with loved ones!  It’s all a matter of appearance not conducted during those weeks when there are no visits.  Empty and vain preparations.  Who are the loved ones really seeing, other than clones, one hundred and twenty of them looking the same?  Yes, I would stand-out, wearing the same jumpsuit I wore daily and sized fourteen shoe which began to destruct since I got them.  No ironing, no haircuts, although I would wash and comb my hair as well as shave, for hygiene purposes, but no sneakers and definitely I am not going to pluck and shave my eyebrows!  That, to me, bordered too much into the realm of effeminate behavior and it sickened me.  I was told it was a “Latin” thing.  I used to wonder what these guys would have to talk about since there was nothing going on between their ears.  Perhaps, the same was happening with who was coming to visit!  Conversations with no substance.  No, I would not be a part of that, not anymore.  I specialized in the fake, now time to be for real.

Slowly, ever so slowly, I began to see who God was recreating and I sort of like the guy.  He’s sensitive, actually always have been, but now able to show it.  His earnings per week don’t define him, and is capable of doing other things and enjoying it.  Who could live alone now that I am my own best friend and don’t need the surroundings of friends and others who are dealing with their own struggles.

And was it painful?  Yes, immensely.  I have never cried more in my life than I did in my cell as this restructuring was taking place.  I think it attributed to my new relationship with Mayra being so good—now,  because of the honesty I was able to share.  I became more certain of who I was and did not have the need to make you like me and agree with me or I, you.  It’s okay to be different and even not to like someone and be truthful, even if it does hurt, and not to laugh to cover myself when I am in pain.  Say it, “You hurt me.”

God gave me another text:

No weapons formed against you shall prosper.  Every tongue that rise against you, in justice, thou shalt condemn.  This is the heritage of the people of the Lord.  Their righteousness is of Me, saith the Lord.

—Isaiah 54:17

Worry was another great facet of my personality.  I worried about anything and everything.  When you have poor self-esteem, you spend a lifetime fearing being found out, so you worry about everything.  My first act of exhibitionism, I worried getting caught and yet the irony of it is, that’s why you do it!  To get caught, however, you want to choose who does the catching.  All my life I worried.  Worried how God would deal with me.  Worried about job performance.  Worried about money.  Worried even if the drugs I bought were of good quality and then worry about getting caught.  Worried of being treated fairly.  Worry, worry, worry.  I would even worry if I wasn’t worrying enough.  Now, that’s true paranoia.  Let me explain that one because I think I would have to.  When I did a drug and if I became too relaxed having no fear, I worried if I should be worried something was about to happen and I wasn’t taking necessary precautions to prevent it, whatever it could be, from happening.

Once I read that text I began the process of letting God handle my situations.  Then He gave me another text which helped me to understand and to relax:

Be not anxious about anything.  But through prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, make your request known unto Him.  And the peace of God, which passes all understanding will keep your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.

—Philippians 4:6

It’s true.  Oh, it is so true.  I had to learn God is quite capable of protecting me from any and all assaults of the enemy and if He isn’t worried, why should I be?  But I had to learn this and it was accomplished, and still is, by the way, Him putting opportunities in my life to exercise this fact.  Troubles and disappointments will come.  The devil wouldn’t be doing his job if he stopped, but I do not have to fall under those opportunities—not problems.  That’s all a problem really is, an opportunity for you and God to build a closer and powerful relationship.  All through my case I suffered setbacks or misunderstandings, or not doing and going as I thought, but I kept in mind that long before I got here, God knew these things, but can I leave these areas I am not able to correct with Him?  Can I have faith that “no weapon formed against me” will not prosper, in the end?  Can I not be anxious “regarding anything I have no control over?  God is in charge and can I believe it?  And it works regarding people.  God placed my Judge, Prosecutor and attorney in place because of “me”.  I’m not here because of them!  They are here because of “ME”!  Because God ordained they would be a part of His plan to rescue His son—ME.  I prayed to Him, that night on September 3, 2002, for Him to save ME.  Why cannot I let Him do it?  So, I began to relax and did find rest but more importantly, I found peace.  It’s a promise and it’s on condition.  I’m required to do my part in order that faith accomplishes its part.

Incidentally, today is January 15, 2004, 4:00 a.m., and it’s now been one year I have been writing.  (Note:  It is January 2, 2006 when I am typing this into my word processor for publication.)    But, I have not always been faithful in writing.  Sure, I would have my writer’s block, but my struggle was maintaining the motivation to write.  I believe God told me to do so, and has made it possible for me to do so and assured me it will have a major role later in my life, but sometimes I struggle.

(Note:  Today is October 18, 2007 and now I’m editing the finished book readying it for publication and there is some worry about how it will be done, but this past month since losing my job, because of lying to an employer, on an application, regarding, my conviction, God has given me a mandate and that was to finish the book and WRITE!)

(Note: Today is December 17, 2008 and having lost a job due to the bad economy, God has provided the means possible for me to just finish this book.  I’m determined now to apply for copyright status in the coming month.  However, I wanted to mention, during this time in my life, facing depression and unknown circumstances, it has been the rereading of this text which has provided me encouragement.  If this book is for none other than myself and a help, then it has proven itself worthwhile.)  Once, recently, when I gave up even after having written a considerable portion, I prayed for strength and the motivation to continue doing so, and one of the things He told me was to stop worrying!

“You and the book are a part of My plan.  I can see where you’re unable so just relax.”

When I did, I began writing again.  God shared with me a little secret I’ll share with you.  He told me His more prolific writers like Moses, Paul and Ellen White suffered with the same bouts of lack of wanting to do so, so I was no different.  I was to write while here and it will be accomplished.  I’d like to report today, He’s correct.

One other area God helped me was in the area of healing my memories.  I have a great mind.  I seldom forget things.  And it’s this ability which can cause the greatest harm when you allow memories to overtake you and despondency develops and you begin to believe nothing will ever change.  You’ll continue adding more memories and not the good ones either!  So, I asked Him to help heal those memories—not for me to forget them or to even change them, but heal them.

Many times I was taken back to where I have been hurt or deeply affected and the way it has affected my life.  Those times needed to be remembered but needed to be healed; requiring forgiveness if it involved others or just me if there was no one else.  In one of the “Superman” movies, Superman goes back in time to prevent Lois Lane from being killed in an earthquake, after she’s been killed in one.  If he could change the sequence of events the earthquake would not have its deadly results.  Well, there is no Superman and God doesn’t quite operate by the method of the special effects of movies, but He is able to help us—me, to go back and sense how I was hurt or affected and to ask for forgiveness, if needed, but certainly to understand how the situation affected my outlook and life and find resolution, to be able to move forward.  I’ve learned how to pray for others who have been affected as a result of my actions toward them.  Again, a peace flows knowing and trusting God is able to do what we cannot accomplish on our own.

One significant breakthrough occurred just before I would have my long-awaited visit from the psychologist my attorney arranged for me to see, and that was in the area of humiliation.

No one likes to be humiliated, yet I did not recognize how integral a part of my life it had been.  This is where opposing forces become a part of my whole personality.  In order to pay the price of being humiliated, I had to be humiliated.  This all came together and fit according to the evaluator’s report which I will share in the next chapter, but God had me to see its effect on my life.

My mother punished me and my brothers in a method I found to be humiliating.  She spanked us, often in the presence of each other if we were in conspiracy, by having us drop our pants and lean over a chair.  Can you imagine having your backside exposed while pain is being inflicted?  Can you imagine the sensation being experienced while squirming on the vinyl covered seat because your genitalia is in contact at the same time with the chair?  All this happening as early as I can remember and well into my teen years when one’s sexuality is undergoing radical changes.  It was totally humiliating, even if I didn’t understand or use the word then, it was definitely an emotional experience felt and engraved upon my personality.  It became a vicious cycle: exhibitionism was part of the punishment needing to occur in order to feel the humiliation needed to acknowledge the punishment given.  Confusing?  “No fooling!”, as my mother would say.  My understanding this was without a Ph.D. when arrested, the first time, in 1979 and required to seek psychological help, by my employer, provided access to their own psychologist.  He suggested the form of punishment may have triggered the need to exhibit myself.  I thought about it and considered it a possibility and later dismissed it because I could not ever conceive the concept my mother was responsible for my behavior.  It would take twenty-four years to see he might have been onto something, and if he was, oh, why didn’t we get it “fixed” and why would I have to go on suffering for these many more years?  I remember my first act of exhibitionism began at age six but I do not recall being whipped in this manner prior.  So, maybe this theory was flawed.

Yet, it is true.  God showed me, it was, while here in prison, how the act of a mother who truly loved her son was involved in the creation of a behavior pattern which went contrary to her purpose.  Her correction became my destruction.  Her fault?  No.  She wasn’t the enemy.  She had no idea what she was doing.  It explains another text God gave me:

What others have meant for evil, God meant it for good.  For the salvation of many people.”  —Genesis 50:20

Do I blame my mother for my life of exhibitionism?   No.  I don’t.  What I believe is, her actions were in order, but my interpretation of what was happening to me and my emotional instability produced a way, albeit improper, of handling pain outwardly in a socially unacceptable way of the pain I suffered inwardly.  I also believe when she actually caught me in the act, in her home at the age of sixteen, she should have taken the proper steps to have her son treated in some way other than just ignore it and looking forward to the time, fast approaching time, when he would leave the home and take his problem with him.

I left the following year.

Chapter 18

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