Monthly Archives: August 2011

Me, Handcuffed

Published by: Olivia

“Can I talk with you? I need to vent.”  After going to her hearing, this teenage girl was angry and humiliated and wanted to get rid of all the bad energy.  She told me she didn´t know what to write about, so I put this title on a blank sheet and told her to write without stopping.  She only wrote for 4 minutes then told me that she didn´t want to anymore.  In these 4 minutes, she wrote a brief and articulate summary about her experience of being handcuffed.

Me, Handcuffed

Young Woman, age 17

Me, handcuffed like a dog, receiving insults and humiliations without the right to speak up or do anything, depending on the damn prisoner transfer those dogs are trash but one day they will see me free and I will tell them, (hey shithead remember when you transferred me and you made me feel insignificant like the filth of humanity?)  I will laugh in their faces and then I’d leave.  Me, handcuffed and my mom seeing it, something completely painful because she doesn’t deserve what she suffers seeing me enchuchada* I know that she feels a knot in her throat and would like to cry it out but she holds it in for me to say “Mi Ruca”** so strong, and me in handcuffs.

*Synonym for “capture” that refers to being tied up like a dog

**Spanish slang for mother, familiar


Some Lessons

Published by: Olivia

One day about a month ago, I saw a girl I hadn’t seen before crying at the foot of a tree in the yard at the center.  On my way out, I stopped to sit with her for a moment, held her as she cried, and listened as she told me how desperate she felt after being sentenced to 3 years.  I cannot imagine what it must feel like to spend your first few days incarcerated, but my heart broke for this 14-year-old as she said to me, “Now I’m never going to enjoy my teenage years.”  I see her now and she seems adjusted, writing some powerful reflections on  her life and how she wants to live it.

Some Lessons

Young Woman, age 14

We are surrounded by people who teach us lessons, and for us this is where it hurts: all the questions we ask ourselves before acting get tied up with our fears, and these are what hold us back from getting further.

We hold ourselves back without understanding that our solutions and instructions to being happy remain hidden in the deepest part of our subconscious.

Learning to hear ourselves is, in the first place, listening to our bodies, they act with wisdom.  When we are hungry, thirsty, when we feel like dancing, making love, laughing or crying, We must listen to it!

Also, throughout our lives, we can play, love, change, enjoy; we aren’t obligated to cross a valley of tears, we have the right to have boyfriends every once in a while, to make mistakes, to try again; the important thing is to not lose vision of our goal: happiness and the creation of our own paradise.


I Keep Dreaming

Published by: Olivia

I Keep Dreaming

Young Woman, age 17

I continue another day in the battle
Trying to climb another wall
But I continue to fight
I am sure of my worth
But I hold the bitter taste of rejection

For there is no one to bring me down from the
Clouds…
Instead of criticizing me
Why don’t you climb up here?
This world is very different
From this point of view
If the world is within your reach
Why don’t you conquer it instead?

One day I want them to say “I knew her.”
I knew that this chick would conquer one day
Full of fantasies, full of deceit, full of life
I feel the world is inevitable

And all these people who point at me
And criticize me
All I have to say to them:
God bless you

Now that I am up high looking at this world from
Here up high
And I will teach my own—
That you have to knock on doors with your fists
To keep dreaming
Planting their destiny
And not getting off the path

Because I won’t stray from the paths I’ve been taught