Since I created the Facebook page United Coalition of Advocates for Prisoners, I have had many doubt my intentions, purpose, and capabilities. Some of the skepticism is rational. Most of it isn't. However, I won't explore which is which. Other people's trust issues are not my responsibility, so I won't bother with soothing fears and disproving suspicions.
However, I will fill you all in on what mt life has been like since I shared the excerpt from the "Think Outside the Cell Series" which will be released in September. At least that's the plan. The post date is May 13th, 2010. It explains my struggle to establish myself as a productive member of society with no help from society
I left off explaining that things were starting to look up. My Pastor, Steve Artz, saw to it that I made it to and from the classes in St, Louis. I tried to include the program manager on a commitee to build a halfway house here in Collinsville, but those plans fell through.
It's fuuny how we all commit to things with good intentions, but don't always follow through.
I started working for property owner and realtor Ken Quinlan in late April. He's a good man, but is misunderstood because he rents to tennants who aren't always what they are cracked up to be. He tries hard to clean his properties up, but the police would rather blame him for the criminals who loiter on his properties than do their jobs to enforce the law.
Meanwhile, I did all I could to prepare to promote the above series and find another job. Neither has worked out well. The writing business is not as glamorous as some assume. You have to work hard to promote yourself until you gain renown. I perform poetry, and rap and sing often. I don't get paid much of anything for it either. I'm pretty well taken care of by the owners of Johnny's Sidebar though. I'm working on putting videos together to Youtube since the performances there are so good. The employment search hasn't been easy. It's hard to get the type of work I'm qualified for with a 10yr prison sojourn in your past. There is hope though. I'm being considered for a MIT position at Domino's Pizza now. I should know something within a week. Domino's has also agreed to work with me on the Talent Show I'm producing.
The post mentioned above has caused some problems too. I didn't expect to get away with slamming on politicians all across the state without suffering consequences. They have been minimal to this point, but I look forward to their getting worse. On July 22nd, I wrote about my friends Doug and Johnny and a call Doug received from an employee of Madison County warning him about my being known as a troublemaker here in town.
More personally, there have been other problems too. I used to flirt a lot. That has been hard on some. Women who have been taught to fear and hate people who meet my description and who have pasts like mine take the slightest compliment as harrassment or signs that I might be a threat to them. It took a while for that to sink in.
On the other hand, I've accomplished alot with the help of friends and church family. I started by buying my own computer and investing time and money into learning how to use it more efficiently. Then, I bought a phone with web capabilities. After that, I made arrangements with the courts to pay my fines and have my driver's license reinstated. I have my driver's license now.
I broke my wrist the very same day I received the fax from the Virginia Dept. of Motor Vehicles. While out of work, I increased my web presence by joining the fight for prisoners' rights and death penalty abolition. I also refreshed my memory on publishing law and tax law in preparation to found a nonprofit that will enable me to support activist groups in their fight for the same things. I intend to sell the books I've written and create an electronic magazine to raise the money. I can handle my end just fine, but I'm learning many activists are quite immature and some are psychologically unstable. I have a lot of work to do to sort through who is who before I can get to work on the primary objectives.
I've become a member of the Collinsville Jaycees so I can learn to be a more productive member of society through getting trained by an organization that focuses on improving the community. As stated above, I also took on a major project of my own. I'm producing a talent show that will take place in April. I've also been more active in the church. The Collinsville Area Ministerial Association provides tons of food and thousands of dollars in emergency financial aid to needy persons throughout Collinsville each month. They operate from my church as does a thrift store that sells new and used clothes to the public for little or nothing. I do alot to help both operations and I do all I can to help the church in general.
Does it sound like I'm bragging? I'm not. I'm just telling you what my life has been like. Not bad for less than six months out right?
I'll be the first to admit I'd be nowhere if it weren't for the gifts God has given me in the form of intellect, drive, experience, and the support of those who believe. I also have to give credit to two very inportant women. Crystal took me in when I was released from prison despite protest from some of those who were closest to her. Debbie Nichols, my best friend could not be praised enough. She is like a big sister and mother, as well as a good friend. Our closeness makes some uncomfortable, but thats life I guess. It angers me greatly that people can be so suspicious and dirty minded because it puts a strain on our friendship. I have to live with that though, but its pretty easy to do when you have a true friend you know you can count on to guide you through most troubles. I have been terribly hotheaded at times and she literally has prevented me from going back to prison on more than one occassion. I've learned to think more clearly thanks to her.
This is my life in a nutshell. I don't really care who likes me and who doesn't. I'm just telling it all so that you can get it from the horses mouth. I believe in integrity. If you want to know something about me, you can get it from me. Just ask. I don't believe in hiding much, unless divulging something will harm innocent people.
Supaman Tion Terrell