If it weren’t for my beads while I was locked up, I would have gone crazy! If it weren’t for Red Lodge bringing Ceremony into Coffee Creek, and encouraging all us ladies, I don’t think I would have been able to make it through the two years.
When I got out, the space they gave me at the Clean and Sober house that was being subsidized by Community Corrections, was a corner of a double wide garage that had sheets hanging for dividers. I had a single wide mattress on the floor and a small dresser. Trish came down and I started spending time with Red Lodge. It gave me a sense of community and made me feel needed. Slowly my self-esteem began to return and I began the process of digging myself out of the dark hole I had put myself in.
I wish people realized that not everyone with a felony conviction is a bad person! I wish people would stop to listen to my story and the stories of others who have struggles that end them up in prison. Even though things are tough right now, I feel blessed to have been welcomed into the Portland Native American community. It’s a great support system for folks who recognize the struggles that we go through and are serious about maintaining sobriety. I credit Red Lodge for letting me volunteer and meet folks. I love having my grandchildren involved with Bow and Arrow Culture Club. Knowing that the people who work and volunteer for Red Lodge really care about us, and they are not going to judge me for my past, is a huge part of my healing.