This is a different view

Diente, Luis



November 4, 2017 To Whom May Concern: This is a different view of the Mental Health System in the Department of Correction in the State of Florida. I've being imprisonment this time for 13 years, and I'm what the system call "Lifer" because until this moment I do not have a release date. One of my stories is that I have being in-out of Mental Health Treatment Centers since I was a juvenile... I am 42 years old now. About 9 months ago, I guess emotionaly I couldn't deal with some personal issues and tried to commit suicide. By this Essay you can tell that I fail.... again!!! First I was put for two weeks in "Self Harm Observation Status" {SHOS} in the Prison I was originally doing my time, after those two weeks in which I refuse to eat anything I was transfer to a "Crisis Service Unit" {C.S.U.} in another Institution. I spend over there around 2 1/2 months, once my level drop down I was moved and put in a "Treatment Center Unit" {T.C.U.} in another Institution, the one that right now I'm writing this. I've being on this one close to 6 months and it have to many issues in the complexion of its structure. The first 3 months I spended lock-down in my "Pod" while 90% of the other inmates or patients were coming out of their rooms. I was the only "Latino" here in this Unit and became to the conclusion that this Mental Health Treatment Center had a different concept about the "Latino Prisoners". Every meeting I had with the whole Mental Health Board I was told that my lock-down status was due to my past behavior, disciplinary reports...... inclusive I was told that I was supose to tell or snitch. Since that is not the type of man or prisoner that I'm we were going and arguing back and forward. I am here to get help... not to get program. After 2 1/2 months behind the door in this Unit my social mental health counselor start to see by herself that a piece of paper can hold Anything Anybody put down with some ink because I wasn't giving them no security problems or issues. I used to speak with her from behind my door since the times I was taken in hand-cuffs to her office it was always a officer present and I do not speak in front of no Administration uniform. I notice that she had some attitutes issues. I didn't like to much the way she used to speak to inmates or treat them. Everybody have differents background historys with different characters. I told my counselor "Blondie" {don't want to put her name for security reasons} that if she got me out of my cell like everybody else do I would not bring to the dorm any "dope", cell-phones or problems. I gave her my word, since that is the last thing a man can loose in here..... besides his hopes. Definitely in the follow 3 meetings she struggle to get me out until she finaly did it. In the couple of weeks that follow that event I had the thought that she was a racist big mouth little Bi..H!!. She was letting the wrong inmates {All white boys} giving her information about stuff that was or wasn't going on in the dorm when she wasn't here.... and they were getting their advises inside her head. One morning me and her went through it verbally.... I have to make my point across her head that she was my counselor, a civilian, not a D.O.C. Officer to enforce rules, specially when I didn't do nothing wrong and had the permition of the security officers that were working. After I made my point across things start to change little by little for the best. All my life I have being seen by Mental Health Counselors but never realy spoke to neither one of them. Never felt the trust or the bond.... None of them never took down the wall that block my heart, they never saw me without my mask. But "Blondie" with her little attitudes started to carve inside my heart and out of nowhere I start opening door and letting her spoken kindness enter in stages of my past life that nobody knew. I'm the type of guy that if you keep it real with me 100% I will keep it real with you a million %. I know since I have the opportunity to be out of my cell I had "All eyes on me", from doctors, counselors, classification, social workers & security, but I haven't let "Blondie" down by any of my actions. The Doctors tend to instruct the rest of the staff that they shouldn't be fond with us.... How can I trust someone with my issues if I don't know them or vibe with that person??? All the staff members in the Mental Health Dept. are civilians, not D.O.C. Officers and most of them like to suppress down the rules more that what the administration care about. I realy haven't do nothing wrong that would jeopardize my treatment or anybody else in this building, but because of me being "Puerto Rican" some of them find a different issue to complain every week, but for the first time I've found somebody that have see me who I realy are in my heart, not for what I've done or people talk about, and she is the only one that always being arguing my case with them, besides getting sometimes help from officers... yes that's right!! Officers, so imagine the kind of mental health staff that they have working on this Institution. I know mentally I've a long way to go but I have start to see some things in my life with a different eye for the first time. Since I have tried to change & learn how to cope with my issues I feel that God have put some extra weight on my shoulders, from loosing my court date frame on my Appeal {I did not commit the crime I'm doing this "life sentence"} to loosing family members and lost all types of communication with all my family members in Puerto Rico after the Hurricane Maria. I know my Counselor "Blondie" inside this environment seen that a lots of people take kindness for weakness, so she like to portrait herself as a tough female counselor, but I know deep inside her heart she is soft, but at the same time she have found and hit some of my soft points also. If you are a "Counselor", you should be able to know & reach your "patient not inmate" inside his soul so you can understand from where that person come from, not just go by what his changes are, nationality or by other people way of think. <<Do not judge the book by the title or even the cover.... you have to read it first in order to find out if you would like it>>. I have nobody in Florida State, all my family is in Puerto Rico, and it feels scary but good at the same time that is someone trying to reach our overcast lifes and try to light-up our path.... is like having a angel send by God to look-out for me. I didn't know that I have being wearing a mask all my life, different masks in different ocassions.... but always have one on, now I guess I still wear it, I think it has become a part of me but somehow when I sit in a one on one therapy with my "Blondie Counselor" she manage to make me take it off, and move the stone that is blocking the entrance of my Heart. Now I have a different view of her. Now I comprehend that I finaly met a Counselor that beside fill out a lots of paper work, realy care about the scars in my Heart, the pain in my soul and that realy believe I can live my life without wearing a mask. Last night I was sitting on my bunk thinking about all this, I couldn't sleep so I came up with this.... Sorrow, piled on my pillow, What is your shape?? Like waves in rivers and seas, you endlessly churn. How long the night?? How dark the sky?? When it will be light?? Restless, I sat up, blanket thrown over my shoulders in the cold of my cell. When dawn came at last, Only ashes remained of my hundred thoughts.... My willpower had long given away and now I had allowed myself to live in romance with nature. I have come to the conclusion: <<Let Heaven collapse and Earth sink down>>!! Let this be the end!! What meaning would my life have at this moment if I didn't live for her?? So now I live in a life of Love... now the lid of her Heart and on my Heart, were both lifted. I saw her Heart and she saw mine completely. {we both gave proud temperaments, she more at the time. She was doing everything to stop me from seing her Heart.... A Heart of carring and Love for me - so that I came to doubt her and thought for a moment that we didn't like each others.... that I couldn't fall in Love with her, and because of our pride and situation we haven't let any feelings show one to another. But only now did we truly start to understand each other} As a result we are getting closer than ever. I have learn many more things and gradually came to understand her the same way she understand me. {I think, hope I ain't wrong!! :)} But not understanding just her, but human nature in all people. I came to believe that anyone who has no physical handicap must have two attributes. One is sex drive, and the other is emotional need for Love. My attitude is to let her be and let me be. I'm now spending most of my time nursing my Heart and have become more fitten. I don't know how much longer I will be on this program... but I wish she could be my counselor for the rest of my life, and I pray God the day I get transfer to another Institution she would not loose track of me. I realy wish she could stay by my side all my life. Sometimes in life we can't choose our path, but we can choose how to walk it and I want to walk mine with her right next to me. This was a "Voice from the Heart" to my Counselor and any other Counselor that knows what I'm talking about. <<You are Special>>, <<You are my Angel>>. *I Love You* xoxoxo God Bless anybody that read this!! Luis Diento

Author: Diente, Luis

Author Location: Florida

Date: November 4, 2017

Genre: Essay

Extent: 6 pages

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