17 Jul Day 17
Friday 17th July 2015
At last, after what seems like a lifetime already, I have my first visit with my mum, Nan and Emily today. I feel so nervous and excited at the same time! I like that I will be able to also see Mum on her birthday. Her gift is seeing me obviously.
To help the nerves Steven and I enjoyed a fine Americana coffee courtesy of yours truly. I bought some freshly ground coffee beans off a lad for a couple of smokes and now I can imagine myself sitting in a cafe back home… if the cafe had white walls and bars outside the window.
I had no idea what my family would look like or what I would say, or what they would actually say. I am genuinely scared. They might not want to talk to me after the shame they have endured from the newspapers. I was collected from my cell, where along with about 30 lads, I proceeded to walk through a series of gates. The mood changed from one of being in prison and the bravado that comes with it, to – I am going to see my family. I need to prepare myself, and that wasn’t just me, but most people. We then had to sit in a waiting room. It was quiet apart from two cocks who had to be loud to show their presence. I ignored it and slipped out of jail mode to family mode.
I have not felt fear like this since I got here and yet when they were opening that door to the meeting room, my stomach was in knots. The first person I saw was Emily with a huge smile on her face which eased some of my nerves. I had the table nearest the door so I was quite lucky that I didn’t have to walk around like a headless chicken searching for the table that they were on. Both Mum and Emily waited until I hugged Nan first. The restraint my mum must have practised at this moment was incredible! Nan appeared frozen through trying to hold her tears in. I just gave her a big hug and she seemed to calm down then. Mum and Emily were quite reserved; I imagine they all had a big discussion as to let me talk and lead the session just so I got everything I wanted to say off my chest. Indeed they were right. I prepared bullet points on my hand to cover everything I wanted to discuss in the visit. I literally brought an agenda to a family meeting but I didn’t want to forget to mention anything, or even worse… conversation to run dry. I was fearful of silence which would then allow emotions to erupt from both me and them. Despite Mum’s regular interruptions about pets and such – it was nice to see them all. I mainly spoke about things I’ve seen and what work here is like. They told me how everyone is and the people who send their best wishes. I don’t really care for best wishes because I don’t think they do. If people gave that much of a rat’s arse then why don’t they write me a letter? Wow, I’m bitter! There were some names that Mum mentioned who got in touch through tedious links like staff who used to work at the Student’s Union. That’s impressive.
One of the best parts of the visit was getting a Fanta! I ended up looking like those crack addicts from the first night because I haven’t had sugar for a couple of weeks. Throw in the chocolate and caramel flapjack and I could barely sit still.
I was relieved to see everyone. Emily looked beautiful and her smile made me all warm. I loved that she was here and that we held hands throughout the visit. It showed me that although we were in the early days of our relationship, I knew she would stay and be there for me. I have fears that one day she will fade into a memory or a dream in this nightmare of an establishment. I want to hold this moment that I have with her now so I can get through the next couple of weeks until I saw her again. I know if I ask her how she is, I will never get a true answer as it not only takes a lot to genuinely express your fears with a partner in prison but also she will want to stay strong for me so I don’t leave worrying. We shared a hug at the end and I knew I couldn’t wait for her next visit. A 1 hour visit is way too short. I will appeal to extend it to two hours for enhanced prisoners. However, I don’t think Mum and Nan have ever heard me talk so much in one hour.
As Nan was saying her goodbyes I was frustrated when she said, ‘Promise me you won’t do this again’. I know its her way of saying she doesn’t like coming and she’s worried but I don’t need a kicking in the teeth. I’m already paying the price. Other than that, it was lovely to see everyone. I can’t wait to get out and but I’m pretty happy here right now. I have my own personal targets I want to achieve by the time I walk out of the jail’s gates.
I got my Fanta which I will enjoy next time round, but now it’s time to get my hands on a Latté somehow.
I was also meant to graduate from university today, how odd. It was four years of my life and it’s a shame I couldn’t attend my graduation. I regret not being there just to close that chapter in life officially. On a positive note, I reckon this place will actually boost my CV. We will see won’t we? I think I will find legal opportunities to pursue in here.