The Felonious PhD.

White Collar Female PhD. Felon, Prison Camp, Re-Entry, Criminal Justice Reform. Women, Lesbian

An Unplanned Journey part 12………………operating in Next!

Read the rest of this entry »

Leave a comment »

TRAJECTORY Part 2……………………..This Time In My Life!

Only those who are tethered to me are aware of the challenges I have overcome throughout my lifetime. I was very fortunate to be raised by two very strong willed Grandmothers, and I was equally fortunate to be birthed by my very resilient and strong-willed mother.

During her young to mid adulthood, my mother was addicted to drugs, and during that period in her life she spent a tremendous amount of time operating opposite of being a parent or law abiding citizen. Because of my history with my mother and father I chose to orchestrate a life for myself that was structurally and emotionally opposite of my mother. Yet, years later I have found myself on a similar physical path that she once travelled as she was using drugs. So similar that I am going to the halfway house in the “Tenderloin” area of San Francisco, where she and my step-father often disappeared to as they nurtured their addictions. The irony is not only profound but at times hysterical to me to say the least, (whew!).
My childhood and adulthood in context of my womanhood was completely influenced by two Grandmothers. My maternal grandmother lived her life as I remember it “on bended knees,” completely faithful on one hand and absolutely self sacrificing on the other hand. She was the most hard working, giving and prayerful woman I knew. But she always carried a level of pain and sadness that consumed her and often made her seem angry. She loved her 7 children, and her grandchildren whom she was forced to periodically raise,  the best she could. My maternal grandmother worked very hard until she simply could not work anymore and she enjoyed that level of independence. Daily she would pray, work, and enjoy her gospel music, only to go to bed early, get up the next day and pretty much do the same thing over and over again. Then she died…. or as she said she peacefully went “HOME”.

My paternal grandmother reserved her best energy for herself. Always graciously ushering her loved ones into her home for company and her weekly Sunday dinners then very promptly, at sunset, she would lovingly bid a happy farewell to all as she closed her doors and curtains to enjoy her peaceful space by herself. My paternal grandmother lived her life serving others at times but truly on her own terms once she decided not to work outside of the home anymore. She did not allow others to intrude on her space and she operated without any guilt. Then she died.  She too passed on peacefully.
At the incredible age of 51 years old, I know that I have lived the first half of my life similar to how my Maternal Grandmother lived hers – very dutifully. I am so glad I had her example to put my life in context as the trajectory of my life has changed. I will consciously live the second half of my life similar to my Paternal Grandmother. I will do so without guilt or regret. By being conscious of the examples of the “ways of being” from the women in my life. After this traumatic and life changing experience, I know that I can live my life peacefully and lovingly. I have seen some wonderful examples of how to make that happen.
As I leave the Camp, I will leave this part of my journey behind and continue to operate as my loving self and operate Beyond Resilient. I know for a fact I am “Bon-Bon’s” kid (my mother’s name is Yvonne but my sisters and I, among ourselves, call her “Bon Bon”) and we have her blood running through our veins. That alone will provide me with unyielding strength and courage to overcome anything. I am forever grateful that I was born and raised to be who and where I am at any given moment. As I move forward in this Criminal Justice process and through my life cycle it is more and more apparent that I am, who I am, not by accident! I am also thankful that I am almost home to my teenaged son. Life truly is worth living.

The journey continues……………………………………………….felonious phd 9/2015

Leave a comment »

Diary of and Imprisoned Soul, Part 11…….In Preparation for Next

Today, I have exactly 7 days to go before I will exit this absurd, oppressive environment.  In preparing myself for entering my next, I am remaining mindful and purposeful of how I plan to operate in the next chapter of my journey.  Sitting here in this space of ‘Nothingness” has provided me the opportunity to look at how being alone and lonely within this setting has enhanced my ability to love myself more than anyone ever could and I am eternally thankful for that.

As I move to the next stage in the Federal Criminal Justice process, I am planning to continue to authentically document my journey through the Criminal Justice process past my incarceration to the halfway house/re-entry phase and finally through the three years of Supervised Release.  This space has become my way of documenting for myself, my family, and my son how we can, we will and we do overcome any and every obstacle we may encounter in our lives and operate with grace and Beyond Resilient.  I will continue to emphasize that it is not enough to just survive any traumatic or life changing experience, no matter what that experience that has impacted your life may be.  Today, in our society, I feel like I must emphasize the need to operate with a high level of diligence and love and not just focus on what we must do to endure it or forgive it and move on, I want to provide a narrative that will tell others how we can transform the narrative of our journey.  Like James Baldwin, I feel this part of my life so OUTRAGEOUS that I must use it for something.

I will continue to use this blog space to share my own “consciousness of truth” as it relates to my personal experience and my own personal views of the Criminal Justice System and Social Issues as I see them through my own lens.  I am leaving this imprisoned space and re-entering society with a heightened level of curiosity in regards to how this process will or if it will ever transform and reconstruct how it treats and limits soulful beings.  I am also anxious to see what will and can happen after this chapter in my life! (lol).  I am thankful I am leaving the Federal Prison Camp in 7 days.  It truly has been a surreal and life changing experience!

The journey continues………………………………………………felonious phd 9/2015

Leave a comment »

A message from the Camp…………………………….Almost Done, with this part, the journey continues!

My 12 cents an hour, 18 dollars a month, legal indentured servant role as the FBOP Camp librarian came to an end on Friday, whew! As I cleaned out the BOP desk and put away the five books that for the past 18 months have provided me reassurance and historical references that, “everything is going to be alright”, I turned in the most important pieces of material that exists on the camp for me. The three 30 minute biographical VHS of, James Baldwin, Chester Himes and Alice Walker. OMG! I honestly do not know how I would have functioned productively on some days without those wonderful Artists narratives that validated my own journey. I will be forever thankful.

After I turned in those VHS tapes, I walked outside and sat on the bench near the Recreation Center, and allowed myself to sit in the fact that I was leaving the Federal Prison Camp soon, September 8th to be exact. I don’t care what anyone says or thinks about my sentence or my Federal Criminal Justice journey, or my critical analysis of its lack of purpose, it has been a long ass 5 plus years, which includes my 22 month incarceration. I have intrinsically hated the idea of being investigated, indicted and incarcerated, for obvious reasons, but I have completely thrived and grown in this space of “nothingness” despite and because of my anger and passion. I am proud of myself for doing me, no matter what happens to me. That is truly the story of my life. I will forever be tethered to this part of my life journey as it has been the most life changing, life threatening, and life affirming experience I have ever had. I am now completely tethered to my CORE self. As I exit the Federal Prison camp on September 8th, I will be closing this chapter in my life. I will no longer be inmate 47078-048, I will be all of my loving self, I will be Cassandra Little. Whew! I can not wait.
I will forever be thankful that I was born and raised to be who and where I am at any given moment. I am also grateful that my time as an imprisoned soul is nearly over. Anything after this phase of my journey is achievable in my eyes. I want to be clear in stating that the challenging part of being in the Federal Prison Camp for me was more about my internal struggles with the entire process. The camp experience in itself is easy once you just surrender to the stupidity, absurdity and nothingness. I know my next may not seem easy but after this the only direction I will and can go is up!

The journey continues…………………………..felonious phd 8/2015

1 Comment »