The Felonious PhD.

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

My Own Quietly Explosive Here Part 6…………………………….Where does the PAIN go?!

Today I started my day as I do everyday, on the “track of tears”, where I can mindfully start my morning off in a peaceful and quiet space. My walk this morning was interrupted by many of my own thoughts and obsessive feelings about this Criminal Justice process. This week I had a very heartfelt and powerful conversation with one of my ex-bunkies, who is also a “White Collar, 1st time offender, non-violent, woman, mother, grandmother, Entrepreneur and a very soulful being”. The biggest difference in our journey is that she was sentenced to 120 months. Now, remember that translates to 10-years of “nothingness”.

     We have engaged in many conversations over the past 20 months in regards to our lives and our current state as an imprisoned soul, within the Federal Criminal justice System. We talk openly about how it is imperative that we keep ourselves strong, mentally and emotionally, while acknowledging that no matter how determined an individual soul may be, the life as an imprisoned soul, challenges all and I mean all that you stand far as a loving caring soulful being.

My ex-bunkie had requested to be transferred to another Prison Camp months ago so that she could continue to challenge her legal case and more importantly maintain a connection to her family. She was excited the day had finally arrived and as we sat in her favorite “window seat” in the camp cafeteria, we discussed the importance of remaining tethered to your CORE-self. My ex-bunkie made some very emotional and authentic statements about her fears of losing part of herself to this Federal Criminal justice Process. She passionately and emphatically stated, “I love who I was before all of this happened! I love me!”. Her specific question which is so familiar to me and deeply touched my soul was, “Where does the PAIN go?!” I have faced that question personally and professionally. I responded to her question by saying to her that it is imperative to merge with our pain, to not allow the energy of pain, to operate alone and untethered from our CORE self. I simply reminded her that, “We are NOT broken, we are simply INJURED and injuries do and can heal with nurturing, support and mindful attention. Our last conversation was productive and encouraging for both of us. She stated to me that it was the perfect exit conversation as she progress onward in her journey, and she thanked me. For myself, it did several things, it provided me an opportunity to share with the prideful, resilient, loving, hurt, black woman, mother, that she is BEYOND RESILIENT and that this traumatic experience has injured her but she is far from broken! It also solidified my stance that only through self love and love of others can or will we truly heal from traumatic experiences. It encourage me to continue to operate from a place of love no matter what.

I am grateful that I met my ex-bunkie and I truly wish her the best as she continues to fight for her physical and emotional freedom. I am thankful that my time of being incarcerated is nearly over. It hurts my soul knowing that I will be leaving many women in the Criminal Justice System and that more will be entering this absurd process. I will continue to share how important it is to remain tethered to your Loving Core Self and operate Beyond Resilient through it all.

The journey continues………………….feloniousphd 6/2015


The Absurdity of My Life, Part 5……………….The MisAdventure of the UNI-BOOB!

Today, as I stood in one of the many (welfare-like) lines at the Federal Prison Camp in Victorville California, a woman was discussing with another woman who has a work detail in the commissary (the over priced place we purchase items), how they need to ask for women tank tops instead of always forcing us (women) to purchase the male tank tops. She quickly turned to the other woman and told her that she and the other women, who have details in that space, did ask the CO (correctional officer) in charge about purchasing feminine style tees and they were told that there is no way that would happen.  He boldly informed them that we (women) in our feminine clothing, would be too tempting to the male CO’s.  Once again the subjugation, paternalization, and imprisonment of the female body becomes a major issue for me in this Prison Industrial Complex environment and I am faced with asking my two favorite questions, “What the hell?! and Is this real life?!”.

There are many instances where this system imposes it’s masculine will on the women, who are legally forced to be incarcerated in this unnatural space.  I plan to continue to discuss in detail how the American Justice System has impacted my womanly, motherly, and female identified soul in the future.  But today, I am faced with an urgent challenge that requires my immediate attention, as I plan to transition from the Prison Camp oppressive environment into society.  After 19 months and a tremendous amount of soul searching, I have decided to wait in the long line at commissary and purchase an OVER-PRICED bra in an attempt to transition my current UNI-BOOB from the oppressive BOP issued sports-like bra, that has incarcerated my womanly parts to the extent that they do not know that they are separate entities (lol).  Seriously, I feel it is imperative that as I plan to re-enter society, my family and my life that I also allow my wonderful breasts (plural) the opportunity to exercise their liberties, prior to leaving this ridiculous space (lol).  I am not kidding the suppression of the BOP sports bras make you feel (boobless) and that in itself should be criminal.  This structurally oppressive Prison Industrial Complex has violated the civil rights of my breasts!!!!    Mind you, this complaint is coming from a woman who in the past has frequently worn sports bras without any complaints or hesitation.  I am saying right here and now that, “WHEN I AM FREE, I WILL NEVER WEAR ANOTHER SPORTS BRA AGAIN!”.  So to all of you who are tethered to me, don’t worry when you see me and my breasts are sitting high, proud, and loud and my cleavage is bold and boisterous.  Don’t be alarmed, just be aware that I have not changed, I am simply liberating my breasts and allowing them to live life freely when this craziness is over.

This week I am planning to just breakdown and purchase a bra! Some may be asking, “Why have I not done that sooner?”  And I would have to say that there is a part of me that absolutely hates giving more to this system than I absolutely have to give and honestly I am just plain stubborn.  Now that my time at the camp is nearing an end, I believe that it is important to transition all of me and that includes purchasing an over-priced bra so that I can bid farewell to my UNI-BOOB!   This has been a long, hard and often absurd journey and I am thankful that it is nearly over.  To anyone who is unfortunately about to enter the Federal Prison Camp setting, I am advising you to purchase a white, sports bra and wear it as you self surrender.  You may be able to keep it depending on the officer and the Camp.

The journey continues……………………………………………felonious phd. 5/2015

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Diary of an Imprisoned Soul Part 7…………. The Authentic Manifestation of my Woman Self

Nearly 12 months ago I happened upon old VHS recordings of several black writers, one being James Baldwin, which I watch religiously on a weekly basis. Another one that I completely love watching is the story of a Black writer named, Chester Himes. I had never heard of him before watching the video, but the video explained that he was the author and screenwriter for the well known black film I love called “Cotton Comes to Harlem.” Mr. Himes story resonates with me for several reasons, but mainly because he was a famous Black writer, an intellectual thinker, a soulful being, and he was imprisoned for 8 years in an Ohio prison. There is much about his story that keeps me watching it over and over and over again, but I am particularly taken by how he and many other black writers and artists, wrote and spoke about their struggle with the identity of their black-self in relation to being accepted as credible voices in our American Society. That ongoing battle is so hauntingly synonymous with many writers and artists that I love. I find these voices so very powerful not only as I sit in the Federal Prison Camp but also because of our current social climate. It is as though our present is once again just as our past.  As I crawl through this American Criminal Justice System process without any control over many of my liberties, I am often faced with formulating daily plans and rituals to get me through. I have chosen to participate within this structure as an active spectator, one who really wants to understand its purpose or lack of purpose and develop anecdotal narratives to assist those behind me with transitioning through this oppressive environment whole and sane. The idealist and motivator within me often implores me to speak in an inspiring tone in regards to my experience. The imprisoned soul inside of me, forces me to speak from a real authentic “consciousness of truth” and give voice to how incredibly hard this has been for me as a human, a woman and a mother soul.
To keep my wits about me, I rush to those videos and books and I urgently embrace how they (other artist and imprisoned souls) managed to endure, survive, and excel past their circumstances and existence in our often challenging society. What I have learned is that nothing that I am questioning or enduring is new. Others have survived worse and emerged as incredible writers, leaders, advocates and so on. In knowing that, I have decided I must continue to add to the narratives that have been told about our (human soul’s) experiences, no matter if they are bitter or sweet, so that anyone who may encounter the same or similar struggles that I have during this process, will be able to say as I do, “I am not alone!”. That is going to be my ongoing journey from here on. To tell my story from my perspective as a caring, soulful, loving being who only wants to live life peaceful, without fear and doubt.

Mr. Himes made a very profound statement regarding his life of imprisonment that resonates very deeply with me. He said, “I think it (being imprisoned) has partially convinced me, or I tried to convince myself that it has convinced me, that I could never be hurt as much as I have already been hurt.” Lately I have found myself rewinding that loud VHS over and over again to hear that statement repeated over and over again, (no I am not going crazy, lol) but I want to seek clarity in his statement and clearly understand its lasting effects on his being. Without sounding a bit esoteric, I don’t think that Mr. Himes was simply speaking of being hurt by an individual, speaking of a global pain that stems from not truly feeling connected to, or loved by our Country (United States of America). Mr. Himes like many other American writers and artists, lived and died in another country. Lately, I have paid a lot attention to how any and every level of disenfranchisement can harden or discourage the human soul. After a life of 51 years of striving for the American Dream I completely understand the desire to just want to live in peace, without questioning your worth or sense of belonging. In 1984 Mr. Chester Himes died at HOME in Spain.

Yes, I tend to over think many things, but I completely connect with how many imprisoned souls and artists may feel unwanted and unloved by their own Country. As a Ex-Licensed Clinical Social Worker, ex-Counselor, ex-licensed Foster mom (lol, I write that and laugh to myself, a real inside joke!) and an inspiring writer, I am acutely aware of my internal struggles with wanting to remain an active participant in my liberation as I leave this space. I am acutely aware of how my voice will be subjected to scrutiny and be disregarded by some because I am now a FELON. I have always encompassed a level of self expression that would place me at odds with the status quo. Now, because of my experience as an imprisoned soul, the manifestation of me, has progressed to a level of empowerment and freedom that has allowed me to clearly define my own voice. In addition, I have enhanced my hearing and completely opened my heart which has provided me with the opportunity to grow into the entirety of ME!!!!. I am truly ready for whatever!

I am so grateful and thankful for those old VHS tapes and that the Government is so archaic and still have VHS tvs, lol! I despise this environment and the Criminal Justice System for how it has completely ruined some very good, productive human souls lives, but I am thankful that while I am here there are historical therapeutic, tangible means for me to become a better me. Mr. Himes and many other writers have provided me with a roadmap that allows me to empower myself without doubt and fear. I am not finished yet, but I am over this place!!!!!!! To anyone who is unfortunately about to enter the Federal Criminal Justice System and the Federal Prison Camp environment, I must tell you and your family that it is very, very safe. No one will physically harm you, but you must come prepared emotionally because as you sit in this space of “nothingness” you can become a better or a worse version of yourself, so come prepared to leave GREAT!!!!!
The journey continues……………………………………………………..felonious phd. 5/2015

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Diary of an Imprisoned Soul Part 6………..BEYOND RESILIENT: My 19th month of Incarceration.

Today marks my 19th month of being physically incarcerated at the Victorville Women’s Federal Prison Camp. It has been a long, hard, at times absurd journey to say the least and I am not done yet, whew!!! As I continue to progress onward in this process I try to remain cognizant of how each phase of this unplanned journey has impacted me on all levels-socially, emotionally, personally, spiritually, professionally, politically and financially. My goal is to allow my conscious awareness to mindfully guide me through each phase so that I can authentically share my experience.

     I have to admit that it takes a tremendous amount of self resolve to continue to strive for excellence through this madness. The past few weeks I have spent a huge amount of time formulating and planning how I am going to move past being a survivor of this system, so that I will be able to re-enter my community, family and and sons life effectively. I have to continue to remind myself that regardless of what and how this American Justice System treats me, and even though this has been the most difficult experience I have endured emotionally I will continue to be more of my loving, kind and caring self.

As I look towards the future, I am also reminding myself that despite all that I have lost, I have a Doctorate Degree, a lifetime of work experience, a healthy self esteem and a support system. I know that I will be ok despite how unforgiving and often callous our Society can be to those of us who are often forced to be on the fringes. It is also encouraging knowing that I have done this before, I have overcome, excelled and over achieved, despite my circumstances, I know what can be done with hard work dedication and stubbornness (lol). I am also remaining tethered to the fact that at my core, I am a fighter, an aware and conscientious warrior who will soon be released into the battle for my life and I am more than ready.

I want to always provide a realistic and authentic view of how I move through this process. Not for sympathy or anything special, just so I can provide an accurate narrative to voting citizens and Politicians who have a tendency to support and implement policies without critically analyzing the lasting effects they will have on the individual, the community and society as a whole. I want others to understand that our American Criminal justice System has far surpassed just punishing so called wrong doers, it is literally destroying the lives of American citizens, who really want and deserve a real second chance to revitalize, renew and reboot their lives. Our current system places anyone who has interfaced this Criminal Justice process in a position to just “give up”. I know that sounds so extreme but it is the truth, from my position as I sit here within the “belly of the beast” that is only preparing myself and others with less capacity to reinvent themselves, to just get on welfare, social security, food stamps and Obamacare. A lifetime of dependency on a system that leads directly to sorrow, poverty and self-doubt. In the spirit of my grandmother Geraldine, “I rebuke the thought of being a victim of the Prison Industrial Complex and any other systemic oppressive entity”. I will operate being “beyond  resilient” as I approach and enter the next phase of the Federal Criminal Justice process, and openly share with others how I was able to succeed, that is my plan.

I only have a few months left to sit in this visceral, dehumanizing, non-productive environment, and for that I am so very thankful. I am not sure where time has went and I am hoping that I have used it wisely, time will tell. But for now I will continue to plan for my tomorrow and live through this mess today. I am forever thankful that my son is good and doing him without skipping too much of a beat. I am also grateful that I was born and raised to be who and where I am at any and every point and time. But I am ready to leave here!!! (lol).

The journey continues………………………………………………… felonious phd. 5/2015

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My Last Incarcerated Mother’s Day………..A Message From the Camp

I honestly almost forgot that Mother’s Day was this week. Or perhaps I simply put it out of my mind, like I have chosen to do with every holiday in this unnatural space. I have experienced a variety of emotions as I sit here in the Federal Prison Camp, but the most difficult time I have during this period is not being home with my teenaged son and the rest of my family. I remember once upon a time hearing a song called, “A Motherless Child” and I can faintly remember some of the words of anguish that those lyrics contained. But living a life for any period of time as a “Childless Mother” has left such a profound mark on my soul as I sit here simply doing nothing in this space of “nothingness” rendered a danger or a risk to who? I am not sure but still isolated from all that is real and loving to me.

     As a mother, woman, a soulful being, I will never forget how easy it was for a system that has so much leverage and flexibility to not take in account my role as a loving, caring mother, foster mom and was afforded the means to simply discount who, what and how I have operated as a loving, caring, lawful human being my entire life. This Criminal Justice System, our American Criminal Justice System has impacted families in a manner that in my eyes is so Un-American, callous and just plain mean spirited. As we spend this election cycle listening to the politician, political pundants and other lobbyist discuss the ill-effects of mass incarceration and how it has destroyed our Nation, communities and individual lives I want those involved to also understand the devastating impact this process has had on the family systems. I want them to be made aware of how THEY (politicians) are to blame for this mess and how it may just be a political campaign for them, but my life as a black, mother, felon is lived, controlled and fought for on a daily basis, not just when it is time to vote. I want to be authentic in regards to life of an incarcerated mother soul, and I say that as a woman who took her role as. mom, mother, mama, foster mom, mama Sandy very seriously and with real intent to impact those very important lives I was privy to be connected to, it was not a joke to me. I know most peeps will say well, “then you should not do the crime!” to that I say, “when almost everything useful and helpful is needed to impact others lives positively is considered a CRIME by the Government, what are we to do as helpers?”. Then I will add, “talk to me when you become 1 out of the 100 people who will one day be impacted by our American Criminal Justice System!”. At which time I will gladly encourage you to push pass this process and operate beyond being resilient as I have done.

I am fortunate that this is my last incarcerated Mother’s Day. I will be leaving behind many dedicated and loving, non violent, low level, first time offending Mothers, and Grandmothers as I swiftly walk away from this space in a few months. I want to tell all Mothers who are unfortunately involved with this system that you will be ok!. This System will take a lot from you but it can not take away your own “consciousness of truth” and the love you have and give to those you are tethered to regardless of where you are. To get through these periods as I sit in this space I write. I also remind my self that this process will end and when that day comes, I will stubbornly walk out of here more of my loving, caring wonderful self.

I am forever and always thankful that I was born and raised to be who and where I am at any given moment. I am also very grateful for my wonderful teenaged son and for all of the young people who consider me their “MOM”. I am lucky. So no matter what this process has done to me and those tethered to me, I will continue to operate from a place of love and live life FEARLESSLY!

Happy Mother’s Day!

The journey continues………………………………………………….felonious phd 5/2015

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SMOKE AND MIRRORS: We cannot handle the truth

constantly moving
moving in a motionless space
clouded by visions that
are repeatedly put in
our face
governed by laws
that we want to
blame on others
forgetting that we
the people
the people who really
are in charge

manifestation of blaming
a disregard for self
in a time
our mirrors
are broken
or non existent
time is here
actually time has never
we will perish
we will perish
we will perish
if we dont
stop looking for
answers externally
and believe the
messages within
smoke and mirrors
we see in on the tv
smoke and mirrors
we hear in everyday
smoke and mirror
we operate opposite of our
own consciousness
consciously surrendering
to the pressures
the irrelevant
the insignificant
because we
can not
handle the

felonious phd 3/2016

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A Critical Analysis of Re-Entry & Recidivism Pt. 2………Prison Industrial Complex-Pipeline to Self

As a “Welfare Offspring”-someone who grew up as a young child on welfare and dependent on a systemic structure that had the power to limit your food, shelter and basic needs as well as intrinsically warranted and encouraged a mindset that insisted that one acquiesce to living with shame, poverty and self hate in order to receive Government assistance to stay alive – I am now, as I sit in the “belly of the beast” of the Federal Criminal Justice System, with a tremnedous amount irreverence, admitting that once again I am in familiar territory. I am speaking with an authentic level of expertise when I say the “Prison Industrial Complex” is like welfare, a systemic structure that creates a pipeline that leads directly back to itself!


The irony of my life or the absurdity of my life is as such- here I am again trapped in the trenches of a system that I despise for more reasons than one, but, and I say but enthusiastically, I feel empowered in knowing that as an educated Black Woman, with a Doctorate Degree, ability to pull myself up, and a love of self that is limitless, it is more apparent and real to me that, “I was born and raised to be who and where I am”. There can not be any other explanation for my being imprisoned in such an oppressive structure  that I ran from my entire life and still feel FREE!

I consciously and mindfully constructed and orchestrated a life that was totally opposite of my present reality. It definitely was not made to lead to my life in the pipeline to the Federal Criminal Justice System. As I sit here as a reluctant participant in this system, I have gained a level of awareness in regards to Recidivism and Re-entry and the issues of The Prison Industrial Complex. My Birdseye view of this system far surpasses that of many Politicians, Academics and Reform Advocates. I am speaking as someone who has studied, endured and survived systemic oppression on many levels and now to be a part of The Federal Criminal Justice System I have to say I have seen enough!

First and foremost, I do not believe that Prison Reform is going to solve or rectify the de-humanizing effects of Incarceration. Like, slavery, incarceration has to be abolished. There is no fixing this process which is founded on the very premise of slavery. It carries all of its ills and ill effects on the human heart and soul. I am speaking in reference to the inmates as well as the employees. There must be a paradigm shift on all levels of our Criminal justice System and the shift has to be brave enough to highlight the human needs and fiscal rewards for De-carceration. Because let us be honest, it is all about MONEY! As an educated, business minded woman, I can clearly see that for financial and political reasons the Prison Industrial Complex is going to be difficult to destroy or exterminate. For the same reasons we upheld the inindiscretions of Wall Street, we refuse to tackle the many humane challenges that incarceration put on our society. I get it!!!!

So in knowing that the Prison Industrial Complex will not meet its fate soon enough, I see the need as a human and a newly labeled Felon, to increase awareness for how the industry, our American Prison Industrial Complex, is destroying the souls and limiting our wills as citizens and in turn creates a blood line that leads directly to itself. An incredible business model, that can be fixed on the lowest levels immediately if voting citizens, legislators and our community leaders are truly invested in creating a system that allows people like myself and others, low-level offenders, and non-violent at least the opportunity to re-enter our communities and families successfully,humanely and with dignity.

The Prison Industrial Complex and the Criminal Justice System has a structure that has given someone like me a lifetime sentence. There truly is no way to start a new chapter in my life as a Felon. Even I, with all of my work experience, education and determination have a direct line back to this Prison Industrial Complex. It is clearly a system that is structured to continue to feed itself. Currently I am being told that I do not need any re-entry services. I am not sure what that means being that I have lost everything, and if one part of the Criminal Justice System felt the need to put me here I feel that the other should be compelled to help me leave as efficiently as possible. Then it hits me again. This system is a business hence-The Prison Industrial Complex. It is not personal but I am a monetary number to this structure. So not until there is a financial motivation implemented at the Legislative level to motivate the Bureau of Prisons, Jails and the other integral players in the Criminal Justice System, they will not be moved to make sure individuals exit this system successfully and expeditiously without being set-up to return.

As a Welfare Offspring I have internally, mindfully and consciously decided that as a middle-aged educated, strong, willful, resilient, empowered beautifully loving woman, I will once again liberate myself. In doing so I plan to share my story with others and serve as “Living Proof” that no matter where our journey may lead us we are never ever without ourselves! The power is knowing that all that is good, loving and real is internal.

I am thankful that I am now coming out of the “White Collar Woman Fog.” I am now knowing that I can and will reach well beyond possibilities as long as I am fearless and lovingly myself. I will also be doing this without any assistance from the Prison Industrial Complex. I am also thankful that I now know what makes me peaceful and happy. I am determined to not be any part of the blood in the veins of the Prison Industrial Complex once I leave. I am “FREE” internally and soulfully and I am imploring all who are in this system or any structure that is imprisoning them to “Free” themselves too!!!!

Felonious Ph.D. 12/2014

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Labor Day….5 Chicken Wings and Two Corn Dogs!

For a a brief moment, I was excited!  Honestly, I heard from a very reliable source that we were going to have a special meal for Labor Day.  Most imortantly, I heard it was going to be….drum roll… all time favorite….CHICKEN WINGS!!! Now, I am one of the most stubborn, prideful people I know, and I often resist any and every moment requiring me to feel somewhat “okay” with being here. My friends and family can attest to my love for the small chicken delicacy, so when I heard the words, “Chicken Wings,” I have to admit I got a little excited, for a brief (very brief) moment!

If you have been fortunate enough to have never had to interface with the Federal system, you are lucky because everything about the system entails standing in a loooooong line.  I mean as a youth, I clearly remember standing in welfare lines and government cheese lines. So my motivation for striving to remove myself from that system, the same system that I am ironically imprisoned by, was high!  I seriously have to laugh out loud at my journey.  None the less, I usually wait for the correctional officer to call, “Last call!” over the loud speaker before I venture out to the noisy and long, hot, line.  Today, no way!  I did not want to chance them running out of wings.  Shortage of some foods is common  around here, so I made sure I was in that long, hot, government line with the rest of the women.

When we got to the area where they hand you your tray with the featured meat on it, I suddenly felt a kind of disappointment that I don’t recall every having felt as an adult.  We were given FIVE, yes 5, of the smallest chicken wings I have ever seen.  Oh my gosh!!  I honestly cracked up!  What the hell??!!  I am sure that in order to make up for the lack of chicken wings, we were given two corn dogs.  All I could think was how my family would crack up!  So, I took my tray with my five little wings, two corn dogs, and  “apple turnover” and sat down.

As I ate each little, miniature wing, I just told myself to be grateful and thankful even though those wings were just a tease.  I gave my corn dogs away and returned to my bottom bunk bed.

I don’t know if I will remember most of my experiences through this journey, but I am sure that I will be more thankful and careful with my freedom and I will completely enjoy the opportunity to eat what I choose.  I will have some decent chicken wings immediately upon my release.

I am thankful today for my sense of humor and for almost being halfway through this imprisonment.  And I was grateful for those five little wings, believe it or not!


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Womanly Smile



For years and for centuries we have hidden our pain

Tortured, abused, raped and misused

Our strength transcends and our power transforms

A womanly smile tells all……


An invisible force within a society minus us, has no foundation

Now imprisoned, in a misogynist storm

Disgraced, dehumanized, defeminized in a structurally oppressive–industry

Daily encouraging, empowering and acknowledging each other with

A womanly smile that connects us all….


Our truths, our stories and struggles to maintain our picture perfect lives

Gives strength to our power and passion to look towards our tomorrow

Sitting on pause, existing soulfully and intrinsically on energy of love

Wake up in the morning with nothing to offer, to give, to share but my-

Womanly smile that has the power to heal…….


the felonious phd.

August 2014

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A Mother’s Love…..I Got to See my Sonny!!!

I had a wonderful visit this past weekend with my mom, Deb, and most of all my Sonny. Today, as I sit outside here at the Federal Prison Camp, my heart is full. It is full of love and peace. I love being Aaron’s mom, and out of all of my achievements I have to say being his mom is my greatest yet!

During our visit on Saturday and Sunday, all I could think about was how mature he was getting physically as well as emotionally. He is getting so big……or I am shrinking!! lol. As a mother who is incarcerated, the number one stressor is his safety and well-being . Are his basic needs being met? Because of his older brother Daniel and Nicole and the rest of our family I have to say his basic needs are being met and then some. That makes me happy. As a mindful mother, who is also a clinician, I am also concerned about and will remain acutely aware of how this is/will impact him emotionally. Will it make changes to his core self? I have so much experience with young people whose parents were absent, and was a child with absent parents, that I always want to acknowledge and address anything that may arise for him in regards to my incarceration. But thus far, from what I could see and hear during our first visit in nearly nine months, he is truly and consistently himself. For that I am relieved and thankful. Aaron knows he is loved and that I want nothing more than to be home doing whatever he needs done. Including his dirty laundry….which he informs me he will cease doing for himself once I return. lol.

I so desperately want to be home actively being his mother. I did get to rub his head!!!! Yay!!! That is my favorite. Although he was tired of my kisses, he welcomed the head-rubbing. My big young man. I miss him deeply. I never took my role as his parent lightly. It has always been serious business to me. Now being away from him and knowing that I will not be able to get these 22 to 27 months back, it encourages me to continue to move through this process lovingly. I do not want to return home to him angry or vengeful. I will leave this camp as I came… a loving, caring, confident, powerful, passionate, woman and mother. I will make sure I am ready to re-enter his life productively despite this environment and this demeaning process.

This environment does nothing to remind women who have children that they are mothers 110% of the time not just when you have visits or when you return home. The art of Mothering is ongoing and requires us to consciously and actively continue to nurture that part of ourselves. I am thankful for my son. I am very thankful to my Mom and Deb for bringing him to visit.

I miss and love you Sonny! Keep being you, you are WONDERFUL!!!

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