To the editor:
In the May 1 edition of The Commercial Review, Roderick Berry had a letter printed.
I am incarcerated in Rockville and have a B Felony for dealing in a controlled substance.
Do I blame society or anyone for what I did? No, I take full responsibility for my crime and actions leading up to it. I made a lot of mistakes and a lot of very unhealthy choices in my life. I’m almost 52 years old, and this is my first felony and I am going to do all I can to make amends, make better choices so I am not a repeat offender. Only I can make sure that I don’t come back to this prison, my choice, my responsibility.
I was in the military for a short time over 33 years ago. I am a survivor of Military Sexual Trauma (MST). I was diagnosed 20 years ago with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) with Borderline Personality Disorder. I went through what I call my own personal war, the invisible war.
I come from a military family, parents and siblings being in the military also. My father was a town marshal for many years in Pennville.
I cannot blame society or my parents on what led me to come to prison. I was a very angry, scared, afraid person who had a very low self-esteem. Went through a divorce which escalated my low self-esteem even further. I’ve been emotionally and mentally abused in some of my relationships. I raised two children alone. It all played a role in why I started self-medicating so I could “feel better”. I got caught up in an unhealthy lifestyle, full of hate and anger for myself and other people. I allowed myself to be taken advantage of.
Looking back, I realize that if I had fought harder for better counseling and therapy and learned better life skills, I could have felt better without self-medicating using illegal substances.
It took me being sentenced to a prison term and coming into the C.L.I.F.F. (Clean Lifestyle Is Freedom Forever) program to tell myself that I am OK. I have learned a lot about setting boundaries, saying no, accepting who I am, taking full responsibility for my actions and learning to love and respect myself.
Yes, Jay County has a lot of drug use and crimes. I believe Jay County needs a place where children of drug users and criminals can go and feel loved and learn to accept themselves.
People can change. My brother suffers from PTSD from when he was in the military and was very abusive toward his own ex-wife. But, with the proper therapy and the right medication, he is now taking responsibility for his past actions and he is trying his best to change. No one is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes. If you think you are perfect, then you have issues. I believe in my higher power to get myself through every second, every minute, ever hour, every day of my life. Easy does it. I am learning and following the 12-step program.
I was told that being a felon, I would have a hard time getting a job, having help with my rent and much more. Well, I’ve since found out that there are also a lot of programs out there for felons, and also with me being an honorable disabled veteran, I do qualify for jobs, help with rent, utilities and much more. It will take me having to live in a bigger city, so I am going to become a resident of Indianapolis where I can go to NA meetings daily if needed and I have the support of the VA hospital. But, in the end, I will become a better mother, daughter, sister, grandmother and aunt. Because I take full responsibility and because I am worth it.
I dearly apologize to my family for what I’ve done and I know they are ashamed of me. I pray they will forgive me and give me the chance to show that I’ve changed.
Take responsibility of your life, quit blaming others for your downfalls. One day at a time.
A survivor,
Judith Betterton