Patricia’s Third Message from Jail: “Define and Defend”

Today I read passages from Albert Camus’ “The Stranger,” and it’s exactly what I needed. It reminds me of why I (we) are fighting for justice. As Camus tells us, it is the gentle indifference in the world that subdues the mind and silences our existence. It is that persistent apathy around us that allows act after act of betrayal and assault to be left unaccountable, and leave many survivors without a voice or a mechanism to speak out. Yet our conviction to “define and defend” what is just has become the force that lifts the veil of indifference around us. On November 21st, I (we) took a decisive step in “defining and defending” what is just, unjust, right and wrong. That was the start of a journey.  There are many more steps to take, but through it all (the ups and downs that await us), I hope we can recognize this force that flows and binds us all together.

Thank you to the countless men and women in solidarity who are committed to helping me lift this veil of indifference.

Being incarcerated does not define my existence, and the sexual abuse in my childhood and the sexual assault I experienced as a student do not define my life. The bonds of love with my daughter and my known and unknown friends supporting me define who I am, inside and outside these four brick walls. I do have many, many moment of strengths and some moments of yearning to be with loved ones, especially when the days seem like an endless stream of time, but the letters of encouragement I receive lift my spirits and carry me along week by week.