Ususally I am sitting in my cell, counting days until next visit or phone call. I don’t hang out with women from the prison, because they live in a totally different world, and they have most different characters, which I prefer to avoid. I try to avoid any complications or provocations, that’s why I prefer to stay in my room.
There is another Polish woman here, to whom I can go for a coffe, and sometimes talk. We sit together in the dining room. It helps me a lot, that I have someone to talk to. But as for the people working here, unfortunately you can feel there is not very nice atmosphere here, I suspect it’s because of my descent.
I could write and write about situations that happened to me here, but about some things, I’m scared to even write. That’s why I keep repeating to myself: “I don’t need anything from you”.
Of course you can not avoid everything. There is always a time of confrontation, and the need to ask for booking the family or other things needed for everyday living, like toilet paper and so on…
I’m here for one and a half year already, but I feel like it was much more. Time passes very slowly, especially at nights. For time to pass faster I try to do whaever I can, and take what the prison offers.
I’m in a single cell, meaning I’m alone in the cell, so I feel safer. I wouldn’t like to share the cell for different reasons, among them thievery, lack of understanding, conflicts of different kinds, or bringing other girls to the room. I have a key to the room, and every time I go for dinner I close it.
Inmates are divided into three stages: basic, standard, and enhance. I am enhance, that means I can have two phone calls per day to my family or friends, every call for 6 minutes. I can also have two visits per week, thirty minutes each.
I work in the library and I get paid for it, + €3 per week (basic – €6, standard – €12, enhance – €15,60), meaning I have €18,60 per week.
Do I feel responsible for his death?
It’s still hard for me to believe this, or accept it. I often think about his family, about torture they must be going through, especially on holiday or his birthday, or the day of the accident. I’m afraid to imagine his mother’s pain and others. Although I’m sure that this accident wouldn’t happen if he wasn’t attacking me in the car, but I also made many mistakes. I stopped my car, or should I take another route? It’s not important now, I WAS THE DRIVER, and I feel very responsible for his death, that I couldn’t save him and find him. That I could do something differently. This will stay with me for the rest of my life, there is not a single day, that I am not thinking about it. I would like very much that he was here, and not leaving me with all of this. I feel responsible, but not for murder.
When I try to sleep a million thoughts and vision per second comes to my mind. Like a merry-go-round. “What if…? What if…? Why this way and not the other? Could I prevent it?” I analyze foolishly although I know it won’t change anything. I try to run away with my thoughts to my family. I imagine their laughter and our life together. I’m comforting myself that God didn’t take me away, and I still can hear them over the phone, see them and touch them during visits. All those things his family doesn’t have, and I feel bad about it.
I often think about other things that happened here in Ireland. People butchering each other with knives, hiding the bodies somewhere, killing innocent children, and running from the accident site… All those horrible cases end with “involuntary manslaughter”. I can’t understand anything of it. From the start I was afraid that I will get “involuntary manslaughter” rather than accident or driving causing death, but I knew that a man died and I need to hold responsibility for that, so I tried to prepare myself for this, but “murder” never crossed my mind. That word frightens me, and I don’t know how to get my head around it and I don’t hear it. I can’t get over it, I can’t understand this. This reality seems fiction to my head. I would want to get over it, be strong and get through this, but this tires me, and I don’t know how. Not for murder.
I think a lot about how long will all of this last. My family sacrifices so much, kids grow up, so many is happening but I miss it, and it won’t come back. I know my Mum and others need me, and I can’t help them in anything. Often I think, will my life get back, at least in similar degree as it was, to where it was before? Will I ever smile again, and will I have the courage, or will only fear of everything remain. I’m afraid, that life is so fragile and dangerous, and human is made only of just a thin skin, and everything can happen. Every step of life frightens me now. But I know I’m not alone, and I have a family who loves me and helps me to get through this life now, but none of us understands a lot, especially from this Irish law.