Jan. 10, 2019

My 2018 Christmas Holidays of Solitude

From The Novelist Portent by Johnny E. Mahaffey (author's profile)


Johnny E. Mahaffey
The Novelist Unwanted
December 26, 2018

[picture of a wooden figure kicking another in the ass]



Today is Jaime and Shylynn's birthdays -- I tried to be a part of them, there's just not much I can do. Not from here, like this.

I wish that I could do more.

Prison makes it so hard to communicate with friends and family. In some other countries, family trumps EVERYTHING! They get special visits, and all sorts of extra privileges to help keep the family unit together. Today, I got to call Jaime, and she got my cards, and the packages I'd sent -- but she needs so much more. Me being no more than a voice on the phone, or a letter in the mail ... it's not enough.

I talk to her while she's opening presents with her family, and it sounds so precious. Another moment I can't be in, and I hate that I'm not there. I miss my wife. I miss my little daughter Shylynn, she's all grown up now.

I did get to work today -- I was called in because some work came in that I was needed for -- and that took my mind off things for a good eleven hours. But, it was still hard not to lose my emotional composure in front of everyone. I was on the verge of breaking down any moment.

I hope that Jaime and Shylynn had good birthdays.

I love them both so much.


Today, was not good. No mail. No email. No answered calls. Nothing.


This day was horrid -- the worst yet -- it's like I don't exist anymore! Here it is, another Friday, days before CHRISTMAS even, and I'm finding myself ghosted again. I don't know what I did, what I said, what I didn't say right, I don't know why. I know it's my fault! It's always my fault.

I must have checked the email kiosk every hour on the MINUTE today. Actually checking my watch. I'm sick, and I feel horrible, and bad things occurred that I wanted to talk to a friend about, but no one was there.


Another day of silence. All the mail was given out that arrived before the mail room closed for the holidays -- and I was... saddened not to get any mail this year. Not even a card, and that's a blow to my spirit.


Usually I don't write when I'm like this, wallowing in self-pity: because I know it's not something people care to hear, or know about. So what? Right? Here I am, in a hole I dug for myself, no one else in the world to blame but myself, and I'm ranting about being forgotten on Christmas. I'm determined though, at the end of each day, I'll add another entry on this paper, that I will type after Christmas for posting.

Right now, I have no clue of what the days to come hold.

I hear all these names called for visits, I see all of these child molesters, and junkies, and crooks, with stacks of Christmas cards all around their bunks, I see them go to the kiosk and read and respond to emails, make calls that are answered. I'm not watching them, not purposely -- it's just, there are so many of them. Me? I wait in line to use the phone, hoping for an answer, trying not to let the others get to me with their smirks and jests about my obvious rejection.


Christmas Eve, and all I've done is paint, draw, and write, every day. I'm trying my best just to stay in my cell away from everyone else. I tried to call my sister, my step-dad, Jaime, my son, and I tried to reach out to Candice, but I have no way to. No one is talking to me right now.

I just wish things were different.

I would like to know how to be a better person -- someone that people would want to talk with, and write to. I did get a letter on the 17th, it came late in the evening, and it was a list (a whole page) or things that someone finds to be my faults, and what makes me nothing. I folded it in half, and returned it to sender after reading only the first two things on the list. Then, minutes later, I send an email in response to one of Candice's, and that ... may have been a mistake. Maybe I should have waited until the emotions from the list had passed, because I think I might have said something wrong or out of line, and offended Candice in some way. I feel horrible about it. She's been nothing but nice to me, and I go and say something stupid or insensitive.

I check that computer kiosk out over and over and over, hoping.

I hate this place and what it's done to me.


MERRY CHRISTMAS! I got to talk to my sister for one minute. I spoke with my step-father, and Jaime answered the phone and let me speak to our son as well. It's more than I've ever had for any previous Christmas, and I am EXTREMELY thankful. The presents I sent did get there in time for Christmas, and I was worried about them being late. But, they're there.

The prison meal was horrid; but I cooked myself a good meal.

I hope everyone is having a good day.

EVERYONE is on my mind. I'm thinking of all my kids, of their mothers (Jaime, Opal, and yes ... even Skyler, remembering you on the Christmas after Shy was born, you were so beautiful and cute in your winterwear.) I'm wondering if Candice is having the Christmas she wants, and planned -- she really is an awesome person.

Collin and little Juliette sounded so happy and giddy on the phone, having their Christmas. The bond between that brother and sister set is something to envy -- they're perfect. I wish that I'd been close to my little sister growing up. That in itself shows that Collin is already smarter than me, and sees the value in family. When I was little, I was just so traumatized by events that had occurred, that I kept to myself, even at home. I wish that I had known then not to hold in pain, and talk about what happened, at least with family.

We just, acted like none of it happened, went about the coming days like normal -- and that was a mistake. I'm proud of Collin for not being like me in that aspect. He loves his sister, his mother, and his aunt Emily, so much. It warms my heart. And Jaime loves him so much that I wish my own mother had just been half the woman she is. If I could have grown up with just a semblance of that kind of motherly love.

I wish I'd never gotten myself in this mess -- Jaime and the kids needed me -- and I really do believe that she would have remained a good wife to me. I'm the one that failed, and every bad thing that ever happened to her since my catastrophe, is on me. And yes, I know I've made all kinds of snide comments regarding her in previous posts; but, she's not to blame, and the truth is -- she's doing good for herself.

I have to move forward with my life, and it's hard because I know what my future most likely holds: me, right here, in this cell. And that's hard to accept.

I'm sorry to everyone that knows me, who might be reading this. I promise I'm not the jerk I come across as.

I may not have gotten the Christmas I wanted -- but, I did have a Christmas -- I'm alive, and above ground. I'm thankful for that. Plus, I did get some minutes on the phone with loved ones.

What will next Christmas hold?


Well, that's over! Soon, everything will go back to normal. I actually have to get up at 4:45 AM tomorrow to get ready and go to work! I've been put on an "essential worker" list, a skeleton crew that is needed, despite the lock-down situation. We have orders at the sign shop that have to be done.

I feel privileged for that opportunity.

Still no emails or anything today, but ... I'm hoping.

I won't give up hope on a happy life just yet.

Against all odds -- I survived another holiday season.



Replies (3) Replies feed

ccallahan1983 Posted 7 months, 1 week ago. ✓ Mailed 6 months, 3 weeks ago   Favorite

Don't ever think you offended me to the point that I wouldn't speak to you. The week of 12/18 is a tough one for me which I told you about on 12/17. Then you have the week of Christmas which is crazy just trying to finalize everything and get it ready for Santa to come. We've been actively sending emails since the New Year so you know everything is good. If you ever offend me, I will call you out on it. I won't just stop talking to you. I'll email you in a few.


Beth_ Posted 6 months, 2 weeks ago. ✓ Mailed 6 months, 1 week ago   Favorite
I think this C and J are adorable

Johnny E. Mahaffey Posted 5 months, 3 weeks ago.   Favorite
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