looking around, at that point I saw other naked girls. I would be naked in front all these people. I felt ashamed and vulnerable. I felt as if I was being raped yet again. I hated the idea but what could I do apart from do as I was told. Eventually I found out this was a period of dessenstising, removing all inhibitions, bringing one back to a state of nothing. It was a very quick process once naked, everything, every emotion was gone. desensitization was not just a physical thing it was extremely emotional. The prison had me at their mercy, and there was nothing I could do.
I walked into the corner, in a trance like state and stood behind one of the women, I was wearing trousers so I stood and slowly open the buttons one by one. I wriggled slightly and the trousers fell to the floor. As I step out of them, I was very aware that I was stood there in my underwear. I slowly started to fold the trousers as if to slow down time.
Many obsessive thoughts ran through my mind, as I about D in bed with his new girlfriend. What they were doing? And how they were doing it? I felt sick and I started to despise him. I recalled that he had held me down till the police arrived. I was the mother of his children. At that point, I couldn’t acknowledge it was my fault, after all if I had just stayed in bed, I would not be here now. The tears welled up, but I tried to stop them falling. After all I was in prison I shouldn’t show weakness.
I continued to undo the buttons on the blouse I was wearing, still humiliated but trying hard not to cry, as I looked up I noticed there was another girl on the opposite side, she looked frightened, I hoped we would be together. Our eyes met and she looked at me with tears in her eyes as I tried to give her a half-smile. this was to say “we can do this“.
After now taking off my outer clothes, I waited a second before taking off my bra, followed by the panties. The prison guards had battens in their hand and I needed to make sure they were not used on me. This felt worse than being raped, as I was completely naked, I tried to hide behind the silver basin they had given me. There were some girls on their menstrual cycle. They had to stand there with the white pads between their legs, highlighting their shame.
As if to cause more embarrassment we were told to walk in a straight line, and open our mouths one by one so they could check inside. I felt dirty as I had not had a bath for a day. I could feel the other women’s naked body rubbing against my back. This was having a profound effect on my mental state. Having done that we were told to stand in the shower, the guard turned the water on full blast, and as the semi cold water-soaked into my skin, I decided to take advantage of it, as I used my a hand to try to wash my armpit and down below. I refused to cry.
We were then brought in to different cubicles two at a time as the guards told us bend over and touch your toes, I remembered feeling frightened as I thought they would put the baton inside. Instead I felt the cold gloves enter my back passage as the prison guard search inside my anus, for drugs and any other illegal substances.
CLEAR! NEXT… Referring to the next prisoner.
I knew I was clear. I felt violated. AGAIN….
We were then given some old clothes from the stores to put on, I was at the worse point in my life. All I could think about is dying, but the prisoner officers were slowing me down from committing suicide. I cannot stay here , I thought.
Following this, we were sent to see the nurse who asked about medical conditions, I have von willerbrand disease. I stuttered. I saw her write this down and underlined it in red. What is that she said. It means if I receive a cut I won’t stop bleeding. I had never heard of this condition the nurse said. ” Haemophilia” I replied as I recall looking straight into her eyes without blinking; as if to say, “that’s right, I will. Bleed”. Although she wasn’t really one of them. I still saw her as the enemy. I was trying to have some power albeit small.
With concerned eyes, she looked at me as if to say, “what are you trying to say? I looked away and said nothing else.
Are you on medication ? I told her the name of the medication. We will need to contact your GP, please sign her, I had to give permission to do this, can this get any worse my doctor is going to find out I’m in prison. I thought, everyone was going to know.
This was a very long evening, and all the new prisoners continued to be processed. My stomach was rumbling and I felt weak. I ached for my children in particular my baby son. We were then all taken to the canteen one by one. I was hungry but I don’t know what I thought I would get.
We all lined up, in our prison clothes, and we were given some soup, that I couldn’t eat, it looked like vomit, there was also a bread roll with no butter. I collected my food and sat down,. I sat staring at the food, when I felt someone sit down beside me, it was the girl I had seen during the strip search.
Hi I said, she was crying and so was I . She had an obvious French accent, so I figure that she was from France. A pretty slim girl with long blond hair. Her story was…”a victim of violence and her husband had stolen her children, that her husband was trying to take her children a boy and a girl. The courts had awarded him temporary custody, that he had lied.
I knew this story well, except it wasn’t my husband it was my mother. I felt her pain.
she said was advise not to take the children but she couldn’t help it and went to the school and took them, she went on that she misses her children. They were all she had, but was sent to prison like me for 28 days for breach of the court order.
I then told her my story, I was arrested for attempted arson.
We both squeezed each other’s hand, that was all we could do. We then tried to eat what we were given. I ate the bread slowly as I didn’t know if I would get anything else, the soup was a bit harder to swallow and I wondered if there was a reason why prison food was so bad, was it to teach a lesson. Well! for me it was working.
My new prison mate gave me her bread, I recall eating it so fast I almost choked, as the bread sucked up, all the saliva I had.
I never saw that blond french girl again, until the end of the 28 days, and until today, I always wondered if she was successful. I also hoped she was.
Following the canteen we were taken to the medical block, I was distressed, because of the feeling of being locked in, every room we entered had to be locked before the next door could be opened, I felt caged and claustrophobic, I was mentally and physically exhausted. Although we had arrived at 7pm in the evening, two hours from leaving court. The whole procedure had taken several hours, it was now 3am in the morning.
When it was my turn to see the doctor, I recall feeling shocked that it was a man. What kind of examination would this be? more humiliation, I guessed but I had no choice. I entered the room with the prison guard and then she waited outside. This was the first time, the day felt normal, the doctor asked me many questions, He did a physical check but didn’t examine down below. He asked me why I was inside, and I explained. I just cried and cried. “You will be ok” he said.
For some reason, I picked up that this doctor actually did care, my conscience told me that but I couldn’t understand why.
We sat back down and then he asked me.
Ok, so when was your last period?