Time ticks by slowly. My daughter just turned 20 yrs. last month. I have not seen her since she was ten. I broke laws of society and now I am spending time in a federal prison. I downloaded pornography and then dived deeper and deeper into an ocean of scum.Am I bitter? Damn right I am.
The question becomes what am I bitter about? And the truth is several things. First, I am extremely bitter with myself. While I do not agree with what the government contends with, or the Judge that heard my case in a sentencing hearing, one statement that the Judge did make behind his gavel sticks out in my head as being true and to the point. I put myself here. No one else, only me. Now the question becomes, what am I doing about it and how do I learn to forgive myself?
One of the topics that is common in prison counseling circles concerns learning how to forgive yourself. I find this hard for a middle age white man like myself. After all, I had a wife and children that relied on me not only for financial support, but for companionship and advice. My job allowed my family to travel and experience great places. As a private yacht captain, my family traveled from our home in Florida to places like Mexico, Bahamas, and Venezuela. We went to places like San Juan, St. Thomas USVI, Annapolis MD, and Boston Massachusetts. When my daughter was ten, she got to see a lot of the Caribbean and the Eastern seaboard of the United States.
But I was foolish and allowed myself to become blind to what I was doing in my off time. Time, I spent alone, behind closed doors, with a computer. Who would ever have thought that my private time, secret from everyone, could be so damncostly?
The truth was that I knew what I was doing was wrong, and not mentally healthy. Somehow, I seemed to be able to justify my private computer time. It became a “game” • When I told my hired attorney that I did not consider my actions as criminal, but merely playing a game. He didn’t believe me. You may probably ask yourself if this guy is for real, A game?
I am incarcerated for the ‘sexual exploitation of children”. When I saw that label, my knees went weak. I wasn’t like that at all. I had never harmed anyone, young, middle age or old in all my life. That’s just was not in my DNA. But what I was viewing, were pictures of others that had been harmed but I just didn’t allow myself to rationalize it that way.
Government agencies think differently. And that is a good thing. Who can blame them for going after people like me who foolishly become involved in the collection of on-line pornography that includes quite a lot of child pornography? After all, we all should be looking after and protecting the innocent children that are abused in the production of child pornography.
Mark Brown #53540-018
PO Box 1000
Cresson, PA 16630