by Greg Andreotti

(Greg is on the right)

So, this week is Restorative Justice week in prison. I’m not positive but I believe it is Restorative Justice week Nationwide. In prison we acknowledge this by having speakers from several VSO’s Victim Service Organizations). Today we had speakers from the Hope organization during the Q and A portion of their presentation a fellow Restorative Justice committee member shared an interesting part of his story. To share only the key points of his story, he has been incarcerated for murder resulting in a life sentence. He has served approximately 20 some years of that sentence when a few months ago he received the devastating news that someone close to him had been murdered. Hearing this raised some questions in me such as, how do you hate someone for this when you yourself are guilty of the same act? How do you forgive someone if you can’t forgive yourself? Do they deserve forgiveness? Do I deserve forgiveness? Could I forgive someone even if I haven’t been forgiven?

I have been the victim of childhood sexual abuse and sexual assaults as a teen. Putting the childhood abuse aside the assaults I endured as a teen angered me. They caused a deep hatred in my heart, I was hurting. I could not function in daily life like this, no one wanted to be around or be burdened by an emotionally wrecked person so I disconnected from feeling anything other than anger or happiness. This paved the path to me becoming the perpetrator. As I struggle to reconnect with my feelings and I allow myself to feel the pain, anger, distrust, confusion, feeling like an object and not understanding why the only way anyone could love me was to hurt me.

I am now forced to face the fact that I caused some else to face all these same feelings and emotions. I have for some time found myself dealing with this internal perpetual cycle of hatred and forgiveness. How does someone move forward and break this cycle? Please share your thoughts!!!!!!!!

Greg Andreotti
DOC # #247877
Faribault prison
Faribault Mn.

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