Ladies of Kilo

£5.00

By KristiLynn Valdez

ISBN: 978-1-84991-410-9
Published: 2011
Pages: 91
Key Themes: fiction, bipolar disorder, manic depression, psychosis

Description

A 47-year-old single mom arrested on a warrant for shoplifting can't imagine her six days in jail will end with a slip fall into madness and near death.

Get into the head of a woman with mental illness as she experiences panic attacks that morph into delusions before the eyes of jailers, nurses and inmates at a loss to help her. Cut off from the outside world, she discovers strength among the women of cellblock Kilo, who endure the emotional turmoil of incarceration every day some for months and years. Cut off from her medications, the author finds her faith in God may be the only reality that can bring her back from the brink of unintended self-destruction. She will need a miracle.

About the Author

KristiLynn Valdez was diagnosed with bipolar disorder with psychotic features in August 2009 after a manic episode nearly took her life. Born in 1962, she survived a childhood of sexual abuse and has lived most of her life with depression, panic attacks and post-traumatic stress disorder, finally being diagnosed and treated for those beginning in 1990. KristiLynn has a degree in journalism and spent 20-plus years as a newspaper reporter, editor and public relations writer. She dedicates her time to learning more about bipolar disorder, talking with those who live with manic-depression, and advocating that people with mental illnesses be treated with understanding and dignity. Please join the conversation on her twitter and blog: The Bipolar Taoist. KristiLynn lives with her daughter in Utah.

Book Extract

DAY 1: Wednesday, August 5 Just a Couple of Hours

Pound! Pound! Pound! I jump out of the shower. It's about 9 a.m. It's summer. "Mom, someone's at the door!" I'm trying to throw on a T-shirt and shorts. My 12-year-old is in bed. Or she was. Pound! Pound! Pound! She comes to the bathroom door. "They're scaring me. Should I get the door? Is it the cops?" "I'm coming!" I shout. Then, quieter to my daughter: "It'll be okay, Gloria. Go back to your room. I've got this." Pound! Pound! Pound! "We know you're in there! We will get your manager! Open the door! Now!" I take a deep breath and open the door. Two police officers stand in front of my apartment door. They look very young and very angry. The eager one is just about out of breath. "KristiLynn Valdez? We have a warrant for your arrest. You have to come with us, right now." I know what this is

about. I paid the $145 for the anti-theft class yesterday. I knew there was a warrant out for my arrest. I planned to go to the police department today and clear it up. I had pled guilty to shoplifting after I didn't pay for some craft items at a neighborhood store. I paid for the Midol and Blistex but not the Xacto knife and Sharpies. Then, I didn't have the money to pay for and attend the court-ordered anti-theft class. I didn't show at court and a warrant went out for my arrest. I even went to the police station five days ago to turn myself in on the warrant and take my punishment. The cop I talked to then in person said I had until today to pay and schedule the class. I did so and thought I was in the clear. I figured I had until close of business today to take in my proof of compliance. These two officers didn't get the same message.

I reach around to get the receipt for the class out of my purse that's hanging next to the front door and think, "Well, this is much-a-do about nothing." The officers don't agree. The nearest one places his hand on the gun at his hip. "Ma'am, put the purse on the floor and step away from it slowly." This is what I do. "I was just getting my receipt." "A receipt will not help you now. We need to take you to the police station and figure things out." Gloria is dressed and sitting on the couch, her face drained of color. She looks like she's going to throw up. "Mom, I thought you took care of this yesterday." "So did I. But obviously not." "Ma'am, you've got to come with us right now." "What about my daughter. I can't just leave her alone." "She'll be fine. This'll take just a couple of hours." One thing I learn this day: Policemen routinely lie, then they call Child Protective Services.

Please Ignore the Obvious

I'm in the back of the police car, cuffed. I have wet hair, a pair of stretchy grey sweat-pant shorts on, a T-shirt with no bra, slip-on shoes and my ID. That's it. The officer didn't read me my Miranda Rights, maybe that comes later, but I am obviously under arrest. We aren't going to the police station to figure things out. I am going to jail. At least they didn't cuff me in front of Gloria. I am relieved that I handed her the list of emergency phone numbers before I left. I pray she uses them. I'm uncomfortable and upset but I'm mostly concerned for her. My daughter has Asperger's Syndrome, also called High Functioning Autism, and although she is 12, she processes things emotionally on a much younger level. I really should give her more credit, but I've never left her at home alone for more than two hours.


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This product was added to our catalog on Thursday 17 March, 2011.