Author’s Note: Riding dirty is driving in an automobile while having at least a felony charge worth of illegal drugs and or unregistered firearms with you.
Via urban dictionary.com
This is not funny. This is actually the least funny thing that has happened to me in awhile and I really debated about whether I would share this or not. I’m forcing myself right now. This is painful to type….
A few months ago I was pulled over for a traffic violation. I was driving an uninsured vehicle. I have not been the best or the most responsible with handling money since the split from my husband. It’s kind of strange because I was definitely the keeper of all the finances when we were together. Perhaps it is an identity thing within me trying to shed that old identity. Anyway, the cop issued me three tickets and by some miracle of God didn’t impound my vehicle—though I deserved it because I was definitely riding dirty. Fast forward five months later, I check the mail on my way to taking the kids to a birthday party and I receive a notification that there is a bench warrant out for my arrest for failing to appear in court. I knew it was coming up but I had just plain forgotten. Of all the irresponsible things I have done and will do, I’m pretty sure that this is at the top of the list as the worst. You see, when you fail to appear in court there are no warnings or second chances—your ass is going to jail. And to jail I went.
I didn’t know who to call or what to do. I spoke with the commissioner’s office and discovered that the only thing to do was to turn myself in. Scared and near meltdown I contacted my ex boyfriend. He did a number on me, hurt me beyond belief but when I’m on the brink of destruction he is always who I call and always reliable when I am frayed and on the edge. (Also, I am the primary caretaker of our daughter so it kind of works in his favor if I don’t do anything self-destructive). He came to pick me up the following morning and it was an emotional drive to the county Correctional Facility. I am dramatic, yes but the somber mood had more to do with the fact that I have no job right now, I drink too much, I’m sad, I’m struggling to maintain a healthy mental state, and now I’m a criminal. Just when you think there’s no possible way to go down from where you are, the bottom drops out. I felt like I was free falling, and that maybe there isn’t a bottom to this downward spiral. Maybe I will just continue falling…I’m so fallen.
I turned myself in at 10:30 in the morning, gripping his hand tightly in the waiting room anxious for when they would finally come to take me into their custody. I didn’t go in alone, there were a few other guys with me. They came for us and immediately treated us like criminals. You can’t wear that, remove this—the woman who searched me opened up my pants and looked at my behind! I think it’s definitely top 10 of the most humiliating experiences of my life. I am a mess. There’s no hiding that fact when you’re in orange coveralls sitting in a room waiting to see a commissioner to decide your fate. (There were a few other women there, most for traffic violations as well, and we all kind of stuck together. We actually formed a bond and I’m positive I will never see them again but I will also never forget them). I wasn’t released from police custody until 3:30a.m. I allude to freedom a lot on this blog, it is something that is very important to me. I just want to be free. Being kept in a holding room and unable to decide what I wanted to eat, when to use the bathroom, when I could use the phone, my own fate— was too much for me. I willed myself away from a nervous breakdown because I knew that getting hysterical and being taken to the jail hospital would be far worse than just sitting there and taking it. I am losing my control, I am fucking up big time. As punishment my control was taken from me. Even if only for a few hours, it’s left it’s mark on me.
I’m trying to let this be a lesson to me in my life that I’ve been riding dirty the past few years. I have been scraping by and trying not to get caught or be exposed. I have been riding around on stolen license plates, I’m drunk, there are bodies in the trunk, illegal handgun in the glove compartment and cocaine all over the floor. I am now more than a bit of a mess when I allow something so important to completely slip my mind and the ending consequence was something I could barely handle. I’m not strong enough for jail, I am not strong enough to continue on this path of destruction. I know I need to turn myself in. I need to come clean about everything and figure out what I’m going to do with my life once and for all. It’s going to be a painful and confining process. It’s going to be sitting in that holding room with no control over my fate. It’s going to be me, willing myself not to break down. It’s going to be me, ankle shackled to a chair in front of that window awaiting my destiny….and I am the commissioner.