This is the story of our family with all of it’s complexities and imperfections.  I am going to start where I am now and go forward but don’t be suprised when I go backward as well.  As with any story there are great accomplishments and huge disappointments.  I am a 43 year old women who was recently sentenced to 7 years in federal prison for mortgage fraud.  I must admit it hasn’t been an easy life for me up to this point.  I have fought my way out of many a bad situation.  Starting with getting pregnant at age 17 and married shortly after to going through 2 marriages and divorces by the time I was 21.   I found myself a  pregnant single mother with a 3 year old son and soon after my daughter was born I found comfort in prescription drugs.   I wanted a better life for me and my children but I didn’t know how to get it.  Those were hard times.  Times of insecurity and loneliness.

I remember my father saying, “Portia,  you are like a freight train that can’t be stopped until you hit something”   My emptiness and constant bad decisions led to a drug addiction and eventually to a level of misery very few people I know have encountered.  I lost myself!  I landed in my parents basement with 2 children who loved me and I couldn’t stop using drugs despite the pain I was causing them.   My heart finally broke late one night when I came home to my parents house and my son Jace was watching out the window for me.    My mom screamed, ” He has been there all night crying,  just waiting for you!   He has a fever and wont let me comfort him.”   I was sickened at who I had become!   My sweet son adored me and I was a terrible mom.   I was a skinny unhealthy physically and spiritually sick person.

I had been raised LDS but had no affiliation to my religion for years.  Our bishop lived across the street and  I knew he had asked my parents about me before so I reached out to him.  I remember the first question the bishop asked me was,  “Portia, why do you think you are where you are right now?”   I said,  “well,  I have thought a lot about that and figured it out.  It’s all my mothers fault.”   Wow,  you are probably the most selfish person I have ever met. ”  He said.

Bishop Ashby saved my life!

That was the beginning of a miraculous recovery for me.  I remember the moment that I realized that everything I had done was because I WANTED TO!   It was all my choice.   Sure I had experienced some trauma in my youth but I was raised by parents who loved me.   My mom didn’t really believe in rules or consequences but none the less I had chosen my path.  It was the only way for me to be free.  I had to take accountability for my actions.

In the words of a psychiatrist I met in jail  “The apron strings were cut young with me.”  I was raised in a small town the oldest of 7 children by hard working parents who loved us so how did I land here?  well that is what this blog is all about.  How did I get here and where will we go now.  It is most certainly an interesting story.  I hope you will join us on this journey for I have found great strength and purpose in sharing what is in my heart and hope to capture my feelings as well as my children and husband’s feelings and other stories of women from prison.   As I have shared before Chad is a true hero,  he is kind strong and practically perfect in my eyes.

Ours is a love that has been strengthened through struggle.   Chad married me with 2 children whom he raised and adopted as his own and we have 3 more children together.   Soon he will be left to raise them without me as I will be going to prison in Dublin California on April 8th of this year 2015.  Chad has said before that what we are going through now is pleasant in comparison to the years of investigation and harassment by the Federal Government.   A story that will sadden and shock you but in the end hopefully give you faith in  the power of God.

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