Those outside of prison may not believe that we act like human beings under these conditions. But of course we do. And we build our own networks of survival.
I never would have made it without you. Not only did you teach me these important lessons, but you made sure I felt cared for. You were the people who helped me to deal with the trauma of my regular haircuts. You were the people who checked on me after I tried to end my life. You were the people that played fun games with me. Who wished me a Happy Birthday. We shared the holidays together. You were and will always be family.
For many of you, you are already free and living outside of the prison walls. Many of you will come home soon. Some of you still have many years to go.
The most important thing that you taught me was how to write and how to speak in my own voice. I used to only know how to write memos. Now, I write like a human being, with dreams, desires and connections. I could not have done it without you.
From where I am now, I still think of all of you. When I leave this place in May, I will still think of all of you. And to anyone who finds themselves feeling alone behind bars, know that there is a network of us who are thinking of you. You will never be forgotten.
Read More | "to those who kept me alive all these years, thank you" | by Chelsea Manning | The Guardian