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Inmate Letter 1

June 24th 2015

Tony Loeffler,

Hello.  My name is Mary and I am currently serving a 14 year sentence for aggravated manslaughter at Lowell Correctional Institution.  I just attended your shooting stars concert from the 21st-23rd.  I went all three nights.  I’ve actually attended 3 years ago, but this tour seemed to have touched me.  I just currently turned my life over to God.  I’m struggling with a lot of situations, but this time I’m not giving up on God.  

Last night when Sammy and Randy did their thing with the women looking at them like they were the ones who hurt them, and let them let out their anger… that was the most touching thing I have ever encountered.  These gentlemen were very compassionate and sincere.  I don’t feel comfortable talking a lot in front of other people I don’t know.  

My testimony is this:  I come from a family of abuse and addiction.  My real father left me when I was 2.  He was a Hell’s Angel, and he is now dead.  He overdosed 6 years ago.  My mother was an alcoholic and I had to learn how to be grown very young.  

My mother got remarried when I was 8.  He was very abusive and he would come home with new paddles all the time and beat us just to see how they worked.  He beat my mother all the time.  I hated that man.  He did things that made me hate men.  

I turned to sex and drugs when I was 15.  I just wanted to fit in.  I wanted to be loved so deeply that I slept with anyone to feel loved.  My family tried everything to help, but I didn’t want it.  I got married at the age of 18 to a man that slept with another woman the night we got married.  He beat me all the time.  He kicked me so hard I lost our bay at 5 months pregnant.  I never looked back.
    
Then at the age of 20 I met my kids father… granted I came from a very prejudice family, but this man was black.  I was drunk when I met him.  We stayed together 15 years, and we had 4 kids.  My family disowned me.  I lost everyone.  My kids father was good to me, but I still was looking for more.  I started cheating on him.  Well, he started abusing me because I hurt him so deeply because he did love me, but I never felt like a man could love me.

Well, I was drinking a lot and doing a lot of coke.  But, I thought I was a great mom.  I went to all school functions and my kids played sports.  I was a team mom.  I had a good cover (like Sammy).  Inside I was lonely and lost.  I needed something but I didn’t know what.  Well, after a while, coke wasn’t enough so I started smoking crack.  My kids father sold it so I just stole from him. My addiction got so bad I went to him and asked him to quit bringing it in the house so I could quit.  I thought because I was the mother of his kids and I thought he loved me that he would stop.  I was wrong.  He left me with the kids, the house, the bills, and a severe drug problem.

I tried to get it together but I couldn’t.  He then would call me to trade crack for sex so of course I did.  I didn’t think it was wrong because it was my kid’s father.  Well, he was killing me slowly.  He started bringing friends of mine to the hotel with us so he could sleep with all of us.  Of course, I wanted to get high so I didn’t care.  I was so close to killing myself at this point.  I was doing anything to stay high because I couldn’t wake up facing my life straight.  

I went through abusive relationships one after another, but they all said they loved me and that’s what I was looking for.  I was hurting my kids so bad.  I finally went to jail.  I got put on house arrest for two years with the ankle monitor.  I was still doing a lot of drugs, but made it through the house arrest by the grace of God, I beat the system.  

Well, my mom dies of pneumonia and that put me over the edge.  I loved my mother even though we went through a lot.  She was still my best friend.  Well, she left me a lot of money.  I started doing a lot of pills and shooting up.  I just went all out.  I got a house and all my kids moved back with me.  I bought them all cars, screen TV’s, pool table, a pool.  I bought everything.  I bought everyone happiness when deep inside I was dying.  I was in need of God, but I was so lost that I couldn’t find my way out.  

Well, anyways, I got so bad on drugs I lost everything.  I was on the streets by myself.  I lost my kids, granddaughter and I lost me.  So I said screw it and did what I had to stay high and numb.  Well, one night my daughter needed me to babysit for her and her friend.  I don’t know how I got there.  I don’t remember anything.  The night before I had taken a lot of Xanax.  Well, while I was babysitting I put the kids in the tub.  Well, I went back to cleaning and forgot I put them in the tub.  My ten month old grandson drowned.  They didn’t arrest me because it was an accident.  But, when the toxicology report came back two months later they arrested me.  I had drugs in my system.

I didn’t mean to hurt him.  I ask God everyday why him and not me.  I haven’t talked to my daughter in 5 years.  I also haven’t spoken to my 3 boys.  I know God has forgiven me, but I can’t forgive myself.  I took something so precious from my daughter.  I took the life of an innocent child.  How does anyone expect me to forgive myself?  I hurt so badly and the guilt eats me up daily.  I miss my kids more than anyone will ever know.  I need them.  I pray every day that God will restore my family.

For the first time in 26 years, my body is clean of any drugs or medication.  I’ve been off my psych meds after 20 years for almost 2 years now.  I deal with a lot of psych problems, but with God’s help I deal with them.  I want to feel normal.  I want to feel.

Sometimes I catch myself being mad at my daughter because she knew I wasn’t right that night, but like she said, she trusted me. Her last words to me in the court room were mom you promised you would never hurt my kids.  I am so sorry!  I didn’t mean to hurt him.  Please help me find my way back to my kids.

Help me to forgive myself, as it is stopping me from progressing with the Lord.  I know the Lord is there for me, and I spend all the time with him.  I just started reading the Bible.  I would like to request the new Bible you had at the concert Tony.  I also ask that you would send me the book Redeemed/Unredeemable.  Please send me those two things.  I want to do anything to get closer to God, and the Bible is the first step.  The second thing is reading that book so I can see other people have done worse and are forgiven.  I would appreciate the request.

I also want to thank everyone that came out to Lowell.  Everyone really made an impact on me, but Randy and Sammy opened my heart to trust to tell my story.  I haven’t been able to share that.  Thank you, I feel a lot of heaviness has been removed.  Thank you so much.  You helped me realize that not all men are out to hurt me.

Please write back with words of inspiration.  I hope to see you next year.  God bless you.

NOTE:  Inmate’s name was changed to protect the identity

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