This is Mr. Eddie Treadwell in Michigan Correctional Facility in Michigan, and I’m a prison reform activist. And I would like to discuss or express what I had to overcome and what I had to go through as being incarcerated here in Michigan for 32 years, right, for individuals who robbed and killed my brothers and eventually tried to kill me and I defended myself and ended up killing an individual which in turn gave me 50 years in Michigan Department of Corrections, and I’ve been here now for 32 years.
And the experiences that I had to endure throughout these 32 years is catastrophic to say the least. And coming from the ghetto in Detroit, dealing with the drugs, poverty, lack of education, and all these various different things and then being thrown into a prison with the worst of the worst so to speak, individuals who have not yet at that particular time have transformed themselves into more of a mature adult, right, so it was a time to life-changing experiences that I had to go through to transform myself from the neighborhood to the prison system, following all these rules, right, so the prison system allowed me an opportunity to reflect more so on myself and how could I survive within such an institution?
This particular institution forced me to dig deep within myself and come up with the best idea and plan for myself to survive, because any species don’t adapt to its environment will soon come to be extinct. I’m not just merely adapted to succumb to the environment, all of the experiences that goes on in prison, but to adapt to the point where I can overcome it, where I can transform myself to be a better individual mentally, physically, and spiritually, to be able to survive and be an asset and a benefit to those whom I come in contact.
So this was a real transformation for me. It was like a butterfly going through metamorphosis in trying to transform themselves. But in order for the butterfly, the caterpillar to change into the beautiful butterfly, first he must feed himself to have enough strength to be able to transform himself to come up out of that skin and let his weed spray so he can fly, soar above the rest. So it was a lot of work I had to deal with. I had to feed myself. I had to nourish myself. Led not my mind to cultivation, for I was already cultivating it on a regular basis day and night. But through this process, there’s a lot of pain. It ain’t like creams and cake or cake and creams or however you want to say it, in prison. I took a lot of losses. Family members dying.
Basically all of my family members passed since I’ve been incarcerated. And this is a deep pain that we have to experience in life. As much as I tried to prepare for it, I found that there’s no way that you can literally prepare for death of a loved one. We just have to deal with it. when it comes, and our perception of death will help us deal with it a whole lot better. We come to be accustomed in the United States to look at death as the enemy, and we want to call back departed souls. As long as we know that they life can be an inspiration to us, they they’d never die. As long as we keep holding onto the thoughts of our loved ones in the information instilled within us, then they truly never died. They lived through us.
So I’m steady living, trying to be the best that I can be. It’s all the best information and advice that I received from my loved ones to elevate myself to the highest of my pinnacle. So I utilize this time now in prison to give to others, to instruct others, to be a mentor, to be an example, to be a role model, to be all these various different things to try to instill and ignite a flame and fire in those whom I come in contact and maybe encounter something memorable. I can’t wait to look another opportunity to compensate for me.
These commentaries are recorded by Prison Radio.