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The Right to Vote

I just went and registered to vote. I was surprised when I received a letter from the Board of Probation and Parole releasing me from parole and giving me instructions on reinstating my voting rights.

Voting is a right most Americans take for granted, not me. I have never voted in my life. I can't wait until the first time I get to cast my ballot.

When I was 18 I registered for the first time and looked forward to November, but I never got the chance to actually vote. I really wanted to, but life took over and I lost the right to vote for the next 20 years.

I took my letter of release to the Board of Election Commissioners and meekly handed it to the woman behind the counter. I caught my breath as she told me, "Hang on a minute, we have someone who handles these." I was instantly embarrassed and just about ready to forget the whole thing as I gathered my letter from the counter.

The woman must have sensed my trepidation because she just smiled at me and then said, "No, just wait right here. She will be right out." I smile gratefully and stood there patiently until the designated person came out.

Free

July 4th.

Finally Free!

July 4th of this year was very special for me because it signified the end of my legal ordeal. My parole was over and I was once again "free" in every sense of the word.

My dear friends Robyn and Ed made it very special for me. We had a BBQ and then they took me outside and lit sparklers which they had staked into the ground. There were 18 of them, one for each year I was incarcerated. As they burned to the ground Robyn hugged me and told me, "It is finally over."

Really Free

July 4th came again this year. It is usually the time of year I dread the most due to my past, but not this year. After 20 long years the past can no longer control me because now I am really and truly free.
My parole status came to an end and I no longer have to answer to a higher authority. I do not have to ask permission to leave the state, or for anything else.
Having final control over my life is scary but exhilarating at the same time. I am now in control of my destiny for the first time ever.

How To Report a Child Sexual Assault

What if your child, God forbid, is a victim of a sexual assault? I asked a friend of mine for advice on what a parent should do. His name is James Wethington, and he is a detective on the Woodson Terrace, Missouri, police force. Detective Wethington has excellent advice that might help a child out there, keep reading:

 


Reminder: You Have Resources

Hi everyone. I'm back! I have missed writing for this website, and I look forward to putting up new posts soon.

In the meantime, I wanted to remind everyone about our Resources page. Find help no matter where you are in your healing process. And remember, always remember, that you are not alone.

New Year, New Snow, New Fear

With the New Year comes snow, in Missouri at least. I thought I was ready for anything now that I am free, but I severly underestimated the power of snow.

Not only do I feel like I am five years old and want to fling myself into it everyitme I walk outside, but I am terrified to drive in it. I hate the feeling of not being in control, especially behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. I have not driven in the snow in 19 years. Yes, 19 years.

Free Christmas

As most of you know, this was the first Christmas I spent free in a very long time. I got caught up in the hustle and bustle, the gifts, the music. You name it and I was caught up in it and it was WONDERFUL!

I had such a wonderful time. I missed everything while I was incarcerated but one of the main things I missed was just the spirit of the season. In prison, we try to forget that it is Christmas, but not out here. Here it is done with style. It started the day after Thanksgiving and will be ending shortly. I will be sad to see it go.

Hound Dog Movie

I just watched the last hour of the movie Hound Dog with Dakota Fanning. I missed the first part of it, and I would have liked to have seen it.

This movie was very compelling and I was immobilized in front of the screen. After the girl was raped and started to shut down, I saw so much of myself in her that I could not turn off the tv if I wanted to.

Get the I out of the way

Last night I heard the saying, "Get the I out of the way" and it really struck me how true that is. We get so caught up in I, "I feel like this, I want this, I, I, I, I."

It is so hard not to focus on one's self, it is basic humanity. As abuse victims we have learned if we don't take care of ourselves no one else will. So, how do we get the I out of the way? Impossible? No, but it takes practice, lots and lots of practice.

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About Stacey Lannert

Stacey is free. In January 2009, Missouri Governor Matt Blunt commuted her sentence of life without parole. She is currently speaking out about sexual abuse and sharing her message of love, healing and forgiveness.

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