I didn’t grow up living with siblings, it was usually just me and my Mom and the occasional drifter of life that so many poor families take in. Usually I had only one friend at a time and that was because we moved so much, first it was Jason, then Gene, then my last friend before prison…John. Three, that’s it, my whole life I had three friends. I have no contact with any of them and that was before I came to prison. Then I came to prison.

The prison experience straightened me out socially, in many other ways as well, it’s amazing what a little self-acceptance and self-awareness can do for a girl. Now I have lots of friends, some I even call brothers and I don’t mean that in a biker kind of way but in a it-feels-like-we-grew-up-together kind of way. In a way, we did.

Some of them write my Mom. She’s a very understanding lady and something we talk about regularly is how much she didn’t know about me prior to prison. Talking to my network of peers gives her a clearer image of who I really am. At first I had one of my friends write her, you may have read a few of his articles, James. Then it was Steven, which he is the obnoxious one that everyone loves to hate and hates to love, except Mom.

It was funny the two of them began talking about Mom as if she was theirs, her quick letters of encouragement meant something to them, especially James and it tied us together in a way that only a Mom can, hence, we are siblings. Then came Rory and Christopher, and then our very own Marshall.

Marshall recently discovered the sibling tie between us all and even though he has a very loving birth family of his own, he has definitely been adopted by ours.

Here’s to my new brother, Marshall.

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With Love
Jeff aka Ruth Utnage

Mail To:
Jeff aka Ruth Utnage 823469 D-610-2
P.O. Box 888
Monroe, WA 98272

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DOC: 823469
Name: Utnage, Jeff (though I am legally Ruth)