Doing What We Do - Teddrick & Terence
Heavy sigh. Damn you strong. I trot along those same lines daily. This one really put meaning into the suffering but that label comes with a lot of "so what", no matter your position. These people will read and judge you before they read their policy on instructions , on how to deal with you.
About three weeks ago, I wrote personally about a few of these conditions in place and how fucked up things were. Here we are, now a sum of thing has collected the will to live in this shit. Terence, I love you bro. I feel the same way now I did when we first met at 14 years old. I hope you wasn't telling me to drop it and leave it alone when I was trying to help your sister get some form of comfort. Forgive me for chokin up but shit get numb sometimes. I ain't gone lie. You really fucked me up, bro. We had a conversation for about six hours. We stopped talking when lunch was served and no later than a hour later you had made your decision. I can't get over it. What the fuck were you doing while we were talking. Bro, that shit still don't seem real.
I heard them yelling your name and I felt it, trauma over treatment. They tried to mask it but the way you left, your position, the systems culture of degrading shit. You still a King to me.
We been paying for our mistakes for a long time. Remember the article Keri wrote? You're an angel now and you see what I don't. I'm fucked up about this, but I accept the challenge.
We were supposed to be the ones to change the mitigation standards and you were the face of the action. It's not over though. You know, I know you heard me yell out "get off of him and let him go" when they were doing prison compressions . It look like he was trying to crank a broke down motocross bike. The way he was jumping down on your chest. I would see you now in angel form looking at them thinking "don't even try, I'm not coming back." When they took your body out, you could feel the air shift. All the rank came down here but it was all too fresh to express. They asked me if you gave off signs. I didn't answer because everybody don't breathe the same. In here, you ask for help and they punish you with CDO "suicide watch." They take all your shit, everything. You don't shower or go out the cell and the cell light has to be on 24/7 for however many days "they feel" you need to be on CDO. You eat lockdown food sacks and can't even get a book to read. Don't nobody want to go through that shit in the middle of folding to their depression. That's not help. It's pushing you closer to your edge.
You know I heard you crying on January 18th. I was working out, fighting my own depression. But it's ok to cry. I think, in me given you privacy could be me ignoring. You know I felt your pain. That's why I hollered at you to check on you. I watched you throw away four bags full of your property. I even felt a way about how your mind even shut your homies out.
You are a victim of the circumstances. Jester Unit sent you back and they didn't follow up here. You literally let go of the things you can't control. You are stronger than most of us will ever be. I know how you feel and being able to grow conscious will allow you to bare some painful shit. You been through a lot of shit in life. You also turned a lot of sunflowers towards your light. I know how woken up can make you hate yourself for your actions. Did you feel like you didn't have nothing else to offer? What's good, bro? Oh, you know they tried to change the narrative, so they drug tested all of us in the section. I know you caught in that easy to judge outlook and said fuck it. This shit is too dark to be trying to search through when most of us is addicted to oppression. I know you wasn't neutral but we were talking and laughing. Do you think the connection between depression and imagination played a part in your decision? Damn! Tell Travis, Antonio, Quintin, Erick and the other homies I love them.
You know, they cleaned the Seg. Pod, spotless. It don't smell like shit no more, only piss now. They down low still shaken the spoon and ain't shit changed. Hopefully I make it out of or off the Seg Pod in about 18 more days. But man, we feel your loss. You kept a lot in. Do they treat you different up there because you took your life? I know you wasn't thinking of solutions as much as you are focusing on your discomfort. Well, I don't know, I'm assuming because we are friends.
Sometimes, this shit is unbearable. All my issues are mentally suppressed at times so much. I don't want to do nothing but challenge myself with deadly actions that end one way in the challenge. I mean, like walk a thin rope hundred of feet over steel spikes with zero percent of making it. But fuck it! I'll still try it though. It's like this being alone is the oppressor but also the comfort because a lot of time I wish everything would leave me alone. I don't feel like I'm getting my point across but Terence I love you, boy. That's coming from a brother of the struggle. Remember we use to share the cheese sandwich in TYC "security or seg?" We sat in those filthy ass cells and went back and forth singing our favorite rap songs. I met you in a seg. cell and saw you free from a seg. cell.
Damn, you strong. I really miss my dawg. I really miss my dawg...Peace homie. Now you're sky high, really Ocean Deep, we will keep you in memory, King.
To Terence sister, we all know you through him. It's all love. Please do your best to keep your peace and sanity, sista. Peace.
Song: Nas "Just a Moment" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_49iKyoQcfs
On January 21, 2023, Terence Andrus hung himself. He was found standing up and leaning against the wall in the cell. You couldn't even tell he had choked himself out. Prior to that, he shut down and told me he just didn't care no more. He cried like a hurt man, same way a lot of us do. Then he held it all in. He didn't tell me goodbye. So, I'm just checking on him...
*Please check: https://www.notalonetexas.org/
*Teddrick Batiste is housed on Texas death row, Polunsky Unit.
THE DEATH ROW SOUL COLLECTIVE
To illustrate through art, words, and activism the HUMANITY on Death Row and through the long time incarcerated.
Jessica Hawkey and Howard Guidry developed the concept along with Karine Omry, bringing our mission to life. Our mutual friend Travis Runnels,
who was executed by the State of Texas in December of 2019 continues to be an inspiration for our work!
Our long term wish is to End The Death Penalty, End Solitary Confinement, End Life Without Parole, and Shine a VERY Bright Light on Wrongful Convictions.
It's our fundamental belief that we are all better than these injustices...and Humanity exists everywhere.
For years everyone across the world has KNOWN that the State of Texas has the DEADLIEST DEATH ROW in the United States as Texas has executed SOO many more men and women in its torture chamber than any other state that it would be IMPOSSIBLE to ever match Texas's numbers, unless you are China or Iran or someplace like that.
But there is another aspect of Texas Death Row that few people are aware of. Since Texas moved its Death Row population from the old Ellis Unit ( where we were treated like Maximum Security prisoners and not like Solitary Confinement prisoners) to the now Polunsky Unit there have been more Suicide Attempts and SUICIDES on Texas Death Row than ever at the Ellis Unit. You have to ask why. The public NEEDS to ask why!!!!
On January 21,2023 the Polunsky Unit claimed another victim. Terence Andrus took his life. I UNDERSTAND WHY. For years guys here have been struggling to maintain at least a little sanity while watching friends of ours lose the fight. The years of constant mental abuse in these Solitary Confinement cells , the years of being treated like shit and denied even something as basic as the right to have a TV in our cells to help occupy our minds or distract us from the depression and loneliness that these cells hammer down on a person, the years of having TDCJ's bootheels ground down on our necks, how much are we supposed to be able to take? Why do we have to take any of it? We were not sentenced to Solitary Confinement, we were not sent to TDCJ to BE PUNISHED! We were sentenced to death , DEATH is supposed to be our punishment, but at the Polunsky Unit we are! Subjected to years of physical and mental torture in Solitary before we are put to death.
Terence Andrus might have taken his own life, but the Polunsky Unit and TDCJ officials should be held as guilty parties also!
I know the darkness Terence struggled against, I know the feeling of being alone and forgotten by everyone in your life , and I know the desire for all the pain to stop...
*Tony Medina is housed on Texas death row. Here you can read more about him: https://www.deathrowsoulcollective.com/tony-medina