Journal Entry: Gary Goulin-02/12/2024-A New Chapter

Journal Entry


It was with a sense of extreme sadness that I awakened at 4:45 this am. In a couple of hours, I would depart on an 8:45 flight to Denver, as tomorrow before noon I will be self-surrendering to FCI Englewood in Littleton, CO.

I am saying goodbye to my home, my car, my neighborhood, my city, and my beloved family and friends. I am now entering the world of the unknown. It’s very frightening, and I’m glad my husband is accompanying me to Denver.

My mind is full, and my thoughts are racing. One of my biggest and most irrational fears is that everyone’s life will go on and I will be forgotten. I know that this is unlikely to happen, but it remains an annoying thought, nonetheless.

Fortunately, I have not lost track of how incredibly lucky I really am. I have an amazing husband, family and friends who have been nothing but loving and supportive. I have benefited from amazing support groups that have prepared me for this upcoming journey and provided me with so much helpful information and with words of encouragement. Family and friends are already planning to come visit me and will be sending me books to help me pass the time.

The past 26 months have been excruciating for me. The initial shame of my crime was overwhelming, but was made much more bearable by my loving family and friends who supported me nonetheless. It was so comforting to hear that they knew the “real” me, not the person who made a bad choice that led to a crime. In addition to the shame, the long, torturous journey through the legal system has been agonizing. The hearings, the pleas, the sentencing all took an extreme emotional toll. It’s finally coming to an end. And while I think walking through the doors of FCI Englewood and saying goodbye to my husband will the hardest thing I will ever have to do, I know that things will improve from that moment on.

There are things I am looking forward to once I’m incarcerated. While the countdown to the start of my incarceration has been incredibly stressful, my countdown now will be to my release date and that’s something I can look forward to. In the last 26 months I have begun to learn how to take care of myself, after decades of taking care of others and neglecting me. I look forward to being able to continue the work on myself. My goal is to come out healthier (physically, mentally, spiritually) and stronger than when I first walk through those doors, and I already have plans on how to accomplish that. Being healthier and stronger upon my release will ease my transition back to society and to my new, exciting, law-abiding and happy life.

As a life-long learner, I hope to take advantage of all the learning opportunities available to me. I would love to become fluent in Spanish, engage in some hobby work, and explore opportunities for higher learning. I would love to be able to use my knowledge and skills in any way possible, such as tutoring others in math or science helping them prepare for the GED.

I tend to be an optimistic person. I’m looking forward to putting all this shame, anxiety, fear, and sadness behind me. I know the next several years will not necessarily be easy, but I am determined to make lemonade from lemons; I intend to take advantage of all the opportunities I can to become a better person, to build support, to stay busy, and to grow. If I set my mind to it, I know it can and will happen.