The Apple Tree:: Chapter 6: Letters

On the back of court documents, Bridget penned letter after letter to Dylan, the boyfriend with whom she was arrested in Wabasha County for 5th-degree possession in August 2013. The two were incarcerated in county jail together though Dylan eventually went to prison while Bridget was released after three months. These letters were never mailed, but they chronicle Bridget's thoughts and feelings during that time. Below are excerpts from letters from the month of September after which she ran out of paper.

September 2


"I have court a week from tomorrow. My omnibus hearing, I do believe. I'm hoping to have my CD assessment completed by then and be on the waiting list or know where I am headed to treatment by then. And, once I get out of this facility and get these all xeroxed onto paper that is acceptable to be sent in here, you're getting all these in the mail. I am planning on the day I get out to treatment to mail these letters. I have used you as a journal the entire time. Told you most everything. You will be able to know all my ups and downs my fear, thoughts, and insecurities..."

September 3

"...My daughter, Elizabeth, turned 11 the day before we were arrested. I have not seen them in just about 4 years now and it's been that long since I've spoken with them. I'm terrified of my x-husband and standing up for myself again in court when I'm in treatment. I will be asking for ways to get past that and to reinstate contact with my babies. Tasha is tall and skinny, picky and sensitive. Big eyes the same color as mine and has a growing passion for horses. She already owns a couple of them. Paul will be 9, no 10, years old in January. See how sad that was? I cannot remember their ages. But I cannot forget my love for them and their love for me. My boy is going to be a man's man. Just like my grandpas, my dad, and his father. He's all boy. Into mechanics, farming, fishing, you name it, he loves it. He caught his first northern with me! When he was 3 he was practicing casting with an adult closed faced reel with a washer tied to the end of it. When I had my last visits with him at 5, he was using a man's open faced lipstick rod and reel. That boy meant business about fishing. I cannot wait until we can be together..." 

September 4

"...I went to another AA meeting tonight. I struggled with it last week simply because the gal who facilitates it was a pigeon sister of mine. We used to have the same sponsor. She knew me in my prime and to walk in that room with my head hung low wasn't my plan and to walk in there with it held high was something I didn't think I deserved. But I humbled myself and went and it was amazing to see her. Refreshing and normal! She came to my court date yesterday..."

September 5


"Hello baby, how are you this fine day? Happy Thursday my love. I hope all is well in your world. Your mama called and left me another message today. I appreciate the gesture and the love. My mom told me to go get fucked on Sunday, and by today is leaving messages and love again. I cannot handle her doing this to me. Its been this way my entire life. Horrible. Never a happy medium. I have to quit allowing her the pull she has on my emotional and mental well being..."

September 6

"...My insecurities are getting the better part of me this week. Not sure why maybe because "you know who's" 3 messages on your message line. There are more from some other woman, then nothing; which leads me to be concerned..."

September 7

"Hi, handsome! It cracks me up when you get all bent outta shape. Are there some secrets or insecurities that you need to express? Have you done something that you don't want me to know about? Are you afraid that I'll hear something you don't want me to know? What is it about? I heard a married woman is going to come visit and is leaving you messages? That's what I don't like. If you've got secrets they better come out soon..."

"I only have eight more pages left including this one, and it's 9 days until court. What am I going to do?! I need to write. I've written on everything that had available space...." 

September 8

"...I'm keeping my head up! I just get lonely in here. I love you and I miss you. But between the two of us, we need a hundred grand to be able to see each other and even bond is not going to make that happen. But I can wish, baby!"

"...I'm trying to stay away from being a felon, but not sure if that's going to happen for me. With Wisconsin (Eau Claire) & here (Wabasha) its pushing it. The charges here make me a bit perturbed with you. But, again poor choices on my part on many different levels. Its time for you to straighten up. No more stupid bullshit. I'm done with the game. I hope you are too. Using is not something I'm going to be around. "Shorty" put his vow on everything he has and knows that he's done with the dope. I want us to be like that too! I want us to be good examples for our siblings. I am the oldest. I have standards that I've let fall by the way side for myself and now my siblings see me. This is by far not part of my vision and plan for myself. They need to see better from me..."

September 9

"...I just want everyone to know I'm ok and I'm getting well and I need my support network that's out there to back me. And what comes of it, who knows. I'm a bit hurt, Dylan, you're going to know it in here. I am not to be made a fool. Not happening. You'll be the one looking the fool when it's all said and done..."

September 10

"...I'm not setting guidelines and rules for you, Dylan. I am banking on you wanting to be a better person and following thru with those choices. A thought without action is simply a fantasy. I have lived part of my entire life in a fantasy world. I am over that..."

"...I never want to do dope again. Today that is my choice, and when I get out of here my actions will show my path and what I want for myself. I have heard from too many people, including the staff here, I am too good for this life. This isn't me. I don't belong here and I have promised myself that I will make better choices so I don't come back here unless it's to finish my sentence..."


September 11

"...I am not afraid of work or responsibility. I just don't know how to do it to only benefit me. I need a family to give me that purpose. Probably always will. That's just me."

September 12

"...I'm wondering where you are and if you're behaving...They're trying to squash the warrant in WI. That would leave me free to bond out of Wabasha and get my own CD assessment and room at treatment. I am asking my mom to call facilities when she comes here on Sunday to visit. Which she says she is. I'm sure she'll help me out to get better. I surely hope so! My Rule 25 isn't until the 24th at 9 a.m..."

"...I've started to have enough of this place and am getting frustrated. 22 days today. The longest I've consecutively been in jail at one sitting. The girls here are just about too much for me, and I them. Trying to leave this in the Creator's hands, but I'm struggling today..."

"...I didn't get too much written or wrote down for you today. I'm sitting here alone at 9:30 p.m. 2nd shower of the day done. Girls locked or shut up stairs in their rooms. My quiet time again. I'm missing you terribly today. Jail is getting to me. Tears are plentiful and just won't stop.."

September 13

"...'If I didn't love others I would be of no value whatsoever. Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful whatsoever. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices when the truth wins out. LOVE NEVER GIVE UP, never loses faith, is ALWAYS hopeful and endures through every circumstance. Love will last forever. There are three things that will always endure - FAITH, HOPE, and LOVE - and the greatest of these is LOVE.' That is my very most favorite by far Scripture in the Bible. This is what I strive for..."

September 15

"...Sorry, I'm not writing much lately. Just been busy up in my head. Trying to just stay in the moment. All I can do is pray and be thankful that you are behind bars. Safe and sound, but it sounds to me like you are delegating from behind bars. Baby, I won't live like that! I'm done..."