The Sounds of Solitary Confinement

Feb 28, 2024By Robert Woldhuis
Robert Woldhuis

Welcome back to 84 Square Feet where I take you on a journey into the world of solitary confinement through my series of letters called "Letters from Lockdown". In this video, I’ll explore the realities, emotions, and challenges of being isolated in prison. 

Contrary to common belief, solitary confinement is far from quiet. In this letter, I describe a video that demonstrates the various sounds and chaos within the confinement. It includes drumming, screaming, and other chaotic sounds that highlight the challenging environment that prisoners face on a daily basis.

The Emotional Toll of Holidays in Prison

Thanksgiving day greeting card, fall mood. Pumpkin on wooden background with hand lettering
This letter was dated during Thanksgiving week, 2011

Holidays in prison can be extremely tough. In this letter, which I wrote around Thanksgiving, I share the heightened emotions, tension, and longing for family and friends that prisoners experience during different holidays. It sheds light on the challenges faced and the impact on inmates' well-being.

Exploring Biblical Context: Thorn in the Flesh

In this letter, I explore the biblical context of the phrase "thorn in the flesh" and how it relates to my personal struggles in solitary confinement. Through this exploration, I invite readers to understand the mental and emotional challenges faced by prisoners.

To give you a glimpse of the noise and chaos in solitary, I share a two-minute video that captures the tumultuous sounds that surround prisoners. These noises, from banging cups against toilets to yelling, provide insight into the constant noise that can affect one's mental state in isolation.

How did that 2 minutes make you feel? Could you survive an hour of that? How about a day? Leave a comment on the video with your thoughts!

Reflections on Life Choices and Seeking Change

In my letters, I reflect on the choices that led me to prison and solitary confinement. I discuss my determination to not glorify or justify my actions and the importance of choosing a different path upon release. Through introspection, I began to seek personal growth and a better future.

Despite the challenges of prison life, I found solace in connecting with my family through letters. Sharing articles and engaging in conversations created moments of connection and reminded me of the importance of family and meaningful relationships.

Adapting to Prison Life: Late Nights, Burrito Exchanges and Cell Searches

ear plugs isolated on white
One of the best gifts I ever received was a pair of earplugs.

Adjustment is key in prison life, including adapting one's schedule for quiet moments and finding creative methods of sharing food. In this letter, I recall the late nights, the use of earplugs, and the unexpected camaraderie that emerged amidst the difficulties of prison.

Prison life also involves challenges with correctional officers and unexpected searches where I would come back to my cell completely trashed in a disrespectful way. I discuss moments of frustration and breaches of trust that can occur during encounters with officers. These experiences taught me the importance of caution and vigilance.

Reflections on Other Inmates and Personal Growth

Life in prison offers opportunities to observe and interact with individuals from diverse backgrounds. In this section, I reflect on the complexities of interacting with those who have committed crimes deemed heinous by society. Personal growth and self-reflection become paramount in navigating these relationships.

As I wrap up the video, I emphasize the challenges of communicating with loved ones while incarcerated and the longing for meaningful connection beyond prison walls. The letters I wrote during my time in solitary serve as a reminder of the power of communication and the impact it can have on one's well-being.

Preview of the Next Episode: A Flooded Cell

In the upcoming episode of "Letters from Lockdown," I recount the story of a fellow inmate who flooded his cell, causing chaos within the prison. Stay tuned as I share the details of this incident and its effects on both inmates and officers.

Join me on this unique journey through solitary confinement as we aim to foster understanding and empathy for those who have experienced this isolating environment and encourage others that may be going through a tough time that they too can make it to the other side. 

Youtube in smartphone 84 Square Feet

Thanks for taking a moment to watch and don’t forget to subscribe to the YouTube Channel to get notified of upcoming videos. I appreciate the comments, questions, and the support that I have received from so many of you. I am humbled by the interactions that I have had and look forward to getting to know you as the story unfolds. 

Be blessed, and be a blessing wherever you are at. 

Robert J.