Last month, Jen Shah reported to prison to begin serving her sentence.
The controversial The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star will serve six-and-a-half years after pleading guilty to wire fraud.
Love her for her on-screen theatrics or hate her for targeting the elderly and vulnerable with a criminal scam — you know that prison life is going to be hard.
Jen knows that now, too. Her prison diary is making that very clear.
Disgraced Bravolebrity Jen Shah released a nine-page prison diary on Instagram this week.
Among her entries, Jen shared that she experienced an unsurprising anxiety attack just two miles from Bryan Federal Prison Camp in Bryan, Texas.
“My worst fear and the unimaginable was about to happen,” Jen explained. “Having to say goodbye to my sweet husband and precious baby Omar.” She had been speaking with her other son, Sharrieff Jr., over video chat.
Arriving at the federal prison facility, Jen hugged Omar “as tight as I could” and she “cried as I buried my head in his chest.”
At the time, she knew that she was “not wanting to face reality that this would be the last time I hugged him for a while.”
Jen also embraced her husband, assuring him that he is “the love of my life” while tears continued “streaming down” her face.
“Having seconds to tell you husband how much you love him,” Jen expressed, “and hoping he truly understands the depths of your love.”
This was “while officers stand there silently urging you to move quickly.”
Jen wrote that this “was the most horrific experience.” Perhaps nearly as bad as being a vulnerable senior citizen and finding that someone has scammed you out of your savings.
Learning that she could not bring a printed out list of contacts “made me feel instantly isolated,” Jen shared.
She recalled Omar hugging her, saying “‘Mama, please don’t leave,'” before she walked inside.
“I turn to get one last glance at my husband and son … my entire body is numb,” Jen wrote. “I feel like my life is ending, and I am truly scared.”
A the conclusion of her prison diary entry, Jen expressed a sense of profound longing.
She specifically wished to once again be in her “husband’s arms because I know he will make this nightmare end.”
It turns out that her first few weeks in prison have been even worse than she had imagined.
“I feel physically sick,” Jen expressed. Given her situation, that is very understandable.
“I thought I could do this but I’ve decided I can’t,” she admitted. It is, however, out of her hands.
“I want to go home right now, but I know that is impossible,” Jen wrote, following that with a prayer: “Please Allah help me, please.”
Prison is worse than it needs to be, and many people who are behind bars either should not be there at all, or would have a better chance at rehabilitation in a more human, bearable environment.
But Jen is not the poster child for prison reform. She didn’t make a simple mistake, run into financial trouble, or sell a Forbbiden Plant.
Jen’s crimes, to which she has confessed, have real victims. Society isn’t seeking revenge, but they do want a measure of justice.