There are so many reports and stories about inmates, but no one ever writes about the families. I usually write about the inmates as well. This time I wanted to write about the families. Families go through so much having a loved behind those walls that keep them from their loved ones. Sometimes, I think inmates don’t always see how much their families go through when they go to prison. The courts, attorneys, everyday struggles, the children, and the extra costs of prison that no one know tells you about.
When your loved one goes to prison no one tells you that there aren’t free phone calls or emails. There are commissary cost and fund raiser cost for things like blankets, sheets and pillows. There are clothes cost if the prison doesn’t give inmates enough clothes for the summer and winter. All these cost come after the attorney fee and court fees. Attorney fees maybe over unless you are still fighting your case in prison unless you had a public defender. Then there is loss of income because your loved one went to prison, there are the daily struggles. Increased childcare because you have work more since you lost income and all this time, the one incarcerated just keeps asking for more because they are hungry or don’t have enough money on the phone, media account or phone account.
Everyday you get the children ready for school. You keep the house running, you do the grocery shopping, the clean house, and go to work. You make sure the bills are paid and sometimes you may not have the money for all the bills. Sometimes you have to choose between sedning them moeny or paying the bills. You make sure the children have everything they need and want to be successful. Sometimes you are so tired from the day by the time that your loved one calls you just don’t feel like talking for a long time. When that happens they get upset or frustrated and need to be reminded that you are doing everything by yourself and everything keeps going while they are in there.
When one or both of the parents are in prison the children suffer the most. It is very difficult not having your parent or parents to raise you and then being uprooted to a new home or to a family member that you may not know that well. Children do not always understand why they cannot talk to that parent when they want to or they may not be told the truth about the peron in prison. Some parents will keep their child away from the other parent as well. Many people think that this is a good thing. I disagree with this because it can cause lasting affects on the child. The child may feel abandoned by that parent until they get out of prison and can explain.
To all of the families: Be proud of all the things that you are going through and have gone though. Know that you are not alone! Keep pushing through the tough days because things will get better. It is ok to tell your loved ones that the world out here does not stop just because they are in there and that you are doing it all by yourself. It’s ok to cry or scream if you need to. It’s ok to go out with your friends for a girls night out or eating a half gallon ice cream binge watching movies all weekend. It’s ok to send the kids to their grandparents for the weekend because you’re totally exhausted. Take time for yourself when you need to and keep going !!! You can do it!!! To all the children please stay in school, keep getting good grades and continue doing positive things in your life!
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