There are approximately 2 million men in the prison system in the United States. That means there are a lot of loved ones left behind to wait...wives, girlfriends, lovers, sisters, brothers, mothers, fathers, and yes, even children. Only the strong can survive this ordeal.
The heartache and pain is almost unbearable for the prison wife who waits at home. Endless moments, which turn into minutes, hours, and days. Days that turn into weeks. Weeks that turn into months....And then, months even turn into years. The seasons change, as time rolls by. Autumn turns to winter, and winter to spring, and then summer. Holidays come and go, with the Prison Wife "on the outside looking in." She is never really part of anything. She exists in her own world. A world she creates around her. She puts up walls around her, and often becomes a recluse. She lives her life "to keep the household together."......She works, pays the bills, takes care of the children...she does all the normal things of life, but she lives in an abnormal world.
The Prison Wife does her "time" at home, along with her husband, as he does his "time" in a prison cell. The Prison Wife does "The Bid' with her husband.
Many women say "I Do," knowing fully well that their husband committed a crime, and must turn himself into prison. But can anything really prepare her for the heartache that lies ahead"........The lonliness and endless days. No, nothing can prepare her, and it is shocking when the events all unfold around her. Sometimes she walks around as if in a dream...that this just all can't be real.
Priosn Wives are "powerless," and have no "freedom." Her life revolves around collect calls from the prison...around "count," around "Visits" that are so retrictive....She carries extra type of clothing in the car when she visits her husband, because if the prison guards "don't like her clothes " on that particular day, she may be refused entry to see her husband...So, she chanmges outfits, in the parking lot or back seat of the car...from sleeveless to sleeves, from too tight to loose, from wire under- bras to wireless bras...Whatever it takes!...Please Lord ! Please let the prison gurads accept what i'm wearing today! Please let me see my husband today!....It doesn't matter that they refuse to let me use the ladies room...and when they do, it is usually a dirty, smelley, dark and dank outhouse, that is old and hasn't been cleaned or painted in years. It doesn't matter that I got up at 4am, to get here at 7 am, for early ungodly hours for visits. And these prisons seem to always be located in some far-off place, amongst the woods and farmlands. Most visitors trvel 2 or 3 or 4...maybe more, hours to get to their loved one.
I always heard the words "prison reform." I always ignored it...it meant nothing to me, because after all, I had no one within the prison system. But now, I am part of it all...my husband is in prison. And so, not only am I for Prison Reform, but I am for "Rights for the prisoner's wife and loved ones."
I ask you, "Is anyone listening?"....Not unless they are there, in the same situation will they listen." A nd of course it all starts with legislation. As for me, I am but one person....Everything in our world starts with "one."....."one person," "one idea,".......that spreads to others.........So, I hope you are listening, and I hope you care.......I care about you!
My husband has been in the prison system for the last 22 months. I am a retired Registered Nurse, who writes about her daily life as a "prisoner's wife," in a journal on aol, called "REFLECTIONS OF A PRISON WIFE."
(to get to my journal, you may also Google the words "Reflections of a Prison Wife," OR "Prison Wife," or "kintock." You will find it on the first few pages, as it is quite popular) http://JOURNALS.AOL.COM/CRYSTALMOON222/REFLECTIONSOFAPRISONWIFE/