Thursday, June 24, 2004


When you have a moment, please read, "MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT PRISON LIFE."  (just type in those words in the bar, and press go.  it will bring you to the web-site).  It is quite a long article.  The person writing the article explains the whole situation about our prison system better than me.  Please read the section on prison phone calls, unhealthy food, and visits to the prison..(note about having to go to the bathroom while at the prison...this was a real problem for me when I visited Jimmy) terrible and de-humanizing these visits  are.  I have not even been allowed to see my husband since August 15, 2003...that is over 10 months ago.  I ask you to read it, so you will not think I am alone with my you will not think I'm crazy...but that a whole big world of prisoners loved ones go through what I do, everyday.  For Jimmy and I , it will end soon.  He will happily go to the rehab center soon.  However, I just can't forget this experience.  I cannot put it behind me that easily. My fellow inmate- loved ones, will still be suffering, as I go on with life.  They will still be part of the "SYSTEM."  ...The system that is suppossed to rehabilatate the inmate, and not kill him.  And not make the loved one go crazy, and lose his sense of balance in life.  ....Read the article , and see what I mean.  You may be shocked at what you read, if you are not aware of the prison system.  For those of us exposed to it, we are used to it.........I still have nightmares of my visits to the prison....of the disgusting place it is and how we are treated.  And how we must hang our head low, and look at the ground, as if we are the criminal...nothing we say or do is right...we are helpless.

Well, let me apologize for my craziness the other day.  And thank- you all for your comments, and advice.  It really meant alot for me to show how you cared for me.  After I wrote on the computer in my journal, which was my life-saver, I flung myself in bed, as I usually do, when very depressed.  I slept till the next day.  In my sleep, I knew I would find the answer to my problem.  The next day, at 1pm,(wed.), I decided to call at&t, and simply say, "I want to make a payment. "  There was no problem, as the previous day with "the supervisor," who insisted I pay the whole thing before they turned it back on.  So, on this day, everyone was pleasant to me...they were happy to receive  $4oo more...a total of $800 this month, with a promise of $150 next week.  I was told the phone would be turned back on in 24 to 72 hours.  So today, at 1pm I got Jimmy's call,24 hours later,  and everything is back in balance now.  He said he walked around in a daze when the phone was blocked.  His first words were, "I knew you would do it again, Fran!...My wife never fails!"

Thank you for your advice.  I'll answer some things here to make things clear.  Dawn, I can't e-mail Jimmy.  There are no computers (ON-LINE) in the prison.  Yes, I wrote him a letter as soon as phone was blocked, as he did to me.  We do that everytime the phone inadvertantly gets blocked.  We have boxfuls of love-letters, etc.  I plan to get them all together and publish it in a book one of these days...our letters to each other.  Mail usually gets there in a few days, but once in a while, it takes weeks.  All my mail is opened and examined, and I suppose read , by the officials.  They see all the pix I send...nothing is private.  Every once in a while they remove something.  For example , I sent him directions and a map to the place he is going...well, no maps allowed, and they took it.  No stickers are allowed, either, because it might contain drugs.  Everything is very strict and very odd..Dawn, thank you so much for caring about me.  I look up to you as a mentor.  You have been married a long time, and have a wonderful marriage.  I will take all your suggestions in maintaining a good, strong, marriage.  Right now, that is the most important thing for me.  To be like an anchor in this marriage.  I keep praying for "peace, balance,  and tranquility," in our home.  (I keep saying those 3 words to myself)...........And Gretchen, thank you so much for your thoughts, prayers, and friendship, today as always.  At&t is the only phone company to have a discount plan for "correctional institutions."  That is why I went with them, otherwise my bills would even be higher!...I have to have Verizon for local in this part of Jersey, and I have a Sprint cell phone.  So, as you can see, I pay 3 phone bills...aT&t, Verizon and Sprint.  The good part is, as soon as Jimmy leaves the prison, I will cancel at&t....we can use calling cards where he is the problem will soon be solved.  About your other advice...a payment called me a couple of weeks ago to thank me for being a good customer.  He told me they will never shut my phone off, as long as I pay $400 on the first of the month.  Now, here comes this other woman who said something else...see what I'm saying?  No continuity in what their people could drive one insane!..........................Well, it's all over now.

A little good news!  I got another " letter- to - the editor" published in the local newspaper....THE OCEAN COUNTY OBSERVER.....It is a tribute to "NANCY AND RONNIE," which I wrote while watching the funeral.  The paper called me and said it was going on the editor's desk, so it should be printed in a couple of weeks.  Maybe I'll type it out here, for everyone to read.  I am really thrilled to get it published, as I'm trying to build a portofolio of my published writing...........Well, good-night everyone, and thanks again, for putting up with "crazy old Fran!"



grettysk said...

....and thank YOU...for SHARING "crazy ol' Fran" with us. LOL  You are a beautiful person and an inspiration to me.  As for phone companies...they all KNOW we NEED them, but if I didn't, I would be tempted to tell them ALL a piece of my mind! And it WOULD NOT BE PRETTY! lol  I'm glad that is over for sound so much better and I'll stop worrying about ya!  For now. :)  I will read the article you suggested and let you know later what I thought.  I do know you are giving us a clear picture, even without reading it.  And my heart goes out to all of the inmates and their families.  I used to be penpals with a man in prison here in Indiana where I live.  Although he would not go into details, I knew there was a lot of struggle for ALL of the inmates and their loved ones.  I will ALWAYS pray for all of them, including you and Jimmy.  Love, Gretchen xo

sdrogerson said...

What an inspiration your journal is, especially this entry!
God bless you!