Saturday, January 22, 2005

THE PRISON WIFE....THE "FORGOTTEN WOMAN"

IN TRUTH, THE PRISON WIFE IS THE "FORGOTTEN WOMAN."....IT IS THE LABEL THAT I HAVE CHOSEN TO PUT ON THE WIFE OF A PRISONER.........I'LL TRY TO EXPLAIN WHY.

EVERYONE CARES ABOUT THE HOMELESS, THE SICK, THE DYING, THE ORPHANS, VICTIMS OF NATURAL DISASTERS.......MILATARY WIVES......THE LIST GOES ON AND ON...........BUT NO ONE EVEN THINKS ABOUT THE "PRISON WIFE."....SHE IS , IN ACTUALITY, A "VICTIM."......HER HUSBAND COMMITTED A CRIME, WHICH SHE MAY NOT HAVE EVEN KNOWN ANYTHING AT ALL ABOUT.  HE IS PUT IN A PRISON, WITH A BED TO SLEEP IN, 3 MEALS/DAY, NO BILLS TO PAY, NO JOB TO WORRY ABOUT, NO RENT TO WORRY ABOUT, NO CHILDREN TO WORRY ABOUT.  THE WOMAN, ON THE OTHER HAND IS LEFT WITH TOTAL RESPONSIBILITY OF THE HOUSEHOLD..........SHE MUST "HOLD EVERYTHING" TOGETHER WHILE THE HUSBAND IS AWAY.  ONCE INCARCERATED, THE WIFE IS SUDDENLYN LEFT ALONE WITHOUT HER HUSBAND'S PAYCHECK....SHE MUST PAY THE RENT, THE MORTGAGE, THE CARS , THE INSURANCES...LIFE STILL GOES ON FOR HER.............I KNOW THAT MANY WOMEN HAVE LOST THEIR HOMES IN THEIR FINANCIAL STRUGGLE..........................THE WOMEN WORK, AND ON THEIR DAYS OFF, ON THE WEEKEND,  GO TO SEE THEIR HUSBAND IN PRISON..........THEY TAKE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION, LEAVE AT UNGODLY HOURS TO GET THERE  (LIKE 4 OR 5 AM), BECAUSE PRISONS ARE USUALLY IN REMOTE AREAS, AND THE HUSBAND ALWAYS SEEMS TO BE PLACED AS FAR AWAY AS POSSIBLE FROM HIS HOME.........WIVES CAN NO LONGER AFFORD PHONES, OR CARS........

I HAVE YET TO READ ARTICLES ABOUT THIS SUBJECT.  IT IS LIKE A BIG SECRET....NO ONE WANTS TO EVEN THINK ABOUT IT, NO LESS TALK ABOUT IT..............AND YET, WITH CLOSE TO 2 MILLION PEOPLE INCARCERATED IN THE PRISON SYSTEM IN THIS COUNTRY, IMAGINE JUST HOW MANY WIVES ARE LEFT BEHIND?.......NO LESS, ANY LOVED ONE, BE IT GIRLFRIEND, MOTHER, AND YES, THE POOR CHILDREN OF THE INCARCERATED (THEY TOO ARE THE FORGOTTEN ONES)

  I ASK YOU, HAVE YOU HEARD OF ANY PROGRAMS SET UP IN OUR COUNTRY TO HELP THESE FORGOTTEN PEOPLE?......IF NOTHING ELSE, SOME SORT OF PSYCHOLOGICAL SUPPORT SHOULD BE AVAILABLE. 

AGAIN, I STRESS, THESE WOMEN ARE BEING "THROWN AWAY" IN OUR SOCIETY. I WONDER WITH 2 MILLION MEN IN PRISON, HOW MANY WIVES ARE BEHIND CLOSED DOORS, LIVING IN SECRECY, AFARID OF THE WORLD, AFRAID TO EXPRESS THEMSELVES..........MAYBE EVEN CONTEMPLATING TAKING THEIR OWN LIVES.  WE JUST DON'T KNOW, BECAUSE AS FAR AS I KNOW, NO GOVERNMENTAL PROGRAMS ARE IN EXISTENCE FOR THESE WOMEN.

HOW DO I KNOW THESE THINGS?...BECAUSE I HAVE SPOKEN TO MANY WOMAN.......GIRLFRIENDS, WIVES, AND EVEN MOTHERS.............I STOOD IN LINE WITH THOSE WOMEN, WAITING TO GET INTO THE PRISON...I HEARD WHAT THEY HAVE TO SAY, AND IN MY HEART AND SOUL, I CANNOT IGNORE IT.  .....I AM A HUMAN BEING, JUST AS THEY ARE......

I HEARD THEIR STORIES.  SOME WERE WAITING MANY YEARS FOR THEIR HUSBAND TO RETURN.........WITH CHILDREN.......A LOT OF WOMEN WERE PREGNANT..........MANY BECAME AGROPHOBIC AM,D WOULD NOT LEAVE THE HOUSE.  FRIENDS AND FAMILY MEMBERS TURNED ON THEM WHEN THE HUSBAND WAS PUT IN PRISON.  MANY OF THESE WOMEN SEEMED TO DEVELOP PSYCHOLOGICAL PROBLEMS, AND IT WAS IGNORED........SOME TOLD ME HOW THEY WERE PUT ON ANTI-DEPRESSENTS....HOW EVEN THEIR CHILDREN WERE PUT ON PSYCH MEDS..........SOME CALLED ME ON THE PHONE........THEY COULD NO LONGER EAT...THEY DRANK COFFEE AND SMOKED CIGARRETTES ALL DAY. ...AND YES, I HEARD WOMEN ON THE PHONE CRYING, SCREAMING...THEY DID NOT KNOW HOW THEY WOULD MAKE IT ANOTHER DAY, WITHOUT THEIR HUSBAND.  THEY WOULD CALL ME ALL DAY, LEAVING MESSAGES ON MY ANSWERING MACHINE, TO PLEASE TALK TO THEM.  AND I WOULD TALK TO THEM, AND LISTEN....THAT IS REALLY ALL THEY WANTED.  I WOULD TELL THEM, "THERE ARE NO WORDS I CAN REALLY SAY, BUT I WILL LISTEN TO YOU, AND I UNDERSTAND, BECAUSE I'M IN THE SAME PLACE YOU ARE......YOU ARE NOT ALONE."..................THAT IS ALL THEY REALLY WANTED TO HEAR........."YOU ARE NOT ALONE."......SOME WOULD CALL ME FOR WEEKS ON END, AND THEN THE CALLS WOULD STOP..........AS FOR ME, I WAS SO EXTREMELY DEPRESSED MYSELF, THAT AT ONE POINT I HAD TO CUT OFF THESE CALLS,,,,,IT WAS DIFFICULT FOR ME TO LISTEN TO ALL THESE CRYING, DESPERATE WOMEN......

SOME REEAD MY JOURNAL, AND ONE REFUSED TO LEAVE A COMMENT HERE.......SHE WAS SO FEARFUL, SO SHE WOULD WRITE ME E-MAILS...........

I SAW MOTHERS AND TALKED ON THE PHONE TO THEM......MOTHERS WITH SUCH EXTREME LOVE IN THEIR EYES, FOR THEIR SON..............A YOUNG SON, WHO WENT DOWN THE WRONG PATHWAY IN LIFE.........AND NOW THE MOTHER VISITED HIM REGULARLY..............I SAW PREGNANT WOMEN ON VISITS, ACCOMPANIED BY FATHERS.......YOUNG, PRETTY WOMEN....WITH EVERYTHING AND MORE TO LIVE FOR, ONLY NOW PART OF THE PRISON SYSTEM.............MOTHERS THANKED ME TIME AND TIME AGAIN ON THE PHONE...THEY FINALLY GOT A MESSAGE THAT THEIR SON WAS OK, AND WHERE HE WAS.  ONE BROTHER EVEN INVITED ME TO THEIR FAMILY CHRISTMAS DINNER, 2003, AND SAID THERE WOULD BE A HOUSEHOLD FULL OF PEOPLE AND CHILDREN, 30 OR MORE, AND I WAS WELCOME. JUST THE INVITATION AND THOUGHT OF IT TOUCHED MY HEART AND SOUL...........

LET ME EXPLAIN A LITTLE FURTHER ABOUT WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT........THEN, YOU MAY UNDERSTAND.......I CAN ONLY SPEAK FOR MYSELF, AND MY EXPERIENCE.......

WHEN YOUR HUSBAND GOES TO PRISON, HE NO LONGER BELONGS TO YOU.  HE BELONGS TO THE STATE.  SO, IN REALITY, YOU ARE A MARRIED WOMAN, WITHOUT A HUSBAND.  YOU ARE IN A WORLD OF YOUR OWN...YOU CREATE A SHELL AROUND YOU.  YOU ARE NO LONGER PART OF ANYTHING...LIFE JUST GOES ON DAY BY DAY.  YOU TRY TO GET A GRIP OF YOURSELF, AND SAY YOU ARE "KEEPING THE HOUSEHOLD TOGETHER."...........WIDOWS CAN MOVE ON...PRISON WIVES CAN'T.  A WIDOW GRIEVES HER HUSBAND, AND THEN AS TIME GOES ON, SHE MAY START TO SOCIALIZEA ND DO THINGS AND MAKE FRIENDS........A PRISON WIFE CAN'T.  SHE REMAINS FAITHFUL TO HER HUSBAND, AND MAKING NEW FRIENDS IS DIFFICULT.  THE OLD FRIENDS YOU ONCE HAD AS A COUPLE TURN AGAINST YOU.  WE HAD FRIENDS AND FAMILY MEMBERS WHO WAITED FOR THE DAY JIMMY WENT TO JAIL, AND THEY STARTED CALLING ME ON THE PHONE, TELLING ME HOW "HORRIBLE" MY HUSBAND WAS...........I DIDN'T WANT O HEAR IT, AND I REFUSE TO LISTEN TO THEIR TWISTED TALES....YOU SEE, THEY WAITED FOR JIMMY TO BE LOCKED AWAY IN A PLACE WHERE HE COULD NOT GET OUT , AND THEY STARTED "TORTURING"  MY MIND.  AND SO, LIKE THE REST OF THE PRISON WIVES, I TOO, LIVED IN FEAR, BEHIND CLOSED DOORS.........PEOPLE THAT WERE ONCE NICE TO ME, WERE ACTUALLY TORTURING ME WITH THEIR WORDS..........AND I FOUND OUT, THIS WAS THE CASE WITH MOST PRISON WIVES.................SOME FRIENDS HAD PROMISED JIMMY THAT THEY WOULD "LOOK AFTER ME," WHEN HE WAS AWAY.......I HAD ONE PERSON, SAY, "I WILL ALWAYS BE YOUR FRIEND WHEN JIMMY GOES TO PRISON.  CALL ME IF YOU NEED ANYTHING."....SHE LATER CHANGED, AND FORGOT ALL HER PROMISES.  OTHERS, WHO SAID THEY WOULD HELP ME WITH THE SHOPPING, AS I COULDN'T DRIVE DUE TO MY EYESIGHT, WELL SOME HELPED IN THE BEGINNING, AND THEN LATER STOPPED, BECAUSE WHEN MONTHS START TURNING INTO YEARS IT CAN JUST BE TOO MUCH FOR PEOPLE TO HANDLE........

THERE ARE SO MANY ISSUES HERE.  ANOTHER TIME, I WILL TELL YOU MORE THINGS ABOUT BEING A PRISON WIFE. 

8 comments:

p00kie2323 said...

WOW I AM SO SORRY FRAN I REALLY HAVE NEVER THOUGHT OF THESE FACTORS WHICH I GUESSS IS YOUR POINT THE WORLD DOES NOT HTINK OF THESE THINGS I AM SORRY YOU ARE HAVING TO GO THROUGH THIS --- P00KIE

sugar1337 said...

Unfortunately our system works the way it does...have you ever thought about doing a documentary about it?  In all seriousness....it usually only takes a spark for a fire to light up if you catch my meaning.

mrsjminix4evr said...

WELL, I AM IN YOUR SAME POSITION..MY HUSBAND IS INCARCERATED, AND I HAVE 2 SMALL CHILDREN..I JUST DON'T UNDERSTAND THE SYSTEM MYSELF! I DON'T THINK ANY OF THEM MAKE IT ANY EASIER ON US EITHER!! THESE CO'S ARE SO RUDE!  I ALSO DON'T UNDERSTAND WHY OUR HUSBANDS DO THE THINGS THE DO!!  I HAVE BEEN WITH MY HUBAND FOR 6 YEARS WE'LL BE MARRIED FOR 4 YEARS THIS JULY AND THROUGH THICK AND THIN I HAVE BEEN THERE FOR HIM AND HE STILL DOES WRONG!!  HE WENT TO JAIL AND DID 2 1/2 YEARS CAME OUT CHEATED ON ME LIKE NO OTHER....HURT ME TERRIBLY 8 MONTHS LATER GOES BACK ON A PAROLE VIOLATION AND AGAIN GUESS WHO IS THE ONLY ONE THERE FOR HIM....NOT THEM DUMB *******  HE WAS SCREWING WITH... ME HIS WIFE WHO MADE THAT VOW TO BE THERE. nOW HE'S BEEN IN THERE FOR ALMOST A YEAR AND I JUST HAD A BABY GIRL SHE IS 3 MONTHS OLD (AND I HAVE A 3 1/2 Y.O) AND I LOVE HIM MORE AND MORE EACH DAY EXCEPT I AM HAVING A HARD TIME GETTING PAST HIS PAST!!  aS I STRUGGLE IN LIFE ON MY OWN I STILL TRY TO MAINTAIN FOCUS IN WHICH IS KEEPING MY HEAD UP AND TAKING GOOD CARE OF OUR CHILDREN I PRAY HE CHANGES AS HE SAYS HE IS GOING TO .. I KNOW HE CAN HE JUST NEEDS TO LET PEOPLE ON THE STREET LIFE GO. WELL I GUESS I HAVE JABBERED ENOUGH THANKS FOR THE TIME TO TELL MY STORY..JESSICA

terra19728 said...

oh, i have been there done that, and won't do it again.  i know exactly how u feel and i wouldn't wish that on anyone.  i hope everything works out for u.

crystalmoon222 said...

DEAR JESSICA....THANK YOU FOR THE BEAUTIFUL COMMENT... THANK YOU FOR SHARING A DEEP PART OF YOURSELF.  YOU ARE A VERY STRONG PERSON......THERE IS NOTHING MORE BEAUTIFUL THAN TO BE YOUR HUSBAND'S WIFE, AND TO KEEP THE HOUSEHOLD TOGETHER, DESPITE EVERYTHING...IN THE LONG RUN, YOUR HUSBAND WILL REALIZE THIS, ALONG THE ROAD IN LIFE...HE WILL REALIZE HE MADE SOME MISTAKES, BUT HIS WIFE WAS STURDY AND STOOD BY HIM............GOOD LUCK TO YOU, AND YOUR NEW BABY.......YOU ARE TRUELY A WONDERFUL PERSON!...........FRAN

crystalmoon222 said...

DEAR TERA.......THANX FOR YOUR COMMENT.......I'M GLAD YOU HAVE MOVED ON IN LIFE, AND THAT YOU ARE OUT OF THE WHOLE 'PRISON THING."....IT IS A TERRIBLE SITUATION, WHEN YOU ARE PART OF IT.........AS I AM.  POWERLESS, AND NO SAY IN ANYTHING, AS THE "SYSTEM" OWNS MY HUSBAND....IT IS ALL SO VERY SAD!...........fran

crystalmoon222 said...

dear sugar....thanx for your comments, and your continual support towards me...........who knows, maybe one day it will be a documentary........these issues should be brought out into the public..........there should be prison reform for the wives and loved ones...........hope it will be known one day, so we can help others in doing so.....fran

ilive4trulovexox said...

this was really touching and 100% true.  My fiance is in prison in south carolina and he went to jail 2 weeks before our wedding day.   So this is really touching to me.  Thank you