View Full Version : Can a Man adjust after 19 years locked up??(questions about my MWI)


runruns_baby
11-24-2008, 06:24 PM
Hi, I a new to this site and in love with a man that has been locked up since he was 20 yrs old. We meet through letters and he is close enough to visit every week. He so wants out and says will never go back but so many people tell me he probably wont be able to function out here on the streets.

I love him and want to be with him. He has 17 more months. This is so hard!!! any advice??

canthelpbutwait
11-24-2008, 06:26 PM
No one can answer whether he will go back or if he will adjust. It will take time and a strong person to be by his side. If you really love him, I do not think it will hurt you to try. Just remember the road is not easy, but if you and him really love each other, its worth a try.

skellerton
11-24-2008, 06:47 PM
There's lots of help available if you find the right ones. It wouldn't hurt to get some post-incarceration counseling to help him cope. Three things will help 1. Remember that there is total sensory deprivation in there, so take it slow and get used to just a few new things at a time 2. think about habits- if he was running game out here and in there, then chances are good hell need to break himself of that cycle and 3 expect disappointment, disillusionment and sadness, for all the reasons you or he might imagine. If you expect things, then you can plan to cope with them. Take it easy, and remind him he can't get back the time, but only look forward. Best wishes for a peaceful future.

BlueEyedEllie
11-24-2008, 06:50 PM
No one can answer whether he will go back or if he will adjust. It will take time and a strong person to be by his side. If you really love him, I do not think it will hurt you to try. Just remember the road is not easy, but if you and him really love each other, its worth a try.

good advice!!! every person is different. but it definitely won't be easy
!!! i think it takes a person with alot of patience. but if you love him ANYTHING is possible!!! just realize you can't change him, he has to wanna change for himself!!

preciousgem
11-24-2008, 10:39 PM
I would like to add that violation is a part of parole. There are very few men/women who spend time on parole and don't go back for a parole violation at least once during their time on parole. My husband's PO told him that when he took him in the last time. This is his second VOP this year and his PO told him and me later, that it's expected of people on parole to violate as they readjust to life on the outside.
I'll reiterate what others have said, take it slow, work on one or two things at a time. Counseling is definitely a plus... good luck!!

Oh and my husband was down for 13 years... and even though he violated again... he was doing really well, working, attending meetings.. getting a stuff together... we just fell and again violation is a part of parole...

xgot420issuesx
11-25-2008, 12:00 AM
I would say, it all depends on the person. Not everyone I think could readjust to life on the outside. But I am sure some of them can.
And I agree, parole is a bitch.
No one can tell you if he will be able to adjust or not. I don't even think he could. He may have every intention of never going back again, but not even he can predict that. All any of us can do is give life our best try.
One thing, if he has a good woman on his side, he at least has a good shot.

ahannah1561
11-25-2008, 12:43 AM
this is something we are dealing with right now two. my man went in at 21 and will be 31 when he is eligible for ERS in 7 months. he has grown from a boy to a man in the prison system.

in a letter i got not to long ago he said, "baby when i come home please be patiant with me, i can not remember what it is like out there, please take things slow, do not cuss me when i get somthing wrong, try to help me, i need you more then ever upon my release."

this is something we have talked about, we have also talked about seeking help from someone who knows about this. it is kinda like a man coming home from war.

i say just be there for him. he has one thing going for him and that is YOU! alot of people are released and have no one to go to. no love in the world for them at all!

good luck

LadyKisses
11-25-2008, 04:57 PM
My baby has been in prison ever since he was 17 and he has spent 15 years in the joint.. My thing is I know he is ready to come home but like we both told each other baby it will take a year to adjust to living life out in the real world .. It hurt me so bad cause he was like dont creep up behind me baby cause I might do something I dont mean to do cause i been having to watch my back all these years he knows I am going to be thier for everything the good and the bad that happens Were going to take one thing at a time.. and slowly adjust.. He has another 4 years..but hopefully obama can get our fed men out sooner.. But I will stick byside his side forever threw the good and the bad... He is excited of all the new but I am nervous of people pissing him off or him feeling like he is the weird person on the street.. But either way were thier for each other.. Go trew with it girl.. I think they can get adjusted just like everything takes some time and time heals all but it gives u time to better understand and adjust to things..dont get mad at him when he gets frustrated or when he breaks down it is just him......Hope everythings works out sugar!

comradrahrah
11-25-2008, 05:47 PM
Yes, they can cope. My man went in at 20yrs and is currently going into his 25th year of incarceration I believe in him becuz I know it can be done. One of my brothers has done 19 years and has been home almost 7yrs and is doing well. Its going to take time and patience and lots of positive supporters in his corner, please, please know the difference from supporters and enablers. Their confidence will already be low and to enable them will only reinforce that negative feeling of
"I can't" even though its done out of love it will stiffle them. Nelson Mandala is one of my heros and his story is so inspiring, he spent over 25 yrs incarcerated, and look at his accomplishments need I say more!

BlueEyedEllie
11-25-2008, 05:50 PM
Yes, they can cope. My man went in at 20yrs and is currently going into his 25th year of incarceration I believe in him becuz I know it can be done. One of my brothers has done 19 years and has been home almost 7yrs and is doing well. Its going to take time and patience and lots of positive supporters in his corner, please, please know the difference from supporters and enablers. Their confidence will already be low and to enable them will only reinforce that negative feeling of
"I can't" even though its done out of love it will stiffle them. Nelson Mandala is one of my heros and his story is so inspiring, he spent over 25 yrs incarcerated, and look at his accomplishments need I say more!
wise words about supporting versus enabling!! there IS a difference!!

robs_angel
11-25-2008, 06:16 PM
Welcome to the MWI (met while Incarcerated ) forum.. Stay strong.. anyone can change they have to change.. there is alot of programs inside and out to help him (and you when he comes home) get through this.. and those programs will help with parole (if he has to see the them).. hang in there 17 months isnt much longer!!

carlosgirl
11-25-2008, 06:45 PM
I think he can succeed, with the love and support of you and his family and friends. Plenty of people exit prison and never go back. The kindest, sweetest and most loving man in the world my father was one of them.

HisBlueEyedGal
11-25-2008, 06:47 PM
Yeah, he can adjust. I think people assume that because so many ex-inmates violate their parole that a lot of people can't ever re-adjust to the real world, especially after spending most of their adult life locked up. The truth of the matter is that parole is insanely strict. It's ROUGH, and it's gonna feel like parole's set up to make people fail. I think the only advise than anyone can be given in a situation like yours has already been said: be patient, be understanding, be respectful and be a friend as well as a lover. He and/or you will end up really disappointed sometimes, but the highs are gonna be great, too. I think you both can adjust - and yes, it takes some serious adjusting on both sides of the relationship when someone paroles.

Fyre
12-09-2008, 11:42 AM
My husband had been inside a long time, too. He's now out, and we're married 5 months.
I would say you question is a loaded one. It depends on the person. My husband made a very bad mistake that cost him many years of his life. However, he decide that he was not going to let a bad mistake be his life. When he was in he did everything he could to improve himself. He took classes, worked in skills, learned learned learned. However, on that note, my husband even at the age of 19, before he went in, had worked most of his teen years. He had a job, and even a small business. He worked 2 jobs, and now works long hours.
Can a man adjust after being away so long. Yes, they can. It helped that people believed and were kind to my husband, before he got out, during his stay in the halfway house, and after. Or neighbors, my family, his family. We've made friends and stretched out our social circle.

My advice?

1) Tell him to learn everything he can before he comes home. Take college classes-take any correspondance courses he can.

2) He should develop as much of a support system as possible. We are lucky his family and my family have been so supportive of him in many ways.

3) Realize adjustment is a matter of the individual.

I want to say this to you, too, as a fellow woman, who feels for you. Don't ignore your own needs. Take care of YOU! Don't wrap yourself around his life, keep hold of your own dreams and hopes. Be there for yourself, because you need to do that to be there for anyone else.

all the best,
Fyre

Seven's Girl
12-09-2008, 01:43 PM
My husband has been home 1 year and 4 days today. He was locked up 16 years, previously in and out for several years.

My husband had a job within 2 weeks, temp agency that hired felons, and was hired in permanently from there. Is temporarily laid off, but is due to be called back within a month. Earned financial aid and will start college in January.

First day home, forget the fun ideas for a few hours and do what needs to be done. We got him registered for a new social security card, registered to vote, took his driving test (studied inside), applied at the temp agency and saw his parole officer before he even came 'home.'

One thing we just dealt with that I did not consider and he did not know about till yesterday is Selective Service. Like I said, he will go to school on financial aid, but it is dependant on getting an exemption from selective service. Because he dropped out of school after 9th grade and was in and out of prison from the registration ages of 18 and 26, he never knew he had to register. According to the web site, they are allowed an automatic exemption if they were locked up during those years if they apply within 30 days of release. They allow you to request it with 'circumstances' if they were not locked up the whole time. Although I have faith, and found a helpful man at Selective Service (that had to be God working, I mean helpful and working for the government???), my husbands college career hinges on someone exempting him quickly, he is only eligible until December 31st. Normal process is 4 - 6 weeks, told it would be done in 2 days... pray for us. So, my advice, ask if he is registered and take the necessary steps if he is not. Financial aid is only one thing he is not eligible for if he is not registered.

Anyway, my experience from being married to one who did a long time and as a former counselor in prison is that more guys who did long terms make it than those who do short bits. They tend to have their heads on straight and realize that they lost a long portion of their life and do not want to risk having to complete the long sentence they are usually paroled with. Example, my husband got out in 07, his max is 2033, he will do anything not to be in until 2033. See, they are not gambling with a new sentence, they already have a long one to finish...

Good luck and God Bless...

Mark2008
12-14-2008, 02:49 AM
Each person is differnet, but adjustment can be difficult. In your case, your loved one has been behind bars for half of his life. He has grown up there, become used to what life is like, etc. For better or for worse, it has become his home.

I compare it --- and I certainly mean nothing degrading by this example --- to an animal who has been bred in captivity being released into the wild. Most of the time, they lack the skills necessary for survival. The analogy of men coming home from war is another good one.

It will require a great deal of patience on your part if you are to make the relationship work. There will be days when he is confused, depressed, angry with the entire world and takes it out on you just because you happen to be close by. Are you willing to accept all of that?

Then, as someone pointed out earlier, there is the parole/legal issues to deal with on top of the lifestyle issues.

I don't mean to sound discouraging. It can work for some people. But, given his age and length of time he has spent on the inside, it will likely be a slow adjustment period.

rod crowley
12-14-2008, 06:28 AM
Hi, I a new to this site and in love with a man that has been locked up since he was 20 yrs old. We meet through letters and he is close enough to visit every week. He so wants out and says will never go back but so many people tell me he probably wont be able to function out here on the streets.

I love him and want to be with him. He has 17 more months. This is so hard!!! any advice??My only advice is advise him to take everything slow and adjust.after all things have changed quite a bit since he was free and he definately has some adjusting to do.

Wobabi
12-14-2008, 09:21 AM
I always suggest reading up on Post Incarceration Syndromes and the Effects of Long Term Incarceration so you can be familiar with any and all that could be adjustment issues or signs.
Thanks to Mark we always like hearing from those that have been there:thumbsup:

Shush
12-14-2008, 09:42 AM
going out dont start in the moment when somebody is leaving the prison. it starts long ago. there are MANY THINGS TO SPEAK ABOUT, there are many things you can talk about now.

you can prepare your friend with a lot of things for the time he will really be able to get out. this starts with photos from home, it goes on in describing where you live, the region, towns and such thigns, where you go shopping, how you have to drive there and many other things.

talking about habits, YOUR fears (like him going back to prison) as much about HIS fears..... there are many things to talk about.

what has been shared above is one part and it is right, guys have to adapt outside and much to often they dont have the time as the parole officer wants them to work. so so much is coming at the same time! they can handle this, but the symptoms of the change and working out what has been behind them will just happen more in the future: it will still happen.
counseling is one.....treating each other with respect and care and being open for the feelings of the other, this is what brings the deepest healing.

and there is one main thing you can do: USE THE CHANCE OF HIS RE-DISCOVERING THE WORLD, do it with him and just enjoy the amazing things he discovers!!!!! this is not only a psychic "handicap", it is a great chance to discover life in a new way!

i did read about a guy the other day who got home after a long time of prison.... he was amazed there are pathways along the road. he had forgotten! what fun can it be to discover such with him! there are so many things they are normal for us, it is OUR gift to be allowed to discover thsi world in a complete new way!!!!!

i am honest looking forward of all this!!!!!!

Shush
12-14-2008, 09:48 AM
I just shared with my Man about my thoughts and realised and other important part.

when I came to the US the first time, going to see my Man, ALL HAS BEEN AS STRANGE AND NEW TO ME AS WELL! i have had to learn all, where to shop, what the prices are, where to make copies, how to find my way back to the friend I stayed with. I needed the same help.

if you want to know how it feels.... a little trip to a town and region you dont know, best to an other country it would make you realise how our men feel when they get out of prison.... and I can tell you: after three or four weeks in that "new world", I was happy to go back in my normal one.
to those who get out of prison thsi is not given to be able to go back..... so "their space" is maybe he most important thing to have! their little corner where to put their stuff, where "to be home"....