View Full Version : What to expect from an institutionalized man when he comes back....


rockstara
05-26-2009, 10:54 AM
I was just curious on everyones opinion on men who are institutionalized and what we need to do as supportive wives and girlfriends to stay strong for ourselves and our men and what we can do to strengthen our relationships and overcome the obstacles that come with a man who is or has been institutionalized. I have read a book recently entitled, "How to love and inspire your man after prison" by Michael B. Jackson and he pointed out some interesting things on how to help your man to intergrate back into society, what to expect from him when he returns, and how to cope with a man who will return different than when he left. Things I never really thought about. So????......what do you ladies think of men who are institutionalized in prison and how we can help our men to "undo" the negatives. Any thoughts or ideas on what to expect??? What we need to do more or less??? What will be different?? How to handle the differences??? Help me out ladies....what do you all think??? :confused:

BlueEyedEllie
05-26-2009, 11:51 AM
this is an EXCELLENT thread. i have no answers but will be reading this thread with great interest. is that book worth reading????

rockstara
05-26-2009, 11:54 AM
Yes, the book was pretty good. 2 women shared their stories with different perspectives. One woman made it through the tough times with her husband and are still going strong. While the other woman broke it off with hers. So...it gives you something to think about:thumbsup:

4real4real
05-26-2009, 11:59 AM
Would you possibly share some of the authors suggestions re: what we could do to help? And what we might expect certainly would appreciate.

4real4real
05-26-2009, 12:35 PM
this is an EXCELLENT thread. i have no answers but will be reading this thread with great interest. is that book worth reading????

I sought his book out on the web the other day. He has published several books and he has a website. First heard of it over at the forum or thread Coming Home - I believe. I have known a handful of men who were locked up. One came home talking to too loud. Once it was brought to his attention he piped it down. Said he had been in a war zone then laughed. A young cousin came home after 2 yrs took him shopping the next day he asked me if it was ok to touch the clothes on the rack? When he went to try on clothing I went outside and broke down and sobbed. That was painful to watch. A friends brother came home after 5 yrs in Federal. He took a shit shave & shower, hit the streets & shot up heroin. On the outer they each seemed to be the same basic person they left here as. MEANING, laughing joking playing etc. but then again I didn't have to close the door then sleep with them at night. But they all have survived and have basically done pretty darn well for themselves. Even the Heroin addict who now runs & operates a Transitional House for men in recovery. Have a Blessed Day marcsbeth.

gods mercy
05-27-2009, 03:13 PM
i guess we have to deal with each situation with LOVE and try to put our selves in there shoes....

laydlyke
06-02-2009, 03:29 PM
My husband is institutionalized, and he even admits to it. He has spent his entire (with the expection of 11 weeks) adult life in prison.

My husband was home 5 1/2 weeks before he went back. We talk a lot now about how to make changes so things will turn out differently for him when he's released again (he is facing another term in prison).

The main thing he says is that he needs to keep himself busy. He had a job but it wasn't full time, so he had a lot of free time while I was gone to work. That led to criminal activity. He had a sense of pride and didn't want me to have to provide for him. So, he stole to have money for things. He wanted to be able to take me to dinner and pay for it, so he stole. He didn't want to ask me for money for drugs, so he stole.

Perhaps my biggest mistake was thinking too much. I didn't want to seem like another CO to him so I never was hard on him. I let him do what he wanted because I didn't want him to think I was trying to control him. That's where I went wrong. He had no clue how to act and was looking to me for guidance. I was looking to him to lead our household as a husband should. He was trying to be a man the only way he knew how, but also dealing with the kid that was still inside him that had never dealt with his addiction (that I had no idea about).

I told my husband that if we make it and he gets released to me again, that life will be different. I will be hard on him, I will keep him busy, I will not just allow him to do anything or hang out with anyone. I hate to even think of life for either of us to be that way, but if he or I expect him to come out of prison, being institutionalized, and be successful, for him, this is the only way.

I'm not saying be hard on your man when he comes home, but for my husband, that's what he needed. I gave him too much freedom and he lost it all again.

4real4real
06-02-2009, 04:14 PM
God Bless and Good Luck! I have sent Prayers up for You and He. Have a Jesus Christ Day, my friend.

cupid0214
06-02-2009, 04:20 PM
My Husband has never used the word institutionalized until the other day, so your thread definately caught my eye. I'm really worried about him adjusting after almost 7 years in Federal. He goes to the HWH next week and then home by 7/20. I'm hoping for a smooth transition but I expect there to be some bumps along the way.

Csmcgrl23
06-02-2009, 04:32 PM
P did over 5 years Federal Prison time. They say you can be "institutionalized" after as little as 18 MONTHS. With that being said, it's all in the individual and how much they let prison take over their lives and how they decide to handle it once released. Besides the first day out when he looked almost like a deer in headlights, he showed no signs of being institutionalized. He went to the HWH for 4 months then on Home Confinement for 2 months and have been on Federal Probation since October 2007.

This was his first and most likely his last time in prison. But he was strong the whole time. Sometimes it got the best of him while he was locked up but for the most part he was stronger than me. Like I said it's all in the individual...I wouldn't take those books as bond because that's not how ALL men getting out of prison are. To me it's almost a learn as you go situation. You shouldn't just expect the worst...I don't know, most of the stories I've heard I haven't heard much of the institutionalization that I hear about but the success. But I mostly just hear the Fed stories...

I also talked to P about it before he got out, I sent him information, I printed out threads...all of that because I worried and I wanted him to know that if he were to be a certain way that it's "normal" and all he said was "that's not me" and I was like well just in case....and sure enough....that wasn't him. Our relationship didn't work out but I don't blame prison for that and the only success I even care about is him completing his probation and never going back to prison. That's should always be the main concern....always. Because I tell you even though I was sad that our relationship didn't work out at least I didn't feel I wasted my time being there for him as long as he kept his life on the right track....it makes the whole ride worth it.

thenderson
06-02-2009, 04:40 PM
Pray. Pray and continue to pray and allow god to take the relationship toits highest peak.

T'sBabygirl
06-02-2009, 05:35 PM
Michael B. Jackson spoke at the conference this year. Does anyone know if we can still go back and view that? I was told it would be happening? Anyway, he was very good. And I gave my man his book, How To Do Good after Prison or watever and T really liked it.

4real4real
06-02-2009, 06:20 PM
My Husband has never used the word institutionalized until the other day, so your thread definately caught my eye. I'm really worried about him adjusting after almost 7 years in Federal. He goes to the HWH next week and then home by 7/20. I'm hoping for a smooth transition but I expect there to be some bumps along the way.

I have a friend that I've know just about all my adult life. Age 28 he went to Federal done 10 yrs. Asked to be sent to HWH a city away from his hometown. Eventually got a Construction job bought a car got an apartment an integrated bk into society quite well. We've hung out a few times but he's real selfish now. Everything is him and his needs. I believe since we were extremely close its becuz for a decade nothing was about him. When he gets mad at you he'll change his phone no. last yr he changed his no. on me 3x's...lol. But he's a good guy very productive now.

tess1
06-02-2009, 09:19 PM
Great thread. My hubby got home 10 years ago after spening 15 years in prison. What to expect? A whole lot. Most of it bad, I think. I sum it up as basically "lost". He is NOT the man that he was when he got locked up. He is a packrat, he has bounced countless jobs. In a nutshell he took a LOT for granted on the outside and lost a LOT.
He's basically uncomportable in his own "skin" now. Very insecure. Wont open up and talk about his fears, etc...
But thats kinda to be expected, I mean, 15 yrs of being told when to eat, sleep, etc. Not being able to get CLOSE to anyone "inside". You have to keep in all in. No talking.
Its hard, REAL HARD. And my man knows that now. We arent "together" anymore but he does still live with me. I support him. He's a kind man, he was when he got locked up. A good heart. But hes broken. I am trying to help him get back up..but "we" are gone. And we both know...we just lost too much.
They day he got out his dad died of cancer. 7 Years later my mom died (she was like a mom to him). But the absolute hardest thing was our son passed on, at 22.
All this was just too much :(

Good luck to you both :thumbsup:

feelinglost
06-04-2009, 09:54 AM
We were talking about this just the other day. When they leave there and walk out the door that itself is a major shock, anything will set them off in a world of their own. Mine admits to being institutionalized and its a hard thing for us out here to really understand what it would be like. We were eating lunch one day off of plates and he asked if I wanted something off of his "tray". He kinda laughed about it and made a joke about being institutionalized. He said that just walking out the door would be enough to overwhelm him for days. His thoughts on release is to walk out the door and go to the nearest hotel for 3-4 days and not answer the door unless it was for food. I kinda laughed and he said that it wasn't what I thought. He said that he would have to be alone with someone he trusted to get used to not being inside anymore and hotel rooms are small and it would be a gradual adjustment. He also said that if we went straight home and even if a couple people came over then he would probably go and lock himself in the bathroom because that would be the smallest most confined space he would be able to find and that would give him comfort. That really made me think even more. He has been in for 16 years. He got moved to a different unit awhile back and he heard a semi go past on a highway that was pretty close. He almost cried right there on the phone telling me about it. I think most of us want to understand what they would feel leaving there, but unless we are have experienced it first hand I don't think anybody really can.

4real4real
06-04-2009, 04:42 PM
We were talking about this just the other day. When they leave there and walk out the door that itself is a major shock, anything will set them off in a world of their own. Mine admits to being institutionalized and its a hard thing for us out here to really understand what it would be like. We were eating lunch one day off of plates and he asked if I wanted something off of his "tray". He kinda laughed about it and made a joke about being institutionalized. He said that just walking out the door would be enough to overwhelm him for days. His thoughts on release is to walk out the door and go to the nearest hotel for 3-4 days and not answer the door unless it was for food. I kinda laughed and he said that it wasn't what I thought. He said that he would have to be alone with someone he trusted to get used to not being inside anymore and hotel rooms are small and it would be a gradual adjustment. He also said that if we went straight home and even if a couple people came over then he would probably go and lock himself in the bathroom because that would be the smallest most confined space he would be able to find and that would give him comfort. That really made me think even more. He has been in for 16 years. He got moved to a different unit awhile back and he heard a semi go past on a highway that was pretty close. He almost cried right there on the phone telling me about it. I think most of us want to understand what they would feel leaving there, but unless we are have experienced it first hand I don't think anybody really can.

Wow that was deep heartfelt an informative and I thank you for sharing. I loved the part when he asked was there anything you wanted off his tray. Because in the world which he lived for 16yrs it showed that he cared. He had your back. That was beautiful and precious. Good Luck to you both...amen!