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Old 09-09-2019, 12:24 PM
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Hello, welcome to PTO officially (hey, even lurking, when you post, that's sort of our heads-up that you're here now.) I see you're new to posting and you've been writing writing to a girl in prison.


Granted, I've got the benefit of years of hindsight and a year of NarAnon, so I'm probably going to see things a bit different. So please....take my response....as someone who's been there, seen a lot, and my criticism is intended to be constructive and not a judgment of you or your character. The fact that you're doing all you're doing to learn tells me that you're most likely a pretty good dude who wants to have a successful relationship with someone who's incarcerated, and I can speak from experience, we are a rare breed. I know this from the experience of visiting and realizing that very, very few women in the visiting room had someone there who was a significant other. So in no way am I going to tell you to not date her or not meet her or not try this. Frankly, I like to joke that we're like a secret society. We should have little medallions that we walk around flashing at each other so we can spot each other in the wild if we either went through this in the past or are going through it right now.



But I am going to play a bit of devil's advocate on the other side, so please bear with me.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Onetruemisfit View Post
Started writing a girl in prison a couple of months ago. She has already been in prison a few months before I started writing. I knew her as a customer from working at a gas station. Tried to get to know her before getting locked up by adding her on Facebook but never heard from her

I have some similar initial thoughts on this to what I'm reading to others. Prior to being locked up, she wasn't particularly responsive. Why, now, are you a focal point for her? I would definitely question this. It doesn't mean that she doesn't like you or that she doesn't now want something. But I do think it's smart to keep this in mind and be wary of any red flags you might see in her behavior. Is she about you? Or is she doing this to benefit herself?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Onetruemisfit View Post
I am 32 and she is 21. She is in prison for meth and will be released sometime in May unless she gets an earlier release. She was sentenced to 11 months. This is her first time in prison. She has a history of abuse and a mother who is in prison who uses.

The age difference, while not a deal-breaker, gives me pause both ways. Why, at 32, are you interested in a woman that much younger than you? (Beyond the usual reasons. LOL! I'm not blind, buddy, and I was on the dating scene for a while after Dee and I broke up, so I get it. But then they talked and...well.....some things just can't be overcome.) And why, at 21, would she be interested in you? Questions to ask both ways because compatibility is huge for long-term relationship success. I'm not saying compatibility can't overcome an age gap. It can. I know it can because one girl I dated recently was about 8 years younger than me and if it weren't for her tendency to binge drink, I think it could have worked on an emotional and intellectual level. But it's definitely something you need to be sure of.


More concerning is the drug addiction bit. Is she getting help for it in prison? Is she doing 12 step or taking some sort of program seriously? Will she continue to do so after she gets out? Meth is not an easy drug to kick (are any of them? But this one seems to have a particularly tight grip on people in my experience.) Given that her mom has issues with it and a history of incarceration, both nature and nurture are working against her here. Does she have the emotional maturity and wherewithall to overcome that?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Onetruemisfit View Post
I sent her quite a bit of money early on as I wrote her and she was interested and wrote back. Since then we have written lots of letters. I've sent her a lot of money and letters with drawings and greeting cards, post cards, song lyrics etc. I've also sent her books.

Give a woman, especially a young woman, money and attention, and you've got her for as long as that money and attention will stretch. What happens when you cut out money? (Probably consistent with what others are saying.) To me that's the key. Not saying cut her off, but if you cut it down to maybe basic necessities at most....will she still be into you?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Onetruemisfit View Post
I try to send her a minimum of $50 every two weeks sometimes more.

That's sweet. But what is she doing with that money?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Onetruemisfit View Post
Things have been a bit rocky as of late in the letters. We are not dating we haven't really talked in person yet. Sometimes she makes it sound like we are dating or there is potential, then she said she wanted to be single for a year after release. Then she said she wanted to move away after release and go to a recovery home and move to Florida. I didn't like this because I want her to be around. Made me reply a little upset.

I don't like this because it sounds like she's yanking around on what she wants to do. A recovery home in Florida? I think I've seen this scenario on an adult website.....and I'm only half kidding. And this is where my impression changes a bit because what it tells me is that she does not have a serious commitment to you. "She makes it sound like we are dating or there is potential" is not the same as actually dating or having an actual commitment. This tends to lean me more toward she's playing you. But given her young age, it could also be the confusion of youth. Again......a reason why I generally think women 10 years younger than me are nice to look at, but I wouldn't want to take them home to mom and dad.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Onetruemisfit View Post
She has been calling though and the calls seem to go better because we can express ourselves and understand each other better.

This is a more positive sign. but again, no commitment is what I'm reading.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Onetruemisfit View Post
I am a recovering drug addict myself. I want to help her as much as I can with finding a job, going to church, going to aa, taking her to and paying for some kind of therapy. Any way that I can help.

https://www.nar-anon.org/ It's not your problem. You didn't cause it. You can't cure it. You can't control it. Three C's to live by. You need to be strong in yourself. You can be supportive. But to go to that extent....how is she going to figure out how to look for jobs? How is she taking ownership of anything that she's doing in her recovery and self-improvement if you're pretty much doing it for her? And what happens if she doesn't want to?


Recovery from drug addiction, as I've learned from "double winners" in Nar-Anon (people who are addicts in recovery who have a loved one with addiction,) is unique to each and every person. Even if you have experience in recovery or have worked in recovery or whatever the case is, ultimately it's up to each addict to figure out what works for them. We just kind of have to let them do it. Otherwise...we become addicted to them and to their addiction. Co-dependency is real.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Onetruemisfit View Post
Well, I got approved for visits and may be visiting her for the first time this week. Excited and anxious about that. I want to visit her every couple of weeks. I think it will go well. I just want to share my story with you and would love to answer any questions.

Yes, definitely go visit. I hope that it goes well. I hope that it makes things more real both ways. But make sure you're not going in blind.


As to your second significant post (just so I can compress into one response, let's look at that now.......


Quote:
Originally Posted by Onetruemisfit View Post
Okay so I want to make the point that she talks about me to her grandma and brother during their visits. I have added her brother on xbox live and we play games together and get along well. He also came to my work to visit me. I know this doesn't guarantee anything but it does seem to show that I mean something to her.

Here's something I learned with Dee....when a drug addict wants to manipulate you to continue to get what they want over a long period of time, they WILL put you in the middle of their family. Their objective isn't to care about your feelings. Their objective is to continue to get from you whatever it is they want to get from you. I got to know several members of her family, and I love them, they're great people. Her sister and I remain really great friends because her sister and I got really close over the years and our friendship exists independently of that relationship and has for some time. I know my situations are not universally applicable, but I have heard enough stories from others to know they're also not unique to me. So proceed with caution, even with this.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Onetruemisfit View Post
As far as giving her space, yes and I want to help her with her recovery if she is willing to heed to my advice. (Going to AA, church, getting therapy etc.) Me follow her back into drugs? No. I'll never do that again. My sobriety is important to me.

9 years of dealing with an addict taught me that they don't do anything they don't want to do. Speak your peace. Then let her do what she's going to do.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Onetruemisfit View Post
I did try messaging her on Facebook before she went to prison and she didn't respond but that doesn't mean much. She was messed up at that time, probably didn't know who I was, she may have not of even see then message. I have no idea. I don't think that says much. I'm focused on the here and now.

You might want to ask her. But beyond that. Let's look at this bit real quick, because I want you to think about it. "She was messed up at that time." That's the key thing that stands out more than any of the rest.


Let's go back to the beginning of your story for a moment. You're working at a gas station. She's a customer. I'm not sure how much you knew about her from interacting with her there, but apparently at this point you know enough to know she was "messed up at the time." Then she compounds that problem by getting arrested and going to jail.


You, at the time, had no obligation to her. You're about 11 years older than her. You know she has problems. She ignored your message (or didn't see it.) Then the problems got compounded by her going to jail.


And forgive me, because I've been there in my own way and I don't mean this as an attack, but hindsight kind of puts up some alarm bells even though my situation wasn't exactly the same....so I need to ask. What part of all of that screamed at you "I need to write to this girl and give her money" when she went to jail? What are you getting out of this relationship, whatever it is?


If I am you and in your shoes, those are the types of questions I am asking myself right now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Onetruemisfit View Post
As far as stopping giving her money, I almost did when she said that she wants to be single for a year. I think she was just upset at me. I'm not sure. I know that she gets at least some money from her grandma. I'm pretty sure she does anyhow. But I have been in jail and I know how important it is to have some money on your books. I don't want to stop supporting her. I make sure that I take care of myself financially as well. She won't take me to the cleaners. Anything I send her is my own choice. Bills, savings etc come fist on my part and then what I have left and decide to give I give.

Your money is your money, just like my money is my money. But man, The things I could have done for myself if I had kept my money to myself and let her figure out her own stuff. That's why it comes back to asking...why am I doing this? What am I getting out of this? For me hindsight is 20/20. But given the time and money I invested, my return on that was low. I knew I wasn't going to get money back. But the emotional/psychological return was very, very low. And now she's back to doing what she does. And I'm not stressing it. Because it's not my problem. And I have to caution others that that MIGHT be the end-result of their situation as well.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Onetruemisfit View Post
She has given mixed signals as far as us dating/not dating. I think it makes since though because we haven't even really met and talked in person yet. That's what I'm really excited for the visit. It may be easier to tell how this could go from there. I don't expect her to want to be with me without even interacting with me in person much.

Prepare for that to feel really good and for it also to not mean much beyond that moment. Relationships take time. One meeting might feel good but it won't tell you everything. Keep your head about you.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Onetruemisfit View Post
Part of me just wanted to get to know her and build a relationship and we have been doing that so it's totally worth it. At the same time, when she said things like she wanted to be single for a year and she wanted to move far away after being released that bothered me. Part of the reason for her saying that stuff could be because I told her I was seeing a girl when I first wrote her. Yet we were only friends. I wasn't officially dating any one. She seems to want me to be committed to her without her being committed to me. I think she had no right to be upset about me being with someone when I first started talking to her. I know that she has bad mental habits that she needs to work on. Dealing with problems etc.

Okay. This is confusing to me.


Why would you tell her that you were seeing someone when you first wrote her when you weren't?


If you were interested in someone else (I can't tell if that was, in fact, the case or not,) why would you write to her and put money on her books? (That seems to be counter-intuitive toward whoever you were interested at the time.)


You say you don't think she had any right to be upset about you being with someone when you started talking to her. You don't have a committed relationship. What right do you have to determine what she should or should not think?








Okay...that sort of concludes my thinking. Anything that's harsh...is nothing personal, as I explained at the beginning. For me personally....I would be staying away from this situation if I were in your shoes. But it's your life, your happiness and your decision. Whatever you do and however that visit goes, I wish you luck.


-Eric
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