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Old 07-23-2003, 03:11 AM
tlady tlady is offline
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Lightbulb Headed to Prison - Advice for My Boyfriend?

Hi All,

I have been sentenced to do approximatey 2 and 1/2 years in Danbury Fed. Prison Camp in Connecticut, for a white-collar crime. I've spent a lot of time in therapy working on my mistakes, and working toward positive change, and through it all, my boyfriend has been here for me, non-stop, without so much as a blink - even after sentencing. We've been together for about a year and a half, and he has reassured me up and down and back again that I am "the one" (I know that he is, too) and that he's not going anywhere - that he's willing to get through this with me. He has asked my Dad's blessing to get married when I get back, and we've been making lots of plans for a wedding, house, etc. when I return home.I should add that we live only 35 minutes from Danbury, so he plans to visit 2-3 days per week if possible.

My question is general advice: what can I do, as someone entering the system, to make this time easier on him? I've done my homework, and spoken with several women who were recently in Danbury, so I'm in an OK place about what I have to do, and I'm ready to go (on August 15th), but I can't help but worry a little about the "what-if's" of our relationship (what if he forgets me? what if he doesn't miss me? what if he meets someone else? those possibilities terrify me), and I want to do whatever I can to ease his pain, too.

Whew! Sorry for talking so much....but as the boyfriends, husbands, family members of inmates, what do you think I can do that will make his role easier, and help us to get through the next 2 1/2 years?

Thanks in advance for your help,

T.
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  #2  
Old 07-23-2003, 05:44 AM
life2thesequel life2thesequel is offline
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...let no post go unanswered....


I'll go with the obvious answer..... Show him the way to PTO.

We'll keep him company,.. and/or give him a well ventilated area to BREATHE in.

You will be living in close quarters wth ladies who will be to some extent a secondary support system.. He could probably use one too.

There will be things in your day and his that will be better left said to OTHER people. Your adjustment to your new digs will be considerably more involved than his adjustment. I say that because although you both will be adjusting to living without the constant 'normal' contact, you alone will be adjusting to living in prison and he will not have benefit of all the information. Perhaps he shouldn't.

If that time in 'suspended animation' for your relationship is to be also a period of growth and added depth, you'd do well to focus on it, and not necessarily the nuts and bolts of things that disturb you (and which he can do nothing about,)

The simple truth about any relationship is that "it is only, ever, what you Believe it to be". You've told us what you (and he) believe it to be now. Your ability and his ability to believe it's the same, or grown or diminished over time has a lot to do with how much you both contribute and participate.

I'd suggest that the contributions and participation be as positive, constructive, supportive and believable as the circumstances allow.

I suggest that you read, and maybe pass along the thread link below... It is one of the most common sorts of things that could occur to people left outside, and discussing it headlong with him before hand will save you both a lot of grief. It'll save you too from the mystery of wondering just how he does (or would) feel about such a practical matter.

Could spark a meaningful and necessary conversation. The sort you'd like to have while you are still in the same room, and can get and give a hug without getting a ticket from a cop over it.

PTO, if nothing else, can be a catalyst, evoking some thoughts and broaching subjects that really are basic. It also gives you, and him, a chance to 'borrow' these topics for discussion without necessarily laying claim to having that particular fear or apprehension...

A bit like reading the newspaper over breakfast, and discussing it.

Give it a try.
http://www.prisontalk.com/forums/sho...hlight=romance
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Old 07-23-2003, 09:03 AM
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Welcome to PTO! Show him PTO.... It's amazing how we're here for each other for support, advice, and help with the system...

Write as much, call as much and visit as much as you two can....

Deb
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Old 07-23-2003, 09:23 AM
laydee_vet laydee_vet is offline
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Welcome to PTO! You'll find a lot of support and empathy here and so will your fiancee. Encourage him to join! As life2thesequel stated above, there are things you probably should not tell him about your experiences and environment once you're inside. He'll get frustrated and feel awful because he can't do anything to help you or make you feel better. On the other hand, he'll want to know what's happening - what you do when, etc. so he can picture you doing it. Being so close to home will be a real blessing for both of you. Visiting often will be very important to keeping your relationship healthy. Seeing you frequently will ensure that he doesn’t forget you or why he loves you. Talk about your upcoming wedding on each visit and keep making lots of plans for the future together. I'm going to PM you with some other thoughts.

Yvette
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Old 07-23-2003, 09:47 AM
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Welcome to PTO, my wife has been 'in" for almost 2 years, 3 plus more to go. Steve&kids
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Old 07-23-2003, 03:54 PM
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tlady, yep bring him here to PTO.

If and I said "if", there are areas of understanding that's a bit fuzzy, there are plenty of people that are willing to enlighten, from different points of views.

We have such a good mix here at PTO that he can glean from and also, offer his insights on subjects.
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Old 07-23-2003, 06:46 PM
tlady tlady is offline
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Hi Everyone,

Wow, the level of support here is AWESOME, and I truly mean that. You all are great. My boyfriend/fiance is not huge on the internet and a pretty private person, but I will show him PTO myself and let him know it's a supportive place he can come anonymously to discuss his feelings.

All of the advice is much appreciated. Question: is there such a thing as writing too much? i.e., I have been told I will be able to use 300 minutes per month of phone time, so I plan to call him for at least five to ten minutes each day, and I also plan to write daily. We currently live together and have for quite some time, so I'm thinking that, plus visiting weekly and phone calls, will be helpful. But do any of you feel that hearing from your loved one is difficult or that it adds more salt to the wound? I don't think he would feel that way, but I can't be sure.

Also, some of you have said not to gripe about things he can't fix. I want to understand that more - does it hurt to hear about the positives, too? (i.e., "I had a good day today, I made a friend, I'm taking a correspondence class, it's not as bad as I thought it would be," etc.) I don't complain (much) about my situation now - only about missing him and not wanting to lose him (which he reassures me I won't).

Perhaps some of you could clarify a little more on what are helpful details and what are not helpful?

Thanks again so much for your help and advice.

T
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Old 07-23-2003, 08:27 PM
life2thesequel life2thesequel is offline
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The positives are great, the mediocres are okey doke too, the mundane and monotonous will get airplay as well..., and there are some things that you'll want or need to share with him because he IS your significant other...

What things I was thinking of when I wrote about some things he shouldn't perhaps know about live, are those that would fall in the realm of disturbing to him. Disturbing if he sees them as a potential annoyance or threat to you, or disturbing if the incident or topic doesn't immediately affect the day you are having and it would just cause him to worry needlessly, and feel helpless himself.

Example... 2 women get into it,... someone gets laid open and both go to the hole. You can and will thrash that out with the other ladies you live with, who are there, know the players, and can give you a sense of perspective or you'll get your own perspective worked out over time...

If for example, you see that, skip the yard after dinner and fire off a letter to him about it, (your own perspective of the incident if you saw it, ..or recounting the 4th hand scuttlebutt that makes it to your dayroom..) you are going to scare the pants off of him. Needlessly,.. You weren't in it, have sense enough not to be in it,..might not have a full grasp of the dynamic surrounding the deal, and 'Hi, greetings from prison... Woman got jumped on the yard this afternoon,.. how was your day,.. Miss you!'... Will make is head implode.

I suggest 2 things... the 48 hour rule. Good for all occasions.. Sniping and mouthing off between 2 folks you might live with... Give it 48 hours and they'll be laughing and scratching together..--or in the hole. If you've witnessed some other oddity of anti-social microcosm living and want to report it... Give THAT the same 48 hours before you write the letter. By then you might have a different (not kneejerk) understanding of the totality of circumstances.. the feeling will have come back to your face, and you might even be able to look back on it and half-laugh.

If you are absolutely itching to write something somewhere about this things you see and learn (to keep track of the interesting bits you can share with him at your leisure) get a journal going. No names.. intials or your own pseudonyms for players and enough verbs, adjectives, and key words to refresh your mind when you get to writing about that particular thing (if ever) in a letter to him.

There are a cadre of things, I think you'll know them when you see them or live them,, that you'd do well to put in your pocket and chalk them up to the 'some day we'll look back on this and laugh' column.

The daily calls will make that dreamhouse downpayment vaporize. If the lionshare of what you share is in letters, do yourself a favor of not writing about the evils of prison in haste. Do not write anything in anger EVER. The delay in receipt of the letters (both yours and his) will take some getting used to and the moment will have passed, the sun will have come out, someone will have calmed down and there in a mailbox--what you (or he) thinks might brighten the day is some storm cloud folded in thirds.

You might give your letters a read twice before they get sealed. Imagine for a moment how he would be calmed, informed, hugged or uplifted by reading it.

Since you have the visits too, cover the things that he has more questions about that you have mentioned. Give them the dimension that the might not get in a letter.

If you take anything from this rambling.... reading something startling in a letter from prison is just disarming to someone not there. I hope when/if you have reason to write such a thing that you give him a whole lot of information to work with.
You'll have 48 hours at least to absorb more information.(Regaling him by phone about this stuff is 1. a waste of your live $phone$ time, and a security concern... calls are monitored and recorded.) If, when you can talk to him across a table and answer appropriate followup question he has, let that be the BEST way to mention prisonesque behavior.

You won't be dodging movieoftheweek scenes left and right, but odd stuff does happen. Just acknowledge the impact it has on a person who cares about you and cannot do the manly thing of 'fixing' it.

More often (perhaps the ladies here would agree) the bad that they dread is the letter of profound lament or dispair or navel contemplation frought with 'your better off without me... go live your life...' kinda stuff.

By the time you get it, he's over that mood and frustration , he's sent a please forgive me letter.... You've only got the one to work with and you're getting ready to read his beads or take him up on it in your reply,----

Of course, the next day,.. you're sending what would be your best reply to his cloud of a letter into the mail,.. and by afternoon you get the 'please forgive me' letter...
If only you could get back the one that is coming his way next.

As I said,..That mail delay thing takes some real getting used to. It's another good reason to give EVERYTHING 48 hours to simmer.

That's my explanation.... Your mileage will vary.
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Old 09-16-2005, 10:08 AM
darkdayz darkdayz is offline
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that is the best piece of advise ive read in a long time without a doubt very well summed up and so true this forum is awsome i already feel alot better and just joined 30 min ago
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Old 09-18-2005, 02:40 AM
amanda8088 amanda8088 is offline
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Hi Tlady,
I'm sorry you both are going through this. I can't improve on the advice you have been given at all!

One thing I would suggest, is that even if your fiance'is not a computer person, like i never was, maybe you can show him how PTO works, and have him get used to it.

I've only been here a week or so, and the support here is beyond awesome!

You both will be in my thoughts and prayers!

(((((((hugs))))))))

amanda8088

Last edited by amanda8088; 09-18-2005 at 02:41 AM..
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