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Loving a Lifer For those whose loved one is serving a life sentence.

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  #1  
Old 12-17-2020, 07:31 AM
Revenwyn Revenwyn is offline
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What do you do when you come to the point where the life is being sucked out of you, when you see no hope for the future outside of prison?

Part of this is my personal circumstances- unemployed and permanently disabled, I can't see a point in my life where I'll be able to be the financial backbone parole would want to see for any chance of him getting out. I have no income whatsoever and currently live and am totally supported by my family.

Second issue is COVID- we are in two separate states anyway, which means it has now been 15 months since I've been able to visit thanks to this pandemic. In addition, most of this time I've barely managed to hear from him half an hour per week. We've both got major depression and anxiety issues and I've been so drained that I haven't even been able to write. He was in this spot the first half of the year, which led to me getting it this second half. Now that he's finally writing some again, I'm just emotionally unavailable.

I have no friends I can talk to about all this. I don't trust that a counselor would have any advice but to leave him. And that's not an option for me, leaving my only friend I've ever had behind. I've been in this for ten years now.

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Old 12-17-2020, 09:58 AM
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Well... what I did when I could not see a future beyond prison I broke it off. I've offered him friendship because he as well and the entire situation was sucking the life out of me - that happened during a very strict, 8-months lockdown here in Panama.
I just didn't have the energy anymore for this self-centered, self-obsessed, entitled ass. Love yes but it wasn't enough anymore. I had and still have to think about myself.
I was surprised how little I grieved and even though I miss the good times sometimes, I'm better off this way.
He never called again even though there was still enough money on the phone. I'll be leaving Panama soon and I will not have that phone number anymore, I unfriended his Mom on Facebook so once I'm out of here, he will have a hard time finding me because I'm not posting anything about moving back to Germany on Facebook or elsewhere... I need peace and quiet and a healthy start with no interruptions in Germany.

Do what's best for you, use your energy on yourself and put yourself first.
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Old 12-17-2020, 12:26 PM
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I love a lifer so I get it. Tough road! You deserve joy in your life and to be at peace. No relationship should take that away from you, or it becomes unhealthy. There are days when I despair -- especially with the very limited communication right now due to COVID-19 -- but I still see him as irreplaceable. He is doing the best that he can and that is all that I have the right to ask. If I ever determine that he isn't, then I will be gone. There is too much sacrifice to this type of relationship to allow for laziness or selfishness. Take care of you and be very kind to yourself!
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Old 12-17-2020, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Revenwyn View Post
What do you do when you come to the point where the life is being sucked out of you, when you see no hope for the future outside of prison?

Part of this is my personal circumstances- unemployed and permanently disabled, I can't see a point in my life where I'll be able to be the financial backbone parole would want to see for any chance of him getting out. I have no income whatsoever and currently live and am totally supported by my family.

Second issue is COVID- we are in two separate states anyway, which means it has now been 15 months since I've been able to visit thanks to this pandemic. In addition, most of this time I've barely managed to hear from him half an hour per week. We've both got major depression and anxiety issues and I've been so drained that I haven't even been able to write. He was in this spot the first half of the year, which led to me getting it this second half. Now that he's finally writing some again, I'm just emotionally unavailable.

I have no friends I can talk to about all this. I don't trust that a counselor would have any advice but to leave him. And that's not an option for me, leaving my only friend I've ever had behind. I've been in this for ten years now.

Thoughts?
I'm sorry you came on here begging for help and got exactly what you said you didn't want, and certainly not what you need. I ignore anyone who tells me to leave my man or says anything negative about him. Some people are just bitter and want to spread that to others reasons I can only guess.

If you can't live without him, you can't live without him. I can't live without mine and refuse to the world break us. When it gets bad, I do stuff that reminds me of him, makes me feel close to him. I record all our phone calls and listen to them, reread his letters, stare at his pictures, write him letters, take pictures for him. We're currently writing a book together. So he'll tell me stuff over the phone, then I can write it later when I listen, rewind if I need, etc. I write him books (I know, probably not your alley, but you never know!). I printed out a large picture for him with several pages of a fantasy world we're both into. It's about 12 sheets of paper. He taped them together forming our map. Then I write riddles and puzzles for him to solve. When he solves one, he gets a prize! They're all things he's asked for, like books and a calendar, but this lets things stretch out longer, gives us something to work on together. He loves it! And I love making them for him. Good luck, sweetie. Hang in there (Feel free to ignore my comment as I just saw I'm in the "lifer" thread and my man is not a lifer. I just wrote because you needed some help )
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Old 12-18-2020, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Revenwyn View Post
What do you do when you come to the point where the life is being sucked out of you, when you see no hope for the future outside of prison?

Part of this is my personal circumstances- unemployed and permanently disabled, I can't see a point in my life where I'll be able to be the financial backbone parole would want to see for any chance of him getting out. I have no income whatsoever and currently live and am totally supported by my family.

Second issue is COVID- we are in two separate states anyway, which means it has now been 15 months since I've been able to visit thanks to this pandemic. In addition, most of this time I've barely managed to hear from him half an hour per week. We've both got major depression and anxiety issues and I've been so drained that I haven't even been able to write. He was in this spot the first half of the year, which led to me getting it this second half. Now that he's finally writing some again, I'm just emotionally unavailable.

I have no friends I can talk to about all this. I don't trust that a counselor would have any advice but to leave him. And that's not an option for me, leaving my only friend I've ever had behind. I've been in this for ten years now.

Thoughts?



Hello Revenwyn,
I think many of us understand what a difficult bridge it is to project yourself outside of your prison walls when you have a relationship with a lifer. For a very long time all I thought about was "if maybe one day he'll get out", he's a lifer so it's almost impossible. With time we understood that happiness was not the end, not the destination but the path. So we enjoy every day with my lover. It will soon be 15 years, it has sometimes been very difficult, but we are more and more in love every day. We have created a routine for ourselves, which reassures him a lot. Together we have managed to find this balance so that everyone is happy.
It is important that you are well in your life, and that he is well in his. Take the time you need to reflect and build your life, according to you, don't lock yourself into this relationship, it will only bring him frustration, and he will feel even worse and he will have the impression that you are sacrificing everything for him. Love is not a sacrifice, it's a sharing, at least that's how I see it.
I don't know if you can send him emails, or make video visits.
I hope that beautiful days will come for you. Don't feel guilty about taking time for yourself, to be good with others you have to be good with yourself first.
Good luck to you <3
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Old 01-04-2021, 12:15 AM
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Aaaand now he has COVID and I haven't heard from him in a week.
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Old 01-04-2021, 07:31 AM
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No matter which path you choose, it is always true that if you don’t take care of yourself first, it’s hard to be there for someone else. Perhaps focus on “baby steps” to improve your own health, finances and mental strength, and you’ll be in a better position to help your loved one and others in your life.
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Old 01-04-2021, 08:51 AM
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Aaaand now he has COVID and I haven't heard from him in a week.
Mine got covid. He hasn't written either. He's the only worker in his wing and collapses when the day is over. He calls about every 3 days. Sometimes I get more. But I go back to work soon and know we won't get to talk much when that happens until his quarantine situation changes. It's heartbreaking. I was out with a friend yesterday when he called for the first time in days. I pulled off the interstate and onto the side of the road. She had zero problem with me halting our outing to talk to my man as she understood. Idk what I would do with the support of my friends. They've seen what this man has done for me, how he's changed me for the better. You need a support structure, a real life support structure. This forum is great, but it may not be enough for you. It takes time and is difficult, but I would try to make friends in the real world, nonjudgmental friends who can support you in this. Be ready to support back. Friendship is not a oneway street.
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Old 01-07-2021, 02:11 AM
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Aaaand now he has COVID and I haven't heard from him in a week.
Hello, hope you will get news soon. With covid communication is harder, quarantine, no phone calls, mail is so slow . It teaches patience... I always try to find the good side of a situation.
Sometimes with J. , we chose to don't talk for a week, to take the time to step back, think about our relationship is, what we have to do to be fine as individuals and as a couple. We enjoy this little break, sometimes our relation it's like a car on the highway, it's nice to slow down.
Take this time for you, don't be worry for him. It's very important in this kind of relationship to have built or to build something strong and grounded outside. We can just live for our men, we are not in prison. Loving a lifer is long, long, journey.

I would like to wish you an happy new year.
Hope everything gonna be fine and wonderful for everyone here and for loved ones.
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Old 01-07-2021, 10:46 PM
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A good therapist won’t tell you what to do or try and influence you. Their job is to offer support and help safeguard your emotional health. Hugs to you.
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Old 01-17-2021, 10:02 AM
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If you aren’t on any meds for your depression you might want to explore that with a good doctor ... anti-depressants have come a long way, and the right meds can make a world of difference and might help you get to a frame of mind where you could explore employment suited to your disability. In my state there’s Vocational Rehab that specializes in helping the disabled establish a career, and they help you along the way with school, etc. and I believe they help get you lined up with a doctor who oversees your meds; surely your state has something similar. There’s nothing like being financially independent to boost your self-esteem! Good luck!
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Old Yesterday, 11:13 PM
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If you aren’t on any meds for your depression you might want to explore that with a good doctor ... anti-depressants have come a long way, and the right meds can make a world of difference and might help you get to a frame of mind where you could explore employment suited to your disability. In my state there’s Vocational Rehab that specializes in helping the disabled establish a career, and they help you along the way with school, etc. and I believe they help get you lined up with a doctor who oversees your meds; surely your state has something similar. There’s nothing like being financially independent to boost your self-esteem! Good luck!
Been there, tried all of the above.

I have several different disabilities that make working in ANY environment impossible. Try not being able to be in fluorescent lights for more than 10 minutes without screaming in pain from overstimulation. I also have synesthesia and selective mutism. I can't even make my own phone calls for appointments. I can talk to exactly two people on the phone, my husband and my mom. That's it. And some days I'm even mute with them and they have to carry the conversation. Not even vocational rehab was able to find anything for me.

I've been given an Autism Spectrum Disorder level 2 diagnosis "Needs Substantial Support" and basically am unable to live alone. With family, yes. With a supportive spouse, fine. The problem is if I take disability with this label they want to put me in a group home, and also my money will be given to a representative payee. I have always handled my own finances, they say I can't.

And I can't have that if I'm going to try to get my husband out. There's absolutely no way that he would be allowed to parole to me if I were in those circumstances. They'd see him as having taken advantage of me. Which isn't true. He was my childhood best friend and I knew I wanted to marry him from the time I was twelve.

But it all just seems hopeless. Even before my official diagnoses one therapist felt I had enough markers of autism to cut communication between us while he was in a halfway house. And we're afraid they'll do it again, so he's made no moves to try to get into a halfway house again. And if we think parole will pull this shit on us as well, then he's deciding to just stay in.
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Old Today, 05:19 AM
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Been there, tried all of the above.

I have several different disabilities that make working in ANY environment impossible. Try not being able to be in fluorescent lights for more than 10 minutes without screaming in pain from overstimulation. I also have synesthesia and selective mutism. I can't even make my own phone calls for appointments. I can talk to exactly two people on the phone, my husband and my mom. That's it. And some days I'm even mute with them and they have to carry the conversation. Not even vocational rehab was able to find anything for me.

I've been given an Autism Spectrum Disorder level 2 diagnosis "Needs Substantial Support" and basically am unable to live alone. With family, yes. With a supportive spouse, fine. The problem is if I take disability with this label they want to put me in a group home, and also my money will be given to a representative payee. I have always handled my own finances, they say I can't.

And I can't have that if I'm going to try to get my husband out. There's absolutely no way that he would be allowed to parole to me if I were in those circumstances. They'd see him as having taken advantage of me. Which isn't true. He was my childhood best friend and I knew I wanted to marry him from the time I was twelve.

But it all just seems hopeless. Even before my official diagnoses one therapist felt I had enough markers of autism to cut communication between us while he was in a halfway house. And we're afraid they'll do it again, so he's made no moves to try to get into a halfway house again. And if we think parole will pull this shit on us as well, then he's deciding to just stay in.
You are dealing with a ton of stuff just with yourself and that would put anyone close to the edge and I feel that dealing with your husband and him coming home eventually will put you and this relationship over the edge. No love in the world will "heal" you personally or be stable enough for this relationship because you are both bringing in a lot of weight into this relationship.
You might now want to hear it but to me it feels like - I could be wrong of course - you've been each others crutch during his prison stint(s) and now with him coming home you are made aware of all the challenges you are facing just with yourself. It might be too much to handle.
Being apart due to him being in prison made it "easier" to deal with but now you are facing a new "reality" and I think you are taking on too much. I understand you want to be his wife and support and love him but you have to start with yourself first. Love yourself first, take care of yourself first and heal and continue to receive treatment. You cannot be the "savior" of your husband on top of all the challenges you are facing. No matter how much you want it and love him. You will lose yourself in the process, health wise and mentally.
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