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  #1  
Old 11-30-2019, 12:18 AM
Ifuwanit Ifuwanit is offline
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Default Anybody ever forgive their new pen pal right off the bat?

Hi, I wrote my first inmate the other day. I had never even though about writing a prisoner before the morning I contemplated writing her. My Saturday morning day off routine normally starts with me messing around on my phone for a couple hours. As most have you know as you look at a picture of something/someone on a search engine, it often shows you “similar images” on the bottom. And a picture of a really pretty girl caught my eye, “write an inmate.” I looked all into her and discovered she had a drug problem and me had been to in-house rehab 4 times and currently haven’t had a drink for 6 years, thought I could throw her some mentoring and companionship. Never wrote her, I was looking for her on another site and somebody making a really goofy face caused me to halt the scrolling page. I liked what she wrote and she was only 5 hours away. I found out she had been waiting for sentence for 3 years and had only recently settled into her new home for the next 12. She did something pretty bad. She wasn’t in the room and her friends/family seemed sincere in saying they didn’t believe she intended it to happen, but a man was shot and killed. But although she didn’t pull the trigger nor seemed death wasn’t the intention, her role was bad enough the victims parents publicly held her responsible. So this was toiling for me. And I think the worst sounding part is what every article quoted her saying, why him? “because he was an easy target”. Every pen pal-ers fear, becoming a target. No one will write her (sure plenty will). So I thought I’d take the challenge. But I had to find a way to forgive her, for real, or I couldn’t write. And after days and finding things out and taking things from my past, I was able to. So my first letter, first paragraph adressed the forgiveness, before even saying hello or my name. From most of the experienced writers here, all seems I’m supposed to start slow and casual. I just jumped write down the throat into the belly. I’m not too worried about the getting used, I adressed no money in the letter. Also been tried before in rehab, I wised up before it was too late. So anybody support the forgiveness in the very first paragraph? Anybody ever forgiven their PP? If no, what is starting off like that, that’s not good? Maybe, I’m not getting a letter back, huh? Thanks talkers.
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Old 11-30-2019, 12:26 AM
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Well... in my personal opinion when I decided to write in an inmate forgiveness was the last thing on my mind. I'm not the one who has to forgive anything. That's between the inmate and the victim(s) and God. And writing to an inmate is something I did out of wanting to support and entertain (to say it more broadly) and to maybe also find someone on eye-level to communicate with.
But you do what you have to do and feel like it and see how your pen-pal reacts. To me it seems you were overthinking the whole pen-pal thing a bit but just let it roll and see what comes of it.
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Old 11-30-2019, 02:41 AM
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I think it’s important to go into a penpalship non-judgemental.
If you aren’t okay with her past, don’t write her.
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Old 11-30-2019, 10:43 AM
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This reads very self-important to me. If the “forgiveness” was for you, as you claim it is, you needn’t have written an entire paragraph detailing the forgiveness to her. I gather from your tone that you expect she’ll be deeply touched by your benevolence or something, but in reality I suspect she’ll find it bizarre and off-putting, if not downright offensive. Also, unless someone is specifically looking for a mentoring relationship, I don’t think you should begin writing with that purpose.
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Old 11-30-2019, 01:21 PM
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Who are you to forgive? (Rhetorical of course).
The tone of your post here is off putting in it’s patronizing tone.
Write because you want to communicate with another human, not because you feel like some sort of savior.
People inside will read you like a book.
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Old 11-30-2019, 02:09 PM
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I have never had a pen pal but honestly it sounds like it's not a relationship for you.

I have a mwi I have never judged what he has done, I definitely don't feel like I have anything to forgive him for. Unless someone commits a crime against you, you don't have anything to forgive them for.

It seems odd to me why you want to write. Does she want mentoring? Most people want companionship.

I would make sure you are both on the same page on the type of relationship you want. I hope everything works out for the both of you.
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Old 11-30-2019, 03:41 PM
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You don't need to forgive her or mentor her. All you have to do is offer non judgemental friendship if you can't do that then leave her alone.
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Old 12-01-2019, 01:09 AM
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Smells like the ole patented savior male attitude. I wish us men would stop doing this. Who they were and what they did doesn't matter. You either deal with it, or dont write. Your opinion should form from regular conversation, and I promise she doesn't give two shits if some random person "forgives her" Cmon guys, stop trying to save women who don't want it, or need it.
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Old 12-01-2019, 01:41 AM
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Forgive me if I'm reading this wrong.
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Old 12-01-2019, 02:12 AM
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Forgive me if I'm reading this wrong.
e-Tex, I’d forgive you but I may be to scarred to ever do that again. I’m joking I’m joking.
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Old 12-01-2019, 02:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Marseille View Post
This reads very self-important to me. If the “forgiveness” was for you, as you claim it is, you needn’t have written an entire paragraph detailing the forgiveness to her. I gather from your tone that you expect she’ll be deeply touched by your benevolence or something, but in reality I suspect she’ll find it bizarre and off-putting, if not downright offensive. Also, unless someone is specifically looking for a mentoring relationship, I don’t think you should begin writing with that purpose.
I must say, yours cut the deepest. But I did ask for opinion so I won’t rebut. But agree I did fear she might find it bizarre and off-putting, and possibly down right offensive. But I couldn’t take it back because then I would just be catering to what I thought she wanted to hear. And then where is it? But I admit it is part of why I asked the question. Coming on strong is a risk.
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Old 12-01-2019, 03:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Peacefinder View Post
I have never had a pen pal but honestly it sounds like it's not a relationship for you.

I have a mwi I have never judged what he has done, I definitely don't feel like I have anything to forgive him for. Unless someone commits a crime against you, you don't have anything to forgive them for.

It seems odd to me why you want to write. Does she want mentoring? Most people want companionship.

I would make sure you are both on the same page on the type of relationship you want. I hope everything works out for the both of you.
You made me realize something. My original intention was to “offer” mentoring and advice to someone who had and early start on a hard meth addiction. I have a lot to offer in that subject and from the circles I ran in, I may have been correct that there was a good chance she would have accepted advice. But I switched the person I was going to write and my intentions of mentoring may have leaked over improperly. So, yeah, maybe she doesn’t need a mentor.
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Old 12-01-2019, 03:48 AM
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Smells like the ole patented savior male attitude. I wish us men would stop doing this. Who they were and what they did doesn't matter. You either deal with it, or dont write. Your opinion should form from regular conversation, and I promise she doesn't give two shits if some random person "forgives her" Cmon guys, stop trying to save women who don't want it, or need it.
I know what White Knight Syndrome is. I haven’t much to gain by being this person’s savior. And I don’t think it’s wrong to feel good about helping people. But I’m more of the, “Scrooge’s Christmas miracle speech 1:05 - 2:15”, feel good. Not the self serving, “I’m insecure so I need to make someone else feel good so I can feel good”, feel good.
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Old 12-01-2019, 10:56 AM
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I know what White Knight Syndrome is. I haven’t much to gain by being this person’s savior. And I don’t think it’s wrong to feel good about helping people. But I’m more of the, “Scrooge’s Christmas miracle speech 1:05 - 2:15”, feel good. Not the self serving, “I’m insecure so I need to make someone else feel good so I can feel good”, feel good.
That's what the white knight does. Does it, but doesn't think they are. You self-admitted you said this was a very pretty girl. What if she wasn't? You felt the attraction with a picture, so deep down you subconsciously positioned yourself as a mentor and savior. Sending a letter with the first paragraph of forgiveness, is bizarre and already comes across as, "I'm better than you". When I met my wife's brother, I didn't tell him, hey you robbed a bank 15 years ago, but I forgive you for it. He's family. You are some random guy, who I'm going to guess is older and wrote someone much younger then you. You are definitely not the only person she has got a letter from.
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Old 12-01-2019, 12:43 PM
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People inside have already gone through the shame and blame cycle during some of the darkest moments of their lives. And they are suffering every day as a result of what they did. What they are looking for is someone who can take them exactly how they are at that moment. You don't know the person to know what work she has done. You don't know the history of her case, or whether justice was really done. It is not acceptance to start from the "I forgive you" stance. That is implied judgement. And it takes that person back to a very bad time immediately. My man would never have answered a letter that came like that. I doubt she does either.
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Old 12-01-2019, 01:16 PM
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People inside have already gone through the shame and blame cycle during some of the darkest moments of their lives. And they are suffering every day as a result of what they did. What they are looking for is someone who can take them exactly how they are at that moment. You don't know the person to know what work she has done. You don't know the history of her case, or whether justice was really done. It is not acceptance to start from the "I forgive you" stance. That is implied judgement. And it takes that person back to a very bad time immediately. My man would never have answered a letter that came like that. I doubt she does either.
My wife has a couple people posted on a site, and they share these letters with her. From you need to exercise, to let us find god together, to talking down to them. There is some weird trigger for dudes that want to spill their wisdom and how much these female inmates need them in their lives. Be a friend, talk to them like a person, listen to their story free of the bullshit.
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Old 12-09-2019, 03:06 PM
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It sounds more like you needed to come to terms with what happened in her past and you started there in your letter...You were real and upfront with your thoughts, no question about that..I'm guessing the tone in the rest of the letter was quite different then that first paragraph. You were very transparent at the very start...no clue how she'll take it, but soon enough you will see.
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Old 05-14-2020, 09:17 PM
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Guess she wasn’t offended. And no.... I’m not a money source. I just kept real with my feelings. Didn’t sugar coat them. She actually got bored with the typical pen pal, “Gee hey, how’s it goin”, crap really quick. They don’t want generic friends in there.
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Old 05-15-2020, 02:15 AM
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Hi, I wrote my first inmate the other day. I had never even though about writing a prisoner before the morning I contemplated writing her. My Saturday morning day off routine normally starts with me messing around on my phone for a couple hours. As most have you know as you look at a picture of something/someone on a search engine, it often shows you “similar images” on the bottom. And a picture of a really pretty girl caught my eye, “write an inmate.” I looked all into her and discovered she had a drug problem and me had been to in-house rehab 4 times and currently haven’t had a drink for 6 years, thought I could throw her some mentoring and companionship. Never wrote her, I was looking for her on another site and somebody making a really goofy face caused me to halt the scrolling page. I liked what she wrote and she was only 5 hours away. I found out she had been waiting for sentence for 3 years and had only recently settled into her new home for the next 12. She did something pretty bad. She wasn’t in the room and her friends/family seemed sincere in saying they didn’t believe she intended it to happen, but a man was shot and killed. But although she didn’t pull the trigger nor seemed death wasn’t the intention, her role was bad enough the victims parents publicly held her responsible. So this was toiling for me. And I think the worst sounding part is what every article quoted her saying, why him? “because he was an easy target”. Every pen pal-ers fear, becoming a target. No one will write her (sure plenty will). So I thought I’d take the challenge. But I had to find a way to forgive her, for real, or I couldn’t write. And after days and finding things out and taking things from my past, I was able to. So my first letter, first paragraph adressed the forgiveness, before even saying hello or my name. From most of the experienced writers here, all seems I’m supposed to start slow and casual. I just jumped write down the throat into the belly. I’m not too worried about the getting used, I adressed no money in the letter. Also been tried before in rehab, I wised up before it was too late. So anybody support the forgiveness in the very first paragraph? Anybody ever forgiven their PP? If no, what is starting off like that, that’s not good? Maybe, I’m not getting a letter back, huh? Thanks talkers.

If you want to mentor go take a class in teaching or coaching. But if you want to offer friendship, companionship then penpal-ing is a good place to start. Prisoners are already being punished as it is by being in jail. They already feel guilty or remorseful for their crimes and they sure as hell don't want anyone mentoring or forgiving them for their sins. Before you start to write this poor woman again take a few days and look within yourself and see how you would have liked it if the tables were turned. I bet you wouldn't appreciate it.
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Old 05-15-2020, 02:29 AM
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Well... in my personal opinion when I decided to write in an inmate forgiveness was the last thing on my mind. I'm not the one who has to forgive anything. That's between the inmate and the victim(s) and God. And writing to an inmate is something I did out of wanting to support and entertain (to say it more broadly) and to maybe also find someone on eye-level to communicate with.
But you do what you have to do and feel like it and see how your pen-pal reacts. To me it seems you were overthinking the whole pen-pal thing a bit but just let it roll and see what comes of it.
Of the responses so far, this is the one I agree with most... it represents my views also. In letters I never talk about my forgiving the person, because I have not been the one hurt... and I usually wait until my penpal knows me well enough and starts mention the feelings of shame/guilt he has carried for years... then I try to offer him some nonjudgemental support, as an independent person who was not involved in the case or trial. I try to see it from his perspective, and take the bigger picture into account... I don't condone crimes, but I try to point out that they come from complex situations that are not always fully addressed in court.
I try never to come across as a better person than him, because I feel it would be offensive. I often tell him that I am human too, and I make mistakes, though they just weren't ever enough to get me locked up.
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Old 05-29-2020, 12:08 PM
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I have had a number of inmate penpals, and I have never felt the need to forgive. After all, I wasn't the one that was directly injured by their actions.

One of my penpals I decided to condone her actions, as she was the victim of abuse. I think that she should have found a better way to escape the abuse, but I can understand her motives.

A couple of my penpals I feel sorry for as their sentence doesn't seem to fit the crime.

Three of my penpals I believe are right where they belong and I hope they never get out. I feel that we should have some other system for dealing with people like these, but I don't want them out in the general public.

I am not sure that being 'non-judgmental' is the correct term for how I feel. I will look at the facts, as I know them (acknowledging that facts are distorted in the media) and may decide that the person deserves what they are getting. That doesn't mean that I won't have any compassion for them. I don't need to accept what they did in order to be a friend.
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