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

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  #1  
Old 09-21-2012, 11:08 AM
StayShort StayShort is offline
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Default How to help him realize the reality?

My fiancé and I are MWI. He is the greatest gift I have ever received in my life. I support him and stand by him no matter what. The problem I am having is, he is a lifer with the possibilty of parole in 17 years. I know many success stories about lifers getting out as does he but im worried that he might be to confident. He has been in close to 8 years, two in county, six in prison. We are both young (25) & I dont think he has really grasped the idea that parole might not come on his first,second or even third time up. Since he went to prison he has two tickets, both for violence on an officer and he has been in a Super Max since he got there. So he has two pretty big strikes against him. He finally got reclassed to a lower yard because he is no longer a 5/5, that is an amazing thing considering its the first time he is 4/4. My problem is he is still so stuck on this idea that he has nothing to worry about and will get out first time seeing the board. I always want to keep his spirits high and give him hope but I dont know what to do because it is like he doesnt even think of what will happen if he is denied. Ive already mentally prepared myself as much as I can incase he does get denied. He just says its no problem that wont happen. Can anyone give me any advice on how to handle this? I dont want to be negative but I know the reality and he ignores it. I was also wondering if that could just be his age and that maybe reality hasnt hit yet and it will once he gets older? Any advice would help. Thank you!
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Old 09-21-2012, 11:31 AM
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I KIND of went through something similar to this!! My babe is a 3 striker.. 165 years to life!! I take his sentence for what it is! So when he talks about coming home n stuff, I used to let it fly over my head and not really fall into that conversation cause in my head I'm thinking, "dam babe you know you ain't ever getting out!" I know sometimes he got a little hurt cause he til me that i don't even fantasize or dream about him gettin out.. Long story short.. Your man is well aware of his sentence, I don't think he's oblivious to his sentence.. But all they got is HOPE and FAITH!! I would rather him walking around with the attitude that he will get out one day, rather than living that he isn't!! Even though we know what the reality is.. There's nothin wrong with dreaming and fantasizing with them, it takes them outa that shitty world they live in!! Hope this helped a little!! <3
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Old 09-21-2012, 08:49 PM
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i am going through the same thing
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Old 09-22-2012, 07:32 AM
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Would you really want him to face probability? Because that's what it is....it could go either way. It probably won't happen the first time, but never say never.

Marty is a lifer. In Florida, that means natural life, period. I would never tell him or write to him, 'you're never getting out'. I can only imagine how I would feel no matter what I'd done to get that sentence.

I feel your pain though. I know how I feel when Marty gets in trouble and shruges his shoulders and says, 'what I got to lose? what they gonna do to me?'. Well, they can put him in Solitary and they can take his visits and phone calls. My visits, my phone calls. I tell him the same thing, you never know what might happen. The laws could change...anyone that pays attention can smell change coming. It's inevitable no matter how much
Joe Public wants to throw away the key. Just like we can't keep giving away food stamps and medical care (sorry, I know that's a sore subject)....we can't keep locking folks up for life. There's not enough money or resources for any of it.

I always wonder what keeps Marty going. In 28 years he's still fairly sane and gets up every day and does the same thing over...day after day.

I ask him and he says, 'hope, you can never give up hope because if you do it's over.'

Yall think about that next time you have issues with his reality. Somethings you just got to let them 'see' for themselves. Most of the time, they have to learn the hard way, don't we all?

I talk to folks all the time and in conversation it comes up and it never fails for someone to say, 'if I was in prison...'. You have no idea until you actually walk in those shoes in that same frame of mind. All you can really do is hang on with him...

It's a hell of a ride so hang on tight.

Yall have a wonderful day!
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Old 09-22-2012, 07:56 AM
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Someone once told me where there is life there is hope.
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Old 09-22-2012, 07:57 AM
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With my daddy its the same thing.
Parole after 18 yrs, maybe he will come home maybe he wont.
We plan that he will even though the odds are against us.
We live one day at a time and whatever happens we will deal with it.
So if he gets denied the first time, or the second, or even the third we will go through it together.
Once we thought he was NEVER coming home, then things changed.
Miracles happen and you never know when you will be the recipient of one of those miracles.
Let him plan, and plan with him - even though you know the plans might be delayed you have nothing to lose.
If he comes home great, if not you will go on and keep planning for the next time he goes up.
When he does go up for Parole make sure you have many friends and family, professionals if possible, write letters and try to have him a job, or enrolled for college before the hearing. You can always unenroll him or thank an employer but decline the job if he doesnt come home.
I dont know about Georgia but in California you can do the whole college thing online up to actually attending the first class and there are so many job site to send apps to that if you start early you can do all that for him when the time is close. (or better yet, have someone you know hire him).

Let him Dream, Dream with him

Good Luck
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Old 09-22-2012, 09:29 AM
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Schatzi has served 20 years of 2 life sentence without parole plus 20 years. We both know what that means. Still, we live life according to a whatever will be will be kind of attitude. Even though he might never use it, I have a room waiting for him at my place decorated and furnished with stuff by his favorite baseball team that he loves so much (the NY Yankees). He knows if he comes home I'd be the happiest person, if not it won't change anything. I'm still here, I'm still the same person in love with him, it won't change anything about our relationship. I think that's the kind of attitude that helps both of us to have a feeling of stability and peace of mind.
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Old 09-22-2012, 11:04 AM
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Im not a sugar coater and he knows this (one reason he loves me lol) He is 18 to life and due for parole hearing. He talks about making parole and I tell him not to set his sights too high. lets prepare for the worst and hope for the best

When he gets to having his pity party I will tell him real fast to put his big boy pants on and suck it up.
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Old 09-22-2012, 12:18 PM
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My Loved one is doing a 15-life sentence... He's been "in" for about a decade and still doesn't fully understand the reality of his sentence. He's 98% convinced that he will be approved for parole on his first try. I used to spend alot of time and energy trying to convince him otherwise, but this only caused him to go from being 100% convinced to 98% convinced, lol... Unfortunately me drilling this into his head also contributed to his depression. I thought I was helping him to be realistic, but I eventually realized that this hope of getting out was how he got through his time. So now, I just try to hold onto hope with him... But he's already doing the right thing- he never gets in trouble, has 2 jobs, does alot of programs etc. Your fiance has alot of time to do... He needs to keep that positive mindset, or else he will go crazy in there. The best thing you can do is encourage him to get involved with programs because they will only help him in his quest for parole.
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Old 09-22-2012, 06:35 PM
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These boys need hope. They need to dream. My friend is 9 years into a 30-to-life sentence. He always speaks of his dreams to find the right woman, get out, raise kids... mostly he dreams of getting family visits, lol! What can I say? He's young and healthy! I don't argue-- I wouldn't dare. Why? Because I have another friend who paroled after 22 years of a 17-to-life sentence. That friend married his MWI and is living happily ever after with her now. God is in charge, and if He wants a man out, He will get the man out. If a man needs to hope, let him hope.
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Old 09-22-2012, 07:17 PM
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Yes, my man does not act like he has life on the end of his sentence. He rarely speaks on it, he is always like we will do this or that when he gets out. At first he used to confuse me because he acted like he was getting out soon. lol I try not to let it bother me and I try to live the dream with him. Always hopeful. I always look to the Lord for strength and endurance, my verse I go back to all the time is Romans 5:5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
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Old 09-23-2012, 07:41 AM
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Like Caribbean my man has 2 life sentences without parole plus 5. We know our reality also. We enjoy what we do have and live each day to the fullest. We dream of the small things, like family visits one day and looking into each others eyes at visits( we haven't seen each other in 8 months) but we dream and fantasize of the big things also. Like our wedding(which will be special no matter where it takes place) and having children and even the possibility of him getting released one day. We still have the hope of him coming home one day, don't ever give up that hope. Sometimes hope is what gets up through the rough days.
I say let your man keep dreaming weather it takes place or not don't shatter that hope for him. You will face that day when it approaches TOGETHER. Good luck to you both.
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Old 09-23-2012, 08:56 AM
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Sometimes hope is what gets up through the rough days.
This is worth repeating many times!
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Old 09-24-2012, 07:42 AM
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You might want to back off a bit on trying to get him to realize what's likely to happen, although you are probably correct. You can be hopeful with him, and tell him you sure hope so, and no matter what, you'll be there for him, and all that.

But as for changing his mind and having him wake up, see reality and be cool with it... probably not going to happen. Even less of a chance at the age of 25. It may be that the more you try, the more you seem to be the negative one, dashing his hopes and dreams, and all that.

Real life has a way of teaching people about reality, and it does it in ways that you just can't ignore. Let real life handle passing out the bad news. You just be supportive.

Best of luck
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Old 09-24-2012, 08:39 AM
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Thank you all so much! I dont have the heart to just outright crush his dreams. We both dream and hope and I always stay positive, never let him see me down, I stay happy go lucky. I am just so scared about him being so crushed and him just losing all hope. I guess I just wanted a way to ease him into the thought process of many outcomes. I guess for now we just keep on dreaming and when the time comes we face it, because I would never want to discourage him or hurt him so I'll let it ride. Again thank you all.
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Old 09-24-2012, 02:43 PM
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Thank you all so much! I dont have the heart to just outright crush his dreams. We both dream and hope and I always stay positive, never let him see me down, I stay happy go lucky. I am just so scared about him being so crushed and him just losing all hope. I guess I just wanted a way to ease him into the thought process of many outcomes. I guess for now we just keep on dreaming and when the time comes we face it, because I would never want to discourage him or hurt him so I'll let it ride. Again thank you all.
Have you ever thought that maybe he says and acts to give YOU hope?

Trust me he will get crushed when its not how he wanted it... but thats when you will stand beside him and pick him up and keep holding on to hope...

I feel for those that never get a chance to really love and have someone to love in this journey..
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Old 09-24-2012, 06:35 PM
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Have you ever thought that maybe he says and acts to give YOU hope?

Trust me he will get crushed when its not how he wanted it... but thats when you will stand beside him and pick him up and keep holding on to hope...

I feel for those that never get a chance to really love and have someone to love in this journey..
I have and I think he does do some of that for me. After reading stories of how some LOs wont get out it hurts my heart and I feel awful for being selfish because I am lucky he will one day have his chance and I do believe he will, just in time. Ive told him though that no matter what happens im here and always will be, through the good and bad. Which thankfully he knows that and has never questioned my dedication to him.
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Old 09-25-2012, 09:57 AM
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Remember that he has a lot of company in there, to "ease him into the thought process of many outcomes". Take care of yourself so that you can be encouraging to him, always.
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Old 09-25-2012, 04:51 PM
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My guy has been behind the fences for 34 years now and has been coming up for parole every two to three years since 1991. I have been thru this with him about four times since we have reunited and it has been very stressful every time.

I don't know how he has kept up his hope and his positive attitude after going thru the parole process so many times. He was denied his first few times and then since 1995 he has been approved by the board every time but denied by the governor's office.

I go back and forth on how I feel about it, after the denial I always feel like it would be kinder to him if they would just say no, we are never letting you out so we could, or I could (yes I know this sounds selfish), get to some kind of resolution to knowing that this is what it is, to not always have that hope that someday he will come home only to get it dashed to the ground......but when I asked him how he felt about it, he said he is grateful that he has the opportunity for parole and that he would never let the system take his hope away.

I'm not sure I understand it, but then its not me inside there, and if this is how he keeps his spirits up then I am not going to take that away from him. However, I will say that I have been very upfront with him on how I feel about it, we don't want to not share how we are feeling even if it means that one of us doesn't agree on it. To me our relationship wouldn't be what it is if I felt like I had to shelter him from everything.
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Old 09-25-2012, 06:08 PM
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I agree wit lbee dnt lose faith cause win u loose faith da devil wins I'm praying for all of u lady's n I take my hats off to each n everyone of u cause its hard doing dis wit my husband dat have a out date in 2014 but to not have an out dat is heart broken n u lady's is sticking it out I can only imagine

Mrs' Hawkins
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Old 09-25-2012, 09:29 PM
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However, I will say that I have been very upfront with him on how I feel about it, we don't want to not share how we are feeling even if it means that one of us doesn't agree on it. To me our relationship wouldn't be what it is if I felt like I had to shelter him from everything.
I don't think you are selfish.

Of all the things Marty and I talk about....in all this time....I am finding out there are things we haven't. I am amazed. And, not necessarily in a good way, just am.

Until tonight, I'd never asked him (and he's never voiced) if I ever hurt his feelings. The answer melted me, but that's not why I replied to this post....

I know his whole deal. He gave me his transcripts when we first started....visiting? But, we never talk about him not getting out. It's always 'when' or he says 'if I ever...' He will sometimes say, 'I really need up out of here, this life is really old.' I know he's getting tired of it and it scares the butter out of me wondering if this is where he gets bitter or cold....SMH....or, if he will. It pains me to think of him in prison getting old and being alone. But, I don't have that build up and let down....I just don't have words because I can't fathom what you guys must go through.

All that to say, you know we don't always agree on things....and, I am excellant at voicing my opinion to him about such....I've never been afraid to talk to him about one single thing....until now. And, I still wouldn't say, 'you are never coming home...'....but, JK....HOW would I start THAT conversation? I don't feel it's one I'd want to speak of in a letter or over the phone....but, what would I say to him? Or, does it matter? Maybe that's why I've never brooched the subject. You know, I might do him in....but, Imma be there until the end (or my end). Maybe that's the deal....

Folks say they admire me for holding down a lifer. Nah....I admire you and the other ones that have to deal with that....I am pretty sure I'd lose it every time. I think your guy's spin on it is refreshing and it makes me want to cry at the same time. Damn them! Really.
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Old 10-06-2012, 03:57 PM
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I agree completely. The first time I asked my guy if he had thought about the fact that he might have to do the Lord's work in prison rather than on the street, it really put him into a depression and that's when I realized that hope is all he has. It's best for him when we just build our fantasy world of the ministry we will have when he gets out as after 2 suicide attempts before we met, the fantasy is better for him than reality. I'm sure deep down inside he knows the reality but it's just easier for him not to think about it.
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Old 10-21-2012, 07:13 PM
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This is the opposite for me and Daniel. I know the reality of his situation but sometimes I say things... and all he says back is "you know i'm probably never getting out". The flip is that he says things too.. today he was telling me how he wants to go hang gliding someday, though he prefaces it with 'if i ever get a chance...'

I think we all do it and its probably very normal. Other couples fantasize about winning the lotto and we dream about rolling through the drive thru with our partners to order off the dollar menu.
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