The Strong Women Who Are Essentially Incarcerated With Their Men
Understand, your partners and families are doing time, too.
When I first learned the possibility of me doing serious time was inevitable, I’ll admit, it was myself I thought of more than anything. How will I manage it? What do I need to learn ahead of time? Where will I go?
It wasn’t long before my mind drifted to how this will affect other people in my life. My partner of almost seven years especially, but also my children, my friends, our girlfriend, and family. Anyone who cares for you, who loves you, is doing time right along side you. They may not be physically locked in, but don’t let that take away from the mental prison they’re now a part of.
I haven’t always been the best husband. I’ve made poor decisions throughout our relationship, ones that have nothing to do with my legal issue, but are trying nonetheless. My partner and I have gone through it, so to speak. Often, I chalked it up to my youth, being impulsive, which isn’t exactly wrong, but it is just an excuse. Although being sent to prison for five years isn’t the ideal way to work on your relationship, it has been eye-opening for me in this and many other regards.
It’s teaching me what’s important in life. I’ve learned I can get by without a lot of material things. Although it isn’t optimal, having your life reduced to two uniforms, seven pairs of boxers and socks, and 10 other items (which includes each individual stamp as one item) teaches you something about yourself. You learn to budget, not monetarily exactly, but for what you surround yourself with. I’ve learned I would rather have a book or two, everything I need to write letters, and my hygiene products than a bunch of shit I don’t need.
But the most important thing I’ve learned is how vital outside relationships are to your mental health. My wife is a boss. She has always done her best to take care of me, mentally and physically, and nothing has changed about that. We talk daily, as long as I’m not in lockdown, and she always asks about my mental and physical health. She reminds me to take care of myself, even though there are days that’s easier said than done.