This moment changes your lives forever
After the trial, everyone goes back to their normal life except for you and your family. This moment changes your lives forever. Your loved one was taken away in handcuffs, and you were left standing there in the court room wondering what to do next. It is a surreal moment. You see everyone else acting like this is just another regular day in their lives; but your life has just been shattered. No one else even notices that your life has just crumbled right before their eyes.
Families are left alone...
It is a terrible tragedy that families are left alone to deal with the grief of losing a loved one to prison. You walked out of that courtroom and into a world that doesn’t care about what you are going through. People look at you without seeing the terrible impact of prison on your life. They walk by your family and pretend not to notice the pain, the loss, and the grief. They look away because they do not know what it is it like, and they do not know what to do.
You cannot make this journey alone.
You need to find people who will provide you with the support you need today, and thus the support you will need in the days to come. The support you need comes from 3 different groups of people: those who have a loved one who is in prison, those who have had a loved one in prison, but now he is home and they are thriving; and those who have never experienced prison in their family.
ventually, I realized that throwing all my time into helping fight the legal battle was draining our relationship. I got so caught up in what was happening with the court, that I was ignoring what was happening to us. We were not connecting, we were both feeling lonely and disconnected. But we weren’t talking about it.
Each of these groups of people will offer help and support in different ways. In order to survive a prison experience, overcome it, and build a better life you will need all three. Finding support from each of these groups is very important. Here are simple steps to find and thus connect to support systems to help you navigate through this chapter in your life:
- Call your local help line. In the US, dial 211 for information about services and groups that can help your family through this.
- Make a list of every place you find that you think you might find support. Include churches, civic groups, internet groups, social service agencies, etc.
- Contact ALL of them. You won’t know the best fit for you and your family until you reach out and meet people.
- Decide which ones meet your needs the best.
- Save your original list. As time goes by, your needs will change and you may want to connect with another agency/group on your list.
- Attend meetings, read blogs, listen to Podcast, connect to internet groups. Do it all. after all, you cannot have too much support as you walk through this crazy season in your life.
Do not give up. Tomorrow will be better. There are a lot of people who are willing and able to help you overcome this. Do not let fear, embarrassment, or shame stop you from reaching out for help. There is so much hope just waiting for you to connect to it!
I am rooting for you!