Welcome to the Prison Talk Online Community! Take a Minute and Sign Up Today!






Go Back   Prison Talk > FOR FAMILY & FRIENDS > Parents with Children in Prison
Register Entertainment FAQ Calendar Mark Forums Read

Parents with Children in Prison For the parents of prisoners

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 06-08-2018, 05:24 PM
ThopterMom ThopterMom is offline
Registered User
 

Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Iowa USA
Posts: 3
Thanks: 10
Thanked 8 Times in 3 Posts
Default What do you do on their birthday?

I been lurking here for a while, but this is my first actual post. My younger son has been gone for just over a year with 29 to go.
Today is his 22nd birthday.
Today is hitting me harder than I thought it would. It really started yesterday on the way back from my husband's birthday dinner. I mostly want to curl up in a ball and stay in bed. Unfortunately (or probably fortunately - so I had to get up and get moving) today is a tournament day at work (we own a book and gaming store).
Tonight I will be surrounded by people having fun - probably loudly. It's what's good for my business, but it's really hard to handle listening to
it - especially since my first exposure to this game was through my son. He even wrote his final paper for school on the subject.
So here I am. Sitting here typing trying not to look like I'm falling apart inside. It took me three tries to get out the door this morning without tear tracks down my face.

Last year his birthday was only a month after he was arrested so I was still in shock mode. Meaning I was either sitting around frozen or crying pretty much any time I was alone. I sent him pencils and paper through the commissary and a book through our supplier. This year I didn't know where he was for sure soon enough to send anything - I finally got a letter this week after about two months of not knowing. I did send some money yesterday, but he said in the letter that he can't use the email yet so I don't know if he will even know it's there.
I kept busy on Mother's day by going down to the farm to see my mother. And my older son took over the store for the day on Monday so his wife could whisk me off on adventure. I actually cried when they told me. (That seems to be my go to reaction now - whether I'm happy or sad.)

Visiting is not an option - he's 14 hours away (his choice). He can't/won't call - in a year's time he's called once and if he doesn't know he has money on his account... plus he said he hasn't figured out the phone system there. I started a letter yesterday. I will probably write some more later and send it tomorrow.
So what do you do?
I know I just have to get through and tomorrow will be better.
__________________
All the pieces of my heart still love you.
Reply With Quote
The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to ThopterMom For This Useful Post:
fbopnomore (06-09-2018), gvalliant (06-09-2018), icj357 (06-21-2018), lizlizzie2 (06-21-2018), tatonkawia (06-20-2018)
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 06-08-2018, 05:41 PM
Kimimi Kimimi is offline
Registered User
 

Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: OR USA
Posts: 288
Thanks: 237
Thanked 399 Times in 180 Posts
Default

I sent several cards his birthday week and then bought him a pair of running shoes that he ordered. He should know when his money hits the books. Best of luck it’s not an easy journey. I’m sorry for all of your pain
Reply With Quote
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Kimimi For This Useful Post:
azlightsout (06-13-2018), icj357 (06-21-2018), lizlizzie2 (06-21-2018), ThopterMom (06-11-2018)
  #3  
Old 06-08-2018, 08:37 PM
Halo527 Halo527 is offline
Registered User
 

Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Los Angeles CA
Posts: 71
Thanks: 144
Thanked 139 Times in 49 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThopterMom View Post
I been lurking here for a while, but this is my first actual post. My younger son has been gone for just over a year with 29 to go.
Today is his 22nd birthday.
Today is hitting me harder than I thought it would. It really started yesterday on the way back from my husband's birthday dinner. I mostly want to curl up in a ball and stay in bed. Unfortunately (or probably fortunately - so I had to get up and get moving) today is a tournament day at work (we own a book and gaming store).
Tonight I will be surrounded by people having fun - probably loudly. It's what's good for my business, but it's really hard to handle listening to
it - especially since my first exposure to this game was through my son. He even wrote his final paper for school on the subject.
So here I am. Sitting here typing trying not to look like I'm falling apart inside. It took me three tries to get out the door this morning without tear tracks down my face.

Last year his birthday was only a month after he was arrested so I was still in shock mode. Meaning I was either sitting around frozen or crying pretty much any time I was alone. I sent him pencils and paper through the commissary and a book through our supplier. This year I didn't know where he was for sure soon enough to send anything - I finally got a letter this week after about two months of not knowing. I did send some money yesterday, but he said in the letter that he can't use the email yet so I don't know if he will even know it's there.
I kept busy on Mother's day by going down to the farm to see my mother. And my older son took over the store for the day on Monday so his wife could whisk me off on adventure. I actually cried when they told me. (That seems to be my go to reaction now - whether I'm happy or sad.)

Visiting is not an option - he's 14 hours away (his choice). He can't/won't call - in a year's time he's called once and if he doesn't know he has money on his account... plus he said he hasn't figured out the phone system there. I started a letter yesterday. I will probably write some more later and send it tomorrow.
So what do you do?
I know I just have to get through and tomorrow will be better.
I am so, so sorry for what you are going through. My 22 year old son was just sentenced to 14 years at 80%. My heart has been broken over this ordeal and I completely understand what you are going through. I too, have shed so many tears.

It's going to take time for you to heal, but slowly it does get better. You are not alone, many of us on this site have gone through the same thing. I found solace in going back and reading the posts of others. It helped me to know that I was not alone and that what I was feeling is normal.

Keep writing to your son and send pictures and books and gift packs. It sounds like he is having a difficult time getting his head around his sentence. I have read where some imprisoned people don't want to see or hear from their families because it makes it harder for them to face where they are. I don't know how others handled this, maybe some will weigh in. But maybe in time he will come around. He has a very heavy burden he is facing and he is so young.

Please feel free to reach out to me whenever you would like. Praying for you and your son. ♡
Reply With Quote
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Halo527 For This Useful Post:
gvalliant (06-09-2018), icj357 (06-21-2018), lizlizzie2 (06-21-2018), ThopterMom (06-11-2018)
  #4  
Old 06-11-2018, 01:56 PM
ThopterMom ThopterMom is offline
Registered User
 

Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Iowa USA
Posts: 3
Thanks: 10
Thanked 8 Times in 3 Posts
Default

Thanks for the uplifting messages. It really was just a DAY. I know I'll have those from time to time. I'm back to my regular of being able to distance myself most of the time and only let it get to me when I have time for it.
__________________
All the pieces of my heart still love you.
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to ThopterMom For This Useful Post:
fbopnomore (06-11-2018), Halo527 (06-11-2018)
  #5  
Old 06-12-2018, 08:53 AM
GaReform GaReform is offline
Registered User
 

Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 853
Thanks: 511
Thanked 1,441 Times in 580 Posts
Default

It is really hard when they are far away & you can't share any of life's events with them. My son was 8 hours away from us so visiting was difficult. He missed his favorite Great Aunt's last days & funeral, birthdays & holidays. We tried to go there around his birthday & Christmas. Luckily it was only 2 years but so much can happen in that time.


I can imagine he is trying to deal with the changes in his life. It is a form of grieving for all of us. Almost like a death because it is a death of life as we know it. The same stages of grief that occur for a death is similar to what we experience with incarceration. Only there is a lot less support & sympathy for those going through incarceration loss. That's why this group is so important.


Give your son time. Take care of yourself & focus on being strong. He is going to need your support when he finally comes to where he can function again. His basic needs are being met so you need to make sure yours are too. If you need medication to help you get through this, don't be afraid to check into it. See if there are any support groups near you. They don't have to be just focused on incarceration, stress support groups can offer advice on how to deal with things you're experiencing too.


I sent my son magazines through the inmatemagazine.com site. That helped him keep in touch with the things he liked. I also wrote him weekly. If you have a concern you might try reaching out to his counselor or the chaplain at his location. The hardest thing to do is wait but sometimes that's all you can do.


Please visit here & share when you need to. We have all been down the same road & understand.
Reply With Quote
The Following 7 Users Say Thank You to GaReform For This Useful Post:
fbopnomore (06-12-2018), Halo527 (06-12-2018), icj357 (06-21-2018), lizlizzie2 (06-21-2018), MsFish (06-12-2018), SeekingJoy (06-16-2018), ThopterMom (06-18-2018)
  #6  
Old 06-17-2018, 07:10 AM
sidewalker sidewalker is offline
CA, LASO, site sug. SUPER MOD

PTO Super Moderator Staff Superstar Winner 

Donation Award 
 

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: ca usa
Posts: 29,957
Thanks: 52,246
Thanked 27,322 Times in 13,869 Posts
Default

Agree with what others have said.
He will come around in time.


And for sure those days are hard to deal with. Just know that they too will pass.
Allow yourself to have those down days but dont stay down.
Get out. Talk to people. Try to find the good things.....a birds song, a smelly good rose, anything like that.


And write. Write to him. Send him cards. He will respond at some point.
__________________
My windows aren't dirty

That's my dog's nose art

Reply With Quote
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to sidewalker For This Useful Post:
fbopnomore (06-17-2018), icj357 (06-21-2018), lizlizzie2 (06-21-2018), ThopterMom (06-18-2018)
  #7  
Old 06-21-2018, 04:42 AM
icj357's Avatar
icj357 icj357 is offline
icj357
Donation Award 
 

Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Fort Walton Beach, FL USA
Posts: 508
Thanks: 1,747
Thanked 509 Times in 251 Posts
Default

I am lucky enough to be able to go and visit (providing it is a weekend) and I also start undulating him with cards, letters and silly stuff like, taking pages out of a word search book and adding them to my letter, or we like to take a blank page and one of us starts a picture and sends it and the other adds to it and re-sends it, stuff like that. I might send him a book that he has been wanting or extra money for canteen as he and several other inmates make birthday meals to share. My son will be 24 this year with two left after this birthday. Things will get easier for you and we are all here to give support to you. Hang tough!
__________________
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to icj357 For This Useful Post:
lizlizzie2 (06-21-2018), ThopterMom (06-21-2018)
  #8  
Old 06-21-2018, 05:47 AM
lizlizzie2's Avatar
lizlizzie2 lizlizzie2 is offline
Liz
 

Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Arizona
Posts: 669
Thanks: 1,506
Thanked 1,031 Times in 398 Posts
Default

My son's birthday is 5 days before Christmas. The first year he was still in jail. The 2nd year he was the opposite end of the state and I couldn't make that drive in the winter, so I have not visited him in December since he was assigned to a prison. He was moved closer recently, so I can visit this year in December.

1) I try to find a really emotional card that says how important he is to me. The 2nd year I had sent one that he shared with others who liked what it said so much they were copying it. I have yet to match that. I then send him a funny card because he hates it when mom is mushy.
2) I create a collage of pictures of me, his sister and her baby,his grandma, his dad (we are divorced).
3) My ex (his stepdad) contributes to a securepak and I order anything that looks like a birthday party (special candy or cakes that are not Christmas colors, like the pastel MMs), along with his favorite items, like coffee, but the more expensive brands as a treat.
4) One year, I purchased him phone time to call his sister.
5) I put $25 in his savings account as a birthday present to keep it active.
6) This year, I am putting $10 a month in his account so in December I will send him a bank balance with his birthday card. It is his last Birthday in prison (I hope never again). Aside from an active bank account making life a bit easier when he gets out, I want him to feel like he has some small bit of independence so that he can buy something without mom standing over him.

My son has an 8 year sentence at 85%. We are down to 11 months. I hope my ex mother-in-law makes it until he gets out so he can see his grandma again. She will be 103 next February. My mom died a little over a year ago. His dad has never written or sent him a card. Birthdays and Holidays are hard.

Your son has a long road ahead of him. I hope he gets to the place where he wants to call and visit. Being able to visit really helped me adjust and emotionally to feel better. For the first two years, I sent him really long letters. I was recovering from surgery on my arms, wrists, and hands, so I would dictate into my tablet. I was still working full time the first year, so on my breaks I would add a paragraph, or in the night when I couldn't sleep. The topics were all over the place. it was therapeutic for me and probably a lot like a diary of what had happened that day and what i was thinking about. Because the dictation to text wasn't so great in those days and I was physically unable to spend time editing it, and it would be a week's worth so 8 to 10 pages typed, he would have to guess at what i meant. Some parts he said he never figured out. But it became a game for him of trying to guess what mom meant to say. I also sent a lot of postcards because then he had a new picture of the outside world to look at every few weeks. My suggestion is that regardless of the current status of him communicating with you, send him lots of letters about the every day things and with love because it will make you feel better and keep him connected to family and real life.

Slowly, the shock wears off for him and you. There are days that always bring tears, like birthdays, but the sudden tears down your face at work, or the daily cry at bedtime will stop. For me, learning more about the prison system, where he was, and support groups like this helped immensely. Counseling can help feel like a weight is lifted or at least shared. Keeping yourself busy and having things to do does help. Read old posts in this forum (PCIP). There are moms here who have dealt with everything imaginable and doing so helped me through a lot of long nights and made me feel less alone.

Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to lizlizzie2 For This Useful Post:
ThopterMom (06-21-2018)
  #9  
Old 06-21-2018, 06:27 AM
rockchalk1 rockchalk1 is offline
Registered User
 

Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Chicago
Posts: 591
Thanks: 9
Thanked 674 Times in 350 Posts
Default

I can't imagine the pain you're going through, but it sounds like what you (and everyone else) is doing is perfect. Making sure your son knows you're there for him and not leaving or turning your back on him will mean a lot. Love should be unconditional. It doesn't mean you condone his actions that got him there in the first place, but that doesn't take away the fact that he's your son and you still love him.

My oldest son just turned 21 and I've often wondered what I would do if he got into some sort of trouble. I can support and love him even if that means I would not understand why he may have acted in a way he did. I would send him birthday cards/letters and let him know just how much I love him and that I'm always here for him. Now or in 20 years.

Don't turn your back on him. He needs to hear that you are there. Positive reinforcement. Perhaps he feels you won't be there, hence he does not reach out. Perhaps he is embarrassed or trying to save you pain. Also, if he does become receptive down the line, engage with him, find out how he is, and be understanding and compassionate for what he has gone through, even though he put himself there.

I obviously can't speak from the parent perspective since I'm not there, but I wouldn't give up. Having said that though, I do know about the dynamics of my husband and his mother and how he feels about that and why I'm telling you to not give up. My husband is 59, his mother is 88. He is an only child and has no other relatives. His 2 adult kids are essentially deadbeats and don't do anything for his mother. I'm his second wife and the first wife had a great relationship with her but it was cut off when his mom didn't take her side (instead of taking no sides and staying out of it as she should have) in their divorce. So I'm stuck being her guardian, raising my kids, working and dealing with my husband's incarceration (which fortunately is short). My mother in law is very bitter. She is very well taken care of in an independent living facility, has few health issues, and self sufficient for the most part. He dutifully calls her about once/week, but the entire 15 mins (that's the max phone call in Fed) is spent with her complaining how awful everything is, her building, the people, and she had the nerve a few months ago to say her life is so much worse than his! Yes, correct. He's sitting in prison and her life is worse than his! Narcissist to the nth degree. She has also told me her life is a living hell. Not sure why, it is not like he doted on her. My point really is that from the son perspective, he of course is not going to stop calling her, but I think just once he would just like to hear something encouraging, an I miss you, I'm thinking about you, instead of her pretending like she's dying. She went a whole week waiting for him to call and then when he called complained how ill she had been, yet she didn't contact me once to take her to the Dr. nor did she contact me to let him know she was sick. She has also made no effort to learn the corrlinks email system, which I've offered to show her and is easy - yes she is capable of email at her age. My husband admits he had a shitty childhood, his father was abusive. I think his mother is dealing with some of those demons now and in some ways taking it out on him because she gets very defensive about him being in prison constantly saying she didn't put him there. No one has ever accused her of such and he has taken full accountability, (white collar crime), but enough is enough. It would be nice if she just said, I love you, I'm here for you, and I support you. I don't like what you did, but let's move on and asked about and acted like she cared about him. You sound like you do care about your son, so please do NOT give up. I wish my husband had a mother like you that did want to actually do something for him as opposed to making it all about her!!

So again, please don't give up. Trust me, he needs you. Even if he won't say it! Send a letter or a card, or books! Whatever you can do, but keep doing it.
Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to rockchalk1 For This Useful Post:
Halo527 (06-23-2018), lizlizzie2 (06-21-2018), ThopterMom (06-21-2018)
  #10  
Old 06-21-2018, 06:57 AM
BearsLadyBear BearsLadyBear is offline
Registered User
 

Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 168
Thanks: 666
Thanked 250 Times in 97 Posts
Default

I sent cards, took a pic of an actual birthday cake I bought for him with ballons in the background.

Maybe you can buy him a big banner that spells out Happy Birthday His Name and take a pic with the family under the banner.

Even if/when he doesn't call/write. You Continue to stay in touch.. It will mean so much to him. He may not see it now but he will.

Last edited by BearsLadyBear; 06-21-2018 at 07:00 AM..
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to BearsLadyBear For This Useful Post:
Halo527 (06-23-2018), ThopterMom (06-21-2018)
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Happy Birthday :( (Today is his birthday and he's still in CRAF) JerseySeagull New Jersey General Prison Talk, Introductions & Chit Chat 5 09-24-2010 03:35 PM
Grandson's birthday - do I send a birthday card? haggis Parents with Children in Prison 9 09-08-2010 01:57 PM
Happy birthday papi!! Birthday poem i wrote 4 him. Papi's_Baby21 PTO Lounge 4 10-24-2009 07:57 PM
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Bonnie N Clyde (husbands birthday) (10/22) bernadette PTO Lounge 10 10-23-2006 05:37 AM
October Birthday...Please send Birthday Wishes! MysticAngelNY Elsa's Inmate Card Projects 2 10-28-2005 02:28 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:10 AM.
Copyright © 2001- 2017 Prison Talk Online
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Website Design & Custom vBulletin Skins by: Relivo Media
Message Board Statistics