Prison Pete

Friday, March 19, 2010
  So Alone....
It is Christmas Day, 2009. This is the first Christmas that I have not had any contact with my parents. As some of you know, my dad died last year in September, but I still had contact with my mom. This past September my siblings felt that it was in Mom's best interest to move her into an assisted living facility.

I know that her memory was not the best, but I am not sure if it is only the short term memory. At this point my only point of contact is with my brother and he has only written to me once in the thirteen years I have been in prison, and that letter came in October of this year telling me that he had moved mom into the assisted living facility and was only writing to me because Mom told him to.

He did not tell me the address of where our mother is, saying that he would bring any letters and cards I sent to her when he went to visit her. I sent out a letter to him, including one to Mom, on November 1, and since then I have not heard anything.

This is one of the most vexing problems for a lot of people in prison: contact with family members. There is often a lot of tension, bad feelings and emotional confusion when a member of the family ends up in prison. Sometimes it is seen as a badge of honor. Sometimes there is a sense of gratitude that an out of control family member is getting the "help" he or she needs.

At the recent Residents Encounter Christ weekend we heard from one mother whose son was suffering from drug addiction. Since being incarcerated, he has turned his whole life around, taking every program he can get into, including college classes. His mom told us, with tears in her eyes, she is so grateful to have her son back. Even though he is still incarcerated!

That is one of the rarer success stories. It is not always the case where parents and other family members are willing (or able) to provide the very much needed emotional support for an incarcerated family member. While it is true that all our needs are supposed to be supplied by our keepers, reality presents a much different picture.

Up until this past September, I have been blessed with parents that have supported me both financially and emotionally throughout my journey as an incarcerated person. It is really up to family and friends to provide the emotional and other support that an individual needs.

Yes, we are all provided "three hots and a cot." But there is no way any system can provide all an individual needs. That is exactly the problem. Individual needs. The very words "individual needs" would be tough to put into the same sentence with the word system.

It is my opinion, backed by thirteen plus years on the inside, that one of the most common holes in an inmate's life is having his or her individual needs met. A lot of the time the problem is compounded by an inmate not even knowing what his needs are. I suppose a definition of the word need is in order.
Hi Pete. I just wanted to know that for the first time in my life I spent Christmas in prison. For the first time i know how it feels to be completely alone. But thankfully we all have people out there that love us and would turn the world upside down to ensure our world is safe for us. I recently started a blog with some of the letters that i received during my incarceration that may seem insignificant to some, but gave me the strength to remail alive. Hope it'll help you and those around you a it helped me

Post a Comment

View my profile
Contact Prison Pete
Contact the Editor
Blogroll Me!

December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010

December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009

December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008

December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007

December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006

December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005

December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004


Powered by Blogger


Emily Dickinson
Janet Evanovich
Ian Fleming
Jonathan Franzen
Robert Fulghum
Sue Grafton
Tami Hoag
Jean Shepherd

Johann Sebastian Bach
Virgil Fox
Benny Goodman
Vladimir Horowitz
Itzhak Perlman
David Russell
Lonnie Smith

Radio and TV Shows
All Things Considered
Capitol Steps
Fawlty Towers
Fresh Air
The Infinite Mind
Jazz After Hours
Jeeves and Wooster
Pipe Dreams

Media, Publishers, Networks
Augsberg Fortress Press
Hamilton Bookseller
NY Daily News
NY Newsday
NY Times
PC Magazine
WNED Buffalo, NY

Helpful Organizations

Federal Bureau of Prisons
NY State Court of Appeals
NY State Department of Corrections

Typing with a Dvorak keyboard
Fastback Book Binding System
Who links to me?